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PHENOMENAL - An Autism Mom's Open Letter to Dr. Offit

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September 15, 2008

An Autism Mom's Open Letter to Dr. Offit

By Obradovic

Dear Dr. Offit,

I am writing in regard to your new book, Autism’s

False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine and Finding a Cure.

It would be premature to say for sure, but I am

willing to bet I would be considered a “False

Prophet” in your eyes. I am a mother who

witnessed her daughter regress into Autism, and I

am a mother who believes it was because of her

vaccines. I dedicate much of my time to helping

other parents who experienced the same thing with their own children.

I also make it a point to encourage parents to

research vaccine safety carefully before blindly

subjecting their children to it. In fact, I can

count at least 10 children under the age of 3

right now who have been spared the

one-size-fits-all approach to administering

vaccines because of my advice. They are

undoubtedly part of any decrease in vaccination rates.

Some critics call me an irresponsible

anti-vaccine zealot for this. ly, I am

baffled by that; I am simply advocating for more

independent and relevant research into their

safety and administration. I am also simply

telling parents to do their homework; any

decision they make not to vaccinate is theirs.

I have serious, unanswered questions about the

current state of vaccination, and the bullying,

fear-mongering, and hateful discourse spewed

towards someone like myself does nothing to

squelch my concerns, or more important, the

concerns my family, friends and neighbors having children right now.

These people know that I am a rational, logical,

courageous, highly educated, intelligent mother

who pulled her own child out of the depths of

Autism. They saw with their own eyes the descent

of my perfectly healthy baby girl at birth until

6 months of age into the lost, sick state of

Autism by age 2. It’s not me telling them a

version of what happened; they saw it for themselves.

They also saw us claw our way out of that

hell-hole. They witnessed our family do what-ever

it took for however long to get our little girl

back. Despite the terrible odds against us, we

got her. My daughter no longer qualifies as having Autism.

With 1 in 20 families now being affected by

Autism, and thousands of those families

recovering their children as we did, you can only

imagine this trend (of parents not trusting you)

growing. You continue to tell these family

members, friends and neighbors that what they

witnessed wasn’t real. That doesn’t sit well with

most people I know, including you. If I’m not

mistaken, the real reason for your book is

because you don’t like it when people call you a liar. It goes both ways.


Instead of critics thanking me for preventing one

more person from being dependent on the state for

the rest of her life, thus saving them thousands

of tax dollars in lifetime care, I am portrayed

as an irresponsible parent who just couldn’t

accept that she is genetically flawed. Worse, I

am now using my denial to hurt other children and

society as a whole by scaring parents away from vaccinations.

For starters, I find it interesting that

encouraging parents to research and question

vaccines, including their ingredients and

administrative protocol, is threatening. If there

truly is nothing for parents to be afraid of,

then what is the problem with telling them to

look into it for themselves? The idea that

overwhelmingly the medical community would rather

parents not question anything in this area,

thereby “just trusting us”, gives them reason to pause.

I trust my financial adviser, but I certainly

won’t let him do whatever he wants with my money

before researching it first. And I trust my

child’s teacher, but that doesn’t mean I don’t

participate in obtaining the learning outcomes

desired for my child. Certainly you can

understand that when it comes to a parent’s baby,

they are going to be involved in the decision

making process of the most important thing that baby has…her health.

Perhaps your resentment of educated parents stems

from the fact that there are legitimate

unanswered questions about vaccines that research

fosters….like what is the safe amount of aluminum

that can be injected into a tiny baby and how do

you know that? (A biological study that has never

been performed and a question that has never been answered.)

When a parent objects that you would subject

their child to such an experiment, you are

frustrated. Why? Because it appears to be safe

for the general public, and that should be a good enough answer?

It would be a blatant lie to say these concerns

are only fostered by desperate parents giving bad

information and promoting bad science on the

internet, but you perpetuate that myth

none-the-less. It’s easier to paint us as silly

fools than to admit that you don’t have all the

answers. You probably find it shocking that of

those 10 children I mentioned, 3 of them have

parents who are physicians trained in

evidence-based medicine. These are not stupid people.

As such, they can’t help but be suspicious of

someone like you who claims “I don’t get paid to

talk about vaccines” and “vaccines are the safest

thing you can put in your body” knowing you just

sold a patent for one worth $182 million dollars

(a vaccine that as one version had to be pulled

because it actually killed some children).

They can’t help but question you when they learn

that millions of dollars have been paid out to

people hurt by vaccines in a special “vaccine

court” designed to protect vaccine manufacturers.

They can’t help but wonder what you are talking

about when they read the list of ingredients in a

vaccine for themselves, or when they realize

those ingredients have never been independently tested for safety.

They also can’t help but wonder about your sanity

when you crazily suggest a child could get

100,000 vaccines in one day, no problem. (Would

100,000 traces of thimerosal still be considered a trace?)

And they certainly can’t help but wonder why

someone so confident about his knowledge about

what does not cause Autism has actually never treated someone with it.

Coupled with the fact that you refuse to debate

any Autism specialists, journalists, parents or

scientists in person, you end up being as credible as a used car salesman.


In light of their research, and not just with

regard to Autism, more and more parents are

growing skeptical of vaccines for other reasons

as well. Much of it is due to the current state

of children’s health in our country.

You don’t have to have a child with Autism to

know something is wrong: We have the most

vaccinated children in the world, and the

sickest. That may or may not be related, but it

certainly warrants investigation. An epidemic of

immune system dysfunction taking place in kids

who are given more vaccines to provoke their

immune systems at an earlier age than ever is disturbing, isn’t it?

