"Autism biomed" and the murder of Alex Spourdalakis

Sometimes, in the course of blogging, I come across a story that I don't know what to make of. Sometimes, it's a quack or a crank taking a seemingly science-based position. Sometimes it's something out of the ordinary. Other times, it's a story that's just weird, such that I strongly suspect that something else is going on but can't prove it. So it was a few months ago when I came across the story of Alex Spourdalakis, a 14-year-old autistic boy who became a cause célèbre of the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism.

I first noticed the story in early March when perusing AoA to see what the merry band of antivaccine propagandists was up to I came across a post by Lisa Goes entitled Day 19: Chicago Hospital Locks Down Autistic Patient. In the post was a shocking picture of a large 14-year-old boy in a a hospital bed in four point restraints. He was naked, except for a sheet covering his genitals. A huge gash was torn in the bedsheet, revealing the black vinyl of the hospital bed beneath. The boy's name, we were informed, was Alex Spourdalakis. Further down in the post was another, equally shocking, picture of Alex that, according to Goes, showed severe dermatitis on Alex's back due to the hospital sheets. The photos shocked me for two reasons. First, if the story was as advertised (something to be doubted always about anything posted to AoA), for once I thought that I might be agreeing with Goes and thinking that AoA was doing a good thing. Second, however, I was extremely disturbed by the publication of such revealing photos of the boy. Undoubtedly, Alex's mother must have given permission. What kind of mother posts pictures like that of her son for all the world to see? Then there appeared a Facebook page, Help Support Alex Spourdalakis, which pled for readers to help the Spourdalakis family.

As I said, something didn't seem right.

Now I know that something definitely wasn't right, but I still can't yet figure out what was wrong at that time three months ago. What is wrong now is that over the weekend Alex was murdered by his mother and caregiver, stabbed to death, in fact. The murder was carefully premeditated and truly gruesome:

Convinced that Alex Spourdalakis’ severe autism was growing worse, his mother and caregiver allegedly planned for at least a week to kill the River Grove teenager and themselves.

But the alleged murder plot initially went awry last weekend when the stocky 14-year-old didn’t succumb to an overdose of his prescription medications.

After waiting for several hours, Dorothy Spourdalakis, fatally stabbed her 225-pound son four times with a kitchen knife, then cut his wrist so deeply she nearly severed his hand, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.

His caregiver, Jolanta Agata Skrodzka, later stabbed the family cat with the same knife, then washed the utensil and put it back in a butcher’s block, prosecutors said.

Their suicide pact never succeeded: Both women took drug overdoses, then locked themselves in the bedroom with the slain teenager.

They were found semi-conscious inside the second-floor apartment on Sunday afternoon when Alex’s father and uncle came to check on the teen, prosecutors said as the women appeared in court to face first-degree murder charges.

More details are described in this Chicago Tribune story about the murder. Dorothy Spourdalakis and Alex's caregiver Jolanta Agata Skrodzka had apparently discussed the plan to kill Alex using an overdose of prescription sleeping pills and explained why they did it in a letter. Apparently they killed the cat because they didn't want it to end up in a shelter after they committed suicide. We also learned that police had been to the house several times to assist with transporting Alex to doctors' appointments because "he was big and strong and unwilling to go to the doctor."

As I read articles and posts about Alex Spourdalakis, going back to March, I had the distinct impression that there was more going on that met the eye. Lisa Goes might have been right. That has to be conceded. But while I occasionally looked at stories about Alex on AoA, they just didn't seem to pass the "smell test" to me. Something, it seemed to me, was being left out. Neither did a lot of the claims seem entirely credible. At the very least, it was very clear that a highly biased, one-sided version of events was being presented. For instance, Goes claimed that Alex was kept in four point restraints 24 hours a day at two different hospitals, Gottleib Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), for 19 days:

According to her, at 14 years of age, Alex has a diagnosis of severe autism and cognitive impairment. He is non-verbal. In October of 2012, Alex began to suffer neurological events that prevented a healthy sleep cycle. He was awake for many hours at a time. Agitation and aggression ensued as a result of sleep deprivation. During this time, symptoms and behaviors that were indicative of severe gastrointestinal distress developed as well. A cycle of constipation, diarrhea and formed bowel movements surfaced and became a chronic problem. On February 16th at 5:00 am, with the assistance of police and paramedics, Dorothy took her inconsolable and highly-distressed non-verbal child to Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park, Illinois.

Because of Alex’s physical aggression, he was placed in locked restraints. At that time, Dorothy did not know the ER would be their home for the next several days, as Alex lay naked, in locked restraints, suffering bouts of violent vomiting, severe constipation and diarrhea. Neither she nor Alex bathed for the next 13 days while hospital staff and administrators attempted to devise a plan to care for Alex. “He was given Colace for his constipation and sometimes it would take security staff and nurses more than 15 minutes to arrive to help unshackle him so he could use the bathroom,” Dorothy explained. “Alex would scream as best he could when he knew he was going to have a vomiting episode, but security took several minutes to respond so Alex would lay in his own vomit, waiting to be released by a representative of security. He would be wiped down and returned to the same restraints.”

Sure, it was possible that the boy was being abused so horribly, first at Gottleib Hospital and then at LUMC, but it seemed damned unlikely to me, although at the time I had no way of refuting or confirming the increasingly lurid stories being posted at AoA about Alex. Still, I knew that tere are very strict laws these days about patient restraint. The last time I ever had to order four point restraints was over 14 years ago, back when I moonlighted as a trauma attending in, yes, the Chicago area, the same metropolitan area where Alex lived and died. Before that I sometimes had to deal with the restraint of patients when as a resident I rotated on the trauma services at the hospitals where I trained. Sometimes patients with head injuries or severe intoxication would be violent and require restraint. There were always a strict protocol that we followed, even back then. My understanding is that the protocols have only gotten more strict. Restraining a patient, particularly a minor, is not something that is undertaken lightly, nor should it be. To believe the AoA account, we have to believe that a severely autistic teenaged boy would be kept in the emergency room for several days (also very, very unlikely) and put in restraints in an abusive fashion at not just one but two different hospitals, continuing after Alex was transferred from Gottlieb Hospital to Loyola University Medical Center on February 28. Actually, it was three different hospitals, because later Alex was shown in four point restraints at Lutheran General Hospital during his last admission in May. More on that later.

Missing from these stories was a clear and cogent explanation of why Alex was ever admitted to Gottleib Hospital and then transferred to LUMC in the first place. It's mentioned in some places that Alex was "inconsolable, highly-distressed and suffering bouts of violent vomiting, severe constipation and diarrhea." I had to look for clues to explain it, and, I must admit, I still remain puzzled. Certainly, this Change.org petition demanding that LUMC provide what Ms. Spourdalakis considers to be "standard medical treatment," which to her included gastroenterology. Peppered through various reports were indications that Alex had multiple allergies and GI issues. Having observed a fair amount of autism quackery on the Internet, these terms were huge red flags to me that strongly suggested to me the possibility that Ms. Spourdalakis was heavily into "autism biomed." Another hint as to what might have been really going on comes from reports of a care plan conference on March 12. Allegedly (we only have one side of the story given that the hospital and doctors are bound by HIPAA privacy law not to discuss the case), if Ms. Spourdalakis failed to agree completely to the care plan Alex would be placed in the care of the Illinois Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).

Elsewhere, I found references to demands that LUMC consult with an "Autism Medical Specialist to ensure Alex's dietary needs were met to ensure his food allergies and intolerance's were not "aggravating any underlying gastrointestinal or other medical conditions that may also cause adverse behaviors," which sounds suspiciously like an autism biomed quack. In this post, Lisa Goes described a visit to LUMC with Jeanna Reed of Autism Is Medical, whose website if chock full of standard antivaccine and "autism biomed" tropes, such as a section on mitochondrial disorders, banners asking if autism is vaccine injury, and the like. It's actually a pretty bare-bones website with lots of bugs, but the intent is clear. AIM is antivaccine to the core, and we already know that Lisa Goes is antivaccine, given that she has been a regular at the (Not-So) Thinking Moms' Revolution. Indeed, in this very post, Lisa Goes unwittingly portrayed Jeanna Reed as ranting and haranguing Alex's doctors with pleas to read quack studies and claims that "many of these children present with bowel disease and mitochondrial dysfunction. He could have GERD, duodenitis, esophagitis, ulcers in the small intestines, colitis. How can we know if we don't test?" This was pure autism biomed rhetoric, leavened with the arrogance of ignorance. When one of the doctors referred to autism as a "mystery," Goes totally lost it, yelling, "No! No! It's not. It's a medical illness that causes bad behavior. All you have to do IS READ*!"

Based on what was in retrospect in plain sight on the antivaccine blogs, it's hard for me not to suspect that Dorothy Spourdalakis was subjecting Alex to "autism biomed" quackery, that she came to know Ms. Reed and thereby spread her story to the wider autism biomed movement at large. If my suspicions are ultimately revealed to be true, it would certainly explain a lot. Certainly, it would explain why Lisa Goes and AoA rallied to Alex's cause so enthusiastically. It would also explain why the hero of the autism biomed movement himself, the brave maverick doctor to rule all brave maverick doctors, Andrew Wakefield, visited Alex during Autism One and posted to YouTube on the Autism Media Channel a video making an appeal for Alex:

Note that I've saved this video, in case it goes down the ol' Internet memory hole. Also note that, in this incredibly creepy video (is it just me, or does Wakefield look creepier and creepier each time I see him?), Wakefield stated that Alex was scheduled to go to long term psychiatric care in 72 hours, as if that were the worst fate imaginable. He appealed for funds to allow Alex to be transferred to a facility where he would "get the care he needs." What isn't clear is why Alex was back in the hospital again. I say "back in the hospital" because on March 23 his mother published a post on AoA announcing that Alex was being discharged from LUMC. She thanked everyone at AoA, but she also revealed her antivaccine proclivities:

It is during times like this we as a family realize our full potential. We know no one will help us unless we help ourselves. The continued abuse, medical neglect, discrimination and ignorance have to stop. Vaccines have maimed too many already and there are many more to come. The CDC's latest stats confirm that. We are not going away, nor are we giving up. My son Alex is just one of millions of children and adults who no longer will be silenced.

We as a group have been deceived and lied to long enough. Our children have paid and are continuing to pay the ultimate price because of greed. The health care system has failed terribly. It is our responsibility to continue to bring about change.

Please continue to follow Alex on his journey toward better health. Allow us to be a part of your lives. Our strength will continue to come from everyone and anyone who would like to continue with us. Alex will hopefully get the medical testing he needs but was denied until now. So much needs to happen in order for us ensure his recovery and I still need so much help! Please continue to follow my team of helpers for updates and fundraising efforts. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and value every single one of you who have gotten us to this place. Thank God for the internet and facebook!

To me, this was the strongest suggestive evidence that Ms. Spourdalakis had likely been subjecting Alex to autism biomed quackery. The language was pure "autism recovery" language. The antivaccine sentiment was there. So was the conspiracy mongering against conventional medicine and big pharma. In another story, I learned that another antivaccinationist and advocate of "autism biomed," Polly Tommey of the Autism Media Channel was involved, and Ms. Spourdalakis claimed that all Alex needed was "something simple, in the country, where he can run around, get the treatment that he needs so he can get better." For some reason, however, in May Alex was back in the hospital. When the new reports of Alex in the hospital started coming out, even AoA denizens and supporters wondered what had happened, for instance, on the Facebook post announcing Andrew Wakefield's appeal. The response from Jeanna Reed:

He's back in the hospital. The sad truth is that this will be what is left, the only path...unless we start to treat the MEDICAL conditions, provide an appropriate treatment plan and support the families while doing it. A VERY TALL ORDER but one that has to become the norm. Alex does NOT belong in a psychiatric facility. Sadly, this is the only option so many face when all of the above is not available. We did our very best to try and help them, and will continue to do what we can but it's not enough. We know so many who (if given the opportunity) could heal. So complicated...at the minimum PRAY for them and again realize this could be any one of our children.

I don't know about you, but if I had seen this at the time it was actually published instead of now, knowing the ultimate outcome, I would have still found the language ominous. In any case, not long after Wakefield's appeal, Alex was released from the hospital. Andrew Wakefield provided a statement to the Daily Mail after Alex's death explaining what happened and covering his ass in the process:

On Sunday May 26, members of the Autism Media Channel (AMC) went to the Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. There we visited the late Alex Spourdalakis, his mother Dorothy, and his Godmother. Alex was in four-point restraint and apparently refusing to eat or drink.

His mother was beyond exhaustion and despair. The main reason for her despair was the prospect of Alex being sent to a long-stay psychiatric hospital and heavily medicated with behavior-altering drugs drugs without any treatment of his underlying medical problems.

AMC issued an appeal on Alex’s behalf to protect him from this fate. We did not, at any stage, advocate for his release from the Lutheran General Hospital.

The following day Dorothy informed us that the hospital could find nowhere that would take Alex and that his insurance carrier had refused to pay for any further inpatient care at the Lutheran General Hospital.

It appears that, as a consequence, he was discharged from that hospital despite his precarious position and that of his carers. It is our opinion that Alex’s tragic death reflects the abject failings of a medical system that has no effective answer to the autism crisis.

I should point out right now that I used to work part time as a trauma attending at Lutheran General Hospital from 1997 to 1999. It was a fine hospital then, and I have no reason to think that anything's changed. Be that as it may, do I detect the stench of self-justification from Wakefield? He's desperately trying to cover his posterior, but his fetid flatus of blame deflection leaks out anyway. It's what he does. Wakefield's fame mongering and conspiracy mongering aside, however, if what he says is true, it does point out another aspect of this tragedy, namely support for parents with children with special needs.

That being said, what's also utterly despicable is the reaction of the denizens of AoA and other antivaccinationists to the news of the murder of Alex Spourdalakis. For instance, it is not infrequent to see antivaccinationists blame—of course!—vaccines for Alex's death, the apparent underlying "logic" being that if he hadn't become autistic because of vaccine injury then none of this would ever have happened. Such "logic" prevails in the comments of AoA posts about Alex's death, such as this one and this one. For instance:

Though I can't support the choice these two women made, it isn't hard to imagine the desperation and hopelessness they were engulfed in. To watch your precious child suffer for so many years and then endure what this past spring brought for them. They fought and fought the beast head on and felt the hatred against them. It isn't hard to imagine that they were exhausted. All of this happening in America no less.

No, these two women were, as far as I can tell, offered help but refused it because it was standard conventional therapy. From what I can tell from various blog and Internet articles, they appear to have subjected Alex to biomedical quackery and were unhappy that if Alex were transferred to a psychiatric hospital's long-term care ward he would no longer be able to receive "autism biomed" treatments. Time and investigation by the authorities will tell if that was the case. Whether that is what happened or not, I nonetheless reject the "logic" of such antivaccinationists such as it is, that only makes sense only if you accept the pseudoscience claiming that vaccines cause autism. While one can sympathize with a parent facing the task of caring for a severely autistic child who is very large, very strong, and very difficult to control, as Jo Ashline says, autism is not an excuse to kill your child, ever. As one blogger put it:

So one of the reasons I’m really pissed off is because of the usual [eye rolling] “Oh, he’s in heaven now”. My favorite is the thing that one of the groups that was intended to work towards getting Alex out of the hospital was a letter to Alex in heaven suggesting that he thank his mother for stabbing him in the chest. [Sarcastic eye rolling] “Thank you so much for brutalizing me, it’s my favorite”. Because now, you see, he’s in heaven, which I don’t think exists. And he doesn’t have autism.

Harsh? Yes. But it rings true. The entire narrative of the autism biomed movement is that autism "stole" the parents' "real child" away from them. Since the idea that vaccines cause autism is basically holy writ for the autism biomed movement, that means vaccines "stole" the real child away by making him autistic. Parents who try to "recover" that "real" child are thus viewed as heroic, rather than abusive, because they're willing to do whatever it takes to defeat the scourge of autism (and vaccines) in order to rescue the "real" child within. One can't help but wonder whether what was really happening was that DFCS was going to put Alex into a conventional long term care facility because his mother clearly couldn't handle him anymore and was treating him with autism boomed. Unfortunately, it appears from what we know right now that Alex's mother seems to have thought that he would be off dead than not being given access to what she viewed as "curative" treatments for autism. Events and evidence from the investigation and trial might prove that initial assessment incorrect, but for now it seems to fit with what we know. Was Alex collateral damage in this never-ending war by antivaccinationists against autism? Although what we know now suggests that this might be the case, we just don't know yet. We'll have to keep an eye on the results of the investigation into Alex's murder to find out.

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Every time I see this story I feel like I need to vomit.

As sad as it makes me, I'd bet the use of my remaining functional body parts on the vile, callous murderers receiving a non-custodial sentence. After all, we disabled people, or those of us in need of constant care, are burdensome and monstrous. We're broken, damaged, hopeless. We ruin lives, rip apart families, and leave suffering and pain in our hideously needy wakes.

Haven't our carers and families suffered enough? And as for us... better dead than damaged, our murders are blessings, joyful releases, gifts to the poor long-suffering able and NT people of the world, who are forced to endure our terrible ugly presence on a daily basis.

They'll probably get a slap on the wrist for killing the cat though, she was innocent, after all.

And people still claim ableism doesn't kill, isn't harmful. They say that dehumanising anyone with disabilities of any sort, through careless use of language, is just "how it is". They tell us to "lighten up" and "get over it".

Goodbye Alex. I'm sorry for your loss, sorry that you were abused and exploited by those supposed to love and protect you, aided and abetted by scumbag charlatans who seek to profit from lives like yours.

I found it telling that they killed the cat, rather than letting it go to a shelter.

Apparently they killed this kid because they didn't want to subject him to conventional medical and behavioral treatment. His hospitalizations were turned into a circus. I'm in Illinois, there are very strict rules regarding restraint. Also, several agencies, including school districts and DCFS, will fund the residential style care if the child cannot be safely managed at home, or the parents are unable to continue caring for them.

Mom was convinced by the quacks that her son has a progressive illness and the only treatment was ridiculously expensive treatments. I wouldn't be shocked if we find out that this child was receiving chelation and steroid treatment, which can cause all sorts of behavioral issues and distress.

Just, ugh.

I freely admit that one of the main reasons I choose not to have children is that I would never, never, never been able to take care of a severely disabled child. You are perfectly inside your rights to consider me a monster, but count this:

We aren't t talking about moderate disabilities, not about problems that can be overcome. As Alex grew older, the probability of him becoming increasing aggressive increased as well as his strenght. I do not condone what they have done, but I can understand it. There are no good outcomes in such a situation.

I noticed in the news reports that the godmother (or whatever) had finished medical school in Poland. Shouldn't she have known the lethal dose of the pills (whatever they were) for at least one of the three people? To me the survival of the two women suggests that the "suicide attempt" was a sham to get them lesser charges on the premeditated murder.

T - Nobody has said that someone is monstrous for choosing not to have children. I don't have any, and never will, because it was the right choice in my situation.

It is always better to get to whatever age and regret not having children, than to regret having had them.

That said - how do you know that this was true of Alex:

We aren’t t talking about moderate disabilities, not about problems that can be overcome.

We only have his mother's word, and those of a bunch of despicable, amoral publicity-hounds who hate anyone not "normal". We are talking about people who endorse cruelly restrictive diets, chemical castration, bleach enemas, orally administered bleach, electric shock aversion therapy, and all manner of sickening, wildly unethical "treatments" to punish autistic children for being born "cure" children

Autism is not progressive, nor is it fatal. It is misguided at best, an outright lie at worst to state that the situation could only worsen. Many young people become more functional as they become older. There are adults today who were entirely non-verbal, doubly incontinent, and presumed to be learning-disabled as children, who have gone on to move several notches up the spectrum. They've been able to find employment that engages them, and are able to mediate their symptoms until such a time as they're safely at home, and free to stim as much as they want to.

Finally, this little nugget:

I do not condone what they have done, but I can understand it. There are no good outcomes in such a situation.

Now that's just sh¡te, but I suspect you know that. Read my comment at #1 first, then scroll back here. Murder is never understandable. This was not self-defence, euthanasia of a progressively terminally-ill loved one, it was the well-planned, discussed and conspired, brutal murder of a CHILD because his "mother" did not want her custody revoked due to her biomeddling.

Good outcomes could have included:

Alex moving to a residential school, or to a school where he boarded part time. A group living situation with live-in assistance upon reaching majority, and the possibility of study or work.

Even if none of that were possible, murder was not the answer. He was alert and able enough to knew when he needed the toilet, or to vomit, so he wasn't the Pet Rock that you seem to imagine he was. He was a person, a child, with unknown and untapped potential. There are parents of children who could never hope to do even that, yet they refrain from drugging them and stabbing them to death in a violent frenzy.

He was exploited, and displayed naked and vulnerable for the world to see, robbed of his dignity, and ultimately of his life, by a movement so disgustingly ableist and perverse that they believe that any child, any person, is better off DEAD than imperfect in any way.

History should have taught us that this mindset leads to unbounded tragedy and horror. It looks like we are doomed to repeat it until we learn otherwise.

@t.

Although not an easy decision, if caring for a disabled child is more than a family can handle, there is the option of giving the child up to be a ward of the state. It may not be the ideal situation, but it is a damn sight better than leaving the child in a situation that is bad for them, bad for the carers and leads to a situation like this. There is also respite care available to give the parent a breather, to regather their strength and have time to let the stress go down a bit. There are options. And from reports, services (though unknown of what sort) were offered Alex's mother, which she refused.

While I can understand the difficulties and challenges associated with raising a severely affected child, I cannot understand the impulse to kill that child in a very, very violent fashion.

I'm still trying to get my thoughts together on this whole thing. Not sure what I'll write for a post, but I'm trying to take time to let my emotions settle so I can avoid simply ranting.

@t:

We aren’t t talking about moderate disabilities, not about problems that can be overcome.

Wrong. Autism is developmental delay, not developmental stasis. With proper supports, they could be overcome.

I do not condone what they have done, but I can understand it.

I can't. The mother and alternate caregiver were offered support. They refused it. It took me a long time to learn to put my hand up and ask for help, but I learnt to. That they refused support and then murdered Alex makes what they did unconscionable.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

LW - Undoubtedly so
it happens every fvcking time.

They'll insist it was a suicide pact and that they can't live without him, in order to invoke pity and ensure that any punishment is light and fleeting.

If the thousands of prior cases are indicative, these "brave women" will be set free and told what a blessing it is that they survived, that they can now go on to lead "normal" lives.

Autistic people, even severely disabled autistic people, can have a very good quality of life with supports. Autism isn't progressive. There are many state funded residential programs that care for autistic people when their families are unable to.

I strongly suggest reading Kristina Chew's blog about her son Charlie if you want to get a picture of what it's like to live with an autistic teenager on the more severe end of the spectrum. Charlie swims, rides bikes, goes to school, and even plays music. Yes, he has limited communicative abilities and sometimes deals with self harming and aggressive behavior. But his life still has meaning, and he is still loved. There are thousands of people who are moderate to profoundly autistic, and there lives are not worthless. With supports and accommodations they can thrive.

Nicole, you have it exactly right and have, in my opinion, struck at the root of the problem. The outcome in Alex's case and the justifications I am reading about, including the one from t above, are what you would expect from people who see autistic children as damaged goods, not as children with a disability.

This story keeps reminding me of that obnoxious troll Greg. I feel he would have approved of the outcome.

@Elburto

I am no expert on autism and don't claim any knowledge on it. I am, however, an political science and aneconomist. The basic of economics is the allocation of resource.
Consider this: we have a limited number of said resource to use. How do we use them?
Lets say that using 100 a severely autistic children (I use autistic, substitute with what you want, it works same) could improve to moderate autism. Using the same amount, 10 moderate autistic child could pass to low (in the spectrum diagnosis). Using 5 a particularly talented child could learn advanced math/engineer/insert-it-here.
You have 1500, 5 severely autistic persons, 10 moderate autistic person, and 10 gifted persons.
How do you use your resources?

Lets add another layer to my cold and evil problem:
A severely autistic (or incredibly disabled, to explain, somebody that is and stay not verbal, and unable to perform even basic personal care) person requires 100 of cares and can give no output to society as a whole. A moderately autistic person require 50 and can, say, give 10. A normal person can give 20 and requires 5 (in the form of service). A particularly gifted person can give 100 and requires 7.
However, this is about adult, and in order for the normal (as in, normal distribution) person you have to give them 3 in education for their childhood years -each of it-, while the gifted person requires the aforementioned 5 per year, otherwise their outputs fall to 10 and 50 respectively.
How do you use your 2500 resource counting, say, 5 very low functioning autistic persons, 10 moderate, 50 normal and 10 gifted? How in 1, 5, 10 and 50 years, counting that the rate of disabilities stay more or less costant?

OF COURSE this is a simplicistic problem. But it enlights something true: in many US schools, parents of gifted children (as defined by US standard, not my terminology) laments that program for their kids are being cut due to funding going to severely or moderate disabilities.

It is cold. It is perhaps evil. But it doesn't make it any less true. A similar problem happens in catastrophe-relief or in helping developing countries. You have little and you must do your best to it.
I have seen people in the situation where they had 1000$ and they had to choose whenever dig a well to give potable water to a village or using it to cure children that were dying. Cold and hard-hearted as it sounds, the best thing to do is digging a well. This maximise the results for the largest number of people. It is the same as the triage of hospitals in battle-situations, as explained by a surgeon, one of the hard ones used to operate while the bombs fall: "You can't spend 6 hours operating somebody that is not likely to survive anyway, while other 3 people that could have more easily been saved are dying".

Juggling the right of a single person to have the best quality of life possible with the demand of society to function is not easy. But denying the problem is not good neither. Trying to develope effective strategies for people who really needs them without taking away valuable opportunities for people who need those is one of the great problems of today. And most effective strategies may indeed include the realization that not all people improve, that some kind of disabilities are too profund and a form of palliative care given by experts may be the only choice possible.

As I said, this is aside the peculiar case here specified. I do not know enough of it to make any kind of idea. From what I can understand, what killed this young man was probably the belief of his mother and caregiver that a group home for people with severe disabilities was a bad thing, when I think it was possibly the best thing that could happen to him. This is murder, and it is wrong.

@LW
From all that I have heard, some people do indeed loses their diagnosys of autism or improve to less severe form of it.
Not all of them. I also know that there are people who come to an old age not-verbal and unable to take basic care of themselves. If this is not true and you can point the studies at me, I stand corrected :)

I seem to remember that 1/4 or 1/5 (25% or 20%) of children diagnosed at 2 lose their diagnosys at 7. I do not know other datas on it... Say, among people who are not-fuctioning at 10, how many are still unable to take basic care of themselves at 20? If you can tell me, I would greatly appreciate it :)

T, you're making an assumption that somehow we do not have the resources to educate and care for these people. We do have the resources. We have more than enough money to fund services, we just like to pretend like we don't.

And special education budgets are separate from gifted education budgets- you do not cut one to fund the other. Also, gifted children tend to do well with low cost interventions, such as clustering (putting all of the gifted children in the same grade in the same classroom) and whole grade level acceleration. They do not need more services, they need differentiated instruction.

@Nicole
I am making the assumption we don't have enough resources for everythig, this based on the observation (which, I admit, is completely biased) that everybody is always clamoring that they don't have enough resource to do what they wish... I am talking about state and governament, mind you. Not on individual level.

Even the kind of programs you propose for gifted children is costly, mind you. Even just in materials. Everything has a price-tag.

All budget came from the same revenues in this: more or less, taxes (not only. Lets say taxes). Defense Budget and, say, Science Grants are I suppose separate, but if you see -10 on Science Grants and +10 in Defense Budget, you can guess what had happened.

I don't know a thing about how the US budget is partitioned, it may be that it indeed is enough for everything... In that case, my previous analogy is, for the US, invalid :) And the US is very lucky indeed. I know that the Budget of my country is not enough for everything. For one, we would like to do a lot more of space and science, but we don't have the money :(

t., your reason is very utilitarian in approach. That works for some questions, not so much for others. In Alex's case, it doesn't apply at all. Services were offered. They were refused.

The other thing that struck me about your reasoning is that (and I am not saying this is what you are advocating) it is a very short step from what you describe to justifying eugenics. If the resources aren't there, then cull the ones we can't support until we have the resources available. That extension of the logic scares me.

@Todd

Yes, indeed. I was musing in general over the problem. In Alex case, it wasn't so (I didn't read very well in the beginning, I apologize). They were offered correct services and refused them for crack reasons. It almost look like those cults who clamored for suicide...

I should have put an OT in front of the post, pity I can modify them now!

Saying that utiliatarism -> eugenics is a textbook slippery slope case. It doesn't, not more than saying that making gay marriage legal would means people will end up marrying their dogs or saying that theory of Evolution leads to Nazism (*eyerolls* I spent too much time debating creationism). Organ donation in my country is utilitarian: the organs don't go to the sickest people, but to the people who are most likely not to reject them and to live long after. If there would be enough organs, there wouldn't be a problem. But there aren't. This doesn't mean that we shoot people who need a kidney or a heart, or that we don't help or cure them. Help and care are given, but the organs may go to somebody else, if that other person has the best chance of living.

Thanks for posting this description of events surrounding AoA and Alex's death. I had also been following the AoA narrative for months and their stories seemed horrible and yet set off alarm bells as to their accuracy. Like you, I always felt like I was missing a piece of the story. Then, when the news came of Alex's murder I was utterly shocked. Although we still don't know exactly what happened, the way you put together the timeline clears a lot of things up.

t:

Saying that utiliatarism -> eugenics is a textbook slippery slope case.

One of the rationales behind Aktion T4 was that disabled people cost money. Money that could be better spent on worthier things. It's a valid criticism.
Leaving that aside, you say you're an economist. As others have pointed out, autistics can lead fulfilling lives. I'm a software test analyst. I've been at my current client for more than 3 years working on different projects. Economically, it makes sense to get autistics as independent as possible.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

The person who hasn't been heard from so far is the father, although it is documented that he was involved enough to have called for a well-being check and/or forced entry into the apartment. It seems almost inevitable that custody would have been at issue in the looming divorce case.

I'm very curious as to why exactly Alex as in the hospital in the first place....as Orac said as well. If Alex was so "afraid" of going to the doctor, perhaps he had very good reason...was he going to legitimate medical professionals or was this going to a DAN that was administering Chelation, MMS & other therapies?

T, lest I descend to profanity, let me point out that I was in both the gifted and special education programs as a child. My position on the autistic spectrum didn't affect my intelligence, just hindered my ability to work well with others and occasionally my ability to communicate. Which got worse when I was under stress, as many things that are difficult do.

And, frankly, if I was told 'we can give you the special classes and services, or we can show a nonverbal autistic person how to use a picture board and later a computer to communicate without speech', I'd pick the other kid. Because nonverbal is not stupid and is especially not useless.

I loathe the view of idea of autistic people being viewed as useless, as changeling replacements for 'real children'. I saw this story first on a number of groups for autistic folks, who, frankly, are spitting nails at the autism biomed movement basically saying 'no, it's better that Alex is dead and in heaven than living with autism'.

By Becca Stareyes (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

The most expensive services usually aren't the best. The services that usually end up being the best are the ones provided in the least restrictive environments that focus on skill building. Supportive employment, therapeutic foster care, inclusive education, community integrated living, sheltered workshops, wraparound services, etc, etc. Plus, all of these are effectively job programs.

And disabled people do not disappear because you don't provide services. Their families end up providing substandard care (and having one or more members unable to work), and the people end up in hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

t - Your argument disgusts me. Your argument is eerily reminiscent of one used in the 1930s to justify genocide. It's similar to one used by governments now, to deny resources and care to people with disabilities and chronic conditions.

If only you had known who, or what, you were addressing. Not that you'd care, I'm just another waste of resources that could be better spent on someone who deserves to live well.

Also, you do realise that gifted children and non-neurotypical children are not monolithic, mutually exclusive groups, don't you? That's the problem with seeing everything in terms of money, it's black and white, no shades of grey.

No doubt the many parents of severely disabled children who post here will educate you further on the flaws in your eugenicist argument.

One last, tiny thing - I promise I will hunt down, and spit in the face of, anyone else who compares gay marriage to other situations. You know what the fight for gay and trans civil rights is like? Nothing else. Stop using it as a shield to defend your sh¡tty opinions.

I am, however, an political science and aneconomist.

I'm not being snarky, t, but having studied economics and one point in my life I know where you are coming from.

That doesn't mean that I agree with you, but your viewpoint is not bizarre or cruel, from a purely economic standpoint. Were I twenty years younger I might even share your opinion.

