Today is January 20, 2015. Tonight, President Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address. Among those present will be Vanessa Fontaine, mother of Avonte Oquendo. Avonte’s name is well-known among parents and advocates in “the autism community.”
Avonte’s disappearance from school on October 4, 2013 was followed by more than three months of searches, fear, and prayers until his body was finally discovered on January 16, 2014. It took another five days before DNA analysis confirmed Avonte had been found. The DNA results were revealed almost exactly one year ago, on January 21, 2014. There are many reports online regarding the disappearance, the bungled handling of the initial search, and the agonizing months of uncertainty. I have not read all of them. Of those I have read, this article appears to paint the most complete picture of the boy so many of us prayed for and grieved over.
Avonte’s mother will be attending the State of the Union address as the guest of Senator Charles E. Schumer [D-NY]. Senator Schumer has introduced a bill (S.2386) which, if passed, will provide $10,000,000 in grant money to be dispensed each year.
From the bill:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Avonte's Law Act of 2014''. SEC. 2. GRANT PROGRAM TO REDUCE INJURY AND DEATH RELATING TO THE WANDERING AND SAFETY OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``PART LL--GRANT PROGRAM TO REDUCE INJURY AND DEATH RELATING TO THE WANDERING AND SAFETY OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES ``SEC. 3021. PROGRAM AUTHORIZED. ``(a) In General.--The Attorney General may make grants to law enforcement agencies to-- ``(1) reduce the risk of injury and death relating to the wandering characteristics of some individuals with autism and other disabilities; and ``(2) safeguard the well-being of individuals with disabilities during interactions with law enforcement." Read the Bill here.
The reason Avonte’s disappearance and death touches so many of us so deeply is because way too many of us know all too well how easily what happened to him could happen to our own children. Wandering, also known as “elopement” is a huge safety issue affecting half of all children diagnosed with autism.
The issue of wandering is so worrisome there are multiple websites and organizations attempting to bring attention to the problem; most are run by parents of children who have been diagnosed with autism.
This post from Atypical Familia provides links to several helpful resources and also presents the following statistics:
Children with ASD are eight times more likely to [wander] between the ages of 7 and 10 than are typically-developing [children]. Dangers associated with wandering include drowning, getting struck by a vehicle, falling from a high place, dehydration, hyperthermia, abduction, victimization and assault.According to data released in April 2011 by the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) through the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI):
- Roughly half, or 49%, of children with autism attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings
- More than one third of children with autism who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
- Two in three parents of elopers reported their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury
- 32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning
In 2012, the National Autism Association found that from 2009 to 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism subsequent to wandering, and that 23% of total wandering-related deaths occurred while the child was in the care of someone other than a parent.
The AWAARE Collaboration in association with The National Autism Association has a great interactive FAQ page which you can access here.
Included in the AWAARE FAQ page is a link to the stories of 34 children who have died as a result of wandering, and as the page’s authors note, “This is just a sampling of recent news stories, sadly there are many, many more.” Please note that the most recent entries to this particular page are from 2012.
The National Autism Association(NAA) tracks deaths of children and adults from wandering, and has confirmed via email (1/20/15) there were 34 wandering-related deaths in 2013-2014. NAA has many excellent resources geared toward increasing the ability of families and caregivers to provide safe environments for loved ones with autism. The Big Red Safety Box is a Toolkit for families. Please consider making a donation to help fund this project. You may save a life.
NAA has published a White Paper (2012) entitled Lethal Outcomes in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Wandering/Elopement, in which the authors report nine deaths each in the years 2010 and 2011.
National Autism Association produced this video on Autism & Wandering as an aid for first responders:
As the video above states, it was produced in 2012, when the CDC announced the rate of autism was 1 in 88 among American children. That number did not include any children under the age of 12. The number announced in 2014 was 1 in 68, and again, that number did not include any children who were less than 12 years old in 2014. The yearly increase in the rate of autism has been 13-15% since the 1990’s and unless something drastic changes, predictions are that by 2025, one in every two children will be on the autism spectrum.
Naysayers will tell you it’s just about better diagnosis. That’s just ridiculous. I worked as a behavior analyst with adults living in group homes. My clients ranged in age from 18 to 80. The older folks held a variety of diagnoses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, cerebral palsy, and a couple with autism. The older ones with autism were few, and there wasn’t a lot of misdiagnosis going on; I know the difference, having worked as a neuropsychological evaluator for several years. The younger clients; those who were between 18-25 years of age, were almost exclusively on the autism spectrum.