Right now, 1 in 5 children is in Special

Education; allergies and asthma plague millions;

diabetes and other chronic diseases are at an all

time high; speech delay, learning disabilities,

ADHD, and occupational needs continue to soar;

and certainly 1 in 64 boys being diagnosed with Autism is beyond comprehension.

In spite of these shameful statistics, medical

authorities are doing their best to pretend this

is all normal. They just can’t figure out whether

or not this is a problem (is it better diagnosis

or not?), thereby continuing to deny calling this what it is: An epidemic.

We all know, however, that epidemics can never be

genetic; something environmentally must be

triggering the problem. This is becoming obvious

enough that even the CDC is claiming to look for

that trigger (which begs the question, why look

for a trigger of an epidemic you claim doesn’t

exist?). It will add to the others that have also been conducted.

In one study, they found it could be the television causing Autism.

In another, they suggested dog shampoo could be doing it.

And now, as Dr. Harvey Karp mentioned on Larry

King Live!, they are even looking into the flame

retardant used in children’s pajamas and their mattresses.

The sad thing about these studies is how truly

insulting and wasteful they are. I have yet to

meet or read about one parent of a child with

Autism who says, “You know, I turned on the

television one day, and wouldn’t you know it, my

baby got non-stop diarrhea everywhere!”

Or, “By golly, we washed the dog, and the next

day, she stopped looking me in the eye!”

Or my favorite, “I put my child in new pajamas,

and I swear he regressed right into Autism!”

Yet thousands upon thousands of parents all have

the same story: They vaccinated their babies, and

something happened….chronic illnesses began,

gastro-intestinal stress started, tantrums

ensued, seizures took place and their sensory

perception changed (among many other problems).

Still, the authorities refuse to make it a

priority to look first and foremost at the

chemicals INJECTED INTO THEIR BODIES as being the

probable cause. No, instead, we’re looking at their pajamas.

Could these stupid studies be necessary because

actually finding the real trigger may be too

frightening? As Dr. Bernadine Healy eloquently

stated on the CBS Evening News, there is an

expressed concern that finding that answer would

jeopardize the vaccination program.

This means there are people in great positions of

power who could investigate this issue thoroughly

and instead have clearly stated, “We don’t want

to know if vaccines are causing Autism because

the ramifications of that answer are too huge.”


I assume your response would be two-fold: One,

that you think Dr. Healy is misinformed as you

stated at the AAP Press Conference (it’s

interesting how everyone who disagrees with you

is misinformed); and Two, that this question has

been answered and re-answered: Vaccines have nothing do with it.

You will probably support this belief by

referencing studies that supposedly exonerate not

only vaccines, but their ingredients as well, from playing any part.

Unfortunately, I know from years of being

involved in this debate that the average person

doesn’t have a clue about any of these studies.

Instead, they hear a prominent physician like you

referring to them on the nightly news or NPR and believe they must be true.

What they don’t realize is that these studies in

fact do very little to determine the role

vaccines or their ingredients play in the Autism epidemic.


To “prove” that vaccines don’t cause Autism,

physicians like you have compiled studies they

believe put the issue to rest. Most of these studies are population in nature.

The paradigm supported by their compilation is

that epidemiological studies would confirm if

vaccines were indeed implicated in Autism; the

fact that they repeatedly do not allows them to

close the book on the subject. In other words,

because they haven’t found the association in the

general population, the debate is over.

There are 4 major flaws with this.

1. Study Bias

These studies are done by the people who have the

most to lose if the outcome is a bad one.

Your paradigm assumes that these compiled studies

are independent studies that are not trying to generate a desired outcome.

I do not believe there is a conspiracy in the

vaccines-causing-Autism controversy (a common

tactic used to discredit my character). That

would mean I believe from the very beginning,

someone purposely set out to hurt my child. I do not.

But I am not naïve either. It is appropriate to

be skeptical of certain scientists’ objectivity,

especially when one considers the consequences of

what their oversight may have caused (a foreign

policy nightmare, lowered vaccination rates and a

possible collapse of the vaccination program, law

suits, billions in lost revenue, criminal

charges). One needs only look at the tobacco

industry as an example of the lengths people will

go to protect themselves. This issue dwarfs tobacco.

Not only is there is high level conflict of

interest on part of many of the authors, but in

most instances, they are employees of vaccine

manufacturers and/or work for the CDC (an

organization responsible for keeping vaccination

rates high). This clearly makes them biased.

As an example, consider the article

published in the Lancet (1999). As a response to

the Wakefield study (1998), this article attempts

to exonerate the MMR from being involved with

regressive Autism. The study was performed by

several members of the UK Immunization Division

of the Public Health Department. In the discussion of their study, they state:

“We hope that our results will reassure parents

and others who have been concerned about the

possibility that MMR is likely to cause Autism

and that they will help to restore confidence in the MMR vaccine.”

A good scientist doesn’t set out to “reassure”

anybody of anything with his or her hypothesis.

They simply want to find the truth.

Only scientists who are truly independent can be

trusted with this important research, which is

why there is federal legislation currently pending for such action.

2. Poor Study Design

The methodology employed in these studies is not

properly structured to test the hypothesis it is trying to.

You mention bad science as being a part of the

problem in this debate; you even mention it in

your book title. In this regard, we couldn’t

agree more. Over and over and over, studies that

set out to test one hypothesis actually end up

being irrelevant or inconclusive for finding it

out if it’s true, but get reported as conclusive none-the-less.

Consider these examples.

In 2002, Pinichero et al. performed a study to

test for thimerosal safety. He reasoned that

exposing children to typical thimerosal

containing vaccinations and then collecting

blood, stool and urine samples would verify its

rapid excretion, thus proving its safety.

