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Alice Boy's Pictures

CNN LARRY KING LIVE- 2007-9-26-2/2

KING: Our full panel is assembled. Jenny McCarthy, the author of "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism," Holly Robinson Peete, whose oldest son R.J. was diagnosed with autism in the year 2000.

Now joined by Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, board certified pediatrician from Jacksonville, his practice is devoted to the research and treatment of autism and other neurodegenerative disorders. He's the father of an 11-year-old son with autism, and wrote the introduction to "Louder Than Words." Did you kind of specialize in this because of your son? What happen before the other?

DR. JERRY KARTZINEL, PEDIATRICIAN DEVOTED TO AUTISM RESEARCH: Oh Absolutely. I had four boys. It was my fourth boy who developed autism shortly after I gave him the MMR. My wife says, you broke him, now you go and fix him. I went what? I didn't even have a clue yet what happened.

KING: So what do you make of this theory we've been kicking around here with Jerry and the like with vaccines?

KARTZINEL: Well, we have to think about a population. You can't do the same thing to an entire population and not expect something to happen. For example, if you were to give every child in the United States a kitty cat to go home with, you know the majority would do well. But there's a small group that would not do well with the cats.

The first thing we think about are allergies, they could get bit by the cats the cats can run away. If we give every cat and a dog, we've got interactions, with the cats, the dogs, and between them, and you add the hedgehog and all of a sudden we're stacking things up and we can cause problems with the animals. We know we can't give every child in the United States a shot of penicillin. The majority will do well, but there will be a distinct group who won't. Why do we think we can bring in anything and expect the entire population to take it without a problem?

KING: What do you do when you need the vaccine?

KARTZINEL: I think what we have to first do is realized there may be a problem. And we have to ask honestly, if we see a child who falls apart, and that's something new, that's not in pediatric medicine, that you have a child who's normally developing the first year, year and a half, with today's video cams and digital cameras, we can document that, and all of a sudden they fall apart, they lose eye contact, they're screaming all night, they're losing language, they are constipated, they have diarrhea, biting, screaming, running, what do we have in the textbooks to describe that. And there's nothing. We have to say, what happened in this child's life during this time? Is it viruses, is it bacteria, is it vaccines?

KING: But do you not give vaccines? What do you do with the vaccine -- if the vaccine is the problem, but not every child is affected by it, what do you do?

KARTZINEL: Well I think we have to ask, first of all, is the vaccine a problem. I keep hearing from parents it is.

KING: Jenny says it is.

KARTZINEL: Certainly. If you tell me that your child woke up with ear pain and 102 fevers and I look in the ear and see an ear infection and prescribe an antibiotic, you're right. If you tell me that your little guy had tummy aches and in the right quadrant and he can't walk, and he ends up having appendicitis your right. Now you come in and tell me that my son has lost eye contact and language and is screaming all night and this happened a week ago right after a vaccine, all of a sudden you're wrong?

KING: What is the answer? You wouldn't have known not to vaccinate him. KARTZINEL: Right, I think the first thing we have to understand as a medical community is we have to listen to the parents tell us what's going on.

MCCARTHY: Please, listen to the parents.

KING: But then what?

KARTZINEL: And then we treat the kids. That's the thing. There are things we can do to help these kids. If you have a child who's not sleeping, we can help that child.

KING: We asked the Center for Disease Control for a statement on autism, and a possible link to vaccinations. This is part of what they told us. "Every day we hear the heart-wrenching stories like the ones shared tonight by Miss McCarthy. She and other loving parents want and deserve answers about the cause of autism. Hopefully additional research will someday provide answers. The nation's foremost scientists agree that research done so far simply does not support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

As scientists searching for answers, parents need to know there is hope. There are effective therapies that can help. It's critical that parents see their pediatrician if they sense their child is not developing properly, because early intervention is critical. But they're saying there's no proof of this."

KARTZINEL: I think we have to understand that they're looking at forests. And we have trees. They're not seeing the trees. And if they start counting these broken children, which they have not really acknowledged that there is an epidemic of autism out there, and if you look at what Webster's says an epidemic is, it says there's a disproportionate amount something affecting the population that you wouldn't expect to be there, we know juvenile diabetes is 1 in 150 children. Autism has reached that. And it's even growing faster. So we have to be very careful about what we do. Actually, diabetes 1 in 500. Autism is 1 in 150.

