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On the Heels of Court Ruling Denying Autism-Vaccine Link, U.S. Federal Court Declares MMR Vaccine Caused Autism in a Young Boy

NIXA, Mo., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today by the National Autism Association:

Less than two weeks after federal vaccine court ruled against three families claiming vaccines caused autism in their children, Huffington Post writers Robert F Kennedy, JR and David Kirby reported Tuesday on the story of Bailey Banks, a 10-year-old who regressed into autism following the MMR vaccine.

Last week, Banks' parents were awarded a lump sum of more than $810,000 plus medical-care compensation by the vaccine court, where Special Master Abell ruled that Petitioners had proven that the MMR had directly caused a brain inflammation illness called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) which triggered young Banks' autism spectrum disorder:

"The Court found that Bailey's ADEM was both caused-in-fact and proximately caused by his vaccination. It is well-understood that the vaccination at issue can cause ADEM, and the Court found, based upon a full reading and hearing of the pertinent facts in this case, that it did actually cause the ADEM. Furthermore, Bailey's ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his developmental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD [an autism spectrum disorder]. The Court found that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration of the MMR vaccine, and that this chain of causation was... a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to Pervasive Developmental Delay," Abell noted in his ruling in June of 2007.

In February of 2008, the court also ruled in favor of 12-year-old Hannah Poling, who regressed into autism after receiving nine vaccines in one day. Following the Poling concession, then-CDC director Julie Gerberding noted that Hannah did not have autism, but "autism-like symptoms," leading some advocates to believe the PDD ruling for Banks will lead to another diagnosis word game. "PDD is autism, and 'autism-like symptoms' is also autism," says NAA president and parent Wendy Fournier. "As stated on the website of the National Institute of Mental Health: 'Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs), cause severe and pervasive impairment in thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others.'"

In the Huffington Post article about Banks, Kennedy noted, "Bailey's diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder -- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) has been recognized as an autism spectrum disorder by CDC, HRSA and the other federal health agencies since at least the 1990s."

The National Autism Association hopes this ruling will push government health agencies toward conducting crucial vaccine safety research. "We've gone from recommending 10 vaccines by the age of six in the 1980's to 36 today", says Executive Director Rita Shreffler. "This extremely aggressive vaccine schedule has never been tested for cumulative safety. Our children are the safety test. It wouldn't surprise me if doctors fifty years from now were shaking their heads at this generation's medical ignorance."

To view the full article, please visit:

For more information, please visit

    Wendy Fournier 401-835-5828
    Rita Shreffler 417-818-9030

SOURCE National Autism Association
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