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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Jenny McCarthy's Autism Fight

Aired April 2, 2008 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jenny McCarthy and her relentless quest to help her autistic son. She says he has recovered from this mysterious condition. But there is no cure for the devastating disorder that affects millions.
On World Autism Awareness Day, there's information, there's help and hope for a terrifying disease that tears families apart. Autism: Solving the puzzle, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We've got a major program tonight with lots of featured guests.

We begin, of course, with Jenny McCarthy, the actress and entertainment personality. Her son Evan has autism and she tells Evan's story in her best-selling memoir "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism". She's also on our Web site today with a kind of brilliant episode about all of this.

What do you make of what CNN is doing today?

JENNY MCCARTHY: Oh, I think it's about time. I think they need to do a World Autism Day. It's a global epidemic. And it's not going to get any better until change is implemented.

Let's take a look at you and your special son, Evan.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "LOUDER THAN WORDS")

MCCARTHY: Hi.

Who's that?

It's Evan.

I love you more than the size of the whole sky.

EVAN: I love you than the whole -- than the whole jungle right here.

MCCARTHY: What?

EVAN: Wow! Look at all the horses.

MCCARTHY: This is a beautiful horse barn, sir. Oh, no. Oh, no. Everybody watch out. There's a scary monster.

I love you more than all of the animals on the planet.

EVAN: And I love you then in outer space.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Damn, is he cute.

MCCARTHY: He is.

KING: You've shared his story before.

Give us a little history of Evan and autism.

MCCARTHY: Sure. Evan was diagnosed with autism just before the age of three. He started having seizures is what made me lead to look for more answers. One of the seizures went into cardiac arrest. It's something that we still, you know, have to deal with. But soon after those seizures, he was diagnosed with autism.

KING: What did you do about it?

MCCARTHY: Instead of, you know, leaving it as a dead end, you know, diagnosis, I went online and I found a community called Defeat Autism Now. And for 12 years, thank God, this community of doctors and scientists, who have been healing and treating kids with autism, I believed enough -- even though my pediatrician at the time said it's all bull -- and followed this treatment and my son got better.

And the amazing thing is that I want people to know first off -- because a lot of the things that we're going to talk about is vaccines -- is that I'm not, nor is the autism community, anti-vaccine. We're anti-toxin and we're anti-schedule. But the thing is, the way I treated Evan and the way a lot of the way these parents are treating their kids is not treating autism. We are treating vaccine injury and the kids are getting better.

KING: What do you mean by anti-schedule?

MCCARTHY: Well, the schedule back in '93 was 10 shots given. Today there are 36 shots given.

KING: Do you think that's too many?

MCCARTHY: Too many too soon. When I was on this show before, I said we need an alternate schedule. This is too much. We need to get rid of the toxins, the mercury -- which I am so tired of everyone saying it's been removed. It has not been removed from the shots. We'll get into that later more. Aluminum, ether, antifreeze -- these are toxic ingredients in shots that need to be removed.

KING: As you know, we'll have doctors here and some will agree with you, some don't.

What was the reason for the increase to so many shots?

MCCARTHY: Oh, God, I can't wait for you to ask that question. I actually have a shot, you know, schedule here that you can actually -- can you guys get in close on that?

This is not so good of a copy. But you can see 1983, the shot schedule was 10. Ten shots. Now widen out and take a look at the whole schedule now -- 36 shots given.

KING: Why?

MCCARTHY: And you visually see it. I'd like to know that. And we put our trust, as parents, in the pediatricians (INAUDIBLE).

KING: But the guess would be that discoveries were made...

MCCARTHY: The discoveries were made but, you know...

KING: ...to prevent new dis -- why wouldn't you want to prevent a disease that hasn't been prevented before?

MCCARTHY: Yes, but I think -- I personally haven't heard of that many people falling off the map that we needed to implement 26 new shots in this time. And isn't it ironic, in 1983 there was 10 shots and now there's 36 and the rise of autism happened at the same time?

And parent after parent after parent says I vaccinated my baby, they got a fever and then they stopped speaking and then became autistic.

KING: Is your link scientific or statistical?

MCCARTHY: Well, I believe that parents' anecdotal information is science-based information. And when the entire world is screaming the same thing -- doctor, I came home. He had a fever. He stopped speaking and then he became autistic. I can't -- I can see if it was just one parent saying this. But when so many -- and I speak to thousands of moms every weekend and they're all standing up and saying the same thing. It's time to start listening to that. That is science-based information. Parents' anecdotal is science-based information.

KING: Where is Evan on this autism spectrum?

MCCARTHY: Evan, after one year of treatment, the state came back over to evaluate him and said Evan no longer qualifies for any more autistic services -- autism services. So he's now...

