Tag Archives | Autism

D&D Doings TV Spot

Reddit user NoamCosby has an autistic brother who enjoys writing scripts for fake commercials. Afterwards, much to his delight, Noam and his buddies film them. Here's one of those commercials for "D&D Doings". In my opinion, it's a masterpiece of absurdist humor and charming example of the bond between the brothers.
Continue Reading

Congress Holds An Anti-Vaccination Hearing

The anti-vaccine movement has friends in powerful places in the form of congressional Republicans, Steven Salzberg reveals via Forbes:

I was in my car yesterday listening to C-SPAN, when to my stunned surprise I heard Congressman Dan Burton launch into a diatribe on how mercury in vaccines causes autism. The hearing was held just a few days ago by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Congressman Burton used this hearing to rehash a series of some of the most thoroughly discredited anti-vaccine positions of the past decade.

To make matters worse, the House committee invited Mark Blaxill to testify. Blaxill is a well-known anti-vaccine activist whose organization, SafeMinds, seems to revolve around the bogus claim that mercury in vaccines causes autism. His organization urges parents not to vaccinate their children, and giving him such a prominent platform only serves to spread misinformation among parents of young children.

The committee called on scientists Alan Guttmacher from the NIH and Colleen Boyle from the CDC to testify, but in fact the committee just wanted to bully the scientists.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

UK Website Ordered to Remove Controversial Claims About MMR Vaccine

Photo: Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image Library (PD)

Via BBC News:

The owners of the website babyjabs.co.uk have been ordered by the British Advertising Standards Authority to retract from the site controversial statements positing a connection between autism and the childhood MMR vaccine:

Babyjabs.co.uk said the three-in-one jab may be causing “up to 10%” of autism in children in the UK.

But the Advertising Standards Authority ruled the claim was misleading and must not appear again, after getting a complaint.

The website was also told not to repeat other claims it made about MMR.

These included the suggestion that “most experts now agree the large rise (in autism) has been caused partly by increased diagnosis, but also by a real increase in the number of children with autism”.

Another claim said the vaccine-strain measles virus had been found in the gut and brain of some autistic children, which supports many parents’ belief that the MMR vaccine caused autism in their children.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A 12-Million-Person Imaginary City Created By An Autistic Savant

Beautiful renderings which took 20 years to complete: the complete plan of a massive European city that does not exist, revealing the fruits of unrestrained dreaming. Via Brain Pickings:

For the past 20 years, French autistic savant Gilles Trehin has been devising and developing this fanciful megacity, from the remarkable architectural detail to the thoughtful cultural context rooted in real world history. Urville gathers 300 of Trehin’s meticulous, obsessive drawings and sets the door ajar to this complex and intricately woven alternate reality.

urville

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Company Hires Adults With Autism to Test Software

CubeVia the Associated Press:

The software testers at Aspiritech are a collection of characters. Katie Levin talks nonstop. Brian Tozzo hates driving. Jamie Specht is bothered by bright lights, vacuum cleaners and the feel of carpeting against her skin. Rider Hallenstein draws cartoons of himself as a DeLorean sports car. Rick Alexander finds it unnerving to sit near other people.This is the unusual workforce of a U.S. startup that specializes in finding software bugs by harnessing the talents of young adults with autism.

Traits that make great software testers — intense focus, comfort with repetition, memory for detail — also happen to be characteristics of autism. People with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, have normal to high intelligence and often are highly skilled with computers.

Aspiritech, a nonprofit in Highland Park, Ill., nurtures these skills while forgiving the quirks that can make adults with autism unemployable: social awkwardness, poor eye contact, being easily overwhelmed.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Measles Outbreak Linked to Anti-Vaccination Movement

Measles InfectionThe Seattle Times reports upon a recent measles outbreak in Minneapolis traced local Somalis fearful of a purported link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Andrew Wakefield himself has arrived on the scene. His 1998 study linking the MMR to a new syndrome dubbed “autistic enterocolitis” has since been retracted by the Lancet amid allegations of fraud, and his medical license has been revoked.

As CNN reports, Wakefield expected to earn as much as $43 million/year in revenue from “litigation driven testing” for autistic enterocolitis, a test for which he holds a potentially lucrative patent, and received more than $674,000 “from lawyers trying to build a case against vaccine manufacturers.”

From the Seattle Times article:

Health officials struggling to contain a measles outbreak that’s hit hard in Minneapolis’ large Somali community are running into resistance from parents who fear the vaccine could give their children autism.

Fourteen confirmed measles cases have been reported in Minnesota since February.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Doctor Who Linked Autism and Vaccines Is A ‘Fraud,’ Says British Medical Journal

news-graphics-2007-_640547aJenny McCarthy take note: Britain’s leading medical journal has declared that Andrew Wakefield’s discredited 1998 autism study was not merely riddled with errors, but was a case of deliberate, “elaborate fraud.” CNN reports:

A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an “elaborate fraud” that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.

An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.

“It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors,” Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, told CNN. “But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.”

Britain stripped Wakefield of his medical license in May.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Famed Medical Journal Retracts ‘Utterly False’ Vaccination-Scare Paper

Sarah Boseley writes in the Guardian:

The Lancet today finally retracted the paper that sparked a crisis in MMR vaccination across the UK, following the General Medical Council’s decision that its lead author, Andrew Wakefield, had been dishonest.

The medical journal’s editor, Richard Horton, told the Guardian today that he realised as soon as he read the GMC findings that the paper, published in February 1998, had to be retracted. “It was utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false,” he said. “I feel I was deceived.”

Many in the scientific and medical community have been pressing for the paper, linking the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab to bowel disease and autism, to be quashed. But Horton said he did not have the evidence to do so before the end of the GMC investigation last Thursday.

In 2004, when concerns were first raised about the conduct of the study, the Lancet asked the Royal Free hospital, where Wakefield and his fellow authors worked, to investigate.

Read the rest
Continue Reading