Earn CME credits for attending an autism quackfest!

Well, it snuck up on me again, the way it has a tendency to do every year. Maybe it's because Memorial Day is so early this year. Maybe it's because there's just so much work to do this week given the multiple grant deadlines. Whatever the case, it just dawned on my last night that today is the first day of the yearly autism quackfest known as AutismOne (AO), which is being held at the Intercontinental O'Hare Hotel near Chicago. Of course, things are different this year. Given the schism between team Crosby and pretty much everyone else in the antivaccine movement, it's unclear what the deal will be this year, although Jake Crosby will still be giving a talk there on Saturday. Hilariously, it would appear that he will be giving a talk about the very feuds he instigated last year, when he decided that Mark "Not A Doctor, Not A Scientist" Blaxill had somehow betrayed the purity of the movement by not giving his antivaccine hero Brian Hooker the due that Crosby thought Hooker deserved at the trumped up Congressional antivaccine hearings in 2012 and teamed up with Patrick "Tim" Bolen to attack his former friends and allies. Check it out:

So often, when we think of investigating autism, we think of discovering the physiological underpinnings. But what about the sociological forces that perpetuate the autism epidemic? Politics from without? Or – surprisingly – politics from within? In this startling lecture, Jacob Crosby, MPH, discusses the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena.

He's even billed as a featured speaker, something that isn't even true of Andrew Wakefield, who apparently will also be there.

Too bad I can't be there. It will be a laugh riot, I'm sure. Coincidentally, I will be in Chicago the following weekend for a real medical meeting, that of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Not that AO would let me anywhere near the hotel or conference, given its past history of ejecting anyone who might not toe the antivaccine line or might actually reveal the depths of quackery that are routinely presented there year after year, such as bleach enemas for autism, which will take the form of bleach enema karaoke (no, really, AO is advertising Kerri Rivera at the karaoke night) and talk by the very same über-quack Kerri Rivera, the woman most responsible for bringing the Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) protocol, a.k.a. bleaching autism away, to AutismOne. Also this year, using marijuana to treat autism seems to be big, probably because stoned autistic children are probably mellower and easier to manage, more than any actual real, therapeutic effect from the pot.

What struck me, though, as I perused the quackfest speaker list and schedule, was this:

This program will provide information for professional medical practitioners concerning the variety of pathophysiological processes frequently encountered in children with autism spectrum disorder. Topics covered will include metabolic, gastrointestinal, immunological, and neurological dysfunction. Subtopics that will be covered will include intestinal inflammation, methylation, oxidative stress, immune dysregulation, mitochondrial disorder, and detoxification impairment. Information will address comorbid disease states present in autism, and which suggest the benefit of a comprehensive approach to treatment. The program will familiarize practitioners with developing a comprehensive approach in the medical evaluation of ASDs, utilizing the principles of personalized care.

OK, this sounds like the standard sort of "autism biomed" quackery I've been discussing for years, quackery based on the idea that vaccines cause autism and that you have to "detoxify" to "recover" autistic children. It's simultaneously depressing and amusing how the term "personalized care" has been co-opted by quacks. Remember that in the hands of quacks, basically "personalization" or "individualization" of medical care means "making stuff up as you go along." (Yes, I would normally use another word besides "stuff," but NatGeo frowns upon—shall we say?—more colorful language, particularly if that color is brown.) In any case, you can actually get continuing medical education (CME) credits for one session of the quackfest! For those of you who aren't medical professionals, doctors and other medical professionals need to prove that they keep up with changes in medicine through continuing education. Talks, courses, and conferences that qualify offer CME credits for attending, and this session of AO will provide CME credits to physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who need CME credits to maintain their certification and licensure.

So who is there and what will be taught? Well, an oldie but moldy name is on the list: Richard Deth, who was an "expert witness" for complainants in the Autism Omnibus proceeding and appeared in the antivaccine propaganda film The Greater Good. He'll be giving not one, but two—count 'em, two!—talks about his redox regulation and methylation quackery for autism. Also there will be a guy named John Hicks, MD, whose talk is described as having "dedicated himself to the art and science of integrated holistic medicine. Using a cooperative medical, nutritional, emotional and energetic approach." His website advertises using "holistic medicine" that includes "energy medicine":

Cutting edge quantum physics and ancient mystic traditions tell us the same thing: The universe and everything in it, including the human body, is made up of energy. Pure energy is unmanifested potential. When that energy is manifested, it takes on physical form. Our bodies, therefore, are manifested energy. Each of us has our own unique energetic vibration and energy field that is connected to the energy of the universe. Energy flows from us, through us and to us every minute of every day.

Energy Medicine works with this energetic footprint and uses the innate wisdom of the body to shift negative energy, release blockages and restore balance and energy flow. The body always wants to heal itself. As energy medicine healers, we engage and facilitate the body’s own healing capacity. Because we believe that human beings are an energetic matrix of mind/body/spirit, energy medicine plays a role in all of our work.