KING: More autism than diabetes.

KARTZINEL: A lot more.

PEETE: And all childhood diseases combined. When my son was diagnosed in '99 and 2000, 1 in 3,000 were diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. Today it's 1 in every 94 boys will be diagnosed as having autism. If that ain't an epidemic, those numbers are frightening.

MCCARTHY: But the important that we still want to get out, the three of us, is hope and treatment. Which is this is the doctor, by the way, that treated Evan and got him to recovery. So, you know, please speak a little bit about treatment. Because so many moms I know are sitting there right now going --

KING: We have to take a break in a minute. What's the basic treatment? KARTZINEL: There's not a basic treatment. After we get back from the break, we'll see where the problems are. Do we have problems with moving our bowels? Are we failure to thrive? Not gaining any weight? Are we up all night on screaming? Are we biting, are we kicking, are we tantruming all over the place? Are we obsessive? Are we compulsive? These are the things I have to take a history of.

KING: By the way Jenny McCarthy has written a commentary for our Website. And so far close to 2 million people have checked it out. If you would like to read it just go to LARRYKINGLIVE.com and you'll find it. It is there right now.

Just ahead, Jenny and Robin joined by a pediatrician who is an expert in the field of autism as we continue. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. By the way, for the record, the American Academy of Pediatricians told us in a statement that they're working with the CDC and groups like Autism Speaks to identify the best evidence-based knowledge and recommendations. As they work to unravel the mysteries of autism. Do you know about Autism Speaks?

ROBINSON PEETE: Yes.

MCCARTHY: Mm-hmm.

KING: Do you like it?

MCCARTHY: I represent TACA NOW. They're more of the biomedical treatment.

ROBINSON PEETE: But I'm friendly with Suzanne Wright and Katie Wright, and I applaud what they've done. They've rallied to Congress.

KING: Do you have any objection to the child being called autistic?

ROBINSON PEETE: I do personally.

KING: What would you rather?

ROBINSON PEETE: I would prefer the child having autism. I got that from my son. He has autism. He is not autistic. So that's my personal view that I feel like, autism, the child has autism, autism doesn't have the child.

KING: Jenny, how do you feel?

MCCARTHY: You know, I've been so, like focused on my biomedical treatment of Evan, I haven't even considered it. Until Holly had said something, and I went, ooh! She's right. And I'm trying my best to --

ROBINSON PEETE: You know what? Someone had to school me about that. But I got a little bit of flack about that recently. Someone said, Holly, are you African-American or are you black? This is not about pc, this is not about the parents, this is about my child at school. Labels at school are very powerful. He's in the 4th grade. When I go down to school and start telling the kids in his class and the parents, guess what, my kid, he does have autism, but don't be scared of it. Talk to him. Redirect him. Focus him. And you'll see he's a great kid. You have to advocate for these children. We're their only voice. Some of them aren't even verbal.

KING: What's all those papers?

MCCARTHY: This was in the past 24 hours, e-mails that were sent to me from mothers, each one of them individually, you can see, of children who recovered and got incredibly much more healthy than they were through biomedical treatment. So this is just in 24 hours of how much better these kids got.

KING: Doctor, give me a good working definition of autism.

KARTZINEL: From a parent's point of view, autism is the sudden loss or deteriorating loss of eye contact, social skills, communicative skills, they become very repetitive in their play, they become what we call stereotypic, or common word is stimming, where they'll flap. They get mesmerized by things that spin, by things that turn, by things that open and close.

KING: Is it a virus?

KARTZINEL: No, it's not a virus, but a virus can be a component of their illness. When you think of what can cause the brain to go in this fashion, viruses certainly are a possibility. Bacteria are.

MCCARTHY: A lot of those things that he's talking about are on the road to recovery. Anti-virals, anti-fungales are helping these kids tremendously.

KING: Why more boys than girls?

KARTZINEL: They're still trying to work it out. They are thinking that testosterone might make us more susceptible to the effects of the environmental toxins, where estrogen is more protective.

KING: We have an e-mail from Susan in Chicago. Is autism as prevalent in other countries as it is in the United States?

KARTZINEL: The other countries aren't doing a very good job tracking it. The best one obviously would be England. And it is just as prevalent there, if not more than it is in the United States.

KING: How about in Asia?

