Sunday, June 22, 2008

Interesting from the CDC

David Kirby "CDC: Vaccine Study Design "Uninformative and Potentially Misleading"

For those of you who may not understand the significance of this development, Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC, has just taken down the tent pole arguement in the "vaccines don't cause autism" claim, on her own, with her bare hands.


Pamella Addresses the AAP and All Star Pediatrics about the Gerberding report and their continued disrespect for parents.
The American Academy or Pediatrics in an Awkward Position after CDC Takes Thimerosal Safety Studies Off the Table

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What a fantastic school program

Gaithersburg School Tailors Teaching To Help Students Cope With Disorder

Alex Barth, 10, has improved at school since entering Diamond Elementary's program for Asperger's students. (By Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)

Adrienne Miller works with Alex Barth, center, at Gaithersburg's Diamond Elementary School, one of only a few public schools with a program for students with Asperger Syndrome. (By Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 16, 2008; Page B01

The first day of kindergarten found Alex Barth in the principal's office. The teacher had asked students to draw self-portraits. Alex had wanted to draw his in red crayon. There was no red crayon. Alex had melted down.

Alex was a capable child with superior intelligence -- and no end of eccentricities. He would flee noisy school assemblies. He couldn't bear the smell of the cafeteria. By the end of first grade, his mother was spending much of the day at Alex's side.

Robyne Barth soon learned her son had Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. Children with the disorder, known in shorthand as Asperger's, might have strong academic gifts but deficiencies in such social skills as carrying on a conversation and playing with others at recess.

On Thursday, Alex, 10, finished fourth grade at one of the nation's few public schools with a program tailored to children with Asperger's: Diamond Elementary School in Gaithersburg. He is popular and well-adjusted, and spends more and more of his school days in regular classes.

"I couldn't see my child as anything. I couldn't imagine him having a normal life," said Barth, of North Potomac. "And now, my child has a personality. He's funny. I can see him as an engineer. I can see him as an architect. I can see his life."

The program at Diamond Elementary is one of several in Montgomery County for children who have average to above-average intelligence but are coping with developmental disabilities. It addresses one of the most vexing problems in special education: What to do with a child who is disabled but capable of work at or above grade level? Such programs are unusual in public education. Because children with Asperger's often are bright and capable, albeit with some behavioral quirks, schools tend to assign them to regular classrooms, either missing or misdiagnosing their disability.

"Do you guys need a minute to draw a picture on your angry page?" teacher Cheryl Reed asked five Diamond Elementary students with Asperger's one afternoon last week. It was an exercise in personification, a concept each of the first- and second-graders seemed to understand perfectly, although they kept mispronouncing the word with the accent on the first syllable.

Second-grader Justin Daddona completed his picture, a sort of Maurice Sendak creation, and regarded it in triumph. "He's more than angry, he's furious," Justin said. "Look, his hair's coming off and smoke's coming out of his ears."

The program, with two teachers and four aides serving 15 children, focuses on two goals: teaching students to recognize and cope with manifestations of their disorder, such as a panic attack in the gymnasium or uncontrollable restlessness in math class; and easing them into regular classes to the greatest extent appropriate, a process called mainstreaming, which drives special education across the country.

The Asperger's program began seven years ago, part of an expanding suite of services for an autism population that tops 1,000 students in the 137,000-student system and is growing by 17 percent a year. It is housed at Diamond and Sligo Creek elementary schools and Tilden and Montgomery Village middle schools, serving students countywide.

Asperger's falls at the mild end of the autism spectrum, a range of disorders characterized by impairment in social interaction and communication. By varying estimates, Asperger's affects anywhere from one in 30,000 people to one in 200.

Hans Asperger, the Viennese physician who discovered the disorder, termed his subjects "little professors." In regular classes, such children might end up as misfits, prone to ill-timed outbursts, fidgety and frustrated, unable to read the body language of the agitated teacher hovering over them.

"The large, 25-kid classroom is too much for a lot of these kids," said Lucia Claster, an Arlington County parent who leads a support group of more than 120 families of children with Asperger's. "They're dealing with a general education teacher [who] may never have had a child with Asperger's before."

James Ball, a behavior analyst in Cranbury, N.J., who has consulted nationally on autism, said the Montgomery County effort "should be looked at as a model program" for teaching children with Asperger's, "because they are a unique breed of kids, and they do respond to a variety of unique teaching strategies."

An informal survey of local school systems found one other example, in Anne Arundel County, of a program designed for students with Asperger's or high-functioning autism, an umbrella term for children on the autism spectrum with average to above-average IQs. Anne Arundel schools team with a private special education school to help autism-spectrum children move into regular classes at two schools, Severn River Middle and Severna Park High.

