Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

Is Barron Trump Autistic? Some Dare to Ask Whether President Trump's Son Battles Autism

He's fidgety, socially awkward, doesn't speak or shake hands. Was he more than just tired on election night?


One day, he will be the first boy to live in the White House since JFK, Jr. He's fidgety, socially awkward, doesn't speak or shake hands, wobbles when he walks and engages in repetitive behaviors. Evidence is mounting that Barron Trump is autistic.

Barron might be bullied by other boys for his autism, which is why the new First Lady wants to focus on bullying, especially on social media, as her cause. To avoid putting him in the limelight, Melania Trump will continue to live in Trump Tower with Barron until June 2017, and appears to dedicate all of her time to him. If Barron has special needs, it explains Melania's otherwise baffling decision not to live in the White House as First Lady.

The fact that his father was 60 when he was born, is considered a marker for Autism--there is a connection between autism and paternal age. Barron's father Donald Trump has tweeted about the alleged connection between vaccines and autism. Trump argued about the alleged vaccine connection with Dr. Ben Carson. During a primary debate, he said:

"Autism has become an epidemic. Twenty-five years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control," Trump said. "I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump-I mean, it looks just like it's meant for a horse, not for a child, and we've had so many instances, people that work for me."

He added: "Just the other day, 2 years old, 2 and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic." Trump did not elaborate on whose child he was talking about.

The theory is that he was speaking of his own son, Barron. It's all over social media. Otherwise, why did Trump even bring it up at a debate?

TV personality and comedienne Rosie O'Donnell wondered on Twitter whether Donald Trump's 10-year-old son Barron Trump had autism. "If so – what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic," she tweeted November 22nd. Trump and O'Donnell feuded publicly during the campaign, but they used to be friends--he even attended her wedding ten year ago. O'Donnell seems like someone who might know, and her point about raising consciousness has been embraced by some parents of autism spectrum children.

Vaccines have been blamed so often, that in California, the State had to pass a law requiring kids be vaccinated, after a polio outbreak at a public school. "Anti-Vaccers" are parents who connect Autism to vaccines. No scientific evidence has ever shown this connection, despite Trump's comments.

His parents choices have thrust Barron into the public spotlight, so now the issue must be addressed by his parents. If the story is verified, it would mean that Donald Trump did not tell the public a personal fact about his son that would have engendered public sympathy for him. He put his family's privacy above political gain, which is certainly laudable. But now that there's active speculation about Barron, it's time to come forward.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

ASD affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.

To date, neither Donald nor Melania have addressed these claims publicly, nor has there been any proof that 10-year-old Barron Trump has a health condition of any sort.


Reader Comments
1 — 50 of 116

NYCer writes:

It’s long been a rumor that Barron had private one-on-one support at Columbia Grammar. The school shares on their website that they allow this option for students with individual need. They’re one of the only independent schools that does this- most council out students with need to specialized schools like Stephen Gaynor. The kid shouldn’t pay for his father’s sins, but if it’s true, what a wasted opportunity for the first family to shine a light on such an important issue. Sends the message that there’s something to be ashamed of.

Feathery writes:

If Barron is autistic and The Stain did not tell it wasn’t for family privacy sake, for goodness sake, this is a father who said he wanted to date his daughter, and once answered a reporter who asked what he and Ivanka had in common and said “sex”. He would keep it quiet because he’s embarrassed.

LizaBBBB writes:

Every behavior we now see in Trump I saw over 50 years ago, when he was my landlord at a minor property he mananged for his father.

knowtherisk writes:

I echo Trump's sentiments entirely on this one specific issue. Anybody who actually reads the research that the CDC itself cites as so called proof of no connection between autism and vaccines also knows that they play word games a LOT. Especially when considering that every single major pharmaceutical company has now lost massive suits where they've each paid out massive penalties for fraudulent practices it is alarming to think that we don't simply shut them down upon learning they engage in fraudulent marketing practices---and who more vulnerable for them to attack than our speechless children alongside our elderly with dementia! We've got the fox guarding the chicken coup on this one folks!!

deegee writes:

There are strong rumours that trump suffers ADHD and is addicted to Adderrall.Could this be his son's problem ??

chrissnyder writes:

Never thought about it much. I just figured he was a spoiled Trump kid, but maybe more to it after reading how mom describes her 11 year old kid (my mom taught me at young age that paper, not walls, are for drawing). --That being said, Melania adds that Barron did like to draw on the walls when he was younger. ---Since he has his own floor, he can [draw] those things on his living room and his own walls,--- she said.--

educatornotqual writes:

You cannot make a diagnosis by observation of someone on TV. Educators thought for sure they knew my son was on the spectrum. Specialists determined he was not but that he was gifted. Over time the specialists have proven to be correct. Only an idiot would draw a conclusion from seeing a 10 year old child on TV (who also happens to be very tall which is deceiving as well.)