That's some high grade, tasty woo. I might have to revisit Dr. Hicks' site, given that he also uses modalities like the raindrop technique and the usual dubious diet techniques such as:

  • Individual Allergy Assessments
  • Low Yeast/Sugar removal
  • Rotation and Elimination diets
  • Gluten and casein-free diet

And you can get CME credit for this!

There's also Norman Schwartz, MD, who appears to be the organizer of this segment:

We live in a world with so many chronic diseases. With 1 child in 68 now having an autism spectrum disorder, is autism a chronic disease with etiology common to other illnesses? Dr. Norman Schwartz will cover pathways in the body that can be predictive of autism and its comorbid conditions if perturbed by stressors. He will address the topic of epigenetics and what we need to add to our repertoire to bolster the body of parents-to-be and of children to stave off autism as well as what to avoid.

It turns out that Dr. Schwartz is an "integrative medicine" specialist. Unfortunately, his website is "under construction," so that all I can see of him is this:

Discover answers from ancient wisdom and modern science about the role food and nutrition play in activating your body's innate healing system.

My guess is that he probably offers the usual autism biomed nonsense. Let's see:

We live in a world with so many chronic diseases. With 1 child in 68 now having an autism spectrum disorder, is autism a chronic disease with etiology common to other illnesses? Dr. Norman Schwartz will cover pathways in the body that can be predictive of autism and its comorbid conditions if perturbed by stressors. He will address the topic of epigenetics and what we need to add to our repertoire to bolster the body of parents-to-be and of children to stave off autism as well as what to avoid.
Learning Objectives:

The student will learn:

  • What the discipline of epigenetics refers to
  • he metabolic pathways of the body that are most relevant to autism
  • What can help the metabolic pathways in a susceptible child
  • What environmental stressors are best to avoid by parents-to-be and children

Epigenetics. It had to be epigenetics. It's one of the new favored terms quacks use to justify quackery. Like "quantum," few people who aren't scientists know what epigenetics really refers to and it can be easily abused because it can be waved before non-scientists as a seemingly plausible explanation for magic, specifically the implication that one can change one's own genetics through diet and thinking happy thoughts, the way "quantum" can be invoked to seemingly justify magic like homeopathy and distance healing. Epigenetics. It's the new quantum.

In any case, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that one can get CME credit for attending a quackfest like AutismOne. After all, CME credits are routinely available for conferences like the Society of Integrative Oncology and various "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM) and "integrative medicine" conferences that teach a mix of mundane science-based modalities like diet and exercise that have been "rebranded" as CAM or "integrative" with modalities that are nothing more than pure magical vitalism, such as acupuncture, "energy medicine" like reiki, and even homeopathy. So getting CME for a session at a quackfest like AO shouldn't be too surprising. It's just the next logical step.

Which makes me wonder: What are the most egregious examples of quackfests or quack conferences that offer real, honest-to-goodness CME credit?

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I'd want to see proof that AutismOne is an accredited CME provider before forking over $649 for a grant total of 8 CME credits.

There are a lot of decent quality free CME courses out there for physicians and other health care providers, including autism-related CME.

I'm sort of disappointed that I missed out on a March homeopathy seminar sponsored by New York Medical College, which offered a whopping 135 CME credits. That'd be way more than enough to last me until my next medical license renewal.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

Oh, and NCCAM offers up to 10 _free_ CME credits for physicians. You have to watch an online lecture (without giving way to uncontrollable giggling) and pass a post-test with a score of 70%.

Topics include "health and spirituality", acupuncture and much more.

Too bad they don't offer CME on urine therapy.

http://nccam.nih.gov/training/videolectures

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

Orac, did you notice that, as listed, there doesn't seem to be much of an AoA/ TMR/ Canary presence at the quackf...erm... *conference*?

( I do see Lisa and Dave Goes, Thalia Michelle, Dads-with-books and Dan Burns. The TMs will supposedly hawk a healthy candy bar or suchlike to raise money for their new charity.)

I wonder why?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

I’d want to see proof that AutismOne is an accredited CME provider before forking over $649 for a grant total of 8 CME credits.

You're right. That is some expensive CME. I can get something like 25 or 30 credits to attend the AACR or ASCO meeting, and the total conference registration fee is around $600. However, normally what happens for such a conference is that the organizers contract with a company or university to be the CME provider. They don't do it themselves.

I reported a California nurse last year who was offering approved nursing continuing education credits for her courses on the evils of vaccines. The California Nursing board thanked me for my information and this nurse is still selling her course online.

Depressing.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

Re marijuana: My state recently passed a medical marijuana law. It wasn't given much of a chance until many, many parents filled the Capitol with their children (who were clearly suffering from a variety of awful conditions) claiming that marijuana was going to make them all better. It was difficult not to feel for their plight as parents, but I'm guessing they're going to be sorely disappointed when they find out that marijuana is likely just the latest cure-all fad and their children are not going to be miraculously cured.

