Congressional Autism Hearing: Take Note
By Cathy Jameson
Psst, did you hear that?
Congress talked about autism. Not just any old autism, but the autism that has increased by 1,000%. And that it has something to do with vaccines and not “better detecting”. The autism that has something to do with thimerosal. The autism that can be treated with diet. Oh, and the autism that has infiltrated Africa. That same one that never existed on that continent until we, good old’ US of A, shipped it over in the form of vaccines. I know, I know! It doesn’t sound real, does it? Even I couldn’t believe it. But I was there on Thursday, and I heard it.
When I got a message that the Congressional Hearing on Autism was being scheduled, and that families were being encouraged to bring their children, I thought long and hard about attending. Could I do it? Could I jet to D.C. for the day? Can I add something political to my busy life? Should I go? Could I leave everyone behind and go by myself? Or with kids? I’d have to rearrange several appointments, figure out how I’d get there, factor in taking some of my children and secure a babysitter for those who weren’t, and pray that they had a normal day with no incidents while I was away. Could I? It was a lot to figure out.
I do so much already, mostly solo with hubby on extended travel again, but was this something I should add to my schedule? What if there was an emergency back home, or if Ronan had seizures at school again? Do I have time, energy and back up plans for my back up plans to pull this off? Should I?
Why would I not!
Just thinking about coordinating a day in D.C. took an effort. But the reasons why this Hearing was important were far greater and affects more than just me and my family. The Hearing, this Hearing, the one that’s taken over ten years to be scheduled? It was important for everyone to be there, and I knew that I really should go if I could.
If everything lined up, if I could pull it off, I could get there. And I wanted my older, typical kids to be there as well. They are beyond being aware of autism and have been ready and waiting for years for other people to finally get up and do something about the type of autism we hoped was going to be discussed, the kind that their brother has.
Oh, yeah, we’d be there.
I coordinated as much as I could and got my kids’ schedules organized and finalized the day before the Hearing. Ronan’s big sister and typical brother, Little Buddy, we’re excited to go. They didn’t know too much about what the Hearing would cover, so I told Little Buddy that it was a big meeting about autism and that Mommy wanted to bring them too because we might learn something helpful for Ronan and of course later share with other families. My daughter understands much of why I advocate and frequently asks to read whatever I am currently reading to keep up with the news. She has a great understanding of how difficult some of these last years have been for our family and why we’ve had to make the decisions we have made for Ronan’s health, his care and his schooling. I am proud of how much she knows and what she has shared (and discusses in depth) with her classmates about autism. Having two of Ronan’s siblings with me was important. Not only was I grateful to have my kids in tow, but I was proud that they wanted to be there themselves.
D. C. or bust
I’ll be totally honest, before I got to D.C. part of me thought our efforts for the day might be a waste, the testimonies full of fluff and the Representatives less than interested in autism. I’ve heard about these types of meetings before and have watched government agencies and other autism advocacy groups say so much yet say absolutely nothing useful over and over again. Was going live and in person going to make a difference when I have doubted these types of gatherings and our government’s responses for so long? To say that I was completely caught off guard as the Hearing unfolded is an understatement.
I couldn’t believe what was being said. The questions directed toward the CDC and NIH doctors were ones I myself have asked for years now! The same words, the same topics, the same facts and even the same doubts were being volleyed from the committee members to both Dr. Boyle and Dr. Guttmacher throughout their testimonies.
Not only were the questions most impressive, but the Representatives were as well because it felt like they were actually representing! They shared stories of their constituents’ children. They spoke of the same type of symptoms and sufferings what Ronan has had to handle and work through on a daily basis. These politicians have not only met families like mine, they have listened to them and were offering their stories as evidence. Each story sounded similar to Ronan’s and included a link somewhere in there with vaccines. I was floored.
It gets better.
Put the brakes on
The information our community has been researching, writing, citing, quoting and begging to be addressed for years was being talked about in Congress. Out loud. On record. Under oath. And for the entire world to see on live television.
The Reps were intrigued, and at some points even infuriated at the lackadaisical responses the public “health” agencies were spitting out (or keeping mum about). It royally irked some of the politicians as well as many of us in the audience. That didn’t stop more pointed questions from being fired:
Including questions peppered with the current 1 in 88 rates (and why so high?).
Including questioning the reasons behind what has come of useless government-funded studies that have been conducted in the past (along with demanding the justification of those studies and the millions of dollars spent, or stolen, on those projects).
Including heated questions about why some vaccines still have thimerosal (while others do not) and why some states have higher autism rates than others (and how can that possibly be?).
After those questions, and a very lively discussion, Congress made a point of saying that what we have here in these United States is an epidemic: it’s an autism epidemic. When asked if the doctors thought the same, I felt that the delay in their responses, and the vague and let-me-get-back-to-you-on-that reply, was answer enough.
There were so many perfect opportunities for the Representatives to segue and remind and also reintroduce that very high, and rising, autism rate while reiterating the fact that autism most certainly is a crisis. They see that just as plainly as many of us have for years.
Congress has spoken. Loud and clear.
Something is seriously wrong
As announced at the beginning of the Hearings by the Chairman, every topic raised at the Hearings would be considered and no topic would be off limits. Topics like the amazingly high vaccine injury compensation fund (which is at $2.43 billion dollars, collected to reimburse individuals or families who have suffered vaccine injured or vaccine death). That point, as well as when the Lily Rider and the Homeland Security Act were mentioned, as well as when the CDC’s former Poul Thorsen, who is also on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, was discussed—-all of it, to also include the many queries of vaccines on the vaccination schedule and how they directly relate to our infant mortality and morbidity rates (which are some of the worst rates across the globe)—-when all of that was raised, discussed, documented for the record and promised to be further investigated, was why it was worth the effort of mine to go to Washington, D.C.
The committee members were infuriated at the skyrocketing autism rates and with the inadequate responses the CDC and the NIH offered. They have every right to be upset! WE have every right to be upset! The committee had done their homework and heard firsthand about this epidemic–and it’s come straight from the very people they represent–people like you, parents like me about children like Ronan!
It was liberating to hear what this group was asking and how they were so adamantly asking. But, it was equally as frustrating as the discussions continued. As the questions and answering period went on, it’s no surprise that perfectly logically questions being asked of the doctors about vaccines were dodged. The Representatives continued to demand answers though. They kept at it just as many of us have. Truth be told, it was riveting. As well as frustrating. But, we’ve been assured that more questions will be asked, and more answers must be provided.
The rest of this riveting article here .. http://tinyurl.com/bnuqan2