Dr. Goldberg. Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak here today. I wish to take a moment to examine the urgency of this epidemic. I am Dr. Michael Goldberg, a practicing pediatrician for over 20 years in Los Angeles, and I am on the clinical teaching staff of UCLA. I am also the founding member of the NIDS Research Institute, a parent-physician partnership developed to expedite research on behalf of children with special needs. Out of necessity and a desire to help, my practice is comprised primarily of children with autism, ADD, and other special needs. I am here before you today to share my frontline, everyday experience with these children, experience that has overwhelmingly convinced me and my colleagues that this is a disease that can be treated. In turn, I hope to propose a unique medical research model that combines the tenets of basic science and strong academics with an unprecedented sense of clinical urgency. To understand this new autism that everyone keeps speaking about, one must actually step back and look at the increased understanding and incidence of autoimmune diseases across the board from the mid-1970's to the present date. All that one has to do is look at the medical literature to realize that every disorder we have associated as an immune-connected, immune- mediated defect of the immune system--lymphomas, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, lupus, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid disease, and even aging--have all become recognized as in part an autoimmune process or illness. As Dr. Galpin, an authority in infectious disease immunology and a pioneer in the application of immune-modulators and a member of the NIDS Medical Board likes to say: The friendly fire of our own bodies causes the damage. We either have to assume that the increase in these disorders in the human population is mass hysteria, mass psychosis, schizophrenia and/or behavioral-developmental disorders, as was thought in the old days, or we need to step back and realize that maybe we have a large number of adults and children suffering a disease process that is affecting how their brain and nervous system functions. I have family after family within my new practice in which there is a mother or a father with chronic fatigue syndrome, an older child with ADD/ ADHD, and a young child or two with autism/PDD. Unless we assume that this is all random, unfortunately, there is a logical connection between the above disorders and the rapid emergence of this crisis. We must rapidly realize that almost all of these disorders result from a treatable disease process. When you look at the factors among the children that I am seeing, many of them have low natural killer cells. These are part of the findings being reported in many of those other disorders. Another frequent finding is the presence of active HHV-6 virus and other related herpes viruses in some of these children. Similar findings are being reported for various adult autoimmune disorders, and recently, even the Centers for Disease Control published an article focusing on our emerging knowledge of HHV-6 and related disorders. Fortunately, while people talk about the unknown entity of autism, I can show you picture after picture after picture that has allowed me with the help of researchers, Dr. Ismael Mena and Dr. Bruce Miller, to look at NeuroSPECT scans and understand what is going on in the brains of these children. For the majority, there is a decrease of blood flow and function of the temporal lobe of the brain, areas that are consistent with that predicted by neuro-anatomists. We have a large collection of scans that show a decrease in blood flow that is reproducible, quantifiable. Blood flow corresponds directly to function. When compared to MRIs and CAT-scans, they help to confirm no pre-existing damage but rather point toward a neuro-immune direction etiology. In fact, as we learn more through imaging and scans and technology about the brain, in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article a year ago, they discussed the immune-brain-endocrine connection in the hippocampus, a system that, with the CA1 and CA2 nuclei and neuron, affects cognitive function, fatigue, and memory. Today I have come to look upon this as a reversible condition. Thankfully, many children return to normal/above normal functioning by combining steps reflecting diet control, a combination of antivirals, antifungal, and low-dose SSRIs. Parents who are told that their children will never be independent, will never be able to earn a living, will 1 day might have to be placed in an institution, have seen their children become top of their class academically. I have children within the practice scoring in the 97th and even the 99th percentile in California and Illinois State testing. This past week, a mother came to me with her 5-year-old child, who has been with me in the practice for about 8 months. She related an instance where the child said, ``Mom, do you want me to pretend I cannot talk? Remember when I could not talk?'' We have so misunderstood and misjudged these children. What harm are we doing to these children as a result? Hopefully, tomorrow, we will see new agents which will let us work better with the immune system. If we can focus a unified effort to identify a subspecialized set of immune markers, that will let us understand which patient is the most likely candidate for which immune agent, separate out this mixed group of children into logical subgroups. In my written submission to the committee, the NIDS Medical Board outlines a hypothesis which is supported by over 60 journal references on children with autism and the neuro-immune disease process that is potentially reversible. It is interesting to note that that hypothesis has been reviewed by at least four pharmaceutical companies, and there are no holes or deficits in that hypothesis. Within the NIDS Institute, our researchers are all heavily credentialed, and many are involved in current NIH projects and other activities at the NIH and the FDA. Using this technology, their past experience, and a computerized data base, we can unify researchers in institutions across the country. We can literally pick and choose top physicians and researchers around this country and around the world to focus on the crisis it has become. For instance, I am pleased to announce that members of the Mind Institute are hopefully looking at joining and combining efforts, and my hope would be that many independent groups can focus in a scientific manner on answering the questions being raised by this committee today. Another significant benefit of exploring this disease process with a sense of urgency would be the unprecedented ability to screen children who might be susceptible to vaccines or any other factors which have been implicated as potential roles in subsets of these children. Any injury or loss of a child that could have been prevented remains unacceptable. There is no way to adequately console the parent of a lost or damaged child. If focused correctly, we do have the ability to accelerate understanding and identification of potentially high-risk children. If we can identify these children, adjust their vaccine schedule appropriately, we have begun the process of stemming this epidemic and will have created a preventive health policy which would be part of a collective legacy for generations to come. In 1996, I was a speaker at the Autism Society of America, attended by over 2,000 parents and professionals. My wife made the comment: ``Where are the M.D.s?'' The medical community had essentially abandoned these children once they became labelled as autistic. The NIDS Medical Board is designed to help logically, academically, scientifically circumvent the expected learning curve as we see physicians coming back into this field make a radical shift in direction and orientation from what we might have been taught as physicians. I plead with you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. These children are supposed to be a productive part of this country's future, not a health cost and burden. These children have the potential for full, productive, intelligent lives. Contrary to the old idea, their genetics are not the determining factor. A child cannot develop normally, develop some language, and lose it all, except in a disease process. We can apply good, sound science and logic to help solve the crisis now. We must embrace what is literally a paradigm shift in the world of medicine and begin to view autism and other related classifications like we do Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, childhood cancer, and multiples sclerosis. Tragically, if we accept the status quo, we will be sacrificing millions of kids and will likely lose more in subsequent generations. I implore you to investigate the concepts I have introduced, evaluate them, test them--do whatever it takes to convince you that we have a crisis for which inaction is politically and medically more risky than action. I am extremely fortunate to have three healthy children and one healthy grandchild. I selfishly want the rest of my future grandchildren, all of yours, and others out there to have the same chance. Thank you. Mr. Burton. Thank you, Dr. Goldberg. As I think you can probably guess, we are going to pursue this for a long time. Dr. Goldberg. I hope so.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.