I don't really like Bill Maher. But gosh-darn-it if he didn't hit the nail right on the head!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Since I started this blog, I've had a short list of "resources" appear on every single page. As I was preparing to add another site to the list, I finally decided that wasn't the best way to do it. So I'm listing those resources here instead, and this time, I'll be providing some short descriptions so you'll know what you're clicking on.
- The Autism Hub: A central point for blogs about autism from autistic people, family members, students, and professionals.
- Autism Society of America: The nation’s leading grassroots autism organization founded in 1965.
- Autism Speaks: The somewhat controversial but widely accepted voice of autism. Lots of news.
- Autism Teaching Tools: An online resource with free information and teaching materials.
- AutismWeb: A parents' guide to autism and other pervasive developmental disorders.
- Autistics.org: "The real voice of autism." A social network by and for autistics, not parents of autistic children, though family members and professionals may find this website helpful.
- Books on Autism: A list of the best selling and highest rated books on autism from Amazon Shopping.
- Caleb's Mom Talks Autism: My mom talks about my brother, a severely autistic young man in his twenties.
- Defeat Autism Now! (DAN): Dedicated to the exploration, evaluation, and dissemination of scientifically documented biomedical interventions for individuals within the autism spectrum, DAN holds several conferences a year.
- Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger's Disorder: A complete description of Asperger's syndrome for the purpose of diagnosis.
- Diagnostic Criteria for Autism: A complete description of autism for the purpose of diagnosis.
- FAIR Autism Media: A large, categorized archive of original videos on autism.
- First Signs: Dedicated to the early identification and intervention of children with developmental delays and disorders.
- MAAP Services: A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and advice to families of "more advanced" individuals on the autism spectrum.
- Polyxo Teaching Resource: A resource for parents, professionals, or anyone interested in teaching children with autism developed by Jason Wallin to encompass a variety of instructional techniques and philosophies.
- Sage Medical Laboratories: Testing for delayed food sensitivities, a very common and perhaps even defining problem with autistics.
- Spectrum Magazine: An online magazine for the autism and developmentally disabled community. Highly recommended!
- Talking About Curing Autism (TACA): An online community of families affected by autism. Especially helpful for families who have just received an autism diagnosis.
- The Truth About Food and Health: Promotes the healing of all things: the physical, the mental, and the emotional. All kinds of information on nutrition and self-healing.
- Wrong Planet: An online community for people with some form of autism, mostly Asperger's syndrome. Holds the view that autism is not so much a disability as a difference.
If you'd like to add anything to this list, please leave a comment! I'll keep updating this page, so come back anytime.
My dad's been telling me about how cool Michael Savage is for a while, but I don't listen to much talk radio these days. For one thing, I've been in Japan for the past 14 months or so. Now that I'm back, I'm still not going to listen to Michael Savage because, apparently, he's an asshole. And not the lovable kind like TV's House either. I'm talking about the kind that picks on autistic kids as if they're all just faking. (Well, to be fair, he didn't say "all", just "99%".)
According to AutismTeachingTools.com, this is what Michael Savage had to say about autism:
Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I'm not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden--why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], "When the nurse looks at you, you go, '[fake cough] I don't know, the dust got me.'" See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.
Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is.
What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don’t act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot."
Autism--everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, "Don’t behave like a fool." The worst thing he said--"Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody’s dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry." That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you’re turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have.
So... What do you think? Is there any excuse for that kind of comment? I say no. You can check out a full, fact-based argument against him here. I'm not even going to bother.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Ingestion of fluoride is known to cause discolored teeth, brittle bones, chromosome damage, Alzheimer's disease, hyperactivity, decreased intelligence, underactive thyroid, apparent arthritis, bone cancer, damage to the male reproductive system, and various mental disorders. Fluoride has been shown to strengthen teeth only when used topically, not when ingested. So why do we keep pumping this stuff into our drinking water?
I haven't found the answer yet, but I did find a great list of 50 reasons to stop drinking fluoridated water. Here's a few excerpts that might be of particular interest to people affected by autism.
19) Animal experiments show that fluoride accumulates in the brain and exposure alters mental behavior in a manner consistent with a neurotoxic agent (Mullenix 1995). Rats dosed prenatally demonstrated hyperactive behavior. Those dosed postnatally demonstrated hypoactivity (i.e. under activity or "couch potato" syndrome). More recent animal experiments have reported that fluoride can damage the brain (Wang 1997; Guan 1998; Varner 1998; Zhao 1998; Zhang 1999; Lu 2000; Shao 2000; Sun 2000; Bhatnagar 2002; Chen 2002, 2003; Long 2002; Shivarajashankara 2002a, b; Shashi 2003 and Zhai 2003) and impact learning and behavior (Paul 1998; Zhang 1999, 2001; Sun 2000; Ekambaram 2001; Bhatnagar 2002).
