61chrissterry:

This is in deed a very sad situation and makes you wonder what the world is coming to.

But is the death penalty to quick, I feel the thieves, when court, should be made to suffer for a life time.

Originally posted on David Snape and Friends:

This story made me feel sad and angry at the same time. This was some bloody thieves telling an autistic boys computer, well it’s more of an IPad, that had special software so that he can speak to his parents. William Stuart could not speak because he had global developmental delay (GDD) and is unable to speak. Also stolen were two TV’s and and a Xbox 360. NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

His father Alastair was upset for William who’s frustrated and has turned his life upside down.

So, I might get hate mail from these thieves and I don’t give a s###e. You will be caught one day and when they do find you, I would be delighted to see the electric chair back and you given the shock of your life, in front of William who would have the biggest smile of his life.

Have a look at the link and…

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Original post from Take Part

‘…………A student-made video explores the diversity, pain, and hope of the black American experience.

By

Rebecca McCray is a TakePart staff writer covering criminal justice and legal issues. She is based in New York.


In my recent post Vaccine Injury Stories I posted an article which appeared to state that it was unlikely that vaccines were the cause of some conditions that arose after having the vaccines. A person made a comment to my post disputing the findings within my post and as sent evidence that they feel proves that they do. This evidence is:

Evolution of multiple sclerosis in France since the beginning of hepatitis B vaccination

‘………Dominique Le Houézec

Since the implementation of the mass vaccination campaign against hepatitis B in France, the appearance of multiple sclerosis, sometimes occurring in the aftermath of vaccinations, led to the publication of epidemiological international studies. This was also justified by the sharp increase in the annual incidence of multiple sclerosis reported to the French health insurance in the mid-1990s. Almost 20 years later, a retrospective reflection can be sketched from these official data and also from the national pharmacovigilance agency. Statistical data from these latter sources seem to show a significant correlation between the number of hepatitis B vaccinations performed and the declaration to the pharmacovigilance of multiple sclerosis occurring between 1 and 2 years later. The application of the Hill’s criteria to these data indicates that the correlation between hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis may be causal.

Introduction

The first doubts regarding vaccines as a possible cause or exacerbation of multiple sclerosis (MS) were formulated by Miller more than half century ago [1]. Hepatitis B (HB) vaccine has been the subject of greatest concern, especially in France where mass HB vaccine administration was performed in a short time. In 1992, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended undertaking a universal HB vaccination of all young infants in order to eradicate the HB virus. WHO explained that the teenagers’ vaccination could also be used in addition to or instead of the vaccination of young children in low-endemic countries. In 1994, the French health authorities launched a national vaccination campaign of all pupils in the first year of secondary school. The following year, HB vaccine was added to the national immunization program for all young babies and preteenagers. This intensive campaign had quickly exceeded its expected targets by also encouraging the adult population to be mass-vaccinated, whereas the vaccination of the infants remained less significant. This resulted in an unprecedented “wave” of immunization in adults, with 20 million French individuals vaccinated against HB, concentrated in 4 years, from 1994 to 1997.

MS cases in some vaccinated adults were rapidly notified to the French national pharmacovigilance system (ANSM), triggering investigation by this agency. This inquiry, started in 1994, was therefore already underway when French media revealed possible occurrence of post-immunization MS in 1998. This year, French health authorities abruptly terminated routine school-based vaccination of preteens, and adult HB vaccination began to be less widespread.

Several epidemiological studies have been evaluating the correlation between HB vaccination and MS in adults for a decade. Most of these publications found the absence of a link [26] or a slightly increased risk, but not sufficiently significant on the statistical level [79]. However, different opinions have also been formulated. A study aiming at quantifying underreporting in Fourrier’s article [8] was conducted by D. Costagliola on request of the French pharmacovigilance. This unpublished study showed by the “capture–recapture” method that the real number of MS cases linked to HB vaccine was 2–2.5 higher than the officially registered number [10]. This additional calculation makes Fourrier’s publication [8] clearly significant. Another case–control epidemiological study was conducted to evaluate serious post-vaccination adverse events registered in the United States through a spontaneous reporting system in the VAERS database. Adults receiving HB immunization had significantly increased odds ratios (OR) for MS (OR 5.2; CI 1.9–20) in comparison with an age-, sex-, and vaccine year-matched unexposed tetanus-containing vaccine group [11]. A Hernan’s paper, based on a case–control study in the United Kingdom within the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), found an increased risk (OR 3.1; CI 1.5–6.3) of MS within the 3 years following HB immunization [12]. In the same way, a French study on demyelination in childhood [13] showed that Engérix B® vaccine administration was associated with an increased trend of confirmed MS after 3 years (OR 2.77; CI 1.23–6.24).

On these grounds, we compared temporal HB vaccine dose distribution and MS occurrence in the French population, using the official data collected by the French pharmacovigilance system (ANSM) and the national health insurance (CNAM). The results confirmed, at the global population level, a significant correlation between the number of immunizations and both the number of MS cases declared to the pharmacovigilance system 1–2 years later and an overall increase in identified MS cases in the country.

Materials and methods
Databases

We compared data from two independent national databases: the National Health Service database (CNAM) [14] and the French pharmacovigilance system (ANSM) [15].

CNAM

The French general insurance provides each year the number of new cases of MS in which care is fully supported. These data are available online on the Web site of the CNAM [14]. The concerned population represents a very large majority of people covered by the healthcare system (83 % of the French population in 1996).

ANSM

This organization identifies spontaneous adverse event reports emerged in the aftermath of vaccinations since the beginning of the establishment of HB immunization (1981). The most common diseases reported were neurological damages of myelin, known under the generic term of demyelinating diseases. This condition is clinically called MS when at least two attacks of demyelination repeat themselves. When the neurological disorder remains single, without temporal or spatial diffusion, we speak of central nervous system demyelination.

The French pharmacovigilance is based on “spontaneous reporting” of adverse drug reactions. This allows the establishment of a possible relationship as well as the imputability to generate alerts. However, this system underestimates the real frequency of adverse reactions (1–10 % of severe side effects are reported) [16].

On the other hand, from 1997, the notification by REVAHB, the association of victims of HB vaccine, allowed the completion of these spontaneous reports of potential side effects. Since its inception, this association has been able to transmit more than 2,000 files of individuals who have experienced a neurological problem of post-vaccine demyelination. However, about a third of these files are not used by the French pharmacovigilance (classified as “not documented”) when the physician does not answer to the questionnaire which ANSM sends him for confirming the diagnosis. Of course, this rate of not documented files is an obvious factor of underreporting.

Statistical analyses

We used the R statistical software to compute correlations and perform linear regressions.

Results
CNAM data analysis

The number of MS was very stable, about 2,500 new cases each year until 1993. The following years, and especially since 1996, a progressive increase in the number of new MS reported to the Health Insurance occurred. This figure increased to about 4,500 cases in 2003 and remains steady since.