Re "Yes, I would normally use another word besides 'stuff,' but NatGeo frowns upon—shall we say?—more colorful language, particularly if that color is brown:" I work in the legal field, which also frowns on colorful language. However, I once read a brief that labeled opposing counsel's argument as taurus excrementis. (Latin always sounds so erudite, doesn't it?) The judge agreed..

By The Midwesterner (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

It makes a good homeopathic nostrum label, too: 'Taurus excrementis, 100 C'...

By Irene Delse (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

I think that would be "excrementum tauris" or perhaps "excrementum bovis", if I recall my high school Latin correctly.
And to Irene Delse (#8), bat guano ("guano australis") is listed in at least one homeopathic formulary - though for what indications I do not remember: credulity would seem an obvious one.

By Derek Freyberg (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

@The Midwesterner

Plus there are those negative aspects of marijuana use, in that those who are predisposed to schizophrenia are more likely to begin exhibiting symptoms earlier if they use marijuana. Sounds like the perfect drug to use to treat a disorder that has a lot in common with schizophrenia (at least from an historical perspective).

I recently returned from the annual SAPA (Society of Army Physician Assistants) conference, and while most of it was pretty down-to earth practical medicine, (Army PAs tend towards the hard-headed type) I was very disappointed that there also included 2 sessions by a naturopath. I did not attend, but did grab a copy of his notes to see what sort of quackery was being promoted. My favorite bit was where he was discussing the fact that our bodies, being made of energy, have their own unique "vibrational rate" and that eating food that had the wrong rate of vibration to match your body would cause "dissonance", defined in this instance as farting a lot. Which was not the definition of dissonance I remember from my previous life as a musician, but might explain the difficulty of keeping baritones in tune.

I was irritated enough by his presence that I immediately volunteered to teach a session on Science-Based Medicine for next year, but since that would have me up there in open opposition to the new and highly touted field of "battlefield acupuncture" I don't expect a call back.

but since that would have me up there in open opposition to the new and highly touted field of “battlefield acupuncture” I don’t expect a call back.

Doesn't that concept suggest that if you're very, very lucky, being hit by several pieces of shrapnel at once might actually cure you?

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

The Cancer Control Society offers CME credits for nurses and dentists who attend its annual convention to learn about the latest developments in cutting-edge cancer research on laetrile, Hoxsey protocol, etc.

http://cancercontrolsociety.org/meeting2014-html.html

And tour the Mexican cancer clinics, of course.

By Mark Thorson (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

[Dangerous Bacon: "I’m sort of disappointed that I missed out on a March homeopathy seminar sponsored by New York Medical College, which offered a whopping 135 CME credits']

Of course you get lots of CME credits for homeopathy -- content is highly diluted....

[Dangerous Bacon: "I’m sort of disappointed that I missed out on a March homeopathy seminar sponsored by New York Medical College, which offered a whopping 135 CME credits']

Of course you get lots of CME credits for homeopathy -- content is highly diluted....

being hit by several pieces of shrapnel at once might actually cure you?

Well, it can be a permanent solution to any medical problems you might have. Admittedly, a little too permanent for my taste, as it also prevents any medical problems from developing in the future.

As for the concept of "battlefield acupuncture": Isn't there a large risk that vibrations and shock waves from exploding ordnance, etc., would cause the practitioner to stick the needles in the wrong meridian? IOW, this is something that makes no logical sense even in its own terms, let alone those of science-based medicine.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

I’d want to see proof that AutismOne is an accredited CME provider before forking over $649 for a grant total of 8 CME credits.

I'm in the throes of organizing our biennial conference. We're offering 6 CME's (and lunch) for $45 bucks. Clearly, I'm doing it wrong.

but since that would have me up there in open opposition to the new and highly touted field of “battlefield acupuncture” I don’t expect a call back.

Whenever battlefield acupuncture is mentioned, the dark side of me always envisions bayonets

The accrediting agency, ACCME, that is responsible for AO and the DAN conferences having CME does list guidelines of "quality" that must be met for accreditation. I looked into this years ago and wrote letters to the agency explaining that these were pseudoscience, that there was no evidence to support their claims and that they cause actual harm to autistic children. I have never received a reply.

I have renewed my efforts just recently to again try to get the CME accreditation revoked so that at least the sham cloak of scientific support would be ripped from them...it most likely will take a deluge of complaints to make the ACCME reconsider the evidence. I could use a little help!

Shay, I am in full agreement there.

All humor aside, (and I agree that the topic is truly risable) I just can't think of anything much stupider to do to a Soldier either on the battlefield or in the back of a filthy field ambulance than sticking them full of germ-laden needles so we can complicate whatever horrible injuries they have already sustained with some nice iatrogenic infections.

If I am ever unfortunate enough to take a hit, the only pain-relieving needle I want stuck in me is the one we've always carried before, with that nice morphine inside.