However; the closer I get (at age 58) to becoming a consumer rather than a producer of economic goods, the less I see things that way.

I promise I will hunt down, and spit in the face of, anyone else who compares gay marriage to other situations

Give it a week or so, elburto, I'm still fiddling with the sloth launcher prototype.

I'll also go ahead and note that I'm also involved with one of the Chicago area cat-rescue groups. Had the cat been left to its own devices and placed in the hands of the CPD, yes, it lokely would have wound up at CACC. However, there are other options, as difficult as they can sometimes be to access. They were only a couple miles from Brookfield, which has a private shelter I've dealt with before. It could have been arranged.

I found it telling that they killed the cat, rather than letting it go to a shelter.
-Nicole

Exactly. Why kill the cat? It's not as if the cat had some terrible disease and would be better off dead (not saying I believe that the boy was, just that some people do). They specifically killed the cat so that no one else could have him. I think it was the exact same reasoning for the child: better to have a dead kid then view yourself as a failed mother. They couldn't cure him, so they killed him.

I don't see them getting off without any prison time, however. Even though there are plenty of sympathizers, Americans have a fairly brutal reaction to any mother that hurts her child, even accidentally. Violently murders her kid? Even more so. There's a reason these women don't fare well in prison.

Sadly, if you want to kill someone and not do a lot of time for it, kill your child. To me this mom should be put away for life, but I'll bet she gets off light, like this "mom" where I live did for killing her autistic 5 year-old son in an equally brutal way (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/mother-gets-years-in-death-of-boy…). For some stupid, sick reason, juries seem to feel badly for these parents, as though that is some excuse for them to kill their child.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Shay - I've got another new chair now! I think I'll have meth-addled chihuahuas on that one.

We've also got a new wheelchair accessible van-car-hybrid thingy* so that when I'm able to get out I've just got to whiz up the ramp and into my position as mistress of all I survey.

If you can think of any kick-arse mods for the car then let me know!

*a Renault Kangoo, silver. googling Kangoo+WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) will yield pics and mod-specs, haha.

Chris@27 - as I said above, juries almost never convict a parent/carer of killing a disabled charge.

A site I used to frequent posted monthly lists of the murdered, and of the charges laid (if any) and punishment received (statistically? nothing)

The site owner abandoned the site after receiving death and r*pe threats for daring to criticise able people, and for insisting that advocacy groups be made up of those they were representing, and not gobby parents.

elburto: well, one factor may help ensure they get jail time. They also killed the cat. Not release the cat, not give the cat to a neighbor, not give the cat to the husband, not put an ad in the paper.... To me, it smacks of "if I can't have him, no one can." I hope we learn more in the trial, but I have a strong hunch they didn't really kill him because they felt he was better off dead, but because the mom was going to lose custody of him. Remember, this happened a week after divorce papers were filed, which would've initiated custody hearings, and there have been suggestions that the government was in the process of getting the child into long-term care. Was the mom overwhelmed? Clearly. But people have gotten violent when animal control came to take away their abused pets; you think, if someone gets that possessive of an animal they beat or can't be bothered to feed or groom, how much more possessive can they get over a child?

The child's autism is a factor, but it could as easily be cancer or any other chronic and disabling condition. That it's autism, specifically, doesn't matter. It's obvious she disagreed with the hospital staff on the correct treatment of her child; if she's the possessive type, that would've felt like an infringement of her parental authority, and boy do we see that particular theme a lot from the antivax communities. AoA didn't make her like this, but they poured gasoline on the fire, feeding into her possessiveness and narcissism. If I'm getting the timeline right, not long before the tragic end, much more serious threats to her parental authority came up: the potential loss of custody altogether. Now, most parents have healthy mindsets and, although they'll be very sad to not have their child with them all the time, they'll recognize their own limits. But like a crazy cat lady with fifty matted and starving fleabags breeding all over her house, this woman couldn't see her limits, or refused to, and when others prepared to take matters into their own hands, she did what so many other possessive parents have tragically done when they are about to lose custody: she killed him.

Consider the tragic story of Susan Powell, who was murdered by her husband, who didn't get to stand trial for it since he killed himself right after killing his sons, who had already been removed from his custody but were back for a supervised visit.

And then there was the case rather close to where I live, but over the border in Wisconsin; a man had had a tempestuous relationship with his wife, but after divorcing appeared to finally be getting the anger management counseling he needed. This was enough to trick the babysitter into letting him be alone with the kids, who then had all their throats slit. He called his wife up to brag about what he'd done; she didn't believe him, since he'd trolled her with lies like that before, but before long she found out that this time wasn't a lie. He was intending to kill himself afterwards, but lost his nerve, so instead he'll be living out his days in jail.

And then there are all the kidnappings. Stranger abductions are very rare -- but family abductions are not so rare, and it's very often a non-custodial parent who takes the kids. Sometimes the kids survive. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes it ends in an armed standoff, as the abducting parent refuses to let the kids go without a fight. Sometimes they flee the country, especially if one parent is an immigrant able to return to their homeland, which can be particularly difficult if the home country refuses to honor the findings of a US family court. This sort of thing happens so frequently that there is now an international treaty that nations can sign onto to sort out these cases, as normal family law doesn't cover international abduction. And sometimes nobody knows how it ends, because they're never found again.

I very much hope the jury isn't swayed by stories of the mother and godmother's plight. They had plenty of resources to tap, but they fought with every one. "We were overwhelmed" cannot be an excuse for this clearly premeditated murder. Nor can insanity. They knew what they were doing, and since they talked so much about seeking what they believed to be proper medical care for the boy, they certainly believed there was hope for his case. They just didn't want to lose control of it. I hope very much that medical evidence is submitted in court; I'm sure that an autopsy will be conducted if it hasn't already, since we have first degree murder charges here. It's horrible, and they have got to pay.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Remember, this happened a week after divorce papers were filed

The papers were filed in February (by Dorothy). The first court appearance, however, was scheduled for June 20. I'm not getting the impression that it was a tactical move for the sake of better access to state services, although it may have been at the time.

(And, of course, there's the question who initiated the DCFS investigation that was ultimately deemed unfounded.)

Sad story - and we certainly are not getting the medical professionals' side of it.

I am uneasy about speculation that quack autism "biomed" treatments may have played a role in this teenager's illness or in demands by his caregivers. While that could be the case, I think we should leave speculations of this sort to the likes of Mike Adams (who in preying on celebrity deaths, enjoys sharing his convictions that prescription drugs or mainstream medical care were responsible for bad outcomes).

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Just so you know the mindset, here is a commenter at LJ Goes Facebook page

Many kids may have been murdered by their own parents as someone stated earlier, but I think this story is different/unique in that 1,000 of people around the world rallied around Alex and his mother, signing petitions, making calls, searching for help, begging for someone to listen. Loyola hospital's switchboard went crazy. They knew shit would hit the fan if they treated Alex's medical problems because that would be admitting cause. They also knew they couldn't silence us, and still haven't. They treated him like an animal. No one that could help, would. Imagine being Dorothy. The media now has the chance to do the right thing, to really investigate this story and expose the healthcare system in this country for what it really is: a total scam based in greed and lies causing death to millions of people every year. Dorothy should not have killed her son, no doubt about that, but in her mind that was better than the alternative. She has taken responsibility for it. She probably feels a sense of relief right now.

Narad @19 is right: we haven't heard from Alex's father, and we should hear his side of the story. I'd noticed in the post that Mr. Spourdalakis was apparently not living with his wife and son. I'll grant that having a child on the autism spectrum can be a significant source of marital stress (it was a contributing factor in the divorce of one of my relatives). We can only speculate on this point, but perhaps Alex's autism was a contributing factor. The court docket Narad linked to shows that Mrs. Spourdalakis was the one who filed for divorce, and Orac noted that the state DFCS was allegedly involved (or about to become involved) in the case. Did Mr. Spourdalakis want proper care for Alex, only to be overruled by his wife?

That line about 19 days in the ER also sounds like pure bovine guano to me. The ER is the most expensive place in the hospital to provide medical care, so any patient who would require overnight care would be admitted, allowing the hospital to provide more cost-effective treatment.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

t@11

In my opinion, the problem isn't how will we decide which autistics we will help with existing resources but where will we find sufficient resources to help all autistics.

Eliminating the existing tax exemptions for organized religion might be a good place to start.

The cat is better off dead than living without me.
The child is broken so it must die.
I can't cope so obviously I am saving my children from this horrible world if I take them with me into death.

I don't understand the mindset, but it does seem to crop up every so often. I think it's probably a severe mental illness.

By nastylittlehorse (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@nastylittlehorse

I think it’s probably a severe mental illness.

Well, yes. It is.

I'm not a parent, but I am a cat-owner and I've endured depression for the majority of my life.

Last year, I hit bottom and decided it was time to kill myself. I also decided that I should kill my cats, too, because my poisoned brainmeat* convinced me that I had mooched off society long enough and that to "foist" the cats off on anyone - even a shelter - would have been further mooching and of COURSE I couldn't try to re-home the cats myself, in case my friends figured out why I was doing that in the first place. At the time, it all made total sense.

Yep, it's an illness.

Fortunately, circumstances pulled me back from the brink and the trend's been improving ever since. And my guilty conscience means that my two little** fuzzbutts have been spoiled rotten ever since.

So, I can almost understand how someone in the screwed-up headspace that has them thinking murder/suicide is a good idea can justify killing their pets, too and, by extension, a child. Doesn't mean I approve of it, though. *shudder*

*my affectionate nickname for the chemical imbalance responsible for that lovely state of mind

** LITTLE? Combined weight: 36lbs

I notice that Goes ( the Rev @ TMR) was the most publicly involved : stories about Alex @ AoA first appeared in early March but then, in early May, she produced a Meisterwerk of oddity ( posted at both sites) about her "Two Dreams" in which she narrates a bizarre tale ( dreams) in which a doctor admits vaccine malfeasance (?) after tussling with her in an airport and another in which her children are grown up and the boy with autism is now perfectly non-autistic and a "lady killer".

The Grand Finale is a farewell to her work as a blogger- her son apparently destroyed her computer and she took it as a not-so-subtle sign: she'll come back when she is "worthy" of her audience or suchlike. She returned recently. I guess she's worthy.

I wish these idiots would take their amateur social work elsewhere to a place which didn't involve the welfare of living children or pets.

@ Orac:

I agree, Andy looks creepier and creepier. He and I are about the same age- I look so much totally better-
but then I never ordered unnecessary invasive medical tests for disabled children, committed research fraud or repeatedly sued reporters vexatiously- stuff like that shows in your face.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Liz Ditz - That post just floors me. What kind of help do they think they provided? They signed worthless online petitions? They jammed the hospital switchboard? The demanded answers?

And the reason Alex didn't get better? The medical-industrial complex conspiracy! Which must surely crack now that it's been exposed! Carl Kolchak will do the hard hitting investigation and will bring the whole thing to light! Assuming, of course, that the conspiracy doesn't murder him, silence him in some other way, or make the evidence disappear with the dawn.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@ t: How dare you come here to spread your nonsense. You don't know diddly about economics and are using your bogus "credentials" to espouse a subtle form of eugenics. You are describing my son who would never be a "productive member of society".

My son was born with a rare genetic disorder which caused profound and multiple physical, intellectual and REAL medical problems, along with autistic-like behaviors...not autism. He struggled to survive and succumbed to a natural death, peacefully in his sleep nine years ago at age 28. He was a brave and a happy child and the joy of my life and I miss him terribly.

Alex's mother never appreciated her child, except for the 15 weeks of fame (notoriety), she received when Lisa Goes a "journalist" for that slimy anti-vaccine organization Age of Autism, plucked the mother out of obscurity by "serializing" the story of Alex and his mother Dorothy on AoA's blog.

Mother Dorothy allowed pictures of Alex to be published on the AoA blog, showing him buck naked with a diaper partially covering his genitals. Dorothy and the co-murderer reveled in the tawdry publicity and were visited by disgraced and discredited former doctor Andrew Wakefield, which was videotaped by Wakefield's "Autism Media Channel".

Dorothy and the cranks at AoA *claimed* Alex was the victim of medical neglect...a baldfaced lie, claimed he was in four-point restraints, 24/7...another baldfaced lie.

Dorothy and the godmother/caretaker are murderers who snuffed out Alex's life and I only hope that they receive the maximum jail sentence for the egregious harm they inflicted on Alex during the 14 years of his life...and for the brutal manner in which they *eliminated* him.

Just a clarification, when a child or an adult is placed in residential care, you don't lose legal guardianship of that child/adult. You must however, petition Family Court for legal guardianship of that very impaired child at age 18. There is a huge amount of documentation required, in order for a judge to award guardianship that includes reports from a physician and a psychologist, to "prove" that an 18 year old lacks the intellectual capacity to make decisions about his/her care.

Mental illness is not an excuse for, or defence of, murder. It's more ableism to armchair diagnose someone who's done a horrible thing and write it off as "mental illness".

Mental illness does not cause murder. Most killers are found to be mentally healthy, and people with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Anyone here with depression? Anxiety disorders? Mentally ill. Anyone here who's killed or maimed someone? In the single digits I bet.

Please please PLEASE stop throwing around "crazy" or "mental", and further stigmatising people with mental illness, because BAD and MAD are not the same thing, Bats and cats are mammals, they're furry, their names rhyme, but you wouldn't blame bats for scratching your sofa, or cats for nesting in your eaves.

Mental illness does not explain why Alex's non-parental caregiver helped to kill him, even if his mother was mentally ill.

Being suicidal and planning to end the lives of your pets is nothing like cruelly exploiting your child over a period of months and then planning to murder him.

@Calli - I'm aware of the divorce proceedings, it's barely relevant. People murder their disabled children all the time nobody seems to understand this. It happens constantly, it's barely newsworthy in some places, and is rarely punished.

I mentioned the cat above too, saying that they'd almost certainly receive more punishment for cat cruelty than for murdering a child.

As I've mentioned before, to anyone who still doesn't quite grasp the scale of abuse against people with disabilities, it is endemic. People have tried to log cases and failed because there are too many. The harm committed against vulnerable people is all pervasive in society. I shall return with links to individual, but all too common cases.

@lilady - I was hoping you'd read our amateur eugenicist the riot act.

@ Johanna:

I'm so glad you're doing better.
Always remember that thinking and acting are not the same thing- despite what the Christians may say- thoughts *might* lead to actions but don't have to. Lots of strangeness may transpire in thought-
what you described can be best imagined as an "early warning system" that should alert you that OTHER actions- involving other people- are required. Thoughts aren't irrevocable, actions can be.

Take care of yourself and those cats: you have much to
contribute- what you said here right now may help others who are in a similar position to that which you were.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

This was two people, which I think is important when discussing any mental illness aspect. Also, they planned it, it wasn't an impulsive act.

Certainly we do need mental health supports for parents and caregivers. We also need leaches like AOA to go away and not feed into any delusional and paranoid thinking.

Denice Walter wrote:

I look so much totally better

Pictures or it didn't happen!

Murderer Dorothy Spourdalakis wrote:

Thank God for the internet and facebook!

One disadvantage of apostasy is that I can no longer read comments like that with equanimity. The Internet and Facebook were invented, within living memory, by identifiable people - direct any gratitude to them!

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

T, how can you be sure that the ratio is 1500 severely disabled autistics to 10 gifted autistics?

Basic experimental epidemiology would be that the ratio of autistics in the 1960's would be the current rate of 1 in 88 severely disabled autistics using criteria from 1960 and it's not the case.

As far as development goes, I also would be diagnosed as Kanner autistic back in my childhood and yet, I am successfully bilingual (native langage: French) and went to university in both language. Remember, autism is not developmental stasis and while it may look like one development is stopping, it's not, autistic learn differently from the norm and it is using their innate capability to learn that they can develop faster than expected.

Alain

Articles tagged 'murder' on FWD/Forward:

disabledfeminists.com/tag/murder/

Please read just one article in the 'Record of the Dead' category if you think I'm exaggerating about anything.

Onward, discussion of the r+pe of disabled people, including a horrific comment by user 'whatjustice'. If any of you read one thing I've posted today , then scroll down and read her comment on this post:

tigerbeatdown.com/2012/10/08/rape-and-selective-outrage-in-the-feminist-community/

Read how the husband who broke her skull praised and pitied for having to put up with her. He's lionised and sympathised with by her domestic violence support workers in her presence.

People with physical/mental/developmental disabilities are abused and killed every single day, while their tormentors are excused and pitied. It happened to me too over many years, when I was far more able than I am now.

Alex's death is only exceptional because it was noticed, that it happened at all was not out of the ordinary.

If you want to stand with autistics, there will be a vigil honoring Alex starting at June 16 at 7:00am until June 17 at 10:00pm in EDT (links to facebook).

This Vigil has been started by Autistics who are tired of the murders of people with disabilities. We are tired of the excuses, the failure to condemn the murders of our people. This vigil starts in the heart of our community, because we are the target population for violence and murder. This Autistic-led vigil will combat responses that focus away from the murdered Autisic/disabled person and condone our murders by emphasizing "how hard it must have been" for the murderer. This sort of response must be seen for what it is: a continuance of the dangerous societal meme that we are burdens not worthy of life.

Andreas:

I think we can agree that Andy logs in at the 90th percentile of creepiness- by chance alone it is likely that I look so much totally better

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Andreas - the same is true for me. I'm pretty sure that the internet is not divine in origin! Thank engineers, techies, men and women.

I am fairly sure, however, that facebook arose out of Hades. Colour me enraged that so many sites now require it, or twitter, to participate.

*cough*SBM*cough*

"I freely admit that one of the main reasons I choose not to have children is that I would never, never, never been able to take care of a severely disabled child."

OK, so this set of postings has gone off in a strange and disturbing direction, but I do I think this comment is worth visiting. I know of people who decide to have children, and then talk about the 'perfect' little child they're going to have - and all I can think is, what if the child isn't 'perfect,' by your own definition? What if they're not neurotypical, what if they're physically disabled, what if they're just in some way, shape, or form, not what you expect?

IMO, and I really mean IMO, it's irresponsible to have a child without being prepared to accept and love the child as the child is, which might be something very different from what you envision.

That's one of the many reasons I made the personal decision not to have children. But I just wonder how much this myth of 'my child will be 'perfect'' plays into this fucked-up sort of outcome.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

i agree with t's comment.

i understand the opinion isn't popular with people who have severely autistic/disabled children - but the only responses those people have provided to t's logical post, are purely emotion-based.

lilady - i'm very sorry for your loss, but even you can't provide any way that society benefited from pouring resources into keeping your severely disabled child alive for 28 years - only that you loved him and were happy to have him in *your* life for that time.

the money put into those services doesn't magically appear - it comes from tax-paying citizens and their businesses, and it is a finite resource. the money spent on severely disabled people - who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole - would be better spent improving education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc... for those who are able to put back into the system.

By Have to Agree (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

You know, I looked at Wakefield's house where he is living in Texas. I see the suits he wears. Then I hear of how he may have wined and dined politicians. And I can't help but wonder if he himself could have done anything to stop this from happening. Could he have given them money from the "Wakefield Justice Fund"? Could he have moved some strings among the people he knows to get the child into a place where he would be better?

I mean, that video was all he could do? Really?

Of course, he may have done more, but I'm 99% sure he didn't. If he did, it surely would have been broadcast to the world to show us peasants how he's Jesus and Nelson Mandela (or was it Ghandi?) all rolled into one.

As for the murder of the child, we must remember that many people who fall for the autism-vaccine connection also think of their children as their property, or as children who are "dead" to the world, or both. On the one hand, the government cannot tell them to vaccinate. On the other, the government must help them deal. It's all convoluted and contradictory, and it makes no sense. This was senseless and wrong on so many levels.

And here I thought it was Al Gore.

It's amazing how so may people can be preaching to the same choir and singing in it, too. Where is the dissent? There should be some in real science.

By Birgit Calhoun (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

the money spent on severely disabled people – who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole

What the f**k gives you the right to make a judgement like that? You (or any other able-bodied/neurotypical person reading this post) could be just one car accident away from becoming severely physically or mentally disabled yourself. How would you feel then about being written off as a drain on society and left to suffer and die unaided?

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Edith - I agree. It is an eugenics argument, plain and simple. If you're not a value to society, then you should be left out in the cold to die (or put down, if you really want to get technical about it).

Stephen Hawkins has been a huge contributor to our understanding of the Universe, but, given his condition I wonder if "Have to Agree" would have just taken him out back and had him shot?

Taking bets on "Have to Agree" being T's sockpuppet.

elburto @29: new chair, new transport vehicle, good news!

@Calli – I’m aware of the divorce proceedings, it’s barely relevant. People murder their disabled children all the time nobody seems to understand this. It happens constantly, it’s barely newsworthy in some places, and is rarely punished.

I mention it because it may have factored into her decision process, if it meant that her custody of Alex would be challenged. While it's difficult to tell at present, like Orac I strongly suspect some medical abuse was going on here -- subjecting the child to worthless treatments while refusing effective ones. Remember, of course, that not all abuse of the disabled is because people think they need to be removed or anything equally abhorrent, but because of the caregiver's pride blinding them to the reality of the patient's situation. That's why I brought up cat hoarders; they don't hate their cats (quite the contrary) but they nevertheless subject them to quite horrific abuse by neglect and ghastly living conditions. Medical abuse can be a particularly insidious form of abuse, and there is a strong element of needing to be in control over the patient. If the divorce proceedings threatened to challenge her sole control over Alex, perhaps she felt she was out of time. "I know how to care for him, you don't, so I'm going to put him somewhere beyond your reach and then follow him there!" A dreadful line of reasoning, but it's happened before. And she'll try and get off by using the pity party for the caregiver of an autistic child, which is disgusting, because it's just one more example of it being about *her* and not her son.

Being disabled may make it easier for them to start mistreating them, to stop respecting their individuality. But the disabled are certainly not the only ones who suffer like that. A family recently allowed a child to die of pneumonia becuase it was against their religion to seek medical assistance. As they were on probation following the death of another child the same way, they've now lost custody of their other children and are in jail. Time will tell if the second murder gets anything like a reasonable penalty; the first one certainly didn't. I hope that the brutality of this particular case gets it treated like the premeditated homicide that it is, and that the prosecutor doesn't accept a plea bargain for lesser charges.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Taking bets on “Have to Agree” being T’s sockpuppet.

I'll bet the house on Yes, I got a distinct whiff of dirty socks from that comment.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Have to agree - Take a flying fvck at a rolling doughnut.

Not that I should have to justify my life, or the life of any other disabled or otherwise vulnerable person, but we keep people in work, don't we?
Also, I'm pretty sure that PWD and their families also pay taxes. I know lilady will have paid enough in her life.

I don't feel happy about taxpayer money funding religious institutions and unjust wars, thingi with actual potential for societal harm and corruption. I don't recall hordes of cripples targeting children for molestation, or invading countries in order to blast the citizens to pieces. Somehow it's easier to blame us for the ills of the world though, isn't it?

Now f*ck off back to whatever sordid little grief hole you climbed out of. Yes yes I'm only one of those worthless, better-off-dead people, but at lease I don't exist purely to illustrate the meaning of the word 'arsehole', and to prove that Aktion T4 would be lauded by many people, if only from their anonymous hiding places online.

Nope. Unless he's using a proxy I don't think it's a sockpuppet. I will, however, monitor. They always give themselves away sooner or later.

Calli - disabled people are easy targets because we're dehumanised. I've been saying it in this thread, in another this week, and for years here that the likes of AOA dehumanise PWD and non-NT people with adjectives like "broken" or "damaged".

They insist that parents have been robbed of their "real" children, that the real children can be brought back by hurting the child in front of them. Those children are rendered as objects, as things, who are broken beyond repair. Better off dead than autistic. Other children are better off dead of VPDs than "vaccine damaged".

The Nazis dehumanised disabled children and adults, and it led to Aktion T4. They used the same language as AOA and t and it's sock up there to accomplish genocide. Oddly enough very few people are aware of Aktion T4, even self-professed 'history experts'. Why is that, do you think?

As for "they think they're doing the right thing" argument, I don't care. If I hit you with a car the outcome is the same, accident or not. Alex is dead, good intent or not. Intent is not a magic word, except to those wishing to excuse their actions.

I am tired of ableist arguments, of being described as a drain on society, and of neurotypical and able-bodied people justifying the unjustifiable. I have suffered so much more prejudice because of my disabilities than because of my sexuality, and I'm one of the lucky ones. I live in a country where thousands have died after having their funds cut off due to their status of 'unworthy'. That has been accomplished by dehumanising them, us, and then making excuses for it.

@Liz - some Muppet drove into Other Mrs elburto and wrote off our lovely little car. Thanks to some internet cleverness I got a reconditioned WAV and an ex-display electric wheelchair for £3100 in total, hurray!

Birgit Calhoun is a real person who's been posting about Alex and his mother for months.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/06/mother-godmother-charged-with-first-…

Birgit and her pal Nora from AoA, have posted their fact-free, citationless comments and have a running dialogue on the Slate blogs as well...sorta like sh!t on a goose.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/06/dachel-news-update-slatecom-accuses-…

Wanna go a few rounds with me Birgit?

Stephen Hawkins has been a huge contributor to our understanding of the Universe, but, given his condition I wonder if “Have to Agree” would have just taken him out back and had him shot?

Not to mention FDR, who led us out of the Great Depression and through World War II, during which we fought against a government that had exactly that policy. Or the far too many soldiers who go off to war and come back maimed (once we commit to fighting a war, we commit to taking care of such people as part of the cost of that war, and it continues for decades after the shooting stops).

"T" and "Have to agree" have derailed this thread--but they need to understand that there is a reason the sort of policies they advocate are considered evil, and not just by people of a religious bent.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

the money spent on severely disabled people – who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole – would be better spent improving education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc…who are able to put back into the system

You seem to be presuming that people represent fungible economic assets rather than living breathing human beings, and that their ability to economically contribute to society is the only measure of their worth. Why?

the money spent on severely disabled people – who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole – would be better spent improving education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc…who are able to put back into the system

You seem to be presuming that people represent fungible economic assets rather than living breathing human beings, and that their ability to economically contribute to society is the only measure of their worth. Why?

i understand the opinion isn’t popular with people who have severely autistic/disabled children – but the only responses those people have provided to t’s logical post, are purely emotion-based.

Do you see emotions or data in my post? I don't, I wrote it without any emotions and striving to as many fact as can be.

Alain

Edith Prickly - I, for one, have a detailed Advance Decision Directive that will hopefully ensure that I am indeed "left to die" if "one car accident" should convert me from a publishing researcher, family breadwinner, and loving friend into a nonverbal, bedridden vegetable and crushing burden to my family. And I have a spouse who has sworn that if my wishes were not respected, he'd put a bullet in what's left of my brain. Some people can be severely physically disabled and still engage in meaningful intellectual activity. Some people can be quite mentally disabled and still enjoy human relationships and do useful manual work. Someone who is able to do nothing but lie in a bed all day, getting flipped like a pancake every few hours, simply is NOT contributing to society and IS a drain on resources. I don't object to such uses of resources so long as the person being so maintained is happy and not suffering. However, I question how often it is possible for a human being - normally an active social animal - to be consistently happy in a state where he enjoys little if any autonomy, voluntary activity, or ability to relate to other people. Perhaps those born with tragic handicaps don't know what they're missing, but how is it that a person who has had those things would be eager to go on living if they were taken away?

Jane, You're free to have any advance directive you want but how can you be sure that autistics in general and Alex Spourdalakis in particular are:

Someone who is able to do nothing but lie in a bed all day

and

Perhaps those born with tragic handicaps don’t know what they’re missing

Do you have any data to present?

Alain

Medical abuse can be a particularly insidious form of abuse, and there is a strong element of needing to be in control over the patient.

"At that time, Dorothy did not know the ER would be their home for the next several days, as Alex lay naked, in locked restraints, suffering bouts of violent vomiting, severe constipation and diarrhea. Neither she nor Alex bathed for the next 13 days while hospital staff and administrators attempted to devise a plan to care for Alex."

Yah, I'd say there was a control issue.

Someone who is able to do nothing but lie in a bed all day, getting flipped like a pancake every few hours, simply is NOT contributing to society and IS a drain on resources.

Should we as a society deny resources to anyone, who for any reason cannot contribute some benefit to society equal to or in excess of the resources they consume?

Once someone is no longer able to be a productive worker due to age or injury, do we just cut them off? After all, from that point on they're just a drain.

Isn't it funny how the people worrying about the money society spends on severely disabled people don't seem to have any qualms about spending such as giving seven figure bonuses to executives for running a company into the ground, the billions the federal government gives the (highly profitable) oil industry every year, the small fortune the federal government gives big agribusiness through the Farm Bill, I could go on. Apparently spending millions and billions on that kind of stuff is fine, but providing care to those who "don't contribute" is a problem.

Thank you so much for putting this all together for me. You put it into the right words, and time frame. This story has bugged me from the start too - but my attempts to get further info from AoA were of course, ignored. You did a fabulous job. Thank you.

@jane - you deciding that you want to end your own life in the event that you become comatose is very different from making a blanket judgement that all people with severe disabilities would be better off ending their lives that being a "drain on society."

In addition, if we take your argument to its logical conclusion, why should anyone even bother to pull you out of the car wreckage? It would be a waste of resources to transport you to the hospital and find out that you're going to be permanently disabled anyway, so why not just leave you there and let "nature take its course"?

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

severely disabled people – who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole

Well, there's a tall order. Say, "Have to Agree," what have you yourself done that has benefited society as a whole? No need to be coy; tell me what you've done for me lately.

@Narad

You're awesome.

making a blanket judgement that all people with severe disabilities would be better off ending their lives that being a “drain on society."

Ah, but it isn't that the people with sever disabilities would be better off ending their lives, it's that the rest of us would be better off if they ended their lives. More resources for us able-bodied folks.

@ Have to Agree: And, I "have to disagree". Have you actually read what happened to Alex, whose mother plunged a knife into his chest repeatedly, then damn near cut off his hand so that he would bleed out? Did you read Orac's blog and how the mother became a tool, used by anti-vaccine, anti-science groups...who fed into her paranoia?

Smug one, would you deny anyone born healthy who became severely disabled due to a motor vehicle accident or because of a disease process, because they didn't have the resources to pay for care? Can you guarantee that you will never need care provided by public tax dollars?

BTW, I paid "dearly" to keep my child on private insurance and I paid the extraordinary "major medical" yearly deductibles, as well. I also paid for my child's twice weekly physical therapy sessions for the 28 years he survived, which were not covered by my private insurance carrier. Do the math genius...more than $ 300,000 for physical therapy alone. Had he survived me and my husband, a fully-funded "special needs trust" would have generated enough income to pay for his yearly medical costs, not covered by insurance.

The reason why I chose to work as a public health nurse, is because I firmly believe that the uninsured and those who are on Medicaid, and, who aren't "productive members of society" deserve good medical care. But then, I was always a "lefty" when it comes to caring for the most vulnerable members of our society.

I'm guessing you are terribly ignorant when it comes to macro economics and that you a libertarian.

I don't feel that I need to justify my knowledge. I could give citations but I won't. It's useless among people who are so superior.

By Birgit Calhoun (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

The key to resolving this argument is to convince people that paying taxes is a good thing. Then we don't have to worry about the finite resources issue. Right now, the situation is both that the resources often aren't there, and that active eugenics isn't happening (slippery-slope arguments to the contrary).

I posted yesterday about a case where the jurisdiction in question actually refused reasonable accommodations to parents, citing lack of resources, which in that case is absolutely down to the anti-tax mentality of the jurisdiction in question. (In Canadian law, "reasonable" has a legal definition, but further, I don't believe a residential institution 300km away from parents who want to be actively engaged in their child's life and have specifically asked for home respite care is "reasonable" in any sense.)

I think we have an obligation to take care of people who can't take care of themselves, for whatever reason, which means that we need to be prepared to pay for it. That's where the issues arise -- many people are not prepared to do so, for no other real reason than that they think people should either be self-sufficient, go elsewhere, or die.

By Interrobang (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I could give citations but I won’t.

Got nothing, huh? Why am I not surprised...

"I don’t feel that I need to justify my knowledge. I could give citations but I won’t."
Right, Birgit and I could sing Opera at la Scala but I just won't. You might not feel the need to "justify" what you call knowledge but people are asking you to because it seems you don't actually have any

What no one seems to notice is that caring for people who need high levels of care requires workers - if we're going to just brass tacks of it - disabled people just being alive keep others in employment.

