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The Age of Autism Series by Dan Olmsted - United Press International


Dan Olmsted, Editor, Age of Autism

►July 18, 2007 - The Age of Autism: The last word - United Press International - "This is my 113th and final Age of Autism column. United Press International, which has been the hospitable home for this series, is restructuring, and I'm off to adventures as yet unknown -- although I intend to keep my focus on autism and related issues. Why? Because it is the story of a lifetime."

►June 26, 2007 - The Age of Autism: Study sees vaccine risk - United Press International - "A new, privately funded survey finds vaccinated U.S. children have a significantly higher risk of neurological disorders -- including autism -- than unvaccinated children. In one striking finding, vaccinated boys 11-17 were more than twice as likely to have autism as their never-vaccinated counterparts....'No one has ever compared prevalence rates of these neurological disorders between vaccinated and unvaccinated children,' said J.B. Handley, father of a child with autism and co-founder of Generation Rescue, which commissioned the $200,000 survey conducted by SurveyUSA, a respected marketing firm."

►May 31, 2007 - The Age of Autism: Quite the coincidence - United Press International - "Another remarkable fact that caught my attention: Autism was first identified in both the United States and Europe at almost exactly the same time. Child psychiatrist Leo Kanner published his landmark paper at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1943; pediatrician Hans Asperger published his -- about a slightly less severely affected group of children -- in Vienna in 1944. Cut off by a world war, neither knew of the other's work."

►May 3, 2007 - The Age of Autism: Gluten clue from Case 2 - United Press International - "'Gluten is a protein and is contained in foods, such as wheat, barley, rye and oats,' according to autism.org. 'At the present time, we do not know why the gluten/casein-free diet helps many autistic individuals.' One theory is that they release opioid-like substances in the gut that can migrate to the brain. Well, here's another hypothesis -- could some of those grains be grown in places where residual toxins -- ethyl mercury, say, but in fact any environmental toxin -- are getting into them and thus into our kids? And if some child's body burden or susceptibility is already at the tipping point, could that aggravate or even induce physical and mental symptoms that go by the name of autism?"

► April 26, 2007 - The Age of Autism: Ground Zero - United Press International - "This column has long made the controversial case that autism had a beginning, a 'big bang' if you will. That moment was 1930 -- no U.S. cases before then fully match the classic description of the disorder. Now let's take the next logical step: Not only did autism have a big bang, it also had a ground zero -- a place where many of the first cases concentrated before the disorder exploded nationwide."

► March 6, 2007 - The Age of Autism: Mercury link to Case 2 - United Press International

►February 28, 2007 - Mercury Rising - A Possible Link Between Chemical Exposure And Autism May Have Been Overlooked In The Very Earliest Cases At Johns Hopkins - Baltimore City Paper - "'So now we have learned that Frederick Wellman handled ethyl mercury fungicides that were first introduced to the market in 1929 and that his child was Kanner's patient No. 2,' says Mark Blaxill, whose daughter Michaela has autism. Blaxill is vice president of the advocacy organization SafeMinds, which argues increased mercury exposure is behind the soaring autism rate. 'And we know that cases 1 and 3 grew up around the first application of ethyl mercury products. If that's not a smoking gun, I don't know what is,' Blaxill continues."

►January 25, 2007 - The Age of Autism: 'Unstrange Minds' - United Press International - "'You're going to hate my book,' Roy Richard Grinker told me a few weeks ago when I met him at George Washington University. Actually, I don't hate 'Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism,' his newly published, beautifully written look at autism through the lens of history and culture. I just disagree with it."

►January 9, 2007 - The Age of Autism: A new environment - United Press International - "We are all environmentalists now. At least that's the impression you get from reading the discussion surrounding the Combating Autism Act that President Bush recently signed into law. Much attention -- and properly so -- has gone toward what the bill does not do. It does not, after the House got through amending it, set aside a specific amount of money to look into environmental causes of autism. And it does not specifically mention research into whether vaccines are involved in the ten-fold rise in diagnoses in recent years. But here's what it does do: It says the director of the National Institutes of Health will coordinate research into "the cause (including possible environmental causes) ... and treatment of autism spectrum disorder." Those might be the most important parentheses in recent American history. What's afoot is nothing short of revolutionary -- a fresh attempt to find what's causing autism without taking anything off the table."