The annual incidence was 5.3/105 in 1993 and increased to 8.7/105 insured people a decade later (Fig. 1), which translates into a 65 % increase in incidence over the 10-year period. These figures are consistent with epidemiological data published in this country. Indeed, the incidence of MS in France was estimated at around 4.3/105 inhabitants in the years 1993–1997 from a representative sample of the Burgundy region [17]. It was reassessed by the same team at a rate between 7.6 and 8.8/105 inhabitants for the period 2001–2007, from French CNAM data [18].

Fig. 1Fig. 1

Evolution of annual incidence rate of MS supported by the French health insurance system (CNAM), comparison with annual sales of Hepatitis B (HB) vaccine in France (1990–2009)

Epidemiological studies measuring prevalence of this disease provide an increase in the same magnitude. This figure was 40/105 insured people in 1994, at the beginning of the mass vaccination campaign [19]. It increases rapidly until 95/105 12 years later [20].

ANSM data analysis

Since the beginning of practicing HB vaccination in France until December 31, 2010, ANSM has registered 1,650 demyelinating diseases including 1,418 MS. These data are available online on the Web site of ANSM in the French national commission for pharmacovigilance of September 27, 2011 [15]. When you draw a distribution curve of MS reported each year to ANSM in the aftermath of a vaccine injection, we see that this distribution is neither linear nor regular, far from it (Fig. 2). There is a huge peak of reported MS culminating in the years 1995 (229 reports) and 1996 (246 reports). This peak of post-vaccine neurological disorders during the period 1994–1998 corresponds, with an interval of one year, to the beginning of the campaign and intense promotion of the HB vaccination in France (culminating in the year 1995 with about 23 million vaccine doses sold).

Fig. 2Fig. 2

Sales of Hepatitis B (HB) vaccine every year in France, comparison with report of post-vaccine MS to the national pharmacovigilance agency (ANSM) (1984–2010)

We studied the correlation between MS data (Y) and vaccinations data (X). This correlation is high and maximum (0.9365863) between the number of vaccines sold at t time (called Xt) and the number of MS occurring the following year, t + 1 (called Yt + 1). There is also a high correlation (0.7350417) between vaccines sold at t time (Xt) and the number of reported MS 2 years later (called Yt + 2).

If we model this relationship in a linear fashion without constant (since in the absence of vaccination there are no MS cases registered by pharmacovigilance), the best model is one where the coefficient of determination adjusted R2 is the highest (i.e., = 0.9497).

This model is defined by the relation: Yt + 2 = ß1Xt + ß2Xt + 1 + ß3Xt + 2

The series of sold vaccines at t time (Xt) and 1 year later (Xt + 1) have a significant influence (p = 0.00106 for Xt and 0.02491 for Xt + 1) on the number of reported MS at t + 2 years (Yt + 2), i.e., 2 years later. But we cannot say whether the number of vaccines sold in year t + 2 (Xt + 2) has a significant influence (p = 0.07014). Graphically, this relation is also the model that best fits the peak of reported MS to ANSM.

It is difficult to adjust the MS data after year 2002. There is then a notable difference between the theoretical series (models) and the actual series. This can be explained by the fact that the number of vaccinations mentioned by ANSM became less precise figures, rounded and approximate. In addition, since 1999, the immunization target has been focused on young children. Adult vaccination has become uncommon, reserved only for high-risk groups. Finally, the number of MS reported to pharmacovigilance has arguably become more and more underestimated over the years. The problem of the emergence of post-vaccine MS had been widely publicized in the years 1996–1999. Thereafter, over the years, this problem has been trivialized or forgotten. Since this period, underreporting became more important. People who have been victims of adverse events have not necessarily reminded the physician of the injection of a HB vaccine some weeks or months before.

Discussion

Are we able to establish a relation between these results and the Hill’s criteria [21]? Is there a causal relationship between the HB vaccination and the incidence of MS in France? The Hill’s criteria for causation include nine items detailed in Table 1. We will detail now the most important criteria in the text, the other being a simple bibliographic reference mentioned in this table.

Table 1Table 1

Study of Hill’s criteria

The current study satisfies the first criterion. The association is highly statistically significant between reported MS (Yt + 2) to pharmacovigilance and the series of HB vaccines that were sold 1 and 2 years before (p < 0.01 for sold vaccines 2 years before (Xt) and p < 0.05 for sold vaccines 1 year before (Xt + 1); adjustedR2 = 0.9497). Although it is possible to demonstrate here a statistical relationship between the number of sold vaccines and MS reported to the pharmacovigilance, it is not enough to affirm an absolute causality. This is a strong signal that requires further epidemiological studies.

The positive and statistically significant correlation between HB vaccine exposure and reported MS incidence is consistently observed in different places, circumstances, and times (criterion 2).

First, this result is consistent with the Hernan’s case–control study [12] that found in the British population an increased risk of MS (OR 3.1; CI 1.5–6.3) in the 3 years following HB vaccination. Moreover, in this same study, the risk was greater when the last immunization took place within the second or third years before first symptoms of MS (OR 4.1; CI 1.3–13.6).

The results of the case–control study by Geier [11] in USA are also consistent with the French pharmacovigilance data. There is a very significant change in the risk of developing MS after HB vaccine in adults in the VAERS database (OR 5.2, p < 0.0003; CI 1.9–20).

The Costagiola’s study [10] found underreporting of post-vaccine reported MS during the observation period (1994–1996) of an epidemiological study requested by French pharmacovigilance [9]. The combination of these two studies suggests a real number of cases significantly higher (RR = 1.66) than the expected number of MS during the 3 years of the collection.

Most publications where there is no link between HB vaccination and the onset of MS [25] received grants from pharmaceutical industry. Other criticism that can be raised for some of these negative case–control studies is the limited period (2–24 months) of their survey [4, 79]. Moreover, the Hernan’s publication [12] shows also a negative result (OR 1.8; CI 0.5–6.3) for a period of 1 year and becomes significant between 2 and 3 years of follow-up after HB immunization.

The case–control study nested in the Nurses’ Health by Asherio [4] presents several biases. The vaccination status was obtained retrospectively like the date of first symptoms of the disease assessed by questionnaires. This process may cause selection bias leading to a downwardly biased OR as the specific (nurses) selected population [26].

At last, a meta-analysis [27], based on six epidemiological case–control studies [47, 11, 12], did not find significant change in the risk of developing MS after HB vaccine in adults (OR 0.92; CI 0.84–1.004). This paper can also be criticized. Strangely, the statistical computing of this meta-analysis attributes a non-significant value to the Hernan’ study [12], with an OR 1 (CI 0.5–2.1) by using the cases’ date of diagnosis as the index date instead of the date of first symptoms as the author does. But as Hernan wrote [12], “the use of dates that are posterior to the true date of first symptoms may cause a downward bias of the OR for acute exposures such as vaccinations”. In addition, the most significant study by Geier [11] is removed, being regarded as a “source of heterogeneity”. So, withdrawal of a positive study and changing the result of another one more easily allows a negative outcome.