For starters, the study is limited it to only 40

children; provided Autism affects 1 in 150

children, it is highly probable his sample size

was too small. Regardless, the author could still

only account for a small percentage of the

mercury injected into the children. To explain

this, he assumes the rest of it was excreted when

he didn’t catch it. However, thimerosal is now

documented as entering tissue quickly, including

the brain. Without a biopsy of these children’s

organs, it is impossible to know where all the mercury went.

Even more, he fails to explain why the two month

old baby who received half the amount of

thimerosal as the others had the highest

percentage blood concentration of mercury. This

would seem to fit the theory that not all

children have the same detoxification abilities, but this fact is ignored.

None-the-less, this study is widely quoted as proving thimerosal is safe.

Another example of this problem, and perhaps the

most important of them all, is the CDC population

study conducted in the United States on the role

of thimerosal exposure in the development of

Autism and other developmental disorders.

Of primary concern, the CDC should have never

been allowed to conduct this study in the first

place. In perhaps the first instance of its kind,

the CDC was investigating a health outcome that they may have caused.

People accused of a crime do not have the luxury

of investigating themselves to find out if indeed

they are guilty. From the get-go, ethical and

responsible researchers should have identified

this conflict and given the task to someone on the outside. They did not.

Even after being redone 4 times before

publication, noting the correlation “just won’t

go away”, the study could still only report

finding a “neutral” association between the two.

This neutral association was present in spite of

the fact that a child’s cumulative exposure to

thimerosal was not accurately tabulated. Flu

shots, Rhogam shots given to their mothers while

pregnant, and other thimerosal containing

vaccines were eliminated from being used to

tabulate their total exposure. (Which is odd,

isn’t it? If you want to see if it’s having an

effect, why not include all of it?)

And now, the original data sets have been lost,

destroyed (both punishable as a Federal crime) or

stored in off-shore accounts where they cannot be accessed for replication.

Interestingly, Dr. Gerberding, Head of the

CDC, recently declared the study “useless” and

not helpful in ruling out an association between the two.

Provided this study was a large part of the

Institute of Medicine’s 2004 ruling that

thimerosal did not play a causal role in the

development of Autism, and no longer warranted

further study, it is fair to say that their

ruling no longer stands. A “useless” study can

certainly not support such a position.

The list of examples I could site with this kind

of methodology flaw used to exonerate vaccines or

their components goes on and on. In fact, there

is not one study in your compilation that isn’t

subject to this scrutiny, including the recently released study on the MMR.

Because of this, I’m thinking about writing a

book too. I’m going to call it, Autism’s False

Offits: Biased Science, An absence of Medicine, and No Attempt to Find a Cure.

3. Irrelevant Findings

The studies used to exonerate vaccines from

causing Autism are extremely focused, although

the question is a broad based one that hasn’t been sufficiently addressed.

Once again, the theory behind vaccines triggering

Autism is that there is a genetically susceptible

group of individuals who upon exposure to vaccination regress into Autism.

To properly test this theory, multiple studies

have yet to be conducted. A study of the never

vaccinated versus the vaccinated would help

determine if vaccines were indeed implicated, but

not necessarily explain why. Additional study of

the children with these health impairments is

prudent. They need to be tested for vaccine

strain viruses that may have not properly cleared

the body and/or left behind damage (immediately

following regression preferably); they need to be

tested for heavy metal toxicity, which may have

sparked the problem to begin with; and they need

to be tested for any and all evidence that may

demonstrate how all of these issues are related.

But we don’t have these studies yet. Instead,

what we have are studies that have suggested, not

proved, that thimerosal ALONE does not cause

Autism in the general population (no longer

admissible) and current studies that suggest the MMR ALONE does not either.

Claiming the debate over whether or not vaccines

are involved in Autism based on this is

irresponsible. We don’t have a study on the

effect of the combination of the two, or on all

of the other vaccines given in combination.

Considering there are now dozens of routine

childhood vaccines, the causal possibilities are numerous.


None-the-less, let’s assume that all of that

science is actually perfect. Let’s assume that

none of the authors, whether or not they are

vaccine patent holders like you, or employees of

vaccination companies, or members of the CDC are

unethical in any capacity. Let’s say that each

and every individual conducting these studies has

the highest professional standards and would not

compromise something so important in any

capacity. And let’s assume that all of the

studies were designed and methodically carried out to the tee.

They still don’t prove Autism isn’t caused by vaccines.

4. Epidemiology can never prove causation.

While population studies are useful for

identifying large-scale problems, they are not

useful in identifying genetic susceptibilities,

and again, can never stand alone in proving

something did or did not happen in an individual.

Suppose I have a grove of multiple kinds of fruit

trees, and every time I spray the grove with

pesticide, my orange trees get sick but none of

the other trees do. If I study the entire grove

over and over again and don’t come up with an

association between the pesticide and the sick

orange trees, I still can’t rule out that it was

the pesticide that did it to them.

That doesn’t mean my study of the fruit trees was

wrong, and it doesn’t mean the pesticide is bad

for all the trees; it just means my study was

irrelevant to the question at hand. At best I

know most of my fruit trees are fine when exposed

to this chemical. It doesn’t change the fact

something’s still wrong when my oranges are, or that I still don’t know why.

Provided none of the Autism studies touted

exclusively studies the children who did regress

after their vaccines, it is baffling that medical

professionals are so willing to claim the issue is closed for debate.

Ethical and compassionate physicians would make

it a priority to say, “Although I don’t

understand why this is happening to these

children, and although some studies are telling

me it didn’t happen to the general population of

children (Thank God!), I have an obligation to

find out why it did to this child. Why did this

child regress after his vaccines, and what

evidence does he show me that it was or wasn’t causal?”

This is a substantially different take from

saying “Population studies told me it didn’t

happen, therefore it didn’t. Case closed.”