It almost makes me wish I were back on active duty. I would LOVE to have some dripshirt ask me if I wanted battlefield acupuncture.

Wow... Dr. Manuel Casanova is speaking at the conference, and he does actual autism research.

Maybe he will be talking about ultrasounds and autism, I don't know-- I was just very surprised to see his name on the list.

By Chadwick Jones (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

I forgot to mention that the Cancer Control Society conference CME credits are only for California dentists and nurses. The conference will be held in Universal City near Los Angeles, so be sure to drink your sunscreen!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2632554

By Mark Thorson (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

Coincidentally, I will be in Chicago the following weekend

I think I've got enough pin money to buy you a Malört.

@ Narad:

Oh surely there has to be something better to drink in a city like Chicago than that... er... stuff
Might I suggest Glenlivet or Glenfiddich?
Tanqueray Rangpur perhaps?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

I’d want to see proof that AutismOne is an accredited CME provider before forking over $649 for a grant total of 8 CME credits.

The 2012 version:

"This Live activity, AutismOne CME Program for Professionals, with a beginning date of May 24, 2012, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 9 Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. AMA/AAFP Equivalency: AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ toward the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit earned must be reported as Prescribed, not as Category 1."

Oh surely there has to be something better to drink in a city like Chicago

That's like pooh-pooing having a Yuengling in Philadelphia.

I just can’t think of anything much stupider to do to a Soldier either on the battlefield or in the back of a filthy field ambulance than sticking them full of germ-laden needles

Think of them as diluted, homeopathic shrapnel.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

Is there any contemporary mainstream medical organization that would issue a statement condemning quackery, in a manner similar to the one the British Association of Dermatologists released this week?

Remember when the AMA called chiropractic an "unscientific cult?"

Narad: Seriously, I would pooh-pooh *beer* anywhere.

AND if I wanted absinthe/ wormwood, I'd just spray myself with a scent called 'Body'- which I don't really like- rather than drink the stuff.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

As for the concept of “battlefield acupuncture”: Isn’t there a large risk that vibrations and shock waves from exploding ordnance, etc., would cause the practitioner to stick the needles in the wrong meridian?

Remember, it's auricular, so that would be the wrong part of the French inverted fetus.

@Derek Freyberg #9:
If I dust off my poor old battered high-school Latin, it's more properly "stercus bovis", or "faeces bovis", in classic Latin. But "bovis excrementum" is close enough for apothecary (or Hogwart!) Latin ;-)

By Irene Delse (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

@Denice Walter

Oh come on. You do know that absinthe makes the heart go fonder.

8 CME credits for AO but none for 3 days of (mostly) legitimate science at IMFAR last week. I believe a "WTF" is in order.

By Scott Myers (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

"Oh come on. You do know that absinthe makes the heart go fonder."

It's a little known fact that Noah forbade that drink from being brought onto his boat, because absinthe makes the ark go founder.

absinthe makes the ark go founder

No soup for you!

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

Hmm, I thought it was "absinthe makes the heart grow fungus".

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 21 May 2014 #permalink

@Bob G, are you by any chance a fan of the old radio show "My Word"?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

This gets curiouser and curiouser...

as I noted above, websites that usually create much ado publicising Autism One are not. This includes AoA, the Canary Party and Health Choice as well as their facebook pages.
- we learn that Stagliano will not attend ( she's taking a martial arts weapons seminar)
- Larson and Taylor seem more concerned with the congressional events that have just transpired
- TMR does mention that "Rev" Goes will present and that they will sell healthy candy bars there to raise money.

Perhpas they're so excited by the event that they just forgot.
-btw- Jake advertises his participation.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

Here is what baffles me about this yearly Autism One conference. It seems many of the same parents attend year after year, Kim Stagliano being one of them as an example. It also appears that each year there is a new "treatment" and endless other treatments yet it seems children, such as Stagliano's, are still as autistic as they were the year before. Does someone like her honestly believe attending this conference and wasting money and time is doing any good? I wonder if it is wishful thinking or just plain denial.

Maybe they all go just to party at night. Sad all around.

Jake is advertising his participation and he's in a bind, with the topic he has chosen:

"....the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena"

Does he have the fortitude to name those "obstructionist forces" and then blog about them? I doubt it.

Parents are wondering who will care for their autistic children after they are gone..the ones who will never be able to care for themselves or be able to live independently. This is a serious issue and I think this is behind all the searching for cures, etiology of the disease. What will happen to those children suffering the most severe symptoms when they reach the teen years?

Jake is advertising his participation and he’s in a bind, with the topic he has chosen:

“….the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena”

Does he have the fortitude to name those “obstructionist forces” and then blog about them? I doubt it.

It would represent an extreme failure of diplomacy and judgment on Jake's part to point fingers and name who he thinks those "obstructionist forces" are, since they are almost certainly those who share his paranoid antivax ideology.