KING: What do you mean?

MCCARTHY: He's done. He no longer qualifies. He goes to typical school...

KING: And you don't call him cured.

What do you -- you call him...

MCCARTHY: Let me explain that, recovered, because a lot of people get confused by that. You can't become cured from getting hit by a bus. And this is a really great analogy. But you can recover from getting hit by a bus. It's the same thing with autism. You know, these kids were mowed over. And they regained skills -- their skills back through therapy. And Evan regained all those lost skills that he once had after getting hit by that bus.

Now there's no cure. But you can be damn right that kid recovered. He recovered. Now I can't say cured, because I don't know what he would have been like before the bus hit him.

KING: So does any -- does Evan have any big difficulties now?

MCCARTHY: Evan -- seizures, we still worry about. He has a lot of gut issues. A lot of these kids still have a lot of medical issues. Sometimes he has problems with audio -- auditory processing. Other than that, he does not qualify with -- he's so-social. Everything is, you know, right on target. He's really a wonderful example of hope and possibility for parents out there.

KING: Great news.

Way ahead of where you were last time.

Jenny McCarthy is our guest. She's going to be sort of like our co-host throughout the entire hour, that (INAUDIBLE)...

MCCARTHY: Boy, am I.

KING: Boy, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: She'll take over by 9:25.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "LOUDER THAN WORDS")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's time for parents around the world to know that they have a voice. It's time for people to start hearing us. Thousands and thousands of us are screaming for the same thing. And this is going to go down in history at a time when mothers fought the giant to save their babies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Jenny McCarthy remains with us, as she will throughout the entire show.

We're now joined by David Kirby. David is the author of a provocative "New York Times" best-seller, "Evidence of Harm." The subtitle is "Mercury in Vaccines and The Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy."

You're not a doctor, right, David?

DAVID KIRBY, AUTHOR, "EVIDENCE OF HARM": No, I'm a journalist. KING: What led you to this?

KIRBY: It was the politics of the situation, the Homeland Security Bill back in 2002. A bill was passed and a rider was slipped in to dismiss lawsuits against drug companies for having put this mercury-containing preservative into the vaccine.

KING: That's in the law?

MCCARTHY: Well, it was in the law and then it was rescinded and now it's -- this is the reason we have the vaccine injury court, so that these families can go in.

KING: That was the recent court in Atlanta, right?

MCCARTHY: That is correct. The case in Atlanta with Hannah Poling. And we're here to discuss this debate whether vaccines are related to autism or not. I'm here -- I've never said this before, Larry. This debate is over. Vaccines can trigger autism. It happened to Hannah Poling. It happened to many other kids. I've confirmed it. And we need to deal with this.

KING: When you began the study and the book, did you have a belief?

MCCARTHY: No. I was agnostic up until about two weeks ago. And as I've been reporting on this more and more, as I reported on The Huffington Post last week, there are many, many more Hannah Polings out there.

The reaction, Larry, should not be stop vaccinating. The reaction should be let's reform the vaccine program so that parents feel better about bring their kids in and that we can protect for immunity without the collateral damage that I do believe has happened in at least some autism cases.

KING: Jenny, will you agree that some cases have nothing to do with vaccines, which makes it more puzzling?

MCCARTHY: Absolutely. You know, environmental toxins play a role. Viruses play a role. Those are all triggers. But vaccines play the largest role right now and something needs to be done. You know, testing these kids for immune issues, you know, that would help so much, changing the schedule. You know, I don't understand -- as a precautionary measure, why don't they do this?

If everyone is screaming this and they're so worried about parents going into offices right now telling the pediatrician j everyone is going I'm too scared to vaccinate my child. This is the new parents' number one fear -- I am afraid to vaccinate.

I am not trying to start this global non-vaccinating world. I'm trying to implement change.

KING: David, if we know that, do we know why?

KIRBY: Well, one of theories that has evolved with Hannah Poling is this underlying mitochondrial dysfunction.

KING: What (INAUDIBLE)?

KIRBY: Mitochondria are the little batteries in each cell. They convert oxygen in food into energy. Hannah had a dysfunction of her mitochondria. She had low cellular energy. And what the government admitted in her case is her vaccines overloaded her system, it created vaccine-induced fever and an immune response that basically taxed her reserves.

Now, this is a minority of autism cases. We need to find out how many kids this happened to. We also need to find out what is causing this underlying mitochondrial dysfunction. Mercury and aluminum and environmental toxins are all suspects in this.

KING: In all honesty, this is to both of you -- you, Jenny, are you anti-vaccine?

MCCARTHY: No, I'm not, because if we had no vaccines, we'd have a very scary world.

KING: You're not against the polio vaccine, for example?