33) Some individuals appear to be highly sensitive to fluoride as shown by case studies and double blind studies (Shea 1967, Waldbott 1978 and Moolenburg 1987). In one study, which lasted 13 years, Feltman and Kosel (1961) showed that about 1% of patients given 1 mg of fluoride each day developed negative reactions. Can we as a society force these people to ingest fluoride?
35) Also vulnerable are those who suffer from malnutrition (e.g. calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D and iodide deficiencies and protein poor diets) (Massler & Schour 1952; Marier & Rose 1977; Lin Fa-Fu 1991; Chen 1997; Teotia 1998). Those most likely to suffer from poor nutrition are the poor, who are precisely the people being targeted by new fluoridation programs. While being at heightened risk, poor families are less able to afford avoidance measures (e.g. bottled water or removal equipment).
16) Fluoride forms complexes with a large number of metal ions, which include metals which are needed in the body (like calcium and magnesium) and metals (like lead and aluminum) which are toxic to the body. This can cause a variety of problems. For example, fluoride interferes with enzymes where magnesium is an important co-factor, and it can help facilitate the uptake of aluminum and lead into tissues where these metals wouldn't otherwise go (Mahaffey 1976; Allain 1996; Varner 1998).
(As a side note, I'd like to point out that I suffer from "free-floating" anxiety, and taking extra magnesium every day is about the only thing I've found so far that helps.)
44) Studies by Masters and Coplan (1999, 2000) show an association between the use of fluorosilicic acid (and its sodium salt) to fluoridate water and an increased uptake of lead into children's blood. Because of lead’s acknowledged ability to damage the child’s developing brain, this is a very serious finding yet it is being largely ignored by fluoridating countries.
42) The chemicals used to fluoridate water in the US are not pharmaceutical grade. Instead, they come from the wet scrubbing systems of the superphosphate fertilizer industry. These chemicals (90% of which are sodium fluorosilicate and fluorosilicic acid), are classified hazardous wastes contaminated with various impurities. Recent testing by the National Sanitation Foundation suggest that the levels of arsenic in these chemicals are relatively high (up to 1.6 ppb after dilution into public water) and of potential concern (NSF 2000 and Wang 2000).
30) Once fluoride is put in the water it is impossible to control the dose each individual receives. This is because 1) some people (e.g. manual laborers, athletes, diabetics, and people with kidney disease) drink more water than others, and 2) we receive fluoride from sources other than the water supply. Other sources of fluoride include food and beverages processed with fluoridated water (Kiritsy 1996 and Heilman 1999), fluoridated dental products (Bentley 1999 and Levy 1999), mechanically deboned meat (Fein 2001), teas (Levy 1999), and pesticide residues on food (Stannard 1991 and Burgstahler 1997).
12) Fluoride is a cumulative poison. On average, only 50% of the fluoride we ingest each day is excreted through the kidneys. The remainder accumulates in our bones, pineal gland, and other tissues. If the kidney is damaged, fluoride accumulation will increase, and with it, the likelihood of harm.
39) The US Public Health Service first endorsed fluoridation in 1950, before one single trial had been completed (McClure 1970)!
49) Many scientists, doctors and dentists who have spoken out publicly on this issue have been subjected to censorship and intimidation (Martin 1991). Most recently, Dr. Phyllis Mullenix was fired from her position as Chair of Toxicology at Forsythe Dental Center for publishing her findings on fluoride and the brain; and Dr. William Marcus was fired from the EPA for questioning the government’s handling of the NTP’s fluoride-cancer study (Bryson 2004). Tactics like this would not be necessary if those promoting fluoridation were on secure scientific ground.
You might be saying, "That's nuts! What can I do?" You can start by drinking bottled water and/or buying a fluoride filter. Also, try to avoid cheap, processed meat that's been mechanically separated. You might want to buy some fluoride-free toothpaste or just make your own from baking soda and peroxide. That's fine to protect yourself and your family, but you can probably do more.
We've got to do something to stop this and other forms of mass-poisoning, and we've got to do it soon. Visit the Fluoride Action Network's website to see how you can take action!