Therefore, I'm sure he'll do it. I wonder if I should order my theater-sized box of Junior Mints ahead of time...

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

Parents are wondering who will care for their autistic children after they are gone..the ones who will never be able to care for themselves or be able to live independently. This is a serious issue and I think this is behind all the searching for cures, etiology of the disease. What will happen to those children suffering the most severe symptoms when they reach the teen years?

You're right, it's a very serious issue. That's part of why we get so disgusted with people who don't want to pursue realistic solutions, but instead want to chase fairy stories like "Oh, maybe if we shove bleach up her bum that'll cure her autism and then the problem will go away."

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@AF - Jake has made it abundantly clear that Blaxill is his sworn enemy & I have a feeling that he'll be the main focus of Jake's talk at the conference.....

I am imagining AF eating his candy and laughing as though he were in a theatre.

We really need a minion to spy on Saturday-
he or she should:
- be able to recall details w/o recording ( notes may also be out). Come on, didn't you get through grad/ med school?
- should not be identifiable by name or photo ( unfortunately that leaves out Liz , Alain and cakespeare- *Quel dommage*)
- should live near or be visiting the location
- shouldn't waste money put aside for necessities to spy on woo. Priorities first.
So only if you can afford a day at craptopia.

DO we know anyone like that? I am thinking of a particular gentleman who would be most excellent for the task....

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@ lilady

Thanks for that... I frequent his fiancé's (Dr. Emily Williams) blog at www.scienceoveracuppa.com and asked her why he would attend these events. I'm still a little shocked.

By Chadwick Jones (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

ACCME? Seriously?

weren't they the people who used to sell all those giant catapults to Wile E Coyote?

By incitatus (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@DW: Well, a few months back I sent a letter to all of the local Chicago news stations alerting them about Autism One and is sold there. Pam Zekman, who is a well-known investigative reporter from the CBS station, was curious. I gave her some details and referred her to Orac. Before the 2013 conference, I had a friend who knew a producer for a syndicated tabloid show and asked them to pursue the story. As far as I know, the tabloid show was unable to get a story to air (I contacted them on relatively short notice). On both occasions I told them about Autism One's attitudes towards reporters.

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@DW: I have also been monitoring a group called the Genesis II Church, which Kerri Rivera belongs to and which sells bleach enemas. The church holds local seminars for MMS salesmen and posts notices for them on its website. I have contacted journalists at these locations and suggested they do pieces on the church.

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

anon:

What will happen to those children suffering the most severe symptoms when they reach the teen years?

We don't have to wonder; many of them *have* reached their teen years. There is a severely autistic boy in my church, and he's in his teens now. He's made a lot of progress, and is able to get around and be taken places with his parents, but he's not very communicative so it's hard to know how much he gets out of things. He seems to be pretty happy, though, which is more than could have been said ten years ago. He's made a lot of progress, thanks to behavioral supports, but he'll never live independently. His parents are not young, so there are some difficult choices in the future. He will always need someone looking after him.

Kim Peek (who was not autistic, but had similarly severe impairments) became the lifelong project of his father. Not in the sense that his father was trying to build something out of him or anything like that, but that his father had devoted his life to caring for his son. I hope he's been able to move on and find a new focus since his son has passed away now. Moving on after such an all-consuming focus is difficult. Is it better or worse than if Kim had survived his father? Hard to say.

Used to be, folks like that went into institutions. There are still group homes and things like that, but of course there is only so much room. School districts can be some help in guiding them into programs like that, as they now are required by law to provide transitional education between the ages of 18 and 21, so they don't just drop off the face of the earth after high school graduation, but it's still terrifying to consider what will become of these kids.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@baffling
Here is what baffles me about this yearly Autism One conference. It seems many of the same parents attend year after year, Kim Stagliano being one of them as an example. It also appears that each year there is a new “treatment” and endless other treatments yet it seems children, such as Stagliano’s, are still as autistic as they were the year before. Does someone like her honestly believe attending this conference and wasting money and time is doing any good? I wonder if it is wishful thinking or just plain denial.

Because it's nothing but a circle jerk of masturbatory self-congratulations, enabling and others who blindly fit into their world-view. This is their mothership, they need it.

Anon, I think there are many, many people who may have that mindset, try everything.

Unfortunately, those who run that show don't seem to care about autistic children and future support/resources, because if they did, they would move on from beating these long dead horses. This is a place for them to lament how they've been wronged and their children stolen, and they are the heroes for (trying to) getting them back.

It truly does boil down to one giant anti-vaccine wank. If they were TRULY, TRULY interested in the well-being of children on the spectrum, they'd move far outside speakers/exhibits who boil down to one thing: vaccines cause autism. This is for themselves, not their kids.

By AnObservingParty (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@Julian Frost

My Word. It used to come on in Los Angeles on Saturday evenings, followed by My Music. We would actually drive around and listen to it on the car radio. I still remember a couple of the puns uttered as the final lines in those story contests:

F McQ Sigby, the fool for love, ply on.
The policeman's daughter's not a harpy Ron.

