A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam



We turned on the Today Show at 7:00am sharp expecting to hear… “Good morning. Today’s top story – new numbers just in. One in eighty-eight children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. What’s behind this frightening epidemic affecting our children?”

But was there a peep about the new CDC autism statistics? Nope. Not a word during the morning teaser about the day’s top stories. Not a word during the first 15 minutes of the show where they covered really important (insert sarcasm here) stories like your odds of winning the upcoming $540M lottery jackpot.

Finally, about 20 minutes into the show, they mentioned the new autism statistics. They had a representative from Autism Speaks and Dr. Nancy Snyderman on to discuss them. The segment lasted only a few minutes. Dr. Nancy went over the obligatory “party line”… the rise in autism is due, in part, to better reporting and broadening the diagnosis (i.e., more disorders are being called autism because of the birth of the “autism spectrum”). We are so sick of hearing about that. Wake up – that’s not what’s going on here. There is a real increase in autism. Even though it’s scary, people need to stop looking the other way or next thing they know, autism will impact them.

Dr. Nancy was surprisingly honest and admitted that we have no idea what causes autism. She said (we’re paraphrasing) “There seems to be environmental triggers for autism and perhaps future research needs to focus on figuring out what those triggers are.”  Ya think?

At last, some acknowledgement in the mainstream media that, while there are likely genetic predispositions at play for our children, there is definitely something (or more likely, lots of things) in our environment causing our children to develop autism. Please, God, somebody help us figure out what they are! We parents are out here drowning trying to solve this mystery all by ourselves. Our children are the early warnings for society that something has gone terribly wrong. If we continue to ignore them, we shudder to think what will happen.

The representative from Autism Speaks was quick to clarify that only a very small part of the increase in autism is due to broadening the diagnosis (THANK YOU!).  She then said, “There is an autism epidemic and we need to form a national plan to address this health crisis.” 

Yes! Yes! Yes! If one in eighty-eight children were getting the chicken pox (something that likely won’t kill them and doesn’t cause lifelong disability) we are almost certain there would be a national plan to address the epidemic! Every time we would turn on the tv, we’d be hearing about the epidemic and how we can all work together to eradicate it. WHY ISN’T THIS HAPPENING FOR AUTISM? Think about when there’s been a flu outbreak or even a possible flu outbreak. It gets so much more media coverage than autism. Everyone talks about it. Why not autism? We just don’t get it.

Geraldine Dawson (from Autism Speaks) then made three critical points about what the national plan for autism needs to include:

  • More research on the causes of autism and how to treat it
  • Better diagnosis earlier (so that there is more early intervention)
  • What to do with the rising number of adults with autism; how can we make them productive members of society?

While this was a good segment on the increase of autism, we don’t understand why it’s not the top news story of the day. Will these new statistics get autism the attention it deserves? Sadly, we doubt it.

What do the numbers have to be for people to care? One in ten? Does that warrant attention? Does the President or some Hollywood icon’s child need to have autism? Would that do it? Do we need a fancy, “Kony 2012” style documentary film about autism to go viral? Would that make people care?

Please world – why won’t you help us?

If you want to watch the Today Show clip for yourself, go to http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/alarming-rise-in-autism-cases-reported/65yaznc


Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.


  1. I read that article on MSNBC.com last week. I also read the reader comments. I was disgusted. Many people are under the impression that “awkward” and “shy” children are being diagnosed with autism. I am sure there are some misdiagnosis, of course. I was appalled that people actually think that having a kid with autism is like having a shy child.

    Let’s pretend that shy and awkward kids are getting autism diagnosis…I’d say that means there is a crisis in untrained quack physicians in our country and action needs to be taken to address that immediately. But I do not think that is the case.

    Even under the new DSM criteria, every child I have met that was dx’d autistic spectrum would still be included.

    This is a pandemic. If they don’t want to take action over an epidemic..ok, fine. But not taking action during a pandemic? Hmmmm….

