Page 1

april is autism awareness month

tm

autism best 10books new insights Causes–Treatments–Prevention

on Autism & Vaccinations

Chapter excerpt from Sacred Spark

Aluminum the new mercury the great measles

misunderstanding Parents

YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE

issue 21 / spring 09 / $7.95

5th

Anniversary Issue


on the cover Autism: New Insights ................................. 32 TM

10 Best Books ............................................ 62 Aluminum: The New Mercury...................... 48

editor-in-chief Jeanne Ohm, DC editor@pathwaystofamilywellness.org

The Great Measles Misunderstanding........ 14 Parents: Your Right to Choose.................... 40

associate editor Lisa Reagan advisory board Sarah Buckley, MD Bruce Lipton, PhD Stephen Marini, PhD, DC Larry Palevsky, MD Claudia Anrig, DC contributing editors Tracey Beck-Campbell Alissa Pond Mentzer creative director Tina Aitala Engblom advertising coordinator Crystal Gloistein advertising@pathwaystofamilywellness.org circulation director Howard White Hwhite9611@aol.com Pathways to Family Wellness is a quarterly publication offering parents articles and resources to make informed healthcare choices for their families. Pathways to Family Wellness provides thought provoking information from the holistic health perspective and invites parents to explore options for family wellness. The individual articles and links to healthcare information in Pathways to Family Wellness are based on the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information provided is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. The publisher of Pathways to Family Wellness encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions based on your researched knowledge and in partnership with a qualified healthcare provider. Pathways to Family Wellness is provided to you by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association in collaboration with the Alliance for Holistic Family Health and Wellness. Both organizations are 501-C3 non-profit status organizations and sales of Pathways to Family Wellness support their mission for public education. Images used are for illustrative purposes only. © 2004–2009 Pathways to Family Wellness Issue 21, March/April 2009. Printed in the USA.

10 Family Wellness Lifestyle advertisers

contact

For advertising rates and information, email advertising@pathwaystofamilywellness.org or call us at 610-565-2360.

Pathways to Family Wellness 327 N. Middletown Rd., Media, PA 19063 www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org info@pathwaystofamilywellness.org telephone: 610-565-2360

subscriptions Pathways to Family Wellness is published four times per year. Subscription rate is $24.95/yr in the United States, $44.95 for two years. Canadian subscribers please add $10 per year. For subscriptions outside of the United States and Canada, please contact us: subscriptions@pathwaystofamilywellness.org Bulk orders are also available. Order on-line by visiting our website: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org

credits Cover photo © Jennifer Longaway www.longawaypix.com


contents Healing Our Children with Attentional, Emotional, and Learning Challenges 6 feature 4 letter from the editor 10 special section

A Starting Point

By Michael A. Gruttadauria, DC, DACAN

14 Wellness Lifestyle

The Great Measles Misunderstanding

By Darrel Crain, DC

18 nutrition

Are Food Allergies Linked to Autism?

By Sidney MacDonald Baker, MD

20 family living

There is an epidemic in our society. More and more children are being assigned more and more labels. What is happening to our children? What do these labels really mean? By Susan R. Johnson, MD, FAAP 38 the outer womb

Supporting the Immune System for the Care and Prevention of Autoimmunity

By Andrew Keech, PhD

40 parenting

Moms & Dads, Who is the Boss of You? The Force of Culture on Birth and Parenting Choices

By Marcy Axness, PhD with contributions from Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD

42 Gratitude

Law of Mind-Body

By John Demartini, DC

Understanding Parents of Children with Autism

44 holistic healthcare

By Michelle Gabrielle Centamore

What is BioMedical Treatment?

By Generation Rescue

22 mind–body–spirit

The Power of a Child’s Imagination

48 informed choice

By Patti Teel

Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know?

By Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD, FAAP

24 chiropractic for life

A Biomechanical Approach

By Charles W Chapple, DC, FICPA

28 pregnancy & Birth

Common Obstetrical Procedures and their Link to Autism

By Jeanne Ohm, DC

52 Sneak Peek

Sacred Spark, An Excerpt from Chapter 3: Chelation

By Rev. Lisa Sykes

55 news and events

32 science review

62 recommendations

Vaccines, Neurodevelopment, and Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Russell L. Blaylock, MD

Autism & Vaccinations: 10 Books You Need to Know About

28


letter fr o m t h e e d i to r , j e a nne ohm, dc

Little did I know when we decided to do an issue focusing on autism, the magnitude of insight, research, personal stories, and range of treatment protocols that would be revealed. In the process of putting together this issue, I conversed with a varied group of involved people about this growing epidemic. I spoke with researchers, scientists, practitioners, heads of consumer organizations, and parents with autistic children. I was privy to meet people who have been diligently working on this issue and attempting to bring its stark reality to the general public for many, many years. I became acutely aware of the diverse starting points relating to causation and solution. On the one hand, there is the widely promoted rhetoric, “Unknown cause! No known cure!� It is supported by self-interest industries, with unlimited financial resources. Their claims are based on a restricted agenda for healing and wholeness. On the other hand Š istockphoto.com / dan kite



pathways | issue 21

is the less publicized evidence of causation and exploration of cure. It has limited funding and minimal exposure. It is, however, initiated


from the holistic premise that illness has preventable causes and

lives, new insights and avenues of hope are revealed. For parents

healing is possible.

with newly diagnosed children, these valuable resources will

Throughout the article-gathering stage, I met people who

expand your choices and lead you to greater solutions. For

are experiencing grief, frustration, and anger, and conversely

parents who are concerned and wanting more information to

I witnessed tireless strength, accomplishment, and hope. In

prevent autism, these articles will offer perspectives and foster

speaking with scientists and researchers, I was disillusioned with

your commitment to making informed family health care choices.

their accounts of suppressed data, biased papers, and attempted

As one Executive Director of a leading autism organization with

payoffs. Most importantly, I was exposed to convincing scientific

two children on the spectrum told me, “Parents need to know!

validation indicating cause and effect associations of “modern

They need information! This is one ‘club’ we do not want any

medicine” and autism. Researchers, scientists, and practitioners

more members to join.”

revealed their enthusiasm for discoveries of cause, cure, and

Having been a family chiropractor for 27 years and a mother of

prevention and their dismay when their breakthroughs were met

6 children, I have learned that choosing the paradigm from which

with ridicule and contempt by their peers. I listened as leaders

we make our health care decisions is imperative to the manifes-

of groups promoting awareness about autism; vaccinations;

tation and perpetuation of health. Trusting the body’s extraordi-

and medical, emotional, and environmental contributors divulged

nary ability to function, regenerate, and be well is essential to the

the harsh reality of dealing with corrupt politics. Finally, the

healing process. Utilizing providers who are inspired by seeking

most impressive group of people I spoke with was parents. I was

causes and solutions is also imperative in this process. Contribut-

intimately drawn into the sober reality of their altered lifestyles

ing to organizations that provide support, hope, and directions

and burdens. Heartbreaking stories of perfectly healthy children

for change is vital. As I look down the path we are being called to

suddenly torn away, the struggles of acceptance and the non-

follow, a quote by Margaret Meade comes to mind, “Never doubt

relenting searches for help combined with their efforts to

that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change

overcome financial and emotional strains gave me insight into

the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

a level of strength that was nothing short of heroic. In this issue, we attempt to bring a greater understanding of autism to all concerned parents. For parents with children on the

Many Blessings, Jeanne Ohm, DC

spectrum, although much of this information is part of your daily pathways | issue 21




feature

Healing Our Children with Attentional, Emotional, and Learning Challenges By Susan R. Johnson, MD, FAAP



pathways | issue 21


There is an epidemic in our society. More and more children are being assigned more and more labels. These labels include attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), receptive and/or expressive language disorders, learning disabilities that include visual and/or auditory processing disorders, and the autistic spectrum disorders like pervasive developmental delay (PDD), Aspergers Syndrome, and autism, to name only a few. What is happening to our children? What do these labels really mean?

w

hile I was growing up, my brother was diagnosed at a major university center in California with autistim when he was two-and-a-half years old. He had fine motor and gross motor delays, made poor eye contact, cried a lot from frustration, and he didn’t speak words. When he finally started to talk around age four, he wasn’t as frustrated and he became more social and no longer fit the definition of autism. So, his diagnosis was changed to a speech and language disorder since his speech was so difficult to understand. He still became very frustrated when he tried to communicate. He had trouble expressing his ideas and getting others to understand his speech. Because he had a lot of temper tantrums during those early years and always seemed to be in constant motion, he was also given the label of minimal brain dysfunction (the word used in the 1960s for attention deficit disorder) and was placed on medication. When my brother started school, he struggled with reading and writing. He had a brilliant mind and could remember almost everything that was said to him, but he couldn’t write his ideas down on paper and he had difficulties with spelling and handwriting. Book reports and papers were hard to write, and he was labeled as being lazy by his teachers throughout grade school. It wasn’t until college that a professor realized how gifted he was, and how difficult it was for him to express his ideas in writing. He was re-evaluated at that same university center and now labeled as having a nonverbal learning disability. All of these labels affected my brother’s self esteem. I think he saw himself as abnormal or not smart enough. As he grew older he seemed to lack the confidence to follow his dreams and the courage to risk failure because he felt he had failed so many times. Therefore, I have never believed in labels. Labels place children into boxes that they can’t escape from very easily. Labels seem so meaningless to me since a child like my brother could move from one box to another while the “experts” couldn’t seem to agree on what box to put him in. During my fellowship training in behavioral and developmental pediatrics, I learned that 70% of children labeled with attention

deficit disorder also have some form of auditory and or visual learning disability—but no one could explain why. Most of the therapies given to these children were what I called “sit down therapies.” Movement therapy, like occupational therapy, was seen as a way to get children from the door of the classroom to their chair. Once the child was seated, I was taught that the “brain” could be “educated” through speech therapy, practicing phonics, or drilling math concepts. These children were often placed in special education classes but I never saw these children get out of special education classes, and I watched while they academically fell further behind their peers, and their self-esteem suffered. It was the birth of my son that really taught me to look more closely at what was beneath all of these labels. First of all, because my son never crept on his belly and had a persistent “stiff neck” after his C-section birth, other parents convinced me to take him to a gifted osteopathic physician for biodynamic cranial therapy. Next, it was my son’s Waldorf-trained preschool and kindergarten teachers who first taught me about the importance of movement in the development and healing of neurological pathways. My son’s gifted kindergarten teacher worked with him after school for two hours, twice a week, for a year-and-a-half doing lots of harmonious, non-competitive, rhythmic movements. It was calming to be in her presence. She lived in the present moment. When she sliced apples for the children to make applesauce, the thoughts of her mind, feelings in her heart, and the actual movements of her body were all aligned with the task of slicing apples. In her speech and in all of her movements her mind, heart, and body were as one. My son went from grasping a crayon with his fist and scribbling at the age of four-and-a-half years to finger knitting and weaving during the next one-and-ahalf years. He went from being unable to catch even large balls easily to juggling tennis balls with her across the room. His balance, auditory processing, and speech articulation all dramatically improved. He became a social being who could relate and play imaginatively with his peers while his oversensitivity to pathways | issue 21




feature

touch seem to disappear. I had to find out what his Waldorf preschool and kindergarten teachers knew about the relationship of movement to brain development. I had already completed four years of medical school, three years of pediatric residency, and three years of fellowship training in behavior and developmental pediatrics. I learned how to identify the various pathways of learning, whether auditory, visual, or kinesthetic, but I didn’t learn anything about sensory integration. After watching my son transform in his development, I completed the three-year Waldorf Teacher Training Program, and then spent another year studying sensory integration with Ingun Schneider, a physical therapist and sensory integration specialist at Rudolf Steiner College. I attended numerous workshops by neuropsychologists like Judith Bluestone of the HANDLE Institute and Carla Hanaford, who works with Brain Gym. What I have learned from all of these experiences is that movement forms the neurological pathways in the child that are later used for reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, focusing of attention, and creative thinking. There is a relationship between the development of the vestibular system—which includes balance and muscle tone—and auditory processing—the ability to understand and follow verbal instructions. If a child, whose hearing is normal, still has difficulty with auditory processing (following verbal instructions) then strengthening his or her balance will help. If a child has low muscle tone with a tendency to drool and lisp during speech, then working with movement, specifically balance, will strengthen that child’s overall muscle tone and improve the articulation of consonants. There is also a relationship between proprioception—the child’s ability to know where his or her body is in space—and the child’s ability to sit still and “pay attention.” A child has difficulty focusing his or her attention if the proprioceptive system is not yet fully formed or integrated. During the first seven years of life, the child’s mind needs to make a map of the location of pressure receptors within the muscles, tendons, and joints of the entire body. You might say that there is a universal law that the mind must know where the body is at all times. If the mind of the child can’t locate the different parts of the body when sitting still, then the child will need to actively move the muscles or sit on his or her feet in order for the mind to “feel” connected to the body while the child is looking at the blackboard and paying attention to the teacher. Unfortunately, a child who is continuing to wiggle in his or her chair while gazing at the teacher will often be seen as not paying attention and be labeled with attention deficit disorder.

In addition, this same child who hasn’t developed a sense of spatial awareness and doesn’t feel where his or her body is in space also lacks an inner sense of movement when looking at abstract forms like letters or numbers. The child’s eyes will follow the movement, the lines and curves of the letters and numbers, but the forms won’t imprint. The child will forget the shapes and not remember which way the number 2 or 3 goes or which letter is “b” and which is “d.” In addition to being labeled with ADD, these children with proprioceptive difficulties often get labeled as having visual processing and visual memory types of learning disabilities. If a child’s sense of touch is not fully integrated, which can happen after a rapid vaginal birth, a C-section delivery, or the use of suction forceps, then the child will be hypersensitive and sometimes even hyposensitive to tactile stimulation. These are the children who want the labels removed from the back of their clothing or want their socks turned inside out so they don’t feel the seams. They often don’t like wearing long pants, long sleeves or jackets because they constantly feel the wrinkling of the fabric against their skin when they move their arms or legs. Their scalp is hypersensitive and they don’t like their hair brushed or combed. They don’t like their nails being clipped. These are the children who often withdraw from a group of peers and appear shy because they are afraid of being inadvertently touched by another child and that touch can sometimes feel like a hit or slap. Sometimes these children appear aggressive, hitting other children in what they perceive as self-defense after being “touched” or “bumped” into by another child. It is as if this gentle “touch” or “bump” is magnified 100 times. In general, children with any of these sensory integration issues will often have difficulties with peer relationships. Their minds and eyes are too busy just trying to help them maintain balance, figure out where they are in space, and avoid bumping into other people and objects. These children are multi-tasking, and they do not have the luxury or the freedom of their minds and thinking to pay attention to the subtle nonverbal cues of other children around them. Since communication is mostly nonverbal, their peer relationships suffer. In addition, because these same children with one or more sensory integration difficulties are always multi-tasking, their nervous system is constantly stressed. These children live in their “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system just to survive each day. Children who predominately function with a stressed nervous system are not in the present moment. They can’t pay attention or focus on just one stimulus at a time because their survival

Their minds and eyes are too busy just trying to help them maintain balance, figure out where they are in space, and avoid bumping into other people and objects. These children are multi-tasking, and they do not have the luxury or the freedom of their minds and thinking to pay attention to the subtle nonverbal cues of other children around them.