I hope the police investigating this case look for a copy of Mr Wakefield's book, Callous Disregard. This is the book which begins with a long account of how a mother kills her child.

Wakefield involved himself in this boy's case, and it's a reasonable question to ask. Did he give the mother the idea?

By Austinite (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Economists deal only in tangibles. This discussion should be all about the intangible. There is a benefit in a human life that far exceeds any profit it might earn. Oddly enough, at least given Alex's story, the word "humane" actually used to be the same word as "human." Kindness is its own reward (and no, I'm not parroting some frickin' religious thing); it does more for the giver than for the receiver.

On a different thread, when I was in private veterinary practice, it was not unheard of to have someone (never a regular client) ask if I would euthanize their animals because of some stupid reason (they were moving, the husband was tired of it, it got too big, it wasn't cute anymore), but nobody else in the world could love it like they did so they couldn't go to a shelter. I always said no and some of them would tell me I HAD to do it if they said so. Makes my blood boil still!

Just so you know the mindset, here is a commenter at LJ Goes Facebook page

This entry, from one Pam Dyles, is a nice touch:

"I hoped the family asked for an autopsy. With all of his gastro issues that spawned him into the hospital, it would have confirmed that he did not receive the care or medical treatment that he deserved."

There's yet another curious item, but it's going to have to wait until it doesn't matter.

What my mind keeps wandering back to as more and more info is released is that Dorothy could have had Munchausens and been intentionally making him sick which is why she declined help and was so against inpt psych. She thrived on control and attention from media reports and personal ones.

I don’t feel that I need to justify my knowledge. I could give citations but I won’t.

Citations for what? You've yet to craft anything with a semantic payload in the first place.

Ah, but it isn’t that the people with severe disabilities would be better off ending their lives, it’s that the rest of us would be better off if they ended their lives. More resources for us able-bodied folks.

Indeed, that's the rotten heart of that argument, isn't it?

What no one seems to notice is that caring for people who need high levels of care requires workers – if we’re going to just brass tacks of it – disabled people just being alive keep others in employment.

True, but the people who make the scarce resources arguments don't actually care about keeping people in work. They just don't think they should have to pay for others to get services they don't personally need (yet.) "drain on society" really means "drain on ME ME ME." I am perfectly fine with paying for other people's care because I may need it someday myself and because that's what a f**king civilized society does for people who need help to care for themselves.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Hello lovely Autismum! I pointed it out up there in my reply to 'Have to Agree', but it bears repeating.

Doctors, nurses, carers, support staff, OTs, teachers, transport workers, healthcare assistants, manufacturers of mobility/accessibility equipment, benefit agency staff, pharmaceutical companies, chemists and their staff, makers of hygiene products like nappies and bed pads, car dealeRs etc etc. all in work because of useless pancakes like me!

Now somebody flip me, I'm almost done.

Cwtches to you and Master Pwd, who has more worth in his earlobes than some of the eugenicist filth in here have in their entire bodies.

and lilady - anyone who pushes buttons and then declares that emotions are not welcome in this debate, is not someone fit to share space with people like you, Autismum, Chris et al.

Oh, and evil socialist that I am, would like to add my voice to the "Taxes are awesome, and necessary for life in a humane, civilised society" chorus.

Love and cwtches right back, Eburto! and yes, the Pwd's earlobes are lovely just like the rest of him (he's singing the Charlie Brown theme tune in the bath atm - Dad's looking after him)

I would have liked to post something snarky, or clever, or impassioned here but I can't.
I can't help thinking that a small shift in whichever genes put me on the autism spectrum might have put me in Alex's shoes. I have to go now. The tears are not good for my keyboard.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

From Lisa Joyce Goes's Facebook post, by someone named Dana Dunagan Waldrop

"And now someone believes Age Of Autism is involved in the murder. "

If that rumor is being spread, then I can guarantee you it was started by a pharma shill.

Ha! Martine FTW! Disabled people are job creators! Economic paragons! Shall we have politicos who cause job loss and bankers who cause economic crashes shot eugenically for *negative* fiscal contribution? No, because a person is not merely an economic function. Now kindly stop speaking monstrously.

Elburto mad love- how can we connect?

Narad too!

This sad story has been permeating everything in my life lately, from blogs I frequent to facebook posts and reading the story just makes my heart sick. Sick for Alex and the torture he had to endure because his care givers were too blind to see he was their 'real' child and THEY were damaging him, not autism.

How can any parent murder their child and in such a brutal fashion? If it ever got to a point, where I was too physically impaired or emotionally weak to care for my son, I would give him to a family who had the means beyond what I have to care for him the way he needs. What does he need as a child with autism? The same thing any other child needs; love, acceptance, encouragement and security.

Why was Alex repeatedly placed in ER services with severe diarrhea and vomiting? One guess would be MMS. He was clearly in distress in the videos we were allowed to see. His aggression toward his care givers and reluctance to go to doctor's appointments was probably his only way of telling them, "Stop this shit, you're killing me with it!" But since he was non verbal, his only means of communication was to lash out and become aggressive.

It is the fault of these care givers for not presuming competence as they should and attempting to find a way for him to communicate what he needed, wanted and felt. It is the fault of these care givers that Alex is no longer with us today to be given a chance to find his voice and prove to the world how much he really had going on and let us all get to know the person he truly was. Rest in peace, Alex and may your murderers burn for what they did to you. They deserve nothing from us but contempt and disgust for what they subjected you to and ultimately did to you. Our hearts will forever be with you and your story will stand as a reminder of how damaging and dangerous the anti-vaccine movement really is to real children.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

elburto:

Calli – disabled people are easy targets because we’re dehumanised.

I am not disagreeing with that. Just explaining why I felt the divorce proceedings were relevant. You have not explained why you think they aren't, so I'm not sure why I'm the target of your rant. What you say is true; it's just . . . well, I'm not sure where we disagree to the point where I deserve a rant. Do you think it's mutually exclusive for the mother to be dehumanizing her son to the point where she decides he's better off dead *and* a possessive, narcissistic freak who'd rather kill him than accept she can't care for him anymore? Because it isn't. My contention is that she's both. Exactly the worst sort of person to fall into the AoA rabbit hole, really.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

LOL Liz Ditz: love it. Doesn't everyone believe that? Aren't we all just pharma shills? ;)

From Lisa Joyce Goes’s Facebook post, by someone named Dana Dunagan Waldrop

The "natural makeup" one is a winner. I wonder if it would be possible to get her to fly off the handle about Dutch process cocoa.

Orac TY for this awesome post!

Lara,

Read elburto's posts above for an idea of how it happens. She's got a lot of examples of disabled people being abused and killed, sometimes in even more violent ways.

They had probably become accustomed to Alex not communicating in a way they understood; rather than try to understand, they concluded he couldn't communicate and so filled the void with their own presumptions. I don't think they were so angry that they attacked in rage; that does happen, and as horrifying as it is, it may be less inconceivable than this cold, calculated, premeditated murder. They wanted to be *sure* he was dead.

I think his mother had probably bought into the "warrior mommy" picture painted on AoA. It's not about the son, it's about her suffering as she struggles to deal with his challenges. Very self-centered; the son becomes not a person anymore but a prop in her own personal drama. So when his condition gets beyond her control, she isn't willing to hand him off to someone else, because that would mean surrendering her warrior mommy image. So she asserts her control in the most final, absolute way possible.

What puzzles me a bit is the collusion with the godmother/caretaker. They must have been feeding on each other, building one another up as warrior mommies. This wasn't a hopeless situation, except insofar as it concerned their pride. That was more important to them than anything else, I suspect.

Regarding MMS: yeah, that's certainly a possibility. Horrific, but yes. I'm hoping the autopsy looks for evidence of that sort of thing, of ongoing medical abuse by his caregivers. Because I am quite certain this was not the first bad thing they did to him.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Is it wrong that I am more upset that they killed the cat than that they killed the child?

That they killed the child is tragic, criminal, and wrong. But on a gut level, I'm more upset that they killed the cat.

@ Mike:

"Is it wrong that I am more upset that they killed the cat than that they killed the child?"

Yes.

Mike,

It's not only wrong, it makes me question your entire system of values.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@elburto:

Every so often someone re-ignites my faith in humanity.

Today it's you.

Please carry on.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Mike - yes, you are a horrible person.

Calli , I didn't say they were irrelevant, but barely relevant and a mere excuse. Would she have murdered an NT child in the same situation? And if she did, would she be regarded with pity, sympathy and regret? No. She'd be the focus of universal anger and revulsion.

That's why the divorce just isn't as relative as the autism. Children of divorcees are not things to be pitied. and aren't systematically abused.

You know what too? I admit 100% that I'm biased as hell, angry, and upset, and I doubt my reasoning is up to par. That's because people have admitted here, in person, and elsewhere (government, media etc) that the world would be a better place if I was euthanised. I am someone who is stealing food from taxpayers' mouths, scrounging from the state, and using up resources I do not deserve. That's all straight from the mouth of my country's Prime Minister BTW.

Alex is dead, and his mother is a hero to some. If she'd killed an NT child over custody post-divorce she'd be stoned in the streets and called a monster.

Fvck this, I'm repeating the same stuff everywhere oveR and over, being mired in the same damn arguments because I think that murdering a disabled child is because of ableism, the same ableism that blights the lives of so many people I love, the same ableism that has stolen people I loved.

ORD - Hugs.

Lara - That's because your son is someone you love, not someone you hate because he's not your "real child". Your son, to you, is your adored child, not his diagnosis.

Thank you for loving him.

High-fives for Grace, and welcome to RI!

Autismum - that kid of yours knows how to have fun! I miss baths, when I can have one again it'll be a four hour-job, with snacks, mood lighting, and Moz and RuPaul songs turned up so loud that the bath vibrates. Wahey!

the money spent on severely disabled people – who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole

Oddly enough, that's how I feel about economists.

I think I’ll have meth-addled chihuahuas
There is some other kind??

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

The “natural makeup” one is a winner. Hoo boy, is it ever. The alties all think mineral oil and petroleum jelly are Satan's moisturizers. The fact that petroleum is also a "natural" substance is completely lost on them.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

The “natural makeup” one is a winner.

Hoo boy, is it ever. The alties all think mineral oil and petroleum jelly are Satan’s moisturizers. The fact that petroleum is also a “natural” substance is completely lost on them.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Mike - you have no worth.

Rich - cheers! I may be a benefit-scrounging, crazy, fat, crippled dyke, who has spent (bloody hell!) sixteen months in one spot and resembles baby Mirth* from Mork and Mindy, but I still fight like a trapped cat. My claws still work amazingly well, after all, I have all the time in the world to file them.

*Better quality nappies and more hair though. I don't have the dungarees, but I'm trying hard to convince Other Mrs elburto that my debut into society, as a full-on crip, should see me dressed in a cow kigurumi, with my hair in bunches.

She's stopped laughing so hard at my plans that she becomes cyanotic, so I think I'm onto a winner.

@hdb- elburto Conglomerates and Holdings tested crack and straight up methamphetamine on the bitey little rat dogs. They retained too many teeth and became lethal, rather than just dangerous.

Also, crystal meth helps them to stay awake for longer. A bonus in our 24 hour society, no?

Huh . . . You know, this is probably the last place I ever expected to be called "a horrible person" for expressing something.

Judgment noted.

@Mike - just expressing my opinion.

@elburto #123:

You're a benefit scrounger? Damn it, I feel that dog-whistle calling me! Here was me thinking you provided value to society, like any other human being, but now I realise that my political masters have the right of it and that you are nothing but a waste of economic space fit only to be eliminated* as soon as possible.

*Note for the satirically thick: fuck off and die.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

from Dana Dunagan Waldrop:
re foraging for medicines " just like our ancestors did"
/////////////////////////////////////////////Wavy lines////////////////////////////////////////////
The time: 713 AD
The place, a bog not far from the sea

Male ancestor: Can you find me something for my sore back, dear AElbertdred?
Female ancestor: Try some of this willow bark, it should do the trick nicely.
Male ancestor; I don't want that , it's crap! Can't you get some of those juniper berries and let them sit for a while and rot- I LIKE that!
FA: No, it's willow bark for you.
MA: but I feel nervous too- how about some of those red flowers, they're really good!
Or Goat Weed? That was fun!

Or better yet, let the rye stand around in the damp for two weeks- the last time I ate that I saw wonderful things!

J-sus was flying around with pink and lavender angels and the witches were riding broomsticks with two headed cats and DRAGONS chasing them!
Get me some of that again...
ETC.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

who, without sugar-coating, are of absolutely no benefit to society as a whole

How much sugar-coating do you need to put on a person before they become beneficial? Asking for a friend.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Umm...If we look carefully at economists arguments, there should be no taxes and everyone should pay for every services. Just imagine if everyone paid their kilometer of road, we'd have renting fees for every kilometer of road there is. Just imagine having to stop and pay a fee for every kilometer of road.....Oh you mean you're not against taxes for these case...riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight; where do we draw the lines. public transit maybe, oh yeah, I have a car and thus I shouldn't pay for public transit :). Fine, Let's have more cars on the road (one for each productive member of family). Can you spell 6 hours of parking time on the road each morning and afternoon. Oh, we need 12 lanes boulevard and 20 lanes highways (remember, it's a bus for every 70 cars) Fine, let's relocate houses & buildings. You can't drive, ask your mother (young child) or die in a fire (70 years old grandpa). News headlines:

USA Life expectancy dropped to 55 years old due to eugenics of old peoples

Must be how economists create job security, by rationalizing everything there is to be rationalized.

Look, all the economists here, I'll believe you can create good policies when and only when you goes through the Engineering System PhD at MIT. That should at least open your worldview.

Alain

Mike - if I'd expressed concern for the perfectly good mattress they ruined - ruined! - by soaking it with blood, I'm sure I'd be considered horrible as well. Though i suppose it's possible it had a plastic liner, in which case it might not have been ruined. Unless the liner had a cut in it.

This went badly.

It is not good to have more of a reaction to the soiling of a mattress than the killing of a child. Likewise, it is not good to have more of a reaction to the killing of a cat than the killing of a child.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Alain - what economists are you reading? That's not what any I've ever read say.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@mike

I'll just say, the fact that they killed a cat for apparently doing nothing made me upset.

But the way that the killed Alex, in such a brutal and merciless way, makes me sick, a heck of a lot worse than the way that they killed the cat.

@Denice - have I told you lately that you are a slice of fried gold? I am feebly throwing little tiny internets for you.

Meph o'B - I used to read hardcore libertarian fora, just for sh:ts and giggles. Alain's satire would fit in unnoticed in some places.

elburto - I've certainly seen blogs and op-eds that would go that way (and much further). I've not seen writing by actual economists, much less by the bulk of same. I've read items from fairly conservative economists; none has come close to what Alain said.

Not that there aren't any (I've not done a LOT of reading of economists)

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Lawrence: That's fine. But you're making a judgement of me as "a horrible person" based on my statement. Again, this is the last place I'd expected to be judged for saying I was more upset about one thing than another.

@Mephistopheles: We weren't talking about a mattress. And I didn't say I had more of a reaction to them killing the cat than the kid. I said I was more upset by it. (You did note that I considered them killing the kid tragic, criminal, and wrong, right?) With the kid, I could at least see a -reason- for their actions. Messed up and wrong though they were. But the cat?

*shrugs* Noting the judgments, I'll keep personal opinion on things to myself in the future.

@people commenting at Mike,

Part of me (as an Aspie adult), if i'm brutally honest feels similar to Mike.
It is wrong on all levels that the child died; wrong that they didn't get the support they needed, wrong that people think we are worthless.
But yet, as someone who was openly refused a job as an accountant because I was "autistic" , who in my current job is on special measures and watching because i'm "autistic", and who wasn't diagnosed until post uni, at which point the NHS' attitude was "by the way your autistic, you probably won't have a partner, children or a mortgage-deal with it". One maybe thinks he has been spared a lot of heartache that will probably end with him dying young anyway.
We can all rage all we want about how terrible the treatment is, and as an ex scientist it is sickening, but its not exactly a bed of roses being the forver alone adult aspie either. Little wonder these poor pitiable parents leap at any straw held out by those despicable sellers of broken dreams.

By Columbina (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Oddly enough, that’s how I feel about economists.

I'll give someone like James Heckman and his nagging of the Booth (né Chicago) School about that pesky "empirical results" business some credit.

elberto - I'm sorry I'm not fried gold as well. However, I do bask in the glory of being mentioned in the same response as the lovely and talented Denice Walter who is, as we all know, the Dark Lady and one of Lord Draconis's special, er, favorites. And by the way - the Great Echidna continues to flourish and, much like Spiny Norman, is now about about twelve feet from nose to tail. The local termite population has dropped to an alarming level and we have been forced fo wander the countryside in search of fresh grub.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Mike - I'm unclear about the difference between "more of a reaction to" and "more upset by". But they, I did not call you a horrible person.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

And, yes, I did misspell "elburto" and I am indeed sorry for it. My most humble apologies.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@elburto

Would she have murdered an NT child in the same situation [about to lose custody in divorce]?

Maybe *she* wouldn't have, but plenty of women would, and have. The divorce really might have been the event that turned her from using him as a prop in her mommy-warrior fantasies, to killing him.

I agree with those who wonder if Alex suffered medical abuse at her hands. I find it hard to believe someone who hated her son enough to drive a knife into him repeatedly and all but saw off his hand, restrained herself from abuse prior to that.

I’ll just say, the fact that they killed a cat for apparently doing nothing made me upset.

As I've mentioned, I've done some cat rescue in my days, and I found this additional detail on top of the already known murder to be particularly galling.

And, if I may be cold-hearted, it was pretty selfish to reserve the leftover sedatives for themselves while leaving the cat with nothing but the blade.

I completely agree with everything you said except the part regarding vaccines, because vaccines can and have caused serious adverse reactions just like any pharmaceutical product. The jury isn't really out yet what autism is so therefore, we cannot say with certainty what causes it, contributes to it or what does not cause it or contribute. However, this biomedical movement, which I have been following for 8 years having a child myself with moderate level autism has grown out of control. Anecdotal cures spread like wild fire. It is easy to understand how some parents faced with many challenges can be tempted to try alternative treatments with the lack of mainstream treatments. Yet, a portion of this autism community has gone to a complete extreme believing main stream medicine is evil and biomedical treatments are the only answer. They are feeding off each other's emotions and propaganda. I think the issues are extreme on each side. To say vaccines are always 100% safe is erroneous. To say vaccines cause all autism is also erroneous. To say hospitals are evil is erroneous. To say all biomedical treatments is a joke is also erroneous as some parents do find some supplements to be helpful even if not a cure. I completely agree that what these particular "autism advocacy groups" did was irresponsible. They did not have the qualifications or right to meddle into a situation so serious. In my opinion, this young man should never have been released to go on an experimental "biomed mission". That was very poor judgment. This "movement" has gotten out of control. Please do not let a few advocacy groups represent all autism parents. It is only a small portion that are extremists like they are. Thanks for your article and letting us share opinions.

Narad,

I love my cat and have loved all my pets. I like to think I'd never kill my pet in a less than humane way. The two times I've had to kill my pet in a (hopefully) humane way (at the hands of a veterinarian), I've cried inconsolably and felt guilty for months afterwards.

That said.

A pet is property, not a person.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Narad

it was pretty selfish to reserve the leftover sedatives for themselves while leaving the cat with nothing but the blade.

It was pretty selfish to reserve sedatives for themselves instead of giving them to Alex too, and then using the blade on themselves. But that might have come too close to real suicide for them, and anyway they'd rather knife Alex than mess up their own wrists.

@Mephistopheles: Indeed, you didn't call me a horrible person for my comment. I do appreciate the difference. As for the difference, it's a range of emotions from shock, dismay, anger, sadness, etc. Different reactions to different acts.

I can, at least intellectually, understand the parent of a severely disabled child wanting to end what the parent perceives as suffering on their child's part. It's not the path I'd have chosen myself, but there are times when there's a case to be made for euthanasia. I can't, however, understand why they'd kill the cat.

Maybe I'm just more sensitive to killing an innocent pet. All of ours have been rescues of one form or another, including my aged Border Collie who was begged from a local shelter to save her from being put down the next day.

Great article. These women very much want the spotlight and I believe they thought this was a way to push the narrative forward. The issue is that all of the anti-vax people are lumped in with these wackos from AIM, etc. They give so many a bad name. There are many who choose not to vax for various reasons and can't stand this lot. It's not all one in the same.

1,000 of people around the world rallied around Alex and his mother, signing petitions, making calls, searching for help, begging for someone to listen. Loyola hospital’s switchboard went crazy. They knew shit would hit the fan if they treated Alex’s medical problems because that would be admitting cause. They also knew they couldn’t silence us, and still haven’t. They treated him like an animal. No one that could help, would. Imagine being Dorothy. The media now has the chance to do the right thing, to really investigate this story and expose the healthcare system in this country for what it really is

The subtext here is "pre-emptive cognitive dissonance reduction" -- laying the groundwork for self-protective excuses in the future.
"The results of the inquiry exonerate the hospital care and are critical of Alex's mother and her network of enablers? Ah, but the hospital staff lied, in retaliation for the hard time we gave them. Also, official cover-up. And incompetent journalists."

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I can’t, however, understand why they’d kill the cat.

It is suggestive of what one might most charitably call "a hypertrophied, self-regarding sense of responsibility".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@LW - it's one thing to try to kill one's self with pills and quite another to make one's wrist look so ugly after death. The consideration they showed their (potential) undertakers deserves some consideration.

Gad, I'm morbid today...

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Mephistopheles O'Brien: I have doubts whether they ever intended genuine harm to themselves.

@Mike
I thought your first comment was pretty gross, but your elaboration of your reasoning strikes me, as "the parent of a severely disabled child", as truly nauseating.

Exactly how tired do I need to get of caring for my daughter before "there's a case to be made for euthanasia"? Just curious.

By Fishchick (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I am not trained in psychology but is this -- particularly the cat-killing -- an example of a syndrome for which there is a specific term?

Family savior, family preserver, something like that? Google is not helping, btw.

These individuals feel so intensely that putting the victims out of their misery (so to speak) is the only way to save them from the external forces that are out to destroy them all.

Maybe I watched too much "Law & Order" when I was younger.

Thank you for this article. Am I the mother of a severely autistic teenager? No, but i will be in a few years. I caught wind of this story a few weeks ago, but ignored it because-- well, because it came from AoA. (My FB feed naturally has plenty of other autism moms, and some of them occasionally repost AoA items.) And so it wasn't until after this tragic murder while we were all commenting back and forth about whether or not we should judge this mother (consensus, "Yes", thank god) that I read a news link on the story and finally saw that Andrew Wakefield was there advocating "for" the boy. Suddenly I realized why he was suffering from severe GI distress -- he had autism and was sitting next to Andrew Wakefield. I have to say that this makes my blood boil. I have no reason to doubt that this child suffered from GI distress, but the only way GI issues relate to the ROOT of his problems is that Wakefield pulled this theory out of his... ___...and used it to convince his mother that the medical establishment was the enemy. This family had options, recommended by real doctors who still have their licenses, and they were "supported" into a corner by the publicity stunts of medical quacks. This man needs to find a career where his ego and bad judgement have lesser consequences. Fashion designer, perhaps.

I posted a more ranty, profanity-laden version of this on my FB page where I know at least 50 parents of children with disabilities and.... crickets. I just needed to post it somewhere I could, possibly, get an Amen.

By anothermom (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Fishstick: You did notice that I said it was not the choice I would have made?

It is possible to see the reasoning behind a decision without agreeing with said decision. As for how tired you need to be, that is entirely up to you. I am not qualified to judge your situation.

Though thank you for reinforcing the judgement of others. I'll go now.

People like Mike make me think we're nothing more than talking monkeys.

Our lodger has a cat born with a deformed LF ankle/paw, should it have been throttled at birth?

He's a big ol' softy Siamese, very shy until he warms to you. Not a person, neither is our wee pup.

That Mike has more sympathy, compassion and empathy for a thing you own is somewhat unsettling. Euthanasia for anything other than an end of life situation or something like it for pecuniary motives is heartless.

There are lots of other things we could cut our spending on like the Senate or maybe the Feds altogether. As Harper has shown by proroguing Parliament and the country carried on as if nothing had happened, we don't need them either.

I'd rather my taxes helped people rather than a Roman Catholic education.

Many years ago, our neighbours had a daughter with Down's Syndrome. The youngest of her family, while being aboot 7 years older than me, she was a sweet kid who would come over and ask my Dad out to play before I was born.

Being the youngest, she will likely outlive her family. So when it comes time to prevent her from becoming a drain on society, we'll call Mike to put her down.

By al kimeea (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I am not trained in psychology but is this — particularly the cat-killing — an example of a syndrome for which there is a specific term?

"PETA" springs to mind.

Thanks, Narad. There is mint tea all over my keyboard now.

My first thought on reading this post, is the biomed treatments which it seems likely were utilised given the company they were keeping, may have caused the pain he was in. We may never know but this is, as Orac outlines, a cautionary tale. A terribly tragic one.

By Sharon Morris (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Mike,

The fact that you even sympathize with Alex's murderers is beyond reprehensible. HE WAS A HUMAN BEING! HE WAS A CHILD! HE WAS MUCH MORE INNOCENT THEN THE CAT BECAUSE THE CAT AT LEAST HAD CLAWS TO DEFEND ITSELF!

Who gives a f*ck about the cat? Sure it's ridiculous that they killed it, but this isn't about the cat for Pete's sake, this is about an innocent, vulnerable child murdered in a very harsh and brutal fashion. Why are you offering sympathy for the murderers and not willing to mourn the loss of human life? We don't know what Alex may have been able to do. Based on the story from the mother, all she could see was a waste of space and a waste of life. His aggression was his way of communicating to them his pain. They were too narrow minded, too focused on trying to 'recover the child that autism stole away from them' to see the precious, loving, compassionate and hopeful child he really was. And we will never know what he could have added to society because they refused to give him that chance.

Another teen similar to Alex, non verbal and severely autistic comes to mind. Her name is Carly Fleischmann. Look her up. This is the difference between a family who accepts their child and loves and encourages their child and a family who gives up on their child and assumes there's nothing there unless the autism can be erased.

There is no reasoning behind taking the life of your child. Don't mourn for these monsters, mourn for the little boy that they took from the world without him ever finding his voice to tell people who he was. That is what this is about. The entire world should be heart broken about his loss. The despicable excuses for humans who cared for him did a piss poor job of it if they couldn't even 'listen' to what he was trying to tell them about the 'treatment' they were subjecting him to. Don't make this about the cat, the cat, really doesn't matter.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Narad, nice mordant chuckle.

By al kimeea (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

That "mother", that "woman" who killed her son - I have no sympathy for her ever. I do believe that Alex was subjected to terrible biomed "cures". For LJ Goes and all you meddlers, please be aware that we are going to find evidence of this. Not for a moment do I believe you just happened to find Alex, and give him your "help" which was not help, but an excuse for his mother to kill him. You should be ashamed. And even more ashamed that your FB friends seem more concerned for you than they are for a dead child.

By Broken Link (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Lara - 161 - Thank YOU

By Broken Link (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Broken Link

*HUG*

We are all human regardless of our physical, mental or neural make up. We are ALL important, valuable and all deserve the same dignity, humanity and rights because we are human and they are 'unalienable human rights.' My heart bleeds for Alex, as well as all the other precious souls that have been stolen from us by their 'care givers'.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Wow . . . just wow. Some of the comments here are just . . . a bit more aggressive than I ever expected. And a bit disheartening. I've been reading here for quite a few years and, honestly, some of the comments here would seem more appropriate . . . elsewhere.

Let me clarify a couple things for those who appear to think I am the .

1: Yes, I was more upset by them killing the cat.
1a: I was not -not- upset by them murdering their own child.
1b: This does not make me evil, inhumane, a PETA fanatic, or any of the other attributes that appear to have been ascribed to me.

2: I do not -endorse- euthanasia. I do, however, believe that there are cases where it is better to end a life than to continue it -simply because it is a life-.
2a: That choice is deeply personal, and I do not pretend to be qualified to make it for "you" if you are in that situation.

3: Being able to understand a person's stated point of view does not mean I sympathize with it, agree with it, or condone it.

4: There is no point 4.

5: I've stated a couple of times that the murder was tragic, 'wrong', and unconscionable.

If you really think I'm evil because I stated I was more upset by them killing their cat (who's only "disability" was being adopted by someone who should never have had a pet, let alone a child) then so be it.

JF @18

Slippery slope it is, T was correct.

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

This seems to have been planned. The videos prior, the amount of publicity generated and then the murder all seem to have been carefully crafted to build a case for the killers. I hope the DA goes for and gets murder in the first degree.

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Dear Mike, it is possible you need some social skills upgrades.

Let me introduce you to a concept: inappropriate. That means saying or doing something in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or to the wrong people.

If I'm not mistaken, you have been here before. You might know that the regular RI commenters, well-represented here, include for example, a person with formidable physical impairments; a mother whose beloved late child had overwhelming physical and cognitive issues; a number of commenters who are themselves autistic, and other folk I am sure I am overlooking.

To come here and wonder aloud if your stronger reaction to the cat's death than the murder of the child was inappropriate.

Your reaction is something to discuss with a trusted friend, or in a venue (like a cat-adoption forum) where people are not grieving for the child who was murdered.

T and have to agree: fvck you, fvck the horses you rode in on and fvck your goddess Ayn Rand. Just because something has no economic value, does not mean it doesn't have a value. By your logic, we shouldn't have libraries, museums or parks.
Lara: Thank you. Said it better than I could.
Brigit and Jane: go away, you ghouls.
As I said earlier, AOA's contribution can't be ignored. They encouraged the mother every step of the way, and more kids might be in danger if Ms. S. gets away with it, which she will.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Mike, there's a second step for those who have engaged in inappropriate behavior: an apology.

It could go like this:

"My question was heart-felt, but I asked it in the wrong venue. Please forgive all distress I have caused you all."

Then you stop talking (or writing, in this case).

M o'B - haven't you seen that picture of you aboard the Glaxxon Deathsphere, the one where your face is surrounded by a heart shape?

I nominated you for 'Shill of the Xxaa'mn 'for that rousing rendition of the 'Getting Away With It' aria from O'Pharmetta that you performed at the Shills'n'Minions Kz'zargmas Cotillion last year.

I had tears in my eyes, and not just because one of the hatchlings was clamped onto my thigh.

LW , The "If I can't have the kids then nobody can" is typically a father-thing actually.

@Columbina -

One maybe thinks he has been spared a lot of heartache that will probably end with him dying young anyway.
We can all rage all we want about how terrible the treatment is, and as an ex scientist it is sickening, but its not exactly a bed of roses being the forver alone adult aspie either

Oh FFS that is pathetic, gb2reddit. Speak for yourself, just because you're drowning in a stinking lake of self pity, that doesn't mean Alex wouldn't have envied your life.

Tell me, what was your excuse before the fictional evil NHS worker wrote your entire life off? The fact that someone who got through uni, has a job and can access healthcare, is whining about the unfairness of it all when we're talking about an abused, murdered kid who was unable to advocate for himself, just goes to illustrate perfectly well what happens when the narrative of the broken/damaged/stolen is played so loud that it drowns out everything else.

Why not hook up with Jake Crosby? Sure, your views on biomeddling may clash, but it's better than becoming a lifetime subscriber to the neckbeard ideology of 'Forever Alone' that blames anything and anyone possible, purely because one is unlucky in love.

ASD =/= forever alone

Physical disability =/= forever alone

Mental illness =/= forever alone

Short of being a crazed axe murderer who must kill everyone on sight, these days there's very littlm preventing like-minded people from meeting, falling in love, or forming amazing friendships,

Using the maiming and killing of a child to complain about your lack of a sex life is a new low for this place. At least Mike and Bir-git are just trolling.

I found the speculation that Alex had been subjected to bleach enemas (MMS treatment) to be a significant possibility, so I went looking. I found some things I found puzzling.

1. Evidently there were significant changes to Alex's behavior and health beginning in October, 2012, from unknown causes. His murderer referred to it as "regression".
2. There was no mention that I could find of Alex's school placement, or provisions for educational services for the 2012-2013 school year.
3. There was no mention that I could find of Alex's academic service provision while he was in the hospital (I am not sure of dates of his hospital stay(s). Why wasn't he on "hospital and homebound" services (I don't know what they are called in Illinois).

