Autism

Respectful Insolence

Tag archives for Autism

A couple of weeks ago, I was horrified to learn of a new “biomed” treatment that has been apparently gaining popularity in autism circles. Actually, it’s not just autism circles in which this treatment is being promoted. Before the “autism biomed” movement discovered it, this particular variety of “miracle cure” has been touted as a…

A misguided “chalkboard talk”

Sometimes I feel like Dug, the talking dog in the movie Up, in that when it comes to blogging I’m often easily distracted. The reason I say this is because there’s been a “viral” (if you can call it that) video floating around the antivaccine quackery blogosphere that antivaccinationists are passing around as though it’s…

It’s that time of year again. What am I talking about? Regular readers know. They know that sometime around the Memorial Day weekend every year, usually beginning a couple of days before the extended weekend and into the weekend itself, there lands in the Chicago area a quackfest of such unrelenting quackitude that it has…

I’m not infrequently asked why the myth that vaccines cause autism and other anti-vaccine myths are so stubbornly resistant to the science that time and time again fails to support them. Certainly useful celebrity idiots like Jenny McCarthy are one reason. So, too, are anti-vaccine propaganda websites and blogs such as Age of Autism and…

Over the weekend, I saw a rather fascinating post by Sullivan entitled A Sense of Civil Discourse. The reason I found it so fascinating is because what was quoted in it utterly destroyed my irony meter yet again, leaving it nothing but a molten, gooey mess still bubbling and hissing in my office. Apparently last…

THE PAST IS PROLOGUE Location: Central New Jersey, deep within the brick and steel of a secret pharma base. Year: 1999. A shadowy figure dressed in gray, bald, and stroking a white cat enters a nondescript room in the middle of which sits a massive conference table. More than a dozen men and women leap…

Ever since I somehow stumbled into a niche in the blogosphere where I seem to be one of a handful of go-to bloggers for issues having to do with vaccines and the anti-vaccine movement, like Spider-Man I realize that with great power comes great responsibility. Wait a minute. That beginning was too pompous and pretentious…

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Since it is a holiday here in the States, I’m chilling out and recovering. I’ll try to be back tomorrow, but, worst case scenario, I’ll be back for sure on Tuesday. (Monday just so happens to be a holiday, too, this year. Gotta have those three day weekends.) In the…

I wish it were otherwise, but not all that many reporters “get it” when it comes to science and quackery. Fortunately, Chicago Tribune reporter Trine Tsouderos does. She’s shown it multiple times over the last year with stories about the autism “biomed” movement and Boyd Haley’s trying to pass off an industrial chelator as a…

Regular readers know that I have a tendency every so often to whine about when writing about the antics of the anti-vaccine movement seems to engulf this blog. Yes, it’s true. Every so often I get really, really tired of the bad science, pseudoscience, magical thinking, misinformation, and even outright lies that emanate from various…

Andrew Wakefield’s back, and he’s sure trying to come back big. I knew when I last wrote about his utter humiliation and disrepute that he wouldn’t stay away for long. In fact, he stayed away longer than I thought–a whole three months. Unfortunately, though, he appears to be on a full media blitz to try…

One of the biggest examples of either self-delusion or lying that emanates from the anti-vaccine movement is the oh-so-pious and indignant denials that inevitably follow from its members and leaders whenever someone like me has the temerity to point out that they are, in fact, anti-vaccine. The disingenuously angry denials usually take a form something…

Beware, North Carolina. Beware. Your law has become quack-friendly to the point where doctors can do almost anything. Why, you may reasonably wonder, am I saying this? The answer is what appears to be the end of a long and painful story of cancer quackery and anti-vaccine celebrity that has tainted North Carolina for years…

Perhaps you’ve heard of the case of Poul Thorsen. Perhaps not. Either way, that anti-vaccine movement was making a huge deal over this Danish psychiatrist and researcher for two reasons. First, he has become embroiled in some sort of scandal involving research funds at his former place of employment, Aarhus University, leading the ever-hyperbolic Robert…

Now that’s what I’m talking about! This is what we need to see more of! A father whose child underwent the quackery that is the Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) protocol is suing the doctors who administered it for malpractice: The father of a 7-year-old Chicago boy who was diagnosed as a toddler with autism has…

Shifting goalposts, shifting stories

On Wednesday, Steve Novella did a nice analysis of the recent study showing that signs of autism can be detected as early as six months of age. However, it was flawed by one clear misstatement, which was brought to his attention in the comments and which he then promptly corrected. Not that that stopped our…

Franchising autism “biomed” woo

Remember Mark and David Geier? I wouldn’t be surprised if regular readers may have forgotten about this father-son tag team of anti-vaccine lunacy and autism woo. After all, I haven’t written about them since journalist Trine Tsouderos did her expose of their “Lupron protocol” for the Chicago Tribune nine months ago. Long time readers, however,…

Blocked by Fire Marshal Bill!

I feel really, really good today. The reason? Simple Orac has annoyed Jim Carrey enough to ban him on Twitter. The exchange went something like this. For the first time in a while, I was perusing Twitter (I have a really hard time keeping my Insolence to 140 characters; so I only check my Twitter…

The utter discrediting and disgrace of Andrew Wakefield, first by the judgment of the General Medical Council against him and then by the retraction of the crown jewel of his respectability his 1998 Lancet paper that sparked the modern anti-vaccine movement and launched a thousand autism quacks. The reaction of the anti-vaccine loons was very…

Thanks to Andrew Wakefield, it’s been pretty much vaccine week for me. Well, mostly anyway, I did manage to have some fun with Mike Adams and the immune system, but otherwise it’s been all vaccines all the time this week. As I mentioned yesterday, at the risk of dwelling on one topic so long that…

Here’s another slam on Andrew Wakefield…

…from, of all places, a Daily Kos diary. Although the post itself is quite good, some of the comments make baby Jesus cry. There’s even one repeating the old myth about H. pylori and how Barry Marshall and Robin Warren were supposedly “ostracized” for their “heresy” back in the 1980s. Still, it’s good to see…

One week ago, The Chicago Tribune added yet another excellent addition to its recent series of articles exposing the dark underbelly of the anti-vaccine movement and, more importantly, the quackery that permeates the “autism biomedical” movement promoted by anti-vaccine groups such as Age of Autism. The first installment in the series, written by Tribune reporters…

After writing about a new low of pseudoscience published in that repository of all things antivaccine and quackery, The Huffington Post (do you even have to ask?), on Tuesday, I had hoped–really hoped–that I could ignore HuffPo for a while. After all, there’s only so much stupid that even Orac can tolerate before his logic…

Brian Deer responds to Andrew Wakefield

Two days ago, I deconstructed Andrew Wakefield’s clumsy attack on Brian Deer, the investigative journalist whose investigations uncovered Wakefield’s massive conflicts of interest and, most recently, his scientific fraud. Now, right here in the very comments of this blog, Brian Deer has responded: Obviously, because Our Andy’s statement purports to be a complaint to the…

I know I’ve been hard on a lot of legislators, including woo-friendly clods such as Tom Harkin, Ron Paul, and Dan Burton. Occasionally, though, a legislator will show that he “gets it” (or at least hasn’t drunk the Kool Aid). Forwarded to me was a letter sent from Representative John Linder (R-GA) in response to…