We haven't had it in L.A. for years, and I heard that at least one of the participants passed on. I think it was Frank Muir. Looking it up, I find that the program began in 1956, ran through 1967, and had another run into 1990. There was definitely a worldwide following.

Thanks for the reminder, and I will try to find downloadable files of the old shows.

@ Calli:

It never fails to amaze me how Ann Dachel- and others who are over age 40- go on ( and on and on) about there being 'no autistics who are older than 30'/ 'why are there so many children with disabilities NOW?' etc
when OBVIOUSLY they are old enough to remember institutions which housed many children and adults who were categorised in those days as either "mentally ill" or "mentally retarded" -
some of these people were autistic; others were not.

There was a trend towards de-institutionalisation and a few diagnostic shifts within their memories. Olmsted is about 60 and Blaxill must be at least 50; others are not much younger. Where were they? If you grew up in an English-speaking counrty you would know about these places- this is part of our general culture- horror stories, both real and imagined all included.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

A few years ago, an older director and a younger actor made a film about a mental institution on an island ( "Shutter Island") and went to great pains to explain to their younger audience that places like this - although perhaps not so melodramatically located and managed- existed.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

the closure of some of them was a source of much mourning amongst patients and staff. The horror story meme means we tend not to recognise how good the best could be...

although the worst could be worse than the stories

By incitatus (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

incitatus @52: IIRC the giant catapult was the one piece of equipment Wile E. Coyote neither built himself nor sourced from Acme[1] (IIRC it was from Roadrunner Industries or something similar). But like the Acme products, it failed spectacularly.

This particular ACCME fail wasn't as flamboyant, but it is still a definite fail on their part.

[1]"Acme" actually is an English word meaning "pinnacle" or "peak", but thanks to Chuck Jones's brilliant work, almost everybody who grew up in the US in the 1950s or later associates that word with the fictional mail-order company that supplies Wile E. with gadgets. A professor I know who grew up outside the US once proposed a project with the acronym ACME, which needless to say was not funded.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

Denise,

Several of my husband's relatives worked for one of the "state schools" (and, as it happens, one of the few that's still open, though with a greatly reduced number of residents). The state schools were, of course, not actually educational institutions but residential long-term mental health care facilities. Asylums, in the old language for such things. The one his relatives worked at is still open, caring for some of the most severely afflicted, people who had spent their entire lives there and who not only cannot care for themselves but who have no families who are willing/able to take them in. Some have outlived the people who institutionalized them, and have no living family that they have ever met.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

#59 Eric, I know that and you know that but does anyone else...actually i had a teacher at school who would frequently refer to his Jaguar as "the Acme of the motor vehicle engineers art""
Until a giant magnet came out of the bonnet and pulled an anvil onto him.

By incitatus (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

bat guano (“guano australis”) is listed in at least one homeopathic formulary – though for what indications I do not remember

Vampirism

It never fails to amaze me how Ann Dachel- and others who are over age 40- go on ( and on and on) about there being ‘no autistics who are older than 30′/ ‘why are there so many children with disabilities NOW?’ etc

Dahel has recently taken to time travel. Regarding the Arizona Autism Charter School,

"So why did this mom have to start her own school for autistic children? Schools must have been providing for these kids in the past, right? I guess not. So, since the founding of our country no one in education cared about autistic kids."

@ Calli Arcale: NYS ARC President Marc Brandt posted this, about the announcement of the closures of the last developmental centers. Scroll down to see the one comment by the founder of the VOR organization. (VOR is buying ad space on AoA and they are a front for the unions who staff those developmental centers).

We know where Kim Stagliano will be on Sunday, June 8th.

http://vor.net/events

http://blog.nysarc.org/2013/07/29/politics-as-it-happens-state-to-close…

Messed up the placement of those links...sorry.

Well, you all have convinced me; we're upping the price to $50 (6 CME's and a box lunch. Maybe a conference bag with a free pen if I can find a sponsor).

I loved My Word. The only pun I remember is "An eel-flavored thing, but mine own."

In other news, Gerg has taken to Disqustink. Get this:

As for all you parents out there who are truly interested in getting a jump on treating your kids' autism, you may want to get in touch with me. I know of a very effective technique, that is so good that it often prevents autism in the first place. Note also that I will share this info without expecting any donations in return.

He apparently hasn't figured out that there's no way to "get in touch with" him.

I know of a very effective technique, that is so good that it often prevents autism in the first place.

So do I. It's called "birth control". You can't have an autistic child if you don't conceive a child.

Oh, you have something less drastic in mind? OK, but I have trouble envisioning a technique that would be so effective and not have a side effect that's arguably worse than the autism it is supposed to prevent.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

So do I. It’s called “birth control”.

Turns out he's opposed to gay marriage on the basis of procreative intent, as well.

