Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NAA New York Metro Chapter President Testifies on Mandatory Vaccinations at a Public Hearing Before Representatives of the NY State Assembly

On October 13, 2009, NAA New York Metro Chapter Chapter President, Sabeeha Rehman, testified at the Public Hearing before representatives of the New York State Assembly with respect to safety concerns related to the H1N1 vaccine, and in opposition to mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers for both the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines.

On August 13, 2009, the NY State Health Commissioner, Dr. Richard F. Daines, issued a regulation ordering that healthcare workers be vaccinated for the H1N1 and seasonal flu by November 30, 2009, or risk losing their jobs. Healthcare workers and others spoke up in strong opposition to this mandate and rallied in Albany on September 29 in opposition to Commissioner Daines’ edict. The Albany rally drew hundreds of concerned healthcare workers and other citizens. It appears that others in Albany took notice.

The public hearing held on October 13 in Manhattan and was presided over by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Chairman of the Assembly Health Committee and was called by the Assembly Standing Committee on Health, Assembly Standing Committee on Labor, Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Assembly Standing Committee on Higher Education, and Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety.

Speaking up for the interest of families affected by autism, a panel of well-regarded individuals offered their testimony:
Sabeeha Rehman, President, NAA New York Metro Chapter; and the grandmother of a child affected by autism
Lisa Rudley, Coalition for Informed Choice and Autism Action Network; and the mother of a child affected by autism
John Gilmore, Executive Director, Autism Action Network; and the father of a child affected by autism
Louis Conte, Autism Action Network; President, Autism Westchester; and the father of triplets affected by autism
Mary Holland, J.D., legal scholar and a mother of a child affected by autism.

The highlights of the panel’s testimony included:
John Gilmore in providing a context of the legislative framework and history, raised the issue of the legality of the regulation requiring mandatory vaccines;
Louis Conte challenged the assertion of the H1N1 flu being a “pandemic;”
Lisa Rudley drew attention to the critical value of informed consent, and how mandatory vaccination eviscertated informed consent; and
Sabeeha Rehman raised the issue of safety of the H1N1 vaccines, particularly for pregnant women, referring to the package insert of the vaccine that states that these vaccines have not been tested for safety in pregnant women, or its impact on the fetus. One of the Assemblymembers asked to see the package insert. Ms. Rehman walked over to the dais and pointed out to the Assemblyman, on his copy of the package insert, the highlighted text stating that these vaccines had not been tested for safety in pregnant women. It was noted by the Assemblyman that he wish he had seen this earlier. Seeing what the manufacturers of the vaccines had disclosed and acknowledged, put to rest any ambiguity about the vaccine being safe for pregnant women.

The hearing started at 10 am, and the panel on autism didn’t get to present until 7:00 pm. The panel was 29th on the list of 60 witnesses. Testimonies were given by the State and City agencies, organizations representing teachers, nurses, physicians, unions; health networks, educational institutions, the American Civil Liberties Union, Life Health Choices, Consumer Health Freedom, and numerous individuals affected or potentially affected by Commissioner Daines’ policies.
Transcript of Testimony

P.S.: On October 16, Thomas J. McNamara, an acting justice of the State Supreme Court in Albany, issued a restraining order on the regulation, stopping the Health Commissioner’s plan, at least temporarily, in its tracks. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/judge-halts-mandatory-flu-vaccines-for-health-care-workers/

On October 22, Governor David A. Paterson announced that the State Health Comissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., has suspended the mandatory influenza immunization requirement for New York health care workers.

Sabeeha Rehman

Sunday, October 18, 2009

2nd Annual Autism/Asperger's Conference in New York City - Oct. 3-4, 2009

James Adams, Nancy O'Hara, and Sabeeha Rehman

They came from all boroughs of New York City, from Upstate New York and Downstate New York, from New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire, from Louisiana and Colorado, and from Montreal. Exhibit space was sold out; an art exhibit displayed the work of artists on the spectrum; gift-bags with food samples for all, colorful booths including an indoor gym set, and parents, grandparents, teachers, therapists, and doctors, settled in for the two-day conference to listen to an array of superb speakers. This was Autism/Asperger’s conference 2009.

Some memorable quotes and take-home messages:

Oreo!” The baby points and crows. He can’t talk yet, but already he knows what an Oreo is…and he knows that if he looks at his mother and points, she’ll give him one. This amazing process of ‘knowing’ is from his birth. An autistic child is missing this innate gift. He might know the name for an Oreo, but not what it’s for, and not how to ask for it”. Eustacia Cutler – 83 year-old mother of 62 year old Temple Grandin

“Early Intervention assessment should not just rely on data, but take into consideration informed clinical opinion i.e parent’s report, and the natural context.” Steven Blaustein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

“To maximize your insurance reimbursement, demonstrate medical necessity and the diagnosis code to support it, and get the physician to sign-off on it.” Christina Peck, CPC

“Yoga has the potential to significantly improve fine & gross motor skills, muscular fitness, muscular strength, and balance.” Deborah Gruber, M.Ed., Ph.D.