►December 27, 2006 - The Age of Autism: The AOA Awards '06 - United Press International - "Person of the Year: Anne Dachel. This Chippewa Falls, Wis., mom and member of the National Autism Association keeps chipping away at the mainstream media's wall of indolence and incuriosity...Private citizens have every right to question elected officials and keep the media on their toes, whether the pooh-bahs like it or not. It's an old-fashioned thing called citizenship. Person of the Century: Bernard Rimland, who died this year, is all that. What's more, you can pick the century -- in the one just past, he made a massive contribution by demolishing the idea that parents' behavior can make their children autistic."

►December 11, 2006 - The Age of Autism: 'Problems' in CDC data - United Press International - "For three years, the CDC has used a study conducted on its own Vaccine Safety Datalink to reassure parents that mercury in vaccines does not cause autism. Now a panel of government-appointed experts says there are 'serious problems' with exactly the approach the CDC took. 'I think what we're saying is that (study) wasn't the last word and that things need to be looked at again and perhaps with different methodology,' chairwoman Irva Hertz-Picciotto told Age of Autism, which obtained a copy of the panel's report."

►November 20, 2006 - The Age of Autism: What Newsweek missed - United Press International

►November 9, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Still's and Pink's - United Press International

►October 24, 2006 - The Age of Autism: None so blind - United Press International - "How long have we known -- or should have known -- that medical treatment might help thousands of autistic kids? A half century, it now appears."

►October 16, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Many, many more - United Press International - "The debate over the cause or causes of autism has been hung up for years on a point that should have been settled by now: whether the rate is in fact increasing."

►September 26, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Rattled regulators - United Press International - "A shakeup at the CDC and the shaky performance of the FDA raise some serious questions relevant to the debate over the huge rise in reported cases of autism. Both federal agencies are key to assuring Americans -- and particularly those whose children receive an ever-increasing load of vaccines -- that there is no relationship whatsoever between the shots and autism. But both agencies have come under fire this month in ways that make you wonder how much confidence to have in their overall performance."

►September 6, 2006 - The Age of Autism: About those 'old dads' - United Press International - "The study released this week that found older fathers more likely to have autistic children has created a media stir. But there may be less to the story than meets the eye."

►August 24, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Something Wicked -- 2 - United Press International - "The idea of a "chemical connection" in many cases of autism arose during the 1970s and 1980s, then gave way to gene-based theories. But the time has come to revive it."

►August 16, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Something Wicked -- 1 - United Press International - "In previous installments of this column, I've sketched the natural history of the disorder beginning with child psychiatrist Leo Kanner's landmark 1943 paper, 'Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact.' And I've suggested that from the very beginning, an environmental trigger -- something harmful coming from the outside in -- was alarmingly evident. As Macbeth put it, there's reason to worry that 'Something wicked this way comes.'"

►July 28, 2006 - The Age of Autism: 'Amish bill' introduced - United Press International - "For the second time this week, legislation aimed at determining whether vaccines are linked to an epidemic of unrecognized side effects has been introduced in Congress -- this time as a direct result of reporting by Age of Autism. The new legislation, titled the Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Populations Act of 2006, would order the National Institutes of Health to study 'health outcomes, including autism,' in those two groups."

►July 28, 2006 - The Age of Autism: 'The first casualty' - United Press International - "'That made me go back and dig out a paper titled "From Safety Last To Children First,' by Mark Blaxill of the group SafeMinds and Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center. It was submitted to a CDC panel on vaccine safety in 2004. 'The obvious concern is that benefits may be overstated and that risks will be suppressed,' they wrote in terms that eerily echo Ricks'. And they made the war analogy explicit, citing 'a mission of fighting a 'war on disease' that disregards the secondary and tertiary consequences of war and views innocent children as inevitable consequences.'"

►July 14, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Anna's last days -- 2 - United Press International - "The death of a 17-month-old Scottish girl named Anna Duncan has come at an inopportune moment for Britain's health authorities. Late last month 30 top scientists warned in an open letter: 'The time has come to draw a line under the question of any association between the MMR vaccine and autism. The UK's children are in danger of serious illness or death if they are left unimmunised.' But Anna's death raises another question: whether these same health authorities are digging deeply enough into reports of serious illness, death -- and yes, autism -- following MMR vaccination."

►July 6, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Anna's last days -- 1 - United Press International - "On April 26 a Scottish child named Anna Duncan attended a party where two children had chickenpox. Nine days later she got her routine measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Four days after that she developed classic chickenpox symptoms -- spots and fever. One week later, on May 14, Anna was dead from an apparent seizure. She was 17 months old. Now her father, John, is struggling with the sudden loss of a bright, lively child -- and increasingly suspicious that the MMR shot during an apparent chickenpox infection triggered her death."

