Monday, February 18, 2008

PSA for the AAP

The popular press loves a good conspiracy theory. It makes for good copy. It sells. Even when it's not entirely based in fact.

So I guess it's no surprise that when it comes time to do an "autism story," the popular press tends to rely heavily on the vaccine theory of autism causation. There are a lot of big name celebrity advocates who support the theory, and their big names get big air time. Even when their theories are not entirely based in fact.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is hoping to bring some balance - and some factual information - to the forefront in the press coverage of the autism story. They're looking for people - real people with real stories, and not just big names who draw big numbers - to share their own experiences and their own beliefs. An e-mail request from Susan Stevens Martin, Director of the Division of Media Relations for the AAP, is printed here in full:


As part of our ongoing response to media stories regarding autism and vaccines, the AAP communications department is compiling a list of parents who support the AAP and are available for interviews. We are looking for two types of parents who could serve as spokespersons:

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who support immunization and who do not believe there is any link between their child's vaccines and his or her autism.

Parents of children who suffered a vaccine-preventable illness. This could be a parent who declined immunization, whose child became ill before a vaccine was available, or whose child was ineligible for immunization.

We are asking for your help identifying parents who would be good spokespersons. They do not need to be expert public speakers. They just need to be open with their story and interested in speaking out on the issue. We will contact candidates in advance to conduct pre-interviews, to offer guidance on talking to reporters and to obtain a signed waiver giving us permission to release their name.

If a parent were placed on our list, we would offer their name and contact information to select media. We hope to build a list of parents from a wide range of geographical areas.

As the Jenny McCarthy and "Eli Stone" stories illustrate, this issue is likely to recur in the national and local media. The AAP is committed to doing all we can to counter such erroneous reports with factual information supported by scientific evidence and AAP recommendations.

The anti-vaccine groups often have emotional family stories on their side. The ability to offer a reporter an interview with a similarly compelling parent who is sympathetic to the AAP's goals is a powerful tool for our media relations program.

Please contact me if you have any questions or to suggest a parent to interview.

Thank you,

Susan Stevens Martin
Director, Division of Media Relations
American Academy of Pediatrics

If you are interested in getting involved with the AAP's parent program, you can contact Susan Stevens Martin directly at


Maddy said...

PSA? Did I miss that bit out?

MOM-NOS said...

Public Service Announcement. Sorry for the confusion - just being too clever by half. Again.

Matt said...

Thank you very much for this!

I called the AAP as soon as I read this on the GR webstite. I don't think that was there intention, though.

sparklesgrrl said...

Awesome idea for an ad campaign.

I had whooping cough when I was younger... not fun.

Vaccines - a good idea. Duh.

Daisy said...

I saw this on another blog as well. There must be enough articulate families to help explain the real truth.

Anne said...

I can't get on board with this. Although I don't believe my son's autism is caused by vaccines, I do believe that some autism IS. I know too many parents who had "normal" children until a vaccine and within HOURS of the shot their child was changed forever. Besides, have you seen the ingredients in some of those shots? Formaldehyde, aluminum... Had I known then what I know now, my kids never would have received vaccines.

MOM-NOS said...

Thanks for your comment, Anne. Like you, I don't think Bud's autism was caused by vaccines, but I'm also not able (or willing) to make broad proclamations that there is no environmental or medical link to some conditions that are currently being diagnosed as autism. I'm just troubled when I watch programs in the popular media (which have the greatest access to the greatest number of people) that show a very narrow view on the issue.

I liken it in some ways to the climate crisis. I can't quote the numbers, but in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore showed that there was a wild discrepancy between the number of articles in respected peer-reviewed science journals that suggested that global warming is a myth (none, as I recall) and the number that appeared in the popular media (a huge number). I often think that something similar is starting to happen re: autism and vaccines.

MOM-NOS said...

And also, just for the record, I'm glad I had Bud vaccinated on schedule and I will continue to keep his vaccinations up-to-date.

David said...

The mystery of the rise of autism is so frightening that, in my opinion, it's almost excusable to grope for explanations. Chemical agents are a natural target as we've been running this commercially-driven "better-living-through-chemistry" experiment for some 50 years now.

Remember (circa 1950s) when "refrigerator mothers" were thought to be the cause of autism? Until we really know more, groped explanations will get more attention than they should. The press cannot abide an effect without a cause.

I think that our minds are our most fragile feature and therefore the most prone to damage by all the horrors of our post post post modern lifestyles. But we learn more all the time. May that curtain between our minds and our organic selves open wider each day.

Bannie said...

One of the mom's I know says that her son's autism is due to a series of catastrophic events. What and when and why is the mystery. Discovering a genetic component is interesting but figuring out what is wrong with our planet is critical! Too many kids with autism,asthma,allergies,and ADHD to pretend the environment isn't a big part of the problem.