LonnieWes writes:

It's clear from observation as an educator, that he's on the spectrum. I don't know why people are so defensive regarding this disorder. It's afflicted many, so what's the big deal? Anyone observing the child can see that he's not quite 'normal.'

ITMFA writes:

All of the Trump boys are feeble-minded. And Donald J. Is outright RETARDED!

PCOSgurl writes:

You can not make a choice to be a prominent political figure in Government and expect people are not going to want to know and interact with the entire family... If they wanted his life kept private then they should've stayed as private citizens! Fact is people want to know and have a right to know when it comes to our countries interests... If he has autism, fine... but, as previously stated think of the opportunity it presents to garner better understanding, respect and dignity to all those living with disabilities physical or psychological !

Seriously writes:

So what if he is autistic. I don't really see how it matters or should be a topic of discussion. It's none of your business if he does have autism and they chose not to broadcast it to everyone you should respect that and leave it alone. really you should be ashamed of yourself for picking on a ten year old just because you don't like his Dad. that's what it really comes down to. your not concerned for him or how if he is autistic how it could help other autistic children. You seen a cheap shot and took it. I don't think he's autistic I think he's a normal ten year old who is probably just tired from flying all over the world all the time and has a bad attitude like most kids his age my nephew are ten and there brats too that doesn't mean there autistic it just means there ten

Helpmerhonda writes:

I see a lot of the same characteristics my son has,who has autism. Rigid hand posturing and not liking to be hugged. Rocking back and forth is self soothing. Barron is high functioning. As he gets older his mannerisms probably won't be noticble. He plays an instrument and that's really remarkable.

justbeyourself writes:

Autistic or not, he is a child. Let his parents raise him and protect him the way they feel necessary. There is nothing wrong with having Autism, it is who you are and you should not be ashamed. It isn't a death sentence, it is an opportunity to see the world your own way, embrace life and what it brings to you. Your life, your dreams, your opportunities young man...make the best of it and you will succeed!

Jerry writes:

The entire family are clinical sociopaths. I wouldn't leave that kid in a room alone with a pet.

Terri writes:

Barron's parents need to be ashamed. Spreading propaganda through Barron's (supposed) Facebook page!!! That boy is not posting on there!! It's disgusting. Shame on them. And melania talks about cyber bullying? SMH

Michaelhicks writes:

People don't battle autsim. People have autism and they have it forever. It is something that impacts who a person greatly and is inseparable from self. Also, you can't say that autism caused intellectual ability and causes people to excel in math and the arts in the same paragraph. I personally do believe that Barron Trump has autism and I pity him greatly. Not because he has the condition but rather because he has an ableist father that is probably abusive.

miaking writes:

Will be nice to have a boy in whitehouse for first time in decades. This is a stupid article. And if he is autistic, which I don't think he is, what is going to happen. Will CNN make it their big story of the day?

IAmSmarter writes:

Whoever said they don't vaccinate in Japan until kids are 7 is an uninformed idiot. They start vaccinating when kids are infants just like us!

doesntmatter writes:

hes not autistic. i have an autistic brother and am extremely aware of the variety on the spectrum. Baron is NOT autistic. All of the supporting claims that this article claims to point to autism are laughable. All it does is show that the author clearly has no idea what autism really is. Maybe, just maybe, he acts the way he does because he's a spoiled billionaire's spawn from a trophy wife??? ever think of that??

FairGame writes:

King Joffrey is probably a sociopath like his daddy. He probably likes to torture kittens.

Teacher writes:

The Obama girls laughed, talked when they went into the White House. We have never heard him speak. There is a disability. No emotion shown, don't ignore the signs.

Grscoot writes:

Only reason t rump wouldn't come foreward if his son had autism? Herr t rump beliefs are that then he would be less than pertfect We all are aware of how he has to be the best,have the best

Marimar writes:

What's funny is that this whole autism-vaccine 'link' was started by a doctor who faked scientific data in order to get published. He was found out, lost his medical license, and had his paper retracted. Yet still, the concept sticks in people's head as being somehow legitimate. In my community, a school and daycare had a measles outbreak (measles which was formerly erradicated) because ignorant people still put credit into this myth.

tacotues writes:

Doesn't matter because he will run the world some day and people like you will let it happen because you're too polite to keep it from happening. He's probably pulling the head off a kitten somewhere. Wake up liberals, fascism is at your doorstep and you're worried about hurting it's feelings!