►June 13, 2006 - The Age of Autism: But is Wakefield right? - United Press International - "Let`s put aside the issues surrounding the Lancet paper and concerns about a measles epidemic and go straight to the heart of the matter: Does the MMR cause autism? In other words, is Wakefield right? After looking into the topic for more than a year, I`m very concerned that he may be -- that, especially in children whose immune systems have been rendered susceptible by any number of possible exposures, the combined live-virus vaccine has its fingerprints all over numerous cases of regressive autism."

►June 9, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Gardasil vs. Hep B - United Press International - "At least two doctors tell me their faith in the government`s entire childhood immunization schedule was shattered by the CDC`s insistence that every newborn needs a Hep B shot as an urgent matter of public health. 'It is universally accepted that such mandate was forced upon our children only because they were `available,` while efforts to vaccinate high-risk adults had repeatedly failed,' Dr. F. Edward Yazbak testified in 2001 before the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

►May 24, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 7 - United Press International - "When a mother in Washington state and a researcher in Washington, D.C., offer an identical observation about autistic kids, you can`t help but notice. That observation is simple but potentially significant: Children later diagnosed with regressive autism often got physically sick around the time of their live-virus vaccinations."

►May 17, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 6 - United Press International - "In 1942 a 12-month-old child named Richard M. got a live-virus smallpox vaccination that triggered a fever and diarrhea from which he recovered 'in somewhat less than a week.' We know about Richard because he is Case 3 in psychiatrist Leo Kanner`s landmark study, 'Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact,' which alerted the world to a condition that differed 'markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far.'"

►May 15, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 5 - United Press International - "Kimberly said Timothy's trial was explained to her as a step in the development of a four-in-one chickenpox-measles-mumps-rubella vaccine -- that's why the chickenpox and MMR shots were given at the same. For the same reason, the chickenpox shot Timothy got had a much higher dose of virus than the standard shot, she recalls being told, although the consent form did not mention any increase.  A higher dose was necessary because when viruses are combined, they can interfere in ways that undercut the effectiveness of individual vaccines, she was told. Merck studies already had shown more chickenpox would be needed to overcome such interference in a four-in-one immunization."

►May 13, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 4 - United Press International - "Timothy was the first of two children in less than two years to develop autism in the same Olympia pediatric practice after participating in Merck trials involving chickenpox and MMR vaccines. The second child, Jimmy Flinton, got a four-in-one chickenpox-MMR shot called ProQuad in October of 2002."

►April 30, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 3 - United Press International - "When 12-month-old Jimmy Flinton joined a clinical trial of a new immunization for chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella, no one told his family it contained about 10 times the usual dose of live-virus chickenpox vaccine. And no one considered whether his family`s unusual chickenpox history -- including adolescent shingles and herpesvirus in the eyes -- might raise the risk of adverse reactions to the vaccine. Now that Jimmy has been diagnosed with regressive autism, they wish someone had done so."

►April 20, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 2 - United Press International - "This week, The Age of Autism began a series of articles entitled "Pox," laying out the compelling observations of a group of parents in Olympia, Wash., who are concerned live-virus vaccines are triggering autism. These parents spotted a possibly troublesome trio of factors in their children's cases: Chickenpox and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations clustered together at the earliest recommended ages; a family history of problematic reactions to naturally occurring chickenpox and other herpesviruses; and the onset of autism in their children, often following a brief but notable physical illness."

►April 18, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pox -- Part 1 - United Press International - "Children in families with problematic reactions to chickenpox virus may be at risk for developing autism if they get that live-virus immunization too close to other live-virus vaccines, a three-month United Press International investigation of cases in one northwest U.S. city suggests. Several such families in the Washington state capital of Olympia watched their children regress into full-syndrome autism -- losing language and social skills and adopting repetitive behaviors -- in the months following the shots. Two children had participated in small clinical trials in Olympia of investigational Merck & Co. chickenpox vaccines in combination with the live-virus mumps-measles-rubella vaccine -- the MMR."

►April 12, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Christian's mom speaks - United Press International - "A small earthquake rumbled through the autism world shortly after 7:30 a.m. on April 11, and the aftershocks are going to be felt for a long time.  That's when Katie Wright, daughter of NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright, said she is concerned her young son Christian's autism might be related to vaccines he received, that he is getting better through treatments that include biomedical interventions, and that it's time for parents to follow their own 'common sense' when they get their kids vaccinated."