I also found a blog of a woman who is subjecting her son to the bleach treatment. It is horrifying. The mother is seeing "worms" in her child's stool, which clearly is to me chunks of her child's intestinal lining.

Don't follow the link, unless you want to be outraged.

I need to laugh.

Who wants to chip in for afterburners for elburto's new chair? And something spiffy for the other Mrs. elburto's use?

@Liz - I do get the sense that Alex's Mom & Caregiver were doing things to him that exacerbated his behavior....why do you think he was "fearful" of going to the doctor? Perhaps it was a combination of chelation & MMS?

@t. and @Have To Agree:

If we lived in a subsistence-level society where every able-bodied man, woman, and child works from dawn to dusk to produce enough food that not too many starve, where every morsel of food that goes to a disabled person is a morsel that *doesn't* go to a child who might grow up able to help the community survive -- then yeah, I'd probably agree with you.

But no one who has access to a computer, electricity, the Internet, and leisure to use the same, lives in such a society.

Your concern for waste of taxpayers' money is laudable, as the amount of waste is unimaginable, but providing a decent, humane, *human* life for people who can't care for themselves isn't a waste; it's one of the important functions of a modern society. It may be poorly or inefficiently or even cruelly done, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done at all.

This does not make me evil, inhumane, a PETA fanatic, or any of the other attributes that appear to have been ascribed to me.

I was not ascribing this trait to you.

This case is horrible beyond words, and certainly smells of MMS or other mistreatment. It may take a while, but this is a murder case and facts that for now are protected by privacy statutes are likely to be revealed in a courtroom over the coming weeks. Until then, I don't think we can do much but speculate as to what was happening to Alex prior to his murder -- we're only getting half of the story. Once the medical personnel who saw Alex in his last days are brought in to testify I suspect our horror at the evil done will only be magnified.

By weirdnoise (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

"My son Alex is just one of millions of children and adults who no longer will be silenced."

I'm surprised no one mentioned this yet, that in her earlier statement it's the Big Pharma Vaccine Conspiracy that's silenced Alex by supposedly making him autistic and nonverbal, when in reality she ended up being the one to take it into her own hands to silence him forever.

By Captain Quirk (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

This seems to have been planned. The videos prior, the amount of publicity generated and then the murder all seem to have been carefully crafted to build a case for the killers.

OK, I think it's time to calm down.

@elburto: "LW , The “If I can’t have the kids then nobody can” is typically a father-thing actually."

Typically, perhaps, but not always. Reading this post is was repeatedly reminded of the myth of Medea and also of a true crime book I read once about a woman who shot her three little children and then -- very non-life-threateningly -- herself, in a somewhat similar case where she could have simply given up custody of the children but chose to kill them instead (at least one survived though).

@Liz Ditz - I fear you're wasting your time with that one!

Well all, I'm turning in with my apparently non-existent wife, and ending another pretty fun and productive wangsty and terrible day, just sobbing into my Crynoceros about how being disabled, mental and non-NT ( take that ableists!) is like... totes the worst thing ever, because I'm just a vegetable pancake or something.

Maybe this is the crazy talking - but I have a roof over my head, someone who loves me, perfectly working thumbs and a smartphone that connects to our (free!!!) whizzy fibre broadband. That makes me better off than several billion people. Money? Nope, we're struggling at best. A nice house? Haha no, shoddy rental from the Twenties, but at least I know to be happy with what I have, like Miss Nigel and Master Bernard, our comets.

Happy dreams, and hugs to all hurt by the trolls.

Wow, Medea's going a bit far back mate! I raise you... er, HEROD!

Night all.

@elburto: the joys of a classical education.

(I don’t know what they are called in Illinois).

Illinois is summarized here (PDF).

I read at least of the post's on AoA about Alex written by his mother and found it incredibly confusing. ER is basically drive through medicine, get the patients in and out. If the patient requires additional care, refer to a provider or admit if the patient needs immediate care.

I couldn't make sense of the story she told. It didn't mesh with what I knew of conventional medicine and her pleas to call the hospital seemed absurd.

His murder is tragic and horrific. However, I won't be mouthing the common platitude of "She seemed normal, nice.". She seemed bizarre and confused.

As for the legal outcome, I like "not guilty by reason of insanity" because sentence is commitment to a mental health facility. (Alas, we just had a local man sentenced for stabbing four people last year. Fortunately, all of his victims recovered.)

@Mephistopheles O'Brien

To answer your question, I read the economists on this thread and extrapolated. I was just being nasty.

Alain

Good night, elburto. No matter what your circumstances, you are always a joy to read. And for the one who loves you, perhaps an oxygen tank for her use when your humor turns her cyanotic.

I for one was hit upside the head when my firstborn turned out to have a developmental disability. It changed my world, and my outlook. I was going to be one of those annoying mothers whose child excelled in everything. I was already planning to enroll him in a foreign language preschool. A plan that fell apart after his seizures, several hospitalizations and failure to do something as "simple" as speak his native language.

From this I learned that each person has their own value. We celebrate their strengths, and support their weaknesses. And never ever pressure someone to meet your expectations, but let them follow their heart.

So my younger kids did not go the fancy shmancy preschool that promised literacy by age four, but to a playgroup where they learned to play nice with others. So one is not going to be an engineer, but a math teacher. And the other clicked "other" when asked about gender. As long as they are healthy and happy, it is all good.

My oldest has his issues, but he proves over and over again it is a developmental delay, not a stasis. So what if it takes him six years to get a two year associates degree from the community college, at least he is learning.

N @181
I am Calm :)

What I meant to say this has the hallmarks of a premeditated murder. I think a prosecution case built around this premise has a good chance of succeeding. This may ensure the punishment will be a closer fit to the crime.

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Carol Marin chimes in. Marin is pretty highly regarded in Chicago journalism circles, and while this is sensibly aimed ultimately at (part of) the failngs of the state, one now knows that there is another cog, the Autism Society of Illinois. Karen McDonough is something of an enigma from my vantage point.

Very interesting responses to this article:
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=9136005

Mostly supportive of Alex, and highly critical of AoA. Reading through this gives me renewed hope in humanity. For example:

I met Dorothy and Alex in a public setting in the Fall of 2011. When Dorothy introduced Alex to me, I said "hi" to him, and he replied " hi" back to me. He was extremely hyperactive and a physically large boy. He was very active, riding up and down some hallways on a skateboard. I have a young son who has an MD and academic diagnosis of moderate level autism. In no way, did Alex appear to be severely autistic to me. (I am a licensed occupational therapist, as well as an autism parent.). As an OT, I am not qualified professionally, to say anything about a formal diagnosis for Alex, and I am not making one. I, obviously, do not have access to his private medical or school records. I am only reporting on what I observed, informally,as a PARENT ONLY, over a 30 minute time period. Alex obviously had severe behavior problems, from what his mother and others have reported.

In addition to observing Alex in 2011, I informally observed his mom. She seemed a bit "off", meaning she spoke VERY loudly to the people she was talking with. (Three to four people. I was not part of the group that she was speaking with, but I did ask her a few questions about the facility that we were at.). She also talked ONLY about herself. She did not appear to recognize social cues from the other people that she should stop talking and leave the conversation. (I had to wait 30 minutes to go on a tour of the facility because of her incessant talking. I was not angry or upset about it because I had time to wait.)

Again, I am almost pleading with the media, including the author of the article, to find out if an MD or equivalent ever gave Alex a recent diagnosis of severe autism. If you keep reporting that he had severe autism, when that is not the truth, you risk journalistic integrity, and you are misleading the general public.

What this mother and caregiver did was horrific. They had many, many offers of help in terms of caring for Alex. Since he was living with them at home, the mother obviously had not taken people up on their offers to help.
__

It is absolutely terrible that anyone could defend this. How can anyone justify the killing of an innocent child with severe disability? Seriously. Lay the blame game, but this comes down to a mother betraying everyone who tried to help, everyone who got involved, and the most and severe betrayal of all, to her own son. How is it you think Alex felt? How horrifying. They planned this. I do not care how rough, then send him to CPS, that is wrong to kill your child instead of sending him somewhere. HE is not better off, and who was judge of that? Its hard to have a child with disabilities, but I will never excuse killing them because it is so "rough". The responsibility is with those two women, no one else. RIP Alex!

___

I am an autism mom and I am appauled by how many parents are actually sympathizing with this Monster. She murdered her child. Planned it out. I get it - I get the stress. However - all this blame on Loyola, mainstream medicine, the CDC, the FDA, etc is absurd. Seriously people?! He needed to be hospitalized so they could stabilize him and had a placement in a residential facility. God, I can't imagine how heartbreaking that would be but it would have been the best thing for that child. The whole farse about Loyola is spin city. They wanted a mainstream hospital facility to do alternative treatments on him. That isn't going to happen and it can't be expected to happen. His neurological issues were obviously immense--too much to do experimental protocols. I will agree that services for families in crisis are dreadful. Families need respite and counseling and help. Now, did Dorothy have access to these things? I don't know, but it certainly is a systemic issue in Illinois. That poor boy had his last moments in life being stabbed by the one person that is supposed to protect him. Imagine how scary that was. How painful. What they did to him was barbaric.God rest his soul. He didn't deserve to die like that. Could anything that Loyola or anywhere else have been any worse? Yeah - don't think so. This case makes me very angry

By Broken Link (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

So I haven't been reading this blog and other pro-vax anti-AOA blogs in a while... Bleach enimas? OMG.

We need to start imprisoning people for breaking the Geneva convention WITH THEIR CHILDREN.

ER is basically drive through medicine, get the patients in and out. If the patient requires additional care, refer to a provider or admit if the patient needs immediate care.

Gottlieb has 250 beds. Now, there was once a time when I was told in such a setting that I would have to be admitted, to which I objected, and then hours later told that they couldn't actually find a room and should come right back if I saw a black line start running up my arm, but two weeks in the ED is downright puzzling.

Very interesting responses to this article

WLS has seemed to be interested in indulging the LJ narrative. Their Ben Bradley popped in over on FB (and was quickly attacked by the commentariat) looking for... "reportage," I guess, but if I were to guess, I'd say that LJ knew better than her poultice-premasticating fans.

Who wants to chip in for afterburners for elburto’s new chair?

In elburto's position, I would want some kind of Dalek shell to fit over the chair.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

If there is a common take home message, it is that we all need a safety net but the details' in the devil. For those who advocate utilitarian economic value of peoples by their contribution to society, I have a development question:

I am a "very high functioning autistic" (I don't believe in label but for this exercise, this will do the job) who, according to the doctor who diagnosed me have said that I would pass for neurotypical any time of the day. Many years ago (in 2003), I worked in an electronic shop and was sent there by the Manpower group. In 2004, I was diagnosed autistic. I had a few diagnoses before that but none that we communicated to me. I held several job since then but mostly part-time job on a subsidy.

Last year, I went to an interview at Manpower again. They retrieve my file and I do the interview quite successfully. The only factor that doesn't go well is my mention of being autistic. You know why? one of my significant experience was my doctor for whom I was diagnosed autistic; I helped him publish a paper. After that, I spent several weeks going at the office and inquiring about my status (once every week). They said they'd call me when my file is done....I have yet to receive a call and I went there 6 times over a period of 2 months.

How do I become a productive member of the society?

If you want to extend the exercise further, how do the majority of "high functioning autistics" become productive members of the society?

Keep thinking and you will arrive to a point where only the braindeath is not able to contribute to the society. Engineers are already busy at work creating wireless chip implantable in the brain so that a quadriplegic will be able to work on computers (say in solidworks if he's/she's good at design or excel if he's/she's good with accounting or finance) and communicate successfully with the rest of the world.

Another mention is that the disabled help keep many peoples working (Engineers in the former example) and their needs will be refined & redefined over time. That's what I call progress and it will happen in the next 50 years.

Alain

Another take home message is that all life are worthy and Alex Spourdalakis is equally as worthy as the rest of us.

Alain

I’m just a vegetable pancake or something

Vegetable pancakes are good - especially when they're stuffed with curried potato and chickpeas. Sweet dreams. and remember we all love you just the way you are. :)

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Hmm. Prior to Wakefield's "intervention", which occurred around May 27, this was posted on the "help support Alex" FB page.

Help Support Alex Spourdalakis
May 8
Just a quick update since folks have been asking: Alex is doing very well and is receiving the medical treatment he needs. When we have more specifics to share, we will happily post it here. Thanks as always for your concern, warm wishes and for supporting Alex and Dorothy throughout this whole process!

By Broken Link (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

If you read a little human paleontology you will see that in some Neandertal and Cro-Magnon sites there are skeletons of deformed or hopelessly crippled individuals who lived into maturity or long past their injuries, survivals that could only have happened if their fellow hunter-gatherers provided for them. These, of course, are people we call "primitives' and 'savages', who lived their benighted, stunted lives without libertarian philosophers or Austrian economists to enlighten them.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I am a lifelong opponent of appeals to "the slippery slope", but there is one exception and that is the taking of human life. Take one, no consequences, and the taking of the next gets easier, and once a society goes down the path of deciding some lives are not worthy of life ("Lebensunwertes Leben", in the original German) it gets only too easy to go a little farther and decide that the original batch was not far enough, and that if it was in society's interest to have gotten rid of them, then we can go down the path a little more and get rid of some more "parasites" and "non-productives" and while we're at it, one or another minority group that "harms social cohesion" or some such.
Sorry if I piss all over your pet postulate, but eugenic murder is just murder. Nothing more.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

Old Rockin' Dave, one of the things we learned at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits in L.A. was that they had found a Saber-Toothed Cat that had obviously suffered a broken back -- which showed several years of healing. This find (made by a volunteer who happened to be a retired orthopedic surgeon) led to the re-classification of this extinct species from a solitary hunter to a social animal -- and thus the name change from "Saber-Toothed Tiger" to "Saber-Toothed Cat." The reason? It was obvious that other cats had been hunting for it and feeding it, for it could never have survived the injury and lived for years on its own.

If Saber-Toothed Cats can take care of the disabled among their kind, human beings most certainly can do as well.

By weirdnoise (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

If you are lurking here Mike, I have this to state to you. I sincerely hope that you will get some help for your issues.

As I state above, I have followed the serialization of Alex and his mother from the first time Lisa Goes blogged about them weeks ago. It never passed my "smell test". I suspect that Dorothy and the godmother/caregiver were experimenting on Alex with "biomedical treatments" (dietary, bleach enemas?), and they had an arsenal of sedative drugs...because Alex "developed sleep problems" ~ November 2012.

Lisa Goes, Dorothy, the caregiver, Wakefield and the other "helpers" who visited the child during his hospitalizations lied about the care he received:

- 4-point restraints 24/7? Never happened.

- Naked in bed except for an adult diaper ? Never happened.

- Untreated G.I. issues? Never happened...for the simple reason that his abdomen was examined upon admission and frequently by the physician assigned to his care. (palpation, percussion and ausculation). His stool was tested for presence of blood by the nurses assigned to his care and his stool was probably tested for the presence of bacteria, viruses, and ova & parasites. The "helpers" included the mommy/experts from AIM (Autism Is Medical), who along with Dorothy were quite insistent that Alex required food allergy blood testing and other invasive interventions. Why would any doctor risk a malpractice suit if there were any indications of a pathological process in his abdomen or bowel?

http://meded.ucsd.edu/clinicalmed/abdomen.htm

I posed a question up thread about Dorothy not taking her child to Arthur Krigsman, Wakefield's good buddy who is a gastroenterologist, who has actually made diagnoses of autistic enterocolitis for children he has never seen and who has professional practices in New York and in Austin, Texas. Dorothy, Goes, Wakefield and the other "helpers", claim Alex was mistreated and his medical needs were not addressed, yet they stayed in the hospital.

Now, we come to Polly Tommey, Wakefield's partner at the Autism Media Channel and her statements...

http://katenews2day.com/2013/06/13/mother-and-godmother-stabbed-to-deat…

"...A video from the Autism Media Channel on YouTube shows Alex Spourdalakis in February during one of many hospitalizations. His mother can be seen tenderly washing Alex’s feet.

“Dorothy, the mother, had absolutely nowhere to go, nowhere to live. With this boy, she would go from motel to motel,” said Polly Tommey, Autism Media Channel.

Polly Tommey and her Autism Media Channel worked with Dorothy Spourdalakis – recording these public pleas for help..."

- Alex and Dorothy were homeless? Bullsh!t. Neighbors report that Alex, Dorothy and the godmother/caregiver lived in that apartment over the plumbing store for quite a while. According to the police spokesman, Dorothy called them frequently to that apartment for assistance to take Alex to the hospital.

Dave, you have been posting here for quite a while, yet you apparently never read my comments about my son's struggle to survive and his sweet disposition, his mischievous smiles and the joy he brought to the lives of every person who knew him. He was not a stray cat that I rescued and he was not my chattel to keep or discard...he was my child.

After his peaceful death in his sleep, he made a difference in the lives of the people whose sight was restored with his corneas and whose broken hearts were mended with his heart valves.

Did anyone else notice that the caretaker graduated from med school in Poland? First Dr. Burzynski, now her.. are Poland's med schools actually teaching the would-be doctors anything?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I pride myself on having a stone barrier around my cold heart, but this story, and this thread, have somehow penetrated it. Every human being experiences so much pain--all of us suffer. And yet, as Alain said, all of us are worthy of life. I spent years as a caretaker of a dying person, and it was hard. So hard. Every bit was worth it, though.

Poor Alex. A life cut short. My son is asleep in my lap; I'm going to give him an extra kiss before I put him to bed.

By Sadie Burke (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I am a lifelong opponent of appeals to “the slippery slope”, but there is one exception

Now you've made your first exception, the second one will be easier to make. And the next one, easier still. It's like a low-friction inclined plane.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Jun 2013 #permalink

I'm not sure, but I don't think understanding something is the same as justifiing it.

In my home-country there once was the case of a mother, taking the life of her severely mentally and physicaly handicapped child, because she wasn't able to care for him anymore, due to her age and health. She had taken care of him for the largest part of his life, because the institutions couldn't take proper care of him.
Is this killing justifiable? No, I don't think so. Do I understand it? Yes, in a way I do.
Do I feel sorry for this mother? Yes, in a way I feel that I do, because in my view she was between a rock and a hard place, not being able to see him suffering in an institution.

Do I feel in any way sorry for the mother and caretaker of Alex? No, I most defenitly don't. They do deserve most of the shit thrown at them.

Yes, there should be more money for taking care of severely disabled people. But we have had our scandals about people in institutions, being locked up, mostly naked, because they would tear everything they wore.

Currently there is a lot of discussion about health-care in my country, which basicly could be shortened as: "should everything that is possible, be offered and paid?" There are medicines for very rare conditions, which costs hundreds of thousands of euro's a year. Should these medicines be offered? My heart say, yes, of course.
And there is a lot of discussion about people should be more taking care of their own friends, relatives and neighbours. Big problem is, most people already do what they can do.
Should there be more money for health-care? Yes, I suppose so. The only question might be, where should that money come from.
People get older and people who would have died in an early stage of their life in the past, are very much alive today. It is just how it is. There is no judgement in it.

But I suppose I've strayed a bit from the subject of this article, though probably not from the discussion following it.

herr doktor bimler

I love the slippery slope comeback...I may use it in the future.

One word of warning...unless you are in a universe where Doctor Who is real then refrain from the appeals to the consensus.

Elburto bears no resemblance to Davros what so ever and unless you are in my universe you would not be as offended as I am now.

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I find this whole story horrid, and have little to add to what has been said before.

However, it never ceases to amaze me when people think that "value" is somehow objective. It isn't. It's a subjective, abstract concept. We can make models that we can then make judgments about as if value was a real, concrete, objective thing. This can be useful if you have limited resources and have to assess the relative value of hip replacement operations in the elderly and heart transplants in the young, for example. If we then blindly follow these models despite them leading us to monstrous conclusions, that is indescribably dumb.

Taking it to extremes, as usual, makes it more obvious. What value do old people have to society? What value do babies have? Of what value are humans to the planet? Of what value is life to the planet? Why bother saving endangered species when the Earth is going to be incinerated when the sun goes nova in a few million years anyway?

There is no objective value to humans, of whatever degree of ableness. It's all about aesthetics and I, personally, want to live in a society in which all human live is valued and protected. I see The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a model of the kind of world I would like to live in. See also The Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I reserve the right to make inferences about the sort of person who has a radically different system of subjective values.

In Mike's defense, he was expressing surprise at his emotional reaction, not defending it. I suspect many people secretly have similar attitudes to the disabled (and people of other ethnic origins, sexual preferences etc.). I know that my attitudes were turned upside down, firstly by volunteering at a hospital for the severely "mentally handicapped" (as they were called back then) and then by the birth of my severely disabled son. I discovered I had preconceptions I was not even aware of.

We are the products of our upbringing, and it can be difficult to change the attitudes we were raised with. Noticing and admitting to our prejudices is a first step towards changing them.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Hey Orac,

Reviewing your spew on AS, I have to say never has a person spoken so much and said so little. Excuse me while I have a little fun with your writing:

'I definitely felt something wasn't quite right with the AS story. Then there was talk of him being abused in the hospital. Something didn't fit and worse *the fish also started to swim in the water*. Then there was Lisa Goes involvement in the case. And, I started to think. Yes, it really got me thinking about *what I had for breakfast*. Finally I say AW posing with AS. Why was he there? It really led me to start wondering whether *Chicago is going to win the Stanley Cup against Boston*." Hee, hee, hee!

Orac, you should have grown some and said what you really were thinking: The selfish b!tches killed AS simply because they did not want him to return to the hospital where he would have been deprived 'quack' medicine. It was all the anti-vaxers fault.

@Denice,

So not only should everyone envy you for being so smart, educated, and successful, but you also look so much better than AW? Can you send pics?

Elburto bears no resemblance to Davros what so ever

Rest assured that the Dalek-shell fantasy was based purely on my own Davrosian tendencies, and no wider implication was intended.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Sis recently retired from the snivel service for the Ministry of Health (the pension is not gold plated, but it is not bad and the least of what anyone deserves).

She had the heartbreaking job of informing people in elburto's situation they weren't worthy of help. Society needs people like that far more than Generals & Majors.

I work with a guy who's in his 30's. One day he spat the word socialist out like an epithet. I mentioned my parents were socialists.

Hippies came the immediate reply.

There were hippies in WW2? I asked.

He looked quite astonished when he asked the obvious and was also told WW2 was a motivator for them being dirty pinkos.

By al kimeea (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Anyone else starting to wonder if troll Greg sounds an awful lot like JB Handley?y?

By Broken Link (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Oddly enough very few people are aware of Aktion T4, even self-professed ‘history experts’. Why is that, do you think?

Gitty Sereny covered that instance of eliminationist policy in "Into That Darkness". Otherwise, I probably would never have heard of it.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Excuse me while I have a little fun with your writing:

Thank you for constantly challenging my principles about human rights. My immediate emotional reaction is to refuse to excuse you for continuing to breathe, a prejudice I am struggling to overcome.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I don't think it's necessary at this point to speculate about what quack treatments the family was using and blame them and Wakefield, et al, for those. The fact that Wakefield is on that video begging people to rescue the boy from a psychiatric facility that was apparently lined up to take him is enough proof of abuse.

I know three families (not IRL, but from online support groups) who have done what we all say we "could never do" -- put their children in a residential treatment facility. All three did so as a last resort when the child became too big and aggressive or destructive to manage safely at home. And all three were heartbroken and traumatized to do it. But every single one of them reported that the placement stabilized the child to the point that they could re-establish a relationship. The parents and the child were able to heal (and sleep!) and I remember one of the moms writing a year later that she had just had a weekend with her son that she could never have imagined before he went into the placement -- they ate in a restaurant, rode rides together at a carnival, etc... and enjoyed each other's company. All three have new happy stories of the times they spend with their kids -- and yes, some bad, but a huge improvement. This is what Wakefield "rescued" that boy from. I could spit nails.

Making the medical establishment that could have helped into Public Enemy #1 is what took that family's choice away. Modern medicine and Big Pharma have not "stolen" your child. Your child is right in front of you. Love your child.

By anothermom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@weirdnoise - that info about the cats is brilliant, thanks for sharing! Also - CALICO ORANDA!!! I had one who was just... breathtakingly beautiful in that special oranda way. She was like a tennis ball with fins! She was hand-tamed, and if we lowered our hands into the tank, palms cupped, she would jump in and wiggle about. She could be fed by hand too, she was like a puppy-fish. Sadly we lost her. She spawned one spring, and had so many eggs (and ate so many of the ones she'd laid!) that her swimbladder got damaged.

A flotation device gave her a few more months, but we had to let her go. I vowed to never have another oranda, as we'd lost two by then. We have a black comet and a calico shubunkin at the minute though, they're hilarious, and will always look weirdly skinny even though we've had comets longer than we had fancies!

@Chris-
Sounds like you've done a grand job with those kids, they're lucky. But isn't if funny how life's odd twists can change us so much?

@Edith - Yummy! I used to make a savoury cake (of Gujarati origin I believe) from fried spices, yoghurt, corn meal, and vegetables. It was so delicious with a homemade curry. Hungry now!

@hdb - That book kills me, every single time.

WRT elburto as Davros-

My GP suggested that a couple of years ago. To be fair, my nails were painted silver and I'd just been to a local DW con where we met Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Sophie Aldred. My doc said I should wear halved ping pong balls under my tights, and wear more eyeliner than usual.

Can you see why we adore him? He's a huge nerd, like us. He was so jealous that Other Mrs elburto got a hug from Nicola, and autographs from all three.

Oh, and my new WAV*? It's called KARDIS - Kripples And Reprobates Driven In Style. Yeah, we're huge geeks. Ahem.

So dear not, lovely Delurked Lurker, any suggested comparison to Davros is hilariously appropriate, so Krebiozen did not offend. And actually, if I had Davros' powers I'd almost certainly be a megalomaniacal fiend, hell-bent on destruction!

I can't do the gravelly voice though, only if I'm experiencing dysphagia while I stuff my face with jelly babies :-D

EX-TERM-IN-ATE.

*wheelchair accessible vehicle

When you look at the media coverage (and the British Daily Mail have a long report), its clear that Wakefield, somebody called Polly Tommey and the antivaxxers were trying to spring this boy from the care psychiatrists believed he needed, and to have him taken off for the 'proper diet' and antivax treatments.

There seems to have been the usual fight over how doctors did not believe he needed invasive GI treatment, but the antivaxxers were sure he did.

So they sprung him, and he was murdered by people who, by then, had been so wound up by Wakefield and his crew, that they couldn't think straight any more.

I should think Wakefield will be running scared now of what comes out at the trial.

Age of Autism's first murder.

By Austinite (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I have to admit that I was not able to read all of the comments to this blog, but I would like to respond. I am the mother of a 17-year old son who is like Alex Spourdakalis in several ways. My son is nonverbal. He often refuses to wear clothes. He can be very self injurious and very aggressive at times. This is heart breaking for a parent. We have learned over the years that my son only engages in these difficult behaviors when he is in pain. We have taken him to many specialists over the years, and here is the list of his documented diagnoses: inflammatory bowel disease (a nonspecific enteritis), chronic constipation (he is suppository dependent; he does not have a bowel movement without lots of intervention), eosinophilic esophagitis and GERD, immune deficiency, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, migraine headaches, cerebral folate deficiency, and severe growth hormone deficiency. My son is not unique; I know many families who have pursued these medical evaluations for their children and received similar diagnoses after appropriate testing. Many of these conditions produce a great deal of pain. When you can't talk or communicate in any other conventional way, how do you communicate your pain? For my son it is through the aggression and self injury. When all of his medical issues are under control there is no self injury or aggression. He is a sweet kid and very affectionate when he feels well. My son has been in the hospital naked restrained to a bed two different times. Both times he was suffering an ileus. An ileus is a complete bowel shut down; the gut just stops moving. The gut distends enormously, and it's very painful. During that period my son gave himself two black eyes, bit himself bloody and pinched himself black and blue. He hit, scratched, pinched and bit me as well. After receiving appropriate medical intervention to treat the ileus, he was fine again. The trouble is that the hospital sees a kid with autism who is very out of control, and they call it a psych problem simply because he has autism. My son needed medical treatment for an ileus, not antipsychotic medications. This is a scenario that autism parents face all the time. Everyone sees our children's behavior and wants to call the psych team and medicate them. We need these children's medical issues to be acknowledged, evaluated and treated appropriately. Autism is very misunderstood. It is medical. There is a great deal of research demonstrating the fact that individuals with autism have immune dysregulation, autoimmune issues, gastrointestinal issues, food and environmental allergies and sensitivities, mitochondrial dysfunction, and many other metabolic issues. When these issues are appropriately evaluated and treated, individuals with autism feel and function better. Mainstream medicine does not yet recognize these medical issues in autism; they see it as a psych diagnosis and see every behavior as a symptom of a psychiatric condition. We need to dig deeper, investigate further. I can in no way justify what Alex's mother and his other caregiver did. It was wrong. Just wrong. I only want to say that I do know what it is like to go night after night, week after week, month after month without sleep watching your child in pain. Going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is happening to you child. In the wee hours when you are trying to keep your child from banging his head or biting his arm all night long, and neither of you have slept in a day or two, you have terrible thoughts. You just want your child's pain to end. There's no shame in that. But you have to let the sun come up and keep trying. This autism journey with my son is the hardest thing I have ever had to face. There is nothing worse that watching your child in pain. Nothing. Alex and his mother did not get the help they needed. All of the doctors he has seen failed him. All of the hospitals he has been in failed him. The state system failed this family. The media failed this family, only really become interested after Alex died. And finally his mother gave up, too. The last CDC study shows that one in 50 kids has an autism spectrum disorder. Is it not time to understand this condition better and treat it appropriately?

anothermom: I visited a number of those large "institutions" more than 30 years ago, when they were the subjects of Federal class action lawsuits. I published articles in regional and national newspapers describing the conditions that I found there, which while improved somewhat, lacked ample trained staff, did not provide active treatment and were isolated on "campuses" so that kids and adults with developmentally disabilities were "out of sight, out of mind". Dachel and her crowd at AoA keep stating that they never saw autistic people 20-30-40 years ago, because they never ventured into these institutions. Nor did they visit residential school programs, funded by the States' educational funds, which were hours away from their parents. (Once children "aged out" of the educational system/educational funding, they too ended up in those large institutions).

Advocates from prior generation advocated for the passage of PL 94-142 in 1975. My generation's advocates pushed to have these large institutions torn down and to have those thousands of inhabitants placed in group homes in residential neighborhoods ("right at home, right in the neighborhood"), where those kids and adults could be part of the larger society and where their parents and loved ones could visit them readily ("normalization").

I've stated repeatedly, that these anti-vaccine, anti-science bloggers and parents have never lifted a finger to keep those entitlements and enhance them, to plan for their childrens' futures with increased educational/vocational/job opportunities for those who are capable of being gainfully employed...and for alternative living arrangements (supportive apartments, group homes and specialized Intermediate Care Residences) for the time when parents can no longer provide care in the family home. There are tens of thousands of children and adults on waiting list for these placements...and the groupies at AoA think that an appropriate placement for their child will "magically appear".

Linda B - "The media failed this family, only really become interested after Alex died. And finally his mother gave up, too."

No, she didn't give up, she murdered her son in cold blood.

By nastylittlehorse (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@ elburto:

I thank you for the lovely compliment- I was unaware of the existence of "fried gold"- altho' I once met a guy who, tiring of fish and chips, decided that nearly anything edible can be coated with glop and deep fried ( candy bars, cakes, sandwiches etc) which made him rather famous on television.

-btw- the pancake stuffed with curried vegetables/ potato is a 'dosa'- not to be confused with 'dosha' ( an Ayurvedic physique category). Dosas are usually made of a lentil or chickpea flour thus are higher in protein and are served with a coconut condiment ( sambar?)

I hope you will tune in for my newly created television series ( see excerpt above) called "Our Ancient Ancestors Were As Awful As We Are"- natural substance abuse, promiscuity and tax evasion are the major themes I'll explore.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Anothermom: I don’t think it’s necessary at this point to speculate about what quack treatments the family was using and blame them and Wakefield, et al, for those. The fact that Wakefield is on that video begging people to rescue the boy from a psychiatric facility that was apparently lined up to take him is enough proof of abuse.