KIRBY: No. But I would like to see a different schedule. I would like -- I would like medicine and vaccines to be individualized to the child.

KING: Hard to do that, wouldn't it?

KIRBY: Well, I think it needs to be done.

KING: Are you anti-vaccine, David?

KIRBY: I'm not anti-vaccine at all. I'm pro-vaccine, actually. And I got a lot of criticism from some parents for that. But I think if we're going to do it, you get one chance to vaccinate your kid and do it properly and do it without causing harm. We are now learning with this mitochondrial dysfunction there is a DNA mutation that's passed down through the father. And we can start testing these kids for this mutation, which means they're more at risk for mitochondria dysfunction...

KING: Probably due to you, jenny, and programs like this, the percentage of children getting vaccinations is dropping.

Do you think that's good?

MCCARTHY: I think it's only good because it's the only thing that's going to shake up the CDC to do something about it. And, you know, it's a damn shame that we invited them here on this program on World Autism Day to come sit with us so I can ask them questions on behalf of the autism community. And they denied their appearance again, which, of course, they're going to give their statement.

And where are they? You know, my message to them from the community is this. They might have silenced some of our children, but they will never silence the mothers.

KIRBY: I think that's (INAUDIBLE)...

MCCARTHY: And we will keep talking until we see change. And you're damn right if I was pregnant and had a boy, I would be scared to vaccinate, too. You need to find a doctor that can find an alternate schedule. Generationrescue.org has three of them on there. Parents need to be tough right now.

KING: The CDC has sent us a statement which says, in part: "Parents who are watching your show tonight may have concerns about vaccinating their children and that's understandable.

However, they should know that current recommendations to vaccinate are based on years of scientific research by the world's foremost experts. If any parent out there is concerned, sit down and discuss your concerns with your child's doctor."

What do you make of that, David?

KIRBY: I agree with it. I wish the CDC would encourage parents earlier on, such as Hannah Poling's parents, gee, you might want to consider spreading out the vaccines. Now, they had no way of knowing that she was set up for failure and injury. She got compensated through the injury program.

We can't be afraid of this situation. We have to work to make it better.

KING: Do you agree with that statement by the CDC?

MCCARTHY: You know, they're...

KING: It looked like you didn't.

MCCARTHY: They seem to keep changing and softening. You know, I think -- I think they're realizing the tide has come in and now they're trying to hold back an ocean. And parents with -- you know, that are going into, you know, questioning vaccinations to their pediatricians -- the phone calls I get every week are, my pediatrician yelled at me and said, what, you don't trust me?

You need to trust me.

Well, our trust is broken. If people are listening to parents like us screaming at the top of our lungs this happened, of course, they're going to be scared.

KING: David, you stay with us.

And, Jenny, of course, you'll stay with us.

And when we come back, we'll be joined by three prominent physicians -- one kind of in the middle, one who agrees and one who disagrees, on this World Autism Day. This is our special look at this dreadful disease and what we can do about it.

We'll be right back.

A dog named Levi, a girl named Emily -- why he is the key to her living a normal life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMILY: My life is so good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "LOUDER THAN WORDS")

KING: We're back.

Jenny McCarthy and David Kirby remain with us.

We're joined by Dr. Jay Gordon, associate professor of pediatrics at UCLA Medical School. He recently released an educational DVD called "Vaccinations: Assessing the Risks and the Benefits." I have it right here in front of me. And he -- you are her son's doctor, right?

DR. JAY GORDON, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, UCLA MEDICAL SCHOOL: Yes, I am.

KING: Dr. Harvey Karp is a fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics, a best-selling author of "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" and does not believe there is scientific evidence of vaccine and autism linking.

And Dr. David Tayloe is president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He also does not believe of the scientific evidence between vaccines and autism.

I've been calling it a disease.

It's a condition or a disorder, right?

Is that the correct term or anybody disagree?

DR. HARVEY KARP, FELLOW, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Yes, you would have to say so, Larry, because it seems that there are multi- factors that influence it -- some genetic, perhaps some environmental. And so it seems more of a spectrum than a specific disease.

KING: All right, where, Dr. Karp, is David and Jenny and Dr. Gordon -- before we here from him -- where are they wrong?

KARP: Well, I think that most important, where -- let's start with where they're right, which is that we need to do something now to find out the reasons for children developing autism, because it is ramping up and it's something that we need to be concerned about. And they're also...

KING: Where are they wrong about the vaccines?

KARP: Well, they're wrong to say that we can -- well, they're -- number one, they're wrong to say that the vaccines are proven to cause autism. If you look at the studies -- and they're mounting up now...