Those physicians who do feel obligated to look

beyond epidemiology are conducting such research.

Together they and scientists from prestigious

universities like Harvard and Colombia have

compiled significant scientific evidence

demonstrating that indeed vaccines may be involved.


1. Anecdotal

Hundreds of thousands of parents globally all

have the same story: They vaccinated their

children and something happened. In some

instances, the something happened immediately. In

others, it happened slowly over time and got

worse with each series of vaccines. Regardless,

they all subscribe to the same story. They

witnessed their children’s health deteriorate

after vaccines, and subsequently their children were diagnosed with Autism.

While this is not conclusive as being causal, it

certainly is valid. Anecdotal evidence is revered

as being scientific and the fact that so many

parents are telling the same story should raise

red flags everywhere. Instead, parents are

irresponsibly dismissed as imagining it or remembering things inaccurately.

Furthermore, the timing of the onset of Autism

and vaccines is identical. This too makes it

highly plausible they are involved.

2. Epidemiological

Multiple studies done, including those sponsored

by the CDC, prove that there has been a

substantial increase in Autism and other

developmental disorders in the last 2 decades.

This increase starts precisely when the Hepatitis

B shot was administered at birth, beginning in the late 1980’s.

Many doctors have written this increase off as an

indication of better diagnosis. However, the

better diagnosis belief would mean that about 97%

of cases of Autism in 1985 and prior were missed.

In other words, 1 in 64 40 year old males is

walking around right now with Autism and doesn’t know it.

Finally, no wide-scale study has been done on the

vaccinated versus never vaccinated children of

this country (a study that also has legislation

behind it). It is absolutely impossible to know

the true differences in health outcomes between

them. In this case, it is a lack of epidemiology that is hurting our kids.

3. Biological

Incredibly, the symptoms of mercury poisoning and

Autism are identical. They aren’t kind of

similar, or sort of the same, they are identical.

The idea that we are actually debating whether or

not injecting kids with mercury can cause the

symptoms of mercury is ridiculous.

I’ve included a table in case you are one of

those ignorant physicians often quoted who only

know mercury toxicity in the form of Acrodynia or

Minimata Disease and fail to understand the other

ways it may manifest. There is no doubt the

comparison of mercury toxicity to Autism is stunning.

*Borrowed from Changing the Course of Autism (Jepsen)

Mercury Toxicity Autism

Biochemistry Biochemistry

• Binds SH groups; blocks sulfate transporter in intestines and kidneys

• Reduces glutathione availability, inhibits

enzymes of glutathione metabolism; glutathione

needed in neurons, cells, and liver to detoxify

heavy metals; reduces glutathione peroxidase and reductase

• Disrupts purine and pyrimidine metabolism

• Disrupts mitochondrial activities, especially

in the brain • Low sulfate levels

• Low levels of glutathione; decreased ability of

liver to detoxify xenobiotics; abnormal

glutathione peroxidase activity in erythrocytes

• Purine and pyrimidine metabolism errors lead to autistic features

• Mitochondrial dysfunction, especially in the brain

Immune System Immune System

• Sensitive individuals more likely to have

allergies, asthma, autoimmune-like symptoms, especially rheumatoid-like ones

• Can produce an immune response in CNS, causes brain/MBP autoantibodies

• Causes overproduction of Th2 subset;

kills/inhibits lymphocytes, T-cells, and

monocytes; decreases NK T-cell activity; induces

or suppresses IGNg & IL-2 • More likely to have

allergies and asthma; familial presence of

autoimmune diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis; IgA deficiencies

• On-going immune response in CNS; brain/MBP autoantibodies present

• Skewed immune-cell subset in the Th2 direction;

decreased response to T-cells mitogens; reduced

NK T0cell function; increased IFNg & IL-12

CNS (Central Nervous System) structure CNS Structure

• Selectively targets brain areas unable to

detoxify or reduce Hg-induced oxidative stress

• Accummulates in amygdale, hippocampus, basal

ganglia, cerebral cortex; damages Purkinje and

granule cells in cerebellum; brain stem defects in some cases

• Causes abnormal neuroanoal cytoarchitecture;

disrupts neuronal migration, microtubules, and cell division; reduces NCAMs

• Progressive microcephaly • Specific areas of

brain pathology; many functions spared (area 36)

• Pathology in amygdale, hippocampus, basal

ganglia, cerebral brain stem defects in some cases

• Nauronal disorganization; increased neuronal

cell replication, increased glial cells; depressed expression of NCAMs

• Progressive microephaly and macroephaly

Neuro-chemistry Neuro-chemistry

• Prevents presynaptic serotonin release and

inhibits serotonin transport; causes calcium disruptions

• Alters dopamine systems; peroxidine deficiency

in rats resembles mercurialism in humans

• Elevates epinephrine and norepinephrine levels

by blocking enzyme that degrades epinephrine

• Elevates glutamate

• Leads to cortical acetylcholine deficiency;

increases muscarinic receptor density in hippocampus and cerebellum

• Causes demyelinating neuropathy • Decreased

serotonin synthesis in children; abnormal calcium metabolisjm

• Either high or low dopamine levels; positive

response to peroxidine, which lowers dopamine levels

• Elevated norepinephrine and epinephrine

• Elevated glutamate and aspirate

• Cortical acetylcholine deficiency; reduced

muscarinic receptor binding in hippocampus

• Demylelination in brain

Neurophysiology Neurophysiology

• Causes abnormal EEGs, epileptiform activity,

variable patterns, e.g., subtle, low amplitude seizure activities

• Causes abnormal vestibular nystagums responses;