Fran writes:

Men who are over 35 tend to create more children with autism. The age of woman has no influence on autism.

genjusho writes:

Leave the kid alone. If he isnt being bullied now labelling him autistic will probably do it. Being quiet and not showing affection doesnt mean u have autism. Probably embarrased hes got trump as a father.

Timrob writes:

I am NOT a Trump fan, but it is completely out of bounds to comment on someone's health if you have not examined him in a clinical environment. Guessing at an illness and labeling this child 'autistic'is unacceptable. Leave this little boy alone. Think things are easy on him? He's probably sscared, and a little confused about why terrible things are said about all the people that love him. He's 10 years old! Back off you quack.

JessM writes:

If you want to know the truth about link between vaccines and autism watch the movie VAXXED. Every parent should watch this before vaccinating your children.

Rckdotcom writes:

One word: pollution

Mmr writes:

Let the boy grow up,not you or I are walking in his shoes.the next four years will be hard for any child that's put under the spot light. So please think about this young boy and give him a break.

Jamie1986 writes:

Hi guys, I am a 30 year old woman from the UK. And I am Autistic. Firstly, the vaccines do not cause autism. The fact is, autism starts showing itself around two years old. You develop to a certain stage and then it starts rolling back, you start regressing. The only link to vaccines is that you have the vaccines at the same age that this happens. Also it's not so much that it's 'rare' in girls, just a lot harder to spot.

ItalucM5S writes:

I prefer to not think of Barron being autistic. But to consider the boy just as a boy, a normal and interesting child in a very particular not normal life. And observe what will happen, especially when he'll reach the age to decide on his own.

patti1950 writes:

I sat and watched Baron Trump and in no way does he show signs of being Autistic. He looks and acts like a normal 10yr. old boy to me..

patti1950 writes:

It's a known fact that Japan is Superior to us when it comes to medical. They wait until children are seven years old before they give them vaccines. They know that the body is not developed enough to receive the vaccines at such an early age. When they do give their children the vaccines they do not give it to them in a cocktail, like we do. They know that these drugs cause Autism. Many years ago when we got our vaccines we weren't given them in a cocktail and it was less autism back then. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that there is a problem with our way of doing things.

WhoCares17 writes:

Who cares if this kid is autistic or not? His father is a billionaire and he will receive anything he wishes, including special ed, therapy and so forth. The kid moisturizes with caviar ffs. What should matter are all the underprivileged autistic children in this country who have no means to deal with their autism. That's the important topic here. It'd be great if these people actually came out and said he's autistic so others can benefit from funds and such but knowing Drumpf that will not happen anytime soon. Even if he's autistic he's got it made. So please, let's stop writing articles on silly nonsense and start writing about the issues that are really troubling in this country.

Zach writes:

Environmental exposure to vaccine, in my opinion, is one of the causes of regressive autism especially in susceptible individuals. It really depends on the blood-brain-barrier of the individual. If the blood-brain-barrier can remain intact during the body's immune response to vaccine, you have a normal immune response. However, in some individual's immune response, live attenuated vaccines (LAV) that mimics infection would more than likely disrupt the blood-brain-barrier causing it to breakdown, start leaking, and start allowing foreign bodies, antigens, and immune cells from the bloodstream to enter the brain which leads to microglial neuroinflammation, post vaccination encephalopathy, tissue damage, neuronal cell loss, impaired activity-dependent neural circuit, and subsequent regressive autism.

Zach writes:

I could spot another Asperger a mile away. Barron is a computer genius, he doesn't get involved with small talk, he's incapable of understanding other people's emotion, he prefers to be alone, does not want to be the center of attention. So, yes, I believe Barrcon is on the spectrum under Asperger Syndrome.

Glowspa writes:

Scientific evidence DOES prove the ingredients in vaccines are ridiculously harmful! You have to be a complete idiot to believe the CDC or Merck. Take the list of what's in the vaccine and research each one separately in the American Journal of Medicine. Thimerosol, aluminum, monosodium glutimate, monkey tissue, pig tissue and more Seriously in what world are these things okay to inject into an infant or a child or anyone. It's plain and simple a money maker for Big Pharma and you can bet they fight it tooth and nail to hide the truth. But they do know and Americans should too! There is an abundance of proof to show it causes autism it's just a matter of who are you going to believe. I know who I believe. The media is strangled and can't inform you. Get a clue and side with innocent children and desperate parents!!!!!