(CROSSTALK)

KARP: ...over the last 12 years, you see that these studies show over and over again that mercury is not associated with autism, that measles vaccine is not associated with autism, that kids who have autism don't usually have an immunization that occurs right before the onset of their symptoms.

MCCARTHY: All of those are not independent studies, though.

KARP: Well, there are many, many studies and some studies have flaws and some studies don't.

(CROSSTALK)

KARP: But, for example, in California, if you look at what's happened with -- we took mercury out of the vaccines back in around 2002 and when you look...

MCCARTHY: Are you saying there's no mercury in the vaccines right now?

KARP: When you look at -- when we've taken out...

MCCARTHY: Are there any -- is mercury still in the vaccines (INAUDIBLE)...

(LAUGHTER)

KARP: We have removed...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just in flu vaccines.

KARP: We have removed...

GORDON: No, no.

MCCARTHY: That's it?

GORDON: No, the tetanus shot also has a full complement of mercury. And, by the way, I don't believe that -- I don't believe that we've proven that vaccines cause autism. I think they contribute to autism. I think that there are a lot of environment at least influences, many of which you know about more than anybody that I know. But vaccines do contribute to autism. They don't -- there's nothing proven.

KIRBY: I think we can't the aluminum content, as well, because that's been going up (INAUDIBLE)... KING: What does Dr. Tayloe think?

DR. DAVID T. TAYLOE, JR.. PRESIDENT-ELECT, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Well, first of all, the childhood vaccine program is the most beneficial public health program in the history of mankind.

MCCARTHY: We know that (INAUDIBLE).

TAYLOE: And you must have immunization rates that approach 90 percent to keep diseases such as polio, measles, whooping cough and diphtheria from coming in here from countries. They're one plane ride away and we're that close to an epidemic.

So, for the American Academy of Pediatrics to want to change the immunization program, there would have to be medical evidence -- indisputable medical evidence that we ought to change it. Now...

MCCARTHY: But isn't parents'...

TAYLOE: ...we've changed it about six times just in the last 10 years. We changed the whooping cough vaccine, we changed the polio vaccine, we changed the rotavirus vaccine.

KING: Why are there so many?

TAYLOE: Because we've been able to develop ways to vaccinate children to prevent pain and suffering. Just in my practice, I've watched three children die of each of the different kinds of bacterial meningitis that we immunize for today. And it's tragic when that happens. I, in my practice, have not referred a child to the compensation program for a vaccine-related injury...

MCCARTHY: But do we really need all of these?

TAYLOE: ...and our practice has seen over...

MCCARTHY: Do we really need all of these, though?

TAYLOE: ...over a hundred thousand kids a year.

MCCARTHY: I mean honestly.

Let's look at this.

(CROSSTALK)

TAYLOE: They're recommended.

KARP: Which disease do you want your child to get?

(CROSSTALK)

KARP: Pick the one you want your child to get.

GORDON: That's not fair. That's not fair.

MCCARTHY: Let him talk for a minute.

Thank you.

GORDON: That's not fair. Nobody wants their child to get any of these diseases.

KARP: But that's the point.

MCCARTHY: Let him talk for a minute.

GORDON: What we have to assess are risks and benefits.

KARP: Sure.

GORDON: The risks of the -- of our vaccine schedule exceed the benefits. Nobody sitting here is anti-vaccine. Nobody is saying we've proven that vaccine -- David -- David Kirby's book is entitled "Evidence of Harm," OK?

The evidence is there. We have to address the evidence. We do not have respect for the instincts of our parents. We don't have respect for the immune system. The immune system is a complicated, complicated system in the body -- complex. We should not be giving the same dose of polio vaccination to a 10 pound baby as to a 180 pound adult.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you need scientific evidence that that's (INAUDIBLE).

GORDON: You need to prove it's safe that...

MCCARTHY: First.

GORDON: Yes.

KIRBY: There is a bill in Congress to study vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations in this country.

Doctor, would you support that legislation?

Would you?

TAYLOE: We support...

KIRBY: (INAUDIBLE)?

TAYLOE: We are not afraid of the truth at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

MCCARTHY: Well, will you support the unvaccinated/vaccinated study?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need that study.

TAYLOE: We support vaccine research and are leading (INAUDIBLE).

MCCARTHY: Has anyone looked at the (INAUDIBLE)... (CROSSTALK)

KIRBY: No, would you support a study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children?

KING: The Amish don't vaccinate?

GORDON: No. And they have a very low incidence of autism and...

(CROSSTALK)

MCCARTHY: So why isn't anyone looking at that?

(CROSSTALK)

KING: We have so many guests ahead...

(CROSSTALK)

KARP: You know, we have to look at the fact that the Amish are a specific genetic group, as well.

KING: We've got to move ahead.

KARP: So you have to be very careful how you (INAUDIBLE).