KARTZINEL: We don't know. But they keep asking for help out there because they've got millions of children with autism and they're desperately seeking help.

KING: Are you doing this kind of a mission, Jenny? MCCARTHY: You know, it would have been a lot easier to never tell anyone my son had autism, considering he's in a typical school and no one would have ever known. That would have been a lot easier. So the fact that I came out put him on the cover and exposed him to all of this. Was it worth it? Hell yes. For all those little kids that are going to feel better because of Evan's story? You're damn right I would do it again.

ROBINSON PEETE: We took a lot of flack as well from a lot of people. You know, you're making him the poster child. Why drag him out like this. I remember some years back when Dan Marino, his family talked about their son had autism. Before any of these conversations. And I was so lifted and buoyed by that. And I think it's really powerful that we take away the silence, the shame and stigma from this and start moving forward to better ourselves.

MCCARTHY: And bring hope, hope, and hope.

KING: Now he's a star.

MCCARTY: And he's cute.

KING: More with Jenny, Holly and the doctor and some of your questions when we come back. As we go to break another famous autism mom singer Tony Braxton and some of the thoughts she shared on this show earlier this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY BRAXTON: You want the best for your kid and you don't know what to do sometimes. When I heard his story in school, it made me so excited. Because I think of my little boy. He's in a special education program and I think of the road to recovery. When you have kids, you just -- I want the best for him. So when I heard the story, it was so uplifting for me, so I thank you for that so much.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're going to get to some of your calls. But let's first check in with Anderson Cooper, he will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. Anderson..

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC 360:" Hey Larry. In "360," a real mystery at sea. Six people embarked on a journey to the Bahamas, and went missing. Two men are found, they tell an incredible story about pirates. But there's something about them that makes investigators awfully suspicious. We will have the story.

Plus, I sat face to face with former president Bill Clinton. And watch him get angry, it is a side of him that is rarely seen. Wait until you hear what's got him going tonight.

And a disturbing report about prescription drugs, it could be in your medicine cabinet right now. Why so many of these drugs have not been approved by the FDA. We're keeping them honest. Also new details about what investigators call a nightmare scenario. A terrorist with nothing more than a computer keyboard can plunge the nation into darkness and economic depression. A startling report only on "360."

KING: Wow, that's "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

By the way Doctor Jerry Kartzinel, his entire practice is devoted to autism with patients from all over the world. Let's take some calls. Queen Creek, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Yes, this question is for Jenny.

KING: Yeah?

CALLER: You said if you had another child you would not vaccinate again. But legally I thought in the U.S. you had to vaccinate them before they went to kindergarten?

MCCARTHY: It depends on which state. But there are -- are you more aware of the -- I don't want to give people --

KING: States where you don't have to vaccinate?

MCCARTHY: There are states where you can get out of the vaccinations.

KARTZINEL: I do believe religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs and medical beliefs.

KING: Is that any state?

KARTZINEL: No.

MCCARTHY: Certain states.

KING: To Whitefish, Montana, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Holly, I'm wondering if you vaccinated your younger children.

ROBINSON PEETE: I had a very different schedule. I made a different schedule for myself. I'm not going to wait for the CDC to come out with the schedule. I -- there were certain vaccines that I felt I wanted to wait on. There's a toxic tipping point for some of these children. And there's a substance of the population who have a problem, you know, mobilizing and excreting some of the bad that's in the shots.

You know, it's great. I am not against vaccines; I want to go on record saying that. I just think that there are some children who are not able to kick out the ugly part. And I think we need to explore who those kids are, for instance, my child, was a preemie. And a recent study was just done saying there is no link. But preemies weren't even part of that study. That's what I want to start moving toward. KING: We have an e-mail from Monique in New York. What do you think about putting an autistic child on medicine like Ritalin or Telex?

KARTZINEL: I think we have to look at the underlying problems, why they can't focus and concentrate before we consider those medications. They can certainly be helpful in the right situation. If the child is full of stool, just constipated, of course he's going to have abdominal pain; he's not going to be able to sit in class. If the child is drinking a ton of juice, eating a lot of candy, drinking a lot of dairy products like milk and they're allergic to it, of course they're not going to have good focus and concentration. So it may not be necessary.

KING: What was the number one problem, Jenny, your kid had?