The Hannah More program in Anne Arundel and the Asperger's program in Montgomery have similar structures. Students work their way from small, self-contained classes into regular classes over time, with support ranging from one-on-one help in the classroom to an occasional check-in with special educators.

The Asperger's classroom at Diamond Elementary is a home base for students, with an oasis of books, board games, yoga balls and Hot Wheels cars, to which any child can retreat from the regular classroom if things go awry. Students are trained to raise their hands if they need a break, and the entire school staff knows to respond.

That afternoon, Reed prepared her first- and second-graders for a schoolwide assembly, one of the most challenging scenarios for children with heightened sensitivity to stimuli. "Are we going to be screaming with our mouths?" Reed asked. No, the class responded in unison. "The only sound we're going to hear is what? Our hands," she said.

Each child in the program signs a behavior contract, agreeing to work on social skills: I will listen to instructions the first time. I will complete an assignment with one or fewer reminders. Good behavior is rewarded with Diamond Dolphin Dollars, which are redeemable for prizes.

Parent Staci Daddona of Gaithersburg said she is amazed at how well Reed's methods have worked with Justin, 7.

Justin's preschool experience was a nightmare: He would take one toy, a top, and play with it day after day, ignoring the teacher and the rest of class. At home, he took to opening and closing things -- the blinds, the garage door -- and flushed the toilet with such regularity that the family's water bill spiked.

Every attempt at public education failed until this year, Daddona said. Reed not only taught Justin to focus on his studies but also worked him into regular classes for part of the day. She has taught him to recognize when he is becoming anxious or upset, if she doesn't spot it first.

"When he starts to stand up, he'll press on the desk, because he's trying to calm himself that way," she said. "And she'll say, 'It looks like you need a break.' And that happens before he throws a pencil, and all the things that happened last year."

Friday, June 20, 2008


couple more

Some layouts I've made recently

No more pencils...

no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks, School's out! The kids last day was June 10th and they're loving not having to get up early. Amazingly we were able to get Elijah's IEP done on June 9th, nothing like cutting it close. The good thing, it's all done and ready for next year. Most of the kids friends from the neighborhood have moved away in the last couple of months, so they haven't wanted to play outside as much as they used to. Hopefully some new people will start moving in soon. Caitlynn's the one most affected, there's really no one left her age :(

Kerrie and I have gotten back to scrapping again, YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!! I've done 4 or 5 layouts that I have to take photos of and upload, hopefully in the next couple of days.

The kids and I went to Dadi Beach yesterday evening to swim and get some sunset photos. The kids had a blast, but the photo thing just wasn't meant to be. I got there and started taking photos and realized my battery was dying. No problem, I have a spare battery, oops, the spare battery is at home on the charger, oh crap! So I hold off on taking too many photos so I'd have enough battery when the sun set, no problem. Then about a 1/2 hour before sunset a ton of clouds moved in. Oh well, at least the kids had fun, and it was very relaxing hanging out at the beach.

It works again

Our computer went down for a few weeks, but it's finally up and running better than ever. Dell actually had to send Dave a new hard drive and memory to install, the old hard drive was basically toasted. Thank goodness for Dave, cause I wouldn't of had any idea what to do to fix it.


I just read this article and it scares the heck out of me...

AAP Leadership Fights Informed Vaccine Choices

by Barbara Loe Fisher

w ww.vaccineawakening .blogspot. com
www.Stand UpBeCounted. org

In another fit of pique aimed at the growing number of vaccine-educated parents questioning pediatricians about the safety of vaccines, the largest private medical organization representing medical doctors treating children - the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) - recently announced to its membership that it will fight doubting parents in their offices, in the media, on the internet and through a partnership with other wealthy and powerful organizations funded by a pharmaceutical industry committed to doing the same thing.

On May 30, the AAP leadership reports that it met with the leaders of 15 allied organizations in Elk Grove, Illinois to discuss the growing refusal of parents to vaccinate their children according to recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and AAP. A recent letter to AAP members stated:

"The group agreed that recent attacks on vaccines have left parents confused. The rates of exemptions are climbing, and the protection of communities from vaccine preventable diseases is in jeopardy. Participants identified several factors that promote anti-vaccine information:

· Parent-to-parent spread of myths,
· A public that does not understand the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,
· Internet and media exposure that is not balanced,
· Decreased trust in the government and health care providers,
· Slow response to negative news coverage, and · Increasing calls for philosophical exemptions.