Generally speaking, we know that a low risk of adverse post-vaccination cannot be demonstrated by studies of low statistical power with small numbers of exposed people. Therefore, results in a population of over 20 million vaccinated people should attract attention and require further epidemiologic studies. Moreover, studies with a short period of post-vaccination monitoring are inadequate because they do not take into account the long biopersistence of immunostimulatory vaccine compounds (such as aluminum hydroxide) in the body. In this, vaccines derogate from the rule generally used for side effects of drugs.

The temporal relationship (criterion 4) clearly exists here. The annual incidence of MS recorded by the French insurance was stable about 5.5/105 until 1995. It rose sharply in 1996 to stabilize around 8/105 from 1998. But this sharp increase (65 %) closely follows a major peak in the number of vaccines sold between 1995 and 1997 in France (Fig. 1). The number of MS occurring in the aftermath of a HB vaccination reported to the French pharmacovigilance almost draws the same peak with a delay between 1 and 2 years (Fig. 2). Moreover, some papers report observations of MS relapses triggered by repeated injections of HB vaccine [28, 29].

The official explanations of the increase in this incidence are twofold, first a better screening of MS whose diagnosis has been made easier and faster by using radiological data provided by MRI. This is a dubious explanation. This new radiological technique has begun to develop gradually in French hospitals in 1990 and thus before the obvious increase in the recruitment of MS by French national insurance (1996). Otherwise, if this earlier diagnosis was really so important in the increased incidence of MS, we should have observed in France a decrease in the average age of newly diagnosed cases. And this rejuvenation was not observed [30].

The second factor involves the change in treatment protocol of this period with the introduction of treatment with interferon-beta in 1995, an innovative and very expensive drug that prompted physicians to quickly seek a total care by French health insurance. In 2004, the emergence of a new drug (glatiramer), indicated for the most common form of MS (relapsing–remitting), has not been followed by an increase in cases registered by CNAM that year and the following. The incidence remained the same. This explanation cannot alone explain a so rapid and significant increase (65 % over 4 years) in the incidence of a disease like MS.

A third factor must be considered in such a sudden increase in MS incidence. So the changing of an environmental etiological factor must be taken into account seriously. This therefore appears to be the case for the question of the potential role of HB vaccination carried out in France for a short time and in a massive way, about 20 million people concentrated in 4 years. It is interesting to compare these figures with those countries where routine vaccination has not been recommended. In Norway, the incidence of MS is higher than in France in the early 1990 s (8.7/105 between 1990 and 1995). Then, it decreases slightly in subsequent years (7.2/105 from 1996 to 2000) [31]. In the county of Värmland (Sweden), the incidence of MS has remained similar (6.4/105) during the periods 1991–1995 and 1996–2000 [32].

Specificity (criterion 3) is likely for a very specific population at a specific site and disease. This is not applicable to diseases such as MS. Genetic risk (HLA-DR2) and environmental factors (vitamin D insufficiency) or infectious factors (Epstein–Barr virus, endogenous retroviruses) are clearly involved in the occurrence of MS although its etiology and pathophysiology are not completely understood. These other environmental and genetic factors may have contributed to the raise in MS incidence and should be mentioned.

Biological plausibility (criterion 6): A plausible mechanism between cause and effect is helpful. Are there explanations regarding plausible mechanisms by which vaccines and particularly this vaccine may induce harm? This issue has been extensively studied in recent years. Various aspects of the causal and temporal interactions between vaccines and autoimmune phenomena are known, as well as the possible mechanisms by which different components of vaccines might induce autoimmunity [33]. A first hypothesis could be the similarity between the protein S (used in the vaccine against HB) and some myelin proteins such as PLP (proteolipid proteins) [34]. Another interesting track would be contamination by minor HB virus polymerase proteins. And we know that HB virus polymerase shares significant amino acid similarities with the human MBP (myelin basic protein) [35]. This process is called molecular mimicry: a foreign antigen that shares sequence or structural similarities with self-antigens.

Another runway about biological plausibility is to take into account the metabolism of vaccine adjuvants in the human body. The long-term persistence of aluminum adjuvant at the site of vaccine injection is now well established [36]. Furthermore, transferring of aluminum particles from muscle to brain is demonstrated in animals [37]. A new syndrome entitled ASIA, “Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants”, was recently described, grouping four similar illnesses [38]. These diseases (siliconosis, the Gulf war syndrome, the macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome and post-vaccination phenomena) were linked with previous exposure to an immune adjuvant (silicone, aluminum salts). In another publication, the same authors found common clinical characteristics of the ASIA criteria among 93 patients diagnosed with immune-mediated conditions post-HB vaccination, suggesting a common denominator in these diseases [39].

Conclusions

The figures available in France thus show a definite statistical signal in favor of a causal link between the HB vaccine event and the apparition of MS with a maximum correlation in the 2 years following immunization. The impact of other factors (new use of MRI, beginning of interferon-beta) is probably associated. The weakness of this study is its retrospective nature and therefore subject to bias of notoriety. Its strength is that it is based on indisputable official data on large numbers and during about 12 years. The appearance of a spectacular “vaccine wave” in France has remained the only one in its kind. The intensive lobbying carried out in the years 1994–1997 led to concentrate as many vaccinated people as possible in the shortest period of time. This particularity is perhaps the explanation of the emergence of the problem of post-vaccine MS, especially recorded in this country. The low overall frequency of this adverse effect, not measurable in most epidemiological studies, here becomes more obvious because of a kind of involuntary very large scale experiment carried out on a third of the French population. All this is expected to require further epidemiological studies, particularly from the French health insurance data. Indeed, CNAM has information on millions of insured persons for many years that would be usable if we could more easily access it.

Acknowledgments

The author thanks Mr. A. Sesboüe (Department of Statistics, Caen University, France) a lot for his statistical interpretation. He also gratefully acknowledges Pr. C. Exley (Bioinorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK) and Pr. R. K. Gherardi (Department of Pathology, Creteil University Hospital, France) for their judicious rewriting.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Abbreviations
Biography
Dominique Le Houézec
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References
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Original post from Wake Up World

‘…………..

50-Percent-of-the-Worlds-Wildlife-Gone-in-Just-2-Human-GenerationsBy Open

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Anyone accustomed to Openhand knows that our approach is to fearlessly embrace the truth, even if that makes us unpopular. Why? Because only the truth can truly set you free. There’s so much deception and distortion abound on the planet. We must intuit and feel for ourselves the true landscape and where this is all really heading. For only then, may we become apart of this Great Realignment that’s taking place.

