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Archive for April, 2010

We highly recommend PBS’s “The Vaccine War” which aired last night on PBS. In a rare display of tv news common sense, one side is simply declared to be wrong. The science is very clear; vaccines do not cause autism and it’s time to move on from this well debunked myth and find out what does.

 
The show features interviews with ASF Board Member Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Arthur Caplan, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Cynthia Cristofani, Dr. Anders Hviid & Dr. Eric Fombonne, as well as with actress Jenny McCarthy and JB Handley of Generation Rescue. 
 
“Scientifically, I think the matter is settled,” says Anders Hviid, an epidemiologist at the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark. In one of the largest and most comprehensive epidemiological studies available, Hviid and colleagues analyzed data on more than a half million children and found no link between the MMR “triple shot” for measles, mumps and rubella and an increased rate of autism — a link that’s been strongly asserted for years by anti-vaccine activists. Similar epidemiological studies in Denmark also failed to reveal a link between the mercury preservative thimerosal and autism. In fact, around the world, peer-reviewed epidemiological studies have found no link between autism and either the MMR shot or thimerosal.
 
You can watch the full episode online or check local listings, as we’re told by PBS that the show will air multiple times this week.  

View scientific studies regarding autism and vaccines here

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One year ago today we launched the Autism Science Foundation with the primary goals of supporting great autism research and sharing research findings with clinicians and families. We knew it was time to create an organization that focused completely on science and evidence. And thanks to all of you, our volunteers, our donors and our friends, we are on our way.

In just one short year we are already funding outstanding autism science that has the potential to change the way we think about diagnosing and treating autism.  We have awarded our first round of predoctoral grants in early diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, and genetics. We are providing scholarships to autism stakeholders, including parents, siblings, medical students and special education teachers, so that they can attend the International Meeting for Autism Research this May and then share what they’ve learned with others in the broader autism community. Our highly trafficked website provides daily news about the latest autism research to families. We are frequently called upon to participate in major media on autism issues. Our board members and volunteers are actively working with families who have received an autism diagnosis to make sure they find the path to progress.  Our unwavering commitment to evidence-based science has earned us the respect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. 

The Autism Science Foundation offers donors the most effective way to get their contributions to the scientists whose work will make a difference in people’s lives. Our organization is extremely lean and efficient, and our costs are remarkably low. We truly make every dollar count.

And this week, in honor of our anniversary, every dollar will count twice, because a very generous donor has agreed to match every dollar we raise through our first anniversary campaign.

 So please click on this link to make your tax deductible donation in honor of our first year.

Donate online or mail your donation to:

Autism Science Foundation
419 Lafayette Street, 2ndfloor
New York, NY 10003  

Thank you for supporting the autism community with the gifts of hope and science.

Karen London and Alison Singer
Co-founders, Autism Science Foundation

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The award winning “Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine and the Search for a Cure” by Dr. Paul Offit, was released today in paperback. 
 
Opponents of vaccines have taken the autism story hostage,” Dr. Offit says. “They don’t speak for all parents of autistic kids, they use fringe scientists and celebrities, they’ve set up cottage industries of false hope, and they’re hurting kids. Parents pay out of their pockets for dangerous treatments, they take out second mortgages to buy hyperbaric oxygen chambers. It’s just unconscionable.”
 
The paperback edition includes a great new preface by Dr. Offit in which he describes parent reaction to the book. “After publication-an event that I thought would only galvanize those who disliked me-I received hundreds and hundreds of letters and emails from parents of children with autism thanking me. Some had been on the fence and were now convinced by the science presented in the book. But many never believed that vaccines had caused their children’s autism and were angry at those who did. “Jenny McCarthy presumes to represent me,” one mom wrote, “but she doesn’t.” They were the Silent Majority of autism parents-a group that the media had consistently ignored.” 
 
If you haven’t read this book yet you need to! And if you have, order a lightweight paperback copy or give one as a gift, because Dr Offit, who serves on ASF’s board of directors, has generously agreed to donate all royalties from this book to the Autism Science Foundation.  Order yours today! 

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The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and Office of Autism Research Coordination are pleased to announce that the 2009 IACC Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research was released and posted to the IACC website today in conjunction with the United Nations designated “World Autism Awareness Day” and the Department of Health and Human Services celebration of “National Autism Awareness Month.”  The 2009 IACC Summary of Advances is a collection of brief summaries of the twenty research articles that the IACC felt made the most significant contributions to autism biomedical and services research in 2009.

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