►April 4, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Mercury ban opposed - United Press International - "Representatives of 22 medical organizations have written to all members of Congress opposing efforts to ban the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from vaccines. 'Our organizations respectfully wish to state our opposition to all legislative efforts at the federal and state levels to restrict access to vaccines containing thimerosal, an ethylmercury-based preservative,' said the letter dated April 3 from 'Multiple National Organizations that Support Safe and Effective Vaccines.'"

►March 31, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Hot potato on the Hill - United Press International - "The newly proposed legislation to study the autism rate in never-vaccinated American kids could settle the debate over vaccines and autism once and for all. Does that mean it will never happen?  This week U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., stepped out front on the issue. She announced at a briefing at the National Press Club that she is drafting legislation to mandate that the federal government find the answer to that question."

►March 30, 2006 - UPI Autism story prompts bill - United Press International - "A U.S. congresswoman said Thursday she is drafting legislation to force the federal government to study the autism rate in never-vaccinated children -- a direct result, she said, of United Press International's reporting on the issue. 'Shouldn't someone in the medical community take a more scientific look at this?' Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said at a briefing at the National Press Club. 'Don't we deserve at least that much?'"

►March 21, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Allergic responses - United Press International - "A plausible link is emerging between widely used childhood medicines and the risk of developing allergies and especially asthma. But you'd never know it from listening to federal health authorities or reading the mainstream press."

►March 17, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Mercury creeps back in - United Press International - "New calculations suggest children today can be exposed to more than half the mercury that was in vaccines in the 1990s, even though manufacturers began phasing it out in 1999."

►March 2, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Pay no attention - United Press International - "At least in our view, it is a bit twisted -- logically speaking -- to simultaneously spend taxpayer money to keep studying whether a mercury preservative causes autism, yet recommend that pregnant women and children get vaccines containing that preservative. Especially so when alternatives are available that are free of the preservative, called thimerosal."

►February 28, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Less is beautiful - United Press International - "Whatever the reason, a big decline in autism diagnoses would be welcome news to anyone who cares about the nightmarish prevalence of the disorder."

►February 21, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Who runs Colorado? - United Press International - "Denver's Rocky Mountain News says it's time to get over fears that a mercury-based preservative in flu vaccines could harm children or pregnant women. Its editorial on Sunday perfectly capsulates one side of what has become an increasingly heated debate."

►February 16, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Jabbing the MMR - United Press International - "And in the debate over whether those jabs can cause autism, the focus in the United States has mostly been on a mercury preservative, while across the Atlantic the issue is the MMR -- the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine."

►February 14, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Snoozeweeklies - United Press International - "The nation's top two newsweeklies have just weighed in on the problems of boys and the decline in science literacy. Both abjectly failed to address a crucial part of the picture: the impact of environmental toxicity on children's development -- and America's future."

►February 9, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Doctors for mercury - United Press International - "As doctors and health authorities fight state bans on mercury in vaccines and keep giving it to kids and pregnant women, one fact stands out: their certainty. The image of pediatricians and public officials as valiant defenders of mercury takes a bit of getting used to, given their longstanding efforts to keep the toxic element out of our food, our bodies and the environment."

►February 2, 2006 - The Age of Autism: New test of gold salts - United Press International - "A Columbia University scientist plans to test whether gold salts improve the functioning of 'autistic mice' -- a step toward finding whether they could help children with autism."

►January 17, 2006 - The Age of Autism: The Wright approach - United Press International - "The head of NBC is donating more than $2 million to a Baltimore research institute to do something innovative: listen and learn from the parents of children who have autism. Bob and Suzanne Wright's organization, Autism Speaks, is giving $2.3 million to the Kennedy Krieger Institute to fund the first year of development of an autism database that eventually will connect parents, educators and researchers."

►January 6, 2006 - The Age of Autism: CDC probes vaccines - United Press International - "The CDC is continuing to investigate whether a mercury preservative in childhood immunizations has caused cases of autism -- despite the fact a report it paid for said such research should end."

►January 4, 2006 - The Age of Autism: Red flag on gold salts - United Press International - "A number of readers have raised concerns that gold salts -- which may have improved the mental functioning of the first child diagnosed with autism -- are untested and unproven as a treatment and can be dangerous."

►December 30, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Gold standards - United Press International - "A published scientific paper suggests gold salts -- the treatment that may have prompted improvement in the first child ever diagnosed with autism -- can affect mental conditions."

