Girl with autism to be compensated by FVIJ

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 1 Day At a Time, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. The headline in our newspaper today states that a nine year old girl with autism here in Georgia has been found entitled to compensation from a federal vaccine court. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has stated she will receive this compensation from a federal vaccine injury fund. The amount of compensation has not yet been decided.

    Apparently she received five vaccines when she was 19 months old, and the vaccines have been determined to have aggravated an unknown "underlying mitochondrial disorder" which resulted in "a brain disorder with features of autism spectrum disorder". This is said to be the first time that the link between vaccines and autism has been made public. It should be noted that the award was leaked to the internet by a prominent autism author.

    The article stated that the average"injury compensation to an individual in vaccine court has been about $1 million. In fiscal year 2007, more thatn $91 million was awarded to people harmed by vaccines".

    I don't know about other members here, but I have never heard of "vaccine court". It will be interesting to follow this story - to say the least....
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Vaccine court has been around a long time, but its not something they gladly tell you about up front. And last I knew, there was a statue of limitations on claims, so if you didn't figure out that your problems were caused by a vaccine relatively quickly, you were SOL.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Some autistic kids DO start having symptoms after shots. It's the "regressive autism" they are talking about. The kids seem normal, get shots, and are suddenly autistic. That accounts for 20% of all autism though. Most kids are autistic from the get-go.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It seems like it would be hard to prove it was the shots when they are really young- I can see a lot of people claiming that the signs just weren't noticed due to the young age and stage of development.

    They are getting ready to show this family on Larry King- or at least the Mom.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that the clue in this lies in learning more about the "unknown mitochondrial disorder". How can they know that the vaccine aggravated the unkown? Why is this so secret? What do they know that they are not telling us?
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Witz, VAccines are big business. They don't want us to know what is in them, the ingredients other than the virus or whatever are often stuff you wouldn't use topically. And you have a really really hard time figuring out what they are. IF you knew, you would sue or refuse vaccines.

    Vaccine court seems really hard to get results from. I have looked into it a while ago, and it was just very difficult and expensive to make a clain.

    I wish I had a more positive view of this situation. I really think we should be told EVERYTHING in the vaccines. Then we might know thie mitochondrial thing, and many others.

  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wasn't questioning the secrecy regarding the vaccines. I remain unconvinced that the vaccines are the culprit. But clearly there is something that is triggering this in so many children, and in my gut I feel that it is either (perhaps prenatally?) pharmaceutical or food/environmental pollutants either prenatally or in early childhood.

    What I am questioning is why the terms of this award remain sealed? If they stand by the science that vaccines don't cause autism - and as I say, I'm not convinced it does - but merely trigger an underlying mitochondrial disorder, what's the big secret about the underlying mitochondrial disorder, and what button did these people push that made them fold up their tent for the day? It seems to me that someone got a little too close to what the mechanism or cause of the mysterious mitochondrial disorder.

    I mean, this is the government that (for example) sprayed poison on marijuana plants not to kill the plants, but with the goal of stopping people from smoking the poison pot. They poisoned a bunch of pot heads! C'mon, people, pot heads aren't going to stop smoking dope because it might be poison! They're pot heads! Hello!

    It's something one of those mega Dow Chemical/oil refinery/Glaxo-whatever companies are being allowed to do to the public at large, and this time someone got too close.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When I read the article Wednesday (and don't quote me cause my brain wasn't functioning so well then) it seemed like it said that the parents hadn't signed the deal yet so they weren't speaking publicly. Or something along those lines.

    I'm on steroids and I have a shrinking brain. That's about as good as it gets. :tongue:
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    The family was on Good Morning America. It was emphasized that this was basically a one-time settlement because of the mitochondrial factor. The girl started showing autistic symptoms within 24 hours of having the vaccine. I doubt the government would want to open the floodgates for other families. It really would have to be a very clear and convincing cause and effect.