Covered in a little brie for Thora T..
Ring; down; the curtain... the fussy sofa.
What?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

@ Narad:

Do you think that this is the first rumblings of a business venture he'll hawk or merely lamezoid advice such as 'chelate out the bad, stop vaccinating' or suchlike?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

Do you think that this is the first rumblings of a business venture he’ll hawk or merely lamezoid advice such as ‘chelate out the bad, stop vaccinating’ or suchlike?

Based on his history, I'm going with "making things up again."

How can they call this responsible journalism? Kim S has a point!

To be fair to the WashPost, the real irresponsibility lies with the "researchers", who devoted much of their paper looking for excuses to shoe-horn famous murderers into retrospective diagnoses of "autism". But I agree that a responsible columnist would have given the paper the oblivion it deserves.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

Preventing autism in the first place is a pretty easy claim if you're willing to stoop down to wooful levels. With an incidence rate of 1 in 68, just about anything can be claimed to prevent it in the other 67 kids. All you need is a good lie and absolutely no morals.

By Uselesstwit (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

BobG @57

Was Clement Freud on My Word or am I thinking of Just a Minute.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 22 May 2014 #permalink

Turns out he’s opposed to gay marriage on the basis of procreative intent, as well.

Why does this not surprise me?

I just looked up Clement Freud. Interesting person. It seems that he was on Just a Minute, which I didn't know about. Wikipedia has a lengthy bio.

the golden age of Just a Minute was Clement Freud, Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo.

By incitatus (not verified) on 23 May 2014 #permalink

Since energy is measured in calories ... obviously the most energetic people are the fattest.

By Joseph Hertzlinger (not verified) on 24 May 2014 #permalink

Heh!

Jake announces his invitation to speak at A1, and John Best shows up to say 'I know the Truth, and you don't'. Jake says 'tell me', and Best goes into full loon mode (but only about a 6.5 on the Best scale).

Even the Brain Trust that makes up Jake's Minions know not to engage the fruitcake, and Best gets tired of being ignored. In response, Best wants to take his posts and go home.

http://www.autisminvestigated.com/jake-crosby-speaks-autismone/#comments

Any bets if Jake will scrub Best's rants or not?

Jake is in a bit of a quandary:
he *really* wants to shout his Truth from the rooftops; post it on you tube and on his site
BUT
he knows that as soon as he does his critics will have a field day with his drivel.- and he has so many critics including yours truly.
HOWEVER he just doesn't understand that if you make extraordinary claims that go contrary to what most reasonable people as well as experts hold, you also need to show extraordinary evidence, data and numbers- not just suspicions and idle fantasies.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 May 2014 #permalink

Even the Brain Trust that makes up Jake’s Minions know not to engage the fruitcake

"John Best: The CDC was once part of the US Navy , and has been spun off but it still has links (source Stanley Plotkin)"

Just like the Sea Org.

Re: Dachel's look at the past (Narad #65)

So, since the founding of our country no one in education cared about autistic kids

Newflash, honey: the universe is not fair, and past societies were full of people who didn't give a damn about "the mentally ill" - or, to be more fair, past societies didn't have the resources to help everybody. Shocking, isn't it?
Wait, it's the same person who believe there is this massive cover-up of vaccine damage?

Re: bat guano

bat guano (“guano australis”) is listed in at least one homeopathic formulary – though for what indications I do not remember

It could be some homeopath was also a fan of Ancient Egyptian medicine. They were using bat guano as one ingredient for eye poultices. Undiluted, of course.
A modern-day attempt of rationalizing it was that bat guano is full of vitamins. I'm not sure I buy it.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 May 2014 #permalink

Wrong. Bat Guano is a character in Dr Strangelove.

You're both wrong. :-) Bat guano is implicated in the transmission of histoplasmosis and hemorrhagic fever diseases. I wonder if the homeopaths are going to offer diluted bat guano to cure these diseases.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/bats/

A modern-day attempt of rationalizing it was that bat guano is full of vitamins. I’m not sure I buy it.

Darren Naish: "Furthermore, bat poo is - comparatively - quite nutritious and similar in protein content and calorific value to the McDonald's Corporation Big Mac sandwich Fenolio et al. (2006) compared it with ...] The short gut carrying time of the bats that produced the guano (Myotis grisescens, the Grey bat) means that their dung is quite rich in calories and nutrients."

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 May 2014 #permalink

Johnny: I just got finished Jake's viewing presentation. It is totally boring and unimpressive...and poorly attended (I estimate no more than twenty people in the audience).

I'm so sorry I wandered over to that site with all the Autism One videos. I wasn't able to give Jake more than about five minutes of my attention before I got totally bored, but then I noticed all the other videos at the bottom of the page.

Like driving past a car accident, I couldn't resist watching the MMS seminar with Kerri Rivera, the first time I've seen her live in action.