►December 23, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Gold salts pass a test - United Press International - "In a striking follow-up to our reporting on the first child diagnosed with autism -- and his improvement after treatment with gold salts -- a chemistry professor says lab tests show the compound can 'reverse the binding' of mercury to molecules."

►December 19, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Missing in Mississippi - United Press International - "In this -- the second of three parts recounting our reporting on autism since the start of the year -- we revisit the first child ever diagnosed with the disorder."

►December 17, 2005 - The Age of Autism: The story so far - United Press International - "Part 1 of 3. In February, we began this ongoing series of articles on the roots and rise of autism. Now, at the end of the year, here's a summary of our story so far:"

►December 14, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Question of the year - United Press International - "This was the year Big Media pitted parents against experts over whether vaccines cause autism -- and decided the experts are right. But they may have forgotten to ask an embarrassingly obvious question. ... "Mintz got her chance at a congressional hearing in 2002.  'Hi. My name is Sandy Mintz. I am from Anchorage, Alaska. I am lucky enough not to have a child who has been injured by a vaccine. My question is, is NIH (National Institutes of Health) ever planning on doing a study using the only proper control group, that is, never vaccinated children?' Dr. Steve Foote of NIH responded: 'I am not aware of -- but note carefully what I said, that I am not aware of -- a proposed study to use a suitably constructed group of never vaccinated children. Now CDC would be more likely perhaps to be aware of such an opportunity.'"

►December 7, 2005 - The Age of Autism: 'A pretty big secret' - United Press International - " It's a far piece from the horse-and-buggies of Lancaster County, Pa., to the cars and freeways of Cook County, Ill.  But thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster: They have never been vaccinated. And they don't have autism."

►November 30, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Nuts - United Press International - "You may have seen the brief news stories this week: A 15-year-old Canadian girl with a severe peanut allergy kissed her boyfriend -- and died."

►November 19, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Flu shot flashpoint - United Press International - "It's flu shot season, and that simple fact is sharply focusing the debate over a possible link between vaccines and autism. The reason: Most flu shots contain thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative that some suspect caused a huge rise in autism cases beginning in the 1990s."

►November 14, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Showdown in Santa Fe - United Press International - "A pediatrician had an appointment Monday with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy to deliver a blunt message: Its members need to warn state residents that the mercury in flu shots could be harmful to children -- or risk being remembered for failing to do their job."

►November 10, 2005 - The Age of Autism: 'The facts say maybe' - United Press International - "A small text block on the cover of the current Columbia Journalism Review may be a lot bigger than it looks: 'Drug Test. Q: Does thimerosal cause autism? A: The press says no; the facts say maybe.'"

►November 8, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Concerned in Tennessee - United Press International - "Susan Lynn would like some information, please: What is the autism rate among people living in the United States right now who have never been vaccinated? If you have that data or know where to find it, kindly contact her by the end of the month, care of the Tennessee House of Representatives, which is considering whether to ban a mercury preservative from childhood vaccines."

►November 5, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Amish genes - United Press International - "What do the experts say about the idea that genes could explain a lower rate of autism among the Amish? Well, two noted medical geneticists say it's entirely possible."

►October 29, 2005 - The Age of Autism: The Amish Elephant - United Press International - "A specter is haunting the medical and journalism establishments of the United States: Where are the unvaccinated people with autism?"

►October 24, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Mercury goes to work - United Press International - "Kharasch, who died in 1957, is widely known for work reflected in that 1924 patent: the creation of thimerosal, the ethyl-mercury-based preservative used in a wide range of medical products including vaccines. It allowed for multidose vials and mass vaccination."

►October 17, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Connecting new dots - United Press International - "Until now, the debate over a possible link between ethyl mercury and autism has focused on its use in vaccines beginning in the 1930s, when the first children diagnosed with the disorder were born."

►October 12, 2005 - The Age of Autism: 'My child is toxic' - United Press International - "This column receives a welcome avalanche of correspondence, but our recent discussion of autism as a "whole-body illness" has generated more e-mail and faster than any other topic we've considered."

►October 10, 2005 - The Age of Autism: More sick kids - United Press International - "In our last column, 'A whole-body illness,' we wrote: 'Something is medically wrong with many, many autistic children. To be more precise, many things are wrong with them. Yet autism is defined by the health authorities as a mental disorder, diagnosed solely by observation.'"