loss of sense of position in space

• Results in autonomic disturbance: excessive

sweating, poor circulation, elevated heart rate •

Abnormal EEGs, epileptiform activity, variable

patterns, including subtle, low amplitude seizure activities

• Abnormal vestibular nystagmus responses; loss of sense of position in space

• Autonomic disturbance: unusual sweating, poor

circulation, elevated heart rate

Psychiatric Disturbances Psychiatric Disturbances

• Social deficits, shyness social withdrawal

• Repetitive, preservative, stereotypic

behaviors; obsessive-compulsive tendencies

• Depression/depressive traits, mood swings, flat

affect; impaired face recognition

• Anxiety; schizoid tendencies; irrational fears

• Irritability, aggression, temper-tantrums

• Lacks eye contact; impaired visual fixation,

problems in joint attention • Social deficits, shyness social withdrawal

• Repetitive, preservative, stereotypic

behaviors; obsessive-compulsive tendencies

• Depression/depressive traits, mood swings, flat

affect; impaired face recognition

• Anxiety; schizoid tendencies; irrational fears

• Irritability, aggression, temper-tantrums

• Lacks eye contact; impaired visual fixation, problems in joint attention

Speech and Language Deficits Speech and Language Deficits

• Loss of speech, delayed language, failure to develop speech

• Dysarthria; articulation problems

• Speech comprehension deficits

• Verbalizing and word retrieval problems;

echolalia, word use and pragmatic errors • Loss

of speech, delayed language, failure to develop speech

• Dysarthria; articulation problems

• Speech comprehension deficits

• Verbalizing and word retrieval problems;

echolalia, word use and pragmatic errors

Sensory Abnormalities Sensory Abnormalities

• Abnormal sensation in mouth and extremities

• Sound sensitivity; mild to profound hearing loss

• Abnormal touch sensations; touch aversion

• Over-sensitivity to light; blurred vision, loss of color perception

• Under-sensitive or over-sensitive to pain •

Abnormal sensation in mouth and extremities

• Sound sensitivity; mild to profound hearing loss

• Abnormal touch sensations; touch aversion

• Over-sensitivity to light; blurred vision

• Under-sensitive or over-sensitive to pain

Motor Disorders Motor Disorders

• Flapping, myoclonal jerks, choreiform

movements, circling, rocking, toe walking, unusual postures

• Deficits in eye-hand coordination; limb

apraxia; intention tremors, problems with intentional movement or imitation

• Abnormal gait and posture, clumsiness and

incoordination; difficulties sitting, lying,

crawling, and walking; problem on one side of

body • Flapping, myoclonal jerks, choreiform

movements, circling, rocking, toe walking, unusual postures

• Deficits in eye-hand coordination; limb

apraxia; intention tremors, problems with intentional movement or imitation

• Abnormal gait and posture, clumsiness and

incoordination; difficulties sitting, lying,

crawling, and walking; problem on one side of body

Cognitive Impairments Cognitive Impairments

• Borderline intelligence, mental retardation-some cases reversible

• Poor concentration, attention, response inhibition

• Poor visual and perceptual motor skills; impairment in simple reaction time

• Deficits in understanding abstract ideas &

symbolism; degeneration of higher mental powers,

sequencing, planning and organization •

Borderline intelligence, mental retardation-some cases reversible

• Poor concentration, shifting attention

• Poor visual and perceptual motor skills;

impairment in simple reaction time lower performance on timed tests

• Difficulty in carrying out complex commands

• Deficits in understanding abstract ideas &

symbolism; degeneration of higher mental powers,

sequencing planning and organizing

Unusual Behaviors Unusual Behaviors

• Self-injurious behavior, head banging

• Inability to focus or concentrate; hyperactivity

• Agitation, unprovoked crying, grimacing and staring spells

• Sleep disturbances and impairments

• Self-stimulatory behaviors

• Obsessive compulsive behaviors • Self-injurious behavior, head banging

• ADHD traits

• Agitation, unprovoked crying, grimacing and staring spells

• Sleep disturbances and impairments

• Self-stimulatory behaviors

• Obsessive compulsive behaviors

Physical Disturbances Physical Disturbances

• Hyper or hypotonia; abnormal reflexes;

decreased muscle strength; especially upper body;

incontinence; problems chewing and swallowing

• Rashes, dermatitis, eczema, itching

• Peeling skin (hands and feet)

• Diarrhea; abdominal pain/discomfort, constipation, colitis

• Anorexia, nausea, vomiting; poor appetite, restricted diet

• Lesions of ileum and colon; increased gut

permeability • Hyper or hypotonia; abnormal

reflexes; decreased muscle strength; especially

upper body; incontinence; problems chewing and swallowing

• Rashes, dermatitis, eczema, itching

• Diarrhea; abdominal pain/discomfort, constipation, colitis

• Anorexia, nausea, vomiting; poor appetite, restricted diet

• Lesions of ileum and colon; increased gut permeability

It is impossible for a parent like myself, who

witnessed her daughter regress into Autism more

and more with each set of vaccines she received,

to believe that it is a coincidence that she was

repeatedly injected with mercury (including at

birth), and then developed the symptoms of mercury poisoning.

This is the equivalent of someone saying that

they went into the sun for 2 hours on a sunny day

and got the symptoms of a sun burn, but the sun

didn’t do it because everybody else they know

always gets a tan, (and they better not treat

themselves or tell anyone what happened because

the sun is good). It is completely and totally

illogical to believe such a thing.

Further evidence to support a toxicological base

in Autism comes from studies that demonstrate

higher rates of Autism among children who live

near coal-burning plants; a study that

demonstrates glutathione levels (a substance

necessary for detoxification) being 68% lower in

children with Autism than their nuerotypical

peers; and a study on mice with a predisposition

for auto-immune conditions that shows a markedly

different response to thimerosal exposure than the mice who did not.