Sugar-filled foods, a lack of essential omega-3 fatty acids (found in cod liver oil, fish, walnuts, flax seed oil, algae, dark green leafy vegetables, and breast milk), inadequate sleep, a sedentary lifestyle (where children ride in cars instead of walking) are all making it hard for children’s neurological pathways to be myelinated and formed. In addition, toxins in our environment, including mercury in some of our vaccinations, also may affect these sensitive pathways. depends upon being able to pay attention to many different things in their body and in their environment all at the same time. These are the children that are often labeled as being hyperactive. Their pupils are often dilated, their hands and feet are often cool, they are hypervigilant and easily distracted, they are hypersensitive to sounds, and they have difficulty focusing their attention. Their movements are jerky and mechanical and their digestion is compromised. They also are extremely sensitive to the effects of sugar and caffeine and have temper tantrums and meltdowns throughout the day. A mind that is stressed is functioning in survival mode. In this survival state, a child can’t access higher centers of learning, and therefore new pathways and neurological connections are not easily formed. Labels like ADD, ADHD, speech and language disorders, learning disabilities, and the autistic spectrum disorders may actually represent an increasing severity of sensory integration dysfunction. A child labeled with ADD has a poorly integrated proprioceptive system and this may also create visual processing disorders. A child labeled with auditory processing problems, especially if they forget what they are supposed to do when moving their body, may have vestibular difficulties. A child labeled with autism will have severe impairment of their proprioceptive, vestibular, and tactile systems in addition to having a weak metabolism and, potentially, a “leaky” intestinal tract. When a child has had a history of frequent antibiotic use (especially in the first two years of life), a diet high in simple sugars, or has undergone lots of stress, then he or she may be missing most of the healthy intestinal bacteria. The intestine may now be overgrown by yeast organisms which cause inflammation and loss of integrity of the intestinal wall. Now partially digested proteins from various foods, including soy, gluten from wheat, and casein from milk, are absorbed through the inflamed, leaky intestinal wall instead of being eliminated with bowel movements. These partially digested proteins are now broken down inside the body and their toxic by-products can cross the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system, affecting speech centers and other sensitive areas of the brain. So, what can be done to help and heal our children’s nervous systems? First, I support rhythmic, harmonious, non-competitive movement activities like walking, hiking, and swimming. I support movement therapies that strengthen balance, proprioception, and touch. These movement therapies that help integrate the child’s sensory system must be gentle and slow. Care must be taken not to further activate the sympathetic (“stress”) nervous system. If the movement therapies are done too quickly or too competitively, then pathways can’t form. The child needs to be relaxed, utilizing the parasympathetic nervous system in order

to make new pathways. The child needs to be fully engaged in the moment, full of love and enthusiasm for what he or she is doing. Movement therapies cannot be done like a recipe or from a list. The therapist needs to be present to the child’s movement and fully engaged with the child in a loving way so that child can relax, move, and create neuro-pathways. Next, it is time to stop medicating our children with stimulants. These stimulant medications may dampen or inhibit pathways competing for a child’s attention, but we still don’t know what these drugs do to that child’s future capacity for learning. I also support an educational environment that teaches our children about the world using all of their senses including vision, hearing, and especially hands-on learning experiences. Our culture and even some educational institutions, with their reliance on television, computers, and video games for teaching, are not developing our children’s minds and senses. Competitive sports for the very young child over-stimulate and activate the “stress” nervous system. Sugar-filled foods, a lack of essential omega-3 fatty acids (found in cod liver oil, fish, walnuts, flax seed oil, algae, dark green leafy vegetables, and breast milk), inadequate sleep, a sedentary lifestyle (where children ride in cars instead of walking) are all making it hard for children’s neurological pathways to be myelinated and formed. In addition, toxins in our environment, including mercury in some of our vaccinations, also may affect these sensitive pathways. It is time to stop labeling our children and putting them on medications that alter their neuro-hormone levels. It is time to slow down and focus on being in the present moment. It is time to promote a healthy lifestyle including nutritious foods, adequate sleep, and turning off televisions, videos, and computers. It is time to provide lots of healthy rhythmic movement activities for our children to do at home, in school, and out in nature. It is time to start healing our children.

Susan R. Johnson, MD, FAAP, is a behavioral and developmental pediatrician in private practice in Colfax, CA. She is a certified Waldorf Teacher with additional training in sensory-motor integration and is also trained in Anthroposophical Medicine. She is a mother of one son. Dr. Johnson can be reached at: www.youandyourchildshealth.org For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

pathways | issue 21




special section

A

starting POINT

Can anyone help me? There is nothing more devastating to a parent than hearing that his or her child has a problem. With the prevalence of autism and the spectrum disorders hitting 1 in 150 children in the United States, the delivery of this devastating news is becoming a commonplace occurrence. Once parents recover from their initial shock and denial, a general sense of urgency sets in to find the right physician to help their child. Unfortunately, after being informed that there is no known cause of autism, they learn that there is no medical treatment for autism. By Michael A. Gruttadauria, DC, DACAN

10

pathways | issue 21


For healthcare providers, we have a message that’s pretty direct about autism. And the message is: The 4-year-old with autism was once a 3-year-old with autism, who was once a 2-year-old with autism. —Dr. Jose Cordero, Director of the National Center on Birth

© istockphoto.com / matthew porter

Understanding Autism There is (and always has been) a lot of confusion as to what autism and the autistic spectrum disorders are. This starts with a significant problem with the way autism is classified; autism is considered a ‘mental disorder.’ Since it has been classified as such since the 1940s, most physicians learn little to nothing about it. Its classification further breaks down symptoms of autism as impaired social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and problems communicating. With these ‘defining characteristics,’ it is no wonder that these children are placed into a structured special learning environment accompanied by behavior modification with little to no medical intervention. I understand autism to be a biochemical and neurological problem that alters the way the brain and body develop, and eventually results in the social, behavioral, and communication problems that these individuals experience. These characteristics are symptoms, and the result of a multi-system breakdown that went undiagnosed. We have let an entire generation of children slip through our fingertips and it is time to mobilize to get them back. If the top three defining characteristics were under-connected brain circuitry, chronic gastrointestinal dysfunction, and underlying autoimmune and inflammatory processes, we would see a very different treatment criteria established for autism. In fact, based on the research, these three things are the true problems of autism which eventually lead to cognitive impairments. Spectrum of Extremes People on the autistic spectrum are so individually different. Some are ‘high-functioning,’ some are ‘low-functioning.’ Some cannot talk at all, while some talk early. Some exhibit extreme sensory-based behaviors (stims) and some don’t. Some are highly intelligent; while others may have IQs lower than 50. Some are considered ‘mildly affected,’ and some are ‘severely

affected.’ Some have vestibular or motor planning problems, and some are athletic. The list goes on. With All of the Differences Between Individuals, What Do People with Autism Have In Common? Whether you have a diagnosis of autism, PDD-NOS or Aspergers Syndrome, all people with autistic spectrum disorders seem to have one thing in common: a core deficit. Autistic spectrum disorders arise from a bio-neurological condition— a weakness in a child’s biochemical and neurological development. They seem to go hand-in-hand and both need to be evaluated for and treated as early as possible. All individuals with autism have these weaknesses in varying degrees. Based on my clinical experience, the neurological common denominator appears to be the brainstem. The brainstem is at the center of a myriad of vital body functions that involve most of the organ systems of the body. The list of vital functions is long and encompasses many of the problems we see in autism, including anxiety, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal problems, vestibular disorders, motor coordination challenges, and more. These functions are predominantly autonomic (without conscious control) and arise from a structurally intricate system of neuronal networks. If there is a problem in the brainstem, information coming from the body to the brain is altered and from the brain to the body is changed as well. The basis for the biochemical problems is found in the genes. Actually, this is an interesting and sometimes confusing concept. When people talk about genetics, they are usually referring to the ‘written in stone’ aspects of who we are. For example, we are genetically predetermined to have a certain hair color, eye color, and body type. However, this is not the area of genetics associated with autism. A specific chromosomal abnormality can be identified when a disorder is considered genetic. For example, an extra chromosome

21 causes Down Syndrome. To date, there has not been a clear ‘genetic defect’ that accounts for autism. So how can there be a genetic problem if there are no chromosomal defects? The answer lies in a relatively new field called Epigenetics: the environment’s impact on our genome. There have been changes to our genes as a result of our environment changing and sometimes these changes can cause sickness and disease. These changes are very commonly seen after exposure to certain toxins, including heavy metals, pesticides, and plastics. The DNA in your genes are actually working in every cell in your body every second of the day, guiding all the cellular activities that make up your chemistry. Altered function in your DNA will cause an alteration in your biochemistry, which leads to altered human function. This is the case in autism. What Can I Do? Mainstream vs. ‘Alternative’ Therapies Therapies are usually considered ‘mainstream’ when they are recommended by a medical doctor and have research behind them. Due to the aforementioned situation that outlined the classification of autism and the mental characteristics associated with it, any therapy outside of psychological intervention and learning and behavioral approaches are considered ‘alternative.’ This way of thinking must change immediately, because anything designed to treat the cause of the problem is not considered a mainstream therapy. Most intervention approaches for autism are education-based and teach scripted behaviors that have limited value in many real-life interactions. For example, a child may be taught a strategy for how to approach another child to engage in play. However, rehearsed strategies do not give a child the ability to participate in the spontaneous, highly fluid peer interactions of even a simple playground environment. While they clearly have benefit, even the most widely used and most intensive ‘mainstream’ intervention pathways | issue 21

11


© istockphoto.com / matthew porter

special section

What Should You Do Immediately? This is very straight forward: you have to increase the things that your child is not getting enough of and reduces the things that your child has too much of. Things that usually need to increase:

Things that usually need to decrease:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

overall nutritional content in food specific B vitamins antioxidants healthy fats (Omega fatty acids) amino acids probiotics methylation co-factors specific sensory stimulation multi-sensory stimulation gross motor training core muscle strengthening vestibular (balance) exercise fine motor training activities of daily living socialization with other children of different abilities • exposure to new environments • needs-based educational programs

methods have not demonstrated what is needed most: the ability to produce independence and a high quality of life for people with autism. Having language and intelligence are critically important, but they are not enough. Unfortunately, even those children who speak well and do well in school are at high risk for failure in life. The National Autistic Society (NAS) of Great Britain conducted a study of high functioning adults with Aspergers Syndrome and autism in 2001. The researchers followed hundreds of young adults on the autism spectrum who had high IQs and good language skills. Fifty percent of these bright individuals went on to higher education after high school. Yet, at the time of the study: •

Only 12% were employed

Only 3% could live independently

More than 65% had almost no social contact outside of their family

None were married or involved in a significant emotional relationship

12

pathways | issue 21

environmental toxins conventional household cleaners wheat in the diet dairy products other potential food allergens excess sugar excitotoxins in diet hydrogenated fats exposure to construction materials

In my opinion, ‘mainstream’ evaluation and treatment of ASDs are archaic, and the prognosis for quality of life for people on the spectrum continues to remain poor. The only acceptable approach involves a clinical intervention program that addresses the debilitating core deficits of autism. If you can resolve the bio-neuro dysfunction, more normal neurological organization happens. Neurological organization is a physiological condition that describes the maturing connections and activities of the brain. This orderly progression begins around the 12th week of embryological life and reaches its maximum potential at approximately 6 to 7 years of age. The highest center in the brain, the cerebral cortex, will eventually develop laterally and create responsibilities for each of its hemispheres. This laterality is critical to sensory function and language, and supersedes all other neurological development. When it occurs properly, the left or right cortical hemisphere becomes dominant and a person demonstrates handedness— a preference for using his/her right or left hand. This usually signifies that all lower neural requirements have been met. It is no wonder that most children with autism have mixed-handedness! The process of neural organization is an interdependent continuum: if lower levels are incomplete, all succeeding higher levels are affected. Getting this process “on track” can allow for cognitive and behavioral development to take place.

Your child has his or her own unique potential. You and everyone who works with your child must believe in his ability to learn, grow and have a bright future. This is a fight for your child between you and autism. With early, appropriate, and intensive intervention most children experience improvement ranging from mild changes to complete recovery. The degree of recovery a child experiences depends primarily on his or her unique potential, combined with the parents’ willingness to do whatever it takes. In conclusion, there is a lot that you can do to help your child. First, align yourself with a healthcare professional that understands the spectrum and be aggressive. Surround yourself with a group of like-minded people. Read and learn everything you can about autism. Never give up.

Michael A. Gruttadauria, DC, DACAN, is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist with a practice focused on Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Plainview, NY. He is also the father of two children diagnosed on the spectrum. He can be reached at www.lispectrum.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/ references.html


HOPE FOR AUTISM

BioNutritional Training Conference & 2009 International Vaccine Risk Symposium

We Are the Re-Generation

www.familiesforconsciousliving.org FCL Membership Benefits Include:

May 15-17, 2009 • Charleston, SC

The American Chiropractic Autism Board is hosting a combination three-day conference on May 15-17, 2009 to be held in beautiful Charleston, SC.

Create Your Own Community Group! Toll-free number 1-(866)-530-8279

• An annual complimentary subscription to Pathways— you’re holding it! • Monthly FCL e-newsletter • Monthly Family Wellness First e-newsletter, for headline news • Monthly tele-conferences with authors and activists • Monthly Community Group Facilitator Tele-conference Orientations and Training • Discounts to FCL and other nonprofit partners events • Community Groups have their own webpage for contact and event information posting

On May 15, 2009, - “The 2009 International Vaccine Risk Symposium” will bring together some of the best medical minds of our times who will validate and expose the latest research on the risks of vaccines. With the increasing public awareness of conflicting vaccine opinions, this information is critical for every healthcare provider and parent. May 16 – 17, 2009, ACAB presents “Hope for Autism”. This conference equips chiropractors to responsibly address autism, ADD, learning disabilities and other neurolodevelopmental problems using BioNutritional Care. Doctors of chiropractic that complete the training conference may be added to the ACAB’s online referral directory. 26 hours CCE credit available.

www.bionutritionalcare.com

AUTISM ONE 2009 MAY 20-24 Westin O’Hare Hotel, Chicago HOPE IS REAL. RECOVERY IS REAL. OUR CHILDREN GET BETTER.

MAIN CONFERENCE

PRE-CONFERENCE DAYS

(Thursday Evening, May 21 – Sunday, May 24) With over 100 presenters you will learn from the leading researchers, scientists, educators, and parents about the most effective treatments and therapies to help your child. The main conference covers topics in 5 content areas:

(Wednesday, May 20 & Thursday, May 21) The pre-conference days feature half- and full-day workshops geared toward providing the type of hands-on training and in-depth education you need to immediately begin applying what you learn.

• • • • •

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE: •

We have helped thousands of children by educating parents, practitioners and

• • •

others about treating the underlying

biomedical conditions of autism. Given

• •

the proper biomedical treatments and behavioral therapies our children get better—many recover.

Biomedical treatments Behavior/education/communication therapies Complementary and alternative medicine Adolescence/adulthood Government/legal/personal issues

Autism Team Forum with Dr. Jeff Bradstreet An Afternoon with Dr. Amy Yasko Language Seminar/Think Tank Residential Think Tank Environmental Symposium Elias Tembenis Seizures Think Tank Dr.Yasko Practitioner Training Vaccine Education Seminar

Classes include: • Art of Cooking Special Diets • Beginning Biomed - In Spanish! • Beyond a GF/CF Diet • CARD Feeding Clinic • First Responders Training • Mom’s Health & Happiness Day • The Miracle Project • Special Education Law Day

SPECIAL 2-DAY TRAINING PROGRAMS (Thursday, May 21– Friday, May 22) Defeat Autism Now! Practitioner Training Elizabeth Birt Center for Legal & Advocacy Training MORE. MORE. MORE: Movies, Mentor Moms, Arts Festival, Spa Night and more.

Please visit www.autismone.org to see the possibilities. Contact via email: info@autismone.org or call Ed at 714.680.0792


wellness lifestyle

The Great Measles

Misunderstanding Before the advent of the measles vaccine, a dozen or so cases of measles would have been considered, well, too measly to make the headlines. That is because we all got the measles when we were kids. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers anyone born before 1957 to be immune to the measles.

By Darrel Crain, DC

pathways | issue 21

© istockphoto.com / stefanie timmermann

14

“Before a vaccine was available, infection with measles virus was nearly universal during childhood with more than 90 percent of persons immune by age 15 years,” according to the CDC’s Pink Book. We baby boomers were apparently the last generation whose doctors, and therefore parents, accepted the measles as just one more annoying rite of passage of childhood that also happened to prime the immune system and provide lifelong immunity. Medical texts prior to the advent of the vaccine described measles as a benign, selflimiting childhood infectious disease that posed little risk to the average well-nourished child. All of that changed about 40 years ago when health authorities decreed the need to eradicate the measles, and so began The Great Measles Massacre. The recent measles outbreak in Southern California provide an opportunity to review how effective the overall strategy of measles eradication has been so far. First of all, measles-related deaths had already declined over 90 percent from the early 1900s by the time the measles vaccine came on the scene. The combination of steadily improving standards of living, better nutrition, antiseptic medical care, and effective sanitation achieved this remarkable advance in public health in the “pre-vaccine” era.