    Personally, I do believe there is a link between some autism and vaccines but it is more in the way of an exacerbation of the pre-existing, albeit unknown, condition rather than a direct cause. As was said, many kids show autistic tendencies shortly from birth.

    As to it being a secret settlement, that's pretty standard when a minor is involved. It is usually a standard part of the settlement agreement, just as having a guardian appointed to handle the funds and the requirement that annual financial reports be filed with the court to protect the minor's rights.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I saw them on GMA as well. I wondered about the underlying mitochondrial disorder they talked about. Is there some sort of test that can be administrated prior to vaccination? Are the doctors able to determine which components of the vaccines can trigger this? And how many parents won't vaccinate based solely on this story?
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That seems very reasonable to me.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree. I don't have a clue as to what causes the autism spectrum disorders. But there HAS to be a reason why we are seeing so many cases, and more cases each year.

    It very well may be something in our food. This is the reason we make our own mixes and cook from scratch much of the time. The additives in food make us ill.

  13. There a couple of things that intrigue me about this case. Without a doubt the Feds are not linking vaccines and autism. And, reportedly, they have made no admissions in this case - but very significantly, I think, they did not litigate. Trust me, there is some strategic legal reason why they didn't. My guess, is there is concern about conceding one area which would open the floodgates - so they are willing to concede on a smaller point.

    The money involved or future litigation don't really interest me either. I think that this condition is way too complicated to pin on one cause. However, if there is some awareness raised by a case like this - I believe that the future result could be more and better services for the many individuals on the spectrum. I would be so happy to see that in my lifetime - and to have more hope for difficult child and his future life.

    I attended a statewide Autism conference today and was amazed by the services offered by some of the speakers from other states. Service provision for those with autism is spotty and scattered at best. There were hundreds of very concerned parents in the audience. I am praying that we can put our energy together to come up with good solutions for our children!
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Every so often this debate gets raised. Some people are convinced there is a link between vaccines and autism; others are firmly convinced there is not a link.

    There IS a correlation between vaccines and autism, in that most children get immunised, and some children are later diagnosed with autism. But is the correlation causative?
    I can't speak for the US in terms of immunisation program, only for how it happens in Australia. Here, our babies are immunised with triple antigen at 2 months, 4 months and six months. There are new vaccines coming in all the time, there are more now than when I had my kids vaccinated. But the MMR was the one which people really questioned - it gets given around 12 months of age, here.

    Most kids who get diagnosed with autism DO NOT get diagnosed before 12 months of age. A child who is non-verbal - you don't begin to worry until they're at least 2. And of those who get diagnosed with autism, there are two main groups - those for whom you can see the problems pretty much from the beginning in so far as speech doesn't develop properly and from an early age they do things like lining up toys etc; and those who seem to begin to develop normally but who later regress. Of those who regress, this seems to happen at about 18 months to 2 years of age.

    So it's understandable that we see a possible causative link to whatever vaccine the kids had previously. There are so many variables here, and so many kids are immunised, that when you look back and ask each parent, "Was your child immunised?" almost all of them will say, "Yes." And some people see this as spooky, when in fact it's statistics misleading you into thinking there is a connection.

    I'm speaking scientifically here - to prove a link, you need to find something to link it TO. You then need to account for all the other variables, including the incidence of autism in those few who were not immunised, as well as those for whom symptoms were apparent before the child was ever immunised. I can look back with the luxury of 20:20 hindsight and see that difficult child 3 had signs of autism from birth. There were odd things I observed in his first week, which were unusual and which persisted and were later recognised as part of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)/stimming.

    That's not to say that SOME cases of autism couldn't be connected to immunisations; but scientifically, the jury is still out at best; or its refuted, from other points of view. Any attempts to study the link have been futile. A big problem is the number of people who ARE immunised, with no problems. If immunisations cause autism, then clearly there have to be other factors to account for the LOW incidence of autism (otherwise everyone immunised would be autistic).