MCCARTHY: Yeast. There is a huge percentage of children in the community that have this problem with their kids. And are really unaware of it. What do you think is the percentage of kids, by the way, who have --

KARTZINEL: This will come from the children who have repeated ear infections and they get repeated antibiotics. Nobody looks to see what's wrong with the immune system. They just keep treating it. If you treat the human being enough with antibiotics, you're going to develop yeast.

KING: And the problem your little boy had?

ROBINSON PEETE: The problem he had was just focusing, eye contact. He did have some abdominal problems and issues. But the biggest thing was socially, he just couldn't communicate, couldn't talk.

MCCARTHY: A lot of people, by the way, don't realize there's a gut connection with autism. They think it's just in the head. And if you have so many moms, most of these kids have digestive problems. I'm sure you weren't even aware of that. That's why he keeps talking about stool. That's all we share is poop stories in the community. What color was it? What did it look like? Because we're watching things, detox, watching these kids have gut infections. It's a huge part.

KARTZINEL: In fact, when you go to endoscope, they'll put the kid to sleep and advance the camera up into the intestines and colon. It has to be treated. Reflux disease, you can see that.

MCCARTHY: A lot of information, huh, Larry?

KING: We'll be back -- I consider myself lucky.

MCCARTHY: Oh, yeah.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Jason is medically diagnosed as highly functioning autistic. He's also loved by his teammates and fellow students. That's why they came to the game with his face on signs. And when he entered the game, they went crazy.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S: The story of a young man who found his touch on the basketball court, which in turn touched the hearts of citizens, all across the country.

KING: Phenomenal. What did he have, 18 three-pointers?

ROBINSON PEETE: More than that. That piece of video that went all over you tube, it single handedly shifted the world, like Jenny just said, it was an amazing moment. For my son, he replays it over and over and over again saying, looks what he did. See, we could do that.

KING: Is he in college now?

ROBINSON PEETE: No, he's in high school. Or I think he might have graduated from high school. He's working at a bakery. He wrote a book. You know, he's working with magic Johnson. The kid is awesome. And he is a true -- he's just a true hero. A true hero.

KING: What are the rewards you get out of your profession, doctor?

KARTZINEL: Making these kids better. There's nothing like having a mom call you back and saying he's mainstreamed. He's in a regular school now. He's lost the diagnosis of autism. The doctors are questioning whether he even had autism. Well, he had the kind of autism that goes away by itself. And that's fabulous.

KING: Jenny, it's not a question, we have a comment and a photo we'd like to share. They're from Johanna in Toledo, Ohio, who submitted them via our iask website on CNN.com/larry king. There's the photo. Here's what she says. My son Gabriel was diagnosed with autism, May 6th, 2006, after countless hours of therapy, loads of debt, and altered diet and a whole lot of love, he's doing well. He's a preschooler, recovered or nearly there. Please keep sharing, Jenny. Your audience is vast.

MCCARTHY: Wow. I haven't cried on this whole press tour. Thank you very much who sent that in. Because it's true. The audience is listening. And I'm happy to be there to share it with them.

KING: You certainly get the feeling that you're -- your purpose is coming through?

MCCARTHY: Without a doubt. Yes. This is it. You know, it doesn't end here. Like I said, you're going to see me over and over again, pushing.

KING: Do you have a website?

MCCARTHY: Tacanow.org. Also Recoveryvideos.com, you can check out pictures of kids recovered.

ROBINSON PEETE: Also go to Hollyrod.org. Because my husband speaks to a lot of fathers who are dealing with this. It's a whole sort of untold story about men who have to deal with their boys. Hollyrod.org.

KING: Tacanow.

MCCARTHY: And I would just -- taca.org. The book I wrote is just not for families with children with autism. It's really a message that I want every mom, grandma, dad, to read, because it's so important. It's Lorenzo's oil. It's what every mom's going through. It offers hope and faith and a lot of love.

KING: That's really nice. You've been very impressive here, Jenny.

MCCARTHY: Thanks, Larry. And you're even cuter in person.

KING: Eat your heart out, Jim. Jenny McCarthy, Holly Robinson Peete and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. Thank you all very much.

By the way you can head to our Website, CNN.com/larryking and you can read Jenny's special commentary on autism. Or download our current podcast. And don't forget to check us out for all upcoming guests, at CNN.com/larryking. And right now, to New York, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson.

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