OregonMommaBear writes:

Trump Team CREATED NARRON TRUMP VIDEO and the YouYube channel of James Hunter. It was not a real person. Only links on the YouTube channel were to Trump Transition.And nothing else!!!!!! I have screen shots.

Ptalady writes:

Article states that the new draconian vaccine law in California was in reaction to polio outbreak in California. 100% baloney!!! There has been zero cases of polio in the USA in the past 39 years, and less than a thousand worldwide (many cases were caused by vaccine itself; I guess third world countries are still having to use the riskier live virus version). What else did the author get wrong then? Oh, I dunno, very likely the blanket statement that vaccines have been repeatedly proven to have no part in autism epidemic. If that were true, why have legal cases proving autism resulted from vaccine been won in Europe and the USA?? Wish the author had stuck to the topic of whether the First Boy has autism or not, and not spouted off with inaccurate statements that are presumed true in our extremely pro-vaccine culture.

Lushia writes:

Vaccines do not cause autism. All of those studies have debunked this theory, and most scientists who make this claim have their own agenda or are being paid for it. If Trump brings up autism, it should be for funding actual autism services and desperately needed help for autistic people and their families, not for more vaccine studies that will be debunked again.

Stillchris writes:

Autism according to the medical texts is on a continuum with other brain disorders. I came across it in medical articles while researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the diagnosis of my late brother. Since Trump has 100% of the listed symptoms for NPD (look it up, Mayo Clinic is good) along with his advanced age for a father, I would not be the tiniest bit surprised if Barron suffered from a different brain disorder. Recall what Trump told us about his childhood,,,,also like my brothers. Poor Barron has an entire floor of Trump Tower to himself but hardly ever sees his father.

Shay writes:

This brings up an important issue. The US is one of only two or three countries that allow pharmeceutical advertising in the world! It is a bad idea for so many reasons, if you stop to really think it through, and that it jacks the price of meds thru the roof is not the worst of it. This industry has too, too much power for harm. If Trump really means to change things for the better, this would be a great place to start.

Demogirl66 writes:

Just for the record there is an INCREDIBLE amount to of evidence between vaccines and autism if one just spends five minutes to do the research. It is the themerisol (mercury) preservative that is the issue! The only thing MORE toxic on the planet than mercury is plutonium. Check your chemical element chart. It is a horrific neurotoxin and we are injecting tiny babies with this. People have GOT to pull their heads out of the sand!!!!!

Atlanta1 writes:

Barron, a 10 year old should be off limits PERIOD.

magnus writes:

Barron Trump did appear awkward at his fathers inauguration. Whatever the health issue he may have, he and his mother should be left alone and allowed their privacy. His parents put him in the limelight by taking him to the inauguration and rightly so. They should be commended for their courage.

Shin writes:

The only thing that's worth mentioning is that if Barron is autistic, how could Trump dare make fun of a disabled reporter...

Josie writes:

You people disgust me. Calling out a ten year old boy like this, let the boy be a boy! I fidget, I'm sometimes awkward in public, I don't like touching people and I'm 25. I have gone through a neuropsychatric examination screening for autism and found that I'm not on the spectrum. Lots of people have symptoms of autism without actually having it. I'm not saying Barron Trump isn't on the spectrum, I wouldn't know but starting rumours because he doesn't act like he ''should'' is sick. As for vaccines - autism, it's bull. The rise in autism spectrum diagnosis is because of parents and teachers who are sure there is something wrong with a child simply because s/he doesn't conform. Doctors comply because hell, they make money out of it. Everyone is diagnosed with something these days, that's because being different is considered being sick today. Shame on you people, sitting here and acting like hobby psychologists because a ten year old boy doesn't act according to your world view.

StacyD writes:

Please leave this boy alone.

maker11 writes:

I have worked with autistic children and Donald Trump's son portrays so many signs of this sad and difficult condition. I believe his child may even have been given a low dose tranquilizer before each of his appearances to help him cope with a full day in a spotlight he most likely is not comfortable with, and also help to contain potential physical or emotional outbursts that are common in a child with this diagnosis. His son's visible lackadaisical behavior and complete lack of physical contact (unless encouraged) is very telling. If the Trump's openly confirm their son's condition and share how they deal with this on a daily basis they may help and encourage those parents whose children are also confronted with this same diagnosis.


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