►October 4, 2005 - The Age of Autism: A whole-body illness - United Press International - "One advantage of writing an ongoing column is trends become evident as readers respond over time -- trends that might not emerge in a single installment, no matter how detailed. Here's one of those trends: Something is medically wrong with many, many autistic children."

►October 3, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Critics have their say - United Press International - "In recent columns, we have explored reports by parents linking the onset of their child's autism to vaccinations. These parents strongly suspect a mercury-containing preservative in vaccines -- and in some cases, the vaccines themselves -- were responsible."

►September 27, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Regression - United Press International - "Regression, regression, regression. That's the theme of much of the e-mail this column has received, sparked by two recent installments. The first reported confirmation by a University of Washington study that parents are right when they say they have watched their children lose language and social skills and become autistic. The study reviewed first-birthday videos, which documented that regression had come afterward."

►September 26, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Case Number 88924 - United Press International - "Mary Jo Silva was reading last week's column about reports from the 1990s linking autism and immunizations when she came to this paragraph about a vaccine reaction in August 1994: 'Low fever, much discomfort. Patient laid in bed and cried and moaned; three-four days post-vaccination, rash traveled over patient's body and lasted at least one week. Within six weeks of vaccination patient was observed as losing previously gained language and social skills; diagnosed autistic.'"

►September 21, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Adverse events - United Press International - "Years before the alarm sounded nationwide about a possible link between vaccines and autism, some doctors were making that connection themselves. The evidence: 83 reports filed with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System associating the onset of autism with childhood immunizations. The reports, compiled and catalogued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, were analyzed by Age of Autism."

►September 19, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Research reversal - United Press International - "As public funding all but dries up for research into a possible link between vaccines and autism, advocates are trying to tap new sources, but it's too early to tell if they will find any. 'It's just appalling,' said Jim Moody, counsel to SafeMinds, a group that backs research into a possible link between autism and a mercury preservative called thimerosal that was used in childhood vaccines. He said a number of scientists -- including researchers at Columbia University, the University of Washington and the University of Arkansas -- have been turned down for federal grants to follow up on such studies."

►September 13, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Videos - United Press International - "Do parents know what they're talking about? That has turned out to be a key question in the debate over autism and its possible causes and cures."

►September 7, 2005 - The Age of Autism: One angry mom - United Press International - "Ginger Taylor of Los Angeles describes herself as 'a thirty-something wife of the nicest man alive and mother to the two cutest boys ever. I am a former Johns Hopkins-educated family therapist, and also a Web designer. Most importantly I am a mom. Chandler, born in March '02, is autistic, and Webster, born in Sept. '00, is a mostly typical boy, with a few Autism Spectrum Disorder traits.'"

►August 31, 2005 - The Age of Autism: New York nixes mercury - United Press International - "Have America's medical authorities -- including pediatricians -- lost their credibility on an issue involving the well-being of the nation's children? It's hard to avoid that question after New York Gov. George Pataki Tuesday signed a bill banning a mercury preservative from medicines given to children under 3 years old and pregnant women. The law takes effect in 2009 and exempts mercury-containing flu vaccines in case of an epidemic."

►August 29, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Gold salts to be tested - United Press International - "A University of Kentucky chemist says he will do tests to see if gold salts might help children with autism -- two weeks after this column reported that the first autistic child seemed to improve markedly after that treatment. 'You follow your nose in research, and when I saw that I thought, yes, this is a possibility,' said Boyd Haley, a professor and former chemistry department chairman at the university."

►August 24, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Gold and mercury - United Press International - "Something startling happened to an autistic boy named "Donald T." 58 years ago at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis. He got better -- a lot better. That's when Donald, the first person ever diagnosed with the disorder that now afflicts a quarter-million U.S. children, was treated with gold salts after a life-threatening attack of juvenile arthritis. The treatment at the renowned orthopedic clinic was designed to combat his arthritis, but Donald's autism improved remarkably, too."

►August 22, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Gold? - United Press International - "Why would treatment with gold help someone with autism? That is the question raised by The Age of Autism's report last week that the first child ever diagnosed with the disorder appeared to improve significantly after treatment with gold salts."

►August 17, 2005 - The Age of Autism: March of the experts - United Press International - "The news that the first child diagnosed with autism got better after medical treatment -- while leading experts didn't make the connection -- suggests how research and reality have been distorted for decades."

