Monday, February 21, 2011

"Vaccine Epidemic" Book Launch A Resounding Success

Annemarie Colbin, Kim Mack Rosenberg, and Michael Belkin

Families, advocates, educators, healthcare providers, and friends all gathered in the Tisch Auditorium at NYU School of Law to commemorate the launch of Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children. A seamless program of three panel discussions on advocacy, ethics, and law enraptured the audience. Seldom at one event is one introduced in person to such an array of distinguished authors - eleven authors to be exact. The discussion was emotional, uplifting, there were teary-eyed moments, moments of anguish, but when all was said and done, the message was that of hope.

Mary Holland, Kim Mack Rosenberg, and Louise Habakus moderated the panels in sucession. Panelists included Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Robert Krakow, Gay Tate, Lisa Marks Smith, Michael Belkin, Sherri Tenpenny, Vera Hassner Sharav, and Annemarie Colbin.

We are proud of our own Kim Mack Rosenberg, contributing editor and a chapter author.

The book was released just a week ago, and already it is in its second printing. Listening to the authors, its no surprise.

Sabeeha Rehman

Emerging Consensus Regarding Gastro-Intestinal Issues in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

When children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a stomachache, they can’t simply say, “My tummy hurts!” explains Arthur Krigsman, MD a pediatrician and board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist. They express their internal discomfort and pain in other ways that may be confused with sensory behavior issues.
Dr. Krigsman spoke on Thursday, February 17, 2011, at the Rebecca School in Manhattan as part of NAA-NY Metro Chapter’s "Cutting Edge" series of speakers of the contributing authors to the book "Cutting-Edge therapies for Autism."

Dr. Krigsman provided a broad overview of the gastrointestinal system (GI), common diseases, and how these affect children and adults both with and without ASD. He emphasized that GI disease can be distracting to interventional therapy because the child may be in pain and discomfort.

Whereas a child with no ASD is able to localize the pain, point to an area of the abdomen, express pain when swallowing, or after eating, or have stool urgency – A child with ASD would pinch the throat, poke the stomach, and show signs of irritability, tantrums, head banging, food aversion, and an inability to toilet-train. Another common way for ASD children to show discomfort is by pressing the abdomen against a chair or table.

If the child has self-injurious behavior, if interventional therapies (ABA, Greenspan, Speech, OT) are not showing progress, or if the child becomes unpredictably aggressive, “you have to wonder what else is going on,” Dr. Krigsman said, and added that often times “the behavior goes away when the GI problem is treated.”

He also included in his presentation drawings by children with ASD, which showed explicit identification of the abdomen as the problem area. For instance, before undergoing surgery unrelated to GI, a child named Joseph understood the doctor was going to ‘fix him’ and drew himself with an ‘X’ on his abdomen, which was the source of his discomfort and pain.

Dr. Krigsman emphasized that while the communication may be different, it is important to treat a child with ASD no different than anyone else, with proper testing and diagnosis, dietary avoidance and medication. If your doctor doesn’t take your GI concerns seriously, seek someone else’s advice. It is always a bad idea to treat empirically by trying this or that, without knowing what we’re treating, he said.

At the end of the presentation, Dr. Krigsman answered the audience’s questions and signed copies of the book. We also held a free-raffle, and one participant won a copy of a DVD on vaccines.

Over the past several years, Dr. Krigsman has studied 143 children with ASD, but more research is necessary in order to better understand GI disease and its effects on behavior and cognition. You can read Dr. Krigsman’s proposal for Autism and GI pilot studies here.

By: Yaniv Gafner

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oxytocin and Autism: New Research

The Feb. 16, 2011 issue of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) has a news article about Oxytocin and Autism reported by Bridget M. Kuehn.

