Allyson writes: "Hello my name is Allyson. I heard about your blog from Shari's blog. Just recently we are starting to wonder if our 2 1/2 year old son is autistic. As I've read from your blog and Shari's I'm reading things that describe my son! Lightbulbs are going off in my head! So, I'll probably be checking out your blog often as I try and wrap my head around this. Thank you for sharing your wisdom."
Allyson, first off KUDOS to you for being aware of the signs and being willing to consider this may be an issue for your child. Sometimes that can be a very large hurdle for a family to jump, no one WANTS to think about Autism and their child. But, you are on the look out and an early start is one of the best advantages you have!!!! My son was so "borderline" that we missed a lot of time. We still did some dietary interventions and sensory support because of my dear friend Sunny who also was his very first OT. But, I think of where he could be today if I had found Dr. Woeller sooner and started all the biomed stuff back when my son was 2, 2 1/2 or 3! Good for you for being on top of things, your son is very lucky to have you for a mom!!! Keep up the awareness and don't hesitate to ask Shari or I anything! We will help in whatever way we can!
Briana writes: "Hey Terri,Thanks for the comment you left for me. I really needed to hear that. My mom came across this article written by Jim Carrey and I think you should post about it:) I know a lot of people look to your blog for inspiration. I know I do!! If you haven't read it yet here is the address: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-carrey/the-judgment-on-vaccines_b_189777.html "
Hi Briana! As always it is great to hear from you. Yes, this article.... I read about it earlier this week. What can I say about it? Well, I have blogged a lot (a lot more than I really intended) on vaccines. I think this issue can be so divisive and my goal truly is to have this blog be a source of info and advice for people wanting to get started in biomed and/or dietary interventions with their child with Autism and to hear our story. However, I can't seem to hold back on this topic. Let's just get this out of the way.....until about 2 years ago I was 100% pro vaccine, full schedule, never missed a shot with my son. Even though at his 4 month shots (just as he was getting into the groove of sleeping) he stopped sleeping for longer than 20 minutes at a stretch. From that point forward, he was even more colicky, inconsolable and I was very, very exhausted and frustrated. He screamed for hours after vaccines. Once I had my daughter I realized then how negatively he reacted to vaccines. He was my first so I had no frame of reference. One thing I remember about his infancy is his desperate screaming for hours each day and night. It breaks my heart. And yet I did not question that he needed all the vaccines, including hep B which we should ALL know by now that NO infant or child needs unless they are an IV drug user or engaged in unprotected sex, how dumb! So flash forward a few years. The more I learned about Autism the more I learned about the human immune system.
The immune system is largely found in the digestive tract (which is why it is even more important to eat a healthy diet and why a bad one can impact our immune system so much). We are expecting attacks through the mucous membranes. When the body receives an attack like that it can wage an appropriate battle against it. However, an injection largely bypasses the normal immune response. They add additional toxins in the form of thimerisol, aluminum, formaldehyde, etc. not only as preservatives but to garner an even larger immune response. Things can go haywire. Andrew Wakefield was the first to show the vaccine strain Measles virus embedded in the lining of the gut in children with Autism. This was not community acquired, it was the vaccine strain! Do you think this was supposed to happen? No.
Do I think it is all about the mercury? No. Thimerisol IS still in vaccines, even in trace amounts they are not legally required to report so don't fool yourself that it is all gone. But, what of aluminum or other toxins? I think those are as harmful.
What about Hannah Poling? You remember her right? The first child to receive a judgement in vaccine court that showed her Autism WAS caused by vaccines. The vaccine court worked hard to show that she had a "rare" mitochondrial disorder. Really?!?! Rare?!?! I would argue that mitochondrial disorders (and even more commonly DYSFUNCTIONS) are not rare in Autism at all. Muscle biopsy is the real definitive way to test and rarely do people want to subject their children to that. There is an acronym that is useful here:
Hypotonia (low muscle tone)
My son has all but 1 (epilepsy) right now and I know seizures can start for our kiddos at any time so maybe one day we will have all of these. Many kids with Autism would fit this description. Mitochondria come from us moms, dads are off the hook here. Mito disorders have also been connected to chronic fatigue, something I have joked about having for years.....maybe not such a funny joke now. Mito disorder and dysfunction DO leave our kids more susceptible to vaccine injury.
