Cutting Edge Autism Conference with Congressman Dan Burton

By Karen L.Simmons

After speaking with Congressman Dan Burton during the Autism One Conference at Loyola University in Chicago last week, it became evident that parents in the United States might not be in touch with the information necessary for legal claims regarding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. ( Inspired by his own grandson’s autism, Congressman Burton endeavors to help others who are struggling with issues surrounding autism. Autism Today is also excited to fulfill our mission of making autism information easy to find in a user-friendly manner and has therefore agreed to post information on our home page through a direct link to information, especially for parents. Visit:”It’s the parent’s voice that can ultimately make the difference to change things for children with autism” states Burton.

Burton pointed out that President Bush has been busy with the war and now that the war is over, something must be done soon to have a National Autism Conference because autism is now a national epidemic with some areas reporting the incidence of autism as high as 1 in 150. One woman even pointed out that since 4 out of 5 individuals diagnosed with autism are boys, the risk is even higher for boys at 1 out of every 86.

Congressman Burton’s passion and enthusiasm for the cause is unmatched. In the afternoon, following his press conference May 3rd in Chicago, visit:, he vowed to help several parents by offering to speak directly with their congressmen or senate representatives. One man noted that he had already spoken with his representative in congress personally and mentioned that he was fined $2,000 for having lead pipe in his home while at the same time the government was shooting his child with poison in the form of vaccines. “Give our kids a good shot at life for a change”, was his sentiment to share with all.

There was a man from Ireland who invited Congressman Burton to come to Ireland and change their school and government funding. Burton said he just might do that of course jokingly though a global model would be nice. There were also people from Spain, Mexico and Canada present at the Autism One conference. Congressman Burton once again encouraged parents to tell their friends and anyone else who has a child with autism to write their congressman, senator or whomever to reopen the window of time so that compensation for the children believed to have been injured through the Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccination to be given another 12 to 18 months to submit their request for compensation.

At first glance, one might think Autism One was just another typical conference on autism, which was anything but the truth. Presenter Sandra Morton Weizman points out that this conference, driven by parents, was unique and a first of its kind. Information presented included biomedical interventions, alternative therapies, legal aspects, governmental issues and behavioral interventions combined. Edmund Arranga, the leading conference organizer, noted they met their conference goals to provide a unique opportunity to allow cross-pollination of the different protocols to occur while eliminating the tribalization that happens at other conferences. “This is how change happens in science and this is how we can move autism understanding and breakthroughs forward”, states Arranga. Ed continued by saying, “It is important that parents hear everything that is going on so they can make their own decisions”.

With over sixty presenters, including names like Dr. William Shaw, Dr. Mark Geier, Dr. William Walsh PHD, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Sandra Morton Weizman, Lenny Schafer, April Oakes, and the list goes on, who presented information on thimerosal in vaccines and their effect on children to divorce, separation and the family with autism. With so much to choose from, it was challenging to choose between the presenters. Booths present included Extreme Health for Oral Chelation, The Pfeiffer Learning Institute, and a sauna treatment therapy used to calm children called Far Infra-Red Therapy.

To close, I spoke with Jim Donnelly, one of the conference organizers, who awarded the winner of the braided gold and diamond ring donated by Autism Today to Julee DeGues as well as the full year’s subscription to Autism Conferences Online through Autism Today, presented to Nancy Cale. Donnelly is very optimistic about next year’s annual conference for Autism One. He suggested that they plan to expand the venue for a larger audience and offer the presenters to speak more than once so delegates can have the opportunity to learn even more!

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