The reporter interviewed Sue Carter PhD (University of Chicago) and Lowell Getz PhD (University of Illinois). These two scientists are working on prairie voles (a kind of mice) that are monogamous and live lifelong as pairs. These animals have complex family structure and express strong mother to offspring’s and mother to father bonds. Carter's group was able to demonstrate that giving oxytocin to a female vole promoted bonding with her mate, and that blocking the oxytocin receptors in females prevented them from forming bonds with their mates (Carter CS et al. Prog Brain Res. 2008;170:331-336). Ms, Kuehn goes on to say that oxytocin has long been known as a key factor in bonding between a mother and infant. It also has important physiological effects on pregnant women during and after delivery. A synthetic version of oxytocin is widely used to induce or augment labor. Intranasal oxytocin has also been used to promote the release of breast milk. Now, basic research on an unusual animal model has allowed scientists to understand the wider physiological effects of oxytocin. In the past several years, scientists have learned that oxytocin plays an important reinforcing role in social interactions that goes far beyond the previously documented effects of the hormone in female reproduction. Still, a host of questions remain about the hormone's wider physiological effects on humans, which range from aiding lactation to potentially promoting healing, noted Dr. Sue Carter, PhD, professor of psychiatry and co-director of the Brain-Body Center at the University of Illinois, in Chicago. According to Larry J. Young, PhD, director of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience at Emory University, in Atlanta, humans exposed to intranasal oxytocin make more eye contact (which is essential to reading social cues), feel increased trust in social interactions, and are better able to infer emotions from other people's facial expressions.
We realized that oxytocin isn't just a bonding hormone,” he said. “Oxytocin tunes the brain in to social cues.” Oxytocin's role in enhancing social interaction led researchers to wonder whether it might be a useful therapy for individuals with disorders that involve social deficits. For example, patients with autism spectrum disorders often fail to pick up on social cues, Dr.Young noted.
The data on the safety and effects of chronic use of oxytocin are limited because many human studies have involved only a single intranasal dose or several weeks of administration. “Oxytocin research is exciting and promising, but how the information should be applied is not clear,” Dr. Carter said in her interview. “What we have now are fragments of knowledge, and we can't yet see the full picture.”

Posted by Khalid Rehman.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Super Soccer Stars

In cooperation with Watch Me Grow and Super Soccer Stars Special Needs, NAA NY Metro Chapter held its second soccer event on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Over forty registered children and their families made this event a true success.

Dara Berger, Chair of the Parent Mentoring Committee greeted the families together with Sabeeha Rehman, the Chapter’s President. There was lots of love and fun even before the game began, with many children running around and playing in the large sensory gym.

The coaches presented the 8-steps that a typical soccer class includes, and then divided the children into two groups with those aged up to 6.5 playing first. The children engaged in singing at the start of the game, with the parents joining and clapping their hands.

Several playful drills followed, including flipping plastic cones, touching the soccer nets, chasing, jumping, and even collecting cones and placing them on one of the coaches’ feet. The Big Game at the end of the drills, gave the children an opportunity to kick numerous balls into the nets. The coaches also gave every child stickers in recognition of their participation and achievements.
The indoor setting was perfect for a winter weekend activity. Thank you for everyone who organized and took part in making this event a success!

By: Yaniv Gafner

View photos on our Facebook photo album
Watch video on Youtube

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Warning About the ""Healthy" Habit That Can Damage Your Brain" on Mercola

Visit's article on "New Warning About the "Healthy" Habit That Can Damage Your Brain" for information on why fluoride in water is not so great for anyone's health...

According to Mercola:
"But a bigger battle is still looming in New York City, where the anti-fluoridation movement has a great champion in New York City, councilor Peter Vallone, Jr. A victory there could signal the beginning of the end of fluoridation in the U.S.

Please contact Carol Kopf at if you want to be part of the NYC effort and possible fluoride rally. It's important to write letters to Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and your own City Council Member. Their contact information is here:"

For more information on this read the Scientific American Article on Second Thoughts on Fluoride.

posted by KB

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dr. Oz Town Hall Meeting on The Causes of Autism airing February 17,2011

Today I got to attend a taping of Dr. Oz's town hall meeting on the causes of autism which will air on February 17th at 3 pm. The Dr. Oz staff encouraged parents to speak up and say something if they felt moved to speak and I, with another NAA parent, were able to make comments. Although the program was about possible causes of autism and included discussions about vaccines, the environment and parental age, the main focus of the show became vaccines--even though several medical doctors and scientists said that the link between vaccines and autism has been disproven there were some doctors who spoke about a slower vaccine schedule.

My comment was "Where is the study comparing unvaccinated children with autism to vaccinated children with autism? Until this study is done we can't say that the science has been done."

Another NAA parent commented: "I come from a family of allopathic doctors. My father is a pediatrician, but my son did not start getting better until we started using alternative treatments like diet, supplements, yoga, and cranial sacral therapy."

Although the show did not bring anything new to light about the causes of autism--at least Dr. Oz allowed a dialogue to happen on his show which included Dr. Sears, who advocates for a slowed down vaccine schedule. Interestingly, Dr. Oz also spoke about how he did a slower vaccine schedule for his own children.

If the science so overwhelmingly says that there is no link between autism and vaccines, why would Dr. Oz slow down the vaccine schedule for his own children?

Until they actually find the cause of autism, vaccines will remain a cause for the many parents who have seen their children spiral downward after routine vaccinations and the many doctors who treat children and see evidence of harm.

Books to read for more information:

posted by KB