►August 15, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Case 1 revisited - United Press International - " The first person ever diagnosed with autism lived in a small town in Mississippi. He still does. 'Donald T.' is now 71, and after a 'miraculous response' to medical treatment at age 12, he appears to have recovered significantly since his original diagnosis as a 5-year-old. His improvement is so striking, in fact, that it raises new questions about the disorder and its treatment."

►August 9, 2005 - The Age of Autism: New in name only? - United Press International - "This week's column about the first autism diagnoses brought a quick response from longtime autism researcher Dr. Darold A. Treffert. Treffert is past president of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a psychiatrist at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. He wrote the book 'Extraordinary People: Understanding the Savant Syndrome.'"

►August 8, 2005 - The Age of Autism: But what about 1930? - United Press International - "Sunday's debate on NBC's 'Meet the Press' over vaccines and autism gave welcome exposure to an issue that won't go away quietly."

►August 3, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Gene suspects located - United Press International - "Genetic interactions that appear to create a risk for autism have been identified by researchers at Duke University."

►August 2, 2005 - The Age of Autism: The epidemic debate - United Press International - "Monday's column featured a letter from Kendra Pettengill of Roseburg, Ore., who challenged the idea that the huge increase in autism diagnoses over the past decade can be explained by better diagnosis. In fact, she said, something has happened to trigger an epidemic of autism in America's children."

►August 1, 2005 - The Age of Autism: What epidemic? - United Press International - "One of the core questions about autism is whether it actually has increased at startling rates or if it is just better recognized than it used to be."

►July 26, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Generation Zero - United Press International - "Here is part of an interview with Mark Blaxill, research chair of the group SafeMinds, which advocates removal of mercury from medical products."

►July 25, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Zero exposure - United Press International - "Part 1 of 2. Perhaps we should have checked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before setting off to look into the prevalence of autism among the Amish. Nothing about the Amish -- who seem to have low rates of both vaccinations and autism -- relates to anyone in the rest of the country, the CDC director told us last week."

►July 19, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Rep. wants Amish study - United Press International - "A U.S. Congressman who is a medical doctor said Tuesday he will seek funding to study the autism rate among the largely unvaccinated Amish. 'I want to get somebody to do a study on that community,' Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., told United Press International. 'I would like to get funding and have somebody go into the Amish community and do a survey.'"

►July 18, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Isabella's story - United Press International - "Here, as promised in our last column, is an account by one mother of her child's autism. The mother and daughter, Libby and Isabella Rupp of St. Paul, Minn., were pictured with a front-page article in The New York Times last month about the debate over vaccines and autism."

►July 13, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Both sides now - United Press International - "Part 1 of 2. Regular readers of this column (and we thank you) know that we value a back-and-forth approach. Since beginning this open-ended series six months ago, we have paused several times to let readers speak, and our direction has been shaped by their responses."

►July 11, 2005 - The Age of Autism: 'The Times' vs. parents - United Press International - "Last week this column critiqued a June 25 article in The New York Times, 'On Autism's Cause, It's Parents vs. Research.' Subsequently we were forwarded copies of two letters that a parents group sent to the Times' public editor."

►July 6, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Dismaying 'Times' - United Press International - "Who knew the longest word in the English language would be the best one to explain what is wrong with a newspaper article? The word is related to establishment bias, and the newspaper in question is none other than The New York Times."

►July 5, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Homeschooler APB - United Press International - "Lawyers, it is said, never ask a question to which they do not already know the answer. This column has adopted the opposite tack, asking questions to which nobody knows the answer. Where are the autistic Amish? That was one such question, and it led to our tentative conclusion autism seems surprisingly rare in this isolated group."

►June 28, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Homeschooled - United Press International - "Where are the unvaccinated homeschooled children with autism? Nowhere to be found, says a doctor who treats autistic children and is knowledgeable about the homeschooled world. 'It's largely nonexistent,' Dr. Jeff Bradstreet told UPI's Age of Autism. 'It's an extremely rare event.'"

►June 27, 2005 - The Age of Autism: HHS eyes Amish study - United Press International - "A top U.S. health official is considering whether to launch studies of the Amish -- and perhaps other unvaccinated groups -- in response to United Press International's articles about a low prevalence of autism in that community, according to several people who spoke with him last week."

►June 16, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Feedback on the Amish 2 - This is the Second of Two Columns Sharing Reader Response to Our Exploration of Autism Among the Amish. - United Press International

►June 14, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Feedback on the Amish 1 - United Press International - "A number of readers said the series seemed to implicate vaccines unfairly as a cause of autism, because the Amish have a low vaccination rate."