Actually, it is neccessary to speculate about what treatments Alex was subjected too. A lot of these biomed treatments are very abusive and Alex's 'aggression' could have been in response to that. The AOA crowd believes that the 'gut affects the brain' which is errant nonsense, and lends itself to the whole 'bleach enema' scam. Also, the more the 'autism' and 'the person' are seperated, the easier it becomes to excuse horrendous abuses.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Oh, and Greg: FOADIAF. We don't need any more of you ghouls around here.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@lilady -- I'm sure the families I mentioned have benefited from your advocacy. I have the greatest respect for the work that you and others have done on this issue. I don't disagree with anything you've said, except perhaps that these AoA parents think a placement will magically appear. I think they believe that their child will be magically transformed into a child who doesn't need long-term supports. (And, really, non-AoA parents can spend many years assuming the same thing before reality sinks in, but at least we have the benefit of not being fed a constant diet of false promises.)

But while there are certainly failures and shortages in the system, parents should never be made to feel that the system is conspiring against them and that residential placement is "a fate worse than death." I really feel that this mother was manipulated into a role in their little morality play about "fighting the system," and that could not have made it any easier for her to consider the options that were actually available to her, imperfect though they may have been.

By anothermom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Nastylittlehorse, I understand what you are saying, but I do think that murder/suicide is a form of giving up. I hope the other points my post have not been lost. These children are medically ill, and more often than not their medical issues go unaddressed. That has to stop.

Linda B: These children are medically ill, and more often than not their medical issues go unaddressed.

That's because most of their 'medical issues' are made up or parent-inflicted.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I'm not in a position to evaluate your other claims, some of which seem more reasonable than others. But I know that murder is murder, whether it's perpetrated against your autistic son or not.

By nastylittlehorse (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Linda B:

" We have taken him to many specialists over the years, and here is the list of his documented diagnoses: inflammatory bowel disease (a nonspecific enteritis), chronic constipation (he is suppository dependent; he does not have a bowel movement without lots of intervention), eosinophilic esophagitis and GERD, immune deficiency, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, migraine headaches, cerebral folate deficiency, and severe growth hormone deficiency"

What type of doctors diagnosed your son's many disorders, which diagnostic laboratory tests were performed and...which specialty laboratory ran those laboratory tests?

I'm really interested in your replies, because you further state...

"When these issues are appropriately evaluated and treated, individuals with autism feel and function better. Mainstream medicine does not yet recognize these medical issues in autism; they see it as a psych diagnosis and see every behavior as a symptom of a psychiatric condition."

Its sad to read some of the posts here. Does anyone here have an asd child? Or are you just offering your "opinions"? There is a lot about this story that we don't know and frankly is probably none of our business (ie. parents divorce). The fact is Alex needed help, was brought to a hospital and probably didn't get the help he needed. I have a son with asd and I would not stand for my child to be shackled to a bed for 30 days. Would any of you? Quack bio-med? Really? Do any of you understand it or are you grouping a few questionable "treatments" into one category for us "crazy autie parents"? Seems like you all have the answers so please share it with us, just don't let it involve, shackles or psychotic drugs. Dorothy was 100% wrong for what she did to Alex..she will have to live with that for the rest of her life. He didn't deserve that. Perhaps the system failed for all parties. I do know she cared for her son but in the end chose to make a horrible choice and I cannot reconcile in my mind what she did. I never met Alex but, there was something about him that really made me want to reach out to him. This is about Alex. I don't think ASD parents are anti-anything...we are pro-healthy kids. Stop with the vaccine BS...its a matter of choice for many parents...vaccine injuries do exist...many kids have been vaccinated and are fine, then there are those who aren't. Its fact...lets move on. The judging, the "I'm smarter than you", the "hate", the "misunderstanding", the "taking sides" has to go. Autism is real and multi-faceted. Walk a mile in the parents of a severely sick, violent autistic child who kicks the sh-- of you and tell me how it feels. Many of you couldn't. I remember reading that someone posted to snopes that Alex wasn't real...it was all a crazy autie parent stunt. He's real, he's in a coffin and he's gone forever. Stop bickering and judging. Try helping these kids and their families. The comment about the media, so true...they wouldn't cover the Loyola story but, boy oh boy...the kid gets murdered and there's a story! Pathetic pigs. This story is not funny, a child lost his life...the people posting here for shock value...maybe you need to take some of those anti-pyschotic drugs you're recommending. Light a candle for Alex today, he is the victim here and his journey is over...choose to remember him.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Politicalguineaupig: Actually, it is neccessary to speculate about what treatments Alex was subjected too. A lot of these biomed treatments are very abusive and Alex’s ‘aggression’ could have been in response to that.

That's a definite possibility and was my first thought when I saw the headline weeks ago to the effect "Hospital Refuses to Treat Autistic Boy for Stomach Trouble." As i said in a previous post, the only way this boy's troubles were GI-based was in that AW pulled that theory out of his a$$. But I guess my point was, there's enough to convict that crew in my court with the facts already available.

I'll go back to FB now and end my brief career on comment threads. :) I always enjoy Oracs blog.

By anothermom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

nastylittlehorse, murder is murder. I agree. I don't defend what Alex's mother did. I am not trying to justify it. There is no justifying what happened. It was wrong. Just wrong. I do hope to help people understand what led up to this tragic end. I do hope we can prevent this from happening in another family. I do hope that people will start to understand what some autism families are facing. I do want individuals with autism to have all of their needs met, including medical needs.

Politicalguineapig, how do you support this statement?

That’s because most of their ‘medical issues’ are made up or parent-inflicted.

@Denice - As a resident of the North-East of England since birth I am from the land of fried stuff. We're second only to Scotland for our love of chucking food into boiling oil.

Deep fried meat pies, deep fried mars bars, deep fried creme eggs, deep fried pizza, and so on. If it sits still long enough it will be dipped in batter, fried, and covered in gravy*. I'm looked upon as an oddity for my aversion to fried stuff, and to putting gravy on anything but a roast dinner. The only fried thing in my diet is onion bhajis from my favourite Indian restaurant, which are just... amazing.

Hungry again now!

My ancestors were scandalous alright, there's a famous murderer among them. My mother looks uncannily like her, but the resemblance ends there, I think.

Why don't you have that tv contract yet? Lord Draconis should pull some strings.

Yeah, I caught that too lilady.

When they contrast what they've done with what "mainstream medicine" recommends or "recognises" it is tacit admission that what they are practicing is alt-med.

One wonders which flavour of witch doctor Linda consulted for her litany of "diagnoses".
I believe you, and the rest of the rationalists, have a short list of of the usual suspects...

Reviewing your spew on AS, I have to say never has a person spoken so much and said so little.

Your utter lack of self-awareness has already been well noted, Gergles, so there's no need to reinforce it.

@NYAutieMom: Could you point to any remark on this thread that stated that vaccines never have adverse effects on a minuscule number of children?

Why did you make that conclusion that the hospitals where Alex received care neglected his medical needs? Please link to your sources. Thank you.

@ Linda B: When will you reply to the questions I posed to you (comment # 234)?

Linda B - I'm going to say this once more, for you, because you didn't read the comments:

1. There is a difference between psychological and neurological disorders.

However, and this is very important so take this in.

2. Psych disorders and neurological disorders are medical problems.

It's 2013, Descartes is dead. There is no mind/body split. There is just the brain, part of the body, that can give rise to any number of physical/emotional/cognitive/developmental issues if something goes wrong with it.

Andy Wankfield's "autistic enterocolitis" is a fabrication, a fraud perpetrated against the vulnerable.

Are there any cases where cranks like Wakefield have been named as co-defendants in the aftermath? It would be interesting to see the autism biomed loons try to defend their actions in court.

By Guy Chapman (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I remember reading that someone posted to snopes that Alex wasn’t real…

Oh, you do? Kindly go find it.

#235 NYAutieMom

1st - Paragraphs are now legal in all 50 states.

Who says he didn't get the help he needed?
AoA and Wakefield and the murdering mother? I take it then that they voluntarily took on responsibilty for his care?

Yes, "Quack bio-med". Really. You know, the stuff lunatics make up to enrichen themselves at the expense of the victim.
Making them drink or shooting bleach up a disabled childs butt is child abuse, not treatment.
Castrating them with Lupron and then chelating them... hoping they don't die from the bizarre Dr. Frankenstein protocol is child abuse, not treatment.

What will be mentioned are treatments that work and may be necessary, and those may include restraint and psychoactive drugs as needed.
These will, of course, be administered by qualified physicians, etc. and will be in accordance with state and federal guidelines... as opposed to the witch-doctory you seem to advocate.

Ahhh, you are anti-vaccine and anti-science. Who'd a thunk?
No, we will not stop will the "vaccine BS" until you lot come to your senses and stop, or are marginalized to the point that you are laughing stocks.
Yes, vaccine injuries do exist. They are mostly localized soreness and mild fever.
Vaccines do not cause autism. As you say, "Get over it."

The system didn't fail. That is a lie being promoted by you anti-life, anti-vaccine anti-science lunatics.
He was set to go to an institution but was "saved" from this fate-worse-than-death by his mother and AoA and Andy Wakefield, etc.
He was delivered to his mother to meet his fate... which was, in fact - DEATH.

You ghouls continue to deny any responsibility whatsoever. I can only hope the authorities investigate the whole affair including any and all medical advice the mother recieved from all parties including AoA and Wakefield.
Then I hope a sharp investigative reporter latches on to this and writes a book and wins a Pulitzer Prize.

My generation’s advocates pushed to have these large institutions torn down and to have those thousands of inhabitants placed in group homes in residential neighborhoods

Illinois has been a little slower on the uptake.

LindaB: Well, for a start there's this :

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/bleaching-away-what-ails-you/

Then there's the retraction of Wakefield's paper. And this:

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2013/05/24/currently-there-is-insuffic…

Which suggests that celiac disease might be overdiagnosed in autistic people. I'm sure there are some autistic people with celiac disease, just not as many as the AOA crowd thinks.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Also, see the little search bar on this blog? Type MMS into it. Also, Andrew Wakefield; Orac has an extensive file on his misdeeds.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Herr doktor and Lurker,
I will concede one point about the slippery slope. I should have said that when the first killing leaves the killer with a gratified feeling, then the next is easier. Certainly if a murderer feels that his killing makes him a savior of society, he most likely won't want to stop there. The Nazi police battalions that shot thousands of Jews certainly became inured to it, and in fact, those who didn't want to take part were offered an out without penalty that almost none took.
Certainly the reverse does happen. Some cops become unable to do their jobs after even the most "righteous shoot". Some Nazi mass shooters had nightmares of the faces of the people they shot; when they started shooting victims in the back of the neck, they had nightmares of necks. But these seem to me to be in the minority.
I must assume that you agree when I say that societally-sanctioned eugenic homicide is a bad thing that must never be permitted.
But you're right in the end. I now believe that if the government helps earthquake victims that eventually all Americans will be helpless indolent welfare parasites. If we require universal background checks for firearms we can all say goodbye to our kitchen knives and pointed sticks. If people are permitted to marry other people with the same kind of naughty bits then sooner or later humans will be marrying sperm whales and hamsters while the Communists impose Shariah law on them.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@ anothermom: Please don't leave...your auspicious debut commenting on RI is appreciated. Besides, I already notified Lord Draconis about your activities to promote "teh ebil vaccines", so that you can join the rest of us *Big Pharma Shills* to claim your share of the filthy lucre that our beneficent Overlord bestows on us.

You will hearing from Lord Draconis shortly.

It was HDB who made the Davros comment, not me. I'm not sure whether to be envious or relieved.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@NARAD
I have no reason to lie. There was a posting asking if Alex's story was a fraud. Funny how that's all you took away from what I wrote. You can go find it.
@Reality
Are you the parent an ASD kid? I am. Some of the treatments that are considered "quackery" are working for my kid and many others. My opinion is just that mine. I am entitled as are you. Why is everyone here attacking? Because you'd rather give your kid a natural supplement as opposed to ritalin? Everyday you watch the news and a drug is bring recalled or there's a class action lawsuit. I believe in modern medicine and science. There you go labeling and hating. I am not anti-anything. I am anti-ignorance. My son's autism was caused by MMR...not my findings or words...findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study. Until that point I had no idea of vaccine injuries. I don't know everything (unlike you) I just know what happened to my kid. Thanks for thoughts. Paragraphs? That's what grabbed you first? LOLS.
@LILLADY
You asked why I think Alex didn't receive appropriate care. You know the story, you tell me. If you thought he did, tell us why.

Vaccine injury cases can be found, if one is willing to look:

Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System at HHS;
Vaccine Safety Datalink at the CDC;
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, HHS: 2,893 cases, compensated, 14,000+ filed;
NIH’s PubMed website;
National Vaccine Information Center website and Memorial Wall;
Websites such as TruthAboutGardasil.org and SaneVax.org;
I find it interesting that not one of you said anything about today being Alex's wake and perhaps honoring his memory.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Some "quackery" that I like are:

HBOT (yeah...imagine...oxygen...who needs it?)

Natural supplements (ie. ginger, papaya enzymes, spirulina, wheat grass, fiber etc).--Sounds downright dangerous

Chelators:
Natural Chelators

EDTA
EDTA medical research information www.gordonresearch.com
Company to buy from http://www.longevityplus.net/ “Essential Daily Defense”
Known for lead and cadmium removal – also Mercury
EDTA = garlic + malic acid (apple derived) = natural chelator
Garlic
Glutathione
Homeopathy www.HomeopathySNC.org
NDF http://www.healthydetox.org/ndf.html
Selenium
Vitamin C

Prescription-only Chelators
(requires and experienced Doctor's prescription)

Allithiamine (also known as “TTFD”)
DMPS (2,3 dimercapto-propane sulfonate)
DMSA (meso-2,3 dimercaptosuccinic acid)
Lipoic acid (also known as ALA)

Vitamins (imagine that, what quackery!)

Massage therapy

Yoga (yeah special needs kids like it)

Reiki (gasp*hospitals use this regularly with various patients)

Probiotics (wow, what manner of non-science loving is this?)

Waiting for the angry posts :-)

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Liz: Point taken. You're right. To those I offended, my apology. It was not my intent to cause any distress.

lollerskates... VAERS? All VAERS is proof of is that some people are credulous, gullible and empty-headed, begging the cranks to fill it with crap.

I could enter a report on VAERS saying that the flu vaccine had made me gay. Wouldn't make it true.

Also, ever thought that the reason that your child seems well on some of the nonsensical "interventions" is that they're the ones that don't cause him pain? And if you're less wound-up because he's not howling in pain after being force-fed dubious "supplements", then he will be too.

@Reality - welcome, I like you!

@Krebiozen - my apologies, my mindbrain is glitchy. It often lumps you two together 'cos you both have German words in your names!

Yeah, my brain is decidedly loopy.

Autimom - Wow, with the exception of MMS you've got every form of useless, unscientific nonsense up there.

Angry? It would be hilarious if you weren't doing it to a child. All you're doing is hurting your kid and wasting money.

Oh, and yoga and massage aren't 'alternative therapies". One is exercise, the other is something that feels nice.

I feel sad for your child.

@ Reality
"You ghouls continue to deny any responsibility whatsoever. I can only hope the authorities investigate the whole affair including any and all medical advice the mother recieved from all parties including AoA and Wakefield."

* I am a ghoul ( nah, I take of myself)? I care about special needs kids, their families and their well being. In fact its a big part of my life to see these families be happy. Its a tough road. I don't think my post should have made anyone angry.

"The system didn’t fail. That is a lie being promoted by you anti-life, anti-vaccine anti-science lunatics."

* You never answered...are you the parent of a special needs kid? How do you know the system didn't fail on some level? You don't. Medicine is not a one size fits all thing.

Not going to argue with you or anyone else here. Never heard of bleach enemas for special needs...thought that was for porn stars. I posted what "crazy treatments" I like. Peace to you, be well and stop being so angry...it'll age you.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Sophie8
I was referring to the people attacking me.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

NYAutieMom -

All I can say is, "Wow."
You certainly are an eclectic kook. Is there any woo you reject or do you just shovel them all into your big bag of woo?

And... you say you're not anti-science or anit-vaccine.
Care to give us your list of recommended childhood vaccines?
I'm fascinated which ones (if any) a person who believes in so much crackpottery accepts.
Homeopathic 'vaccines" don't count... they have to actually have an active ingredient.
I'll not hold my breath.

elburto - Thanks, and back atcha'.

medicine is not a one size fits all thing>/I>

Science is though. Supplements and quackery are placebos at best, harmful at worst. None of the things you've listed have any basis is science, and you've shoved so many fallacies in there that I could play 'Fallacy Bingo' and win.

As for reiki? It's about as helpful as prayer.

Argh. Phone+eyes = code fail

medicine is not a one size fits all thing

Science is though. Supplements and quackery are placebos at best, harmful at worst. None of the things you've listed have any basis is science, and you've shoved so many fallacies in there that I could play 'Fallacy Bingo' and win.

As for reiki? It's about as helpful as prayer.

NYAutieMom,

My son’s autism was caused by MMR…not my findings or words…findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study.

Do you have a reference for this study?

No one here is denying that vaccines can, very rarely, cause injury. However many of the websites you mention are not reliable sources of information. These in particular include misleading misinformation (to put it politely): National Vaccine Information Center website, TruthAboutGardasil.org and SaneVax.org.

The improvements you have seen in your son may or may not have anything to do with the various alternative treatments you have tried.. Autism isn't a static condition, and autistic children do develop, like other children, variably, with long periods when not much seems to be happening, followed by sudden improvements and sometimes what seem to be setbacks. It is all too easy to attribute an improvement or a bad day to the latest treatment when these may well have happened anyway. That's why we have clinical trials.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

" There you go labeling and hating. I am not anti-anything. I am anti-ignorance. My son’s autism was caused by MMR…not my findings or words…findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study. Until that point I had no idea of vaccine injuries. I don’t know everything (unlike you) I just know what happened to my kid."

Linky linky to that Mayo Clinic "blind study". How about the 349 studies, published in PubMed, that found no link between MMR vaccines and the onset of autism?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?linkname=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=1995…

"@LILLADY
You asked why I think Alex didn’t receive appropriate care. You know the story, you tell me. If you thought he did, tell us why.

Vaccine injury cases can be found, if one is willing to look:

Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System at HHS;
Vaccine Safety Datalink at the CDC;
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, HHS: 2,893 cases, compensated, 14,000+ filed;
NIH’s PubMed website;
National Vaccine Information Center website and Memorial Wall;

Websites such as TruthAboutGardasil.org and SaneVax.org;
I find it interesting that not one of you said anything about today being Alex’s wake and perhaps honoring his memory."

Ha, Ha, NYAutieMom. Every one of those "sources", with the possible exception of the VAERS website (which has been contaminated with bogus reports from credulous parents reporting the deaths of the their children by drowning and gunshot wounds months after receiving a vaccine), and the VSD (Vaccine Safety Datalink), are crank anti-vaccine, anti-science websites. How about providing the VAERS report that you made about your child's "MMR vaccine-induced autism"...(all identifying information has been redacted)?

BTW, I honor Alex and all the autistic children who have been abused....and who have died, by their parents choice of alternative practitioners....and who themselves...neglect and abuse their own kids behind closed doors, by shoving industrial bleach up their child's rectums, subjecting their kids to needless invasive not-scientifically-proven and ineffective bogus treatments, such as what you have done...by posting on RI and a slew of other science blogs, about parental neglect and abuse of their autistic children.

Nyautiemom: findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study..

Nope, nope. The ONLY study that was done was by your boy Wakie at the Royal Free. The Mayo never did a study on vaccines. And, btw, there's a reason Wakie got disbarred. His study was unsupported, unduplicated and unethical. We are not attacking you, we just don't think much of your 'facts' and 'reality' and the fact that you seem to be supporting the caregivers over Alex.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

NYautimom: "Are you the parent an ASD kid? I am"

I am a parent of a child who suffered with a real disease before there was a vaccine for it. It included seizures, a call to 911, a trip by ambulance to the hospital... and finally he was permanently disabled.

Then followed by lots of trips to neurologists, speech therapy, Child Find, special ed with IEPs and more. Need I go on?

A few questions for you to answer:

1. What must you read and understand before using the VAERS database at its official portal, http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index ?

2. Can you please provide the PubMed indexed study from a qualified researcher showing that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule is more dangerous than the disease? For instance, what study shows the DTaP is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis?

3. What is the percentage of NaCl to the solvent (water) in the homeopathic remedy 30C NatMur.

4. How well did EDTA chelation work for Tariq Nadama?

5. How did the HBOT treatment go for Francesco Pio Martinisi and his grandmother?

6. How well did little boy do with actually getting measles? So do remember to answer question #2, because we really need to know the relative risks.

I have no reason to lie. There was a posting asking if Alex’s story was a fraud. Funny how that’s all you took away from what I wrote. You can go find it.

Really? How can I "go find it"? There's nothing at snopes.com, so where do you suggest I look in order to defend your claim for you?

@Linda B You are significantly misinformed by stating that, "Autism is very misunderstood. It is medical. There is a great deal of research demonstrating the fact that individuals with autism have immune dysregulation, autoimmune issues, gastrointestinal issues, food and environmental allergies and sensitivities, mitochondrial dysfunction, and many other metabolic issues. When these issues are appropriately evaluated and treated, individuals with autism feel and function better." Let me see if I can make this clear and easy to understand for you...

1. If your son does in fact have all those medical diagnoses, that is not autism.
2. Autism is neurological differences in how the brain is wired and it is totally genetic, possibly triggered by some prenatal environmental influence that has yet to be pin pointed. But without the genes that can be triggered/influenced, that environmental influence makes no difference.
3. While it is true that some individuals with autism also have co-morbid mental or physical health issues, some that can exacerbate autistic behaviors, they are not one and the same.
4. Not all autistic individuals suffer physical health issues, therefore your blanket statement that a great deal of research shows autistic people have all those things you claim they have is nonsense, because less then half of autistic individuals actually have any co-morbid medical issues, more have mental health issues but that is more due to lack of acceptance on behalf of their loved ones and care providers and society as a whole, it is not because autism means automatically physical and mental health issues.

Don't combine autism with food allergies, they are not the same. Don't combine autism with autoimmune issues, or immune system dysfunction, or even seizures and bowel issues. They are not the same. Sure if a child has co-morbid health issues, by all means, treat them, but don't confuse them with autism, because autism is its own thing.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Thanks elburto,
Hope that makes you feel better. Belittling someone from behind a computer screen. Stop the presses...we have found the person who knows it all!

Don't worry about my kid...he is doing great! Don't feel sad for him either...he just got named student of the month.

He eats organic, gets exercise, has a happy home and parents who love and care for him. Do you or have you ever (some emotional issues detected)? Don't worry about my pockets, I can spend my money on what I want.

Peace out...and don't forget to light a candle for Alex! Bye!

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Chris
Hi...I paid for a blind test myself. I wanted to know what happened to my son without any guessing. It is available and if you pay...it will be done. I will say at the time this was done, autism and vaccines never crossed my mind. Why is everyone here consumed with who's lying? Why lie....I don't get it.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Uh, huh. How was it conducted? What was "blinded"? So where is the PubMed indexed case report? And did you use that study to get compensation from NVICP?

Now go up and answer my questions. You are not being accused of lying, just that you are making claims without evidence.

It appears I am now your target for speaking my mind. Its America people and I respect your thoughts...you should respect mine. No one has all the answers (except maybe all the people attacking me). Thank you for your entertaining posts. I will keep them in mind. There are a few worth reading like Lara Lohne's. Be well all of you.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Liar, liar, autiemom's pants are on fire.

Vaccines do not cause autism.

Also, I'm not behind a computer screen, can't use one. I don't know it all, whatever "it" is, but I know you're a woo-addled altie who wouldn't know scientific evidence if it bit her on the arse.

Go away. You're boring, and you're not saying anything that all the other Muppets haven't already said.

@Regulars - anyone got that graph showing the alleged rise in autism laid over the rise in organic food sales? I promise my undying love :-D

I find it interesting that not one of you said anything about today being Alex’s wake and perhaps honoring his memory.

Ah. How do you find it "interesting"? Did you attend? Did you mention it in the first place? Has it been announced anywhere other than by the vampires who facilitated the events? Was the family or the body (which some other psychotic commenter here has claimed should have had its intestines removed to vindicate Wakefraud or something) there? Is there any chance that Lisa Goes, "Executive Board Member of the Illinois Canary Party," rented the space at Rago Bros.?

Chris,
Sorry about your kid. You seem to have it all figured out. I have found things that are non-invasive and work for my child. Respect that and back off. Thanks for your thoughts. Best of luck.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

it's America people

What is? RI? Nah, this is the internet.

BTW I am not a Wakefield advocate...yet several people attacking me keep mentioning his name to me.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

260 NYAutieMom:

No I am not the parent of a special needs kid.

I didn't know that being the parent of a special needs kid bestowed any intellect or education upon the parent.
I wonder, though, about mothers of special needs kids who have IQs of 80 and are themselves considered disabled.
When she birthed her special needs child did her IQ jump to 140? Did she start reading and understanding medical journals?
Did she master biochemistry, statistics, microbiology, organic chemistry, etc. within days of giving birth?

As for Alex being failed by the system...
What was offered was infinitely preferable to what he received under the auspices of AoA and Wakefield, n'est–ce pas?
I also can't help but note that this is another time Wakefield has been involved with a medical disaster.
His last escapade was his meeting with the Somali(?) parents who then avoided vaccination and guess what happened?
Andy strikes again.

It appears I am now your target for speaking my mind. Its America people and I respect your thoughts…you should respect mine. No one has all the answers (except maybe all the people attacking me). Thank you for your entertaining posts. I will keep them in mind. There are a few worth reading like Lara Lohne’s. Be well all of you.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism for your speech. You seem to be laboring under the delusion that it does. Moreover, not all thoughts are worthy of respect. Respect is earned. Around here, it's earned by backing your claims up, something you have thus far failed to do. Particularly lame is the "go look it up yourself" gambit. That won't fly around here. You make a claim, you provide the evidence to back it up. It is not up to other readers to prove your claims for you.

NARAD
Pretty disgusting...you gonna go there?
Lisa Goes renting the space for Alex's wake.
Too much. Quit being a troll. I live in NY ...wake in Chicago..so uh...no I didn't attend.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

elburto, thank you for your clarification — "There is no mind/body split. There is just the brain, part of the body, that can give rise to any number of physical/emotional/cognitive/developmental issues if something goes wrong with it." I actually think we agree. I would add that by the same token, other systems in the body can give rise to any number of physical/emotional/cognitive/developmental issues in the brain if something goes wrong in the body. It's a two-way street.

I'm not sure why you brought up Wakefield. I never mentioned him or autistic enterocolitis. My son has a non-specific enteritis, inflammation of the small bowel that is similar to Crohn's disease. Wakefield did not diagnose his condition, so I don't see how he is part of this discussion.

Lisa Goes renting the space for Alex’s wake.

Given that I think Goes facilitated the downward spiral of the Spourdalakis family that lead to Alex's murder, I have a hard time not finding this revelation disgusting.

@ Elburto: Congratulations on your new mode of transportation! Unfortunately, I was offline when you posted about your wheelchair-equipped vehicle. When I returned to RI, I had bigger fish to fry.

Is your new vehicle a Bentley, as befits your station in life (Queen of the UK science posters?).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKZ_kyliJ-k

Your majesty, is your vehicle flying the "****Queen of U.K. science posters flag/standard?

Have any of your ancestors bequeathed a non-ostentacious tiara to you to wear while the other Mrs. Elburto chauffeurs you about?

****Suggestions for Queen Elburto I's "standard" (TM) are now being solicited.

I have a hard time not finding this revelation disgusting.

It is not a revelation, but I have reason to wonder.

@Autiemom, HBOT? Really? And you making the sardonic comment after that oxygen is ignorant. Did you know that too much oxygen has been shown to cloud the corneas in neonates and cause blindness? Not to mention that oxygen is extremely flamable and scientific studies have found HBOT treatment has absolutely no affect what so ever on autism or anything else. If I recall correctly (I might not so correct me if I am wrong) HBOT is supposed to be used for those with decompression sickness, deep sea divers, etc, who decompress too quickly (or is it the other way around?) and end up with bubbles in their blood stream. It is meant to be a life saving measure for those in this situation. How can it have any affect on how the brain is constructed and wired? There is just no logical sense behind it being a treatment for a different neurology. What your child really needs is acceptance and to be allowed to be him/herself. Stop trying to cure/recover your child. Your child is the person they were meant to be, deal with it, accept them, love them and get to know the remarkable, incredible, uniquely different person that they are. There is no NT version of your child anywhere, stop looking for it.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Reality
Exactly as I thought....you don't have a special needs child so you can stop your aiming your hate at me. Talk what you know firsthand...not what you think.

Orac...thanks for a bile filled afternoon... :-)
I don't feel like I should back anything up for you. I stated what I liked, I stated thoughts on Alex, I guess my thoughts are not in line with your post. Sorry. Lame...lame is attacking the one person on here posting something different. Never once did I mention Wakefield, bleach enemas (???), etc. As with any disorder..there are always questionable approaches...doesn't mean you try them (tell me do you try every weight loss approach on tv). The ones that are mentioned here, I have never tried...nor will I. It comes down to common sense. "Around here you need to earn respect"...yeah I'll keep that in mind. Yes, you have plenty of respectable people here. I'll escort myself out but, thanks for an entertaining few hours.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Politicalguineapig, I'm not sure how your last post to me answers my question.

I have never used MMS on my child. I don't know how that became part of the discussion. The Wakefield paper was a case series of 8 children with autism who all had inflammation in the bowel. The parents reported anecdotally that each of their children regressed into autism and developed these GI issues shortly after the MMR vaccination. Dr. Wakefield simply stated in that case series that maybe a connection between the MMR vaccination and autism should be investigated.

That being said, my son has documented bowel disease. He has two gastroenterologists following his case. Do you think I am imagining his bowel issues or somehow gave him inflammatory bowel disease?

Again, how can you say the following? — "That’s because most of their ‘medical issues’ are made up or parent-inflicted."

I am living with a son with profound autism, and I know literally hundreds of families of children with autism. The medical issues are real. Parents are trying to restore their children's health.

I don’t feel like I should back anything up for you.

And that is exactly why your opinions neither garner nor deserve the respect you seem to crave. You know what they say about opinions...

For a person's opinion to rise above that level, it has to be backed up with evidence.

I found the speculation that Alex had been subjected to bleach enemas (MMS treatment) to be a significant possibility, so I went looking. I found some things I found puzzling.

1. Evidently there were significant changes to Alex's behavior and health beginning in October, 2012, from unknown causes. His murderer referred to it as "regression".
2. There was no mention that I could find of Alex's school placement, or provisions for educational services for the 2012-2013 school year.
3. There was no mention that I could find of Alex's academic service provision while he was in the hospital (I am not sure of dates of his hospital stay(s). Why wasn't he on "hospital and homebound" services (I don't know what they are called in Illinois).

I also found a blog of a woman who is subjecting her son to the bleach treatment. It is horrifying. The mother is seeing "worms" in her child's stool, which clearly is to me chunks of her child's intestinal lining.

Oh, and since the "do YOU have an autistic kid" card is being played....

I have an autistic brother. I was a primary caregiver, with him up to 10+ hours a day, from the time he was 2 until, well, now (but he's in school now, he's starting 3rd grade in the fall!). He's gone from a diagnosis of classic autism by a developmental pediatrician at a major medical center, with failure to thrive, to a diagnosis of Asperger's (which is here or there- it's arguable that he doesn't meet the criteria, actually if I didn't think he needed the safety net the diagnosis provides I'd say scrap it), attending a gifted magnet school, and no longer qualifying for an autism IEP.

The only interventions he received were educational and behavioral, and they were sparse and mostly me watching videos and reading about behavioral interventions. When I start working with him at 2 the only 'words' he really used were "I do!", he spent hours a day lining up and stacking everything and screaming when everything went out of line or fell, made absolutely no eye contact, needed 1:1 attention everywhere lest he wander off (he has a brother who is 18 months younger, that was fun), and lived on pediasure. And that's just part of it... it was a running joke that he'd read the DSM criteria for autism, because he met everything perfectly. Those first years were very hard work, and that kid worked his behind off. He is a classic case of a 'recovered' child, but this kid received absolutely no 'biomed' or 'alternative medicine'.

And the fact he's done well is just, well, dumb luck. He happens to perfectly meet the profile of a kid who does well- high IQ, showed signs early (he avoided eye contact as an infant), and received early intervention services.

Your search - "Alex Spourdalakis" site:snopes.com - did not match any documents.

Your search - "Alex Spourdalakis" site:message.snopes.com - did not match any documents.

Suggestion for Elburto's standard: sloth, rampant.