With that in mind, were you aware that in the last two human generations alone, we have lost over 50% of the planet’s wildlife? Staggering isn’t it. We are in the sixth mass extinction in no uncertain terms. And when the eco-systems completely go, then we completely go too…

A Shift Into the Higher Density

In the Openhand View, this is now practically impossible to turn back. No amount of wishful thinking, intentional manifesting or heartfelt healing is going to turn it all around. An unstoppable sequence of events has been set in motion which will ultimately cleanse the 3D earth as life ascends into the higher 5D paradigm. As esoteric as that may sound to some, it’s constantly happening in a cosmos teaming with life and continual evolution.

It is nothing to fear, but rather to fully embrace.

But you can only truly do that of course, you can only dive into the deepend of your own soul’s salvation, when you surrender to the bigger movement of life; the natural underlying flow of the universe.

You’re constantly hearing in spiritual circles how ‘we are the one’ and ‘that we are eternal’ and that we ‘exist in multiple dimensions’. Yet there’s still great attachment to society and to the world of physicality. Not many people are yet truly testing their beliefs in the crucible of daily living and turning them into pure knowing.

But what I hear that irks me most of all, is the frequently quoted view that human activity is not having a detrimental effect on the planet. Really? When you add this staggering wildlife information to the fact that since the industrial revolution over half the planet’s trees have also gone, you have to question the sanity of such views. It’s time to really wake up!

So today, I invite you to take just 10 or 15 minutes to go into a quiet space, and simply contemplate what it means to know that half the planet’s wildlife has died off in just the last two human generations – the last 40 years. How do you really feel about that? How sustainable do you think this current situation on Planet Earth really is?

50 Percent of the World's Wildlife Gone in Just 2 Human Generations 3Most importantly, how might that inspire your commitment to spiritual evolution?

The Living Planet

Here as an overview of the “Living Planet Report 2014″, the world’s leading, science-based analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity…

“This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted. One key point that jumps out is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970.

Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half. These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth – and the barometer of what we are doing to our own planet, our only home. We ignore their decline at our peril.

We are using nature’s gifts as if we had more than just one Earth at our disposal. By taking more from our ecosystems and natural processes than can be replenished, we are jeopardizing our very future. Nature conservation and sustainable development go hand-in-hand. They are not only about preserving biodiversity and wild places, but just as much about safeguarding the future of humanity – our well-being, economy, food security and social stability – indeed, our very survival.

In a world where so many people live in poverty, it may appear as though protecting nature is a luxury. But it is quite the opposite. For many of the world’s poorest people, it is a lifeline. Importantly though, we are all in this together. We all need nutritious food, fresh water and clean air – wherever in the world we live.

Things look so worrying that it may seem difficult to feel positive about the future. Difficult, certainly, but not impossible – because it is in ourselves, who have caused the problem, that we can find the solution. Now we must work to ensure that the upcoming generation can seize the opportunity that we have so far failed to grasp, to close this destructive chapter in our history, and build a future where people can live and prosper in harmony with nature.”

What was that last sentence again?… “Now we must work to ensure that the upcoming generation can seize the opportunity that we have so far failed to grasp, to close this destructive chapter in our history, and build a future where people can live and prosper in harmony with nature.

Hallelujah – it’s called the Fifth Density!

Namaste

Open

Previous articles by Open:

About the author:

 Path Between Worlds   Into the Fifth Density

Openhand is the name we’ve given to the Benevolent Consciousness of the Universe. It is that energy which works within the weave of the fabric of life, helping to unravel karmic blockages, infuse soul and thereby catalyse spiritual evolution. Openhand works as a synchronistic mirror, revealing what is holding us back and how we can take our next evolutionary leap. Openhand Foundation works on behalf of this energy, helping ground its presence in this realm. ………’


Original post from The Mighty

‘……….Kathy Hooven   

When you say, “My son/daughter has autism” people don’t know how to respond. Most folks know not to say, “Woo hoo!” and high-five me, so instead they fumble for their speech, they turn their gaze away, they make horrible social blunders, and then quickly try to escape an uncomfortable situation.

We get it. We know you are at a loss for words. We know you don’t know what the right response is. We know you feel awkward, unsure and really, really wish you had never stared rudely and commented on our child’s behavior, but once the cat is out of the bag, you can’t pretend you didn’t let it out. And neither can we.

So during this month of Autism Awareness, I thought I could help those dumbfounded, awkward, at-a-loss-for-words people out as much as I could. Seeing as how every situation is different and every child with autism is different, I might not be able to tell you exactly what to say, but, I can give you some helpful hints on what not to say.

what not to say to the parent of a child with autism

1. “But he looks so… normal?!”

Um, OK… thanks? I’m not exactly sure what “normal” looks like, but, I think my kid is gorgeous.

2. “Are you sure he’s autistic?”

Yes, I’m sure. I realize if he isn’t spinning, flapping, asking to watch Judge Wapner or yelling, “Bazinga,” he may not seem autistic to you, but, the 200 specialists we have seen, trying to reassure ourselves of that very question, confirmed that he is indeed autistic.

3. What do you think caused it?

We don’t know. We wonder, we question and we agonize over everything we did, everything we ate, and every place we went while pregnant. We spend countless hours blaming ourselves, the environment, genetics, etc., then we finally realized, what caused our child’s autism isn’t nearly as important as what we are doing to support him. We want you to realize that, too.

4. “Ohhhhh… what can he do?” 

I said that he has autism, not that he’s a circus monkey. We realize that there are misconceptions that all people with autism have some sort of exceptional ability, and although some do, some do not. So when you ask a mother this, not only does it reinforce that her child is “different” in the neurotypical world, it makes her feel like her child is “different” in the autistic world, too, so just don’t.

5. “Maybe if you just provided him with some discipline.”

Duck. If you say this, then either wear a face mask or duck very, very quickly.

Autism is not caused by poor parenting or a lack of discipline and what you are witnessing is not a temper tantrum. What may look like an “I’m not getting my way” tantrum is a sensory meltdown by a child who cannot tell his mother what is hurting him, how he feels or how to help him. This inability to help our child already feels like a punch in the gut; don’t add to our pain with your ignorance and judgments.

what not to say to the parent of a child with autism

6. “I try to talk to him, but, he always ignores me. Maybe you should get his hearing checked.”

We have. He is not deaf. He hears you. He sees you. He knows you are there. Just like he knows when you don’t see him, when you don’t hear him and when you give up on him. Just because he does not speak to you, does not mean he isn’t trying to communicate with you.

7. “Maybe he just likes to be alone.”

He may “prefer” to be alone, but, that doesn’t mean he “likes” to be alone. Being alone is easier than trying to understand facial expressions, body language and conversations that are difficult to understand. Watching them be alone hurts, having people assume they “like” being alone, and letting them be alone, hurts even more.

8. “He’s not that bad.”

I didn’t say he was bad. I didn’t say he was broken. I didn’t say how he sees the world is wrong. I said he has autism. “Different” is not “bad.”

9. “He’ll eat when he’s hungry.” 