One of the first measles vaccines administered on a large scale was the inactivated or “killed” measles vaccine (KMV). The CDC’s Pink Book reports that “an estimated 600,000 to 900,000 persons” in the United States were injected with KMV from 1963 to 1967, before it was finally withdrawn. The incredibly vague record of how many people received the shot is a bit unsettling, but what’s truly disturbing is how such a harmful and ineffective vaccine got approved and recommended in the first place. “KMV sensitized the recipient to measles virus antigens without providing protection,” the Pink Book tells us. After exposure to natural measles, vast numbers of people vaccinated with KMV contracted atypical measles, an autoimmune disorder consisting of very high fevers, unusual rashes, pneumonia, and pleural edema. The really big campaign against measles began with the live virus vaccine, which arrived in 1971 as a component of the threevirus MMR shot (measles, mumps, rubella). The public was assured that this vaccine was different, it was safe and would provide lifetime immunity. Alas, these predictions proved a bit premature. “An outbreak of measles occurred in a high school with a documented vaccination level of 98 per cent,” reported the American Journal of Public Health, April 1987. “We conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune,” according to The New England Journal of Medicine, March 1987. By the mid-1990s, substantial vaccine failures prompted our health leaders to declare a booster MMR shot necessary for all. Once again, it was promised this would confer lifetime immunity. Since no actual lifetime data was available at the time, this prediction was presumably made using FDA-approved crystal ball technology. Today, the number of reported measles cases is down considerably, and we are assured this means we have successfully massacred the measles. Unfortunately, such a one-dimensional analysis fails to tell the whole story. Not all is well with the MMR vaccine. Before widespread vaccination against measles, young babies were not at risk of measles because they acquired immunity through the mother’s blood. Adults were not at risk because most of us gained lifelong immunity as a child. Both these groups are now susceptible to measles and both have greater risk of severe disease and complications. This is described as an “unintended outcome” of measles vaccination. And there is another unforeseen problem. “The vaccination-induced measles virus antibodies decline in the absence of natural booster infections. It is important to follow how long the protection achieved by the present vaccine program will last after elimination of indigenous measles,” reported the journal Vaccine, December 1998. This raises the question: What will happen as we eventually succeed in replacing natural measles with vaccine measles? David Levy, of Montefiore Medical Center in New York created a

computer model to answer that question: “…despite short-term success in eliminating the disease, long-range projections demonstrate that the proportion of susceptibles in the year 2050 may be greater than in the pre-vaccine era.” In other words, according to Levy’s prediction, we are in for higher rates of infection than we started with, spread throughout age groups at greater risk. Currently, whenever there is an “outbreak” of measles (defined by the CDC as at least two infections from the same source), health officials leap into action. First and foremost, parents are told to drop everything and make sure their child gets a booster shot. Whether or not giving the booster actually helps is uncertain since few studies have ever examined the outcome of this practice. One such investigation however, was carried out during a measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated secondary school population

Is there anything that has been scientifically proven to protect the health of children infected with measles? The simple act of supplementing with vitamin A has repeatedly been shown effective in clinical trials all around the globe to reduce the severity of infection and slash measles death rates. and reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, November 1996. The authors of the study concluded, “Administration of a second dose of vaccine during the outbreak was not protective.” Is there anything that has been scientifically proven to protect the health of children infected with measles? The simple act of supplementing with vitamin A has repeatedly been shown effective in clinical trials all around the globe to reduce the severity of infection and slash measles death rates. This suggests that our health leaders should be promoting vitamin A as a first line of defense to protect children in this country, since measles deaths in the United States have always been clustered in impoverished, malnourished populations. Measles outbreaks predictably spawn newspaper editorials portraying parents who choose to not vaccinate their children as unwitting dupes of anti-vaccine zealots, with the inevitable call to end parents’ right to waive vaccination. The fact that vaccineinduced health disorders have been widely reported in the medical literature suggests that the writers of the editorials, not the parents, are the ones who have not done their homework. British vaccine expert witness Jayne Donegan, MD, is a parent who has spent years researching vaccines. She concludes, “I vaccinated both my children with the MMR jab, but this was before I

pathways | issue 21

15


wellness lifestyle The history of vaccination against measles is replete with tragic health-damaging errors, unanticipated negative outcomes, and a misplaced faith that mass vaccination is the unquestioned master plan.

started my research into the problems associated with it. Knowing what I know now, I would not vaccinate my children and run the risk of them getting diabetes, asthma, eczema, becoming more susceptible to meningitis, and ending up chronically disabled.” Which brings up what is likely the most dramatic advance emerging in healthcare today: the potential to restore the health of vaccine-damaged children using biomedical principles of nutrition and detoxification. You might think that the CDC would be blazing the trail to promote this approach that is helping so many children. Instead we hear the relentless drone of denial that such a path even exists. By the way, if you’ve been waiting for the FDA to step in and re-investigate the enormous safety issues that have cropped up regarding the MMR and other vaccines, you’ll have to take a number and get in line. All three FDA employees in charge of food and drug safety are reportedly busy chasing down a small company found to be printing unproven health claims on their labels for food products made from cherries. “The FDA will not tolerate unsubstantiated health claims that may mislead consumers,” said Margaret Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will pursue necessary legal action to make sure companies and their executives manufacture and distribute safe, truthfully labeled products to consumers,” according to an FDA press release. This impressive new declaration by the FDA that it will begin demanding truthful labeling is a breath of fresh air. It may help us move toward actual informed consent in medicine. And since we’re on the subject of measles, I propose the following new label for the MMR vaccine vial: “This product contains substances known by the United States Government to cause harm to human beings, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, neuro-developmental diseases,

16

pathways | issue 21

and allergies. Genetically susceptible individuals injected with this vaccine are known to suffer enterocolitis, nerve system dysfunction, and autism. Antibodies in the bloodstream provoked by the vaccine do not necessarily confer protection from natural measles. Paradoxically, in order for this vaccine to work at all, you must come in contact with natural measles virus from time to time. The maker of this product cannot be prosecuted for any disability or death caused by the vaccine to you or your babies, and good luck trying to sue the government instead.” At last count there were about seventeen jillion governmentand vaccine industry-funded journal articles claiming to disprove any possible link between vaccination and autism. With each new report, the medical community has harrumphed loudly that this one, finally, is the definitive study that will lay to rest forever any foolish questions of vaccine safety. Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, notes that no amount of reporting on cherrypicked data mined from old medical records does any good to erase our current epidemic of profoundly sick children. “Using pencils and calculators to dismiss causal associations between vaccines and chronic diseases is easier than having to look at real live patients or study what happens to their blood, urine, eyes, brain, colons, etc. after vaccination.” Has the time come to rename the whole measles eradication enterprise as The Great Measles Misunderstanding? The federal government has now conceded what thousands of parents have known for years: vaccination can trigger a regression into autism in genetically susceptible children. This is a vital first step. Perhaps our health leaders will now begin asking the hard questions they have been avoiding for so long, beginning with how and why we wage war on childhood infectious disease. Next time you read an editorial that castigates parents for choosing to avoid vaccination, keep in mind that one day soon the same writer may instead be writing words of gratitude. Those who volunteer to skip the vaccine are benefiting us all by keeping the pool of circulating natural measles alive and well.

Darrel Crain, DC, is a family chiropractor and natural health writer who lives and practices in the beautiful foothills of San Diego in Alpine, CA. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html


There’s no better feeling than holding your baby close!

Snuggling, rocking, comforting, sharing, nurturing… joined at the heart. Benefits of babywearing: • Helps soothe fussy babies • Simulates the prenatal experience, including mother’s heartbeat, warmth, and rhythm • Enables wearer to continue daily activities • Fosters independence • Makes breastfeeding convenient • Simply put, a parent wearing a baby sacrifices nothing and gains everything – freedom, closeness, and the immeasurable benefit of a happy, confident baby.


nutrition

Are Food Allergies Linked to Autism? By Sidney MacDonald Baker, MD

What does it mean to be sensitive? We all know what it feels like to have sunburned skin or a reaction to the sound of chalk on a blackboard and we can empathize with children who are involved in a more global sensitivity. But we scientists still do not understand what happens at the cellular or molecular level to change a person’s reactivity from normal to sensitive. Even the words we use—“hypersensitive,” “allergic,” “intolerant,” “hyper-reactive”—do not have precise definitions. Many physicians, however, would quibble if we were to say that “autistic children are allergic” as opposed to “allergic children are sensitive.” Discovery of the behavioral allergy connection I was such a physician. Twenty-five years ago, a child psychiatrist sent me Martin Zelson for evaluation of his seasonal behavioral

18

pathways | issue 21

deterioration. Martin was on the verge of being thrown out of a school program where he was in a group with other school-aged children with severe developmental and behavioral problems, mostly in the autistic spectrum. Martin was aggressive, hyperactive, and destructive. Evaluation and treatment of Martin’s inhalant and food sensitivities resulted in a major improvement so that he was able to benefit more from his school program and participate in family activities that would have previously been impossible. His allergic responses were cognitive and behavioral in the absence of the kinds of symptoms we usually associate with allergies: stuffiness, eczema, wheezing, itching, etc. Three decades in practice revealed how common allergies are with children As it turns out, I have learned in the past three decades that Martin was not an exception. Most children with his kinds of problems—and including children with all sorts of attention problems—have hypersensitivity to foods and inhalants. Physicians who have taken a close look not just at their histories and allergy test results but at their biochemistry and immune systems now recognize that they tend to be in a state of inappropriate immune activation.

© istockphoto.com / s.p. rayner

c

hildren with autism are sensitive. Of the thousands of children I have known in thirty years as a doctor, the few hundred with problems in the spectrum related to autism stand out as the most distinctively sensitive of them all. Touching, tasting, hearing, smelling, and seeing involve an enterprise that is not only characterized by difficulties in processing and organization but is also involves a heightened, often painful, sensitivity.


Are you unknowingly feeding your child foods that cause or aggravate autistic symptoms? Autism is not caused by allergy, and yet... Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that “autism is caused by allergy.” I am saying that children who have problems in the autistic spectrum (as well as children who have significant attention problems) are sensitive not just in the area of their senses, but also in their immune system’s reaction to the environment. This association is a lot easier for me to understand if I look at the central nervous system (CNS) and immune systems from a functional, as opposed to an anatomical, point of view. Anatomically, the CNS and immune systems are quite distinct. One is made up of stationary, long-branching, permanent cells with a compact headquarters between one’s ears. The other is made up of a disseminated population of short-lived mobile cells with no specific organ to call home. Pick up any textbook of anatomy, physiology, or pathology: the CNS and immune system chapters are widely separated as are the experts who wrote the chapters. From the way I see it, however, they work as a functional unit. An important hidden link between the CNS and immune system Look at it this way: the cells of both systems arise from the same origin in the neural crest of the embryo. Both systems contain the only cells of our bodies that exist as permanent, undividing cells from infancy to old age. (Such long-lived cells are a subset of lymphocytes, the otherwise ephemeral cells of the immune system.) Both systems have the job of perceiving the environment. The CNS takes in the big world of our senses, our every day cognitive experience. The immune system takes in the microscopic or molecular world of that has to do with “sensing” the constant presence of friendly or unfriendly cells (such as cancer), germs, food molecules, and toxins. The chemistry of the immune system’s perception of its environment is not very different from our nose smelling bread baking in the oven. However, we have a direct experience of the bread while our immune system only makes us aware of its activities when something seems to be quite wrong, and the message that something is wrong may be delayed or obscure. The memory of your fifth birthday party when your friend Jeffrey spilled purple juice all over your new sneakers is in your CNS. That same week, when the doctor gave you your shot against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, the enduring memory of the “taste” of those germs was evoked in your immune system where it remains today. The birthday and the immunization are stored differently in you body, but functionally they are come under the same heading: perception and memory. Another important link between the CNS and immune system Perception and memory are the basis for recognition. “Recognition” is a term we use interchangeably to describe the day to day activities of both our CNS and our immune systems. Finally, both of these two systems share the capacity for this mysterious process called sensitization, which is, in a way, an inconvenient or

painful alteration of the memory and recognition process. Viewed from this perspective, it is not surprising that children who have problems taking in and processing the world express that problem on both the cognitive and immune levels. They are really just different aspects of the same underlying mysterious disorder. We try to help our children organize and integrate their cognitive world by imposing a certain simplified order. Such order may take the form of repetitive behavioral and linguistic exercises or efforts to modify responses to sensory input (i.e., desensitization). On the immune level we try to impose a simplified order by avoidance of, or desensitization to, offending foods and inhalants. This applies whether the mechanism of the reaction to foods, for example, is “allergic” within the academic definition of the word or “intolerant” within a notion that covers a variety of mechanisms, including the mischief caused by certain peptides derived from gluten and casein. Helping a picky, hypersensitive child So you have a picky kid. Your job is to help him or her learn better picking. If he or she chooses to limit his or her activities to monotonous behavior, you try to broaden his or her cognitive experience by picking and presenting other, more useful, kinds of stimuli. If he or she is sensitive to tastes, touch, smells, sights, or sounds, you take steps to help him or her integrate and become less painfully sensitive to these stimuli. If your kid’s immune system is picky, your job is to find the stimuli that are bothersome, and present ones that are not mischievous. How important is the food allergy link to children? When you have lots of other things to think about, should you change the diet of a child who has decided to live on french fries, smooshed bagels, chocolate milk, pretzels, Twinkies and diet coke, rejecting all alternatives with an iron will? Yup! And when you get over the hump, you are likely to be rewarded with changes in sleep, behavior, attention and “sensitivity” that make the struggle worth it. There are several ways of checking for food allergy. Trial and error changes in diet are probably the most important diagnostic tool. Sidney MacDonald Baker, MD, is cofounder of the Defeat Autism Now! Protocol, associate editor of Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, and the creator and founder of Medigenesis.com. He has written many books including the Autism Research Institute’s publication Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments and he is one of the leading clinicians in the field of autism. Dr. Baker is currently in private practice in New York with an interest in nutritional, biochemical, and environmental aspects of chronic illness particularly children with developmental problems. For additional resources and references visit www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

pathways | issue 21

19


family living

Understanding Parents of Children with Autism I dedicate this article to parents of children with autism and the friends and families who support them unconditionally. For most parents of children with autism, discovering their child has the disorder is an overwhelmingly traumatic

environment, the abundance of services that the child receives may dramatically alter the family’s entire way of life.

By Michelle Gabrielle Centamore

20

pathways | issue 21

background image Š istockphoto.com / photo in hand courtesy of jani pearson

experience. In addition to fears that their child may never fit well into a mainstream


It’s the little things that count. When a parent of a child with

Photo Courtesy of Hala Kiridly

Although they may never say it, parents of children with autism may appreciate the following kinds of support:

Don’t offer advice if you lack knowledge or experience. While some parents may yearn to hear that what their child is doing is “typical,” others may get frustrated when they constantly hear this during family gatherings, play dates, etc. Making such statements too much may actually cause parents to feel atypical, regardless of your good intentions. If a child with autism has a meltdown and the parent is reassured by Sally’s father, “Oh, Sally has meltdowns, that’s typical,” this can be misinterpreted as minimizing what the parents and their child with autism have gone through. With a possible 40 hours per week of intensive services for several years, trying to get their five-year-old child down to six meltdowns per day from twenty is simply not typical. That being said, although children with autism are described as developing atypically compared to other children, they can perform typical actions and display typical behavior. The goal is to help children with autism learn how to fit into a mainstream environment.

Don’t hold a grudge at a cancellation. Managing services for a child with autism is a full time job. It’s not like taking one child to school and then soccer, etc. It’s that, plus speech at one place, physical therapy and/or occupational therapy at another, special education services at home or school, and maybe more. It’s the 24/7 evaluation of the child’s development. If the parent of a child with autism has other children and/or another job, fitting in a social, adults-only date may be impossible, especially without a childcare provider who can manage their child. What those parents may need most is to know that they have friends and relatives who want to see them but are forgiving if it doesn’t happen. You could also show support by traveling to them instead of having them go to you.

Don’t judge a child by his poor behavior and his parents by their response. You may never know why the child at the restaurant is screaming. If he has autism, it may be caused by the sound of spilled dishes crashing to the floor or because the table he always sits at is unavailable or because the lighting just isn’t working for him that day. Don’t roll your eyes at those parents as they try to calm their child. Parents of children with autism need to take their children out in public to help them overcome their challenges or fears. It becomes much more trying for them to do that if they get icy stares from spectators.

autism becomes ecstatic because their child builds a seven-block tower at the age of three, goes down the slide unassisted for the first time at four years old, or, at the age of five finally says, “Mama,” share her enthusiasm. These are milestones that most likely took a team—parents, educators and especially the child with autism—to accomplish.

Teach your child to be compassionate and accepting of others; lead by example. Do not talk down to a child with autism, whether he is your own or someone else’s. Like any other developing child, children with autism deserve respect and appreciation for their skills and talents, and deserve positive feedback in spite of their challenges. Children with autism do have feelings just like any other child. Do not take the role of teacher in his parents’ presence. Teach your own child through your kind words and disposition that every child is different and has something unique to offer a relationship, that all children are “special.” All parents are faced with challenges throughout their child’s development; none need to be compared to others. Parents of children with autism know that they are not the only ones with challenges; however, it can be difficult for them to endure parents of typically-developing children who act as if they are. Many parents of children with autism begin parenthood with a heavy heart and rigorPhoto Courtesy of Jani Pearson ous schedule of therapy…it is just not typical. Their dreams of taking their little ones on a whim for a carefree excursion are shattered with a diagnosis of autism. These parents fight hard for their child and for their family to experience a typical way of life, a goal that may include their child simply having at least one true friend to call their own. You can be a “friend” to parents of children with autism by supporting them unconditionally, forgiving them for forgetfulness, tardiness, or lack of free time. You can be their friend simply by listening or being there when needed, just like you know they would do for you.

