The Autism File is a quarterly magazine dealing with all aspects of autism.
It is written by:
- anyone in the field of autism who has anything to say on any subject concerning autism.
We aim to give as much information as possible, with medical updates including:
- vaccination coverage,
- diet and nutrition,
- recipe pages for gluten and casein free diets,
- problems solved,
- organisations and support groups advertised,
- sibling and family views on treatments tried and tested,
- websites to look out for,
- your say,
- what you want and much more.
Polly Tommey, Editor-in-Chief
Polly Tommey is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Autism File and has been Managing Director of its UK publisher, Sensinet Limited since 1999. Polly is also the Founder of The Autism Trust, a UK registered charity focused on building an inspiring and sustainable future for children with autism in the UK when they leave full time education. Polly is regarded as one of the leading figures in autism in the UK; renowned as a campaigning and influential journalist and is featured regularly as a sector expert in the national media. She is currently directing and presenting two investigative television documentaries to be broadcast in 2009 in partnership with the award winning producer, Michael Nunn. Polly presents a weekly radio programme: Autism Issues From Around the World on Autism One Radio; she is Secretary of the Autism Human Rights & Discrimination Initiative; and is a regular attendee and presenter at conferences worldwide. She is married to Jonathan Tommey who runs The Autism Clinic and they have three children, one of whom has autism. Polly is a former film and television actress.
Teri Arranga, Editor - US & Canada Edition
Teri Arranga, Editor - US & Canada Edition
Teri Arranga is the director of Autism One (www.autismone.org). Teri hosts the weekly program Autism One: A Conversation of Hope on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel. She also serves as the vice president of the Autism Collaboration, chairperson of the Autism Human Rights & Discrimination Initiative, and project manager for the Autism Coalition for Treatment. Teri has been involved with a number of media projects, including consulting for medical documentaries such as by award-winning filmmaker Lina Moreco of Canada; appearing in the award-winning documentary Beautiful Son; contributing to the book Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism, 2010-2011 (Skyhorse Publishing, available April 1, 2020), and consulting for the April 2007 Discover magazine article "Understanding Autism." Teri received the National Autism Association's Believe Award for 2008. She has been an active advocate in the autism community for many years, including attending and broadcasting events in Washington, D.C. Ed and Teri Arranga have two boys on the spectrum: Jarad, who is 15 years old, and Ian, who is 11 years old.
Jonathan Tommey is currently the Health and Nutritional Consultant and Advertising Director for the magazine. He is also the Managing Director of The Autism Clinic which looks after many individuals with autism and it follows a very specific approach to treating autism. Jonathan qualified with a degree in Sports Science from Manchester University in 1983 and in 2006 completed a second degree from the University of Bedfordshire in Nutritional Therapy. He is a member of the British Association of Nutritional Therapists (BANT) and is a registered DAN! practitioner. Jonathan was a lay representative on the Medical Research Council’s board in completing a ‘Review of Autism Research, Epidemiology and Causes’ in 2001 for the UK Department of Health. He has appeared in many news articles as well as appearing on ‘You and Yours’ on BBC Radio and Autism One Radio. Jonathan has also given presentations at numerous international conferences and events and has become a well recognised and respected practitioner within the autism community, having many close associations with some of the world’s leading autism researchers, doctors and practitioners.. Jonathan has three children; Billy, now 12, has autism.
Stephanie Brown, Editor – Spanish Edition
Details will be appearing shortly...
Advisory Board Members
Federico Balzola, MD
Dr Federico Balzola holds board certification in Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy from the Modena University School of Medicine. He attended medical school at the Turin University School of Medicine, graduating in 1989, where he then completed his gastroenterological residency. He attended training from 1994 to 1995 at the Royal Free Hospital in London on measles implication in inflammatory bowel disease, as well as from 1995 to 1998 at the Clinical Nutrition Department of the Molinette Hospital of Turin on the small bowel syndrome management. Following his fellowship in Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition at the Molinette Hospital in Turin, he has been a consultant in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department directed by Prof Rizzetto since 1998, where he oversaw the gastrointestinal clinic and consultation service with a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease and liver/bowel transplantation. He is currently working in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Intensive Care Unit. He has numerous scientific publications in international medical journals and he presented his research results in several international meetings. He is a member of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology (SIGE) and editor for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Monitor journal. At present, he maintains his practice in gastroenterological fields with a special research interest on autistic patients. He is driving several clinical research projects in Italy on the identification and treatment of the autistic enterocolitis with dietetic and pharmacological approaches. He lives in Turin with his wife, Paola, and two daughters, Beatrice and Margherita.