    The other big problem comes in (scientifically speaking again) when you consider - "what is autism?" This has changed a lot over the last ten years and is still changing, year to year. There is a lot of inconsistency in how autism is defined and hence how it is diagnosed. Certainly, a lot of kids meet diagnostic criteria now, who would never have been diagnosed as autistic thirty years ago. Or maybe even twenty years ago. We have been told that difficult child 1 does not have Asperger's. But we have been told that he does. Similarly, we were told that BOTH boys were retarded. Then later testing showed they are actually both extremely intelligent.

    it's all very subjective, and therefore NOT scientific.

    Now let's look at legal guidelines. We so often see a gap between a legal definition and a medical one. I like to read forensic records and similar true stories and this keeps cropping up - a person might be classified as medically insane, but considered legally sane. The definition of legal insanity in years past has been connected to the M'Naghten Rule, which stated that if the person knew at the time of committing the crime that what they did was wrong, then they were legally sane at the time of committing the crime. Now apply that rule to Hannibal Lecter (a fictional character). Dr Lecter was locked up in a prison for the criminally insane, and yet by his actions (trying to hide the evidence of his crime) he showed that he knew that what he did was wrong, he just went ahead and did it anyway. Medically insane, legally sane.
    A gap between medicine and the law.

    There are other cases I won't go into, but many legal cases end with the defendant going to prison instead of getting medical help, because at some level their actions indicated that they knew society would not approve; hence they are judged to be legally sane, and locked away for life instead of getting treatment.
    Or a murderer will be found legally sane at time of committing the offence, but the state can't execute someone who is insane at the time of execution (which is a medical definition at that time) so they are found guilty, sentenced to death - then they can't be executed, they must be treated and if they ever recover their sanity, THEN they get executed.

    When the law and medicine clash, some really silly things can happen.

    Similarly, the law can decide certain things even if it flies in the face of scientific reason. Charlie Chaplin was found legally to be the father of a certain young actress's baby, even though medically it was proven (by blood tests) that he wasn't the father. The law decided, and he paid up.

    This case - I don't know much about it, but from what I know of the legal system, such a judgement can happen even if scientifically the jury is still out.

    So don't get your hopes up, either for an explanation or a payout. I think both will be a long time coming.

    As for what is in medications and immunisations - you can always find out. The information isn't freely available, it's true, but it does exist. No drug can be released (at least in the US & Australia, and a lot of other countries) without stringent testing to prove it will do what it says it will do, without causing harm which is not also identified in the testing. And even then, there have to be decisions made by various government bodies as to whether to allow it or not, and under what conditions. Thalidomide is still being made and sold, but now it is clearly directed so it cannot be given to a pregnant woman. It's a useful drug in other ways.
    The governing bodies are given a list of exactly what is in each product they pass, including the inert ingredients. A lot of those inert ingredients are there as part of the labelling system, to make it unique (such as colour, shape, etc). Others are there as carriers or preservative.

    With immunisations, the preservative thimerosal (called thiomersal in Australia) was sometimes used, once upon a time. It is this preservative that was once considered to be a possible culprit for autism developing as a result of immunisations. I understand that this has now fairly conclusively been declared to NOT be at fault. I don't know about the US, but when I did some digging I found that thiomersal has not been used in Australian immunisations for decades now; certainly my kids never received it. And it's unusual for Australia to chuck something out if you guys in the US are still using it. We got stuck with DDT and 2,4,5 T for years (decades) after they were banned in the US. In fact, US companies happily kept manufacturing them so they could see it to Australia (and other countries). A few Sydney councils, notably Blue Mountains, bought US war surplus 2,4,5 T (Agent Orange) after the Vietnam War to use in city streets. One idiot councillor said, "It's perfectly safe, I could drink a glassful."
    This was possible again, due to the gap in what is medically (or scientifically) understood, and what is legally.