After two years spent learning all about MMS and its "protocols," reading lunatic Jim Humble's rants and his Genesis II "church" website, and all the comments from supporters on science blogs, I thought I was pretty much prepared for anything. I was wrong. My stomach turned watching and listening to this vile woman (and her sister) with her PowerPoint slides, as she describes the "parasites" you see coming out after administering MMS and her advice to "double the enemas" for better results.

I guess I hoped it was all some sort of urban legend; that no one really advocated MMS enemas. Watching the video made it all too real and disgusting.

Can this video be turned over to authorities as evidence and endorsement of child abuse? Is Rivera really a "doctor" (MD) or a chiro, ND or some non-science related Ph.D milking the title "doctor" for credibilty?

I need a shower now. This truly is disgusting.

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 05 Jun 2014 #permalink

Oh, God, that's painful to watch. I don't know if even Orac can blog Jake's talk. He's such a terrible public speaker, and the BS he's laying down is duller than watching paint dry. I couldn't even finish it, and I've subjected myself to some horrors in the service of this blog and skepticism. Maybe I'll try again over the weekend. Maybe not. I don't know.

I was in a rather good mood as I had just returned from my *latina* dance class and had Chinese food so I watched.

Absolutely abysmal! He perseverates upon the same dreck as that which clogs his blog : it's detritus and and and
oh lord ,,, he doesn't know how to speak publicly...
there is neither rhyme nor reason in his topic.
It's anti-vax gossip and us-vs-them and Mark is awful.
He said this, she said that. He wrote this and then I wrote that. So amazingly unrelated to real world issues.

I viewed the entire 43 minutes of claptrap, trash, nonsense.
Brian called him a guttersnipe (papaphrase) or suchlike.
Brian was being far too generous.
-btw- he mentions Orac and scienceblogs.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Jun 2014 #permalink

Heh, same old sh!t, different forum and same old wrinkled white shirt, different city. Why doesn't anyone tell him his toxicity has nothing to do with the vaccines he received?

Why is he so awful at public speaking? I've done two presentations at Special Interest Group in Software Testing (SIGiST) meetings. Both times, my talks were enjoyed. It's not that hard to prep for it.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 05 Jun 2014 #permalink

"Why is he so awful at public speaking?"

Because he's running true to form. :-)

Take a look at the this video posted by The Canary Party and the comments from "Milwauken".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7LKrOPFt2A

"Milwauken

1 year ago

I hope a rift never occurs between Jake Crosby and the Canary Party! Imagine the damage that Jake could do if he starting sharing private emails."

Why is he so awful at public speaking?

Some of us are just bad at it,

When I have to stand up and give a talk, it's an ugly thing. I stutter and stammer, mumble, get lost, and get clumsy and shaky. I make the kid look downright eloquent.

It's not a matter of preparation. For me, it's the act of being front and center. I don't think you can blame Jake's performance on prep either. After all, his talk is just the main points from 4 or 5 post from his blog. There was nothing new at all that I heard.

@WooFighter: Did you know that Jim Humble was a Scientologist for 25 years before splitting and founding his "church"? And apparently the Genesis II Church steals most of its theology and practices from Scientology, including Humble's egocentric take on the Xenu story.

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 09 Jun 2014 #permalink

Why is he so awful at public speaking?

I had put watching this out of my mind, but then I sent ERV a link to Mikovits's A-Balloon slides and ultimately felt like a cad.

It's not nearly as bad as I had feared. The basic rule of not reading the slides is violated, and I don't know whether there was some techincal reason for being wedded to the lectern (he has a mic on his shirt, after all), but it didn't seem to be a freakout in action. The attempts at eye contact and body language are much less forced than I've seen in the past.

It's unclear why there seem to be edits in the video; one incurs no audio interruption. Anyway, I don't imagine it's the sort of thing he has much opportunity to rehearse in anything resembling a realistic setting, though.

Lose the lectern, and it seems like this would be par for the course. Jake starts to extemporize about Thorsen around 14:50; "well, why do you think, SafeMinds" at about 15:50 is delivered quite naturally and well.

But, I mean, get somebody to measure your sleeve length, man. Knuckle Cuffs aren't in.

I skipped to the end. The concluding statements are simply too brief after half an hour of linearity. I'm probably going to put off the Q&A in favor of trying to arrive at a reasoned opinion whether The Starlost is really the worst sci-fi TV program of all time.

Why is he so awful at public speaking?
Some of us are just bad at it,

My strategy has been to rock up wearing a particularly tasteless t-shirt. It is very relaxing to know that you have lost all credibility right at the start, and there is nowhere to go but up.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Jun 2014 #permalink

I skipped to the end. The concluding statements are simply too brief after half an hour of linearity. I’m probably going to put off the Q&A in favor of trying to arrive at a reasoned opinion whether The Starlost is really the worst sci-fi TV program of all time.

Having been one of the few unfortunates who caught a short-lived oddity called Hard Time On Planet Earth, I am morally confident that The Starlost is a classic for the ages by comparison.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 10 Jun 2014 #permalink