    I truly believe that autism is caused by environmental toxins. My hypothesis is when the proper research is conducted they will find that there is an everyday toxin most of us are exposed to that is causing autism and other disorders as well. I personally suspect methanol (formaldahyde)because it changes DNA in consumers of food products that break down into methanol (think aspartame). The changes in DNA are passed on to the children. Fetuses do not have a blood/brain barrier and most adults and children have porous blood/brain barriers, allowing some products that are considered safe because they don’t pass the barrier, to pass.

    Remember this article last year? http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/21/risky-business-epa-builds-list-of-potentially-dangerous-chemica/

    The EPA was comprising a list of environmental chemicals that they suspect cause neuro problems in children. They also planned to form a plan to assess and research each one. I did a little research and couldn’t find any follow up regarding this plan. I am going to email the EPA to inquire about the status of this plan.


    • You’re right – there are so many misunderstandings about what autism is. But shyness – that’s a new one. We think you’re right on about autism being caused by toxins. Great article. Hopefully, others will read it as well. -L&M


    • I should clarify that fetuses (and children) do not have a mature blood/brain barrier (BBB).


  2. I caught a short piece on FOX News as well— nothing that would meet your expectations as a call to arms, but Autism made their agenda for the day at least. By no means am I suggesting that it is not appropriate to advocate for Autism and the families that walk this journey. For the first time, I will be paying close attention to Austism Awareness Month. It is in this past year that Autism has touched my family in a very real and personal way. I have so much yet to learn. For the sake of my “little treasure,” and so many who are on this journey with him, I am LISTENING!


    • It’s so wonderful that you want to learn and you are listening! We wish more people would adopt your attitude. We wish you and your “little treasure” all the best. -L&M


  3. The sad reality is that there’s a good chance that no one can make any money from finding a cure for Autism, which is why it doesn’t get the attention it deserves….as we know, there’s no drug or magic pill. It seems more and more that healing from Autism means learning the needs of the individual and finding programs/treatments/supplements that match their needs while managing environmental factors (food/toxins/vaccines) just like you both have done. I love your passion and dedication to this cause…keep up the good work 🙂 –Joy


    • “Healing from autism means learning the needs of the individual and finding programs/treatments/supplements that match their needs while managing environmental factors (food/toxins/vaccines).”

      We couldn’t agree more! -L&M


    • I think the resistance is exactly what you said – there is no money to be made. In fact, it is more likely that at least one entire industry will be shut down if it is revealed that an environmental toxin is responsible. It is also completely possible that the manufacturer of whatever environmental toxin is already fully aware that their product causes neurological and other problems in suseptible populations such as fetuses and children and have covered up their research. Think tobacco industry. I am sure no company is willing to risk going through an ordeal like the tobacco industry did. Imagine the settlement amounts….


  4. Thanks for this. I was so irked when I heard this on the radio this morning. More awareness = more autism. Please!??


    • We were irked and frustrated as well. It blows us away that the CDC can keep a straight face when declaring the increase in ASD is due to better diagnostics and awareness. What will it take for them get their heads out of the sand? -L&M


    • I saw the Today Show and Nancy Snyderman’s cave to the Medical Industrial Complex. I think it goes this way: If a new “disorder” arises, it creates jobs, and fundraising, and advocacy, and what do you have? A whole spiderweb of efficiency in trying to patch the problem. Instead, what “they” – whoever they are – need to be doing is looking at exactly what is causing the problem. Get to the root of it and eliminate it. Problem is, there’s no MONEY in that. It’s too easy! Not to mention the fact that it will cause a deflation elsewhere, because if gluten, for example, is one of the factors, then what happens? The wheat industry in America suffers. It’s such a subversive and complex spider web. And, it is remarkably BACKWARDS (hence my blog name)!


    • We agree with you…it is time to get to the root of the problem and eliminate it.


  5. Thank you for “liking” my post on the CDC. I hope the direction in this “epidemic” can turn to looking at the potentially real causes, not just putting a bandaid on the issue through assistance. “Awareness” does not just mean knowing it exists and addressing outcomes, it means getting to the heart of what’s causing it, in my opinion.


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