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Response to Godhumor (Reply #74)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:33 AM

78. Well, the ONLY mention of Kerri Rivera @ the AoA website is found within a single comment to a post.

See COMMENT here (June 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM, http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/06/vaccine-controversy-black-and-white-chalk-talk.html ) or, like me, don't (it's not representative of the site),
and among a list of presenters at the 2009 AutismOne Conference with perhaps 50 names, including Harvard's Dr. Martha Herbert (see above). Insufficient association to support your smear, certainly.

( http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:zMhCwlpwVUQJ:www.ageofautism.com/2012/06/vaccine-controversy-black-and-white-chalk-talk.html+Kerri+Rivera+age+of+autism&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us )

The Princeton-Harvard (Blaxill), Yale (Olmsted), Stanford (Handley, Kuo Habakus), Johns Hopkins (Taylor), Berkeley (Belkin) educated parents who comprise much of the core of AgeofAutism are not so easily discredited, although I can fully understand how desirable that might be to some. These intelligent, informed, credible and committed parents drill down into the nitty-gritty of the comforting narratives we're all provided in what used to be called 'investigative journalism.' The AoA site is filled with examples.


My name is Michael Belkin. I am a father, businessman, former quantitative strategist at Salomon Brothers, and Director of the Hepatitis B Vaccine Project of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).
...As a UC Berkeley graduate and advisor to some of the largest financial institutions in the world, I am qualified to analyze and make conclusions about statistics.

Here are some on the subject of GI-related matters:


Autism Speaks GI Symposium

By Katie Wright
Posted by Age of Autism at December 14, 2009

Autism Speaks recently organized and sponsored an exceptional symposium for pediatric GIs on autism and GI disorders. It was a great day for our kids and there were many highlights I would like to share.

Drs. Ashwood, Murch and Buie (Harvard) were all excellent. Ashwood did a beautiful job explaining how intricately the immune system is related to these GI disorders. Buie gave a moving lecture and was, sadly, the only doctor to actually include photos of children actually suffering from GI disease. Murch is one of the original authors of the Wakefield 1998 paper for the “Lancet.” Piece by piece he separated out the histrionic accusations from the paper’s actual findings and conclusions. He discussed how shocked he and his colleagues were over 10 years ago to find so many autistic children seeking their help for GI disease. They were even more shocked to discover the inflammation and disease revealed in the colonoscopies.

Murch spoke about the stifled progress in this field being the result of the political backlash as many scientists left ASD/GI research in favor of safer, less career damaging pursuits. Meanwhile GI disease amongst ASD kids is worse than ever. Doctors treating this problem are so difficult to find and bad advice remains rampant throughout mainstream medicine. All too often doctors view GI disease behaviorally, fail to take a proper history regarding the onset of the symptoms and give unhelpful suggestions.

The conference began with some AAP speakers, none of whom were very insightful. They used those words and phrases we have come to know all too well: “mystery”, “no one knows”, “unclear, “Eric Fombonne.” You get the picture. No sense of the pain that surrounds this issue or compassion for these kids. When one doctor showed a Fombonne “GI” study, I jumped to the mike. I had to ask the doctor why he would choose to present the work of a Canadian psychiatrist, and vaccine company board member, as some kind of exalted expert on GI disease and autism? Should we be also be looking at GI studies by Ears, Nose and Throat doctors or OBGYNs? At no time did this doctor reveal Fombonne’s conflict of interest as someone who is regularly paid to testify against these ASD/ GI children in court. I felt it would be wrong of me not to point this out, so I did. The AAP needs to stop presenting such sloppy conflict riddled research. It is embarrassing.

Despite this community’s great frustration with the pediatric establishment, I have to say how pleased I was to meet many of wonderful GIs in attendance. There were over 150 GIs. Given the ignorance surrounding this issue there should have been 5,000 GIs at the conference but one step at a time.



The Failure of The Autism Treatment Network's Dietary Intervention Program

By Katie Wright
Posted by Age of Autism at November 11, 2011

It is so disheartening that the Autism Treatment Network’s dietary intervention research program has accomplished so little over the course of 5 years. In that time hundreds of thousands of dollars have been wasted in badly designed, poor quality research studies.

Not one child has been helped by ATN’s dietary research program and no breakthroughs of any kind have been achieved.

Under the leadership of Dr. Susan Hyman of Rochester NY, ATN’s dietary intervention research has been based on outmoded science. Remember the FDA’s touted nutritional guidelines of the 80s and 90s? Remember the “Food Pyramid”? Remember how the pyramid was about 25% bread and made all of us fat? Well, Hyman studies the “Food Pyramid” of autism dietary intervention research, courtesy of your tax dollars and mine.