No. He. Won’t. (Duck again.) And let me ask you, would you test your child with this theory? Would you wait him or her out for days and days to see how hungry he gets before he will eat what is put in front of him and not the food his sensory system tells him he needs?

10. “You are so… [insert amazing, brave, strong, loving, etc. here].”

No, I’m not, but, he is.

11. “I’m sorry.”

Don’t be, I’m not (most days).

12. “Will he always be like that?” 

Will he always have autism? Yes. Will autism always impact his life in some way? Yes. Will he always see the world a little bit differently? Yes. Will he continue to grow, live, love and find joy while teaching me to see his world? Yes. And that’s why we don’t want you to be sorry.

Saying The A Word is hard. Responding to The A Word is hard. Educating yourself about The A Word is not. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

A longer version of this post appeared on The AWEnesty of Autism.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment someone changed the way you think about disability and/or disease. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.  …….’


Original post from The Mighty

‘………….Rachel Garlinghouse  

Last year, my husband and I were honored to become godparents for the first time. Our dear friends had just become parents for a seventh time, adopting an African American boy they named Trae.

Trae was born prematurely with a diagnosis of Apert syndrome, a condition in which the child’s skull bones prematurely fuse, causing some of the child’s facial features much more prominent or receded. Additionally, children with Apert syndrome can have fused toes and fingers, are prone to deafness, seizures, and cleft palate, and can develop more slowly than their peers.

Trae utilizes a special stroller and high chair, each designed to accommodate his physical needs. He receives multiple therapy sessions every week, and he will experience several risky surgeries throughout his early life, including skull surgeries.

Trae is a social little boy whose smile can light up a room. He is 20 months old and has recently mastered saying “dada” and sitting up on his own. He’s learning baby sign language and is teething like a typical toddler.

apert syndrome the mighty

Despite his many wonderful qualities, the baby garners many stares and rude comments. One of the medical professionals he recently met with remarked how he looked like a “pug.” Some children ask their parents, quite loudly, “What is wrong with that boy?” Others simply stare. These are not rare occurrences. The family encounters unsolicited looks and comments at restaurants, airports, stores, and even among doctors and nurses at some of Trae’s many medical appointments.

Recently, Trae and his mom were at a store, when a boy, about 6 years old, told his mom, “That baby looks weird!” His mom immediately and loudly shushed him.

Trae’s mom was livid, partly because she was fed up with the constant slew of stares and loud comments about her son, but also because the boy’s mom did the exact opposite of what she should have. She silenced and shamed her child instead responding effectively and compassionately.

Certainly, many of us have been there. We are going about our business when our child notices someone different: the woman with the large backside, the man in the wheelchair who is missing a leg, the child with Down syndrome. Our natural instinct is to shut down the situation as quickly as possible, but doing so sends a powerful message to our children.

Instead of shushing children for stating the obvious, that the person (or family) in front of them is appears different, parents can do the following:

1. Apologize. When your child behaves rudely, apologize on the child’s behalf, immediately and without excuse. Try something like: “I’m sorry my child spoke rudely.  He is curious about your son and didn’t respond appropriately.”

2. Introduce yourself. Follow up your apology with a personal introduction. “I’m Kate, and this is my son Jacob. What is your little boy’s name?” Be sure to address the child, as well. He or she shouldn’t be ignored. Say something like, “Hi there! How old are you?”

3. Don’t interrogate. There is no reason to ask what is “wrong” with a child or demand an explanation of the child’s condition or the family dynamic. If a parent wishes to share information about his or her child or family, that is their choice. If the child wishes to share, depending on the age and level of maturity and development, that is the child’s choice.

4. Treat the child like a person, because he or she is a person. Smile, offer a compliment, and make small talk. This is how friendships are formed.

5. Follow up with your child privately. Talk to your child about the appropriate way to respond to someone new. This might mean an immediate introduction, offering to share a toy or play together, or even something as simple as a smile or a high-five. Remind your child that it’s okay to notice difference, but questions and comments should be reserved for private, family conversations at a later time. You may not have all the right words to explain a situation, but remember that by being open and honest with your child, you are conditioning your child to know that he or she can come to you about any topic and be received with open arms and heart.

6. Use any mishaps as teachable moments, for both you and your child. Children will be children. They will say things they shouldn’t. If you don’t handle a situation well in the moment, admit that to your child and discuss what should be done differently in the future. If you do shush your child, apologize for doing so. And if your child, despite your preparations, responds to a situation inappropriately, talk about how it can be better handled in the future.

7. Evaluate your own relationships. How diverse is your circle of friends? Do you welcome others who are different from you? Do you have true friendships with others who don’t share your race, religion, age, or ability?  If your child were to look at you and your friends, would they see same-ness or acceptance of difference?  You cannot expect your child not to be intrigued by someone who looks different when the child is only around those who look and interact just like him or her.

Children are naturally curious and excited when they discover something or someone new. As parents, our job is to demonstrate to our children what empathy, compassion, friendship, and diversity looks like. Shushing is shame-inducing, not inclusion-promoting.

Next time, smile, say hello and give friendships a chance to form.

The Mighty is asking the following: Can you describe the moment someone changed the way you think about a disability or disease? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.  …………..’


Original post from Washington Post

‘………….By Lauren Knight

Recently, it seems that everywhere I look I am confronted with stories of accusations, of questions and judgments, of involvement from Child Protective Services. The free-range kids, the kids left in the car for a few moments, the kids on their own at a playground — the debates are endless and at times, cruel. And I feel an uneasiness with it all, so much so that I tend to avoid the discussions all together. It’s not that I think it’s not an important issue; it’s that it hits a little too close to home for me. After two years, I still feel the racing heartbeat, the unwarranted shame and fear, the embarrassment of being reported by a stranger: in this case, for something I had not even done. Two years ago, a stranger called the police on me and accused me of abusing my child. Here is the original post from January, 2012.

It took all the courage in my entire being to write this post, and an ounce more to hit publish. Butterflies in my stomach, my face felt hot. I kept thinking about my readers. Not the people who know me in real life, but those who I have worked hard to establish a relationship with online, mainly through blogging. Will they judge me? Will they believe me?

Last week, I was falsely accused of child abuse.

I woke up well-rested, thanks to several days of recuperation after hernia-repair surgery. Determined to do something kind for Andrew, who had been working extra hard at childcare and household chores while I was recovering, I set out to the grocery store down the street for donuts and coffee. I brought the boys with me with the promise of a sweet treat, despite bitter cold and wind and frost on the van’s windshield. I felt good. I felt capable again, albeit a bit sore.

It was early, near 8 a.m., so we took our time in the nearly-deserted grocery store, picking out donuts: sprinkles for Oliver, chocolate for Milo, and two apple fritters for Andrew, me, and Emil to split. We paid, then hand-in-hand, a daisy chain of little people, and made our way back to the van. I put Emil in first, then opened the door for Milo and Oliver. Milo climbed into the way back and immediately buckled himself in, as usual. Oliver climbed in, then stopped. He turned to me, and in an interesting turn of events (after a week of doing so much without his mama, and from encouragement from his papa, he had been so independent), he asked me to lift him into his car seat. Usually, he just climbs in, and then I buckle his straps. But today, he was craving some extra attention from his mama.