Michelle Gabrielle Centamore is an experienced journalist with a passion for writing to the hearts and souls of parents. She is married with three children. Michelle can be reached at mgabrielle@verizon. net. View article references and author information here: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

pathways | issue 21

21


mind-body-spirit

The Power of a

Child’s Imagination By Patti Teel

Visualization can help children sleep, improve their health and attain their goals

22

pathways | issue 21

Most people have used creative visualization their entire lives, long before they knew there was a name for it. Children have vivid imaginations and creative visualization usually comes quite naturally to them. However, because we have so many ready-made images from such sources as TV, computers, video games, etc., it is more important than ever to encourage and provide opportunities for our children to use their imaginations. When using creative visualization with your children, start by providing the structure—taking your son or daughter on an imaginary journey. I think of it as interactive storytelling, your child experiences the story as if he or she is truly living it. Later, your children will come up with their own ideas and pictures, seeing or imagining them in their “dream minds.” Visualization skills are enhanced through practice, and before you know it, your child will be effortlessly visualizing scenarios of his own choosing as he drifts off to sleep. Some people think that visualization is ineffective for them if they don’t actually ‘see’ images in their minds. Most children are able to actually see images; however, even if they don’t, the process is still useful. If children (or adults) can remember events that have already happened, then they have the ability to visualize, creating something in their imaginations that is not happening in the here and now. It’s conjuring for the sheer purpose of making you feel good. I call the blurred time between awake and asleep, “twilight time,” a perfect time to use creative visualization. We give our sons and daughters a precious gift when we teach them to treasure this magical time. During “twilight time,” the conscious mind is relaxed enough to be carried away with a freedom not typically experienced in a totally awakened state. At this point children have actually entered a meditative state; their brain waves are operating at a slow enough rate (often called the theta state) to facilitate creative visualization


When you dream, you are free…to be the things you want to be. When you dream, you are free…to see the things you want to see. Sometimes in my dreams I fly, through the starry, starry sky. When I see the moon I laugh, it’s a great big bed for the tall giraffe.

and sleep. As a child, long before I’d heard of the term “visualization,” I would move seamlessly from my nightly visualization into a dream; in effect choosing the opening scene of the evening’s first dream. As children thoroughly relax and the line between asleep and awake fades, their visualizations may gradually transform into dreams. This is also a time when positive affirmations and thoughts can be extremely powerful as they enter a child’s subconscious mind more easily. It is very effective to intersperse positive thoughts and affirmations throughout a visualization. Be sure to focus the attention of these statements and affirmations on what you want for your child, rather than what you don’t want. For instance, if your child has been sick, naturally you hope he (or she) gets well. It’s important that the statements and affirmations that you choose focus on wellness, rather than on not wanting to be sick. This may seem inconsequential; however, by focusing on what is not wanted, rather than what is wanted, you may inadvertently be inviting it into your life. We help our children to create their own experiences by encouraging them to visualize or imagine themselves obtaining their heart’s desire. By imagining that they already have what they desire, children will allow it and welcome it into their reality. Pure desire is a wonderful thing: it is a feeling of expectation and anticipation. Parents sometimes ask me if visualizing the attainment of goals teaches children to expect them without putting forth the necessary effort. In fact, the opposite is true. By focusing on what they want, children will be drawn to the opportunities and experiences that will bring them closer to their goals. People often confuse desire with yearning, which focuses on not having what we desire. One of the easiest ways to differentiate yearning from desire is to pay attention to how it feels. Desire brings forth joy, eagerness, and expectation while yearning is likely to be associated with feelings of discouragement and pessimism.

Dubbed “The Dream Maker” by People magazine, Patti Teel is the creator of an award winning relaxation audio series for children and the author of The Floppy Sleep Game Book, which gives parents techniques to help their children relax, deal with stress, or fall asleep. She is a popular speaker and presents innovative workshops for parents, children, and health professionals. Patti Teel’s website (www.pattiteel.com) provides R&R tips and a free newsletter. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html


chiropractic for life

a biomechanical approach

pathways | issue 21

So frequently are behavioral and developmental disorders addressed through a variety of behavioral and chemical approaches that the significance of the biomechanical aspects of these conditions can be underestimated. This article introduces the importance of the nervous system with its biomechanical relationships to the spine and cranium, and the noninvasive approaches of chiropractic and craniosacral therapy for the benefit of sensory, motor, and neurological function in individuals with ASD, PDD, and SPD. As a parent of a toddler with ASD, PDD, and SPD diagnoses, I sympathize with other parents’ drive to identify a cause and a solution. As a chiropractor with 14 years of experience and a fellowship in chiropractic pediatrics, and in pursuit of my certification in craniosacral therapy, I am additionally driven to identify a course of action that improves the structure and function of individuals with sensory,

image of boy Š istockphoto.com / graffismimo

to improve behavioral and developmental disorders

24

By Charles W Chapple, DC, FICPA


The central nervous system and its intimately related boney protection system are a profound link between a person’s external and internal environments, especially one with special needs.

motor, and neurological dysfunction with these diagnoses. In individuals with these special needs, an approach that naturally improves the bodies’ structure or biomechanics is an essential component to their functional, educational, behavioral, and emotional development, as well as to their quality of life. I have become aware of the many nuances and joys of viewing life through the eyes of a special-needs child. This experience has challenged me to further study and appreciate the significance of the body’s most important organ system, the central nervous system. According to Sharon Rosenbloom, SLP, author of Souls, Beneath and Beyond Autism and mother of a son on the autistic spectrum, even the DMSR (the manual for diagnosis of individuals with ASD) acknowledges mainly language, social, and behavioral variations, yet it minimizes sensory involvement. Recognizing the significance of sensory involvement with individuals with ASD, PDD, and SPD diagnoses is the essence of realizing the significance of the nervous system. The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and brain stem, the spinal cord, and the nerve attachments, which communicate with the body’s cells, tissues, muscles, and organs. Within just 18 days of conception, it is the first body system to develop. It evolves to encompass a communication network of more than 45 miles of nerves, which sends vital messages between the brain and body at rate of 325 mph. Within a 24-hour time frame, the communication of this system is responsible for more than 103,000 heart beats, 2,100 gallons of blood pumped, and more than 23,000 breaths, thus exercising about 7 million brain cells. The nervous system’s importance to the body is highlighted by the fact that it is incased in protective bone—the brain by the skull and the spinal cord by the spinal column. Furthermore, fluid flow, affected by the relationship between the sutures of the boney skull and the sacrum, as well as receptor input at the joints of the boney spinal column influence nervous system input. Therefore, improper biomechanics or body/boney mechanics can negatively impact the body’s nervous system

reception affecting the body sense of position (proprioception); motion, balance, muscle tone, coordination, motor planning, and auditory-language processing (vestibular sense); and touch perception (tactile sense) essential for academic learning, emotional security, and social skills. Even further-reaching are the effects of poor mechanics on pain perception (nociception), as well as on many other body functions through the specialized communication of the autonomic portion of the nervous system. The 12 cranial nerves located at the brain stem are additionally significant to the body’s effective and appropriate sense of smell, sight, taste, and hearing. This central nervous system and its intimately related boney protection system are a profound link between a person’s external and internal environments, especially one with special needs. This link is critical in enabling a person to interact with his or her surroundings and with others. Healthcare practitioners are challenged to quantify variations of this vital communication with individuals diagnosed with ASD, PDD, and SPD. In fact, conventional testing of neurology, such as an MRI, EEG, and varied genetic blood markers, may commonly appear unremarkable. However, in an effort to see the forest beyond the trees, or to identify improvements to be made in the function of the nervous system beyond a diagnosis, noninvasive analysis for nerve system stress (subluxations) performed by a doctor of chiropractic can yield productive information relevant to the care of these children. This author utilizes Infrared Thermography (IT) and/or Surface Electromyography (sEMG), as well as Digital Foot Scans as adjunct and illustrative tools for such analysis following a history, consultation, and examination. Infrared Thermography measures the imbalances in temperature along the spine. Whenever communication between the central nervous system and blood vessels is malfunctioning due to subluxations, definable differences in temperature are detected and identified by abnormal color patterns. Similar imbalances exist within the autonomic nervous system, which adversely affects organs and glands. Surface electromyography measures pathways | issue 21

25


chiropractic for life

Doctors of Chiropractic complete a postgraduate education similar to their medical colleagues, but with less emphasis on pharmacology and surgery. A chiropractic education further emphasizes anatomy, physiology, nutrition, immunology, biomechanics, and clinical proficiency all from a holistic perspective. Once licensed, many chiropractors pursue advanced certifications, in the areas of pediatrics, neurology, acupuncture, nutrition, sports, and holistic family wellness.

26

pathways | issue 21

tion of hypersensitivity is the avoidance of pressure or touch. (Hypersensitive individuals can present their own set of challenges when utilizing a hands-on treatment, such as chiropractic or CST. Frequently, parents and siblings help in defining a comfort zone for the hypersensitive individual.) A chiropractic adjustment restores more appropriate sensory, motor, and neurological input at the receptors of joints. Therefore, with either a hyposensitive or hypersensitive individual, one purpose of an adjustment is to turn up or down the volume of sensory input. It would then be reasonable for a parent or caregiver to note subjective gains, such as reduced sensory or motor stimulation, and for a chiropractor to document biomechanical improvements through re-examination or Thermography and sEMG. CST focuses on relieving undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord through light manual pressure at the cranium (skull) and sacrum (base of the spine). This craniosacral system is made up of the membranes and the cerebral spinal fluid, which serves to protect the central nervous system. Manually monitoring

photo courtesy of westwood family chiropractic

the effectiveness of motor nerves by measuring the amount of current located in the muscles. Subluxations disturb the operation of the motor nerve and thus are identified by abnormal color patterns produced by the sEMG. A digital foot scan is another noninvasive tool which further enables the doctor of chiropractic to evaluate individuals with altered gait and stance mechanics, such as toe-walking. Chiropractors identify the need for, and utilize, gentle pressure techniques, called adjustments, in order to remove subluxations. Subluxations are characterized by 1) irregular boney mechanics or spinal effects of poor mechanics on pain misalignments, 2) nerve imbalances, perception (nociception), 3) muscle irritation, 4) tissue inflammation, and 5) degenerative wear. The poor structure involved in a subluxation results in poor motor, sensory, and neurological function. An individual with subluxations may experience multiple health concerns ranging from, but not limited to, pain, asthma, bedwetting, digestive upset, neurological disorganization, attention deficit/hyperactivity, scoliosis, and spinal degeneration. To an individual with ASD, PDD, and SPD, subluxations could additionally manifest in numerous forms, possibly accentuating a hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity. Hyposensitivity is a symptom of a less active sensory portion of the nervous system; in essence, the volume to sensation is too low. Commonly, motor and other neurological functions are also hypoactive. Conversely, hypersensitivity is a symptom of an overactive sensory portion of the nervous system; the volume is too high. A principle indication of hyposensitivity is the craving for pressure, and a principle indica-


$IJSPQSBDUJD 5IF'PVOEBUJPO GPS'BNJMZ 8FMMOFTT

$IJSPQSBDUJD$BSFGPS$IJMESFOŠ 4BGF (FOUMF &GGFDUJWF its rhythm detects restrictions in this hydrostatic fluid system. As irregularities in cardiovascular and respiratory rhythm could indicate numerous health concerns, so, too, variations in the craniosacral rhythm could indicate any number of motor, sensory, or neurological impairments. A few examples of such conditions are migraines, chronic pain, fatigue, and learning disabilities. Similarly, following a course of CST treatment, both subjective and objective references would be monitored for expected improvements. CST practitioners are commonly massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical and occupational therapists. These healthcare providers also may pursue additional training in related techniques, including lymphatic drainage. Ultimately, a biomechanical approach to improve sensory, motor, and neurological function for these special-needs individuals can benefit from bioenergetic, biochemical/ nutritional, and bioemotional components. Within this complementary approach, which would ideally involve many separate healthcare practitioners and healthcare approaches, a person’s total health can be addressed. Furthermore, although chiropractic treatment and CST, either separately or shared, are not meant to be a cure for individuals with ASD, PDD, and SPD, functional, behavioral, emotional, and educational gains are legitimate goals whenever structure is improved and function follows.

7JTJUUIF*OUFSOBUJPOBM$IJSPQSBDUJD1FEJBUSJD "TTPDJBUJPOBOE'JOEB'BNJMZ$IJSPQSBDUPS

XXXJDQBLJETPSH 0VSEPDUPSTQSPWJEFTQFDJBMDBSFGPS JOGBOUT DIJMESFO BOEQSFHOBOUNPUIFST

Charles W. Chapple, DC, received a Bachelors degree in Biology before earning his Doctorate degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in 1991. Dr. Chapple holds postgraduate certifications in areas such as chiropractic pediatrics (ICPA, acupuncture, applied kinesiology, and spinal rehabilitation. His practice is in Roselle, IL, and can be reached at www.drchapple.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

She’ll love a gift subscription to Pathways. www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org


© istockphoto.com / aleaimage

© istockphoto.com / karen massier

pregnancy & birth

Common Obstetrical Procedures and Their Link to Autism By Jeanne Ohm, DC Birth today has become a technological experience where a

A

strengths. These drugs weaken the body’s ability to function

utism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed by a collection of symptoms that indicate neurological damage. The greatest causal relationship for neurological damage is oxygen deprivation in the fetus and newborn. This article will examine routine procedures in obstetrics that have significant adverse effects on the baby’s developing neurology. These neurological effects are considered contributing factors to the alarming rise in autism. Here are the most common, routine procedures in pregnancy and birth and the causes for concern.

and lead to even further interventions. The more interventions

Ultrasound

natural process has been replaced with artificial procedures and schedules. Without the necessary vitalistic support during pregnancy, women enter the birth process with fear and are led to rely on drugs instead of their bodies’ own natural

used in pregnancy and birth, the greater the risk of injury to both the mother and baby.

28

pathways | issue 21

In more than 30 years of its use, the frequency of this procedure has increased significantly despite warning signs of danger. As early as 1979, studies questioned the use of ultrasound and its potential effects on DNA and growth patterns. In 1987, a published study reported diagnostic levels of ultrasound disrupted myelination. The ultrasound intensities used in this study were consistent with those used for human imaging.


Another study in 1993 concluded that children exposed to ultrasound in utero were twice as likely to develop delayed speech and advised physicians to caution their patients about the vulnerability of the fetus to noxious agents. The use of ultrasound has dramatically increased in prenatal care. Its safety and efficacy remains highly questionable. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known.” In 2005, researchers reported, “Obstetric ultrasound should only be done for medical reasons, and exposure should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) because of the potential for tissue heating. Temperature increases in utero have been shown to cause damage to the developing central nervous system of the fetus.” One year later, a study warned exposure to ultrasound can affect fetal brain development. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference states, “Lack of risk has been assumed because no adverse effects have been demonstrated clearly in humans. However, other evidence dictates that a hypothetical risk must

Mercury in pregnancy

© istockphoto.com / clu

It has been known for a long time, that mercury is a toxic and dangerous substance adversely affecting fetal neurology. According to Web MD, “Mercury is very dangerous to children. Relatively low concentrations keep a child’s brain from developing normally. Kids with mercury-poisoning have problems with thinking, language, memory, motor skills, perception, and behavior.” Richard Weisman, MD, a toxicologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine and director of the Poison Control Center for South Florida tells us, “There is no doubt that mercury is one of the worst [toxins affecting the brain].” There have been 4 primary sources of mercury exposure to pregnant women: The RHO(D) (Rhogam) shot, the flu shot, dental fillings, and fish. Although warnings of toxic mercury exposure by eating fish has gotten significant media press and acceptance, other forms of mercury exposure to pregnant women and infants has not. The Rhogam and Flu Shots: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us, “Two groups are most vulnerable to methyl mercury: the fetus and pregnant women.” I can only question, why then, were mercury-laden Rhogam shots ever recommended for women during pregnancy? It wasn’t until 2001 that the FDA issued a voluntary recall of thimerosal from the Rhogam shot. This Research shows populations exposed to ultrasound have showed apparent concern for mercury toxicity via vaccine injection in pregnancy. a quadrupled perinatal death rate, increased rates of brain Strangely enough, the very next year, the damage, nerve cell demylienation, dyslexia, speech delays, FDA began recommending flu shots for pregnant women and infants. The flu shot epilepsy, and learning difficulties. has the highest levels of thimerosal of all vaccines—as much as 25 micrograms of be presumed with ultrasound. Likewise, the efficacy of many mercury, more than 10 times the safe limit for an infant. Its packuses of ultrasound in improving the management and outcome age insert has this disclaimer, “It is also not known whether inof pregnancy also has been assumed rather than demonstrated, fluenza virus vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to especially its value as a routine screening procedure.” a pregnant woman...” These blatant inconsistencies in our public Research shows populations exposed to ultrasound have a “health” policies are frightening. Dental Amalgam Fillings: For years there has been controquadrupled perinatal death rate, increased rates of brain damage, nerve cell demylienation, dyslexia, speech delays, epilepsy, versy about mercury-laden amalgam fillings and their potential and learning difficulties. risk. The American Dental Association has been defending their Beyond the neurological damage caused by ultrasonic waves, use for years, denying any potential harm from mercury leakage, are the implications of the misdiagnosis associated with its use. however numerous studies have determined otherwise. After Early in pregnancy, mothers may be given inaccurate informayears of denial and questionable research, it finally took a law tion about fetal development. During pregnancy, mothers are suit in 2008 to force the FDA to agree to alert consumers on its already sensitive about the health of their unborn babies. When website about its potential risks. told there may be something wrong, their anxiety levels inIt has become a sad state of affairs that the U.S. Government crease, directly affecting a rise in their stress hormone producagencies support industry over individuals. It is so important that tion. Research has determined the release of these hormones in parents do not allow their practitioners to intimidate them by pregnancy will have long-term effects on the infant’s neurologiciting rhetoric and tainted data. Parents must actively seek procal development and behavior. There is no consciousness in the viders that support and encourage their right to make informed practice of obstetrics concerning the mother’s stress level and its health choices. effects on baby development. Baby’s weight and due dates are sometimes determined by ul- Induction The use of Pitocin in labor has been associated trasound and very frequently, mothers are coerced into induction with autism. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin, the naturally and even C-sections. The literature, however cautions the unreliproduced hormone in laboring women. Its use is wrought with side ability of ultrasound for this purpose. How many babies have effects; the most common is increased blood pressure in both the been neurologically impaired by this careless practice? mother and child. Pitocin is used for either labor induction or labor pathways | issue 21

29


pregnancy & birth

enhancement. The use of Pitocin does not, however, duplicate the natural progression of labor. Pitocin-induced labors have longer, harder, and more painful uterine contractions for the mother. More pain for the mother means greater fetal distress. In either induced or enhanced use of Pitocin, the blood supply, and therefore the oxygen source to the uterus, is greatly reduced. With naturally-paced contractions, there is a time interval between contractions allowing for the baby to be fully oxygenated before the next contraction. In induced or enhanced labor, the contractions are closer together and last for a longer time, thus shortening the interval where the baby receives its oxygen supply. Reduced oxygen to the baby in labor has life-long consequences on the baby’s brain function. Pitocin makes contractions unbearable, and almost every woman who has been given Pitocin will get an epidural to withstand the unnatural pain it causes. Once again we see how one intervention is the gateway to the next.