KING: By the way, Dr. Gordon and Dr. Karp will return.

Thank you, Dr. Tayloe, for your brief participation.

We're going to do a lot more on this issue, though, and we'll have you back.

And, David, thanks very much. Great meeting you.

Do you think vaccines cause or contribute to autism?

Vote now at CNN.com/larryking.

We'll be right back.

One family's six children with autism -- how do they manage?

That's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL

JOHN NORTON, FATHER OF SIX AUTISTIC CHILDREN: Every closet, everything has either a hook. That's where we -- that's the heater area. This is, of course, where we had a washer and dryer, so you have a hook there. We lock all doors. (INAUDIBLE) plywood. We slide it over, that's for this way. They can't get into the kitchen and destroy it. Now, this one here is the children's room. It does look an absolute disaster. No sheets on the bed because they don't stay on. We put them on and they're off within a few minutes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We were in error.

Dr. David Tayloe of the American Pediatric Association does remain with us.

Before we meet that extraordinary family in Murray, Utah, Dr. Karp wanted to ask something, I believe, of Dr. Tayloe -- I'm sorry Dr. Gordon.

GORDON: We're all fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics and we have been for decades. And the one thing that has always troubled me is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has accepted millions and millions of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry over the past decades. And those millions of dollars, I think, certainly could influence policy. And I don't know how -- I know that you are president, elect, is that correct?

KING: Does it influence policy?

TAYLOE: I would say it does not influence policy. We have very strict conflict of interest and ethical statements, and abide by the professionalism guidelines of the AMA and are very sensitive issues. Again, we're not afraid of the truth about vaccines. We're all for vaccine safety research, efficacy research, all of that.

(CROSS TALK)

KING: We've got to go to this family, guys. In Murray, Utah, John and Robin Kirton join us. All six of their children, all six, have autism. Now, life with kids would be a challenge under any circumstances. All six; here's a look inside the household from a documentary that will be on the Discovery Health Channel this fall. Then we'll talk with them. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KIRTON, HAS SIX AUTISTIC CHILDREN: Come to see Sarah get her diaper on? Sarah? Yes? See the diaper? Are you getting a diaper? There you go.

There you go. Eat your cereal. That's good.

ROBIN KIRTON, HAS SIX AUTISTIC CHILDREN: Do you guys know what I'm doing, Hun? What does it sound like I'm doing?

That's OK. Just a little spill. Do you want to wipe it? You're such a good helper. Yay! Such a good helper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Kids range in age from, I guess, infant to 14. Bobby is the oldest. Are these all from the same marriage, Robin?

R KIRTON: No, my -- our oldest, Bobby, who's 14, he's from my first marriage. Otherwise, the rest of the children are from our marriage together.

KING: Why do you keep having children?

R KIRTON: We love children, Larry. We just -- that's the first thing I knew I wanted to do since I was a child, was to be a mother. And it's great. I know we're from the -- we have religious beliefs where families are a joyous thing. Families are forever. And we just love being parents.

KING: Are you Mormon?

R KIRTON: They're our greatest joy. Yes, we are.

KING: I believe that Jenny wanted to ask you something.

MCCARTHY: Hi, you guys.

R KIRTON: OK. Hi Jenny.

MCCARTHY: Hi there. My question is, so many parents tell me about their financial strain and how much autism costs. I'm wondering, that's just with one child. I can't even imagine what your expenses are to treat autism and deal with this. Can you give us a rough estimate per year?

J KIRTON: Per year? I guess we never actually figured it out. We just try to make it week by week, and day by day. Whatever needs are needed, we try and take care of the best we can. Whatever the guesstimates have been -- we had some people saying it's 500 extra a month for an autistic child. I think that's pretty optimistic.

R KIRTON: Yes. I'd say so.

KING: Dr. Karp, do you think there's a gene question here?

KARP: Like I said, to the best we know --

KING: Hold on.

KARP: There are multiple factors that are involved. I think that genes, we know, clearly are involved with some cases of autism. And we have to believe that there's an environmental risk as well. That's why we've looked so hard at mercury. We've looked so hard at the MMR vaccine. Those have not panned out in extensive studies.

One of the things that is an opportunity that we have now is to promote the National Children's Study, which is looking at 100,000 children from birth and seeing what chemicals they're exposed to. If we can follow children in their chemical exposures over the first several years of life, we have a good chance, really the best chance of our generation, to help solve the problem of what is it that's triggering in these children the autism that we're seeing.

KING: John, do you have the same pediatrician?

