Congressional testimony from Rep. Dan Burton on the rising Autism rates. Congressman Burton believes one of the biggest factors in causing autism is mercury in vaccines. Watch his testimony here.

The Rising Rates of Autism – A Sibling’s Perspective

Natalie Palumbo is 18 years old and grew up with her 21 year old brother who has autism. As an assignment for one of her classes, she was to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement). The above video was what she chose to do as her PSA. She calls herself one of the 88, and her brother the “one.” She gives the sibling perspective, knowing that it is her generation that will outlive her parents and be saddled with the care of all the people with autism that are part of this “disaster.” Her perspective is one that is seldom if ever heard, and she speaks with wisdom far beyond her age in this short video.

Natalie blogs at Age of Autism, and here is a portion of some of the things she has written from the sibling perspective:

Autism Sibling Perspective: Faking Happiness for Anthony

By Natalie Palumbo

I am 18, a senior in high school, and the younger sister of a 21 year old brother with low verbal autism.

I live in two worlds – the real world of obligations, deadlines, and expectations, and the time suspended world I share with Anthony.  On one hand, Anthony’s world can be a distraction from pain.  I must subdue my misery so I can appease Anthony.   Placating my brother with games and movies allows me to escape my frustrations.  The down side is internalizing everything just to cope.  When I try to share my feelings at home, I must deal with the jarring effects of Anthony’s multiple interruptions.  Anthony’s needs are always “now” even though the past and present exist simultaneously for him.  He can’t fathom what I am going through, so he’ll make the same demands on my time regardless of what I am suffering.  This is a constant reminder that I can’t lament too long.  Anthony’s persistence won’t let me.  I have to keep moving forward because Anthony needs me no matter what I am doing, or how I am feeling.

My mom said the experience of growing up with Anthony will make me a wonderful mother.  Small children need you no matter what.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sick, depressed, busy, or overwhelmed — they need what they need when they need it.  She said the fact that I could tough it out, bury my pain, and manage to be considerate of Anthony’s feelings is what strong moms do…and I was already learning to do it.  She said she knew it wasn’t easy for me to hide my feelings, but keeping composure was an important skill, and promised she’d always be there to help me.  I get scared when I think of handling two aging parents, Anthony, a couple of kids, and my career.  People have accused me of being too serious about my future.  I simply dismiss them.  I need to know I can handle things myself in case I have to do it alone.  For me, it is serious, and I need to be prepared.

Read her full blog here:

Vaccine Epidemic
by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland J.D.

Vaccine Epidemic bookcover Miami Man Contracts Guillain Barré Syndrome, Nearly Dies After Getting Flu Shot

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