Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brits React to Anti-Immunization Web Site

• Latest autism news

An article in the British medical journal BMJ just reported that…A website that offers parents information about childhood immunisation has been told to remove claims that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine could be causing autism in some children, as they were misleading. The UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled that this and other claims on the BabyJabs website ( breached the code of the advertising industry body the Committee of Advertising Practice, which was designed to ensure that advertising did not mislead or harm consumers. The claims must not appear again, it said.”

The article goes on to explain the website and other information intended for physicians. Mayor, S. (2012) Advertising watchdog orders website to remove claims linking MMR vaccine with autism. : BMJ 2012;345:e5420


• Quick Tips

What to do about school this Fall?   Tough decision.  Most kids with ASDs can profit from participating in public school programs if school personnel are trained and open to working with parents.  Many children do better if they receive 1-3 years of home-based intensive early behavioral intervention first to teach them school-readiness skills like sitting and listening to the teacher, following verbal directions and appropriately interacting with peers.  In our study we found 2/3rds of our kids were successfully placed in regular education after receiving early behavioral intervention and 1/3 were in special ed classes for kids with autism.  Of the kids in regular education, most required no supplementary services but some had part time support from paraprofessional aides.

• Random Thoughts

I’d like to hear Romney’s and Obama’s thoughts on services to children with disabilities and autism in particular.  Sounds as though the Romney-Ryan camp are going to push for privatizing education which could mean schools would pick and choose which students to serve.  Obama signed the reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act originally signed by George W. Bush,  that includes important provisions on surveillance, training and treatment, but still leaves the issue of health insurance coverage for early autism services up in the air.

• What I'm Up To

Just returned from speaking at the White Earth Reservation Community Cooperative Conference on Children’s Brain Development.  Among other speakers were Jack Shonkoff from Harvard and Art Rolnick, an economist who specializes in finding ways of funding children’s initiatives and analyzing their pay-offs.  I spoke on “Freedom from Meltdowns” and “Autism Early Intervention and Brain Development.” Around 800 people attended the conference.  White Earth Reservation is 240 miles north of Minneapolis, MN.

•  Quote of the Week

“There is only one cardinal rule: One must always listen to the patient.”  Oliver Sacks in an interview with Walter Clemons, 'Listening to the Lost', Newsweek (20 Aug 1984). Author of “An Anthropologist on Mars.”

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