J KIRTON: Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have a steady pediatrician over the years. I mean, we moved here to Utah about five years ago. And obviously, we had some children before then as well. We've unfortunately had to bounce around. And as far as the thing that was mentioned earlier, as far as some of the causes, I mean, we know that autism is a spectrum disorder. We believe it's a spectrum of causes. That can be, of course, can be environmental. It could be genetics, obviously, maybe possibly in our situation. Could be just the environment, as far as around people where they live. Or, of course, with vaccinations as well.

We just feel that it causes a lot of thing. It's going to need a spectrum of treatments as well, Larry, because it could be a diet, or it could be a number of different things that could be tried. We're trying some sound therapies right now as well. We're trying a lot of different things.

KING: You guys have a lot of guts. John and Robert Kirton in Murray, Utah, all six children with autism. We'll be back with our group after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The landmark court case linking vaccines and autism. We'll hear from the family that won the battle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY POLING, MOTHER OF AUTISTIC CHILD: I wanted to know why my daughter, who had been completely normal until getting nine vaccines in one day, was suddenly no longer there, no longer verbal, no longer responding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Joining us now in Atlanta, Dr. Jon and Terry Poling. They were involved in a historic decision. They guested on this program I think the same night. Before we talk to the Polings, let's take a videotape look at their daughter Hannah, and a little bit about her story. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JON POLING, FATHER OF AUTISTIC CHILD: Hannah got very sick shortly after a series of vaccinations that she received at about 19 months old. And after that rather acute illness, she never was the same again.

What does the mouse say?

HANNAH POLING, AUTISTIC CHILD: He can't talk.

J POLING: Does he make any sounds?

H POLING: Make another one.

T POLING: She just started to deteriorate over a period of time. She was very anorexic. She was not paying attention to her surroundings.

Are you finished with this?

H. POLING: Yes. Let it dry.

T. POLING: OK, we're going to move it over and let it dry. Do you want to do another one?

H. POLING: Yes.

T. POLING: OK, let's get you some fresh water.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The Polings won a historic decision. The federal government conceding that they should get money from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. How is Hannah doing, Jon?

J. POLING: Hannah is doing very well. But it's up and down. It's almost like she's doing great and then it's like the tornado that hit Atlanta the other day sometimes.

KING: How did you feel, Jenny, when that verdict came down?

MCCARTHY: You know, it came down in the fall. And you guys were the first ones that really came out in the media, and we were like, finally. I was, needless to say, pleased that everyone got to see that I'm not the only one screaming and yelling the same thing, that we vaccinated and something happened.

KING: Were you surprised, Terry, that you won?

T POLING: Well, no, I wasn't. I was surprised that we didn't have to have a hearing. But I felt that we had a very strong case. And I was not surprised. But I do want to make one thing clear, Larry. There's a lot of talk out there that we had a hearing. And we absolutely never had a hearing. We had our affidavits and our medical records, and that was it. And one day we got an e-mail from our attorney telling us that the government has decided, after reviewing the medical records and affidavits, that they're conceding our case.

So when people say that there was expert testimony in our case, there was no expert testimony. There was no court hearing.

KING: Dr. Karp, how did you react to that?

KARP: Well, here's the thing; it appears that the vaccines may have pushed over -- you know, that Hannah has this mitochondrial disorder problem, and it may have aggravated that and pushed her over the edge. The vaccines are actually about 1,000 times weaker than getting the disease. We know that getting a high fever, getting illness can take someone with a mitochondrial disorder and push them into a decompensation. The concern --

(CROSS TALK)

KARP: Of course well do, but we don't all have the type of disorder that Dr. Poling has proven in his research.

GORDON: She has mitochondria, as we all have mitochondria. They became disordered.

MCCARTHY: Yes.

KARP: What we do know is that if you have -- if you get exposed to a vaccine, it's about 1,000th as strong as getting the disease itself. If you get Measles, the chance of getting encephalitis, the chance of getting pneumonia, the chance of getting a severe reaction to the Measles is about 1,000 times more than getting that reaction from vaccine.

GORDON: Those are old data. They are not good data. They were never good data.

KARP: They're excellent data. They've been demonstrated --

MCCARTHY: The fact that they say is rare. I think that Julie Gerberding of the CDC is going to have to eat her words.

KING: Think this is going to lead to other results?

MCCARTHY: Oh, my gosh. I will be on the front line of that.

KING: Thanks Polings. We'll be in touch. When we come back -- no, thanks, guys. We've got a lot of program tonight. We'll be back with our three doctors and Jenny right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It gives new meaning to man's best friend. See how this dog has changed this six-year-old's girl's life. It's ahead on LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Anderson Cooper will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, coming up at the top of the hour on 360, breaking news about the safety of air travel in this country. Four airlines are under investigation, accused of breaking FAA safety rules. There is going to be testimony tomorrow about it on Capitol Hill. Tonight on 360, you will hear from the whistle blowers before they tell lawmakers their stories. You simply will not believe some of their accusations.