The group recognized strategies that have worked in the past to address these drivers, agreed to jointly promote the positive value of vaccines, and will come together again in July to develop a cohesive message for dissemination. This message will be disseminated in mainstream media, through professional organizations, and via Internet tools. Materials are expected to be available by fall 2008. The group will formally be known as the Immunization Alliance."

Information on the AAP website gives pediatricians instructions about what to do with parents who refuse to obey the doctor's orders, including a sample letter that states:

"By not vaccinating your child you are taking selfish advantage of thousands of others who do vaccinate their children, which decreases the likelihood that your child will contract one of these diseases. We feel such an attitude to be self-centered and unacceptable. We are making you aware of these facts not to scare you or coerce you, but to emphasize the importance of vaccinating your child. We recognize that the choice may be a very emotional one for some parents. We will do everything we can to convince you that vaccinating according to the schedule is the right thing to do.

However, should you have doubts, please discuss these with your health care provider in advance of your visit. In some cases, we may alter the schedule to accommodate parental concerns or reservations. Please be advised, however, that delaying or "breaking up the vaccines" to give one or two at a time over two or more visits goes against expert recommendations, and can put your child at risk for serious illness (or even death) and goes against our medical advice as providers... .such additional visits will require additional co-pays on your part. Furthermore, please realize that you will be required to sign a "Refusal to Vaccinate" acknowledgement in the event of lengthy delays.

Finally, if you should absolutely refuse to vaccinate your child despite all our efforts, we will ask you to find another health care provider who shares your views. We do not keep a list of such providers nor would we recommend any such physician."

Educated parents of America attempting to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions for your children be warned: your pediatrician is out to change your mind about vaccination or teach you a lesson you will never forget.

Hang on to your child because the doctor you have trusted with your child's life might just try to make you out to be a bad parent and not only throw you out of the office but notify state officials to charge you with child medical abuse if you don't agree to give your child every one of those 69 doses of 16 vaccines that doctors working for the Centers for Disease Control say all children from birth to age 18 must get.

Be prepared that the doctor, who you pay to keep your child well, may dutifully obey recent orders given by the AAP leadership to implement one-size- fits-all government vaccine policies: no questions asked. The next time you visit your pediatrician and attempt to ask a question about vaccine reactions or suggest your child get fewer or no vaccines (especially if your child has already suffered serious vaccine reactions your doctor refuses to recognize) be prepared to be humiliated, harassed, threatened and thrown out of the office.

The message from the AAP leadership to vaccine-educated parents is: you WILL give your children every vaccine that industry produces even it brain damages or kills them. You DO NOT have the human right to protect your child from vaccine injury and death because you MUST sacrifice your child for what AAP and government officials have decided is the "greater good." Your child does NOT belong to you and if you don't agree to do exactly what we say, we will make sure your family is denied medical care.

Sounds like a smart plan to me, pediatricians of America, if you want to fatally compromise the last remaining shred of trust that mothers and fathers have in your knowledge about vaccine risks and how to minimize them for the children they love more than anyone in the world.

In the words of Jim Carrey: "How stupid do you think we are?"

Twenty-six years ago, the co-founders of the National Vaccine Information Center came to the table with the AAP leadership to talk about compensating children injured by mandated vaccines because the AAP said it was a matter of "simple justice for children." We believed the AAP leadership really cared about minimizing vaccine risks for the individual child rather than just wanting to pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 for the purpose of protecting drug companies and pediatricians from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths so they could continue to implement one-size-fits- all vaccine policies. Time and time again over the past quarter century, the AAP leadership has demonstrated that they betrayed the trust of parents then and now by refusing to work with parents to minimize vaccine risks.

In 1982, it was far easier to sweep vaccine injured children under the carpet because 1 in 6 American child was not becoming learning disabled and 1 in 150 child was not regressing into autism. Today, there are so many highly vaccinated children who are sick and disabled that there is no place to run and no place to hide.

The vaccine safety and informed consent movement has been led by educated middle class mothers and fathers who DO know how to tell a bad scientific study from a good one; who DO know how to calculate the amount of mercury or aluminum in a vaccine; and who DO know the difference between being told a lie and being told the truth about vaccine risks.

AAP: we are not stupid. We will not stand by and watch our children and grandchildren become vaccine damaged because you are obsessed with forcing every child to use every vaccine that Pharma produces with no concern for protecting the children who cannot use every vaccine safely. You can deny us medical care and try to take away our human right to voluntary, informed consent to vaccination but you will never win the war you have declared on millions of vaccine- educated parents in America.