Epidurals

The Physicians Desk Reference cautions that “local anesthesia rapidly crosses the placenta...and when used for epidural blocks, anesthesia can cause varying degrees of maternal, fetal and neonatal toxicity.” It continues, “this toxicity can result in the following side effects: hypotension, urinary retention, fecal and urinary incontinence, paralysis of lower extremities, loss of feeling in the limbs, headache, backache, septic meningitis, slowing of labor, increased need for forceps and vacuum deliveries, cranial nerve palsies, allergic reactions, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, and seizures.” Many of these side effects result in multiple complications. For example, maternal hypotension causes bradycardia (decreased heart rate) in the fetus. This too decreases fetal oxygen supply resulting in brain dysfunction, fetal distress, and operative deliveries. Additional side effects of epidurals relating to autism include: longer labors with slower progress, an increased use of Pitocin by more than 3 times, an increased use of forceps by as much 4 to 20 times, altered red blood cells that affect fetal oxygen levels, adverse behavioral effects of the neonate, and increased use of mechanically-assisted deliveries which lead to neurological damage from birth trauma Sarah Buckley, MD, cautions, “Epidural drugs can directly cause toxic effects to the fetus and newborn, whose drug levels may be even higher than the mother’s drug levels. It is also important to note that a newborn baby’s ability to process and excrete drugs is much less than an adult’s. Also, drug blood levels may not accurately reflect the baby’s toxic load because drugs may be taken up from the blood and stored in newborn tissues such as brain and liver, from where they are more slowly released.”

Restricted Maternal Position

In addition to the direct toxic side effects of epidurals, once given an epidural, the mother is confined to her bed, usually on her back. Restricted motion in labor interferes with normal pelvic biomechanics of the laboring

30

pathways | issue 21

mother. On her back, the normal pivitol action of her sacro-illiac joints becomes impaired, her sacrum becomes restricted, and the progress of labor can slow down and even stop. Difficult and halted labors due to controlled maternal positioning lead to further pain and nerve system stress for the mother and baby. Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) is used to determine fetal distress despite the lack of efficacy shown for its use. Research shows it does not improve birth outcome and may in fact hinder it. Again, restricted maternal position used with EFM may be the primary reason for increased birth complications and fetal injury. Once fetal distress has been determined, mechanical interventions are implemented. Here is where the most neurological damage can occur. One medical researcher on birth trauma, Abraham Towbin, MD, tells us, “Mechanical stress imposed by obstetric manipulation—even the application of standard orthodox procedures—may prove intolerable to the fetus…Spinal cord and brain stem injuries often occur during the process of birth but frequently escape diagnosis. Respiratory depression in the neonate is a cardinal sign of much injury. In infants, there may be lasting neurological defects reflecting the primary injury.” Injury from routine birthing procedures causes damage to the baby’s delicate brain and spinal cord. When there is damage to the respiratory centers in the brain stem, the baby’s oxygen intake is compromised. Impaired nerve function, however insidious it may be, can compromise all current and future aspects of the baby’s health and well-being.

Forceps, Vacuum Extraction

These 2 invasive procedures occur as a result of all preceding birth interventions discussed. They have grave effects on the baby’s future brain function. Abraham Towbin, MD, expert on birth trauma tells us, “Forceful pulling on the baby’s neck particularly when combined with stretching of the spine…has been considered the most important cause of infant spinal and brain stem injury.” A recent study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine revealed startling data. It reported, “Difficult labor itself and the method of delivery may lead to brain injuries and deaths in babies.” In another study, Abraham Towbin, MD, reports, “Survival of the newborn is governed mainly by the integrity and function of the vital centers in the brain stem. Yet paradoxically, the importance of injury at birth to the brain stem and spinal cord are matters which have generally escaped lasting attention.”

C-Sections

As seen above, C-sections are frequently caused by the cascading effect of the numerous interventions and procedures of modern obstetrics. The current rise in C-sections is alarming. The World Health organization says our C-section rate should be about 12%, and yet we see the nation’s average C-section rate as high as 33%. A baby born by C-section is 3 to 4 times more likely to have autism says George Malcom Morley, a frequently published OB/Gyn. One hospital in Britain scheduled all mothers for elective C-sections 1 week prior to their due dates


“Forceful pulling on the baby’s neck particularly when combined with stretching of the spine…has been considered the most important cause of infant spinal and brain stem injury.” – Abraham Towbin, MD © istockphoto.com / left-right: noami bassitt / nolan wynne / brian mcentire

resulting in a 21 times higher rate of autism then neighboring hospitals. Mothers are being erroneously convinced that cesareans could actually be better than a natural process! Unfortunately, they are not aware of the dangers and resulting injuries associated with them. During this surgical procedure, most women experience a great tugging sensation as the doctor is pulling on the baby. The struggle and pulling used to extract a baby out from the mother’s small incision is often not seen by the parents. Trauma to the baby’s spine and the resulting respiratory impairment is escalated. Is this the reason for the high correlation between C-sections and autism? Another deficit that C-section babies experience is in their level of “friendly bacteria” in their gut. Because they do not pass through the vaginal canal, they are not exposed to these helpful bacteria at birth and their immune system development suffers from this deficit. With many indications that autism and immune system function are related, it is imperative we choose providers who will support our inherent ability to give birth naturally. Finally, C-sections usually have immediate cord clamping. George Malcolm Morley, MB, ChB, FACOG, author of numerous papers on the dangers of immediate cord clamping reports, “C-section babies are four times more likely to be autistic than vaginal deliveries.”

Umbilical Cord Clamping

It is common obstetrical practice to cut and clamp the umbilical cord immediately after birth because over the last 20 years doctors have mistakenly believed this could reduce the risk of mothers bleeding to death. During this time, the cord is still pulsating, bringing all of the placenta blood to the baby. Cutting the cord before it stops pulsating can result in as much as a 40% decrease in blood volume and can lead to anemia. This anemia is proportional to the degree of childhood mental retardation. David Hutchon, consultant obstetrician at Darlington Memorial Hospital who has studied the effects of cord clamping said, “Babies are being put at risk by clamping the cord too quickly.” He also said, “In susceptible infants, early cord clamping and the lack of blood to the baby increases the risk of brain hemorrhage and breathing problems. This could help explain the rise in autism. Why are we doing it?” When a cord clamp is not used, the child receives a large transfusion of placental blood, after which the cord vessels close naturally. With natural, physiological cord closure, the child receives enough blood and enough iron to prevent anemia for the first year of life, and enough blood volume to prevent ischemic encephalopathy and mental retardation for the rest of his or her life. In a letter to the British Medical Journal, obstetrician and author, George Malcom Morley writes, “I therefore conclude that Immediate Cord Clamping, especially when imposed on existing birth asphyxia, can cause mental impairment without obvious

neurological impairment, and therefore may well be a significant contributory cause of the current autism epidemic.” As with all obstetric interventions mentioned so far, early cord clamping is yet another that needs careful, unbiased examination. It is time that normal physiology is considered and the perpetuation of these routine interventions is weighed against very real risk factors associated with their use.

Conclusion

The importance of natural birthing cannot be underestimated in the future of our children’s health. Under the medical leadership of Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, doctors with Homefirst Health Services in the metropolitan Chicago area have delivered more than 15,000 babies at home. “We don’t have a single case of autism in an unvaccinated child,” said Eisenstein. The International Cesarean Awareness Network, (ICAN) advises: “Interview your care providers like your life depended on it. In order to have a healthy birth, trust is essential in a relationship. If your care provider gives you outlandish risk assessments or impossible criteria…then you know to go elsewhere because that physician isn’t giving you adequate information or choices that apply to healthy birthing women. Know your options. Explore midwives, homebirth, CNMs, OBs, family practitioners, and birth centers. Birth is not only in hospitals and not only with obstetricians. Remember that starting with low risk care and being assessed properly often encourages moms to stay low risk.” Pregnancy and birth need our respect—not our intervention. We can no longer rely on failing systems, organizations, or authorities to determine our birth outcome. More and more mothers are committed to finding providers during pregnancy who support and encourage the natural process of birth. This team of providers include midwives, doulas, holistic obstetricians, doctors of chiropractic, massage therapists, naturopaths, and practitioners of Chinese medicine to name a few. Their invaluable services are helping us regain trust in our inherent ability to function and be well. Jeanne Ohm, DC, a practicing chiropractor since 1981, offers care to infants and pregnant mothers. She lectures internationally on pregnancy, natural birth, and chiropractic. Dr. Ohm is the Executive Coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. She can be reached at editor@pathwaystofamilywellness.org. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

pathways | issue 21

31


science review

Vaccines, Neurodevelopment, and Autism Spectrum Disorders By Russell L. Blaylock, MD

In 1976, children received 10 vaccines before attending school. Today they will receive more than 36 injections. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured parents that it was safe to not only give these vaccines, but that they could be given at one time with complete safety. Is this true? Or are we being lied to on a grand scale? The medical establishment has created a set of terms, which they use constantly to boost their egos and firm-up their authority as the unique holders of medical wisdom—the mantra is “evidence-based medicine”—as if everything outside their anointing touch is bogus and suspect. A careful examination of many of the accepted treatments reveals that most have little or no scientific “evidence-based” data to support it. One oftenrepeated study found that almost 80% of medical practice had no scientific backing. This is not to say that medical practice should be solely based on pure and applied science, as understood in the fields of physics and chemistry. Medicine, as pointed out by many of the great minds of medicine, is an art. Most men and women of medicine recognize that some things are obvious without a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study. For example, there has never been such a study to see if smashing your finger with a hammer is painful, but we accept it without such pristine evidence. The same is true with removing brain tumors or sewing up severe lacerations.

32

pathways | issue 21

The proponents of vaccination safety can just say they are safe, without any supporting evidence what-so-ever, and it is to be accepted without question. I find it interesting that there exists an incredible double standard when it comes to our evidence versus theirs. The proponents of vaccination safety can just say they are safe, without any supporting evidence what-so-ever, and it is to be accepted without question. They can announce that mercury is not only safe, but that it seems to actually increase the IQ, and we are to accept it. They can proclaim thimerosal safe to use in vaccines without their having ever been a single study on its safety in more than 60 years of use, and we are to accept it. Yet, let me, or anyone else, suggest that excessive vaccination can increase the risk of not only autism, but also schizophrenia and neurodegenerative diseases, and they will scream like banshees—where is the evidence? Where is the evidence? When we produce study after study, they always proclaim them to be insufficient evidence or unacceptable studies. More often than not, they just completely ignore the evidence. This is despite the fact that we produce dozens or even hundreds of studies that not only demonstrate the link clinically and scientifically, but also clearly show the mechanism by which the damage is being done—even


© istockphoto.com / chris bernard

on a molecular level. These include cell culture studies, mixed cell cultures, organotypic tissue studies, in vivo animal studies using multiple species, and even human studies. To the defenders of vaccine safety our evidence is never sufficient and, if we face reality, never will be. We see how questions of medical importance that are nitpicked to death on points of scientific purity can cost a lot of lives—millions of lives. There are more than one million children and adults with autism and the numbers continue to grow. This is a medical disaster of monumental proportions. The link to the vaccine program is scientifically and logically compelling but these same medical elitists refuse to listen. Like smoking and lung cancer, we have enough proof today to call a halt to the present excessive vaccine program and ban any level of mercury in vaccines. In 1983, before the autism epidemic began, children received 10 vaccinations before attending school and the autism incidence was 1 in 10,000. Today children receive 23 vaccines before age 2 years and 36 by the time they attend school; the autism rate is now 1 in 150 births. Medical “experts” have provided no other explanation for this dramatic and sudden rise in autism cases, despite a draconian effort to find one. They attempted to say it was genetic, but geneticists were quick to respond that genetic disorders do not suddenly increase in such astronomical proportions. Then they said it was because of better diagnosis, despite the fact that the diagnosis is obvious in virtually every case and that the criteria officially accepted for diagnosis has become more restrictive, not less. When trapped by a lack of evidence, defenders of a nefarious position resort to their old standby—the epidemiological study. Statisticians will tell you that the least reliable type of study is an epidemiological study because it is easy to manipulate the data so that the study tells you anything you wish it to. Every defense offered by vaccine defenders is based on such studies and never the actual science. Then they announce that the issue is settled and no further studies need be done. After the media has been informed that the issue has been settled, those who continue to present the evidence are considered kooks and the great unwashed ignorant. The Autism Disaster: Is it Man-Made? Today, specialists speak of the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which include a number of related neurodevelopmental disorders such as classical autism, Retts syndrome, Aspergers syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). I have noticed over the years that when specialists know very little about a disorder they spend an inordinate amount of time naming and sub-classifying it periodically. In addition, they go to great lengths to define characteristics and symptoms of the disorder that must be present to meet the criteria of classification. Those who fail to meet these criteria are dispensed with into another dimension, that is, they are ignored.

In 1983, before the autism epidemic began, children received 10 vaccinations before attending school and the autism incidence was 1 in 10,000. Today children receive 23 vaccines before age 2 years and 36 by the time they attend school; the autism rate is now 1 in 150 births. In the early 1980s, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000 births. By 2005, the incidence had leaped to 1 in 250 births and today it is 1 in 150 births and still climbing. One of the strongest links to this terrible set of disorders was a drastic change in the vaccine programs of the United States and many other countries, which included a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines being given at a very early age. No other explanation has been forthcoming from the medical elite. In this paper, I shall present evidence, some of which has not been adequately discussed, that provides strong evidence for a connection between excessive vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders. In a paper I wrote in 2003, I stated that removing the mercury from vaccines would help relieve the problem, but it would not eliminate it. This was based on a number of studies in the neuroscience literature that indicated that excessive and especially repeated immune stimulation could result in severe disruption of brain development and even neurodegeneration. In this paper and a follow-up paper, I attributed the central mechanism to excessive and prolonged microglial activation with an interaction between inflammatory cytokines and glutamate receptor subtypes. The Vargas, et al, study, published 2 years later in 2005, strongly supported this hypothesis, with the finding of elevated inflammatory cytokines as well as the presence of extensive, widespread activated microglia and astrocytes in examined autistic brains from age 5 years to 44 years of age. This indicated that the brain’s immune activation persisted for decades. Recent research indicates that this phenomenon is not that uncommon and can be reproduced in the laboratory using a variety of immune-stimulating agents and neurotoxins, including mercury and aluminum. Autoimmunity and Vaccinations A number of studies suggest a link between autoimmune disorders and autism risk. Support comes from studies showing an increased risk of ASD in children of mothers with autoimmune disorders. Yet, not all studies agree, since at least one carefully done study found no strong link. Other more carefully done studies provided evidence suggesting some link. For example, in one study, serum from a mother pathways | issue 21

33


science review

with an autistic child was found to bind immunologically with specific brain cells (Purkinje cells). When this serum was injected into pregnant mice, their babies demonstrated neurological changes suggestive of autistic behavior, indicating a transfer of the autoantibodies into the developing baby mouse. A number of studies have found autoantibodies in a significantly higher number of autistic children to various brain structures, including serotonin receptors, myelin basic protein, neuron axon filament protein, nerve growth factor, and cerebellar neurofilaments. It should be understood that these autoantibodies are not found in all cases and that they may develop as a result of the damage caused by the disease itself, rather than causing the disease. For example, we know that after a stroke or head injury a substantial number of people develop autoantibodies to brain proteins. Nevertheless, the autoantibodies can worsen the damage and prolong the damaging pathology. It has also been demonstrated that methylmercury (from fish) and ethylmercury (in thimerosal) are both powerful immunosuppressants and are associated with a high incidence of autoimmunity. In this study, researchers found that unlike methylmercury, thimerosal (ethylmercury) initially caused immune suppression and then strong Th2-induced autoimmunity. They attributed this to the higher conversion of ethylmercury to ionic mercury (Hg+) than seen with methylmercury. In fact, one study found that strains of mice highly susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases were sensitive to the ASD-like behavioral effects on mercury exposure, whereas mouse strains that were not genetically susceptible to autoimmunity do not develop ASD behaviors. It is obvious from the extremely high incidence of ASD that these autoimmune-related genes are very common, but they remain silent until triggered by vaccines or other environmental toxins.