►June 8, 2005 - The Age of Autism: One in 15,000 Amish - United Press International - "The autism rate for U.S. children is 1 in 166, according to the federal government. The autism rate for the Amish around Middlefield, Ohio, is 1 in 15,000, according to Dr. Heng Wang."

►June 6, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Amish ways - United Press International - "Part 2 of 2. This column in recent weeks has focused on two related questions: Is the prevalence of autism lower among the Amish, and, if so, how do they differ from the rest of us?"

►June 2, 2005 - The Age of Autism: A glimpse of the Amish - United Press International - "Part 1 of 2. Recently, a man named Dick Warner got in touch with us. He has been following this column's search for Amish people with autism and said he might have something to contribute."

►May 26, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Oaklawn - United Press International - "Finally. I found a place that could tell me all about Amish people with autism."

►May 24, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Heavy metal - United Press International - "Parents of autistic children Tuesday launched an organization called Generation Rescue based on their conviction that flushing mercury out of children's bodies improves and in some instances reverses autism."

►May 23, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Goshen - United Press International - "Our search for Amish people with autism is now departing Lancaster County, Pa., and heading for the Midwest, where a significant percentage of the nation's 80,000 Amish can be found."

►May 20, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Mercury and the Amish - United Press International - "The cases of autism among the Amish that I've identified over the past several weeks appear to have at least one link -- a link made of mercury."

►May 17, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Mercury ascending - United Press International - "A year ago, the prestigious Institute of Medicine slammed the door on the idea that mercury in vaccines bore any relation to autism."

►May 10, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Witness - United Press International - "Frank Noonan is a family doctor in Lancaster County. When I met him for lunch last Saturday, he was still in golfing togs from his weekly game -- 'Saturdays are my 'I can breathe' day,' he says."

►May 9, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Absence of evidence - United Press International - "After several weeks of looking, the prevalence of autism among the central Pennsylvania Amish still appears remarkably low, and the few cases I have found suggest an ominous pattern. In two columns last month I asked, 'Where are the autistic Amish?'"

►May 6, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Letter from Ibiza - United Press International - "As part of United Press International's ongoing series on the roots and rise of autism, we invited readers to interact with us via e-mail. As a result, we have received loads of insightful, informative, sometimes critical comment; we printed a selection in a previous column and will make it a regular feature of the series."

►May 5, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Mercury in the air - United Press International - "A new study has found a possible link between higher mercury emissions and higher rates of autism."

►May 4, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Backward - United Press International - "When Leo Kanner first identified autism as a unique developmental disorder in 1943, he was certain it was present from birth."

►May 3, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Feedback Loop - United Press International - "One of the great things about being a journalist in this day and age is how easy it is to interact with readers in a meaningful way."

►May 2, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Educated Guesses - United Press International - "There was something similarly strange about the children who caught Leo Kanner's attention starting in 1938. He called their behavior 'autistic.'"

►April 29, 2005 - The Age of Autism: 'Absolutely different' - United Press International - "Her name was Virginia. 'Virginia S., born Sept. 13, 1931, has resided at a state training school for the feebleminded since 1936, with the exception of one month in 1938, when she was paroled to a school for the deaf for 'educational opportunity.'"

►April 29, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Donald T. and Fritz V. - United Press International - "They were born within four months of each other, Fritz V. in June of 1933 and Donald T. that September. Fritz was born in Austria, Donald in Mississippi, but they had a surprising amount in common."

►April 28, 2005 - The Age of Autism: A new approach - United Press International - "Part 2 of 2. Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, a pediatrician in Lynchburg, Va., is concerned that the increasing number of childhood vaccinations in the 1990s may have triggered a huge increase in autism and other developmental disorders. This article looks at treatment strategies she and others are trying based on that view."

►April 28, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Sick children - United Press International - "Part 1 of 2. Dr. Elizabeth Mumper is an unlikely contrarian. Mumper is a pediatrician in the southern Virginia city of Lynchburg, best known as the home of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty Baptist University."

►April 19, 2005 - The Age of Autism: Julia - United Press International - "Part 2 of 2. Three-year old Julia is napping when I arrive at the spare, neat, cheerful house on Musser School Road near the town of Leola in Lancaster County."

►April 18, 2005 - The Age of Autism: The Amish anomaly - United Press International - "Part 1 of 2. Where are the autistic Amish? Here in Lancaster County, heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, there should be well over 100 with some form of the disorder."