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Welcome to your weekly Tips from the Team. We’ll be bringing you information from knowledgeable writers on a range of subjects including biomedical treatments, nutrition, advocacy, safety and more—information you can use to improve the quality of life for both your child and yourself.
A Shot Across the Bow
Lou Conte takes on the autism/vaccine controversy in his new book, The Autism War…

Interview by Polly Tommey, Autism File Editor-in-Chief

Law enforcement officer, parent, and advocate Lou Conte is creating quite a stir in the autism community with the publication of his novel The Autism War earlier this year.  A medical thriller that not only reflects the ongoing battles between parents who believe their children were injured by vaccines and the powerful forces trying to silence them, but also points out some of the many struggles autism families face on a day-to-day basis.  Autism File Editor-in-Chief Polly Tommey and Mr. Conte visited recently to discuss the many parallels between the book’s plot and characters to the real-life events and people in the autism/vaccine-injury debate.
 
Polly Tommey:  I really enjoyed your book and have recommended it to many family members and friends.  What was your inspiration to write Autism Wars and why did you decide to write a fictional work?
 
Lou Conte:  I have been working in the courts for 30 years and I have a solid background in investigative work. I am responsible for over twenty investigators and the vast majority of Pre-Sentence Investigations in my department so speaking to people in an objective, respectful manner to solicit information is something that I understand.
 
Five years ago I started investigating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program after learning that the US government had conceded that the nine vaccines that a child—now known as Child Doe 77—received "resulted" in the child developing "autism-like symptoms".
 
PT:  That’s an interesting phrase:  “autism-like symptoms”.
 
LC:   I’m sure that most of your readers understand that if you have "autism-like symptoms" then you have autism because the disorder is defined by behaviors. The way the feds were describing the case, "rare", "one in a million", raised my investigative antennae.
 
So I started digging. What I found was perhaps the most perplexing "court" program I have ever encountered. While some of the decisions are posted on the US Court of Claims web site, many aspects of this program are opaque.
 
Along with the other team members, we found that autism is a common outcome of cases compensated for vaccine induced brain damage.
Ultimately, we published “Unanswered Questions From the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program” in the peer reviewed Pace Environmental Law Review in May of 2011. Although we were able to access less than two hundred of the possible 1300-plus cases involving children with brain damage and seizures, we found 83 cases of autism.
 
These findings stood in stark contrast to the rulings of the Special Masters in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. The decisions sharply criticized the petitioners for alleging that vaccines could cause autism. However, our findings showed that the program knew that vaccine induced encephalopathy often resulted in autism.
 
In the years since we published Unanswered Questions, people who have used to work in the NVICP have confirmed our findings.

To continue reading, click here.

Louis Conte is a law enforcement officer and independent investigator with the Westchester County Department of Probation.  As a leading advocate for people with autism, he has championed their cause in state capitols and Washington, DC.  He was the lead investigator for and coauthor of a seminal paper on the autism-vaccine controversy, “Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury,” in the Pace Environmental Law Review, which found that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program compensated many children with autism for vaccine-induced brain damage while declaring no link between vaccines and autism. Conte lives in Pleasantville, NY with his wife and their three sons.

 
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