Then there are the studies that show thimerosal

causes mitochondrial dysfunction, the exact same

condition the Dept. of Health and Human Services

(in a medical decision, not a legal one) just

said caused Hannah Poling’s symptoms of Autism

after receiving 9 vaccines at once.

Not to mention, the very first cases of Autism

ever diagnosed in the world or anywhere in

medical literature were done shortly after

thimerosal was introduced on the market. Among

those cases, many of them had parents who worked

with or lived near ethyl mercury, the same kind of mercury used in thimerosal.

In fact, there is so much evidence against

thimerosal that an entire book was written on it

by an award-winning journalist in 2005: Evidence of Harm, by Kirby.

At a minimum, this evidence substantiates ruling

out mercury toxicity in all children with Autism.

That was my purpose when finding a qualified specialist to test my daughter.

Why wouldn’t I rule it out as a possibility?

Because one flawed epidemiological study done by

those who would be held accountable told me maybe

it happened, maybe it didn’t? Because vaccines

save lives and questioning them is wrong? How

irrelevant! How irresponsible! My daughter was

injected with mercury and subsequently developed

the symptoms of what it causes! How could I not test her?

Naturally, when it was confirmed she was mercury

toxic, I was outraged. Well first, I actually vomited.

I don’t believe anyone tried to poison my

daughter, but they did. As a result, her entire

life and what she will be able to do with it has been permanently altered.

More urgent, she needed to be treated. Under a

doctor’s care, using only medication approved for mercury poisoning, she was.

Today, I’m thrilled to report; she no longer has mercury poisoning….or Autism.


Dr. Offit, time limits my ability in this letter

to list each and every study that supports

evidence that children with Autism have

substantial health problems, including but not

limited to their immune system, their central

nervous system, and their gastro-intestinal

system. They have severe nutritional

deficiencies; tolerate horrific yeast overgrowth

in their guts coupled with leaky gut syndrome and

dysbiosis; are in a constant state of battling

viruses and infection; have lowered

detoxification capabilities and suffer from heavy

metal toxicity; and live daily with intense pain,

inflammation, and sensory issues.

All of these health issues are well-documented in

the medical literature. All a responsible physician has to do is look.

But instead, they are told not to because

according to physicians like you, all of it is

garbage. Somehow only the studies done by those

who have the most to lose, the CDC, the AAP, and

the vaccine manufacturing companies, are actually quality.

According to your (and their) logic:

It’s a coincidence that Autism didn’t appear in

the medical literature until right after

thimerosal came on the market. (It’s been around

for centuries, we just never bothered to document it.)

It’s a coincidence the symptoms of Autism and

mercury poisoning are the same. (Sometimes these things happen.)

It’s a coincidence that as children are being

treated for their medical problems they are

losing their diagnosis. (It’s both a lifelong

genetic condition and something people spontaneously recover from.)

It’s a coincidence that these children are

regressing into Autism at the same time they are

getting their vaccines. (Unfortunate timing.)

It’s a coincidence that four times as many boys

have Autism than girls, even though we know

mercury is synergistic with testosterone.

(Mercury has nothing to do with Autism.)

It’s a coincidence that the rate of Autism and

other developmental disorders has sky-rocketed as

we added more vaccines to the schedule. (We have

gotten better at diagnosing, that’s all.)

It’s a coincidence parent after parent has the

same story. They vaccinated and their child

shortly developed Autism thereafter. (It’s the internet’s fault.)

At the same time, you perpetuate the myth that

thimerosal is a safe substance and that it is no

longer in vaccines; you even state that in trace

amounts it is the equivalent of being exposed to

the mercury that we breathe or eat. I certainly

hope I am misunderstanding that you believe

breathing or eating a substance is the same as

having it injected into your body. They most certainly are not.

We both know that if you ever tried to convince a

parent that injecting their child with just a

little bit of lead, simply because lead is in a

pencil they use or in the food they eat, the

parent would run fast and far away from you. Yet

mercury is 500 times more toxic.

Additionally, you know that thimerosal has never

been tested for safety. It is labeled as poison

and the bottle clearly states that exposure may

result in neurological harm. It is so toxic that

it was banned from over-the-counter products in

1982 and form animal vaccines in 1991. It’s so

toxic that when put on the umbilical cords of 7

babies in a hospital in 1977, they all died.

Still, it inexplicably remains in human vaccines

to this day. Despite claims to the contrary, it

was never “removed”. To date, no one has verified

that indeed it is no longer on the shelves of

doctor’s everywhere. At best, it is only in

smaller amounts, not zero amounts. Even worse, it

is now recommended that all pregnant women and

children get a flu shot, which has the full dose

of 25 micrograms in it (unless they know to ask otherwise).

Considering the argument has always been there is

a genetic susceptibility to this substance, it is

irresponsible to claim that less of it would

automatically be less dangerous to such a

person. A person with a peanut allergy only

needs 1 peanut to go into anaphylactic shock, not

a bowl full, and sometimes less than that.


By continuing to promote to this coincidental and

toxicological non-sense, you are denying the

right to medical care for millions across the

globe, a human right’s violation.

Our children are perhaps the sickest children on

the planet, and yet they are shamefully not given

medical care. Instead, they are told to go home

with their parents where they should get

behavioral therapy alone, and worse, look into an

institution. They are written off from society as

being hopeless causes and a burden to their families.

This is the equivalent of a parent whose child

has cancer being told to just forget about

treating them and go buy a burial plot.