Marion Blank, PhD
Dr Marion Blank is the Director of A Light on Literacy in the Developmental Neuropsychiatry Programme at Columbia University. She is an internationally recognised developmental psychologist with extensive experience in designing language and reading programmes for children with a wide range of learning disabilities. She is also the author of the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI-2) a widely used test to assess the discourse abilities of young children. In her latest book, The Reading Remedy, she outlines a dramatically different model for teaching reading. The model opens up literacy to many groups who have been denied access to this vital system - including children with autism who do not speak.
Mark Blaxill, MBA
Mark Blaxill is Editor-at-Large of Age of Autism (www.ageofautism.com). He is the parent of a daughter diagnosed with autism, a business consultant and the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications on autism and the evidence for its epidemic increase. Mark earned a Harvard MBA with Distinction and Princeton AB summa cum laude. His publications on autism including: ‘What’s going on? The question of times trends in autism’ (Public Health Reports, 2004); ‘Reduced mercury levels in first baby haircuts of autistic children’ (International Journal of Toxicology, 2003); and ‘Thimerosal and autism? A plausible hypothesis that should not be dismissed’ (Medical Hypotheses, 2004).
Kenneth Bock, MD
Dr Kenneth Bock received his MD with Honour from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1979. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is a clinical instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at Albany Medical College. For the past 25 years, he has dealt with complex medical problems by integrating alternative modalities with conventional medicine into a comprehensive integrative medical practice, and for the last eight years he has focused that approach on children with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, asthma and allergies. Dr Bock's Healing Programme is at the vanguard of the new biomedical approach to the treatment of children affected by these disorders. Dr Bock is the co-author of Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies. He lectures nationally and internationally on immune system health and integrative approaches to autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, asthma and allergies.
Laura Bono is a board member of SafeMinds and has actively advocated on behalf of autistic children and families since the early 1990s. Her focus is on helpful biomedical interventions, as she lobbies Congress and US government agencies for effective scientific research to seek the cause, treatments and a cure for autism. Laura is working with members of Congress to increase National Institute for Health (NIH) funding for autism/mercury research and compel the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to allow families to seek and receive compensation for their mercury poisoned children in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. She helped organise the Federal Office of Special Counsel investigation that requested Congress to have hearings on the FDA and CDC regarding the link of mercury poisoning and vaccines. She has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers, appeared on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and The Today Show, and provided background research to NBC Dateline, Meet the Press and independent documentaries. Her advocacy has also included planning press conferences and rallies to focus the media on the link between vaccines containing thimerosal (mercury) and autism in children. Laura is a Board Member, co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the National Autism Association. The youngest of her three children, Jackson, is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified and has heavy metal toxicity. Laura resides in Durham, NC with her family.
Jeff Bradstreet, MD, FAAFP
Dr Jeff Bradstreet graduated from the University of South Florida College of Medicine and received his residency training from Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center. As a flight surgeon, he was involved in aerospace medicine research, and has extensive experience and training in environmental medicine and toxicology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American College of Toxicology. He is involved in autism related outcome studies and environmental research with the University of Washington and UCLA and serves as a adjunct Professor of Child Development and Neuroscience at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. He has offices in Florida and Arizona and is internationally recognised as a lecturer and researcher in autism.
Stephen M Edelson, PhD
Dr Stephen Edelson is the director of the Autism Research Institute. He has been active in the field of autism for over 30 years, and he worked closely with Dr Bernard Rimland for over 20 years. Dr Edelson has conducted research in a variety of areas including biomedical, behavioural, sensory and cognition. He is a Board member of the Autism Society of America (ASA) and the Autism Society of Oregon. Dr Edelson also participates on ASA's Panel of Professional Advisors. He is the editor of the Autism Research Review International quarterly newsletter, co-edited with Dr Rimland the book Recovering Autistic Children, and has produced several videos on autism.
Rebecca Estepp is the mother of two wonderful boys, Eric and JP. Eric was diagnosed with autism in 2000 at age two. Since 2003, Rebecca has led the San Diego Chapter meetings of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA). In 2005, she became TACA’s Parent Support Liaison and Parent Mentor Program Coordinator. Recently, Rebecca has added Media Relations to her TACA title and has appeared on several news programmes including, ‘Good Morning America’. Rebecca feels honoured to assist families dealing with autism, and is gratified to give back to the community that has helped her son and family.