“Oliver, I can’t lift you, buddy. Remember? Mama has a boo-boo on her belly and can’t pick you up because it hurts my tummy.” I recognized his need for extra love, so I spoke to him gently. Oliver dug in his heels.

We stood there, my 3-year-old and me. It was so cold. Back and forth for about a full minute. I stayed firm, repeated my request. “Oliver, please hop in, it’s time to go.”

“I’m COLD! CLOSE THE DOOR!!!! LIFT ME IN!!!!” he screamed.

I went around to the driver’s side of the car and turned on the car to warm the inside while I waited (and hoped) for Oliver to get into his seat. When I walked back around to Oliver, he was crying and shouting and kicking. “PUT ME IN!!! I DON’T WANT THE DOOR OPEN! LIFT ME IN!”

I raised my voice. “Oliver, please get into your car seat now. I cannot lift you.” More screaming and crying.

Clearly, this was not working. The counting to 1… 2… 3. No dice. Finally, I gave in. I climbed into the van (Oliver’s seat is in the middle row), lifted him up underneath his armpits, and plopped him into his seat, setting him down hard and with a huff. He started screaming louder. (Why? I have no idea. He is 3.) I buckled him in, shut the door, and climbed into the driver’s seat. Then I drove home. Along the way, Oliver stopped crying and said sheepishly, “Sorry Mama for not getting in my seat.” And just like that, it was over. We brought Andrew his doughnut and I mentioned that Oliver and I had had quite the standoff. It was a fairly unremarkable incident, far from the worst we’ve ever had.

Fast forward to 5:00 p.m. I was in the middle of dinner preparations. The boys (and dog) were running circles and the news was blaring on the radio when I heard a knock at the door. I put down my knife and pushed it back from the edge of the counter, remembering the baby’s reach. As I approached the door, I could see through the window a police officer’s uniform. Great. I thought. Someone has broken into our car again. My thoughts briefly went to Andrew having an accident, but he had walked to work that day. I opened the door and saw a social worker. Oh no! Maybe one of the neighborhood kids has gone missing! I remember thinking about the school kids half a block away and feeling worried for them.

But they were there for me.

The social worker stepped in with three police officers and asked if I had been in the grocery store parking lot with my kids that morning. That someone had anonymously called the police reporting a woman for slapping her two kids in the face while she loaded them into the car. The caller had followed me out of the lot to get my license plate number and then made the call. Someone had accused me of child abuse.

I remember saying something to the effect of “Oh my God! Are you serious? Who would say such a thing! Why would anyone say that about me?” I invited them into the living room, where all three boys had gathered to steal glances at the big uniformed men in our house. I tried to stay calm and collected as I explained what had really happened, and assured them that not only had I not slapped anyone in my life, but that in 5-and-a-half years of parenting I had never even spanked my children. They interviewed Milo, who relayed to them an impressively detailed account of the morning’s events. Then they took a look at Oliver, inspecting his cheeks for marks. I began to cry. And shake like a leaf.

The social worker spoke in hushed tones to the three officers, and as I stood to the side, tears streaming down my cheeks, I picked up on words “… unsubstantiated… obviously mistaken… I see no abuse here…” before she dismissed them. She turned to me and asked me to sit and chat for a while. Her tone was apologetic, but I was completely in shock. I remember leading her into our dining room and sitting down at the table, offering her a drink of water in a raspy voice. I couldn’t stop crying.

The social worker told me that there would be no charges and no record, that the witness was obviously mistaken, and that these things happen. NO! I screamed inside of my head, “These things do not happen to ME!” I tried to catch my breath. I kept shaking my head no. Saying that I couldn’t believe it, that I would never lay a finger on my kids and cannot imagine how my interaction with Oliver had been so grossly misread. When she asked me about the ways we discipline our kids, I told her that we used 1… 2… 3, we used time-outs, or they lost privileges. What kind of privileges? She asked. I told her about the loss of a video or bedtime story and I laughed between tears as I thought of the way we raise our boys– we don’t allow violence in our home and if they hit, they receive an automatic time-out; we don’t even allow toy guns in our home and we teach our boys that bodies are not for hurting. I told her about the irony– that I was a social worker for heaven’s sake!

And then, to add insult to injury, she asked me for a character reference. Someone who “knows what kind of parent you are.” I thought of neighbors, friends, our community, our family. What would they think of me? I gave her my mom’s phone number and sobbed. After trying to put my mind at ease, the social worker left.

I began crying hysterically. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. My heart ached. My thoughts swam. I called my mom in hysterics, trying to make sense of the assault on my very being. When Andrew came home, he found me in the kitchen, sobbing, with my hand over my mouth, trying to get it together enough to finish making dinner and feed the boys. I relayed the events that had occurred merely minutes before in complete disbelief. Shortly thereafter, a detective came by to investigate. We sat on the couch while the boys ate dinner and I recounted once again the incident in the parking lot. I felt exhausted.

That night Andrew and I talked for hours. Andrew was quickly able to move past it and even make jokes about the ridiculousness of it all. But I was left feeling steamrolled and bewildered. My self-esteem, most recently built largely on what kind of mother I am, had taken a major hit.

I lay awake in bed, emotionally wrecked, until the wee hours of the morning. I couldn’t stop thinking about the person who had called in. Who? Why? Was it a retaliation against something? What had this person actually seen? How long did he/she witness my interaction with Oliver before making up his/her mind about what was going on?

And the worst of it came from my assumptions about people in general. I believe that people are good. That in general, people are looking out for each other and mean no harm. That this person was not evil or out to get me. This person thought he or she was helping in some way. Which means that there is someone out there who thinks I was actually hurting my kids. He saw me as an abuser. This thought just kills me.

I know that I am a good mom. I know that I didn’t do anything wrong. Yes, I could have refrained from yelling at my kid in public. I could have stood my ground by closing the van door and sitting in the front seat until Oliver was finished tantruming, waiting him out until he was ready to listen and follow my instructions so I could strap him into his seat without a big show. But the fact is, I’m not perfect. Someone out there heard my raised voice, saw Oliver screaming and crying, and connected some dots that just weren’t there. I know this in my head, but my heart just feels assaulted by this accusation.

This incident raises so many important questions. Are we too hard/judgmental on parents these days? What would I have done if I had seen this situation unfolding? I’d like to think that I would have made eye contact with the mom, smiled knowingly and sympathetically, or maybe even asked her if she needed a hand. I would like to think that I would have stopped. To be sure. A part of me wonders what the universe is trying to tell me by this whole experience, to be wrongly accused of something horrible. I wracked my brain thinking of all the cases of abuse I reported in my years of school social work. Had I made a mistake too? Was this social work karma coming back around? Had I unknowingly wreaked this kind of havoc on some innocent mother years ago? Maybe. And if so, I am so very, very sorry.