In an even crueler twist of fate, our children

can’t tell us what is wrong or where it hurts

because their ability to speak has been taken

from them. To communicate sometimes, they scream

and hurt themselves and throw tantrums. They have

chronic gastro-intestinal distress and

unimaginable pain; are overly sensitive to

everything; often can’t ever get a good night’s

sleep; and sometimes can’t even tolerate being

touched as their parents try to comfort them. All

the while they are expected to learn or behave

properly. Can you imagine their hell?

And now parents are being told by ignorant

members of society that their precious kids are

simply brats who don’t know how to behave in

public. Supposedly they are just putting on act

because their fathers have disappeared or their

mom doesn’t know how to discipline. I suppose if

I weren’t an insider I would tell myself that

too; the idea that this is real is enough to

scare anyone into rationalizing it away.

Make no mistake, the torture of watching your

child succumb to this disease and being told that

there’s nothing you can or should do; well

frankly, it is enough to drive some people over

the edge. It should not be surprising parents of

children with Autism are killing themselves and

their children, jumping with them off bridges,

drowning them, and suffocating them.

It doesn’t get any more real than that.


Dr. Offit, there is a generation of children who

are on fire right now. Their health is in flames,

and rather than doing everything in your power to

put them out, you have chosen to debate about

whether or not there really is a fire; if and how

it started; and whether or not there is any real reason to put them out.

Worse, you have taken it upon yourself to

ridicule and criticize those of us parents who

have decided to douse our children in water,

despite your inaction. You criticize the kind of

water we are using, where we are getting it from,

how much we are using, who is helping us get

it, and have the audacity to suggest that us

attempting to put out the flames is more irresponsible than letting them burn.

In an even more despicable twist, you go so far

as to accuse us of actually wanting and causing

other children to get hurt because we warn

parents about how our fire started; it’s easier

to blame us rather than acknowledge your pitiful

display of incompetence as being the real reason for the spark. How dare you.

I love my children more than anything in the

world. I also love the children of my family

members, my neighbors, and my friends. I would

lie down in traffic for any one of them if that’s

what it took to save their life. For anyone to

suggest that I would recklessly put their lives

or other people’s children at risk because I

encourage them to research vaccine safety is pouring salt on a gaping wound.

The pain I feel about what happened to my middle

child is often times intolerable, and I’m one of

the lucky ones. I got her back. There isn’t a day

that goes by that I don’t wish I didn’t believe

vaccines hurt her. I’ve lost faith in my

government, my media, and my medical institution

(but am hopeful it can be restored). To top it

off, I am subjected to the vile of anonymous

bullies and threatened physicians who are angry

that my experience differs from what they think it should have.

The saddest thing is we’re both on the same side.

We both want children to be protected, except I

believe we can and have to do better. To be sure

though, I would not wish what happened to my

daughter on my worst enemy, even them.

Can you imagine what it feels like to hold your

child down to be poisoned at the hands of people

you trusted; to watch her suffer in silence

unable to communicate her pain and fear; to

confirm she was poisoned after wasting years of

time; and to live with the never-ending pain of

not knowing what irreparable damage was caused or

who she was meant to be…Only to be told that what

you lived wasn’t real; that trying to help her is

irresponsible; and that by speaking out about it

and trying to prevent it from happening to

another child you are recklessly putting society at risk?

Let’s get something straight: my daughter is the

victim here, not the medical community. And as

for society, our debt has been paid a thousand fold.

When I followed the rules….When I listened to the

advice of my doctors and showed up at their

doorstep exactly on the day my baby was scheduled

to receive her shots, something horrible happened.

I don’t know why it happened to my daughter and

not my son. I don’t know why it happens to some

children and not others. I don’t have those

answers, Dr. Offit, but I do know this: It happened.

I’m sorry that makes you defensive. I’m sorry you

have chosen to take it personally rather than

admit you don’t have all the answers. I’m sorry

you cannot acknowledge the existing studies have

their limitations and that you, being a vaccine

patent holder are probably not the best person to

be promoting or dictating your version of vaccine safety.

But I am not sorry that I have chosen to speak

out about it. I am not sorry that those 10

children I mentioned earlier, including my own,

will no longer be subjected to blindly following

along a path that so many have for so long. I am

not sorry that parents everywhere are beginning

to think for themselves and are demanding answers.

And I absolutely will not apologize that I have

the courage to stand up and ask you if in the

name of good we have inadvertently swapped

infectious disease for chronic disease. No

responsible person wants a resurgence of vaccine

preventable diseases, but no responsible person

wants chronic disease to be the cost of

preventing them, especially if it is our children who are making that payment.

We have been vaccinating human beings for decades

now, and we have yet to take a step back and look

at any unintended consequences we may have

caused. We have a responsibility to humanity to

study that possibility, no matter how unpleasant the answer may be.

And no, despite your claim to the contrary, we haven’t.



Obradovic is the mom of a recovered child.


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Autism Mom's Open Letter to Dr. Offit:


Brilliant! Thanks.

Anyone and everyone may pass this on to whoever

may benefit. I'm very flattered by the

compliment! The more who read what this issue is really all about, the better.

Posted by: Obradovic |



15, 2008 at 02:50 PM

A very thoughtful and insightful letter.

One other criticism of all these studies is that

they tend to focus on a small number of factors

e.g. digestive problems and mercury.

If those involved in these studies had greater

knowledge of ASD they would also look the role of

the sensory problems which effect the majority of

children with ASD. These give rise to numerous

other problems including anxiety, steroetypical

behaviours, auditory, visual and other

differences which make it almost impossible for

the child to understand the world around him.

Often linked to neuro-developmental delay, these

are a major disabling factor in their lives.