“Our children should be on probiotics – the good germs; Our children are not getting enough Vitamin D – they need 20 minutes of sun exposure daily; first build up their mineral level, then get the lead out; rotate foods each week; give them protein for breakfast; avoid MSG – an excitotoxin; and if you first treat their medical problems, the neurologic problems will improve.” Nancy O’Hara, M.D.

“Vitamin/mineral supplement is well-absorbed, and improves nutritional status, porphyrins, possibly neurotransmitters, and possibly autism symptoms.” James Adams, Ph.D.

“There is no perception without attention. We see with our eyes and perceive with our brain. Our eyes view the landscape. Our right brain maps the geography. Our left brain interprets the information”. Melvin Kaplin, O.D.

“We do what we do because we want something, or we want to avoid something…child doesn’t want to stay in school – child cries – child is sent home. Identify what he is trying to avoid. Change the antecedent or the consequence, or both, and you modify behavior.” Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., BCBA

“Top 10 Must Buy Organic Foods: Peaches, apples, pear, winter squash, green bean, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, and potatoes”. Geri Brewster, RD, MPH, CDN

“Family Services offered by Autism Speaks: Online Resource Guide, 100 Day Kit, Resource Library, School Community Tool Kit, Autism Safety Project, Family Services Community Grants, Autism Response Team Coordinators, Family Legal Appeal Project…” Peter Bell.

“Do not delay making your Will and appointing a guardian for your children. You must review your will periodically, as circumstances may change.” Stuart Flaum

And the most memorable moment, as a young lady sitting in the front seat, addressed the writer’s panel:
“I had autism…I have recovered…and I don’t want ever to go back again, it was too painful.” Liz

Sabeeha Rehman

Drive Brain Development: Closing the GAP Between Your Child’s Chronological Age and Their Developmental Age

Sujata Setya with Dr. Gruttadauria

On September 23, 2009, Michael A. Gruttadauria, CD, DACAN, spoke about Neuro-Enhancement Therapy and now to enhance brain function in your child while you are doing your biomedical protocol.

Dr. Gruttadauria explained that PDD is a broad diagnosis covering a spectrum of childhood neurological disorders. What it means in actuality is a delay in the brain's developmental process. In essence, for every 24 hour period that goes by, your child's brain only develops for 18 hours. After 1 year, there may not be a visible difference between your child and a neurotypical one, but after 2 and 3 years, you see the GAP. The GAP is the difference between the actual or chronological age of your child and their developmental age; meaning the age that best describes where they are with language, socialization, and overall development. Unfortunately, this GAP widens every year as our expectations of children grow exponentially. Sensory-Motor Integration drives brain development in neonates and toddlers, so can we use it therapeutically. The vast majority of doctors that treat kids on the spectrum address the biomedical issues, but no one is addressing the GAP.

Dr. Gruttadauria, is the founder and clinical director of The Long Island Spectrum Center in Plainview, New York, and one of only a few hundred doctors worldwide to achieve Diplomate status in Chiropractic Neurology. Five and a half years ago, Dr. Gruttadauria's 18-month-old daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. It was at that point that he began a personal and professional mission to help children with neurodevelopmental disorders. In 2006, Dr. Gruttadauria created a research-based treatment program called Neuro-Enhancement Therapy (NET). NET combines a functional neurological and bio-medical examination with hemispheric-based sensory stimulation, multi-sensory integration, IT-based cognitive stimulation and bionutritional modification. In September 2007, Dr. Gruttadauria's daughter began kindergarten without any special education and without a diagnosis! Dr. Gruttadauria was recently awarded the Caring Heart for Autism Award.

Dr. Gruttadauria’s contact information:
(516) 470-9525
(516) 470-9525

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NAA NYM Rallies to Oppose Forced Vaccinations - Sept. 29, 2009

One Voice
“Stop the Shots!”
“Stop the Shots!”
“Stop the Shots!”
The crowd chanted, making their voices heard, raising their banners.
At the steps of the East Capitol, they gathered – parents, families affected by autism, advocates, lawyers, doctors, nurses, therapists, scientists, leaders, followers...
They came - to the steps of the East Capitol – from Upstate New York, from Downstate New York, from New Jersey, from North Carolina, from where they came, it didn’t matter.
They spoke with one voice, rallying to the cause of Freedom of Choice.
Freedom from forced vaccinations.
Freedom of informed consent.
Freedom to choose what is injected in your bodies.

The Rallying Point
This historic gathering of over 700 healthcare workers, advocates, and families affected by autism spectrum disorders was sparked by an unprecedented regulation promulgated by Health Commissioner Daines to invoke the Emergency Preparation Act 2009. This act requires healthcare workers and pregnant women to be vaccinated with the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine by November 30, or risk losing their jobs. Under this regulation, there is limited to no recourse for vaccine injuries or death sustained as a result of these mandated vaccines.

