Thursday, February 24, 2005

It's good to be the king

Posted by Craig Westover | 9:45 AM |  

One of those $75 columns that wouldn't have been published if I took up Nick Coleman's offer, raised the issue of the possible connection between childhood vaccines and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The issue plays in a somewhat higher strata as well --
Bob Wright, chairman of NBC, has a 3 year old grandson that has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has sent an e-mail out to all NBC/Universal employees to tell them about his grandson and to let them know that Autism is a hidden epidemic that takes an enormous toll on tens of thousands of families across the country. He also said that his goal is to bring the best and latest information to as wide as possible an audience on the subject of Autism.
Since Monday, February 21st, NBC has been airing a ten-part, week long series on autism spectrum disorder on the "Today Show," with two segments aired each morning at approximately 8:10 EST and 9:10 EST. ASD is also being discussed on other NBC properties.

The MSNBC web site has an exhaustive list of organizations to help families, educators, and others in the community interact and learn more about ASD. I'm familiar with many of these sources; this is an excellent list.

A personal note: Research I did for my column -- and for future columns on the vaccine/autism connection -- has provided me the honor of meeting some dedicated parents who have struggled for years to gain recognition of the potential harm of the mercury in vaccines despite being shut down by bureaucrats and medical experts.

Not to diminish the tragedy in Bob Wright's family, the exposure to this issue from the single case of his grandson's autism will gain huge visibility to the issue, but let's not forget that it is upon a foundation laid by hundreds if not thousands of tireless parents that Mr. Wright stands.