I have blogged about inherited disease before. What if over the generations we have so polluted our bodies to the point of an increase in these mitochondrial disorders and dysfunctions, that would explain why this generation has seen such a rise in Autism with the increase in vaccine schedules and other toxins. I love Jim Carrey's analogy about smoking. I don't think there are many people who would debate that smoking increases your "risk" for cancer. BTW - I remember this number from biological psychology in college, you are exposed to 4,000 carcinogens with EVERY PUFF of a cigarette. When you expose your body to that level of toxicity, of course bad things are bound to happen. We are very resilient beings but we can only take so much. That doesn't mean you will get it if you smoke 100% of the time. But, especially if the predisposition is there, you increase your chances. I think our kids with mito dysfunction (and certainly mito disorder as proven by the Hannah Poling case) are at greater risk for developing Autism (being a catch phrase here for impaired immune function, gut dysbiosis, sensory processing issues, language delays, etc).
My world today is very different than it was 5 years ago. I like to think I know more about the preservation of health. Some of my best friends here in AZ are doctors, chiropractors, alternative health professionals and other moms just as dedicated to this journey as I am. The doctors I have found here have been DO's which are more likely to consider holistic and alternative means in addition to standard medical practices. But, more and more, I am taught about the negative effects of some of these toxins we eat, drink and inject into ourselves and our children. They have all shared with me more things to read and learn, legitimate resources that explain the natural immune function and why these things (like vaccines) don't work as well as they were theorized. These people are not just weighed down in medical dogma. I have come to my own conclusions, as MANY parents have. I did not watch my child slip away necessarily after a vaccine like many did. I wonder what the outcomes would be if we took these cases out of "vaccine court" and into the court of our peers? I live this life daily and I am still brought to tears by these families' stories. They are powerful, and sad, and real. And they are more common than you think. These are not quacks, fringe people or weirdos. We are all people who believe that in some way the very things we were told would save our children have taken them away in one way, shape, or form. For me that is an irrefutable truth. Do I think it is the smoking gun on Autism? No. I think it goes deeper, it is more complex and there is no magic bullet for ANY child.
But, I was on the phone with the kids' naturopath yesterday. She has just been accepted as a DAN! physician!!! Yeah Dr. Carrie Rittling at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors!!! What an amazing resource for us here locally, she has seen my children for years. She said she started Nystatin (a very safe antifungal) on a 19 year old who has never spoken. She started the antifungal and he is talking!!! Wow!!! Anyways, for those who care, I spoke with Dr. Rittling regarding a medical waiver for immunizations. My little one starts preschool in the fall and my son hopefully will be going to a new school as well. I really wanted a medical waiver as opposed to just a philosophical one. We spoke (for a long time because we talked about her DAN! affiliation a lot!) and she looked up codes for exemption. Guess what?!?! There is a code for Disorders of Mitochondrial Metabolism!!! Yippee!!! Even the medical community recognizes that these children with mito disorders are at more risk for injury. The only problem is you don't realize your child has this until it is too late sometimes. But, in any event, I got my lifetime waivers so I was happy!! And I was thrilled that there was a "legit" excuse, maybe now I won't be glared at by the school nurse when I use one of her own codes she can understand! ;)
So what can I say about Jim Carrey's article? I like it, I agree with it. I can't really say anything else. I think it is repetition for those of us living it, hogwash for the people who make money off of vaccines (Paul Offit for example) and maybe an excuse for those who don't have a child with Autism. And you know, there are parents out there with kids with Autism who think parents like me use vaccines as an excuse. I have already stated that I think it goes deeper. But, I don't know how you understand the immune system and still believe in the power of vaccines. And I mean UNDERSTAND the immune system. Biochemistry, etc. to that level. Unless you are Paul Offit, an immunologist and co-creator of Rota-Tek rotavirus vaccine. He knows where his bread is buttered and he doesn't sell anymore vaccines if we all wise up and realize they are not ALL good. Did you hear that? I said "not ALL good". I do still think some vaccines can be useful. Not all and not as early and not every one for every child. Each child is different and I think we as PARENTS need the right to decide. This became way longer than I intended but I hope that answers your question!