Our investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, is working the story as we speak. You'll only hear it at the top of the hour on 360.

Also tonight, Florida could be back in play for the Democrats. Just a couple weeks ago, it seemed like that state's delegates would not be counted, but today new life was breathed into the possibility their votes will count. We'll look at how the candidates are reacting, as well as give you the new and surprising polling data out of Pennsylvania. Is Barack Obama actually narrowing the gap there?

All that, and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Anderson Cooper, "AC 360," 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Jenny McCarthy's mate -- call him that -- Jim Carey, called in. He says, and I'll like you gentlemen to comment, vaccines are more of a profit engine than a means of prevention. And that's why there are so many vaccines. Is that true? Jay Gordon.

GORDON: I think that's partially true. Vaccines are hugely profitable. Vaccines make the pharmaceutical industry billions of dollars. They make my business billions of dollars. I don't believe that Dr. Taylor was influenced by the money the American Academy of Pediatrics receives. But I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics policies are influenced by this profit motive.

KING: What do you think of Jim's statement?

TAYLOE: I think vaccines are a very difficult way to make a profit in a pediatric practice, because the price of the newest vaccines are like 120 a dose, one dose. And the insurance companies don't want to pay us much more than that very bare-bones amount for all the costs we have with the vaccines. Then the administration fees are less than what's recommended by Medicare in most practices.

So physicians, as a rule, are taking a loss on vaccines in their practices. But we feel so committed to the public health effort, that we're going to do it. And just about half the children receive government funded vaccines, which are free vaccines that go to the states. There's no profit at all there. You just give the vaccine and then charge a government controlled administration fee.

So this is not a profit center for pediatrics. This is something that's for public health that we all do. And it's the right thing to do.

GORDON: That's disingenuous. The manufacturers of the vaccines make money. It may be a hard way to make money. Doctors sell vaccines or take an administration fee.

KARP: If I could just make a comment to this, which is that the cost to our society during the Polio epidemic that we had, during the -- from the cases of Meningitis that you and I saw when we were doing our training, the cost to the society, the financial cost, the human cost is immense. Allow me just to finish this.

MCCARTHY: All right. KARP: Which is that the investment that we make in prevention is -- a dime in prevention saves you a dollar in cure. That's what we want to do with autism. That's what we want to do with infectious diseases as well. Immunizations are a boon to children, a boon to family --

MCCARTHY: We get that they're saving lives, but the increase is ridiculous, you guys. Look, it's plain and simple. It's bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

KARP: No, it's not.

MCCARTHY: Too many shots too soon.

(CROSS TALK)

MCCARTHY: My son died in front of me due to a vaccine injury. And there are many -- every week I get a picture of a dead child.

KING: You lost a son?

MCCARTHY: Evan died in front of me for two minutes, cardiac arrest. Every week, I get a picture sent to me of a child that died following a vaccination.

(CROSS TALK)

MCCARTHY: Are we considered acceptable losses?

KARP: Jenny, let's bring it down just a notch for a second here. When we look at autism, 75 percent of kids with autism, there's demonstrated change that the child has in the first year of life before they get to this period when they're getting the Mumps, Measles vaccine.

MCCARTHY: Give me Mumps and Measles. I'll take that way over autism any day.

KARP: That is not the option. That is not the option.

GORDON: It can be given later. A vaccine that maybe of a great public health value, but is of no benefit to that particular child.

KING: You present a tremendous dilemma to the parent.

GORDON: Yes.

TAYLOE: There have been 14 studies, MMR, Mercury --

MCCARTHY: Are they independent studies? No.

KING: She would take Measles.

TAYLOE: This is the best medical evidence.

MCCARTHY: In a heart beat. In a heart beat I'll take it. You know how many parents would? Let me just shift for a second because I want to get this out. Let's go on to ingredients, you guys. Ingredients, Mercury, Aluminum, antifreeze.

KARP: There's more in the environment than there are in vaccines by far.

MCCARTHY: These are OK? It's OK to inject it into a baby?

TAYLOE: We're injecting -- this is a direct --

KARP: Ninety percent of the mercury is out.

KING: Sorry, I've got to interrupt. When we come back, Jenny has an important announcement. We'll be right back. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMILY AINSWORTH, AUTISTIC CHILD: He helps me everywhere.

KING: You'll meet Emily and her four-legged friend right after the break. You don't want to miss it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: I know an hour seems like a long time, but we apologize for devoting to little time to so important a subject in so many blocks. We promise to do a lot more on this. We're trying our best.