By sheepmilker (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Going back to the quote Narad posted at #94 from Pam Dyles:

“I hoped the family asked for an autopsy. With all of his gastro issues that spawned him into the hospital, it would have confirmed that he did not receive the care or medical treatment that he deserved.”

I've been thinking that if they perform an autopsy and find that there was, indeed, inflammation of the bowel, there's still the possibility that some alt-med treatment his mother gave him caused the inflammation. Hell, just his diet alone could cause some issues. It's known he suffered from constipation. If his diet was not particularly varied, that could play a role. A number of autistic kids I've known have been exceedingly picky eaters, to the point that the diets they'd actually eat caused constipation and other GI issues.

#289 NYAutieMom

I didn't know that the mundane act of reproduction trumped 20 years of schooling.

Had I known that I would have wed at 17 and promptly produced progeny.
I would then have immediately applied for my Ph.D. since I had overcome the major hurdles through the mere act of having children.

I must remember this and listen more closely when some room temperature IQ parent is blathering on and on about the latest celebrity.

(Good lord, does it get any more stupid than this?)

If his diet was not particularly varied, that could play a role.

"Alex’s mom explained he has many allergies. She was told by Gottlieb physicians the standard [sic?] tests revealing IgE and IgG food allergies were 'not reliable and inconclusive.' During his stay in the ER, he ingested milk. When his body reacted, his mother was told it was the bed that caused 'contact dermatitis'."

NYAutieMom:

Sorry about your kid. You seem to have it all figured out. I have found things that are non-invasive and work for my child. Respect that and back off.

Excuse me? I was not the one blasting in here with a wall of text that started with "Does anyone here have an asd child? Or are you just offering your “opinions”?". Plus most of those evidence free modalities you mentioned are not "non-invasive."

If I had it all "figured out" I would not be asking you questions.

You have made many claims, but have failed to back them up. The questions I asked were directly aimed at many of your claims. I would really like you to come up with some actual evidence that the MMR vaccine causes more harm than measles, mumps and rubella in the form of a well documented PubMed study from a qualified researcher.

Since you claimed you have actual proof from the Mayo Clinic the MMR harmed your son, you need to produce some evidence of that. It could be the PubMed indexed case report, or your docket from here. Or just a credible description of that "blind study."

Mike @256. Thank you for your apology.

My son’s autism was caused by MMR…not my findings or words…findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study.
I paid for a blind test myself.

I can't imagine why NYAutieMom would fabricate this story. Nevertheless, there is no "blind test" for the Mayo Clinic to offer, while the Clinic is adamant that MMR is not a cause of autism. So fabrication it is.

EDTA = garlic + malic acid (apple derived) = natural chelator

That is hilarious.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Suggestion for Elburto’s standard: sloth, rampant.

Did someone say rampants?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I've always found it interesting when people use the "walk a mile in my shoes" fallacy. As if we didn't know that having an autistic child can be a burden in some instances. As if we didn't know that children with special needs require special care, one that can be costly and time-consuming and a burden on the parents. As if we somehow don't know any of that because we haven't lived it.

It's like someone telling me to go shoot myself in the leg to understand the burdens of being shot in the leg. I don't need to be in that position to understand and to see things for what they are. What's worse, using that claim as way to win an argument or force your opinion takes away from your argument and makes your opinion just one more of many.

Instead of showing up to an online discussion forum and blasting the participants with a wide assertion that they don't know what they're talking about, why not show up and state that you are in a better position for understanding and then stating your position with facts? After all, those of us in public health who research infectious diseases, vaccines, and any other thing as such don't immediately dismiss your claims because you're not one of us.

The only 'blind test' that is clinical that I can think of would be a food challenge. For food challenges you give the kid a suspected allergen concealed in another food (usually scrambled eggs) and you'll often blind the test, not let the child/parent know if they are receiving the allergen or not. It's the gold standard for determining food allergies. It's also very dangerous with serious allergies, and incredibly expensive, so it's rarely implemented.

HDB: Ram pants! You made my day!

Liz: thanks!

By sheepmilker (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

I don’t feel like I should back anything up for you.

Anyone claiming that the Mayo Clinic proved that their child's autism was caused by MMR had better to be able to back it up. This is the stuff that measles outbreaks are made of.

BTW despite 25 years working in clinical pathology, I never heard of a "blind test". The closest I ever got was when I was doing a fecal porphyrin, which involved shaking up feces with diethyl ether and some of it squirted into my eye (always wear safety glasses folks, it's much cooler than having your colleagues laugh at you because you have your head backwards in a sink running water into your eye).

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Ren: "I’ve always found it interesting when people use the “walk a mile in my shoes” fallacy."

Yeah, I find it very amusing. Especially when I mention that my kid had seizures from an actual disease. They don't like that. Especially since it is my reason for wanting to know the verified relative risks, and not to be pointed to self selected raw data like VAERS.

I noticed I was specifically told to "back off", and yet I was trying to be nice. I never called her a liar, instead I asked questions specific to her claims. Though I am not sure she realizes how those "non-invasive" treatments (EDTA, HBOT) affected those little boys.

Last year we were at the Mayo Clinic for son's heart surgery. There were no "blind study", but they did ask for all his medical records from both hospitals groups he saw here (and it manage to get him our of another cardiac MRI). They would have loved it if we paid for a full genetic test so they could get another data point for the genes that caused his abnormal heart anatomy (he had none of the eighteen known sequences).

And they were very happy that he was up do date with his vaccines, and I am very happy that they have mandatory vaccination for their staff.

I will note that is a not an overall destination medical care facility. Most of the people come from their upper midwest region. But they are one of the two places that does the surgery my son needed (the other being the Cleveland Clinic). So we raised a few eyebrows from others on the cardiac recovery ward on how far we had come.

Fascinating! So, his mother was feeding him "IgE and IgG food allergies", which means that she was feeding him antibodies.
IgE and IgG are immuneglobulin E and G, respectively. They're antibodies, not food.
Or are you proclaiming that he was producing IgE and IgG in response to a food allergy? That is stretching things, as a contact or respiratory allergy or an infection can raise IgE, but not IgG, which is a response to infection, but won't increase due to an allergic response.
That is at the 101 level of immune response knowledge.

I noticed I was specifically told to “back off”

If people have not walked a mile in NYAutieMom's shoes,* their opinions on the Spourdalakis case are therefore meaningless.
If people have walked a mile in NYAutieMom's shoes, again their opinions are meaningless.

Her own opinions are that much more evidence-based, being formed from the images on a screen provided by Lisa Goes as part of her self-serving, contradictory fantasies:
I never met Alex but, there was something about him that really made me want to reach out to him.

* Her actual suggestion was to "Walk a mile in the parents of a severely sick, violent autistic child", but that is difficult and probably illegal.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Why, when they say they are leaving, do they continue to yammer on?

Narad @ 159

You are my hero!! (Sorry it took me so long to say it)

Suggestion for Elburto’s standard: sloth, rampant.

sheepmilker, you beat me to it! I was going to suggest a sloth flying over a Dalek exoskeleton, and the motto "Illegitimi non carborundum"

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

@herr docktor, garlic + malic acid (apple derived) = an intriguing flavor combination. Sounds like an interesting culinary experiment for me in the future. :)

As you said, for one to try to make EDTA with that recipe, that is a hilarious thought. That individual obviously failed even high school chemistry. Or realize that they can trivially get homeopathetic quantities of it in a citrus flavored soda pop. ;)

Still, the OP's "recipe" for EDTA would most certainly make for two ingredients of a decent marinade. Maybe a hint of tomato and honey...

Edith: that's much better than mine.

By sheepmilker (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

Nyautiemom: You are allowed to say anything you like. Other posters are allowed to say anything they like. You are not entitled to your own reality.
Reality: Speaking of, stop insulting Ny's IQ. That's low, especially when there are other criticisms that can be made of her posts.
Linda; Yes, I am implying that some parents attach 'medical issues' to their kids that are not backed up. The denizens of TMR in particular specialize in armchair diagnoses. One poster cited a child with dark circles under her eyes as suffering from a wheat allergy, without indicating that she knew the child at all. (I had dark circles under my eyes as a grade-schooler, but I was staying up late reading Aristophanes.)
GFCF is very popular among parents of autistic children, regardless of any allergy diagnosis. In your case, this seems to be backed up. In most cases, the parents simply seize on GFCF as a way to attempt to control the child.
The reason I brought up Wakefield is that he was a gastrointerologist, and thus he diagnosed 'gut issues' in order to make more money and cast doubt on the MMR. MMS is bleach, commonly used by parents to attempt to 'calm' gut issues. It causes more issues and doesn't help at all.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 15 Jun 2013 #permalink

NYAutieMom (#289),

You wrote "Never once did I mention Wakefield, bleach enemas (???), etc."

Bear in mind that the list of things you volunteered that you liked includes things equally as (medically/scientifically) wayward.

So not only should everyone envy you for being so smart, educated, and successful, but you also look so much better than AW? Can you send pics?

Ah, Gergle, I nearly forgot, but the time for worrying about spoilers is past. Please take a hearty gulp of your self-bestowed meme.

#235

Stop bickering and judging. ... Pathetic pigs.

Yep. No inconsistency there, at all, no sirree! Nope, nope, nope...

#305

"It’s like someone telling me to go shoot myself in the leg to understand the burdens of being shot in the leg."

Does that seem right to you?

“It’s like someone telling me to go shoot myself in the leg to understand the burdens of being shot in the leg.”

Does that seem right to you?

Dunno. It's hard to tell what you're asking us to give an opinion on - the statement itself, or the context. Care to expand and a little, maybe give us your opinion?

Actually, I was just snarking on Firefly, a TV show in which someone made almost exactly that statement--about how doctors should know how it feels to be shot--right before shooting the doctor in the leg.

Im a mother that fights for my son and will never give up on him! He is an adult with autism that was attacked and assaulted in an state of ohio facility! He was mislabeled "moderately retarded" so they could commit here there. HE HAS BEEN THRU HELL from a system that doesn't understand autism, doesn't know how to work with autistic individuals and blames him and even me for his disability! Because of my advocacy for my son, the corrupt system court appointed an "go along get along" attorney as an interim guardian for placement and medical decisions. The court says "im uncooperative with health care professionals" They know their court-appointed attorney wont challenge them like I will for the survival and rights of my son! I haven't had much support from the autism community. I hope this never happens to another autistic individual and their family. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGJFHh9NcV4

By Myra Tanksley (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

" So not only should everyone envy you for being so smart, educated, and successful, but you also look so much better than AW? Can you send pics?"

"Ah, Gergle, I nearly forgot, but the time for worrying about spoilers is past. Please take a hearty gulp of your self-bestowed meme."

Thanks for the movie clip, Narad, but when I said 'pics' I was actually considering real pics of the 'full packaged' Denice Walter. I can just imagine her smiling alluringly in the camera looking like a 50ish Farah Fawcett therapist/counsellor. She is sitting in her office in a snug, knee length tweed skirt with a short matching jacket and underneath her blouse she is showing the slightest hint of a cleavage. Hee, hee, hee! Hey Denice, I am just joshing you in case you starting to wonder whether you have an internet stalker. Don't worry, I am already married. Actually you were the one that first brought up the looks stuff with your talk about your Northern European features somewhere else, and now mentioning how you are so much 'hotter' than Wakefield.

Narad, thanks anyway for The Warriors clip. It sure brought back memories. See, we do have something in common. If it wasn't for your VCADOD (vaccines causing autism denialism obsessive disorder) maybe we could be friends and I would invite you over and we could watch it together.

Does anybody know how much Andrew Wakefield and Polly Tommey have made from selling photographs and video of Alex?

By Austinite (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Whenever parents like Linda and NYautieMom come on here I always feel pity for their naivety in thinking that you guys will be forthcoming. Again, I will forever liken you guys to the debater that is arguing that water flows upwards not downwards. The person incredibly comes up with good arguments but you know and he knows that he is full of cr@p. You are left in the precarious position of laughing hysterically at the person, or screaming at him to stop the nonsense. Yeah, yeah, Lawrence, I am just as bad as the Catholic Church that is out to condemn based on suspicion. Prove me to be a moronic, lunatic instead by giving me the study that shows that unvaxed populations have a 1 in 50 autism rate. Hey Lawrence, notice also how I did not mention a vaxed/unvaxed study in case you start with your 'commendable' excuse about ethics.

Greg:

Whenever parents like Linda and NYautieMom come on here I always feel pity for their naivety in thinking that you guys will be forthcoming

I am still ignoring Greg, but I find it interesting that we are being accused of not being "forthcoming." Especially since NYAutieMom made lots of claims, but she has been less than forthcoming with any verifiable evidence of those claims. Especially this thing called a "blind study."

Oh, and guys, instead of giving Greg ammo like calling him "Gergle", just ignore the troll.

I think Edith definitely wins the flag design contest. I may add a panel featuring atheist sea otters eating food off their tummies*.

As a reward for you all, especially sheepmilker who started off an epic fit of the giggles, and hdb for reminding us all of. the true facts about sloths, I give you...

Sheep! In? Pyjamas!

/fromonthehill.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/l_426_319_0ab23132-4dde-4af4-8cbc-263bc51022a5.jpeg

Thanks for the movie clip, Narad, but when I said ‘pics’ I was actually considering real pics of the ‘full packaged’ Denice Walter.

As though there were any more evidence required of your status as an epsilon-minus submoron.

Austinite gets the point.

Greg, for all you know, I'm a guy.

Whilst you don't get the science at RI, you also don't realise that a large portion of what we write involves tongue-in-cheek, snark and in-jokes- most of which bely ulterior motives**: such as riffing on alt med's tendency to focus on appearance with promises of eternal youth and attractiveness. Andy's original audience would have been much smaller if he had been overweight or had lost his hair at age 30. Similarly, Dr Oz. Those who aren't naturally good-looking posture themselves as though they were.

What a person looks like, or his / her race, creed,origins, sexual orientation, even education, is unimportant if he or she has the data or can explain why things can or can't work in reality.

And Greg, the concept of you and Narad hanging out together is pretty funny.

** and display our many diverse creative gifts. All of which, of course, laid at the feet of the omnipresent lurkers who are entirely worthy of our continuous efforts.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Silly me, the *was to explain this:

24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4xjkjBlu11qc67tzo2_500.gif

Battle-hungry atheist sea otters from the future. Yes, I know it's from South Park, but I adore the concept of another animal much like myself (fat-cheeked, megalomaniacal, water-loving mammals who are professional sleepers) founding a race of scientific warriors. With hover chairs.

@ elburto:

Atheist sea otters! G-d, I saw those little wankers wantonly display themselves while the onlookers just "Oooo" and "Ahhh" about how wonderful they are for hours on end. Show offs.
They're just water weasels.

-btw- no one has mentioned it but don't sloths have algae growing in their fur?
That's disgusting. If you get one, you'll probably have to buy it special algicide shampooing.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Why does Greg accept studies from the CDC that support his position, but then rejects studies from the very same CDC that don't?

Denice and elburto, NO NO NO the sloths' algae make their fur really, really pretty.

And Denise, what's your prejudice against weasels, sea-going or not?

@Denice,

Yeah, don't know if I agree with your notion that a fat, bald guy wouldn't have garnered as much interest as Wakefield. Actually, where medical figures and scientists are concerned I do think they are more respected the more 'homely' they look.

Having grown up on "Ring of Bright Water'," I get all gushy about otters. The spousal unit was attacked by one and he's not nearly as fond.

Couldn't elburto have sloths andsea otters? Is there a heraldry expert in the house!

Actually, scientists like Brian Cox & Neil DeGrasse Tyson, among others, are extremely well respected and don't look "creepy or homely" at all.

In fact, it is the demeanor of certain individuals, especially in the anti-vax camp, that make them "creepy."

@ Liz Ditz:

Oh I guess all mammals are our kith and kin and we should accept them as they are. Even if they are disproportionately long.

Interestingly, my guys befriend the wild creatures**- one feeds a fox in a nearby park fancy cat food and the other is still crying over the death of his semi-feral, long haired cat; the latter also jokes about his 'friend' - at the bay, there is a small park which has a portable toilet- after leaving it, he remarked that he had 'company' - a moderate sized rat looking at him rather sadly;, now each time he is at that park, he looks for it and wonders if it is alright because it was cold. Isn't that lovely?

** no, no not "woodland critters", South Park aficionados.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Denice Walter: "just water weasels"

*Just* water weasels? *Just* weasels?

And to think I admired you.

"Just weasels."

Hmph.

Weasels are amazingly tough little critters making their way in a terribly cruel world. I adore weasels.

And to think I was going to ask you to sponsor me to his Reptilian Lordship.

@ LW:

Oh, I'm joking... they have nice fur. I LIKE weasels.

In other news:
AoA's artist-in-residence, Natalie Palumbo, has produced a video in memory of Alex. No comment from me, altho' I have worked as a propagandist myself.
See what you think. I have to go.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

From It Takes A Village to Kill A Child. Emphasis added

Andrew Wakefield didn’t kill Alex. Jenny McCarthy didn’t kill Alex. Age of Autism, DAN, and all of the other sketchy entities in the autism universe did not kill him. When you’re dealing with unstable people, though, suggestions matter. Alex’s mother was made to believe that if she could not afford to “cure” her son, she needed to put him out of his misery. That his life was worth nothing. That there would be no happy ending for him.
At the end of the day it was her choice to believe the shysters. Her choice to take away Alex’s future. Her choice to end his life.

She was just unstable enough to do it.

Because he was inconvenient. Because he was expensive. Because she didn’t want to live in his reality anymore.

Nobody will ever know what could have been for Alex.
I hope this story serves as both a lesson and a warning.

To parents who think they have no choices left, reach out for help. There is always an answer, even if it means surrendering your child to keep him/her alive.

To those who would profit from autism, you disgust me. You prey on the vulnerable, and your demise can not come soon enough.

My sentiments exactly. I don't mean literal demise. I mean, those ideas ceasing to be.

re: algae growing on sloths

If I recall correctly, the algae helps to serve as camouflage so that hawks and other predatory birds don't swoop on and pluck the sloths off the trees like ripe fruit. Their fur does, however, also attract a number of insectoid cohabitors.

As an alternative to the AoA propaganda, I give you this Handel piece played by Paula C. Durbin-Westby, autistic and parent of autistics.

Paula wrote,

I am playing the music at about half the speed I typically choose. My interpretation is intended to be excruciatingly ponderous, to convey: weighed down by grief.

It is NEVER OK to murder someone, no matter how "big," "aggressive," "medical condition," and other garbage that the media and TOO MANY PEOPLE use as excuses.

Thank you, Paula.

instead of giving Greg ammo like calling him “Gergle”

Ammo? He doesn't have a weapon in the first place. Recall that when he brilliantly decided to cast himself as the character Luther, it was also accompanied by a sustained taunt of "Kerbiozen."

@Denice Walter: "they have nice fur. I LIKE weasels."

It's nice when it's attached to them.

Seriously, weasels really are amazing little critters. Stoats too. And otters. All mustelids, actually.

Prove me to be a moronic, lunatic instead by giving me the study that shows that unvaxed populations have a 1 in 50 autism rate.

Like the 2007 Generation Rescue survey, that found 37 children with ASDs out of 991 unvaccinated children, which makes 3.73% or 1 in 27?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

“I hoped the family asked for an autopsy. With all of his gastro issues that spawned him into the hospital, it would have confirmed that he did not receive the care or medical treatment that he deserved.”

An autopsy may not answer this question. The mucosa degenerates soon after death, so that subtle abnormalities may not be detectable. Certainly, a chronic active enterocolitis or full-blown coeliac disease would produce enough anatomic abnormalities to show up, but the so-called "non-specific enterocolitis" that Wakefield conjured up would not be discernable and therefore could not be ruled out.

And, oh yes - "spawned"?

Narad, the point is to ignore the troll. They tend to starve when they are ignored.

@Chris - agreed.

Narad, the point is to ignore the troll.

I know, Chris, and I actually have been doing more of this than you might realize. But this particular item is one that I wanted to tie up with a nice bow for Dreg after he thought it clever to introduce.

We all know from studies and from personal experience that you shouldn't reward people who behave badly because they're more likely than not to continue on in their errant ways,
BUT
they may also falsely take it as a sign that you have no response to their pseudo-science... so what's a sceptic to do?

MY choice is to ALWAYS ( even if I don't say it) really address the glorious, magnificent lurkers who hear and see all- they are the constant cause of my joy and why I work hard to present information, entertainment and encouragement in my own minor but truly sincere way.

Lurkers are da bomb.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Sheep! In? Pyjamas!
Woolly jumpers, asonemightsay.

If it sits still long enough it will be dipped in batter, fried, and covered in gravy*
I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance of a chippie that offers deep-fried black pudding, combining two of my important food groups. I have yet to persuade them to add deep-fried pickled onions to their menu, however.

Bonus Sloth.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

``Like the 2007 Generation Rescue survey, that found 37 children with ASDs out of 991 unvaccinated children, which makes 3.73% or 1 in 27?

C'mon Krebiozen, why mention an ad hoc phone survey? What about things needing to be peer reviewed for you guys? Nice though that you are (menacing voice) 'coming out to play'. Hey, do you want to join Narad and come to my house and watch The Warriors? We can also have a few beers, eat chips, and discuss whether Lawrence went with Sears' or Gordons' delayed vaccination schedule for his kids. Yeah Lawrence, better spread them out and be safe, don't you think? Hee, hee, hee! Chris, you could come too. I will also have that pubmed study that you have been asking for of whether side-effects from vaccines are worse than the actual diseases. I keep it in a special vault up in my attic.?

Hey Guys,

Re your claims of documented evidence of kids showing signs of autism even before vaccines even when parents claim vaccines cause the autism, does this really constitute proof that vaccines did not cause the autism? If, for instance, the kid had been getting vaccines all along and it was affecting him/her in subtle ways, is it not possible that an additional round of vaccines may push the kid over the edge and where the autism becomes quite obvious? Blaylock's theory of vaccines causing autism in a cumulative way seems to support this notion. Denice, I also don't buy your argument that brain scans will always show damage to the brain. I have a client with a developmental disability who was brain injured at birth, but the parents report that his MRI scans show a normal brain.

Greg, no one is talking about 'damage' in ASD except you.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

C’mon Krebiozen, why mention an ad hoc phone survey?

The 37 unvaccinated children with ASDs that you have claimed don't exist, the fact it was done by an antivaccine organization which eliminates claims of cover-ups by Big Pharma, and because you didn't specify what kind of study showing that ASDs occur at the same rate in vaccinated and unvaccinated children you wanted to be given. How do you think a phone survey like this might overestimate the number of unvaccinated children with ASDs? If a study showing a rate of 1 in 50 would prove you are "a moronic, lunatic" (your words), what does 1 in 27 prove?

Assuming you have no cogent answer to this, I'll go back to ignoring you. It's boring trying to debate with someone who won't actually address the evidence.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Purely for the lurkers' benefit:

ASDs display development that is different from NT development in some ways ( Alain can step in here if he likes and elaborate) which are discernable- genes, brain waves, parts of the brain, pathways, cell growth differences, facial differences etc.

If what Greg says is true ( i.e. normal kids- MMR- Boom!- damage a/k/a ASD), we should be able to track those changes and show why these kids' development went from average to not-average post MMR.

That isn't what happens -btw-.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

I have a client with a developmental disability who was brain injured at birth, but the parents report that his MRI scans show a normal brain.

I'd likely address that point, a DTI scan is what's needed to assess damage to the brain. Furthermore, the brain purge out dead cells and replace them with new stem cells (this is what define the plasticity of the brain) but if the cells pathway is altered, it will show up on the DTI scan.

If I were investigating the brain of a developmentally disabled children, I'd start first by doing a meta-analysis of normal brain development and compare the scan of the DD children to the meta-analysis scan using a non-linear procedure (like SVM) to determine where the fiber tracks differ.

Alain

Alain can step in here if he likes and elaborate

Basically, our development is non-linear because we use different cognitive strategy to learn and the strategy differ enough to show a pathology as compared to normal development (I don't think a different way of learning is a pathology).

Alain

RE Sloths
You can't keep them. Sloths are the only species on this planet apart from Homo Sapiens Sapiens that can build a helicopter and fly one. Worse still if you have the north american subspecies Bradypus Tridactylus Mcgyverus which can fashion a working chopper from duct tape and sticks that it finds in its enclosure. Bradypus Tridactylus Mcgyverus is easily distinguishable by its long mane which hangs down from the back of its head like a green stalactite.

RE Greg
It appears that this individual is now a proper troll as it has ceased using distorted and faulty logic and can only resort to ad hom attacks, not much fun as I cannot play my favourite game of spot the illogical fallacies. Oh and please don't tell it that it is here to educate the educable into the realization that science deniers do exist.

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Delurked - if Greg wants to try to provoke me by attacking me personally, I could care less....he's a troll of the worst variety & I'm just having a ton of fun at his expense....

Meh. I barely even glance at the drivel posted by Greg. Mostly to see if he ever manages to answer a question. So far he has failed.

Those of you who know my story, feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

I'm the mother of 6 children, my first 5 from my marriage of 15 years, my youngest, who just turned 6 in March, from my current relationship. My older five children are all neurotypical, all vaccinated on schedule. Hmm, my youngest has autism and we just recently learned so does his father. Here's the clincher though: my youngest was NOT vaccinated on schedule. He did not receive the birth HepB due to being jaundiced, he got his 2, 4 and 6 months vaccines on schedule, then for various reasons, he didn't get anymore until he was nearly 3 and we were able to begin playing catch up with him.

I noticed differences in my youngest compared to my previous five, from birth. He seemed more sensitive to everything, had sleep issues, cried a lot more and seemed to fight everything, from being held, to being swaddled, to being fed, to being rocked, to being placed on his own in his crib and he would also stim on lights or contrasting images much more so then any of my other children as an infant.

He actually was not delayed in his development, he was way ahead of the average curve. He could sit on his own at two months, he crawled at four months, was cruising and standing on his own at five months, began walking at 8 months, began talking at 9 months and had about 8 or 9 words that we could recognize by the time he was a year old.

About 14 months of age, things began to change. He slowly lost his words, began walking exclusively on his toes, would become so engrossed in lining up objects or spinning things he didn't respond to his own name after calling it multiple times. He began to show ritualistic behaviors, he was always a rocker, but rocked so much he broke his crib. About 18 months when his language didn't improve, he began having melt downs, some call them tantrums, but a melt down is completely different from a tantrum. One is done to try and manipulate, the other is done out of frustration, inability to communicate or too much (or not enough) sensory stimuli.

We began to suspect autism when he was about two and still not talking and becoming less and less interested in things other then spinning and lining things up. He could spin anything too, and he seemed to like the sound spinning made, he didn't watch the spinning, he would listen to it (we think he might also have synesthsia, like his father does) and just not much interest in interacting with people really. I began teaching him simple sign language signs to help him to at least let us know when he was hungry, thirsty, wanted more, was all done, etc, and his melt downs actually did decrease in frequency, although the sensory ones were still an issue, some sensory stuff I had no control over though.

Remember, his last vaccine prior to his 'regression' was at 6 months. At two and a half years, we finally were able to find a place to take him for an evaluation. In my state, they don't actually begin evaluating for autism until the child turns three, unless it's obvious before then, but he was found to be significantly delayed. He was accepted into the Early Intervention program and we were told, due to him being eligible to attend special ed preschool once he turned three, 5 months later, we needed to get his vaccines current because there were medically fragile and immunocompromised children he would be attending with. So we spent time over the next 5 months getting his vaccinations current. It was rough because he didn't understand why it was necessary and now every time he goes to the doctor he suspects he's going to get shots. His autism didn't get worse with the vaccines, unless you count the sensory issue of being stuck with the needle, which he quickly recovered from.

At the age of 3, they began evaluating him, found he had educational functionality for a label of ASD, a year after he was given a medical diagnosis of autistic disorder and other developmental delay disorders along with it. He's six now, has had very little traditional intervention considering how much is available (simply because health coverage for it is limited and the number of hours he gets in school as part of his IEP is limited to about 4 hours each of OT and speech per year.) On Tuesday this week, he graduated from kindergarten, in a normal school, with a normal class and over the past year, he has blossomed. Being placed with his NT peers has significantly helped him, because he is a very social child now and loves being around kids his own age, even if he sometimes has to teach them his own language (I still get a giggle any time one of his classmates sees him out and instead of saying, "Hi, ***** [insert my son's name here]!" like you'd expect, they instead say, "Weedoove!" Which has been my son's way of saying hi to them all year long.)

In a nut shell, my son had autism from birth, there is no doubt in my mind (even though we didn't begin to suspect it really until he was two years old) because he was very different from any of my older five children from birth (two girls and three boys by the way) and since his vaccines were not on schedule, then there isn't any way I could even contemplate blaming it on vaccines, the idea in my mind is ridiculous. My son is 1 in 50 somewhere, but he's hardly the only child in his school with an ASD. Given that his father also recently received his own ASD diagnosis (which we didn't even begin to contemplate until after our son's diagnosis and we began to learn what autism really is) that, to me, is icing on the cake that autism is genetic and vaccines have nothing what so ever to do with it.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Greg and the other antivax morons seem to think that vaccines can go back in time and cause genetic changes at conception—because that's what would be required for them to "cause" autism. I couldn't imagine how anyone could be so stupid—then I realized that think Thiomersal*(the British name which actually makes sense) is Thiotimoline!

*Yes, I know it's not in childhood vaccines any more, but they don't seem to.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Love it that I got under all the dateless and hopeless skins here! JOY! My IQ is just fine but, perhaps not as high as many of you brain surgeons here. Listening to you sheep that "claim" you have a stellar education and read "many books" ...keep making pizza ...alone. Baby making...mundane...geez, explains a lot (Orac?, boring baby making?). LOLS. :-)

The fact is the rates for autism are rising, do any of you know why? Maybe...but you don't want to speculate (I would like to hear the theories). I think many parents are questioning the frequency and increase in vaccines from say 1985 going forward. Go compare the charts (I know you are lazy but, its there, sorry Orac). How does the current vaccine schedule affect someone who may have an underlying, pre-existing mitochondrial disorder? Swelling at the injection site?...Not so much.

Also are you all doctors? Prob not. The docs I know are all interested and concerned about autism rates. Some are also making it accessible to having individual measles, mumps and rubella shots. Just curious as to why you "doctors" think it should be a 3 in 1 shot...what's the harm in administering individually vs. not at all? We need vaccines...maybe just reconsider the schedule?

*Gasp...I said vaccines. Just a bunch of fake, lonely people looking to bring others down. You should be ashamed. Don't you know bullying is unacceptable? :-) Something tells me many of you aren't well liked in public. Don't you know ...no one likes know-it-alls? Celebrities? They can't tell me how to vote (whoa, lets not start talking politics here..dodging enough bullets) much less how to handle my kid. But, I bet quite a few of you lonely hearts Google them every now and again (yeah, during those lonely nights).

Also, you have asked for me to provide links...why would I do that? Waste of time. Oh and Chris, if you think, I'm going to post my son's results here...hmmm, NOT. You all obviously have your own agendas, so I won't waste my time posting links. Don't like it? Too bad, go cry. Blast me (oh, wait, you did that already...time to re-load troops!). You sense fresh blood in the water...not your usual lonely hearts band and you attack. Its cool but, don't hide behind your holier than thou attitudes. I bet not one of you made an inquiry or phone call on Alex's behalf (we'll take some "action" on that Orac being from NY and all).

Greg...you're not a troll (heart you). Linda B and Myra keep helping your kids (I applaud you). These "people" here don't intimidate me...they are a miniscule population of self righteous, "educated" individuals that know it all. Where were you guys when I was at the UN...oh wait, you weren't invited...(it was only for 17 year old pregnant moms..Reality was there) ? Yeah, being a parent and in the trenches trumps your reading 20 books and yeah, guess what... many of us read those books too.

Autism is medical. We agree there's no cure but, you better believe my kid is going to be the best HE can be and I'll be right there to help him along and give him everything he needs. I love him....betcha that is a new concept to all of you dried husks. Don't twist my words. And , "well you linked to this which means this". Don't assume...(you know the rest of that quote).

I'll check up on you guys in a couple of days. Having a dinner party...my guests would love to read what all the "smart" people are saying. Orac...excellent fodder as always, thanks...you rock! Let the hate begin (smiling as I type)!

PS: Alex's funeral is tomorrow. Give the kid a minute of silence, respect and no hate. Later gators.

By NYAutieMom (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Also, you have asked for me to provide links…why would I do that?