    If this girl is getting money to help pay for her needs, then I'm happy for her. But if I were her parents, I'd be putting expensive plans on hold until well after the appeal.

  15. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Clearly there is more diagnosing of autism. Just the fact that the term "autism spectrum" exists is an indication of that. Some children who are now being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum would have had their symptoms considered "personality" when I was a child or even when my son was in elementary school. When I was a child, only what is now considered to be the most severe form of autism was diagnosed as autism, if it was diagnosed as autism at all. It wasn't a widely know or even accepted diagnosis (and oddly, blamed on the mother's style of parenting). Many children with autism were diagnosed as mentally retarded. Aspergers was literally unheard of. So, yes, there is a dramatic increase in diagnosing over the past decade, let alone over the past half century.

    But there is more than one issue here. There is the belief that vaccines in and of themselves cause the problem. That is illustrated by the fact that the MMR vaccine has long been thought by some to be the culprit for autism. But it has never contained Thimerosal. That brings us to the next issue, the Thimerosal. Many believe it to be the culprit, not the vaccines per se. And finally, the issue isn't limited to autism, but is about neurobiological conditions of all kinds.

    The facts are that we have very little understanding of the causes of the disorders we call autism, bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ODD, ADHD, depression, etc. For the most part, they are nothing more than collections of behaviors which are assigned names. In most cases diagnosis is totally subject, based on the observations and opinions of the doctor who happens to be making the call. Even when we know there is a genetic link to some disorders, exactly how that genetic link causes the condition to manifest itself is unknown. It is entirely possible -- and quite likely -- that what is now being diagnosed as autism (or bipolar or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or ODD or ADHD or depression, ect) is actually more than one neurobiological condition which cause similar behaviors.

    At this time, there is simply not enough scientific knowledge to determine if the vaccines or the Thimerosal or something else entirely is the culprit in the rising diagnosis of these behaviors. The Thimerosal was taken out of pediatric vaccines and RhoGAM simply for that reason, not because there was any proof that it caused anything. Because they just don't know. It simply no longer seemed like a good idea to inject children and pregnant woman with a mercury containing preservative. There were too many questions.

    Keep in mind, too that my generation needed small pox and DPT vaccines to attend school. We got the DPTs early but we usually didn't get the small pox until the summer before school started. Later, after it was invented, they added polio. I probably had 5 Thimerosal-containing vaccinations in my life. The girl in this lawsuit had that many one day when she was 19 months old. How many vaccines are required now? Thirty?

    Speaking of the DPT, the version that was in use when my son was vaccinated was not suppose to be given to children with seizure disorders or who had seizure disorders in their family. My son wasn't suppose to get it but he was given it anyway. I didn't know then what I know now so I have no clue if his partial seizures started before or after the vaccines. But I think about it from time to time. Is it possible that despite his genetic predisposition to those seizures that he never would have had them had he not had that type of pertussis vaccine? Possible? Maybe. Likely? I suspect not. But we don't know.

    Which brings us to the genetic predisposition subject. There have been many, many studies about whether or not vaccines cause autism (almost always, it's autism). What is standard practice in research and what is true of the studies I've seen (which is nowhere close to all of them, by any means) excluded children who have a family history of neurobiological disorders. The children who may be most at risk from damage from the vaccines/Thimerosal/whatever are the ones not being studied. And, as long as the focus remains on autism and not neurobiological conditions in general, the possible risks will remain unknown.

    My personal feeling is that the true neurobiological problems being seen in too many children these days is more related to heavy metals in general and is generally related to genetic predisposition. If I'm right, I don't expect anyone to prove it in what's left of my lifetime. I also believe that there is far too much pharmeceutical industry-driven pathologicalization of behaviors that were once seen as normal and/or "personality".
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What vaccines was she given to get 19 in one day??? I can, at most, remember my kids getting 2 in a visit. Do we give 30 vaccines at all?