As a former social worker, I saw the system in action in a very different light. How many of these anonymous tips uncovers an actual case of abuse? Is sending five uniformed workers in two separate trips to someone’s house for this type of report the most effective way to use our community’s resources?

If anything good is to come of this, it is to be awakened. I am humbled by this experience. To be on the other side of this is a learning experience I will never need to relearn. I am not untouchable. I am not a perfect parent. I can do better and be more understanding of other parents. I can be more patient with my own children. To be better.

Lauren Knight blogs at Crumb Bums and is a frequent contributor toWashington Post’s On Parenting.

Like On Parenting on Facebook for more essays, news and advice. You can sign up here for our newsletter.

You might also be interested in:

How I learned to be a more mindful parent

5 things I’ve learned about raising boys (so far)

Would you call 911 on another parent?  ……………..’


Original post from 7 News

‘……….Adrienne Francis

Sean Fitzgerald says the availability of wheelchair friendly taxis has improved in the ACT, but getting a cab can still be hard at peak times.

Sean Fitzgerald says the availability of wheelchair friendly taxis has improved in the ACT, but getting a cab can still be hard at peak times.

Seven of Canberra’s 26 wheelchair accessible taxi licences will go under the hammer next month after falling out of circulation.

But questions have been raised about whether more government support is needed for operators.

Advocates for wheelchair users told the ABC this week that they believed the unused licences were abandoned because the operators were losing money.

And at least one wheelchair taxi operator agrees.

Robert Altamore from People with Disabilities said he believed the unused licences fell out of circulation for business reasons.

“Which is concerning … because if wheelchair taxi operators can’t run their taxis as sustainable businesses, people with disabilities don’t get the service,” he said.

Minister for Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury rejected that suggestion and said the drivers had simply retired or moved overseas.

“There was some hesitation to release them, because we are in the middle of a review of the taxi industry,” Mr Rattenbury said.

But he said the Government was now keen to get more wheelchair taxis on the road and the licences would be auctioned next month.

“I want to release these licences now to make sure we don’t slip behind,” he said.

Still hard to get cabs during peak times: patron

Community advocate Sean Fitzgerald uses a wheelchair and said he was lucky to have his own accessible vehicle.

But he and his support workers still rely on taxis.

Mr Fitzgerald said the service for wheelchair passengers had improved since the Government introduced a centralised booking system two years ago, following years of complaints.

“However it is still a little bit more difficult to get a cab, a wheelchair accessible cab at night on weekends and other low impact times,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said next month’s licence auction would be a boost for people with a disability in the ACT.

“It is a great opportunity for the Government to encourage seven new independent operators to come in who are enthusiastic,” he said.

‘I believe there’s no money in it’

But one veteran wheelchair taxi operator, John Tam, said he would not be bidding.

Mr Tam already operates five wheelchair accessible taxis and said it was a struggle to survive.

“I believe there’s no money in it,” Mr Tam said.

Disability advocates want a greater government effort to reduce the high set-up costs for wheelchair taxis, which are three times higher than for conventional taxis.

They said one solution could be interest-free loans.

“It could be done in the form of a subsidy,” Mr Altamore said.

Mr Tam agreed that subsidisation was the only way wheelchair taxis could survive in Canberra.

“It is a mix of policy which has got to come together. At the moment the policy is going to make everybody suffer,” he said.  ………..’


I have no knowledge of the taxi system relating to Australia, let alone the city of Canberra. Here in the UK taxis* are classified as follows:

‘Taxis (or ‘hackney carriages’) are available for immediate hire and can be hailed in the street (known as ‘plying for hire’). Taxis can also accept pre-bookings. Private hire vehicles (PHVs) (sometimes known as ‘minicabs’) must be pre-booked and cannot use taxi ranks. It is illegal for PHVs to ply for hire.*

These statistics are collected through a survey of the 316 licensing authorities in England and Wales (lower tier local authorities, and Transport for London). Survey responses account for over 95% of published totals. Where a figure is not provided, a response to previous surveys is carried forward. In a few cases, authorities report that figures are estimated, or relate to time points other than 31 March. However, these factors are unlikely to have a significant impact on the national and regional level figures.’*

As to wheelchair accessible Taxis* the situation is:

Taxis and minicabs*

Licensed taxis can be hailed on the street, picked up at ranks or pre-booked, but you can only pre-book minicabs (also called ‘private hire vehicles’).

Wheelchair access*

In some areas (mainly larger cities), licensed taxis have to be wheelchair accessible.

To find out if there are accessible taxis near you, contact the taxi licensing office at your local council.

London taxis*

In London, all black cabs are wheelchair accessible.

Some of the newer ‘black cabs’ are also fitted with induction loops and intercoms for hearing aid users.

Assistance dogs*

If you travel with an assistance dog they must be allowed into the taxi or minicab with you, unless the driver has an exemption certificate. This can be issued if they’ve got a medical condition made worse by contact with dogs.

A driver with an exemption certificate will have a yellow ‘Notice of Exemption’ notice on their vehicle windscreen.

It’s illegal to be charged extra to travel in a taxi or minicab with an assistance dog. Otherwise the driver could be fined up to £1,000.

The following types of dog can be taken with you in taxis or minicabs:

  • guide dogs trained by the Guide Dogs organisation
  • hearing dogs trained by Hearing Dogs
  • assistance dogs trained by Dogs for the Disabled, Support Dogs or Canine Partners

Travelling with your dog*

Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers have been told how to identify assistance dogs.

Your assistance dog should wear its harness or identification jacket when you are travelling with it. If an identification card was issued for the dog, this should also be carried.

Dogs should remain on the floor and under control at all times. If your dog causes any damage to the vehicle, the driver could ask you to pay for it.’

However while Taxis are classified as being ‘wheelchair accessible’ this does not means they are accessible for all wheelchairs. They will be accessible for some wheelchairs, but not all. Here I am not referring to motorised wheelchairs, which tend to be larger than manual wheelchairs. But to manual wheelchairs themselves to which there are a number of types. Also to which definition of accessible is being used, is it that both the wheelchair and the person within the wheelchair can gain access to the taxi, or is it greater than that to included that the wheelchair can be anchorded or clamped effectively. To be secure in a Taxi the wheelchair should be positioned so that it is facing either forwards or backwards and then clamped. In many of the UK taxis, especially in my own city of Sheffield it is not posible to turn the wheelchair when it is within the Taxi so that it is facing forwards or backwards, so that it left as it entered the Taxi, here I am assuming the entrance is by a side door and not through the back. If the wheelchair is left like this, then it will never be stable whether clamped or not.