Harvest Mom said...

Trying again, my comment from earlier seemed to get lost in cyber-space.

I find it amusing that the "proof" this organization needs to once and for all show that Autism is not neccessarily caused by vaccines can be found amongst those of us in the non-vaccinating community whose children still have developed Autism. Of course, they wouldn't want OUR endorsement (nor would we give it to them) because the reason we don't vaccinate our kids is that we believe it will damage them. Since my son wasn't vaccinated (until he was 4 yrs old and long since diagnosed), I can 100% tell you that vaccines played no role in causing his Autism. However, I can only imagine the damage it may have done to overload him with vaccines at the time he was developing the skills that were already damaged by Autism.

Guess they won't be knocking on my door to ask for a statement....

dmdm said...

Thanks for the info.

We do not believe that shots caused our son's autism either. We have too many genetic factors playing into our dx. I just wish researchers could focus more time looking at other common denominators in 1 in 150 children rather than having to disprove one theory that doesn't apply to the disorder as a whole. And I do believe vaccinations are to blame for many cases of ASD, but in those cases (I believe, JMHO) the shots were the 'environmental trigger' in a genetic disorder.
What do I know? I'm just a Mom.
Thanks again for passing along this letter.

Anonymous said...

Please understand, this massive mercury poisoning is
very embarrasing to the medical establishment. The truth is
comming out, the jeanie is out of the bottle. There will be no
putting it back in.this was in a news article,
If you check the statement " for those who believe vaccines can cause autism " you see they are right. They
the vaccines don't cause autism. But a simple Google search will
net you a wealth of research, that heavy metals and toxins
as ingrediants in the vaccines for example: just ethyl-mercury in vacc's
in Parts Per Billion comming in at 37,500 PPB. liquid toxic waste
is a wopping 200 PPB it would take a fool to defend 37,500 PPB
can .;cause mitochondria dysfuntion, it would take a fool to dispute
this. You see they deplete the glutathion in the mitochondria.
we now know the mechanisim that caused the depletion of our childs glutathion it was as we thought."Vaccinations contain at least four neuro-toxins: mercury, formaldehyde, MSG and aluminum hydroxide.All of which can and have
caused mitochondrial disorders
" my son, like thousands of others have Labs proving mercury toxicity"

"Metal toxicity" creates multisystem dysfunction,
which appears to be mediated primarily through
mitochondrial damage from glutathione depletion.
Accurate screening can increase the likelihood that patients
with potential metal toxicity are identified.
This was gleaned in seconds with a simple Google search.

Heavy-Metal Toxicity—With Emphasis on Mercury
John Neustadt, ND, and Steve Pieczenik, MD, PhD

Mitochondrial Damage
One major mechanism for metals toxicity appears to
be direct and indirect damage to mitochondria via depletion
of glutathione, an endogenous thiol-containing (SH-)
antioxidant, which results in excessive free radical generation
and mitochondrial damage.28 Anecdotally, Dr
Neustadt, in his clinic, frequently observes an elevation of
urinary pyroglutamate, an organic acid that is a specific
marker for glutathione depletion in patients with confirmed
mercury toxicity.29 Not surprisingly, these patients
also complain of fatigue, a hallmark symptom of mitochondrial
Mercury can accumulate in mitochondria and causes
granular inclusions, which are visible with a scanning electron
micrograph.30 Oxidative stress occurs in vitro and in
vivo from both organic and inorganic mercury via their
high affinity for binding thiols (sulfur-containing molecules)
and the depletion of mitochondrial glutathione.27
The central nervous system is particularly sensitive to
damage by MeHg-induced glutathione depletion. In one
study, ex vivo human neurons, astrocytes, and neuroblastoma
cells were exposed for 24 hours to various levels of
MeHg. The LC50 (concentration at which 50% of the cells
died) My thought
Isn't it strange that most
children have glutathion depletion
that have vacc. induced Autism "AKA" Mitochondrial disorders,

Some children that have a DX. for autism also have high testosterone from depletion of glutathione. It's sort of like a car with the accelerator stuck open making testosterone and cannot stop. In New Haven, Conn. a Yale School of Medicine study shows for the first time that a high level of testosterone, such as that caused by the use of steroids to increase muscle mass or for replacement therapy, can lead to a catastrophic loss of brain cells. AKA apoptosis. these children are in a position as if you
were shooting them up with steroids and have roid rage this will
help explain this statement:"Then his parents began to notice changes in his behavior.

"That was the most difficult," she said. "The thing that was of huge concern was a lot of aggression and violence. That was, to us, unexplainable. He was constantly crying, unhappy, angry, lashing out. I sought several doctors in tears, wondering what I might be doing wrong. I would have thought this type of behavior only came from abused children." Dear Elsass family my son had three times the testarone as a normal child.