Dr. Susan Hyman conducted the same dietary intervention research studies in 2001, 2003, 2009 and again in 2011. All these studies use the same bad design, the same dated recipes, the same selection bias errors and produce the same useless results...


OK, from 2003 to 20011 Hyman has conducted 7 studies on ASD dietary interventions. None of Hyman’s studies have produced any original insights or discoveries. Later you will read about innovative dietary intervention research completed for a fraction of Hyman’s smallest budget. Groundbreaking emerging research has produced incredible insight as well as extraordinary here-and-now opportunities to help ASD kids in poor health.

It is especially disappointing that Dr. Hyman’s research is devoid of input from an ASD specialist nutritionist, an ASD parent professional or even knowledge of post-2003 dietary interventions. Dr. Hyman fired renowned author, parent and nutrition expert Susan Seruossi in 2009. Seroussi had lobbied for longer trials and the removal of processed food and artificial flavorings and colorings from the study.

Hyman’s GF/CF diet has allowed artificial colors and ingredients, as well as rice and potatoes. Artificial additives/colorings can cause ADHD (present in so many ASD kids). Even the FDA agrees! Not one parent I know who uses GF/CF allows garbage, processed food in their child’s diet. Although potatoes are not technically gluten they have a powerful opiate affect on this subset of ASD kids and lead to ever-stronger cravings for more carbs. Once again, these foods are usually not part of the GF/CF diet.

Hyman does not provide the kids with low oxalate food. This is so important. If you have a hyperactive child the GF/CF diet will be useless if the child is regularly eating high oxalate food. Certain types of nuts, fruits and vegetables have extremely high oxalate levels and will only decrease a child’s ability to focus and sit still. Food high in phenols, like bananas and red grapes, can also lead to hyperactivity. High phenol foods frequently trigger allergic responses in the form of eczema and diarrhea. Old GF/CF diets allowed soy. However soy is a highly processed food and we now know that many ASD kids develop allergy-like symptoms as a result. Coconut milk, now found in most groceries stores, is a far better milk substitute. I could go on and on about why Hyman’s CF/CF diet never gets positive results, but you get the picture.

Most importantly Hyman excludes kids with GI disease and immune dysfunction from her studies. They are THE population who are most likely to benefit from an appropriate intervention dietary intervention!


Katie Wright has two young boys. Her oldest son, Christian, is severely affected by autism. He developed normally; smiling, talking, walking; only to lose every skill and every word by the age of 2 and a half. Upon the advice of medical professionals Katie and her husband were advised to pursue only high quality behavioral therapy, speech and OT for Christian. It had no meaningful impact on Christian until his parents sought help from DAN! doctors who treated the underlying causes of Christian's descent into autism. Christian has improved but still has far to go. He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the measles virus in his gut and an immune system akin to a late stage AIDS patient. Christian does not have a psychiatric disorder. Before autism, Katie Wright was the Clinical Director of Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Stamford Connecticut. Katie is proud to serve on the Boards of NAA and SafeMinds.

NOTE: Katie is daughter of Autism Speaks' founders Bob and Suzanne Wright.

RECOMMENDED: http://www.ageofautism.com/katie-wright/

Time will tell, admit even the most caustic critics.


Comment: Fantastic article! You guys obviously have more self-control than I do. Good job making a disturbing, kinda tragic topic quite funny, I like your writing styles ! I’m currently doing research on probiotics & babies (which sounds woo-y, but bacteria colonises our skin&gut etc and things we do/eat/antibiotics/born through vagina or not etc affect our microbiome!). Most commercial probiotics are probably a waste of money though…

Anyway– I have come across a paper or two on MS + gut bacteria. You cant CURE MS through fecal transplants but there is some weak evidence about the role of gut bacteria has on the development of your immune system. As your immune system is stimulated by bacteria that it interacts with, there is biological plausibility that certain gut microfloras could be associated with MS. So if you lacked microbial stimulation/got the wrong sort of stimulation, this could lead to abnormal functioning of your immune cells (which is what MS is, immune cells attacking the coating of nerve cells).

Because of this, other autoimmune conditions such as Type 1 diabetes have also been linked to gut microflora (as has obesity, irritable bowel conditions etc- we don’t know too much about all the bacteria we have as many cant be cultured in labs yet with our current tech- although the human microbiome and the use of genetic seq is changing all this quite rapidly. I think all of the studies are a bit too early to tell what exactly is going on and whether there is cause/effect or another cofounder/just associated.

Cranks take the smallest grain of science and manage to build a sandcastle out of it…Really annoys me.

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