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The Ridiculous Myth of Autism & Vaccines: “Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” January 10, 2017

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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vaccines_do_not_cause_autism-e1429734457599I am the father of a wonder little 7 year old Autistic boy.  He is funny, clever, happy and generally a joy to be around. 3 years ago his school called and asked that I pick him up as he was coughing.  I took him to the Dr. and imagine my surprise when my son was diagnosed with WHOOPING COUGH!..yes…WHOOPING COUGH in 2015.  18 other kids were diagnosed, as well.  Why?  Because some “enlightened” parents in Park City, UT decided against vaccinating their children.  Now..before I hear that “Tyler should have been vaccinated”..he was.  Only..it does not reach full effect for several weeks.  Even better?  I had to cancel all my business travel as i could be a ‘carrier’ and infect the plane.

I am always disturbed when I read about celebrities, politicians and others perpetuating the myth (yes it is a myth) that vaccines cause Autism.  Today, President Elect Donald Trump nominated ‘Anti-Vaxxer’ shill Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to “lead a study on vaccines”. If he is already an avowed ‘anti vaxxer’ I question his objectivity on leading such a study.

So where did the Autism/Vaccine link (there is none) originate?  Simple.  “Dr.” Andrew Wakefield, who has since had his medical license revoked, published a research paper in 1998 in which he claimed a link between the MMR Vaccine and Autism.  In addition to having a financial conflict of interest, 10 of the 12 contributing authors of the paper published a retraction which read:

“We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between (the) vaccine and autism, as the data were insufficient. However the possibility of such a link was raised, and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent.

The Lancet formally retracted the article stating: “Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record [4]”.

In short, Dr. Wakefield perpetrated fraud.  Unfortunately, the damage was already done.  Actors and numerous ‘Hollywood’ elite jumped on the story and began promoting the false science behind the fraud.  Jenny McCarthy, Jenna Elfman, Rob Schneider, Robert DeNiro and Donald Trump all jumped on Anti-Vaccine bandwagon.  The “anti vaxxer” movie Vaxxed (by Wakefield) only added fuel to the fire and continued to encourage people to forgo vaccinations.

So what is the prevailing “link” between Vaccines and Autism?  Good question.  It is a common  logical fallacy known in Latin as Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc or “with this, therefor because of this”.  In short, children are getting vaccinated around the same age that children begin developing in such a way that Autism is presenting to parents and doctors.  Some people assume that because the Autism presentation followed the vaccine that the vaccine must be the cause.  This is a simple mistake of confusing potential correlation with causation. For more information on the philosophical underpinnings of ’cause’ please read my post here.  The point that I will make again (and the CDC and all respectable medical professionals) is that Vaccines do NOT cause Autism.

Those who are not vaccinating their children are relying on Herd Immunity of the community.  The idea of Herd Immunity posits that a disease outbreak cannot occur of a high percentage of those in the community are vaccinated.  Those forgoing vaccinations are, in effect, free riders on those who do.  A larger issue relates to those who cannot be vaccinated due to compromised immune systems (think immunodeficiency diseases) and those who may not have yet had the vaccine.  I have heard the argument numerous times: “If your child is vaccinated, then why do you care?”  See my original example.

I will leave everyone with this NSFW explanation from Penn and Teller.









Please Support Charles Kinsey by Donating July 25, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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CharlesMr. Charles Kinsey is a therapist for special needs adults who was trying to help an Autistic man when he (Mr. Kinsey) was shot by a Miami Police Officer.  I reached out to Mr. Kinsey’s family and they provided the link to his official GoFundMe Page!.

As the father of an Autistic son I know first hand how difficult of a job therapists have and I also know that people do NOT work in this field without passion for the job and a love of people and those they help.  Working with special needs people day in and day out is a tremendously difficult job.

Watching Mr. Kinsey with his hands raised and knowing he was trying to protect the man by telling the police officer that the man only had a “toy truck” and not a gun truly confirms my belief in Mr. Kinsey.

Please consider donating to Mr. Kinsey.  In addition to hospital bills he will have legal bills and other bills.  If nothing else, it may help him heal knowing that people do care and respect those who work in such a difficult field.

Thanks!  Here is the OFFICIAL GoFundMe page!

Nicholas Kernechel – Rips teeth from 4 year old Autisic boy’s mouth…. October 3, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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MontgomeryCountyDistrictAttysOfficeI read this today and I wanted to cry and then my blood began to boil.  We continue to hear stories about people preying upon the most vulnerable of our society. Those who are not just children but don’t have the ability to tell the story about how they were injured because they are Autistic.  These people are the most deplorable of all human beings.  Nicholas Kernechel from Pennsylvania actually took a tool and pulled 3 teeth out of a little Autistic boy’s mouth leaving him crying and bleeding.  Do a quick Google search and you will find one example after another of an Autistic child being abused by a teacher, caregiver, or someone else.  Many of these children (including my own son) cannot speak and it is often long after the abuse or negligence before the “real story” is told or proven.  “My son is trying to tell me something and he’s not able to,” Caldwell said. His son does not speak.  It is easy to prey upon these vulnerable kids knowing that they cannot defend themselves or tell the story of how they were hurt.  People who prey on the most vulnerable children are less than sub-humans.  They deserve our absolute contempt and even our hate. They are less than human do not deserve to even live in our society.  Forgive my rant but this hits very close to home….

Ideas to Help Autistic Kids Who Wander- For Caregivers August 4, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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LocatorI read this morning about another beautiful little boy who had drowned after wandering (called Elopement in the Autism community) away from his grandparents house and drowning. As the parent of an awesome little Autistic boy I am heartbroken for the family and realize just how easily this can happen to families.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of little Sidney Heidrick.

Below are some quick stats on Autistic kids and elopement.

  • Roughly half, or 48%, of children with an ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings
  • In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering/elopement.
  • More than one third of ASD children who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
  • Two in three parents of elopers reported their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury
    32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning
  • Wandering was ranked among the most stressful ASD behaviors by 58% of parents of elopers
    62% of families of children who elope were prevented from attending/enjoying activities outside the home due to fear of wandering
  • 40% of parents had suffered sleep disruption due to fear of elopement

While not the answer to every situation, Heather and I have explored a number of technologies.  If you are the care taker of an Autistic child, These may help..(We are not in any way associated with the products.  I don’t want anyone to think I am promoting these for any other reason than to help save lives..)

  • AngelSense GPS Tracker for kids.  We own one.  It is very valuable.  It has a ton of functionality and will alert you via email when the child leaves a certain area (that you define).  Absolutely worth looking at…
  • PetLoc8Tor  Not a GPS but works like the old school James Bond type locators.  It beeps and shows lights as you get closer.  Designed for pets but the actual ‘beacon’ is tiny and can be attached to a belt loop, pocket etc.  $99 and very effective out to 400 yards and works indoors.  I have tested in a large supermarket and it works well!  Just another tool that we use.

It breaks my heart to see these little guys and girls wander and get hurt.  Please pass this on if you think it could be of any value to a family with an Autistic child.

Children with ASD are eight times more likely to elope between the ages of 7 and 10 than their typically-developing siblings

Protected: M*** M*** – Where is your Child Care License in 2014? March 6, 2014

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