Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blind eye16 Year Old Blinded (Bilateral Vision Loss) After Gardasil Vaccination

I assume this headline, "Girl Blinded by Gardasil Vaccine!" is in your newspaper today, on the front page, as every case of measles, mumps and chicken pox is reported. Will the doctors at Connecticut Children's Medical Center be hailed as heroes or villains, and run out of town on a rail for publishing this report like a certain doc from the UK who raised a question about MMR? Heroes, I hope.

How dreadfully sad for this child and her mother, who I'm sure is heartbroken and guilt ridden. Let's pray the damage is reversible. When Walgreens advertises flu shots l on TV or when PBS tells you, "Go Get your H1N1 Vaccine" after an episode of Arthur, they are not required to share side effects. Protect your daughter? Of course. We all want to do that. Oh, and Merck is lobbying for Gardasil for boys on the routine vax schedule, so get ready to protect your son too. The .pdf from the journal is HERE.

A 16-Year-Old Girl With Bilateral Visual Loss and Left Hemiparesis Following an Immunization Against Human Papilloma Virus

Francis J. DiMario, Jr, MD

Departments of Pediatrics1 at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut,, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut

Mirna Hajjar, MD
Department of Neurology at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut
Thomas Ciesielski, MD
Department of Pathology at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut

We report the course of a 16-year-old girl who presented with near complete visual loss associated with chiasmal neuritis and a biopsy proven tumefactive demyelinating lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in association with a recent immunization against human papilloma virus.

Key Words: demyelination • tumefactive • blindness • chiasm • HPV

Journal of Child Neurology, Vol. 25, No. 3, 321-327 (2010)
DOI: 10.1177/0883073809349322

Check iut this report from 1978 too:

Am J Ophthalmol. 1978 Oct;86(4):544-7.
Optic neuritis complicating measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination.
Kazarian EL, Gager WE.

A 6-year-old boy developed bilateral optic neuritis with decreasing visual acuity 18 days after administration of live attenuated trivalent measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. The patient was treated with oral corticosteroids. The optic neuritis resolved within several weeks and normal vision returned. An afferent pupillary defect persistent in the more severely involved eye for 14 months following vaccination.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Movie Lines: John Robison Inspired This One

I had breakfast with John Elder Robison this week. He was on his way to a speaking engagement in NJ and made a pit stop in CT. We talked about writing, my book, his book Look Me In The Eye which continues to sell at a brisk clip and is approaching it's 26th printing - yes, 26. He told me more about an exciting therapy study at Beth Israel called TMS that I am going to begin supporting in a more formal manner and that it's on the radar screen of a large autism organization. And org I occasionally throw mud at for it's dearth of usable research. I'm praying they get on board with TMS.

Today on FB John asked his friends to share a favorite movie line. I thought about it for a moment then hit Google to find this scene from Parenthood, my favorite movie for a hundred reasons. Listen to it, and see if it speaks to you. It's not easy to stay on board the rollercoaster. The ride stops and you have a chance to get off. I raise my hand and tell the operator, "Hit it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Young Girl Begins Her Writing Career

I posted this on today. It's an award winning poem from a second grader whose older brother has autism. This could be the start of her writing career - isn't that neat? What a terrific child she is. We often get so wrapped up in dealing with our child(ren) with autism, we forget that there's a family there as well - and the sibs have a special row to hoe. It's not easy. In fact, it's the premise of my next book - fiction. I'm ready to dig in to that story now.

Trotter kids Managing Editor's Note: An Age of Autism reader named Allison T. sent us this lovely poem by her daughter. Congratulations, Carolyn, on winning the Northern Virginia Award of Excellence for Literature. You're a wonderful little sister to Jackson.

Artist's Statement:

My brother Jackson inspired me to write a poem. He has autism and I think that makes him beautiful because he is different from other 10 year old boys. And being different is beautiful. I always feel safe with him around because he is not a bully. He does not pick on me like most older brothers or boys do. He is kind to me. He makes me happy and plays with me. I trust him to always love and care for me. He has a good heart.

A brother named Jackson
Understands the way things work
Tells his feelings
Is always respectful
Special to me
Makes great movies on his video camera

Is not a bully
So kind

Before I was born he did not have autism
Every time I show up, he is happy
Always nice to little kids
Usually he doesn’t need help with work
Tells the truth
Is in control of himself
Follows directions
Unbelievable kid
Listens to music once and he can copy it by heart

Caroline T.
2nd Grade
Sleepy Hollow Elementary

Thank you BeePosh of Rowayton, CT!

I bought a pair of darling fleece boots for Bella for Christmas at SWOOZIES. They were a bit too snug. Swoozies didn't bring in any larger sizes. Oh no! I looked up the company, BEEPOSH and they are right down the street from me! I emailed them and asked if I could swap the boots for a larger size, since the retailer wasn't able to assist me.
Sure enough, they let me send them the boots and they sent me a replacement pair shortly thereafter. I know from Mark's experience with LEIFHEIT what a pain in the ass it is when a consumer contacts the vendor about a product. But the folks at BeePosh were lovely.

I'll be on the lookout for more of their products and you should too!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tracy Giordano and RIP

I have this strange ability to remember the birthdates of many of my old classmates. Tracy Giordano was born on February 13. 1963 I assume, same year that I was born. She and I attended Dominican Academy in Plainville, MA together. In our small class of about 20 kids, Tracy was always the smartest. She was kind too. And in sixth grade, she needed to start shaving her legs. (Oh the thing kids take note of!)

Tracy went to Bishop Feehan high school and then Brown University. (I told you she was smart.)

She died on December 2, 2000. I don't know what was the cause of death. I have a feeling it was something-- difficult.

I liked Tracy. We were competitive, but we were friends. I think of her every year on February 13th.

Happy Birthday, Tracy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kim Stagliano on CNN

I got a call last Wednesday to appear on CNN's lunchtime newscast about the retraction of a series paper by the UK medical journal The Lancet. What I really wanted to say to Elizabeth Cohen is that clearly she is NOT the mother of a child with autism or she would never even own, let alone wear, an entire oyster bed full of pearl strands for fear of being choked to death or skating on loose pearls and breaking her neck. I think I held my own. As usual, I, "the broken hearted passionate mommy" was followed by the "kindly elderly doctor in the white coat with the soothing voice and lollipop in his pocket."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Finally My Worlds Collide!

This was a big dance, aerobics song in the 90s - Haddaway, "What is Love." My kids adore the Spot videos. So here's my life, in a nutshell circa 2010. Youth meets Motherhood. Now hold in your stomach and lunge!