You know, dogs are called man's best friend. They may also be life-changing companions for some autistic children. Take a look at a six-year-old girl named Emily Ainsworth and her four-legged pal, Levi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON AINSWORTH, MOTHER OF AUTISTIC CHILD: Come here, boy.

Prior to having her back, we were a family who was desperate for any bit or degree of help or hope.

DARREN AINSWORTH, FATHER OF AUTISTIC CHILD: When we first talked of getting levi, I was very much a skeptic. I'll eat crow all day, because he has made such a difference. It's unbelievable.

E. AINSWORTH: He helps me keep me safe and focused.

A. AINSWORTH: Just simple things that we take for granted, her having the opportunity to cross the street, go to the playground and still be safe. We've seen a tremendous growth in her ability to socialize with other children.

E. AINSWORTH: Tori, you can pet it. Tori? You can go ahead. Good job, Tori. We walk around in the mall with Levi.

A. AINSWORTH: I want people to know that they have hope, even if it's just a little bit.

E. AINSWORTH: Levi makes me happy because I feel happy. He's my best friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Some story, huh, Jenny?

MCCARTHY: Yes.

KING: You and Jim Carey are working on an important event?

MCCARTHY: Jim and I are going to lead a march and rally in Washington, D.C. And I'm announcing it right here on June 4th. You can go on GenerationRescue.org for more information. We will be there and we're asking every parent that can make it there in Washington on that day, every grandma, mom, dad, to be there with us marching, rallying. You have a voice that day.

KING: Marching for?

MCCARTHY: Autism.

KING: Are you raising money?

MCCARTHY: Oh, no. This is a day -- you know, I've been talking to parents across the country, thousands of them. And they're so dying to have a voice one day. So we're bringing the media. We're bringing the attention, and now I'm asking every parent that's watching this right now, come there that day and you will be heard.

KING: Where do you go online?

MCCARTHY: GenerationRescue.org.

KING: GenerationRescue.org for information, but it's June 4th in Washington.

MCCARTHY: In Washington, D.C. We're inviting all.

KING: You and Jim Carey will be leading it?

MCCARTHY: Yes, we will.

KING: What is it going to be like with him leading a parade?

MCCARTHY: He's very passionate about this issue.

KING: But you know, once he gets in front of a crowd.

MCCARTHY: He might do a few things.

KING: He might do a few things. What puzzles you the most, Dr. Tayloe, about autism?

TAYLOE: Autism is a disease that just doesn't have an easily identify cause or therapy.

KING: You call it disease?

TAYLOE: Yes.

KING: What puzzles you the most, Dr. Karp? Is it a disease to you?

KARP: Why it's going up. It's something that is terribly affecting families. As I said, there are multiple causes. We look at immunizations as being temporally related. But there's pesticides, fire retardants, other chemicals that kids have never been exposed to before. We need to do the research. It's a very simple answer to just look at vaccines. I'm not saying we shouldn't look at vaccines. But we need to really broaden our view.

KING: Dr. Gordon?

GORDON: What puzzles me the most is why families with children with autism are having so much trouble getting respect from the government, from their doctors. Why do we not --

KING: Doctors?

GORDON: They do not get respect. As I said to you, I get a lot of people transferring to my office because their doctors will not talk to them.

MCCARTHY: They treat them.

GORDON: And they will not respect their --

KING: Why?

GORDON: Because we know what we know, and we don't want to deviate from it. Suggesting that changing diet or changing the vaccine schedule will change the incidence of autism is anathema to many pediatricians, if not most pediatricians.

TAYLOE: At the American Council of Pediatrics we're making some progress on that, because we had two policy statements in November, and a tool kit for our members. We're getting 18 and 24 month screens. I like to screen between six and 12 months, carefully.

MCCARTHY: You guys did make an announcement that you're going to work with Defeat Autism Now, correct?

TAYLOE: We are quite willing to work with anyone on this. We would like to be --

MCCARTHY: These doctors have been dealing with autism. I have been begging them to sit down with us. They just announced yesterday that they will sit down with the Defeat Autism. As a matter of fact, there's a conference this weekend, so I'm hoping you guys come.

(CROSS TALK) KING: You have ten seconds. Do you expect to see a healing in this lifetime?

MCCARTHY: Yes, I do.

KING: Thanks to all of you very much. Congratulations to our good friend Jimmy Kimmel, who is celebrating his 1,000th episode. Catch the celebration tomorrow night at a special time, 11:35 p.m. on ABC. Might even see me. Check out CNN's number one show page, CNN.com/LarryKing. We've got a special guest commentary by Jenny McCarthy and parade leader Jim Carey. You can also email upcoming guests, send an I ask question or download our latest podcast, Lewis Black. We're online 24/7 at CNN.com/LarryKing. It's time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?

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