Temple Grandin, PhD
Dr Temple Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and award-winning author. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a centre track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behaviour have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling. Temple's books include The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, Animals in Translation, Developing Talents and Thinking in Pictures.
Sonja Hintz, RN, BSN
Sonja Hintz graduated form Marquette University located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1988. She has worked with children with disabilities since the age of twelve. Professionally she worked as a public health nurse, a psychiatric nurse and a neonatal intensive care nurse. Currently she is working at True Health Medical Center with Dr Anju Usman. With the birth of her second child, Sonja was compelled to re-evaluate her traditional based medical paradigms to meet the needs of her son, who was on the autism spectrum by the age of three. Through the use of a therapeutic diet, homeopathy, herbs, vitamins, essential oils and chelation in addition to many other therapies, he has made a recovery. For the last 10 years she has applied what she has learned to help other children improve their quality of life.
Jane Koomar, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Dr Jane Koomar is the owner, co-founder and Executive Director of Occupational Therapy Associates - Watertown and is the President of the Board of the Spiral Foundation. She was formerly an assistant professor in occupational therapy at Boston University and completed her doctoral studies in developmental psychology there. In 1984, she studied with Dr Jean Ayres, who developed the theory of sensory integration. Dr Koomar has served as the chairperson of the Sensory Integration Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is a co-author of several book chapters on sensory integration dysfunction and intervention and has taught numerous courses on these topics.
Robert J Krakow, JD
Robert Krakow is an attorney in private practice in New York City. Bob started his legal career with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), a consumer advocacy organisation. In the 1980s Bob was a prosecutor with the New York Country District Attorney's office, serving as Bureau Chief of the special narcotics prosecution division. He founded his law firm in 1989, focusing on the trial of civil and criminal cases, and specialises in the representation of persons injured by exposure to environmental toxins and vaccines. Bob is committed to working for individuals with disabilities. He is the Board Chair of Lifespire, Inc., a 55 year old New York and New Jersey not-for-profit organisation that provides residential, day habilitation, occupational, educational and medical programmes and supports for more than 5,000 developmentally disabled adults and children. Bob co-founded A-CHAMP (Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning), a national political organisation that advocates for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Bob lives in New York with his wife and two children.
Stephanie Lord has worked with young people with autism since 1979. She developed the Touch Talks programme for children with autism and today is Chair of the Association for Heads and Teachers of Adults and Children with Autism, as well as representing education on the International Federation of Aromatherapists. Stephanie Lord is one of the leading and most inspirational educationalists in the UK and specialises in learning disorders and autism in schools, campaigning to include the use of movement, drama, positive touch and story telling as teaching strategies through to the structured intervention model that is widely applied today. Stephanie was the Principal of Heathermount, a Disabilities Trust school in Ascot, UK and today is working to launch a new school for children with autism to be located in Hassocks, Sussex in Southern England.
Julie Matthews, CNC
Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant specialising in autism spectrum disorders (as well as healthy pregnancy and babies). She has been a Defeat Autism Now! practitioner for 6 years. Her book, Nourishing Hope, and her work are based in scientific research and an understanding of the biochemistry of ASD and the role of nutrition to restore health. Julie has a private nutrition practice and radio show in San Francisco and works with clients from around the world.
Lori McIlwain is a Co-Founder of the National Autism Association and Vice Chairperson of the NAA Board of Directors. Lori began her career in radio and television and has focused primarily on conceptual development, commercial copywriting and media strategies on the agency side. She has an extensive and diverse background in advertising, marketing, public relations, and consumer behaviour working with national, regional and local accounts. Her fight for a cure began right after her only son, Connor, was diagnosed with autism. Her husband Christian is also very pro-active in the autism fight and is committed to finding a cure. Lori is also mom to Connor and Charlotte.
Jim Moody, Esq.
Jim Moody practices public interest law in Washington, specialising in whistleblowers, constitutional law, deregulatory reform and policy, national security and the promotion of government policies designed to promote liberty and accountability. Born in Kansas City, he is a graduate in artificial intelligence and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown Law School. He is a Director of SafeMinds and the National Autism Association and was one of the coordinators for the Combating Autism Act; he supports the Petitioners' Steering Committee for cases in the US Court of Federal Claims, and is committed to the goals of justice for vaccine injured children; research to find the cause, prevention and treatment for autism; accountability; and institutional reform.