Recently, neuroscientists have shown that much of the damage in cases of autoimmunity is not due to direct immune reactions with brain structures, but rather results from the release of storms of free radicals and lipid peroxidation products during the immune reaction, something I call a “hand grenade in a shopping mall effect.” Immunologists have now concluded that autoimmune disorders are not the result of excessive activation of a normal immune system, but rather activation of a dysfunctional immune system. The question remains: what is causing such widespread immune dysfunction among our population? Studies show that the number of autoimmune diseases has increased over the past 30 years, with asthma, type-1 diabetes and eczema rates

34

pathways | issue 21

increasing more than two-fold. There is also compelling evidence to indicate that certain vaccinations are associated with these autoimmune-related conditions. A compelling number of studies have shown an increased incidence of autoimmune reactions in children with the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), especially involving measles antigens, milk antigens, and antibodies to gliadin and gluten. Some of these have been shown to cross-react with brain-derived proteins as well, especially those in the cerebellum, a major structure affected in these disorders. Recently, neuroscientists have shown that much of the damage in cases of autoimmunity is not due to direct immune reactions with brain structures, but rather results from the release of storms of free radicals and lipid peroxidation products during the immune reaction, something I call a “hand grenade in a shopping mall effect.” If you use a hand grenade to target a single person in a crowd you will not only kill and injure the intended target, but all of the bystanders as well. Neuroscientists P.L. McGeer and E.G. McGeer have named this effect “bystander damage.” The immune attack caused by the autoimmune reaction in an autistic person’s brain damages a number of surrounding structures, especially brain connections called dendrites and synapses. Subsequent studies have confirmed that bystander damage is the most destructive reaction of autoimmunity. Some studies, as referred to above, have shown that autism is much more common in families with a hereditary tendency for autoimmune diseases, which makes sense because these individuals have a dysfunctional immune system. There is also compelling evidence that vaccines themselves can damage the immune system of immature animals, leading to a higher incidence of autoimmunity and abnormal brain development. Mercury, even in small concentrations, is also known to induce autoimmunity in a high percentage of those exposed to it. Ironically, things that suppress a portion of the immune system, usually cellular-type immunity, increase the likelihood of autoimmunity. Immunologists speak about a Th1 to Th2 shift and vice versa. This can occur with exposure to mercury as well as in response to vaccination. A great number of autoimmune diseases are associated with a Th2 shift. The immune system is a very complex system, which at birth is incompletely formed. This means, and has been confirmed in animal and human studies, that immune reactions to vaccinations differ at different ages, so that small babies have a different reaction than adults. This has been shown with the hepatitis B vaccine now given to newborns. The rate of maturation of the immune system also differs considerably among babies and children, meaning we cannot say what effect will occur in all children. There are a great many variables, including diet. The immune system’s reaction to infection and immunization can be quite different. Normally, the immune system relies on a shifting of T-lymphocyte function to determine which is better for the particular situation. The T-helper lymphocytes (Th) can


exist as Th1, Th0, or Th2 forms. When no infection is present, the system is in the Th0 mode (an uncommitted phase). If a virus invades, it quickly switches to the Th1 phase, which allows immune cells to secrete a group of cytokines that kill viruses. It also activates immune lymphocytes that kill viruses and bacteria. At other times, the immune system needs a whole different set of immune signals and cells, which are supplied by the Th2 phase. The Th2 phase favors the production of antibodies, mainly supplied by Bcells, but in general they reduce immune reactions. Infants are stuck in the Th2 mode during intrauterine life, to prevent being immunologically rejected by the mother during pregnancy (much like transplant rejection), since the baby is seen as a foreign body to the mother’s immune system. At birth, the baby remains in a Th2 mode, but has a limited ability to switch to the Th1 defensive mode if the need arises, say from an infection. Months later, the baby switches to the adult Th1 mode. If the baby’s immune system remains in a Th2 mode, it has a high risk of developing an autoimmune disorder, including eczema, asthma, or other allergies. Presently, vaccine authorities recommend every baby be vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. But, is this safe? A recent study looked at the immune reaction in newborn infants up to the age of 1 year who had received the hepatitis B vaccine to see if their immune reaction differed from adults getting the same vaccine. What they found was that the infant, even after age 1 year, did react differently. Their antibody levels were substantially higher than adults (3-fold higher) and it remained higher throughout the study. In essence, they found that the babies responded to the vaccine by having an intense Th2 response that persisted long after it should have disappeared, a completely abnormal response. Autistic children have been described as having a Th2 predominance, which would explain their propensity to developing autoimmune diseases and being more susceptible to infections early in life. Elevated proinflammatory cytokines, particularly TNF, have been described in studies of the cytokine profile in autistic children. As we shall see later, an excess production of B-cell cytokines and suppression of T-lymphocyte Th1 activity, as seen in autism, is associated with a high incidence of neurological damage by excitotoxins. Several things about these immune responses are important to all parents, including effects of such immune overstimulation during pregnancy. For example, it has been shown that excess immune stimulation, as occurs with vaccination, can significantly increase the risk of a pregnant woman having a child with autism or schizophrenia later in life, depending on when the vaccine is given. In addition, persistent Th2 responses caused by the hepatitis B vaccine puts your child at a great risk of developing an autoimmune disorder and impairing your baby’s ability to fight off infections. This means that immediately after birth this vaccine has put your child at a greater risk of all childhood related infections, including H. influenzae, meningitis, meningococcal meningitis, rotavirus, measles, and chickenpox. Not only

that, but numerous studies have shown that such immune suppression greatly increases the number of severe complications associated with these infections, which means that should your child be exposed to measles or chickenpox they are more likely to suffer neurological damage, seizures, or other systemic disorders. When this occurs, rather than admit that the science indicates that the vaccine program is the cause of the complications and deaths, the vaccine proponents scream that it demonstrates again the need for greater efforts to vaccinate our children. Immune Suppression by Live Virus-Containing Vaccines It is also known that certain viruses powerfully suppress immunity, including the measles virus. The MMR vaccine contains live measles viruses and recent studies have shown that immune suppression after vaccination with this virus suppresses immunity in a profound way that last as long as 6 months. In fact, the CDC recommends separating this vaccine from other live virus vaccines to prevent viral overgrowth (Yet, they combine it with two other live viruses—rubella and mumps viruses). Yet, they never address the obvious question: wouldn’t this vaccine also make the child more susceptible to other naturally occurring infections such as Haemophilus influenzae type B, meningitis, meningococcal meningitis, persistent measles infection, influenza infection, and even chickenpox? This has been strongly suggested by a number of studies. Not only would they be more susceptible, but severe complications and even death would be more common as well. When death and severe complications occur due to these infections, pediatricians, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics use this as a justification for more vaccines, never admitting that the increased incidence of these infections and complications was caused by their previous vaccine recommendations.

Studies have also shown that vaccines that cover only a few strains of a virus or bacteria that naturally have a great number of strains...can cause a shift in strain dominance so that the strain not included in the vaccine then becomes the dominant disease-causing strain. This risk is especially high in families with a number of other children in the household or in children in day care centers. With prolonged suppression of the immune system, exposure to other sick children would put this child at a high risk of contracting the infection and having complications or dying from the infection as stated. Studies have also shown that vaccines that cover only a few strains of a virus or bacteria that naturally have a great number pathways | issue 21

35


science review

of strains (some have more than a hundred strains), can cause a shift in strain dominance so that the strain not included in the vaccine then becomes the dominant disease-causing strain. We see this with the meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. This is discussed in the scientific literature but the public is never informed. Most pediatricians are completely unaware of this.

...the average child is exposed to a number of substances in their food and environment that can also alter immunity, making them not only more susceptible to natural infection, but also to vaccine complications. When combined with mercury, which is also an immune-suppressing substance, the effect is compounded. Fluoroaluminum, formed in fluoridated drinking water, also interferes with immune function, as do many insecticides and herbicides used around the home. Often forgotten, is the substantial evidence that omega-6 oils powerfully induce inflammation and immune suppression when consumed in large amounts. Those eating a Western diet are consuming 50-fold higher amounts of this type of oil (called linoleic acid) than needed for health. These oils include corn, safflower, sunflower, canola, peanut, and soybean oils. So, we see that the average child is exposed to a number of substances in their food and environment that can also alter immunity, making them not only more susceptible to natural infection, but also to vaccine complications. In essence, by over-vaccinating our children, public health officials are weakening their immune system, making them more susceptible to a number of infections and less able to combat the infections. This gives them an endless source of “horror stories” to justify even more vaccines. Remember also that mercury is an immune suppressant, from both vaccines and seafood contamination. One can see that a pregnant mother having dental amalgam fillings who eats a diet high in methylmercury-containing seafood and living in an area with high atmospheric mercury, such as West Texas, would be at a greater risk of having an autistic child than one not exposed to these other sources of mercury. These differences in environmental mercury exposure are never considered by those insisting all children have the same vaccines, including mercury-containing vaccines such as the flu vaccine. The Autistic-Prone Child It is becoming obvious that certain children are at a higher risk of developing autism than others, for a variety of reasons. It is also obvious that these newborns and small children develop infections at a higher rate than less vulnerable children. This may be

36

pathways | issue 21

due to a developmental immune deficiency, which can affect only a portion of the immune system and may be easily missed by their pediatrician. Indeed, it has been noted that a great number of cases of childhood immune deficiencies are missed by practicing pediatricians, especially the more subtle cases, which may make up the majority of ASD-prone children. For example, many physicians treating autistic children have noted a high incidence of ear infections. These are treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, which often lead to a high incidence of Candida overgrowth in the child’s body. Both infections will prime the microglia in the child’s brain—which is the brain’s specific resident immune cell. This priming effect shifts these normally resting microglia immune cells into overdrive. If stimulated again within weeks or even months, they generate extremely high levels of free radicals, lipid peroxidation products, inflammatory cytokines, and the excitotoxins glutamate and quinolinic acid. Studies have shown that this is the major mechanism for both viral and vaccine-related brain injury. The high incidence of infection in these children indicates the possibility of a preexisting immune system dysfunction. As stated, this also increases the risk of an autoimmune reaction. The stage is then set for the autism cascade to develop and this can be triggered by early vaccination or a recurrent infection. Remember, the microglia have been primed, either by a natural infection or an earlier vaccination (such as the hepatitis B vaccine given soon after birth). The vaccine is different from a natural infection in that the vaccine produces immune stimulation in the brain for very prolonged periods. It has been proven, in both animal and human studies, that systemic infections or immune activation by vaccines rapidly activate the brain’s microglial system and can do so for prolonged periods. Once the primed microglia are reactivated by the subsequent vaccination or infection, the microglia activate fully and pour out their destructive elements as discussed above. With a natural infection, the immune system quickly clears the infection and then shuts off the immune activation, which allows the damage to be repaired. This shutting down of the microglia is very important. There is evidence that with repeated and excessive vaccine-triggered immune stimulation, the microglia do not shut down. This is what was found in the Vargas, et al, study, in which they examined the brains of 11 autistic people from age 5 years to 44 years of age who died without active infectious diseases as compared to age-matched controls. That is, they found widespread activation of inflammatory cells (microglia and astrocytes) in the brains of the autistic patients. This explains the widespread brain damage seen in all autism cases. This study was one of the most carefully conducted, extensive examinations of the immune reactions in the autistic brain ever done and involved immunocytochemistry, cytokine protein assays, and enzyme-linked immunoascorbant assays of the brain tissue. They also performed similar assays of spinal fluid from an additional 6 living autistic patients, which confirmed the intense immune activation and inflammation.


The average child receiving all of the recommended vaccines will have some 23 inoculations by age 2 years and 36 by the time they enter school. Most of these will be spaced within 1 month of each other, which means the priming and activation cycle of the microglia will be continuous. In addition, should they follow the new CDC recommendation they will receive the flu vaccine every year starting at age 6 month through age 18 years. These vaccines contain a full dose of thimerosal mercury. In addition, we must consider the effect of the measles and rubella portions of the MMR vaccine, which begins at age 1 year. The profound immune suppression, which last up to 6 months after it is given, will not only increase the risk of developing other infections, but will increase the risk of an autoimmune reaction. Cytomegalovirus is also a powerful immune-suppressing virus that commonly infects newborns and small children, especially if they are immune suppressed. So, we see that giving a live, immunosuppressant vaccine early in life can dramatically increase the risk of autoimmune disorders and increase microglial brain injury, as well as increase the risk of infection by other immune-suppressing viruses and pathogenic organisms. And, it dramatically increases the risk of your child developing one of the autism spectrum disorders. It should also be appreciated that the Candida infections in these children trigger a prolonged systemic immune reaction, which means a prolonged brain immune response as well and a worsening of any autoimmune disorder it may have produced.

The HPA: Alliance for Holistic Family Health and Wellness offers resources and timely information helping parents make informed health care choices for pregnancy, birth, and childhood. We are committed to supporting parents who seek a holistic

FIND A HOLISTIC PRACTITIONER:

www.hpakids.org

model of health care and empowering parents to build healthy bodies and spirits in their families. Visit our web site to find a holistic practitioner.

This article is a part one excerpt from Dr. Russell Blaylock’s paper, “The danger of excessive vaccination during brain development: the case for a link to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD),” published in Medical Veritas in 2008. To read the article in its entirety, visit: www.blaylockreport.com. Dr. Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon, author of numerous published papers, and lecturer. Dr. Blaylock serves on the editorial staff of the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association and is the associate editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, official journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He now serves as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Biology at Belhaven College. He has a nutrition newsletter, which can be purchased at www.blaylockreport.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

It’s not easy for parents to find something that everyone in their household likes – particularly when it comes to food and nutrition! That’s why we developed the Might-A-Mins® Spectrum line of Isotonix® products. With a smooth and soothing flavor, Might-A-Mins Spectrum is a diverse line of supplements ideal for growing bodies, including children who need neurological, metabolic or digestive support.* With Might-A-Mins Spectrum, nutrition doesn’t have to come at the expense of flavor!

web: www.marketamerica.com/jc1 email: aercook3@yahoo.com *

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


the outer womb

Supporting the Immune System for the Care and Prevention of Autoimmunity By Andrew Keech, PhD

38

pathways | issue 21

assists the newborn’s adaptation to the outside womb environment. A newborn’s intestines are very permeable. Colostrum protects the intestinal walls from penetration by foreign substances in foods that the mother has eaten. Protecting the infant’s gut from these potentially sensitizing substances is significant for the prevention of autoimmune system dysfunction later in life. The colostrum gradually changes to milk within the first couple of weeks of life. Continued breastfeeding will promote further healthy immune system development because of its unreplicated nutritional and nurturing benefits. Adverse effects to the infant’s immune system include toxins the child is exposed to. Environmental toxins (fluoride, mercury, preservatives), medical toxins (vaccines, antibiotics, anti-fever and cold medications), and food toxins (in the mother’s diet or infant formula) are all factors that further tax immune system strength. It is essential for us to be informed and savvy of the numerous toxicities our infants can be exposed to in-utero and in their early years. It is the experience of most parents today to follow the prescribed course of allopathic treatment in pregnancy and for their newborns. In the allopathic model there are minimal, if any, advanced warnings in avoiding toxins and enhancing immune system function. Obstetricians and pediatricians are not trained in nutrition or immunity and so their practice does not include valuable information for parents to make educated choices. Future impaired nerve and immune system function often result. When parents must deal with an autoimmune system dysfunction, like autism, they become acutely aware of important immunity enhancers. They learn about the significance of changing their child’s diet, means of detoxifyng their child’s system, and enhancing nerve and immune system function. Other articles in this issue of Pathways address information on nutrition, detoxification, and nerve system activity for children with autism. Since autoimmune bioprocesses quite often are triggered in the body by an imbalance in particular cytokines in the body, immune therapies such as

