Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing for your help. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. I am asking for your help because my son has Autism. He is a wonderful, smart, sweet, and loving boy; however, he is often defined by 1 word…Autistic. 1 in 91 children in the United States are on the Autism Spectrum. 1 in 91. And that number continues to grow. What happens when those children become adults? What does that mean for our country, our economic future, THEIR future? I'm sure you are aware, but here are just a few more U.S. statistics:

US Facts:
1. A new case of Autism is diagnosed every 20 minutes.
2. There are 24,000 new cases every year.
3. The economic impact of autism is more than $90 billion and is expected to more than double in the next decade.
4. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
5. There is no medical detection or cure for autism.

Staggering, aren't they?

Mr. President, on April 2nd, I am asking for your help. I am asking for you to light up YOUR house BLUE to show your support, your compassion, your awareness for our children and the many adults who are currently living with Autism, not just in the United States, but around the world. Many international and national landmarks will take part in lighting up blue on April 2nd all around the world. I will be changing my outside bulbs to blue as well, for the month of April. I am hoping someone will ask me WHY? I am hopeful that if you, Mr. President, light YOUR house blue on April 2nd, many millions of people will ask WHY? And the conversation that is so much needed in our country will begin.

We need much more than just your support, Mr. President. We need insurance reform. We need funding for further research into environmental factors that may contribute to the onset of Autism. We need help. But all we are asking for on this day, April 2nd, is your support for our families and our fight for our children as we help them overcome their struggles to communicate, understand, and be accepted.

Mr. President, you are a father, and I wonder what you would do if one of your daughters were affected by Autism? Would you simply change your bulbs to blue for 1 day/night for them? I am positive that your answer would be ‘Yes”. The spectacular thing about lighting up YOUR house blue is that it will reach millions of people, and millions of people will become educated, and education leads to acceptance and compassion for our children.

Many mothers like me are asking you this one favor on April 2nd. Will you please stand up with us in support of our children and light up YOUR house blue?

Thank you.


F you.

Holden has only officially been evaluated once by the public school system - which was shortly before he turned 3 years old. Since he will be 6 on April 10th, and since it has been 3 years since the last eval, they have done another one. Over the past 2 weeks, they have sent home all of the evaluation results separately. I always have a white envelope with "The parent of Holden Block" on the outside. Friday, they sent home a pretty comprehensive one, detailing his IQ level, etc. His Nonverbal IQ is 93, Verbal IQ is 59, for a Full Scale IQ of 75. I know it's a large descrepency between the Nonverbal and Verbal - but, hey, he has communication problems, so, of course it is. Also on Friday, I got the notice for his IEP meeting, which is this Wednesday, March 9th @ 8:30am. Joy.

Today when I dropped him off, his aide handed me yet another white envelope. This one showed another evaluation and its results. The results of this one? That my almost 6 year old is at a 3 year, 1 month level in development.

F you, Monday. F you, this week, actually. And F you, Autism.


Dr. Andrew Wakefield responds....

Click on the title of this post to go to Dr. Wakefield's response to the recent "allegations" of his study regarding children with autism and vaccines. We need more people like Dr. Wakefield in the Autism community.


Medical journal: Study linking autism, vaccines is 'elaborate fraud'

This article (linked in the title of this post) pisses me off for a few reasons. First of all, releasing a story like this now - while the push is being done for flu shots - is coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. It's a fact that more people are choosing to delay vaccinations, or deny them all together, especially the flu shot. Another reason this pisses me off is the statement made by Dr. Max Wiznitzer, which goes a little like this..."Unfortunately, his core group of supporters is not going to let the facts dissuade their beliefs that MMR causes autism," Wiznitzer said. "They need to be open-minded and examine the information as everybody else." First, Dr. Wiznitzer, this study never shaped my opinion of vaccines or what happened to my child. And I know I cannot be alone in saying this. I didn't even know about this study until after I watched my son regress in a mere 48 hours after receiving 4 vaccines in 1 doctors visit - which he was sick and running a fever, I might add. I was assured that he would be "just fine". He wasn't. I have been looking for answers since then as to what happened to my son? Why was he talking and then stopped? Why was he healthy, and then all of a sudden has horrible stomach issues? Why did he no longer interact with me? I had a lot of questions, and no one seemed able to answer them, and frankly, didn't seem interested in helping me find the answers to those questions.

So, the fact that Dr. Wakefield conducted a study with 12 "subjects" where some information may have been altered? Is that really the issue? I don't think there are millions of parents basing their decision on to vaccinate or not to vaccinate on this ONE study and Dr. Wakefield's opinion. I think their decisions are based on information they have gathered from talking to other mothers whos children have been affected by vaccines. And other medical professionals who cannot clearly and definitively tell you that vaccines have nothing to do with Autism.

For example: Hannah Poling (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20015982-10391695.html). Time magazine states: ...(T)here's no denying that the court's decision to award damages to the Poling family puts a chink -- a question mark -- in what had been an unqualified defense of vaccine safety with regard to autism. If Hannah Poling had an underlying condition that made her vulnerable to being harmed by vaccines, it stands to reason that other children might also have such vulnerabilities."

So, although I guess you could qualify me as a supporter of Dr. Andrew Wakefield (simply for putting this out into the media and forcing questions to be asked), his small study that has costs him his medical license and has made the front page of CNN news, I make my decisions about vaccine safety based on the facts - from other parents, from court cases, from my experience as a mother raising a child with Autism.