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I just looked it up. TOTAL vaccinations are recommended to be 28 doses of the various vaccines, unless you are in high risk groups. That adds 4 or 5 (forget) doses. This doesn't include the flu vaccine.

    I am still confused over so many at one time. It jsut seems like a lot.

  18. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    No no no......She was 19 months old. She only got 5 vaccines in one day.

    But it's the same story Rep. Burton tells about his grandchild who got 8 or 9 vaccinations in one day and, the family says, was a totally different child the next day.

    Does the 28 total include the new HPV vaccine? That's a three dose series which so far is for girls only and not required by all states....yet.

    ETA: Pennsylvania requires 16 separate vaccinations (or maybe I should say "sticks") for school attendance. I counted the requirement for the 4 diphtheria vaccinations and the 4 tetnus ones as just 4 because those vaccines are usually given in a combination formula. Same for mumps, measles and rubella -- counted it as two rather than 2 for measles, 1 for mumps and 1 for rubella. Counting them separately, it would be 22. PA does not require the HPV vaccine. Aren't there other vaccinations that are "recommended"?
  19. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I found a website many many years ago about vaccine compensation for illness/injury arising from vaccinations. But then I read at that website they had stopped compensating for a while.
    My oldest difficult child had all her vaccines as routine. My easy child had some problems associated with her 2nd set, so her pediatrician then gave her the rest of hers in half doses.
    When my son was born, they began to vaccinate him on the day he was born. He had complications so they gave him half doses as well, but then he got twice as many.
    When I started nurseing school, I had to get vaccinated completely, and it was either 10 or 14 days to the hour later that I began to immediately and suddenyl become deathly ill- flare up of my Lupus, and manifestation of my rheumatic illness. Hard to know if anything in my son began before vaccines since he WAS vaccinated the day he was born. ALtho it is my difficult child who has the most signs/symptoms of neurobiological problems.

    THEN...when my girls were tiny, easy child was a newborn- IIRC- the nurseing hme where I worked had a massive lice/scabies infestation. Sadly the patients docs were refuseing to treat it in the beginning. It wound up to be a horrible mess, and eventually the entire place, ALL patients ALL staff and staffs families had to be treated. We all had to use harsh chemicals. Later I read those chemicals also are known to be serious neurotoxins. I found it ironic, becuz my husband was poisoned with AGent Orange and then my kids were literally soaked in the lice/scabies treatment.

    When my son was first diagnosis'ed with his heterotopia, I was doing research and working with several docs. There was also concern my son might have had a mild spina bifida. Hmm, turns out the depakote I was on immed prior to becoming preg with im could possibly have caussed spina bifida...and women exposed to agent orange also can have kids with spina bifida. (altho I was not exposed, my husband was)
    Well, my son did not have spina bifida after all- BUT 2 geneticists told us heterotopia might be caused by exposure to illness of certain flus by the mother in certain trimesters of preg. Turns out yes.....the nurseing home I worked in at that trimester had a serious outbreak of flu- so bad, 80% of our patient population died from it, and we were quarantined there.
    THat nurseing home also required all staff to get flu vaccines, pneumonia vaccines and TB tests - we got TB tested nearly monthly for over a year.

    Hey, I had one of those smallpox vaccinations---- many people see the scar on my LEG and comment that no, that vaaccine was not given oon the leg....well while some have theirs on their arm, mine IS ON MY LEG! so is my brothers.
    Over the years I have had SO many questions, so few answers.

    I also remember many years ago, reading on several websites and in my local newspaper, our area had come up with the idea a lot of people were homeschooling in my area to avoid getting kids vaccinated. It was very hard to get out of vaccinating kids that went to public school. SO for awhile anyone here homeschooling their kids got harrassed by CPS to see if those kids had been vaccinated. Turns out the majority of kids had been vaccinated.
  20. dreamer

    dreamer New Member