The National Autism Association not “antivaccine”? Then why is its president speaking at an antivaccine quackfest?

As I hang out at the San Diego Convention Center, I can’t resist one last note on the Chili’s debacle that I wrote about yesterday. Remember how Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association (NAA), the antivaccine group posing as an autism advocacy group, whined when Chili’s backed out of its deal to donate 10% of its proceeds from yesterday’s sales to the NAA that she isn’t antivaccine? I’ll refresh your memory, so that you don’t have to click on the link above:

Wendy Fournier, president of NAA, said, “It was obvious that the comments [Chili’s was] getting were a fight about vaccines. Everybody was all heated up and wanting to boycott. It was bullying. It was orchestrated by a small number of people who wanted to deny assistance to families that we serve through our program.”

Fournier said that NAA is not anti-vaccination, and that she and her co-workers have vaccinated their children. She said that the statements on the NAA website about vaccinations and autism are the views of parents who “are entitled to their viewpoints without being attacked.”


Now note that, as has been pointed out by commenters after yesterday’s post, Wendy Fournier is scheduled to speak at the Give Autism A Chance Summit of The Autism Trust. Looky here:

After several years in the promotional products industry, Wendy founded a home-based web development company that allowed her to have a career in web design and be a full-time Mom. Her youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism in 2002. Wendy is committed to changing the perspective of autism from what was once considered a mysterious mental illness to a biologically definable and treatable medical disorder. She attends and speaks at conferences throughout the US. Wendy currently serves on the RI State Commission to study the education of children with autism, as a consumer reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Autism Research through the U.S. Department of Defense.

Now look at some of her fellow panelists and speakers:

In other words, Fournier is going to be speaking at an antivaccine/”autism biomed” quackfest in Austin this very weekend. If the NAA weren’t antivaccine and in fact were concerned with science-based autism evaluation and treatment, there’s no way it would let any of its board of directors, much less its president, show up within 50 miles of such a wretched collection of antivaccine cranks and quacks.

And that’s it. Tomorrow’s post will have nothing to do with vaccines or autism. I promise.