There is an increase and it is huge. That’s why we are seeing more deaths from wandering. It’s because there are more children with autism.
There are a lot of people who want to paint me as being “anti-vaccine,” and as being extreme or “fundamentalist” in my views. I have never said vaccines are the sole cause of autism. I have not always been “anti-vaccine.” If I had been, my daughter would not have been harmed. Since I started researching the causes of autism several years ago, it has become increasingly clear there are multiple factors involved. Those factors interact with individual differences and in susceptible children those factors can and do cause physical harm, on a whole-body level, which then leads to the diagnosis of autism.
Environmental toxicity interacts with genetic susceptibility, and through the process of epigenetics, the numbers of those who are genetically susceptible are increasing. That’s because toxins alter DNA. All one has to do is look at the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for thimerosal, formaldehyde, Triton x-100, 2-phenoxyethanol, aluminum-potassium sulfate, glutaraldehyde, and ammonium sulfate and look to see how many times the words “mutagenic” and “carcinogenic” appear. And this list is just a starting point. Here is the link to the CDC’s Vaccine Excipient List, if you want to look further. I highly recommend doing this if you are considering vaccinating your kids. You read labels on foods, right? Learn about what’s being injected into your children.
The issue of epigenetics and the interaction between environment and genetic susceptibility is discussed further in the article, When 1 in 88 is Really 1 in 29. I also talk about these interactions in this video presentation. I have already linked to the video presentation from Dr. Stephanie Seneff, in which she discussed the synergistic toxicity between glyphosate in GMO foods and aluminum in vaccines, but because that information is so important, I will put it here again. PLEASE. Watch the video.
Getting back to The State of the Union… for those of us who have children with autism or other vaccine-injuries, or who have lost children to vaccine-related deaths, or to wandering secondary to autism, the state is grim. We see a tsunami overtaking our nation and we grieve deeply for the lives already lost, and for those who are being harmed at this very moment.
I know that Avonte’s mother has said she does not want her son to be “the poster child” for anything. I have no idea of her views on vaccination or other factors that may have contributed to the autism and associated elopement that ultimately led to his tragic and needless death. This post is not to single out Avonte as being representative of anything other than the fact that we, as a nation, have a crisis on our hands and that crisis is being largely ignored and actively denied by the very people who have the power to do something to stop it.
This morning, the number of #CDCwhistleblower impressions on Twitter rolled passed the 800,000,000 mark. That’s 800 MILLION impressions, and more than 550,000 original tweets. There have been more than 36,000 parents and activists involved with sharing the #CDCwhistleblower hashtag and associated information since Dr. William Thompson issued his public statement on August 27, 2014, in which he admitted the fraud in the CDC Vaccine Research Group. So far, there continues to be a complete blackout of this issue in the mainstream media. The story has been covered by numerous alternative news sources, including The Robert Scott Bell Show, Leslie Carol Botha’s Holy Hormones, Honey, and Local News Source, KHC-News.tv Mobile News. Our children deserve better. It is unconscionable for public health authorities to continue pushing vaccines on children, including the MMR vaccine, when one of the senior scientists responsible for the safety studies of vaccines has admitted to eliminating data and altering the study protocol to hide the finding that MMR vaccine given according to the schedule increases the risk of autism in African-American males by 236%. See more about the impact of the CDC’s fraud on African-American males and other children in this post: How Many African-American Children Have Been Harmed by CDC Fraud?
In the wake of the measles outbreak at Disneyland, the newspapers and television reporters are fear-mongering, and public health authorities are threatening people with quarantines unless they race out and get their children vaccinated with what they are claiming is a “safe” and “effective” vaccine, which they claim has “virtually no side-effects.” There is absolutely ZERO reliable research from the CDC to back up those claims. Until the CDC Whistleblower case is investigated thoroughly, and ALL of the vaccine research that has been conducted by those researchers has been completely examined and replicated, there is no reliable or valid vaccine research from the CDC. Period.
And that is the REAL state of the union.
Please support the #CDCwhistleblower movement on Twitter. And PLEASE, call, write, email and visit your Congressional Representatives and ask them to support Representative Bill Posey in bringing a Congressional Hearing to investigate the CDC fraud.
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