© istockphoto.com / linda kloosterhof

Autism is an early-onset biological disorder that causes severe deficits of higher mental functions, as well as behavioral manifestations. There is no single, clear-cut cause. Causally speaking, immune factors, neurochemical factors, antibiotics, genetic susceptibility factors, and environmental factors (including microbial infections and chemical toxicity) have been implicated. Autism is a very complex, multifactorial disorder that may include autoimmunity. Combating the potential for autoimmunity begins in pregnancy by reducing the mother’s physical, emotional, and chemical stress overload. Her own immune system function is directly related to her developing baby’s immune health potential. Intake of supportive foods, avoidance of toxic chemicals, and understanding the enhancement of her immune system function cannot be underestimated. Birth outcome and choices made immediately following birth have significant impact on the future immune system function of the child as well. For example, babies born vaginally have a higher exposure to the mother’s friendly bacteria than those born via C-section. Direct exposure from the mother of these helpful bacteria to the baby initiates production of the baby’s own gut bacteria, an essential part of the developing immune system. Breastfeeding offers numerous benefits for immune system enhancement as well. The first milk produced by the mother is called colostrum. Colostrum is nature’s perfect first food. It is the pre-milk substance produced from the mother’s breasts during the first 24 hours of lactation. From 24–48 hours this is called transitional milk. After 48 hours, milk is defined. Colostrum supplies immune and growth factors and a perfect combination of vitamins and minerals to ensure the health, vitality, and growth of the newborn. It is estimated that colostrum triggers at least 50 processes in the newborn, including transferring all the immune factors and the entire memory from the mother’s own immune system to her baby. Colostrum contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), a new substance to the newborn that


...immune and growth factors from bovine colostrum...are identical to those found in human colostrum except, that the levels of these factors

Liquid Colostrum Peptide Mouth Spray

are significantly higher in the bovine version... proline-rich polypeptides (PRP) and colostrums have shown promise. Colostrum peptides re-balance this cytokine response, particularly Th1 and Th2, by creating homeostasis in the body where the body should no longer attack itself. Scientific research has shown that significantly important immune and growth factors for humans comes from bovine colostrum. It is biologically transferable to all mammals, including humans, and is much higher in immune factors than human mother’s colostrum. The component in colostrum that is most beneficial in regulating the immune response in patients with autoimmune disease is PRP. PRP is a small protein chain present in colostrum that has the same ability to regulate the immune system as the hormones of the thymus gland. Taking the colostrum in a liquid form or a PRP fraction as a supplement is most important for modulating overactive and underperforming-immune responses in all humans and other mammals. Laboratory analyses of both immune and growth factors from bovine colostrum indicate that they are identical to those found in human colostrum except, that the levels of these factors are significantly higher in the bovine version. Bovine colostrum is actually 40 times richer in immune factors than human colostrum. For example, human colostrum contains 2% of IgG (immunoglobulin G) while cow colostrum contains 86% of IgG, the most important of the immunoglobulins found in the body. Researchers also discovered that cows’ colostrum contains special glycoproteins that are extremely effective at protecting the immune and growth factors in colostrum from destruction by adult human digestive enzymes. Whether or not we have had the benefits of our mother’s milk, or are experiencing the effects of an auto-immune system disorder in our family, exposure to medical and environmental toxins warrants enhancing our immune system function. Bovine colostrum spray may prove to be a vital, proactive way for families to improve their family wellness during pregnancy, just after birth, and throughout childhood. Andrew Keech, PhD, attained a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Mathematics and Chemistry, a Bachelors degree in Chemical and Process Engineering , and a PhD in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Canterbury. He is a Certified Plant Engineer, CPE. Growing up on a New Zealand dairy farm, Andrew learned of the Immune Factors in Colostrum and their ability to impart health to newborn mammals. He pioneered the concept of an immune-modulating spray with PRPs. Dr Keech promotes the power of PRPs through clinical studies around the world as part of his personal mission to save lives. He can be reached via: www.advancedproteinsystems.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

Rebalance your child's immune and cytokine systems with 100% natural Proline-rich Polypeptides (PRPs). Natural vanilla flavoring. To order call 1-866-866-3993 or visit www.pharmalox.com


parenting

Moms & Dads, Who is the Boss of You? The Force of Culture on Birth and Parenting Choices By Marcy Axness, PhD (with contributions from Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD)

40

pathways | issue 21

make birth safe so permeates this culture that there is simply no point in trying to convince anyone otherwise, even though it is completely untrue and there is plenty of scientific evidence out there to prove it.” One of the pieces of evidence to which she refers is this classic: Back in 1974, two certified nurse-midwives were put in charge of all normal births in a small county hospital in California for 3 years in an experimental pilot program. During that time, the rates of obstetrical intervention (like C-sections) fell dramatically, the incidence of prematurity dropped by almost half, and the rate of neonatal deaths dropped from 23.9 per thousand to 10.3 per thousand—less than half of what it had been before the midwives arrived. At the end of the 3 years, fearing the competition, the local obstetricians fired the midwives and resumed charge of all births in this hospital. Within a few months, the rates returned to their former high levels. A huge body of research suggests that routine interventions and procedures such as electronic fetal monitors, IVs, episiotomies, and pain relievers don’t lead to better outcomes and are indeed counterproductive in most normal births. For all of our technological prowess, the U.S. newborn and maternal health statistics are bleak. We come in 41st among industrialized nations in maternal mortality, and got a “D” on our prematurity report card from March of Dimes. Regarding the myriad unintended effects of birth interventions, researchers are currently exploring Pitocin induction and epidural anesthesia as possible factors in the complex causal tapestry involved in autism. Although the origins of this exponentially growing disorder remain a mystery, an important clue is that science has identified certain zones of “malfunctioning circuitry” in the brains of autistic people, including in the area that normally processes faces. Why is this? The

© istockphoto.com / sue colvil / karina tischlinger

Few things get me as riled up as people or companies that parlay the fragile hopes of well-meaning parents into a fat bottom line. Take, oh, for example, the Baby Einstein juggernaut—which, if you’ve been paying attention, was roundly disavowed by researchers who put so fine a point on it as to declare, “Parents hoping to raise baby Einsteins by using infant educational videos are actually creating baby Homer Simpsons.” My contempt knows no bounds for an enterprise that leverages parents’ insecurities and fears (Will my child have what it takes to succeed in this ever more complicated world??) into a frantic market for baby-improvement “infotainment” that flies in the face of everything science knows about what infants and young children need for healthy development. But let’s not get sidetracked into a discussion of why “the more time a baby spends watching Baby Einstein the less like Einstein that child is likely to become.” What I want to explore here is a more encompassing issue: The status-quo of today’s culture—media, medicine, education—exerts tremendous pressure on well-meaning parents to make choices that simply aren’t good for kids. This is where some knowledge can be a very empowering thing! The more we know about where our decision-making “blind spots” are, the more we can free ourselves from the prevailing fear-based group-think, and become capable of making positive choices that are in the true best interests of ourselves and our children. Let’s begin where it begins—how we ourselves are born, how we birth our children, and how we perceive the choices involved. Robbie Davis-Floyd, a cultural anthropologist specializing in birth, discovered something both subtle and powerful at work in our attitudes about the safety of non-medicalized births. “I long ago gave up talking to women about giving birth at home. The idea that only hospitals and their technology can


developmental stages occurring during and after birth are a window of rapid reorganization of brain development, mediated by many hormones, most notably oxytocin, the so-called “hormone of love.” Several studies have found that autistic children show abnormalities in their oxytocin system. Critical early circuitry-wiring of the orbito-frontal cortex—our social-emotional “success center”—occurs just after birth, when a complex hormonal cocktail orchestrates intricate exchanges between the mother and her newborn child, all organized around their face-to-face engagement with one another! In spite of much scientific data attesting to the neurobiological havoc that ensues for a newborn separated from its mother after birth, hospital protocols typically disturb the first hours of life, and too many newborns end up receiving a “faulty imprint” (I connect with things, not faces), which can prevent healthy synaptic formation in such social brain areas as that which processes faces—and indeed, human rapport. Given the sheer volume of research contraindicating the lock-step devotion of American women—and their partners— to hospital interventions and protocols, the birth anthropologist Davis-Floyd wondered, “What might explain the standardization and technological elaboration of the American birthing process?” She came to recognize that there had to be something other than rational logic at work in the vast majority of Americans who trust and believe in the relatively higher degree of safety provided by a hospital birth, despite all contrary evidence. Her discoveries led to the landmark book Birth as an American Rite of Passage. “In all societies, major life transitions such as birth, coming of age, marriage, and death are times when cultures are particularly careful to display their core values and beliefs. Thus, these important transitions are so heavily ritualized that they are called rites of passage. Through these rites of passage, each society makes sure that the important life transitions of individuals can only occur in ways that actively perpetuate the core beliefs and values of their society. Could this explain the standardization of American birth? I believe the answer is yes.” One characteristic of rite-of-passage rituals is that participants are in an altered state of mind, whether through music, drumming, dance, chanting, breathwork, meditation, mind-altering substances, or, as in the case of labor and birth, the potent bio-chemicals flowing through mother and baby—and even father. The altered state makes participants highly receptive to symbols, which are prominently featured during ritual and which are imprinted on the image-oriented right brain. “Obstetric procedures are far more than medical routines: they are the rituals which initiate American mothers, fathers, and babies into the core value system of the technocracy” (the term for a society driven by an ideology of technological progress. In a technocracy, we constantly seek to “improve on” nature by altering and controlling it through technology.) “These procedures are profoundly symbolic, communicating messages concerning our culture’s deepest beliefs about the necessity for control of natural processes. They are a perfect expression of certain fundamentals of technocratic life:

The IV, for example, is the umbilical cord to the hospital, mirroring the fact that we are all umbilically linked to the technocracy, dependent on society and its institutions for our nurturance and our life.

The fact that the baby’s image on the ultrasound screen is often more real to the mother than its movement inside her reflects our cultural fixation on experience one-step removed on TV and computer screens.

The electronic fetal monitor wires the woman into the hospital’s computer system, bringing birth into the Information Age. Consider the visual and kinesthetic images that the laboring woman experiences—herself in bed, in a hospital gown, staring up at an IV pole, bag, and cord, staring down at a steel bed and huge belts encircling her waist and staring sideways at moving displays on a large machine. Her entire sensory field conveys one overwhelming message about our culture’s deepest values and beliefs: technology is supreme, and you are utterly dependent upon it.

The episiotomy, in which the quite sufficiently stretchy perineum is routinely cut with scissors to speed up delivery of the head, enacts and displays not only our cultural tendency toward impatience but also our extreme commitment to the straight line as a basic organizing principle of cultural life.

The technocracy asserts societal ownership of our babies via the ritual separation of newborns and mothers shortly after birth (yet another procedure that is overwhelmingly contraindicated by more than 50 years of research on attachment, trauma, and brain development.)

The plastic bassinet in which the newborn is placed metamorphoses into the crib, the playpen, the plastic carrier, and the television-set-as-babysitter—and a baby who bonds strongly to technology as she learns that comfort and entertainment come primarily from technological artifacts. That baby grows up to be the consummate consumer, and thus the technocracy perpetuates itself.”

Indeed, that baby grows up to be a parent who buys Baby Einstein videos (and the SUV with DVD screens implanted in the seats, by which to deliver them), despite all evidence suggesting that “baby TV” thwarts rather than enhances early development. Yes, most of us have been baptized in technology. So, let us embrace the blessings of that 21st century brilliance, which was originally meant to bring freedom! Nothing has the power to control our moves once we can clearly name the players and the game. Let us be the bosses of ourselves, the masters of our own will. Our children will flourish in that freedom, and the healthy choices it allows us to make.

Marcy Axness, PhD, is an early development specialist, parent counselor, and adjunct professor at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. She welcomes contact via www.QuantumParenting.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/ references.html pathways | issue 21

41


gratitude

Š istockphoto.com / Jennifer Trenchard

By John Demartini, DC 42

pathways | issue 21


Y

ou’ve certainly heard and read about the idea that the mind and body are interconnected. More than 30 years ago, when I first began studying healing processes, certain factions of medicine were debating whether the mind and psychology had really anything at all to do with the body and healing. When I was 18 years old and just beginning to learn about psychosomatic illness, there were only a handful of diseases that came under that course of study. Today there are more than a hundred different conditions known to be influenced by the mind. In fact psychoneuroimmunology is a huge field today because of that. There’s no way to deny that your mind and body are interconnected. Here’s my experience. If you have an imbalanced perspective on life, and you’re infatuated or resentful, elated or depressed about some event, it’s impossible to have that emotional state without also having a physiological reaction and response to it. In fact, if someone were to tell you that a stove is hot, and you put your hand on it, your body would probably prepare to burn. In some studies, it’s been shown that if subjects are blindfolded and told that they were going to hold a hot poker, and then an ice cube is placed in their hands, most actually burn and create a blister from the expectation of heat alone. Your perceptions affect your body. If you have imbalanced perceptions, you’ll have a physical over-reaction or under-reaction and create disease. Your body responds to those emotions. Garbage in, garbage out. Balance in, wellness out. If you have emotions of fear and guilt, you produce disease. That is the beauty and magnificence of the body. Your body is doing whatever it can to teach you where you have imbalanced

perceptions. Your body is giving you feedback, with every sign and symptom, about where you’re lying about the equilibrium and seeing imbalance. Disease isn’t terrible; it is an essential guide. The mind-body connection works together for us to grow in gratitude and love. It has been said that gratitude and love are the two greatest wellness promoters in life. You cannot find anything more powerful than that. The mind-body connection works together for us to grow in gratitude and love. It has been said that gratitude and love are the two greatest wellness promoters in life. You cannot find anything more powerful than that. The body and mind are inseparable in their interactions. Keep this in the forefront of your thinking, whenever you get a sign or symptom. Look inside yourself, rather than blame something outside. Own your accountability and see what in your psychology is affecting you. If you change your perceptions and bring yourself to balance, gratitude, and love, your body takes care of itself.

Dr. John Demartini is a human behavioral specialist, educator, and author. His vision is to contribute to the expansion of human potential globally; to seek out and activate further educational opportunities in every country; to empower and awaken leadership in others; to inspire a love of learning; and to assist people in creating authentic, empowered, and inspired lives. This article was an excerpt from his book, Count Your Blessings. Dr. Demartini can be contacted via: www.drdemartini.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

Words of Power

My gratitude and love make me whole and return me to wellness. I’m aware that changes in my mind and body act as messengers of love and truth. I can change my body by changing my mental perceptions. My mind and body are gifts from my soul that guide me to wholeness or wellness. All that happens in my mind and body guides me toward my mission of love. Thank you, body mind, for serving my soul.

pathways | issue 21

43


holistic healthcare

WHAT IS

Biomedical Treatment? By Generation Rescue Childhood neurological disorders (NDs) are typically diagnosed by professionals with psychology and psychiatry backgrounds.

festations of these NDs in children may include delayed speech, lack of eye contact, impaired or non-present social skills, shyness, perseverative behavior (doing the same thing repeatedly), delayed gross or fine motor skills, sensory integration issues (sound and touch sensitivity, etc.), not responding to one’s name, inflexibility with transitions, and major, often unexplained, changes in mood.