Forced vaccination!
Risk losing their jobs!
Is that constitutional?

That was the rallying point.
And it was awesome!
Massive turnout. Over 700 people crowded on the steps of the Capitol and the plaza, raising their placards and posters, waving stars and stripes, handing out posters, signing the petition, donating to the legal defense fund, and chanting: “Give me liberty!”
And waiving signs:
“Freedom of Choice should be mandatory”
“My Body, My Choice”
“Got Consent?”
And the sun shone on them.

The media lined up the circle, videos rolling, cameras clicking.

They Speak for the People
The line-up of speakers was remarkable and energizing. Kevin McCashion, President of We The People, Albany Chapter, roused the crowd with his passionate appeal for freedom. Doctors, nurses, and therapists expressed their outrage at the government’s decision to deprive individuals of their right to informed consent. Scientists challenged the safety, efficacy, and lack of sound research to support this decision. Lawyers challenged the constitutionality of forced vaccination. And advocates appealed to the crowd to stand up for their rights, and to fight for their rights.

People’s Voices
Today it is the doctors, the nurses; tomorrow it will be the school teachers…That is medical genocide… we are not living in a totalitarian nation- yet. Gary Null

I won’t tell you what to do, you don’t tell me what to do. Louise Habakus

Promote a goal of healthcare that promotes health, and not public sickness. Mary Coyle

The answer to 1984 is 1776. We are endowed by our creator and not the government. Kevin McCashion

It is like selecting one religion for us. Vaccine is not the only option..Seasonal flu is not an emergency. Alan Philips, JD

How to avoid the flu? Wash your hands. Judy McQueen, RN

Just because the FDA approved it, doesn’t mean it is safe and viable. Deb Gerhardt, RN

Stand up for your rights…contact your legislators, work with the Autism Action Network and National Autism Association’s New York chapter…stay out of my body, stay out of my kid’s body. John Gilmore

Gary Null, PhD, Ralph Fucetola, JD, John Gilmore (activist), Michael Schachter, MD and Heather Walker (Healthcare student and activist) met with the Department of Health officials, and Gary Null reported back on the outcome, at the rally. A copy of the “letter petition” was hand-delivered to the Secretary Deputy Saunders for Governor Paterson.

We have only just begun
A remarkable start to a long journey. It won’t be easy, but together we can overturn this and make history, or rather, preserve our history of freedom.
Let’s make it happen!

This rally was organized by Heather Walker, activist and healthcare student, We the People, Albany chapter organization, with help from the Autism Action Network, Life Health Choices, and many New York state nurses.

Sabeeha Rehman

See Photo Album.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How To Keep Your Marriage Strong While Raising A Child With Special Needs

We gathered on September 17 for the Parent Network Exchange Meeting on"How to keep your marriage strong while raising a child with special needs". The speakers, Ethan Schutz and Lorin Gold, are both social psychologists who also have a child with special needs. Lorin asked us to try to encourage people to attend as couples in order to get the most out of the workshop. So it was nice to see that 80% of the participants did come with their significant other.

At the beginning, Lorin and Ethan had us go around the room and tell a little bit about ourselves, such as how old our child is and what we were hoping to get out of the workshop.

Next they had us do an interactive exercises on communication. We had to pick a partner, face them and pretend to speak to them about problems in our marriage. In turn, the pretend partner ignored us or was defensive in response. We would switch places, so we got to feel what both roles were like. Lastly, we repeated the exercise while really listening and being sensitive to our partner. This was very helpful to most people to see that we tend to get into patterns in how we communicate that are not helpful to the situation. And we do this without even thinking. Many people found that they had the same fight over and over, since they just replied the same way they always do without really listening to their partner. The exercises were definitely an eye opening experience.

Ethan and Lorin also spent a great deal of time showing us the different types of communicating personalities and how some can sabotage this very important tool in a relationship. We learned that communication is really important and keeping an open mind to each situation is vital. Otherwise we fall back into our old patterns, which can be unhelpful and even detrimental to solving on-going issues as well as everyday problems.

Some participants did express an interest in going into specific materialises. They wanted to hear other couples on-going issues. Ethan and Lorin had already spent a great deal of time getting information that would normally be taught over days to fit into our two hour block of time. So we decided that we would create a separate event for the participants where they could just talk about common marital issues that couples raising a child with special needs face. We are hoping to plan this event for November.

So overall I think many of us found the workshop very helpful in highlighting where we could use improvement in how we engage in our relationship. For some of us it has to do with not listening, blaming,being defensive or falling into bad habits. I think we all left with a renewed sense of approach to our relationship as well as some very good new tools to implement.

Dara Berger