Uh, because you'd like to show us that there's substance behind what you say rather than nothing that the gas that comes out of your posterior, perhaps? Apparently there isn't. Around here, evidence talks, BS walks. Guess which one you are.

@NYAutieMom, wow. You are able to combine the warrior mom + beleaguered weakling + bitchy "mean girl," all in one. I too have a son, now an adult, with ASD, so don't give me your "walk in my shoes" business. I also recognize how much easier my life is being his mom, than other parents I know who have kids with much more challenging physical and mental issues. So go cry yourself a river elsewhere. Anecdotal "evidence" is meaningless, and subjecting kids with sensory challenges to a variety of restrictive diets, chelation, etc., is child abuse. News flash: vaccines, antibiotics, "environmental toxins" do not cause autism. Oh wait! Organic foods do (@elburto, I think you were looking for this? Correlation between increase in organic food sales and autism? See http://boingboing.net/2013/01/01/correlation-between-autism-dia.html)
I've learned a lot from this blog and SBM, thank you. Love autismum and lilady and the rest. Thanks for being there.

Who blasted who? As I recall, someone came in swinging (obviously ready and looking for a fight) and that wasn't the regulars, but I did see them asking sincere questions and requesting evidence of your claims which you so dubiously are unwilling (or unable?) to provide. Your defensiveness speaks volumes regarding your claims by the way.

There is a reason a skeptic is called a skeptic. That is because they don't just go along with whatever the latest trollop who comes along says for them to go along with. A skeptic requires evidence to back it up, otherwise they will remain a skeptic and your claims then become null and void.

If you don't like the rules, you are free to remove yourself from 'play'. Try to keep in mind, you speak for you and your child, regardless of how misguided many of us have learned the path you are taking is, you are free to do so, until you begin to cause harm (there is more harm to be done then just physical harm too).

You do not speak for the majority of parents of children with autism and not at all for autistics themselves. Refuse to see them all you like, but more and more adults are being diagnosed, and not because they suddenly developed autism in adulthood, but because when they were children, the diagnostic criteria for autism was VASTLY different from what it is today, but looking at those same adults, using today's criteria, guess what? They fit and always have, and because they have struggled with it for so long have also developed co-morbid mental health conditions to go along with and exacerbate their autism. Autistic adults are out there, in greater numbers then you biomed moms are. If you want to know about autism, listen to what they have to say.

Your attitude is a perfect example of arrogant ignorance. Just to enlighten you.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

@NYAutieMom,

Lots of respect. Stay strong because it sure ain't easy. Don't let Orac's VCADOD (vaccines causing autism denialism obsessive disorder) group bother you too much. They are just weak and scarred.

@Alain
So yes, it sounds like a DTI scan is indeed better than MRI in detecting brain damage according to the link below. Still, Denice mentioned that these scans would detect damage after vaccine but it appears that they haven't been used widely to do just that. Denice, can you point to any studies that scanned for changes in brain signatures after, say, a round of vaccines. It's one to use these tests after a child is known to have autism and check whether the brain indeed has changed. It's another to catch these changes while they are occurring. Also Denice, I don't know to what extent dramatic changes in a child's development -- say he/she stops using words abruptly -- will correlate with sudden changes in brain physiology. Perhaps Alain is better able to answer this.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2010/flow-of-water-in-the-brain-…

@ lurkers:

Notice that some people beat a dead horse;
and some may beat a dead horse until only its outlines remain**;
but others yet beat a dead horse until the outlines no longer remain and they need to paint them in again.

Can you tell which we have here?

** I stole this line

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

I keep wondering why people who clearly don't agree with many of the regular posters here (which, of course, there's nothing wrong with) and don't want to be bothered by facts (which there is something wrong with, but that's beside the point) keep coming back to the same silly comments.

1. People who respond to them are full of hate.
2. Responses show that they've somehow touched a nerve.
3. People who respond to them are sad, lonely people presumably living in a basement or dingy apartment.

I've seen a lot of disappointment, a lot of concern, a lot of amusement - hate gets reserved for people who, I don't know, murder their children (maybe not even them). Not for people who make silly comments and hold dinner parties.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Hey Greg, I have yer studies lined up, how about you petition Generation Rescue to do the actual studies of changes in the brain after vaccination and compare that to the actual change following no vaccination.

1 group autism, vaccinated.
1 group NT, vaccinated.
1 group autism, not vaccinated.
1 group NT, not vaccinated.

you can hire researchers for that at https://www.scienceexchange.com/ to help you any step of the way (and yes, some groups offer DTI scans for relatively cheap).

Alain

Oh and Greg, you need 20 matched subject for each groups. The scientists at scienceexchange will help you out for that.

Alain

@Denice,

No Denice, it is not beating a dead horse. Here is what you said on another thread....

"When people lose skills and abilities in other situations, within a short period of time- hours, days, months- we can trace those losses to something happening in the brain- and SEE the damage via imaging! Head injury, stroke ( 2 types- btw-), tumour growth, AD, atherioschlerosis… even the underlying changes associated with schizophrenia strikingly display their origins (e.g. LONI @ UCLA imaging studies).

How come no one can show this metamorphosis via sophisticated imaging? Because it never happened."

So if DTI is the best scan for detecting brain damage, where can you point to research that shows that these scans (as you implied) have been used and showed no difference in brain signatures pre and post vaccines? Notice also that the article that I sent was for 2010 and it made clear that the DTI technology was fairly new and it would take a few years before it is routinely used.

@Mephistopheles O'Brien

You missed one....

4. People who respond here are full of cr@p and they know it and I am just here to remind them of such.

Greg -you're correct, that's the most nonsensical one of all. Thanks for sharing.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Greg, scanning brain is relatively new and it hasn't been always inexpensive (for less money than a genome scan):

https://www.scienceexchange.com/services/human-magnetic-resonance-imagi…

DTI has been used since about the same time and uses the same scanner as MRI but its uses in research has been fraught with fear for the patient (a MRI scan's energy field goes in 1 direction from head to toes but a DTI scan goes in 6 directions at least and thus, it feel like the scanner itself is moving under its load and obviously, the bed is shaking thoroughly; it scarred the hell outta me when I did that scan).

Regarding brain injuries, there are 2 types, the big ones (measurable in MRI, strokes, tumors, etc...) and the diffuse ones (measurable in DTI).

BTW, Greg, My DTI scan showed no brain injuries as examined by a neurologist MD/PhD who does research on scanners interpretation and studies involving all kind of scanners.

Alain

Thanks you for the compliment Greg:

People who respond here are full of cr@p and they know it and I am just here to remind them of such

I will keep that in mind next time I answer you.

Alain

@Alain,

You are obviously a high functioning autistic. Is it not more likely that these DTI tests would pick up changes in low functioning autistics? I believe the article I sent you said it had an over 90% successful detection rate.

Greg, Before I continue answering your questions, you will have to answer one of mine.Next month, I will have a russian PhD student as flatmate along with her boyfriend (also russian) who is a cook. Her PhD is in immunology which is great because it let me discuss the vaccine autism link with her. You know what she asked me?: How is that possible?

The question I'm about to ask you is, if I discuss the vaccine autism link evidence in great length with her and we conclude there are no link, will you say that she's full of cr@p and sold?

Alain

Greg,

Remember, I have the autism diagnostic but water going in different direction (which I have by the way) is not indicative of damage. Furthermore,

You are obviously a high functioning autistic. Is it not more likely that these DTI tests would pick up changes in low functioning autistics?

I was diagnosed with language delay when young and my language skills can still have problem in certain situation, thus indicative of different brain configuration. Still, no damage to the brain.

Alain

NY AutieMum
"Love it that I got under all the dateless and hopeless skins here! JOY! My IQ is just fine but, perhaps not as high as many of you brain surgeons here"

So you are here to troll only ? I can disregard the rest of the post .Thanks for saving me wasted time :)

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

NYAutieMom:

Also, you have asked for me to provide links…why would I do that? Waste of time.

Here is a reason: to show you are not pulling the stuff you say out of thin air. You made several testable claims, and eluded to treatments you claimed where "non-evastive." I gave you examples showing that HBOT and EDTA resulted in some sad results. Did you bother to look?

She continues:

Oh and Chris, if you think, I’m going to post my son’s results here…hmmm, NOT.

That is not what I asked. Perhaps you should read it a bit closer. I actually asked for "just a credible description of that “blind study.”" That was in case there was no published case study. Which for a "study" showing that MMR caused autism would be published!

I also asked if you pursued an NVICP lawsuit, which depending on certain legal circumstances would or would not have personal information. If you had won it would be in all the papers, but I can see why if you had lost it would have been ignored. I assume from your non-answer, that you have neither reported this "MMR reaction" to VAERS or contacted NVICP.

One word - wow

Bashing bio-med as you call it and other " quackery" loses all or any credibility.

How about you just focus your energy on improving your child's or your own quality of life. Why does it truly matter what what others are doing.

I realize maybe this is your release but its truly sickening. One more word " KARMA"

By Rispecialeducation (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

M'O'B: I don't know, I'm starting to kind of hate NY Autie Mom. Those type-a, cheerleader-in-high-school warrior mummies always set my teeth on edge. I mean she even got in an 'everyone who's single isssss miiiserable dig.' She might just be jealous though. Suburbia is a special kind of soulless purgatory.

Reality: You know that thing about the personal attacks? Yeah, forget it, go full steam ahead.

Nyautiemom: I don't know if this will get through your lead-lined skull but here goes: parental experience does not trump specialized knowledge. Ever. Yes, you have an autistic kid, but guess what? He's an individual, just like Alain, Alex, or my friend S. What works in your situation is not applicable to any of theirs. An expert psychologist could find commonalities, but it is preposterous to claim, as your side does, that an autistic toddler and an autistic teenager have identical experiences, identical ways of functioning, and all have the same life trajectory. Also, I know this may blow your mind, but please consider that parents do not always know best. Being a parent doesn't make you a god, Mrs. Stepford. I hope you enjoy your evening among your fellow zombies.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

AutieMom, you seem baffled that your claims of the blind study are not being blindly accepted. Perhaps somebody needs to explain why.

The problem, basically, is that no part of that story rings true. Shall we start from the beginning? You described it as a "blind study" that you paid for. Now it sounds to me like you were trying to ape the term "double blind", the preferred methodology for medical research to reduce the impacts of bias on the part of the researchers and the subjects.

But the way you describe this "study", such as specifying that you paid for it is a problem. This blog has covered many times before regarding a certain other quack that medical researchers usually don't charge for participation in their study. If anything the participants are usually given a small fee for their time.

If anything, what you described sounded more like you went to the Mayo Clinic and requested some kind of testing to be performed. Not participated in a research program, but simply had a diagnostic test performed. In which case the concept of a double blind has little meaning.

But there's more problems. You describe not expecting vaccines to be found to be the culprit. So presumably this test you had performed was able to determine that many other things could be to blame.

This is a rather big problem. At the moment there are no known specific causes for autism. If a test such as you seem to be describing existed then we'd not only have one known cause, we'd have a bunch of them.

To be able to determine what caused a specific case of autism would be ground breaking, but more so to have that many possible causes would be even more ground breaking because it would mean that researchers would have targets for developing treatments or preventative measures. Dare I suggest an autism vaccine? Oh yes, the heads at the anti-vax groups would be exploding at that one.

So basically, if the story that you told us is true, then the Mayo Clinic has the ability to do something that not only is beyond any legitimate medical researcher in the world, but they've developed this ability without anyone else hearing about it. The rest of the world remains unaware of these clearly defined and easily detectable causes.

Unfortunately there is no conspiracy theory big enough to explain the Mayo Clinic possessing this kind of knowledge but keeping it completely secret, yet so accessible that a warrior mommy such as yourself could walk in and gain access to it.

Now, as possessor of this hugely, vastly important knowledge, you could share it and open up the world to the beginning of the search for treatments for the underlying causes of autism.

On the other hand if you're fibbing, then dodging the question is really all you've got.

So work on your excuse as to why you can't provide any details a bit more carefully. You don't have to give your specific test results, you could just say what kind of test was performed in the first place.

Ongoing Autistic Community Vigil in Memory of Alex Spourdalakis can be accessed here. This event is desgined to be a pro-neurodiversity, Autistic-safe space, moderated, where thoughtful conversations are taking place. Please read posting rules before deciding to join. https://www.facebook.com/events/387982241320567/

By Paula C. Durbi… (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

PS: Alex’s funeral is tomorrow.

Is the deranged shıtbrigade going to try to crash it?

PGP:
"parental experience does not trump specialized knowledge. Ever. "

Oh dear, brave and ill chosen words. It depends very much on the information being sort. I would consider that a Hasty Generalization especially considering the fine examples of mothers we have here as regulars.

Any reasonable "specialist" in the field of autism would do well to take any information provided to them by Lara if they wanted some insight into her childs behaviour for instance ;)

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

Almost forgot.

Love it that I got under all the dateless and hopeless skins here! JOY!

I assume that the pure genius of invoking the eradicable Guinea worm in this entry was purely accidental.

PGP: I don’t know, I’m starting to kind of hate NY Autie Mom

This seems excessive. She evidently likes being ridiculed (as a sign that she is "getting under someone's skin"); people like ridiculing her; it's a win-win situation.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 16 Jun 2013 #permalink

"I was diagnosed with language delay when young and my language skills can still have problem in certain situation, thus indicative of different brain configuration. Still, no damage to the brain."

Ok Alain, so you are making a distinction with brain configuration and saying that it could result in such problems as language delay but not necessarily indicative of brain damage? Are you saying that neurotypicals may have a different brain configuration that may be picked up by these DTI scans?

Alain, also answering your question about discussing autism and vaccines with your guests, I said it before and I will say it again: I sincerely don't believe that any sensible person even discounting the independent studies tying vaccines to autism, but looking at the circumstantial evidence could genuinely conclude that vaccines do not cause autism. I will forever see pro-vaxers hesitation in doing the definitive studies that will settle the debate as testimony to this fact.

@Krebiozen,

What is your take on these DTI scans? I know you are supposed to be ignoring me, but it would be nice if you could weigh in on the matter. Hey, could you guys ignore me on a rotating basis. One week it could be Chris' turn and the next week it would be Lawrence's. Also, Denice still did not answer my question about implying that these tests have been done to determine changes after vaccines, when the evidence indicates that they have not.

Tell you what, Greg. Since you are demanding answers from people, why don't you give us the answers to the questions you have been asked multiple times in this thread first? It's only fair.

@MI Dawn

Since you are demanding answers from people, why don’t you give us the answers to the questions you have been asked multiple times in this thread first? It’s only fair.

No kidding. I mean, he's had over a month to find evidence to support his position. He should have no problem.

Insults and allegations of bully ing in the same paragraph from NYAutiemom. Anyone care to lend her a dictionary?
*Gasp…I said vaccines. Just a bunch of fake, lonely people looking to bring others down. You should be ashamed. Don’t you know bullying is unacceptable? :-) Something tells me many of you aren’t well liked in public. Don’t you know …no one likes know-it-alls? Celebrities? They can’t tell me how to vote (whoa, lets not start talking politics here..dodging enough bullets) much less how to handle my kid. But, I bet quite a few of you lonely hearts Google them every now and again (yeah, during those lonely nights).
Sorry for the lack of blokquotes.

One word – wow

Bashing bio-med as you call it and other ” quackery” loses all or any credibility.

How about you just focus your energy on improving your child’s or your own quality of life. Why does it truly matter what what others are doing.

I realize maybe this is your release but its truly sickening. One more word ” KARMA”

Oh yes, how sickening. Getting all upset about fraud and lies that endanger children with autism and the population at large. What monsters we are.

I said it before and I will say it again: I sincerely don’t believe that any sensible person even discounting the independent studies tying vaccines to autism, but looking at the circumstantial evidence could genuinely conclude that vaccines do not cause autism.

What "independent studies"? Answers or GTFO.

@ MI Dawn:

Greg apparently has trouble with English as well as with science:
who ever said that that scan studies were done-
to go over the whole wearisome issue before I leave him entirely to the resident piranas-

if vaccines caused an abrupt shift over from NT development to
ASD development, as in AJW's proverbial 6 day format, it would be documentable-
it would be observable, researchable and a big deal.
( For G-d's sake, we can show that sarcastic people have different development in parts of their brain-
no, I wasn't a subject).
Yet there is no evidence of this phenomenon. EVER.

For some reason, no researcher has seen fit to try to capture this monumental transformation in the 15 years since the Lancet paper.
I wonder why that is?

Yet they DO study NT development and ASD development in many ways - including scans, post mortems, genetics, physiognomy-

Why do they leave out the vaccine factor?

( Probably for the same reason that plant biologists don't try to research the effect of faery spells on transforming green leaves to gold in September)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

#389 PGP -

I wasn't going to respond to that but it did confuse me.

If you reread my post(s) I was not "insulting Ny’s IQ".
I did not make any statement concerning *her* IQ.

I was merely responding to the common idiotic delusion of 'warrior moms' that consider themselves superiour in knowledge about the medical/scientific aspects of a disability merely via the fact of being a parent.
And lo and behold NYAutieMom has come out and stated she subscribes to exactly that delusion.
My analogy/example wasn't for NYAutieMom, it was for the lurkers.

I know IQ is not pc in conversations, but I'm not much of a pc person and if the concept makes my exposition clearer, I will use it.
I then pointed out, mainly for the lurkers, that a mother of less than average intellect births a disabled child it is laughably ridiculous to think she somehow magically becomes infused with medical/scientific knowledge superiour to professionals who have spent theior lives studying the subject.

In other words, these "warrior mommies'" special pleading is idiotic and insane.
They may know more about their personal situation regarding psychological and physical care of the child, but they most definetely do not know more about the science of the disease/condition.
That doesn't seem to stop them from believing that they have somehow become geniuses and can compete in the intellectual arena with physicians and scientists.
YouTube U. and The College of Google seem to trump real world achievements.

I wonder how NYAutieMom reconciles her "warrior mommy knows better than professionals" view with the actions of Alex's mommy.
How could Alex's "superiour warrior mommy" be wrong in murdering him?
She was, after all, a "superiour warrior mommy"; and therefore, she must have known best.
Herein lies the mealy-mouthed "excuses" for her act of murder from the "warrior mommy" lunatics.
That this excuse making is even occurring makes me vary nervous for other Alexes out there since there seems to be a few "superiour warrior mommies" who can't seem to condemn the act.

Scary.

I hadn't begun to ridicule NYAutieMom to the degree she deserves.
It is laughably obvious she is just another anti-vaccine liar, what with her bizarre "Mayo Clinic test for MMR caused my kids autism" fabrication.

Have fun.

NYAutieMom,

Like any established group, the group of folk who read and comment regularly at Respectful Insolence has some unwritten rules.

One is Sagan's Rule,

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

At #254

My son’s autism was caused by MMR…not my findings or words…findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study. Until that point I had no idea of vaccine injuries.

That is a truly extraordinary claim, because it would be unique in the scientific literature. I believe that many of the regular commenters here are very, very familiar with the literature and the underlying science. The call for evidence was in no way out of line or an attack on your veracity. It would be relatively easy to validate: a copy of the Mayo Clinic report, with your child's identifying information blacked out, emailed to our host. Without such verification, the claim is just...a disturbance in the electrons.

I think it is a good time to bring up Pablo's First Law of Internet Discussion as well:

Regardless of the topic, assume someone else commenting knows more about it than you do.

And its commentary:
This place is for discussion, and, as such, your opinion is welcome. However, other people's opinions are also welcome, including their opinion that your opinion is silly or wrong.

On the subject of DTI scans in autism, <a href="http://www.medimaging.net/mri/articles/294739497/dti_mri_scans_reveal_b… study found differences between six month old babies at high risk of autism that did or did not go on to show symptoms of autism. This confirms earlier studies that "suggest that autism does not appear suddenly in young children, but instead develops over time during infancy".

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

@ Reality:

You bring up a very important point:
alt med / anti-vax outlets encourage people to scoff at experts and value their own abilites/ knowledge over those of people trained in relevant fields. They'll therefore reject advice from professionals as somehow tainted or even dangerous.

It is flattery and manipulation in order to control what information their audience accepts as feasible. Cults, as you know, also control information, keeping followers away from contradictory evidence what might lead to questioning.

Science and research is open ANYONE who is willing to do the work: I'm not talking only about attaining a degree or a career necessarily but also learning about subjects that can improve your own life.

I view woo-meisters as barriers to general education for those who want to learn more about things that matter to them. They fill a gap for information by misleading their audience in order to sell products or an agenda.

Fortunately there is worthwhile information on the internet and on television - if you know how to look for it.
Not everyone does.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

Greg apparently has trouble with English as well as with science

Especially advanced level statistics (SVM and friends) as well as the considerable variation there is in the human brain (Michelle Dawson have reported a neurotypical undergoing a brain scan and who lacked a corpus callosum).

Alain

NYautiemom, I have teh same question for you that I have fr greg (which I'll note he has yet to attempt to answer): what in your opinion is the single most compelling piece of scientific evidence supporting the existence of a causal link between routine childhood vaccinations and the development of autism spectrum disorders?

Evidence, mind you: not anecdotal accounts, parent testimonials, pharma shill conspiracy theories, etc.

I haven't read all the comments, but I still want to throw in two cents about the whole "drain on society" argument brought up by the trolls. One aspect of it that makes me sick is that similar arguments have been made about other minorities and become self-fulfilling prophecies. We don't know what a child's potential solely from a diagnosis. That's why we want to nurture them, so that they can find out what they can and want to do with their life. Being non-neurotypical has obstacles, but we're supposed to try to overcome those obstacles so we can find their potential and help them live up to it. Not all those obstacles come from neurology or disability, either: A lot come from self-reinforcing cultural stigma.

By Bronze Dog (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

@ NYAutieMom:

I'm the poster who questioned you up thread about your *sources* for your statements that Alex did not receive appropriate care during his hospitalizations. Are you ashamed to admit that your *sources* are Lisa Goes, Andrew Wakefield and Age of Autism?

Ignorant one stated "My son’s autism was caused by MMR…not my findings or words…findings by the Mayo Clinic in a blind study. Until that point I had no idea of vaccine injuries."

"Blind (one-arm) study, (n=1) at Mayo Clinic" (?). Cripes you are an ignorant mom. Learn how to do a search on PubMed for the 349 studies that show no link between MMR vaccine, single antigen measles, mumps and rubella vaccines and the onset of ASDs:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?linkname=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=1995…

Move along now Warrior Mom and take your bullsh!t with you.

You made the statement, it is up to you to cough up the link to a citation at Mayo Clinic...or anywhere. And yeah,

P.S. Still ignoring the desperate-for-attention ignorant resident Troll.

Reality: Sorry. I read it as a personal attack on NYautiemom and jumped to conclusions. I'm not sure I buy IQ as a reliable mention, because I expect I could take a test two different days and come up with a different score. And don't get me started on the dunderheads who claim a MENSA membership-or worse, are members.
Dedicated Lurker: My point was that being a parent of an autistic child does not grant a parent a PHD.

HDB: I just have a thing about women acting stupid in public. It doesn't help that NYautie mom reminds me of Bachman, Palin and the rest of the clown car mommy brigade.

By politicalguineapig (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

#393 Delurked Lurker, I am hardly any kind of expert on anything. I do know my own children, but couldn't tell you anything about anyone else's child. I appreciate your comments though. When it comes to my youngest and autism, I try to get his feedback, sometimes that can be difficult due to the language issues, but we are working on it together. The next people I listen to regarding autism are autistic individuals themselves. I personally consider them much more expert on autism then NT autism professionals, because they live it, they know it and can give me insight into how my son might work and think that NT people just don't have knowledge of or experience with. The 'warrior mommies' really just irritate me because they think they know but really they have no clue. They aren't about learning to read their child to allow them the ability to help their child become the best person they are meant to be, they are only interested in making their child seem less autistic and that is only going to lead to heart break, anxiety, depression, low self esteem and a myriad of other mental health disorders as the child grows into adulthood. Our job as parents is to help our children learn to navigate life on their own. Sometimes the means by which they accomplish that is going to be different then what it is/was for us. We need to be OK with that, because their life isn't about us, it's about them.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

Rispecialeducation:

How about you just focus your energy on improving your child’s or your own quality of life. Why does it truly matter what what others are doing.

Well I mentioned two reason in Comment # 268:

4. How well did EDTA chelation work for Tariq Nadama?

5. How did the HBOT treatment go for Francesco Pio Martinisi and his grandmother?

You might try looking those up. Then there is the comments in this Autism Omnibus decision about Jeffrey Bradstreet's treatment of the little boy:

However, the objective evidence regarding Dr. Bradstreet’s therapies is not particularly persuasive. Colten got worse when chelated.

The conclusion to that decision says:

To conclude that Colten's condition was the result of his MMR vaccine, an objective observer would have to emulate Lewis Carroll's White Queen and be able to believe six impossible (or at least highly improbable) things before breakfast.

"NYautiemom, I have teh same question for you that I have fr greg (which I’ll note he has yet to attempt to answer): what in your opinion is the single most compelling piece of scientific evidence supporting the existence of a causal link between routine childhood vaccinations and the development of autism spectrum disorders?

Evidence, mind you: not anecdotal accounts, parent testimonials, pharma shill conspiracy theories, etc."

JGC, let me make things even a little easier by also asking, 'Greg, what is the single most compelling scientific evidence you have that drinking a bottle of bleach is harmful for your health?'

Well JGC, I heard all the stories of people getting sick after accidentally consuming bleach. JGC, it even says on the label that bleach is toxic and not to consume. What -- that is just crazy hearsay, anecdotal nonsense? Well, I don't know JGC. When I was a kid I even had a friend and we were down in his basement and all and as a joke he drank bleach. He then started heaving and vomiting and he got really sick that his mom had to rush him to the Emergency. What did you say JGC? It wasn't the bleach that caused his illness but some other unknown coincidental thing? You also think that he may even had been sick before drinking the bleach.

JGC, we can have this dance for a long time to come. Now why don't you produce the peer reviewed study that shows an unvax population having a 1 in 50 autism rate and shut me up for good?

@TBruce

I said it before and I will say it again: I sincerely don’t believe that any sensible person even discounting the independent studies tying vaccines to autism, but looking at the circumstantial evidence could genuinely conclude that vaccines do not cause autism.

"What “independent studies”? Answers or GTFO."

TBruce, try this....
http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/30-scientific-studies-showing-the-link…

@Denice,

"Greg apparently has trouble with English as well as with science:
who ever said that that scan studies were done-"

Ms. Walter, so indeed you were talking smack when you said that brain scans would find dramatic changes in the brain if vaccines caused sudden impairments? You were only talking hypothetical, and indeed you are not aware if whether such before/after scans have been done? Good cover, Ms. Walter! Good cover!

@Alain,

Thanks so much for the info on DTI scans. I think your proposed study is a good one and I was wondering whether you know if any such studies are being planned. Alain, if these scans can signal brain damage by the brain configuration, would it also be able to tell the difference between damage from autism and from another disability like Down Syndrome?

So, Greg...in your thesis where vaccines "cause" autism: Do you have any suggestions as to the mechanism whereby they go back in time to change a person's genetic makeup?

(Thiotimoline was a joke, remember.)

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

Greg: That's a really weird argument. You seem to feel that it's important enough for you to repeat multiple times what you think a reasonable person should conclude.

Have you just invented the "argumentum ad imaginary reasonable person"?

I can match that one. Actually, I can do you one better. I sincerely believe that a reasonable person who understands the trajectory and timing of autism and knows the difference between correlation and causation can conclude that vaccines do not cause autism.

As to your citation, well, it starts off with a fake statistic that any "reasonable" person should know better than to use. Am I to assume that it gets better after that?

Or are the others right about what you are?

@Lilady,
"Back now after a hiatus."

Where did you go? Thought maybe you were at Pharma's head office picking up your GOAT shill plaque. Hee, hee, hee!

Still ignoring ignorant, craving for attention Troll.

@Nomad,

Do you personally believe vaccines play no role in autism, 'yes' or 'no' -- one word?

Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no, again, one word.

Greg, you seem to keep using that word: damage, do you even know what is damage and what is not damage in the brain? What a doctor would diagnose as damage and not damage in the brain?

I have the answers but I want to be sure that we're on the same wavelength...

Alain

@Greg #427 For my answer, yes.

By Lara Lohne (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Alain,

Actually Alain, indeed I use the word 'damage' generally. I really don't know what a doctor would diagnose as damaged. What do you have to offer?

Maybe it's time for a long writeup for the primary benefits of the @lurkers here:

Denice is correct that we can assess most damage to the brain using MRI because the kind of damage we look for in the brain using a scanner are strokes, cancers, and other big lesion of the brain. A DTI scan will reveal such injuries too with better precision but a longer scanning time which in most case isn't appropriate for emergency purpose.

Now what we're talking about fibers direction is normal variation in the human brain and there is so much variation that it's usually useful to do a meta-analysis to have a better average brain (and I did a meta-analysis of OCD and there lot of variation between meta-analysis in a n-1 design with n being the number of studies included in the meta-analysis).

When we assess damage to the brain, we look at perfusion and a dead bundle of cells will show 6 axis water perfusion on a DTI study using 6 axis. That represent 100% damage to the bundle of cells and is usually what happen in a stroke (on a large scale). Anything less than that but higher than 2/6 (or 3/9 if 9 axis) will be classified as subtle damage.

@Greg,

I have a homework for you and you can check with Andrew Wakefield for help on the homework:

Whatever the vaccine ingredient which is at fault "for inducing" autism in children, define if any ingredient is able to induce cell death and 6 (or 9) axis perfusion in the brain in sufficient capacity that we are able to look it up in a DTI scan.

You'll need 2 DTI scans for that, one at baseline and one after the full set of vaccines. Key point to look for is perfusion around the blood-brain barrier where blood vessels passes through the brain.

You may even use an animal and scan using a 7 or 10 Tesla scanner (7 Tesla is the maximum for humans but small animal scanners goes to 14 I think) or higher but I'd ask you to introduce the correct dosage of vaccine relative to the weight of the animal using a competent small animal researcher. The small animal researcher might also assist you to dissect the brain and extract useful data out of it.

If you don't accept the challenge, please accept an alternative version of the homework where you will look for funding for me to do the work but then, if you don't get the result you like, you may have to deal with the possibility of myself being corrupted which will be in your dream. Please keep in mind that I am not corrupted.

Alain

@Nomad

Lara Lohne and others don't have a problem answering the question. Why do you?

Where did you go? Thought maybe you were at Pharma’s head office picking up your GOAT shill plaque. Hee, hee, hee!

Let me know where to send your framed Goatse certificate, honeycakes.

Hee. Hee. Hee.

(If you'd like a personalized version, I know a chap who works at a very discreet sort of operation. I can get you the required specs if you want something that really instantiates you yourself, you know, to hang on the wall or for greeting cards. I'm guessing you're going to need a tripod, though.)

Because I recognize someone trying to set up wiggle room when I see it. I notice you couldn't answer my question either. Why is that?

Can I have my pharma shill plaque please?

Thanks
Alain

Offtopic: I'm downloading a genome dataset (5000 or so genomes, 844 megabytes) in R but haven't got a clue what to do with that except that I want to learn human genetics (of which I have a textbook) and data mining (3 textbooks but I understand the subject matter pretty well).

Someone can point me to a tutorial of R-genetic for dummies?

Thanks
Alain

I notice you couldn’t answer my question either. Why is that?

Seems to be a habit. (Not that it deserves the tune.)

C'mon, Greggie, COME OUT AND PLAYAAAAY. (Klink. Klink. Klink.)

This involves answering all the questions put to you so far, including study design.

Offtopic: I’m downloading a genome dataset (5000 or so genomes, 844 megabytes) in R but haven’t got a clue what to do with that....

Does the data set have anything to do with R per se?

R is a statistical program, not a genetics program.

What did you want to do WITH the data set?

Elberto - Comment 23 (et al)

I was wondering how many steps it would take before somebody pulled the 1930s 'eugenics' line, I'm surprised you didn't mention Hitler. Too soon for Godwin's Law??

Having worked and volunteered as a nurse in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Turkey, Cambodia, Vietnam, Spain, Germany, Romania, Chile and Peru, I guarantee that the first world, let alone the developing world, does not have enough resources - or to be honest, mismanages the resources available. Try working in triage. Try working in the village situation that 'T' was discussing. Instead of all the hand-wringing and forelock tugging. I have worked with Austistic children and adults throughout my nursing life and quite frankly, I agree with T.