Valerie Paradiz, PhD
Dr Valerie Paradiz is the co-founder of the Open Center for Autism. She develops educational programmes for children with autism spectrum disorders, including the pioneering ASPIE School, and has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, The Guardian, Autism Spectrum Quarterly and on Japanese Public Television. Dr Paradiz's memoir, Elijah's Cup: A Family's Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome is the compelling story of the author's experiences raising her autistic son, their involvement together in the advocacy community and her own ultimate diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome. Dr Paradiz speaks nationally and internationally on topics relating to Asperger’s syndrome and autism, such as parenting strategies, improving and creating school programmes for children with ASDs, strengthening advocacy skills in parents, professionals and individuals on the autism spectrum and fostering emerging talents in children with ASDs. She is the developer of Integrated Self Advocacy (ISA)™, a curriculum and training series that supports teachers and therapists in teaching individuals with autism in learning greater ability in self determination and advocacy.
Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN
Lyn Redwood is the co-founder and past President of the Coalition for SafeMinds along with serving on the board of the National Autism Association. As a Nurse Practitioner, Lyn became involved in autism research when her son, Will, was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder in 1999. Having calculated the level of mercury exposure received from multiple vaccines containing thimerosal (mercury), Lyn discovered that her son was exposed to levels 125 times the EPA Federal Safety guidelines. As a result of this work, Lyn testified before the Government Reform Committee on Mercury in Medicine: Are We Taking Unnecessary Risks? and before a sub committee on health in 2003. Lyn co-authored Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Toxicity, a landmark paper linking the symptoms of autism with excessive exposure to mercury and was published in Neurotoxicology, Medical Hypothesis, Molecular Psychiatry, Mothering Magazine and Autism-Asperger's Digest. She has appeared on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, the Montel Williams Show, as well as being interviewed by U.S. News and World Report, Wired Magazine, and People. Lyn is prominently featured in the award winning book by David Kirby, Evidence of Harm, which will be a major motion picture. Lyn lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and three children; Hanna, Drew and Will. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Science in Community Health Nursing, as well as being an ANA certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Lyn also makes to time to serve as a member of the Fayette County Board of Health and carries over twenty years experience in the nursing profession.
Dan Rossignol, MD
Dr Dan Rossignol received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia (UVa). He is a former clinical assistant professor of family medicine at UVa and is currently a staff physician at the International Child Development Resource Center in Melbourne, Florida. One of his clinical interests is the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in neurodevelopment disorders, including autism. He has authored several papers on the use of HBOT in autism and other conditions. He has spoken many times on the use of HBOT in individuals with autism, and is actively involved in research on HBOT, metal toxicity, and nutritional treatments for autism and other neurological conditions.
Harry Schneider, MD
Dr Harry Schneider received his medical degree from Columbia University and completed his residency at Northwestern University. Dr Schneider is an Associate Research Scientist in the Functional MRI Research Center of Columbia University. He is in private practice at the Center for Wellness and Longevity in Plainview, NY and uses the Defeat Autism Now! approach. Dr Harry Schneider served on the medical staff of North Shore University's Franklin General Hospital and South Nassau Communities Hospital as well as serving as an Adjunct Professor for Clinical Training in the Family Practice Training Program at SNCH. He has participated in Tropical Medicine Research in Guatemala and Brazil for the World Health Organization and received research support as a Medical/Linguistic Consultant for Transcendent International's bilingual medical software. Dr Schneider's background is as a linguist, with advanced degrees in language and linguistics and he speaks multiple languages. He is in the process of obtaining a doctoral degree in Speech Language Pathology.
Paul Shattock OBE, B.Pharm Dip.Ag.Vet.Pharm
Paul Shattock is Honorary Director of the Autism Research Unit (ARU) following his retirement in 1998 from teaching Pharmacy for over 20 years at the University of Sunderland. He is Chairman of ESPA (European Service for People with Autism), which provides teaching and residential services for young adults with autism and is Vice-President of the World Autism Organisation (WAO), having previously been secretary for Autisme-Europe. His research interests include: rights and models of service provision for people with autism; biomedical and environmental factors implicated in autism; and the use and abuse of medication for autism.
Stephen Shore, EdD
Dr Stephen Shore was nonverbal until four and recommended for institutionalisation. Dr Shore has completed his doctoral work on matching best practice to needs of people on the autism spectrum. Stephen is an internationally renowned consultant, speaker and author on lifespan issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy and disclosure as discussed in his numerous publications. Dr Shore serves in the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, for the Board of Directors for Asperger's Association of New England, the Autism Society of America and several other autism related organisations.