In respect of my own daughter, Taxis have arrived where the doorway is not wide enough and when it is there is not sufficient height for entry to be gained without her having to tilt her head sideways. So we are restricted in the transport she can use, that being we do not use Taxis but have applied to use Community Transport, where we have, in our situation, to plan journeys 1 week in advance. If you are in the UK and have a mobility disability you may also be eligible to use Community Transport in your own area.

 

 

*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.


Original post from Health

‘…………..By

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Do you eat well, exercise often, and still feel like you’re not losing that stubborn weight? Truth is, eating well and exercising often is a very relative and general statement. If we’re honest with ourselves, I’m sure we could admit that we’re all capable of trying a little harder in both areas.

Total-body wellness is a lifestyle. Fat loss happens when you ditch the scale, find an activity you enjoy, and start to see food as fuel instead of something to feed your emotions or occupy your time.

No matter who you are or what your background is, chances are one of these 7 reasons could be why you’re not shedding pounds:

You’re eating wrong foods

If you’re not losing weight, the first place you should be looking is the kitchen. Some people focus all their energy on burning off calories that they don’t take the time to consider what they’re putting in as fuel. Diet is at least 80% of the battle. While the exact foods you should be eating depend heavily on your body type, metabolism, and other factors, a good rule of thumb is to stick to all natural, whole foods.

Eat most of your starchy carbohydrates (like potatoes, brown rice, grains) on days when you do strength training or more rigorous exercise. On your rest days or when you’re doing light cardio, try to stick to just protein and veggies and not a lot of those starchy foods. Avoid excess bread, sugar, and anything else that’s processed. Look for foods that have the fewest ingredients on the label—if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not something you want to be putting in your body.

RELATED: The Same 10 Weight Loss Mistakes All Women Make

You’re eating too much

If you’ve already cleaned up your diet big time and you’re still not losing weight, it may be that you’re simply eating too much. In order to shed pounds your body needs to run a calorie deficit, meaning you need to burn more than you consume. That being said, you shouldn’t have to deprive yourself either. Life is about balance. Don’t become consumed with counting calories or weighing yourself every day.

Eat whenever you’re hungry and eat slowly enough so you can stop just before you get full. Healthy snacking during the day will keep you from overeating during meals. I always carry a few Kind Bars in my bag, because they’re a great snack made with whole foods, and have nothing artificial. And don’t be afraid to give yourself ‘healthy’ cheats, like a few chocolate-covered strawberries or coconut chia seed pudding. The moment you start depriving yourself is when you start to feel like you’re missing out on something and you want to binge.

RELATED: 10 Mistakes That Make Cravings Worse

You’re doing too much cardio

Yes, cardio is a necessary part of your workout routine. It keeps your heart healthy, boosts your metabolism, and gives you a good sweat (you should break one daily). However, only doing cardio—or doing too much of it—can actually add to the problem. Longer cardio sessions like staying on the elliptical for 90 minutes or going for regular 10-mile runs can eat away at your lean muscle mass, which is essential for increasing your metabolismto burn more calories.

It causes the body to become more endurance-focused, storing energy as fat to ensure it has plenty of reserve fuel to keep you going for all those miles. Not to mention it dramatically increases your appetite, making you more susceptible to unnecessary snacking or overeating.

RELATED: 7 Workout Habits You Should Drop Now

You’re not lifting weights

This one goes hand in hand with #3. I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t do cardio. If you love to run or bike for reasons other than losing weight, then by all means don’t stop. But if your primary goal is fat loss, there are other forms of exercise that give a much better bang for your buck. The best way to lose weight and build lean muscle by doing some form of strength training in addition to your cardio. The more muscle tone your body has, the more fat you’ll burn.

If you’re not ready to give up your cardio routine just yet, try adding some interval training by performing short bursts of all-out effort mixed into your regular session. These workouts are much more effective at promoting hormones that target stubborn fat. Then, start adding some resistance training to your routine. Body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges are a great place to start to help build up to lifting actual weights.

RELATED: 11 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

You’re not working hard enough

There’s no exact equation to working out and eating healthy—it’s a matter of trial and error, finding out what works specifically for your body. And more time spent in the gym doesn’t always equal a more fit person. Unless you’re an athlete, body builder, or a marathoner-in-training, the average person shouldn’t be working out more than an hour a day.

Your workouts should be intensity-dependent, not time dependent. Keep this fact in mind: the harder you work, the shorter your workout time may need to be. That’s why it’s so important to maximize your time spent in the gym or fitness class so you can achieve that coveted ‘afterburn’ effect which keeps your metabolism revved for 24-48 hours afterward.

RELATED: 10 Exercise Cheats That Blow Your Calorie Burn

You’re not taking time to recover

When you do achieve that afterburn and you’re really feeling your workout the next day, those are the days to focus on different muscle groups. Or, if you prefer to work out your whole body, establish a workout routine where you work your entire body one day and then take the next day to do light cardio, stretching, or complete rest.

Recovery and rest are often more important than the workout itself. It’s during those periods that your body does most of the actual fat burning. So give yourself that time to fully recover so you’re ready to work hard the following day. Most importantly, listen to your body. Push yourself, but also give it some love, too.

RELATED: 27 Mistakes Healthy People Make

Your body is under too much stress

Exercise is a stressor on your body. When you have a healthy balance of exercise-related stress and recovery time, your body is healthy and can lose its excess fat. However, not giving your body enough time to recover can also be a negative (see above) as you’ll start to produce an excessive amount of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is both normal and important when working out, it’s involved in processes that give your muscles the energy needed to get moving.

However, when your body is exposed to cortisol for longer periods of time, it starts to cause negative effects, likestubborn fat in areas you don’t want. Exercise isn’t the only stressor that can produce excess cortisol. A stressful personal or professional life can also make your body produce too much of this hormone. When you stop exercising, your body stops producing cortisol; however, it may not be quite as easy to turn off the mental stressors going on in your life. Make sure you’re keeping your mental and emotional health in check in addition to your physical health. You should strive for total-body wellness.

RELATED: 13 Ways to Beat Stress in 15 Minutes or Less

For more advice on how to reach your weight-loss goals check out 5 Tricks To Burn More Calories And Prevent a Fitness Plateau.

Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, entrepreneur and best-selling author of the new book, Strong is the New Skinny. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.


Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Today, Google released a change to its algorithm that gives higher search scores to sites it deems “mobile-friendly.” Curious WordPressers might be asking:

  1. How can I be sure my site is mobile-friendly?
  2. What can I do if my site is not mobile-friendly?

1. See if your site is mobile-friendly

Visit Google’s mobile-friendly test link and enter your site’s address (e.g., http://dailypost.wordpress.com or http://automattic.com). Google will then analyze your site and declare it mobile-friendly or not.

Did your site pass? YAY! Pass GO and collect $200 from the Community Chest.

2. What can I do if my site is not mobile-friendly?

If your site failed Google’s test, you might be using an older theme that’s not responsive. Responsive themes change their layout slightly when someone visits via tablet or mobile phone to ensure that important content like the site title, post titles, and post content can be read on smaller screens.

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