It a given that both Rubella and measles can

affect the embryo whilst in the womb. Thus, until

there has been some research to determine whether

the rubella & measles vaccine are implicated in

these sensory problems and in neuro-developmental

delay, the role of vaccines in triggering sensory

problems and the resulting 'autisms' in susceptible babies cannot be ruled out.

Stella Waterhouse


Posted by:

<http://www.typepad.com/t/comments?__mode=red & user_id=2465202 & id=130771402>Stell\


Waterhouse |



15, 2008 at 01:47 PM


Posted by: kim |



15, 2008 at 12:37 PM

, that was incredibly moving, as well as the

most informative piece I have ever read on autism

and vaccines. I have forwarded this to everyone I

know. I believe you have written something that

has the power to shake up the medical community.

On a personal note, this is the first time I have

ever read of children who slowly regressed and

got worse with each vaccine. I believe this is

what happened with my daughter, but I have felt

completely isolated in that belief. Most of my

friends whose kids have autism don't belief it

was caused by vaccines. Blame that on the culture

of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia;

they're very influential around here. The few

parents I've spoken with who believe their

children are vaccine-injured can pinpoint an

immediate reaction right after a vaccine. I

didn't see that in my daughter. I had been told

by the pediatricain to look for fevers, seizures,

etc. None of that happened. But I documented her

development, so the docors can't say I'm

imagining or remembering incorrectly. I had a

happy newborn who laughed and interacted and met

all of her early milestones. With each vaccine

she deteriorated. What you have written confirms

to me that this is not unique.

Posted by: Philly |



15, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Well done !!

Can we print this and hand it out to anyone we

feel would benefit from this information?

Also, can I put it up on my blog?

Posted by:

<http://www.typepad.com/t/comments?__mode=red & user_id=2465202 & id=130755476>Jeann\





15, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Pass it on and on and on and on. That was beautiful! God Bless you!

Posted by: nikki ohio |



15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

I just got my child's genetics back and my ASD

child is hetrozygous positive + - to 3

polymorphisms that would impede him clearing the

motherload of Mercury he got his infant vaccines.

He is Homozygous ++ to an inflammation gene

expression that functions with the mitochondria.

His blood, urine and porphyrin levels not to

mention his vaccine lot #s all validate his body was pumped with Thimerosal.

Hundreds of times over the EPA allowable amount.

He visibly regressed from healthy into full blown non-verbal autism.

We stopped vaccinating and took the metals out and he got better.

I don't listen to losers like Offit anymore...

Neither does my neighbor. I never lectured her to

not vaccinate. She saw the living hell we went

through - fecal smearing, kid running off,

anguish - and just stopped vaccinating.

Initially, she only wanted to spread her shots

out but her pediatrician " fired her " for asking.

This was alarming to her as a parent so she

shopped for a pediatrician who would let her skip vaccines altogether.

I never said a word.

Offit, the more you talk non-sense the more you drive parents off.

100,000 shots what planet are you on? Do you

honestly think a shot orgy illustration is

something that would make a parent feel safe?

When and if the CDC and FDA reform, when parents

are given informed consent and when vaccine

become a choice, then and only then will confidence be restored.

Posted by: Atlanta |



15, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Brilliant! Thanks.

Posted by: samaxtics |



15, 2008 at 11:23 AM

I'm moved beyond words... Thank you for taking

the time to fight for all of our children.

It would have been easier for you to move forward

and forget the nightmare you lived through, but

you choose to stick around and courageously stand

up for the children who are still struggling

daily with autism and related immune system disorders.

You inspired me to keep my chin up today, and

take a fresh look at my beautiful son, to see if

I can chip away at yet another medical challenge

he's having. Once again thank you !

Posted by: A |



15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Amazing write up. I think that you should publish

it, and that all pediatricians should have to

read it to keep their medical license. The use of

thimerosal and aluminum in vaccines will probably

be scoffed at by our children's children as being

as ludicrous as the old medical practice of using

leeches to suck out " bad blood " ; except,

poisoning our children is so much worse. I would

even say it's criminally negligent given all the

evidence the policy makers have been shown.

Instead of wasting so much time and money trying

to prove vaccines to be safe, the researchers

should have spent their resources on trying to

determine what makes vaccines more dangerous for

certain people. Then through neonatal testing

(similar to neonatal PKU testing), possibly low

glutathione levels or sensitivity to mercury

could be detected prior to any vaccines being

given. This would identify at-risk children before they are injured.

I particularly like the peanut analogy to explain

why it doesn't take much thimerosal to cause

damage in susceptible individuals. That could

explain why, after being vaccinated, my daughter

developed stereotypical movement disorder

(usually seen in children with autism) even

though she was supposedly only given " trace

amounts " . Food processing companies post warnings

that a food (that doesn't even contain peanuts)

was made in a plant that processes peanuts, and

then Doctors tell us that the vaccines (which do

contain thimerosal as an ingredient) contain no

thimerosal. I didn't get the flu vaccine while

pregnant, and she's never had a flu shot either.

If she had been given either of those exposures,

I think she probably would have developed autism.

(We have all the familial risk factors; intention

tremors, autoimmune disorders, and

allergies-including life threatening drug

allergies.) Interestingly enough, she outgrew

these movements (that I was told were not caused

by vaccines) after she had not been given any

vaccinations for a year. Thank you for taking the

time to write all this. I think it will help a lot of people.

Posted by: anonymous |



15, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Well, that is simply the best thing I've ever read.

Thank you.

Posted by: Jack |



15, 2008 at 09:46 AM



Sheri Nakken, former R.N., MA, Hahnemannian Homeopath

Vaccination Information & Choice Network, Nevada City CA & Wales UK

Vaccines - http://www.wellwithin1.com/vaccine.htm

Vaccine Dangers & Homeopathy Online/email courses - next classes Sept 10, 2008

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