Jill Stacey is a mother of a 23 year old son with autism. Jill is a nursing sister and midwife by training, but as a result of her son being diagnosed with autism in 1989, Jill has been involved in the field of autism for the past 19 years. Jill was significantly involved with The Johannesburg School for Children with Autism, where through extensive fundraising, her involvement in the management structure and with assistance from staff and parents managed to stabilise the school’s financial and management structure to prevent the school from closing due to a disastrous financial position. In 1996, with the permission of the national committee of Autism South Africa, Jill was responsible for opening of full-time offices of Autism South Africa. Jill has served on the committee of the national body - Autism South Africa, since 1991 and has been National Director of Autism South Africa for the past 11 years.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism (ageofautism.com). Kim Stagliano writes about autism and daily life with her three autistic daughters for Age of Autism and huffingtonpost.com as well as her own blog.
Carol Stott, BSc. PhD (Cantab) CPsychol.
Dr. Carol Stott is a chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society. She is also a Chartered Scientist with an MSc in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine and a PhD in the Epidemiology of Specific Language Impairments (SLI) from the University of Cambridge, Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Stott spent 13 years (1991-2004) in the University of Cambridge,Department of Psychiatry and Autism Research Centre (ARC) investigating the population frequency of SLI and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). She now acts as an independent consultant on research design, psychometrics and statistical analysis in autism research in the U.S. and U.K. Dr. Stott’s primary research roles are to advise on research methodology, devise and implement appropriate screening and diagnostic tools, and carry out statistical analysis of research and clinical outcomes. Dr. Stott also runs a private consultancy and has recently joined the Autism Clinic, U.K. to provide diagnostic, psychometric, and assessment services as well as evaluation of the outcome of nutritional and biomedical interventions for children with autism and related developmental disorders.
Anju Usman, MD
Dr Anju Usman is a Board Certified Family Practice physician, the Director of True Health Medical Center in Naperville, IL, and a Defeat Autism Now! practitioner. She received her medical degree from Indiana University and completed residency at Cook County Hospital.
Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath
is an academic gastroenterologist. He graduated in Medicine from St. Mary's Hospital (part of the University of London) in 1981, pursuing a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985, and in 1996 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellowship to study small-intestine transplantation in Toronto, Canada. Discoveries made during his work in Canada led him on return to the UK to pursue the study of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In 1998, he and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in London reported a novel inflammatory bowel disease in children with developmental disorders such as autism; the condition later became known as autistic enterocolitis. Dr. Wakefield resisted pressure to stop his research on the possible links between childhood immunizations, intestinal inflammation and autism, leaving the Royal Free School of Medicine in 2001. He is involved in many scientific research collaborations in the U.S and abroad, investigations centering on the immunologic, metabolic, and pathologic changes occurring in inflammatory bowel diseases such as autistic enterocolitis, links between intestinal disease and neurologic injury in children, and the possible relationship of these conditions to environmental causes, such as childhood vaccines. During the course of his work on childhood developmental disorders, Dr. Wakefield was increasingly convinced of the need for a research-oriented, integrated bio-medical and educational approach to these disorders, in order to translate clinical benefits for affected children into measurable developmental progress. Dr. Wakefield has published approximately 140 original scientific articles, book chapters, and invited scientific commentaries. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2001; he is medical advisor to the United Kingdom charity Visceral, and sits on the board of the U.S. charity Medical Interventions for Autism.
Amy Yasko, PhD
Dr Amy Yasko graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and Fine Arts from Colgate University. She then completed her education at Albany Medical College, receiving a Doctorate in Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases with an award for outstanding academic excellence. She completed two research fellowships at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester NY: one as a member of the Department of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases, the other as a member of the Wilmont Cancer Center. Dr Yasko was also a fellow in the Department of Hematology at Yale Medical Center prior to joining a biotechnology company in Connecticut. She later co-founded a successful biotechnology company, where she was recognised as an expert in the field of DNA/RNA based diagnostics and therapeutics. Prior to shifting her focus to integrative healthcare, she was consultant to the medical, pharmaceutical and research community for almost twenty years with an expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology. Dr Yasko continued her education in the area of alternative healthcare to graduate with high honours from the Clayton College of Natural Health, receiving two additional degrees: a Doctor of Naturopathy and a Doctor of Natural Health. Her background in molecular biology and biochemistry combined with an alternative healthcare perspective has given her the ability to help better address the multifactorial condition of autism, as well as other chronic neurological conditions that many face today.