Morning Joe | December 09, 2009
>>> in 1977 , an 8-year-old boy picked up the game from his father. the odds of making it to the u.s. and pro tour , one in seven million. the odds of the big easy , winning the u.s. open twice, one in 2.2 billion. the odds of having a child diagnosed with autism , 1 in 150. we encourage you to learn the signs.
>> that's effective. joining us bob ryan and his wife susan. they are co-founders of the charity organization , autism speaks , the largest charity organization that recently hosted an event at carnegie hall , intended by jerry seinfeld , bruce springsteen and others, helping raise $1. million. we had the honor of being there as well. thank you for being on the show.
>> thank you for having us.
>> and before we get to the latest number out of the cdc, which speak to autism , which is far too prevalent. i want to ask you about the comcast deal. what's your combusgut telling you? winners, losers?
>> this is a wonderful group at nbc viewers. i think you will find comcast will be a good owner. they want to be an owner and ge doesn't want to be anymore. want somebody to that person and they are going to do that, i think, pretty well. i spoke to joe extensively about this. they are not going forward with the joe scarborough channel.
>> oh, really!
>> that's why he got sick.
>> did you just tell him that.
>> he told me at 20 after 7:00 this morning.
>> thank you for letting me know.
>> seriously. they are not under any pressure.
>> they have plenty of resources of their own. they wanted to be more in this business than they have been and looking at this for a long time. you will find good people and my guess is they will be a great owner.
>> can we get back on the topic of autism ?
>> the staggering increase in numbers over the years -- and i understand you have new information on numbers. give us the numbers if you could and if people who aren't familiar with having an autistic child or grandchild within the family does within the context of the family.
>> the centers for disease control in atlanta is the agency that is responsible for telling us how serious anything this serious is. they keep track of autism . it's increased dramatically. they are not our numbers. in the last month, they came out with the new figures of 1 in 91, which is a -- a 50% increase from the last numbers they had just a few years ago.
>> and that's staggering.
>> why the rise? is there any explanation?
>> they don't really have a good explanation. a little bit is diagnosis and there are other issues with cancer and conditions, too. but these numbers are just so staggering. this is what we do. and now the public will know we know and have known all along. it's a chall efrlg. they will release a new package of data next week. different methodology.
>> susan, you guys are such heroes and you have a grandchild.
>> my grandson is the hero.
>> and a lot of people have linked various nvaccinations to the cause of this. right now as a dead. i'm hearing from pediatricians, wait, don't wait. what is the research on various vaccines and this condition?
>> there's no conclusive research at all. the research is bit and pieces here and there. it's not the comprehensive work. i wish we could get this quite frankly. i wish we could get some massive work. all vaccines are the same, donny and all children's immrun systems are different. it stands to reason there will be tiny subsets, vaccines have been a problem for some small group since vaccines were created. i'm sure we will isolate that very subset but that isn't helpful now. what we say to parents, do not void vaccines. look at the child. make sure the child relaxes. if he doesn't, you have to take a break.
>> you were the head of the republic of the guy on our board. and you and i and many people are having a vaccine study done over the period of the next two years over millions of dollars. this is the elephant in the room . we want to the bush white house and talked to the vaccine people. this is not going away. young mothers and fathers are afraid to vaccinate. we have to be very clear 6789 i'm all for vaccinations but we have to be clear and sunk sifrpgt.
>> and we have to do our homework.
>> tell us about the school .
>> tonight we have a opening of our school . the cardinal is a great friend of ours. when he was in bishop, we became part of our directors and when he became here and cardinal i asked to help us get a school . it took several years and it was amazing. we went from 7,000 square feet to 30,000 and 15 classrooms and it's because of the cardinal. and tonight we will open the school with him, archdiocese and many of the families. there's 200 on the waiting list . we will go from 28 and then 50, 60 be and then the government.
>> this will be a model school and hopefully a model for new york city . it's an old 100-year-old school that they closed down a few years ago down in saint columbo in --
>> it has the beautiful things of a 100-year-old school . it needs a little work but we need it.
>> what happens to parents who don't have the resource.
>> monica -- first of all, every child is entitled to an ed gags. we have an excellent lawyer. we have to sue the city of new york . every child is entitled to an education but have you to prove it. autism is bad enough. 80% divorce rate. i foe what's done to our families. we have the resources. with housekeepers, it's a 24/7 day. he spoke, he was totally trained. he had regressive autism . he lost everything. he no longer communicates. it takes a family for autism . we help as many people who are family services , which we are very proud.
>> education and insurance, huge issues and we're working on both and got a lot of progress on insurance. insurance is state by state. but then you have the federal governme government. half the federal government is through erisa. and then the other half --
>> in which 80 days . now we have a nondiscrimination asset in the health care bill, which is very, very important for autism . and insurance companies cannot discriminate dependence families. so we have insurance with autism .
>> you live up, when we mentioned the school , i know this drives you.
>> i know.
>> you know --
>> we have ways to go. the wealthiest country and no to go. but our concept was wonderful. and i told jerry, we have so much anguish 0 our lives with autism . that night he brought tears to our eyes. there was so much joy in carnegie hall . we will not surrender to autism . working the highway and " thunder road ," it was just absolutely --
>> if i can fall behind, rewrote the lyrics for the audience.
>> great story. he said i will take off after this because he had to go to nashville. they did this for nothing. they just did it. now everybody's seeing it. we went behind stage and wanted to listen to a few jokes and he brought his mom!
>> i love it.
>> susanne and bob, thank you so much. great and important message.
>> doneiest was one of our earliest supporters.
>> good. i needed to know something good about donny .
>> to help donate, visit autism autismspeaks.org. donny , you know i