@ Alain: I was at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on June 8th attending a presentation by Dr. Paul Offit who lectured about Complementary/Alternative Medicine and the hawking of vitamins and supplements by alternative *practitioners*.

Dear hubby was able to find the current issues of the "Genes & Development" and the "Genome Research" Journals published by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press:

http://www.cshlpress.com/

I'm wading through the few articles in these journals that I can understand, and they are not for beginners.

Does the data set have anything to do with R per se?

Well...It's part of the BioConductor (http://www.bioconductor.org/) software package for R and I have found out it contain 8000 genomes and not 5000 like I thought.

Alain

@Greg #420:

TBruce, try this

Your link goes to the blog of Lisa Goes. Already I'm sceptical.
3) is written by Helen V. Ratajczak, PhD.
6) has Thomas Burbacher as an author, dates from 2005 and looks like the "Monkey Study" that Orac and others deconstructed.
7) dates from 1994.
8) is written by Diana L. Vargas.
9) is written by Martha R. Herbert .
10) is written by Richard C. Deth.
11) is "Validation of the Phenomenon of Autistic Regression Using Home Videotapes" and from 2005. Given that the Cedillos used videotape in their case before Vaccine Court and that experts were able to show that Michelle was autistic before her MMR vaccination, I'm not that impressed.
12) has DeSoto as an author.
13) was written by Jon S. Poling, Hannah Poling's father. Conflict of interests, and Hannah was not compensated for autism, but because she had a mitochondrial disorder that the Court decided could have been exacerbated by her vaccinations.
15) has Martha Herbert as an author.
19) is authored by Christopher Shaw.
22) was authored by the Geiers. One was never a doctor, the other recently lost his last Medical License.
24) has Mark Blaxill as the first author.
26) has Brian S. Hooker and Martha R. Herbert as authors.
In short, we have a number of "studies" written by known antivaxxers. Some have already been discredited.
Orac, i think you should take a look at Greg's link. "Target rich environment" doesn't even start to cover it.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

I sincerely don’t believe that any sensible person even discounting the independent studies tying vaccines to autism, but looking at the circumstantial evidence could genuinely conclude that vaccines do not cause autism.

Of course, your "beliefs" are of no interest. Your beliefs spcifically about "sensible" people are prima facie false, since you have unequivocally demonstrated that you can't identify the concept in the first place.

There'll be shoutin' from the mountains on out to the sea
No two ways about it, people polio-free
Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
It's a natural situation to be VPD-free

You see that train comin' over there?

Lillady.

Something about your posting style has intrigued me since I started lurking here. It is your habit of publicly declaring that you are ignoring a troll. If I could use an analogy here I may be able to explain myself. This to me is akin to going into a room and singling out a person you have had an argument with, staring them in the face and shouting "I am Ignoring you". The problem is as I see it you are clearly not ignoring them. To add to this you sprinkle your public pronouncements with derisive ad homs which in my experience won't encourage them to go away.

May I suggest Lillady that if you wish to starve a troll of attention then this is a flawed strategy and a read through past posts on RI will back that statement up. If however your intention is to keep them here to serve as a lesson for the lurkers as the minions dissect their world views and bare the entrails of disorganised thinking for us to study, then by all means keep it up :)

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 17 Jun 2013 #permalink

So here's the deal. Greg, I think you're using loaded questions and are trying to play rhetorical games rather than attempting to actually reach a scientific conclusion. But if you don't think this, if you don't see what you're doing, I'll explain it.

You asked if I think vaccines play "no role" in autism.

Greg, no one could honestly say that they believe that with respect to even something as seemingly innocuous as oxygen. Oxygen may play a role. Autism of course is in the brain, and the brain tends to use oxygen. Can you or anyone state that oxygen plays no role in autism?

No? Can I count on you to begin trying to avoid all exposure to oxygen? Or perhaps you could stop trying to play games with using clever wording to achieve what the facts cannot?

Speaking of "Bio-Med" - it looks like AoA is pushing a variety of new "supplements" and "cleansing treatments" for autism.....I wonder if they'll provide any real evidence or proof to back up their recommendations?

How ironic that AoA would take advantage of the very lack of regulations around "supplements" to push them, while continuing to complain about vaccines (which are highly regulated).

@Delurker,

Yes, you are right. Lilady should stop announcing that she is ignoring me if she is indeed ignoring me. In fact, you guys can all ignore me but will you risk my comments going uncontested? Heck, if you all start ignoring me I may even start 'pastaing' AoA articles in their entirety here at RI.

Sorry Guys, you made me into such a monster with your VCADOD. (lamenting voice) All I want to do is go home. Hee, hee, hee!

A little more on those 30 studies that allegedly show the link between vaccines and autism:

1. Not a peer reviewed study, an abstract. Of 31 children with autism 9 (29%) had the Hepatitis B vaccine. Of 7,455 non-autistic children, 1,258 (17%) had the Hepatitis B vaccine. It seems convincing until you realize that a substantial proportion of the non-autistic children were born before the Hepatitis B vaccine was introduced. This doesn't survive a casual glance, much less peer review.

2. Children with autism (but not Aspergers) had elevated urine porphyrins, possibly due to heavy metal toxicity. This doesn't even suggest a link to vaccines, particularly since several studies have found no connection with thimerosal.

3. Concludes that:

Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain. The inflammation could be caused by a defective placenta, immature blood-brain barrier, the immune response of the mother to infection while pregnant, a premature birth, encephalitis in the child after birth, or a toxic environment.

I see nothing here to implicate vaccines.

4. Very low levels of Thimerosal can contribute to immune system dysregulation. It found that 100 nmol/L of thimerosal affected dendritic cells, but since we know that the highest level of mercury seen in vaccinated infants is 8.9 nmol/L (PMID 19560158) this is reassuring, if anything. Anyway, we can be as sure as we can ever be in medical science that thimerosal does not cause autism, or we would have seen a large decline over the past ten years, and we haven't.

5. Male mice are more susceptible to massive doses of thimerosal, 38.4-76.8mg/kg as compared to the maximum total dose of 50 μg in babies weighing at least 2 kg, a dose at least 1,500 times lower.

6. More thimerosal material - this time a paper about the difference in pharmacokinetics of thimerosal and methylmercury in monkeys - nothing to suggest a link with autism.

7. More mercury, not even thimerosal, material - this time about the neurotoxicity of methylmercury in macaque monkeys.

8. A paper finding that "the brains of autistic children are suffering from inflammation", again no evidence of vaccine involvement.

9. Autism may be exacerbated or triggered by toxins, infectious agents, or other stressors, or improved by treatment. No evidence about vaccines at all.

10. Yet more thimerosal material, it's a neurotoxin at high doses NSS. Still no evidence implicating vaccines.

11. Autistic regression happens - no evidence to suggest vaccines are involved at all.

12. Yet more mercury material - a study that found lower levels of mercury in the hair of autistic children, but instead of concluding that this suggested that mercury poisoning was not a cause of autism, like any normal people would, they concocted some half-assed story of mercury being excreted in hair, and that this is impaired in autistics. If ever there was a Procrustean hypothesis, this is it.

13. Hannah Poling, whose mitochondrial disorder led to encephalitis perhaps triggered by a reaction to vaccines, followed by autism-like symptoms, but not, by any reasonable definition, autism.

Children who have (mitochondrial-related) dysfunctional cellular energy metabolism might be more prone to undergo autistic regression between 18 and 30 months of age if they also have infections or immunizations at the same time.

Since these children are far more vulnerable to infection than to vaccination, this seems a good argument for vaccinating them.

14. More mercury material - this time elevated mercury and oxidative stress markers in the brains of autopsied autists. Nothing to implicate vaccines.

15. Autistic children may have neuroinflammation and larger brains. Nothing to implicate vaccines.

16. More about larger brains and neuroinflammation. Nothing to implicate vaccines.

17. More about oxidative stress in autism. Nothing to implicate vaccines.

18. More about thimerosal and glutathione depletion. Nothing to implicate vaccines.

19. Christopher Shaw's paper that shows that if you inject aluminum directly into the spinal cords of mice they get sick, NSS.

20. A correlation between mercury pollution and autism rates in Texas. Interesting, though I can think of multiple possible confounders, but does not implicate vaccines.

21. A correlation between air pollution and autism rates in San Francisco. Interesting, though I can think of multiple possible confounders, but does not implicate vaccines.

22. The Geiers study that found evidence of mercury toxicity in 8 patients. The evidence consisted of provoked urine mercury levels, which are not supported by scientific evidence.

23. Blood mercury levels are higher in Chinese children with ADHD than in controls. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

24. Blaxill's study that purports to show real increases in autism prevalence in California. Even if correct, this does not implicate vaccines at all.

25. Autism may be related to increased vulnerability to oxidative stress. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

26. Autism may be caused by neuroinflammation due to reactive oxygen species. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

27. More about mercury and other toxic metals, that can cause toxicity, NSS. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

28. Mitochondrial disorders may be a cause of a subset of individuals with autism, and may be related to environmental toxins. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

29. Industrial release of mercury, and proximity to industrial or power plant sources correlate with autism. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

30. Autistic children in Portugal have an unexpectedly high rate of mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders. Nothing to implicate vaccines at all.

So not a single on e of these studies demonstrates a link between vaccines and autism in any way at all. Why am I not surprised?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Julian

You dissed only 14 of the authors for the 30 studies showing a link between vaccines and autism. What about the other 16? I get it though -- any evidence by them is done by the Bad Guys. Our evidence is always done by the Good Guys.

JGC, we can have this dance for a long time to come.

It's like watching someone hopping unsteadily on one foot, shouting, "Look at me, look at me! I'm doing the Argentine Tango !"

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

We cross-posted Greg - anything intelligent to say about my comment? I'm still waiting for your explanation of how the Generation Rescue phone survey could come up with a such a high rate of autism in unvaccinated children.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Krebiozen,

Glad that you are coming out to play more often. Narad you gave quite a good impersonation! See -- in another time and place if you didn't have VCADOD maybe we could have been friends. Krebiozen, ditto to what I also said to Julian. Any evidence by them is cr@p; ours though is always pristine.

@Nomad

I am starting to feel that you don't answer the question because you are a 'sensible' person --if you know what I mean.

Krebiozen, ditto to what I also said to Julian. Any evidence by them is cr@p; ours though is always pristine.

I'm not saying they are crap (though some of them are), I'm saying that none of them demonstrate or even hint at a link between vaccines and autism. Only one of them even purports to show a link, and that is by comparing autistic children born after the routine hepatitis B vaccine was introduced with non-autistic children born before the vaccine was introduced. They couldn't fail to find a link. You could find a link between shoe size and vaccines if you do a study that way.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Game, Set and Match to Krebiozen.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Krebiozen - Greg remains a very interesting psychological study - this time representing an excellent example of "cognitive dissonance" by trotting out a "large numbers" of studies that he thinks show a link between vaccines & autism - though the majority of them are focused on either mercury or thimerasol exposure.....while at the same time, attacking us for stressing the large number of studies that refute any connection between thimerasol & autism (i.e. his constant referrals back to his original post on the "pro-vaccine playbook."

Again, cognitive dissonance at its best / worst.

@Krebiozen,
Well, isn't your 'nothing to implicate vaccines' mantra your interpretation? Seriously, Krebiozen? Remember the Church Lady from SNL (funny but when I picture her Lilady comes to mind): (Sarcastic voice) 'Well, isn't that special?'

@Orac's VCADOD Group,
Delurker brought up a good point. You need to seriously get your acts together and decide what you will do about me. Will you all ignore me and all? If your handling of a 'pathetic', 'desperately seeking attention' troll is so incompetent, how do you think you will be trusted by any passive lurkers? Focus people! Focus!

@Greg:

Well, isn’t your ‘nothing to implicate vaccines’ mantra your interpretation?

Inconveniently for you, it's also the interpretation backed by the facts.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Greg

Heck, if you all start ignoring me I may even start ‘pastaing’ AoA articles in their entirety here at RI.

Go for it. Just note that plagiarism and copyright infringement are generally frowned upon.

"You need to decide what to do with me"

Many of us have already decided to ignore the ignorant craving-for-attention Troll.

Didn't hear much coverage on this, but... Loyola owns Gottlieb and is a much larger hospital. It would make sense to transfer Alex there. Sounds like the mother and caregiver could be charged with murder (@Narad, you would know the correct charge). If so,.the Cook County Medical Examiner's office would probably handle the autopsy, tox screens, etc. I believe it would be highly unlikely for Alex to.have been restrained that long, unless the drugs given by the mother/caregiver caused him to be highly agitated and/or withdrawal from his regular medications caused similar problems. This.is mostly speculation, based on what I know from living here.

May Alex rest in peace and may justice be done to those who (allegedly) killed him.

Just got up to get ready for work (PDT here). Thank you Julian and Krebiozen for your excellent (and fast!) responses to Trollboi Greg's List of Irrelevance. I will see if there's anything I can add, but I doubt it.
Greg, I'm intrigued that you're getting such a kick from your behavior, especially as you are coming across as an immature jackass. But then, maybe that's just who you are. Be true to yourself, right?

Not no O/T...but Arthur Krigsman and Lenny Gonzalez have published a study, available at the PLOS Open Access website that "appears" to connect autism with bowel hyperplasia. (Their funding source is the Barbara Botford Johnson Foundation, which was the benefactor which set up Thoughtful House in Austin Texas for Wakefield, etal...

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0058…

^ Not so O/T...

@bad poet

The mother and godmother have been charged with first degree murder. From what I've read so far, they not only left a 3-page document describing how they planned for at least a week to kill Alex, but they also confessed to police.

Greg,

Well, isn’t your ‘nothing to implicate vaccines’ mantra your interpretation?

No. In what way do any of these studies suggest a link between vaccines and autism? Especially since 2001 hardly any vaccines have contained thimerosal, yet autism rates continue to rise in children who have had no thimerosal-containing vaccines at all, so even without the studies that ruled out thimerosal as a cause of autism, we can safely ignore the 15 studies that look at thimerosal and mercury.

Most of the others suggest that neuroinflammation and oxidative stress may play a role in autism. I can think of several more likely sources of neuroinflammation and oxidative than vaccines, not least natural infection, so none of these implicate autism. What's left? Seriously, you posted the link, you made the claim, please explain how any of those studies support your claim.

Uncritically copypasting a bunch of links to studies, or to articles, and claiming that they prove a point is a very common tactic by antivaxxers (and other pseudoscientists). They rely on most people not bothering to check on what the linked studies and articles actually say. I just recently pointed out on HuffPo that an antivaxxer's links didn't say what he claimed they did, and he accused me of attacking his integrity and went off in a huff. It seems clear in this case that Greg didn't even bother to read the page he posted, much less look at the studies referred to.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Typing too fast since I should really be doing something else. There should be an extra "since" in there somewhere, and I meant "none of these implicate vaccines", not " none of these implicate autism", but the meaning is clear enough.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

TBruce,

Thank you Julian and Krebiozen for your excellent (and fast!) responses to Trollboi Greg’s List of Irrelevance.

My pleasure. I'm developing something resembling a filing system so I have refutations of many of these claims at my fingertips. Also I'm in the UK so I'm some hours ahead of you.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Love it that I got under all the dateless and hopeless skins here!

I believe that you do indeed love that perception, but I have to wonder if you realize that what you are crowing about as a triumph is actually a confession of failure.

An important point in resolving any conflict is identifying where the conflicting parties agree; they can only find grounds for lasting agreement by figuring out what common ground they both agree on, and then each side arguing as convincingly as possible how their disputed views are more solidly rooted in that common ground than their opponents

At this point, NYautiemom, given all the behavior you've displayed so far, I cannot trust that you understand any of the principles of argument as practiced by fully socialized adults, so I will have to start with very, very basic principles. The first is this:

Escalating an argument from words to the use of physical force is a near-certain indicator of having lost the argument.

Very small children may have trouble grasping this, but someone who's old enough to be the parent of a child diagnosed with autism shouldn't find it challenging. If the guy at the bar says "Gomez is a better quarterback" and you say "Ramos is better than Gomez" and the guy says "No, Gomez is better and I'm going to smash your head into the wall until you say so!" has he really shown that Gomez is better? Not in the least; even if his threats of physical violence make people say "Okay, okay, Gomez is better" he's given no one any reason they should believe anything of the sort.

This leads us to a second, similar principle:

Pursuing an argument with words that have no purpose but attempting to inflict emotional damage on your opponent, is a near-certain indicator that you have lost the argument.

Again, an adult of normal capacity shouldn't have trouble following the logic. "Getting under the skin" of someone you're arguing with might feel like it's achieving a victory for your beliefs, but it's not, any more than smashing someone's head into a wall is establishing the superiority of your quarterback. In fact, resorting to "punishing" the other side for not bowing to your beliefs comes across as a very good indicator that you cannot argue for your beliefs in the way that adults in civilization learn how to do.

How do adults in civilization argue for their beliefs, then, you may ask? We touched upon it above: they figure out what beliefs they share with their opponents, then they show how the disputed beliefs they hold are rooted in the beliefs that all parties hold in common. Here is an example of argumentation that meets at least this base criteria:

If HBOT was an effective treatment for autism, then an autistic child treated with HBOT should improve. My son, an autistic child, was treated with HBOT and afterwards he improved. Therefore, this is evidence that HBOT is an effective treatment for autism.

It's an attempt, at least, to persuade people with logic instead of with irrelevant insults, so it's a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it still fails, because it's an example of a well-known fallacy called "affirming the consequent." No one is going to be convinced by it, unless their education lacked any coverage of how to spot fallacious arguments.

Here's a different argument, in the exact same form as the one above that concluded "HBOT is an effective treatment":

If Ellen DeGeneres was a dolphin, that would make her a mammal. Ellen DeGeneres is a mammal. Therefore, Ellen DeGeneres is a dolphin.

If we can insert two true premises into an argument of a particular form and reach an obviously false conclusion, it means that argument form is a fallacy. You cannot join two premises and expect to reach a reliable conclusion, no matter how solid the individual premises, any more than you could bind two aircraft towing cables together with a granny knot and expect to tow an airplane with the result. That's why your argument which you think should convince people that HBOT is an effective treatment doesn't actually convince anyone: we recognize the argument form as a fallacy, and we know that no matter how true the premises may be, we have no reason to think that conclusion is actually implied from them.

The same is true for your implication that since autism rates have been rising since 1985 and the vaccine schedule has been getting more aggressive over the same time period, this constitutes strong evidence that the two are linked. Even if both your premises were true*, your argument form is a classic example of "the ecological fallacy." If you claim that merely increasing over the same time period as autism implicates the vaccine schedule, you must agree that everything which increased over the same time period is equally implicated. Organic food? Supplements? Cable TV? Higher-efficiency flush toilets? Witless comedy films with titles in the pattern "Blahblah Movie"? Again, people who have taken the time and trouble to learn about fallacies recognize the "they were rising over the same period, therefore they must be cause and effect!" argument form as one that's no good for reaching reliable conclusions.

So, we can't promise that if you stop posting things that quite obviously have no purpose except to punish the people who disagree with you for daring to not agree with you, that you'll convince people. If you can manage to cut out the carhorning but your arguments are still all built on fallacies, it still won't be very convincing.

However, I can guarantee that the more you crow about "you guys are obviously all lonely hearts who weep in your parents' basement because you're such dateless losers!", the more the people you want to win to your way of thinking will say instead, "she wouldn't be talking about such clearly irrelevant issues if she had convincing arguments to make on the actual subject."

* In actual fact, autism diagnosis criteria have been changing since 1985, and many of those who would not be diagnosed autistic under 1985’s criteria would be so diagnosed now. Vaccine technology has also been improving since 1985; childrens' immune systems are actually exposed to fewer antigens from the complete schedule than they would have been at the earlier time. Neither of the premises on which NYautiemom's argument depends are reliable.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

JGC, let me make things even a little easier by also asking, ‘Greg, what is the single most compelling scientific evidence you have that drinking a bottle of bleach is harmful for your health?’

Greg, that doesn't make things easier, it avoids answering the question asked and introduces a meaningless false analogy. If you're seriously suggesting the only evidence drinking bleach is harmful is enecdotal accounts of illness following ingestion, then you're also being willfully dishonest.

Why not simply answer the question asked, and provide real evidence that a causal relationship between routine childhod vaccinations and the development of autism spectrum diorders exists? Oh, that's right--you don't have any.

Nice exposition of logic as always, Antaeus.

“you guys are obviously all lonely hearts who weep in your parents’ basement because you’re such dateless losers!”

I must admit her invocation of that stereotype made me laugh out loud, as it does when others hurl it as if it was a stinging insult. Personally I find it hard to imagine how I could resemble that stereotype less. Not least because I have been married twice, and my parents (neither of whom possessed a basement) have both been dead for several years. My own basement, as regulars know, is reserved for my collection of mason jars full of boiled urine.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

JGC, still thinking the drinking bleach anology was a pretty good one. And, yes, I don't have any real personal compelling scientific evidence at my disposal that drinking bleach is harmful. I am not disputing that it doesn't exist, but in fairness, you were asking me to speak from personal experience. Now why don't you guys give me that peer reviewed study that a non-vaxed population has a 1 in 50 autism rate and the vaccine 'bleach' is safe.

Greg, for the illness following drinking bleach to be analogous to purported autism following with routine childhood vaccination a great many things would have to be true ( e.g., roughly 95% of everyone in the US would have to be routinely drinking bleach without becoming ill in any way, there would be no identifiable causal mechanism by which drinking bleach could cause symptoms of illness, on investigation many of the children would be found to have exhibited the symptoms of becoming ill before drinking bleach (Cedillo videotape, anyone?) , large scale epidemiologic studies would have been conducted and found no association between the drinking of bleach and the likelihood of becoming ill, etc.)

Needless to say none of that is the case.

Greg truly is a silly duck. When asked for evidence that vaccines cause autism, he discusses drinking bleach. He demands a study showing the rate of autism in unvaccinated is 1 in 50, despite the fact that the burden of proof is on him to support his claim. The abundance of scientific evidence favors rejection of the vaccines-cause-autism myth. Therefore, anyone claiming that the opposite is true must produce evidence showing that vaccines do, in fact, cause autism.

Greg has now had, what, a month and a half? two months?, to come up with some evidence, and the best he could manage was a list of studies that do not investigate vaccines and autism.

Silly duck indeed.

@Krebiozen
"Greg didn’t even bother to read the page he posted, much less look at the studies referred to."

Nice try Krebiozen. I challenge all impartial lurkers to reveiw the studies and see if they honestly do not implicate vaccines in autism.

http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/30-scientific-studies-showing-the-link…

@Lawrence,

No cognitive dissonance here Lawrence. While I am aware of the scientific evidence that link vaccines to autism, it is still the parents' stories that carry the most sway with me.

Guys, I am outta here for the time being. As soken by another iconic movie legend, 'I will be back'!

Guys, I am outta here for the time being.

Too bad you don't have the wits to run away in a straight line, rather than circling like a pigeon.

Funny that Greg didn't answer to my homework or my findings regarding DTI. I will (not) be awaiting for an answer Greg.

Alain

While I am aware of the scientific evidence that link vaccines to autism, it is still the parents’ stories that carry the most sway with me.

Again, let's simplify things to make it as easy as possible for you to defend your position: of all the scientific evidence you state you're aware of which links vaccines and auism, what in your opinion is the single most compelling piece of scientific evidence linking routine vaccination to the development of autism spectrum disorders?

Be specific. If it's one of those 30 scientific studies, indicate which one. If it's some other study, provide the citation.

Only the first two lines should have been blockquoted.

Guys, I am outta here for the time being. As soken by another iconic movie legend, ‘I will be back’!

"I WILL be back"? Your consistent ability to screw things up amazes me.

Here's a legendary movie quote for you, trollboi, in honour of your departure:

Brave Sir Robin ran away.
("No!")
Bravely ran away away.
("I didn't!")
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
("no!")
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
("I didn't!")
And gallantly he chickened out.
****Bravely**** taking ("I never did!") to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
("all lies!")
Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Robin!
("I never!")

Greg: I have to point out here that many of your "friends" think that making their autistic children ingest bleach is just fine. I imagine quite a few of them would say bleach is harmless to humans.

By politicalguineapig (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

I challenge all impartial lurkers to reveiw the studies and see if they honestly do not implicate vaccines in autism.

Good grief, you are intractable, even when presented with incontrovertible evidence. In what way do those studies implicate autism?

It's like me pointing to a study that showed that bleach reduces the number of bacteria in toilets and claiming that this implicates bleach in gut dysbiosis because bleach killls bacteria - it doesn't follow, any more than showing that autism might be exacerbated by environmental factors, and may be associated with neuroinflammation demonstrates a link between vaccines and autism. Lots of things are environmental toxins, pre and post natally, and lots of things can cause neuroinflammation. Showing that something might be possible is not the same thing as showing a link.

One of those links is to an abstract that does suggest a link between vaccines and autism, and and abstract, is not a study (I have presented several posters at scientific conferences that resulted in published abstracts, and they were not peer reviewed at all) but it is ludicrously flawed.

I challenge anyone, lurker, impartial or not, to explain to me how a single one of those studies provides even a ghost of the remotest hint that vaccines cause autism.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Sorry, I can't type or proofread to save my life today - "an abstract is not a study".

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Hello everyone,

I have a post up at my blog regarding the latest issues I have with regard to my next apartment:

http://www.securivm.ca/2013/06/my-new-apartment.html

The post is offtopic according to the thread here but I'd like to solicit some advices regarding the correct way I can handle the situation.

Thanks
Alain

Greg @ 451

"Heck, if you all start ignoring me I may even start ‘pastaing’ AoA articles in their entirety here at RI."

Go on do that :) I'm pretty sure our esteemed host, whom I might add has had the decency to let you post here, will show you the door. The lack of intellectual rigour that is displayed in your arguments, your constant use of logical fallacies and your trollish behaviour won't be missed.

By Delurked Lurker (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

I started off being amused by NYAutieMom's last few messages, though puzzled by why people keep coming back to the same silly statements. Her comments about "bunch of fake, lonely people" sounds really odd given that people were telling her about their own spouses/partners and children. Certainly someone who has children, particularly children who are in some way differently abled as some have described, wouldn't fit that particular image.

But Antanaeus Feldspar's excellent post cleared it up for me. NYAutieMom likes to think of herself (if she is, in fact, a she) as a bully. If someone doesn't agree fully with her, she loves the thought of them crying softly in their garret, or possibly trembling with impotent rage because (s)he "got under their skins". This may be, in his/her view, a justification of her position - (s)he can convince her/himself that even though people argued against her/him, it was because they have nothing better to do in their sad, pathetic lives than automatically gainsay what (s)he says.

Well, as Elvis sang, I used to be disgusted but now I try to be amused. I'm sorry NYAutieMom likes trying to beat people up (metaphorically) so much. I think it makes her a terrible role model for her child/ren. I hope she's more considerate in real life. I do have some advice, though - if you really want to make nerds cry, you're going to have to step up your game. Prove them wrong with facts. That'll larn 'em. Heck, it might be a novel experience for you as well.

BTW - Greg - you clearly like to think of yourself as a bully as well, but you think of yourself as a charming one. Just my view - it's not working for you.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Nice try Krebiozen. I challenge all impartial lurkers to reveiw the studies and see if they honestly do not implicate vaccines in autism.

I don't know what Greg actually means with that qualifier "honestly." What he obviously doesn't mean is for lurkers to actually review the studies in an unbiased fashion, and come to an unbiased conclusion on whether they actually constitute any sort of good evidence for the claim that vaccines are implicated in autism.

To take just one study as an example, any truly unbiased, clear-eyed examination of the Geiers' paper would be met with a response like the following:

"Hmmm, these authors claim that they've shown autistic people to have mercury toxicity in their bodies by measuring their provoked urine mercury levels. But when you measure mercury toxicity with the standard test, you compare the results to the results of the same test on normal people, without mercury. This non-standard 'provoked mercury' test hasn't been tested on normal people, to see what kind of levels represent not having mercury toxicity.

"So what do the Geiers think we should be doing? Do they expect us to compare the results of two different tests, or do they expect us to compare the results of a test that is done to a test that is not done, and draw conclusions from that? Neither one makes sense!"

But Greg does not want people to make rational assessments of those studies that supposedly constitute an undeniable case. He wants people to evaluate them the same way he does, with unchecked confirmation bias, turning a blind eye to all the dubious leaps of logic necessary to pretend these studies implicate vaccines, pretending that the principle "a chain of evidence is only as strong as its weakest link" has a codicil of "unless you make a noxious jackass of yourself to anyone who dares to acknowledge the weak links."

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

@Antanaeus Feldspar - I think you're being too charitable to Greg. I don't believe he's either read or understood those studies. I don't believe he considers the studies important. He got them somewhere, AoA perhaps, and parrots the list when someone asks him enough times.

He's been specific and consistent - he considers parent testimonials the highest form of evidence. This scientific stuff means nothing if it doesn't match what he's heard.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

And, damn, I misspelled Antaeus Feldspar twice. My sincere apologies.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

M O'B:

I started off being amused by NYAutieMom’s last few messages, though puzzled by why people keep coming back to the same silly statements. Her comments about “bunch of fake, lonely people” sounds really odd given that people were telling her about their own spouses/partners and children.

In my opinion she was just making up stuff. The biggest one was she claimed to have paid the Mayo Clinic for a "blind study." That was the most ridiculous bit of trolling I have every seen. She could not even describe how it was done.

Chris - I have to agree with you. I am not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV), but if the Mayo clinic really had some way to determine that a child's autism was caused by a particular vaccine, that would be huge. I'm sure it would have been mentioned at least once before now and would have been in all the papers.

Perhaps it was the Hellman's clinic instead?

I dislike accusing someone of lying when they might simply be stating what happened badly or as seen through the lenses of their own experiences. But I found that "blind study" deserving of questions which were not answered.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien:

No, it wasn't Mayo: it was Galway.

At any rate, jumping off from what you and AF said:
I think that some visitors have a deep, underlying belief that they can somehow- as a tyro- come here and take' those smart@sses'- including our most esteemed and gracious host ( with the most)- 'down a peg'.

This resembles the worldview preponderant in woo-topia, wherein the lone, self-taught, maverick researcher disproves the ALL of the authorities and takes the scientific world by storm heralding in (( shudder)) Paradigm Shift and the New Jerusalem - or something.

I'm trying to think of stories or films with this motive- the simple, country person comes to the big city and shows everyone how to solve their problems. The maid shows her boss, a wealthy businesswoman how to fix her life. There's a bit of the Parsifal leitmotif as well- the pure, guile-less youth vs the entrenched and powerful, who are corrupt to the core. This idea is big at PRN: experts are malfeasants..

TMR constantly reminds us that experts know nothing ( that meme Orac used with the tape clip- "You know nothing!") but Moms do and alt media honchos have built fortunes and empires based upon this same idea that probably first raised its ugly head when an older child told the perpetrator that he or she didn't get the hang of how reality worked. And they've been striking back ever since.

Dunning and Kruger have a phrase- "inexpert and unaware".

They come here to raise their self esteem and go home thinking that they've trounced the smug, self-serving intellegentsia because they don't realise what has just happened to them, as Kreb said.

The jibe about the 'poor, lonely people' is another jab at raising self-esteem in order to make up for self-perceived lacks of ability or success, real or imagined.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

The most charitable interpretation is that she paid some charlatan of the Doctors Diagnosis variety to wave a dead chicken over a blood sample; and that the charlatans told her that the test was expensive because it was being conducted by the Mayo Institute.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

With respect to the likely long gone "NYAutieMom," the block of text attached to

Vaccine injury cases can be found, if one is willing to look

is a straight cut-and-paste from AoA, with the deletion of the final bullet point.

Just so y'all can have an alternate target to Mike:

The cat got to me emotionally more than Alex's murder did, too. Not because I don't think that murdering a child is worse than abusing a cat (get serious!) or anything like that, but because I have cats, care for them every day, and can imagine Bad Things happening to them.

The same isn't true of kids -- I can contemplate in an abstract way the abuse of children, but it's not "real" enough to me to affect me emotionally. It is, in a very real sense, unthinkable.

Is that where Mike's coming from? I have no idea, and I doubt whether anyone else here does either.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 18 Jun 2013 #permalink

Just so y’all can have an alternate target to Mike

If I wasn't clear, I was sympathetic to his position as well. The murder, frankly, was hardly even a surprise to me, given some of the backpedaling that started to turn up in the output of LJ's self-serving narrative factory. I've seen such faux "help" scheming implode before.

(I've also seen it implode when it was genuine, though.)