Yet, the physical or medical issues that these children often share are rarely noted or discussed. Typical physical manifestations of children with NDs may include food allergies and eczema, general gastrointestinal distress, constipation and diarrhea, yeast overgrowth, immune system disregulation, and sleep disturbances. Typically, proper testing also reveals high levels of environmental toxins relative to neurotypical children. What has happened to our children? We believe our children’s bodies are overwhelmed by a combination of heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, etc.), live viruses (particularly from vaccines), and bacteria. These toxins serve to slow or shut down normal biochemical pathways in the body and lead to the physical and mental manifestations we call NDs. Perhaps the best description of what happens to our children is Autism: A Twisted Tale of Virus and Thimerosal, by Dr. Amy Yasko. Biomedical intervention for NDs is based on the belief that the psychological symptoms of NDs are a product of the physical

44

pathways | issue 21

issues the child is experiencing and that addressing the physical issues will lead to an improvement in the psychological symptoms. (We were very pleased to read the recent cover story in Discover magazine that clearly spells out that autism is “not just in the head” but may actually originate in the gut and from environmental toxins.) The following is our best attempt to get you started on the path to healing your child. This is not medical advice. It is the opinion of parents, not doctors. The most important thing you can do as a parent is find a qualified physician to help you treat your child. All that is written here is for informational purposes only. The ultimate goal of biomedical treatment is to remove environmental toxins from your child’s body and repair the damage that has been done. Today, there is a bewildering array of potential treatment modalities for parents to follow. Some of the most popular include:

© istockphoto.com / homeopathy: dirkr / water: peter finne / fish oil: brian jackson

Parents are often told that their child’s diagnosis is the result of genes and is psychological in nature. Typical “psychological” mani-


The DAN Protocol. DAN, or Defeat Autism Now!, is a project of the Autism Research Institute. The DAN Protocol is not a clear and explicit protocol, per se, but rather a general approach to treating children that is being followed by a group of doctors known as DAN doctors. The best resource to get a background in the DAN approach is the book Children with Starving Brains, written by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD, a DAN doctor. A complete list of DAN doctors is available at www.autism.com/dan/ danusdis.htm. DAN Conferences are held for parents twice a year. Yahoo discussion groups that include parents working with DAN doctors include ChelatingKids2 and ABMD. The Cutler Protocol. Andy Cutler is a scientist who developed a protocol for removing heavy metals from the body. His protocol is detailed in his book, Amalgam Illness, and through the Yahoo discussion group Autism-Mercury. Many of the parents using the Cutler Protocol to remove toxins from their child’s body are also using a DAN doctor and many of the DAN approaches to treatment. Dr. Amy Yasko. Dr. Yasko’s approach to treating children with NDs has many similarities to DAN, but focuses treatment on the specific genes of the child, providing a roadmap that some parents believe is more customized. Her approach is also more focused on the removal of viruses and bacteria from the child’s body. Learn more through her websites, www.dramyyasko.com and www.holistichealth.com, her parent discussion group, and her book, The Puzzle of Autism: Putting It All Together. Michael Lang’s Natural Detoxification Program. Michael Lang is the founder of Brainchild Nutritionals, a supplement company serving children with NDs. Recently, he published a helpful guide with his own recommendations for how to detoxify a child with an ND safely and effectively. Methyl B12 and Valtrex. A number of parents have experienced particular success using a combination of Methyl B12 (a vitamin) and Valtrex (a prescription drug that suppresses viruses). This approach has been spelled out by a parent who recovered his son from autism, Stan Kurtz. Homeopathy. Many parents report great results using homeopathy. The best description of this approach is available in a book written by a parent, The Impossible Cure. Also, check out the discussion group run by the Homeopathy Center of Houston serving children with NDs. Most parents employ some combination of the above approaches in treating their child. It can be frustrating for a parent to realize how varied the treatment approaches can be, which is why it’s critical to find a doctor to work closely with to find the right approach for your child. Reading about biomedical treatments for NDs is very overwhelming and it is helpful to keep the “big picture” in mind. The 4 most important things you can do to help heal your child are:

1. Bring down the toxin load. 2. Help the gut heal. 3. Get the nutrients up. 4. Get the metals and other toxins out.

1. Bring down the toxin load. Toxins are anything that creates stress on the body because they are challenging for the body to excrete. Unfortunately, we have not evolved as human beings fast enough with all the toxins we are now putting into our environment. This is particularly true for children, and especially for children suffering from heavy metal poisoning. The following list is representative of the things you can do to bring the toxic load of your child down. It includes removing dietary toxins including dairy, wheat, trans fats, artificial ingredients, and sugar; reducing household toxins; and avoiding toxins from vaccines and dental fillings. No parent is able to do everything on this list. No parent is able to make a lot of changes overnight. We encourage you to work with your doctor to see which of these make the most sense for your child: Remove casein (dairy) and gluten (wheat) from the diet. Much has been written about the “GF/CF” diet. Our experience is that this diet tends to benefit most children. The simple explanation is that wheat and dairy proteins are very hard for the body to digest. They often permeate the gut of children with environmental toxicity, get into the bloodstream where they do not belong, and serve as a neurotoxin creating “brain fog.” Most parents see faster results when they remove dairy. If this feels daunting, perhaps experiment with dairy removal first and look for any changes in your child. Removing dairy will not deplete your child of nutrition, particularly if you follow the guidelines under step 3, below. Remove other food allergens from the diet. The most common allergens are dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, and corn. Most children who are sensitive to dairy are sensitive to soy. (Use rice milk as a milk substitute, not soy milk). An ELISA blood test measuring IgE and IgG anti-bodies will help you determine your child’s food sensitivities. Get rid of “bad” food and sugar. Trans fatty acids (anything with the word “hydrogenated” in it), artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, nitrates (in hot dogs), and aspartame (Nutrasweet) all add stress to the body. We highly recommend you switch to only natural and organic foods and try to limit sweets as much as possible. Remove conventional household cleaners. There is a natural version of every household cleaner you own available at natural food stores and some large supermarkets. Conventional cleaners like 409, Ajax, etc. are filled with toxins that your children ingest and have to process. Natural cleaners are significantly less toxic. Add a HEPA air filter to your child’s room. This will help keep airborne toxins in your house down.

pathways | issue 21

45


holistic healthcare

Cook to keep toxins down. Cook only on stainless steel; non-stick pans contain aluminum. Don’t cook on or with aluminum foil. Never microwave plastic; it leeches chemicals into the food. If your child needs dental work, never use “silver” fillings, as they contain mercury. If your child has mercury fillings, get them removed with a mercury-free dentist. A list by state is available at www.iaomt.org. If your child needs a vaccination, ensure they are thimerosal-free. Don’t renovate while you live at home. A renovation project in the middle of trying to reduce the toxic load will put a lot of stress on your child’s body. New paints, new carpets, and sealants all produce volatile organic compounds that are very hard for the body to process. Use fluoride-free toothpaste. Flouride is a potent neurotoxin. Natural toothpastes do an effective job at preventing tooth decay without being poisonous. There’s a reason fluoride toothpaste has to say on the label “contact poison control” if swallowed (see for yourself ).

2. Help the gut heal. Environmental illness typically causes gastrointestinal distress and food sensitivities. When the gastrointestinal system is compromised, the immune system suffers as well. Some ways to help the gut heal include: • Removal of food allergens: gluten and casein seem to be the most common allergens. •

Cod liver oil: a critical supplement for that provides much needed vitamin A and also helps to heal the sensitive walls of the intestine.

Probiotics: natural supplements that provide the stomach with “good” gut flora.

Digestive enzymes: assist the body in breaking down foods, which can help eliminate large proteins gaining access to the blood stream.

Colostrum: a natural supplement that provides many gut-healing and immune-system boosting properties.

4. Get the toxins out. Detoxification is critical to restoring your child to proper health. Some of the more popular forms of detoxification include chelation and natural detoxifiers. Chelation requires the care of a qualified doctor and involves using a prescription chelating agent in an oral or transdermal form. The most popular chelating agents include DMSA, DMPS, and EDTA. Please note that EDTA can be purchased without a prescription. A popular form of EDTA is in a suppository, made by Detoxamin. There are a number of natural products for removing heavy metals and other toxins including Natural Cellular Defense, PCA-Rx, and NDF. There are parent discussion groups online for parents using both Natural Cellular Defense and NDF. Anecdotally, we have heard of parents who have had great success with these products and there are some doctors who use one or more of these products within their own treatment protocol.

This article was contributed by Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization. Visit them here: www.generationrescue.org For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html

Living Healthy Living Green

JoinUs!

3. Get the nutrients up. A broad vitamin and mineral supplement is critical for restoring health. Minerals are particularly important because many toxins like mercury directly impact mineral transport within the body. Zinc, selenium, and magnesium are particularly important for restorative health. Also, the use of certain chelating agents may deplete minerals which means the build-up of mineral levels in advance of chelation or other forms of detoxification is very important. Your doctor will work with you to design a nutrient plan tailored to your child’s unique biochemistry.

46

www.holisticmoms.org (877) HOL-MOMS

Photo: Sumayyah Simone

pathways | issue 21


Do you know someone with Autism? Their family needs this book to survive!

How we treat the child the child will treat the world

Learning to Dance in the Rain A Mother’s Holistic Approach for Helping Her Child with Down Syndrome and Autism

Pam Leo

Take a glimpse into a real home where autism took root. Learn survival skills to “weather the storms of life” with a disabled child. The complex issues of autism are simplified and holistic ideas are offered in this educational, heartwarming, and inspiring true story.

Kindred magazine

...because sustainability begins at conception

Come visit our website - sign up for our FREE e-newsletter - be inspired by our groundbreaking content

kindredmagazine.com.au

Elayne Pearson

• • • •

National Autism-Recovery Speaker Advocate for Vaccine Reform Holistic Health Care Activist 2001 Mrs. Utah-United States

www.elaynepearson.com

Inspired Parenting Magazine For everything you really need to know about raising amazing, emotionally intelligent children. And now...

Inspired Parenting Playgroups™ Join a group, make new friends, empower your family and kids. Or become a Group Leader and make money running a truly meaningful home business. Call 310 454 6279 or visit www.inspiredparenting.com pathways | issue 21

47


informed c h o i c e

Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients:

What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know? By Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD, FAAP

T

himerosal, which contains the organic compound ethyl mercury, is a known neurotoxin and used to be a major ingredient in childhood vaccines. There are more than 15,000 articles in the medical literature describing the adverse health effects on the human body with exposure to varying amounts and forms of mercury. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged government agencies to work rapidly toward reducing children’s exposure to mercury from all sources. Because any potential risk was of concern, the AAP and the USPHS (United States Public Health Service) agreed that the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines should be reduced or eliminated. The AAP recommended that it would be a good idea to remove thimerosal from vaccines, even though, according to them, there was no evidence linking childhood health issues to thimerosal exposure from vaccines. In 2008, children are still being injected with thimerosal-containing vaccines, and old stocks of thimerosal-containing vaccines manufactured by 1999 continued to be administered to children up to 2003. However, a growing number of physicians, scientists, and parents maintain that thimerosal has played, and continues to play, a large role in contributing to the emergence of multiple chronic illnesses in children and adults, including the neurological spec-

48

pathways | issue 21

trum disorders. Aluminum, which is present in the environment and has increased in many childhood vaccines since the “phase out” of thimerosal, may be affecting the health of our children in ways that we have yet to understand. Aluminum is a heavy metal with known neurotoxic effects on human and animal nervous systems. It can be found in the following childhood vaccines: DTaP, Pediarix™ (DTaP-Hepatitis B-Polio combination), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB), Pentacel® (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Pneumococcal vaccines. In 1996, the AAP issued a position paper on Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children which stated in the first paragraph, “Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues.” A review of the medical literature on aluminum reveals a surprising lack of scientific evidence that injected aluminum is safe. There is limited understanding of what happens to children when aluminum is injected into their bodies, including whether or not it accumulates in tissues and organs or is properly eliminated from the body. It is also unknown if genetic factors affect long-term adverse health outcomes for individuals injected with aluminum-containing vaccines.


One in 6 children younger than 18 years in this country has developmental/learning disabilities, although the numbers may be higher since this 1994 report was published. Ten percent of all children have asthma. Growing numbers of children are living with different types of allergies. That means they have impairment, or even irreversible damage, to their nervous and immune systems. Isn’t it possible that injected aluminum plays a role in affecting the health of our children’s nervous and immune systems, as the evidence we do have seems to suggest? What is even more disconcerting is the lack of accepted scientific data explaining whether injected aluminum interacts with other vaccine ingredients to cause harm to our children. Boyd Haley, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, completed lab experiments that showed the damaging effects on nerve cells when he exposed them to aluminum, especially in the presence of other vaccine ingredients, including mercury, formaldehyde, and the antibiotic neomycin. His data, however, have been ignored by the scientific, medical, and governmental institutions that make vaccine policies. The scientific community needs to perform more experiments in the lab before shooting kids with these ingredients and declaring unequivocal vaccine safety for all children. Aluminum is added to vaccines as an adjuvant so vaccines will produce a stronger antibody response and provide more protection. It is this role as an adjuvant that may reveal to us the most significant relationship between aluminum in vaccines and the damage it imparts on the long-term health of our children’s nervous and immune systems. A Little Science Review Children are born with an immune system with 3 major components: a cell-mediated immune system (Th1 cells—T-helper 1), a humoral immune system (Th2 cells—T-helper 2), and a regulator immune system (Th3 cells—T-helper 3). These 3 arms are immature when babies are born, and begin to mature as children are exposed to their environments through their nervous systems, skin, airways, and intestines. Antibiotics, poor nutrition, stress, exposure to heavy metals and other environmental toxins, and the use of vaccines may interfere with the proper maturation of these 3arms of the immune system. In theory, if the Th system is allowed to mature, and is not interfered with, children will develop a mature, balanced Th1, Th2, and Th3 immune system by age 3 years. Th1 and Th2 cells develop to protect children from the outside world, producing inflammation and anti-inflammatory responses to foreign particles from the natural environment. Th3 immune cells develop to keep the Th1 and Th2 arms of the immune system in check so the body only produces the amount of inflammation and anti-inflammation that is needed to protect itself from substances in the natural environment. When Th2 cells are activated properly, either directly via the natural environment or through a direct signal from the Th1 system, the B-cell arm of the immune system is then stimulated, leading to the production of the desired protective antibodies. The hallmark of a healthy, mature immune system in children is demonstrated by an equal and balanced Th1, Th2, and Th3 immune response to the natural environment. Th1, Th2, and Th3

do not work independently, and require a very important synergistic relationship to function properly in our bodies. As soon as one or more of these three arms begins to over- or under-work in relation to the other, chronic illness begins to express itself. More on Aluminum Aluminum is placed in the vaccines to selectively target the upregulation of the humoral arm (Th2 cells) of children’s immune systems to drive the production of antibodies. The medical community leads us to believe that this production of antibodies is what imparts for children a protection against vaccine-preventable illnesses. Yet, this outcome may come at a cost. There are multiple articles in the medical literature demonstrating how chronic illnesses like allergies, asthma, eczema, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, ADD/ADHD and autism all exhibit a skewed production and over-activity of the Th2 arm of the immune system. Similarly, chronic illnesses like juvenile diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, uveits, inflammatory bowel disease, and autism all exhibit skewed production and over-activity of the Th1 arm of the immune system. While aluminum in the vaccines specifically targets the over-activation of Th2 to encourage the body to produce antibodies, any direct or indirect effect of aluminum on the health or maturation of the Th1 or Th3 system is unknown. Yet, in many of these Th2-dominated chronic illnesses, Th1 and Th3 have also been shown to exhibit an impaired immune response to the environment. Any direct or indirect effect on the health or maturation of the Th1, Th2, and Th3 arms of children’s immune systems from any of the injected vaccine ingredients, either due to their individual action or combined interaction, is unknown as well. The important synergistic, balanced activity of Th1, Th2, and Th3, in response to the environment is dysfunctional and impaired in all chronic illnesses. Children are not necessarily born with this dysfunction or impairment, although they may inherit the susceptibility from their parents. How then, do children develop the expression of these Th1, Th2, Th3 impairments, into what we describe as chronic illness? What is clear is aluminum pushes the Th2 immune system to over perform, and multiple chronic illnesses in children show immune systems where the Th2 immune response over performs, while Th1 and Th3 responses are also impaired. Is there a connection? By having this type of effect on the Th2 system, is aluminum in any way contributing to the development of these chronic illnesses in children; especially in those children from families with a genetic history of the above mentioned chronic illnesses? Does aluminum also affect the Th1 immune response, unbeknownst to scientists, clinicians, and parents? Does aluminum play a role in impairing the overall synergistic, balanced activity of Th1, Th2, and Th3, which is a requirement for a healthy immune system response to the natural environment? There is no scientific evidence to clarify our understanding one way or the other, but the evidence may be right in front of us to draw conclusions. Aluminum forces the undeveloped and immature immune system of infants and children to produce greater amounts of humoral immune cells (Th2) and antibodies, before the immune pathways | issue 21

49


informed choice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) are aware that aluminum is dangerous. For example, in June 2000, Dr. Tom Verstraeten (CDC epidemiologist) made the following comment to a group of concerned scientists: “The results (for aluminum) were almost identical to ethylmercury because the amount of aluminum (in vaccines) goes along almost exactly with the mercury.” He was referring to a landmark study that found “statistically significant relationships” between both aluminum and mercury in vaccines and neurodevelopmental delays.

injected vaccine-containing formaldehyde on our children’s brains before we are called to demand that formaldehyde be removed? Or about the problems associated with having Polysorbate-80 in the vaccines? Polysorbate-80 is used in pharmacology to assist in the delivery of certain drugs or chemotherapeutic agents across the bloodDr. John Clements (WHO vaccine advisor) provided another telling statement: brain-barrier. What viral, bacterial, yeast, “Aluminum is not perceived, I believe, by the public as a dangerous metal. heavy metal, or other vaccine-containing Therefore we are in a much more comfortable wicket in terms of defending its ingredients need to pass into the brains of presence in vaccines.” — Contributed by Neil Z. Miller our children? Do they belong in the brain? Is that part of the needed immune response to protect our children from disease? Do vaccine system has a chance to adapt to the world in which they’ve materials pass across the blood-brain barrier with the help of barely had a chance to live in. Under these circumstances, the Polysorbate-80? If so, are there complications from being in the activity of aluminum appears to play a vital role in disrupting the brains of our children? Is this another connection to help us get maturation of the immune system in infants and children through an understanding of why 1 in 150 children have autism, or 1 in 6 its effects on Th2 and therefore, on Th1 and Th3. children has developmental and learning disabilities? What effect this has on overall health in the short or long term If we’re going to do justice to the topic of vaccine ingredients, we is unknown, but this model appears to help us understand how need to look at the potential harm of all the vaccine ingredients we may be contributing to the development of chronic illness at once, and examine their individual effects on our children’s in infants and children with the use of aluminum in vaccines. immune and nervous systems. Then, we can examine the interWe also have little understanding of what might happen to the active effects of the vaccine ingredients on human tissue, and overall health of their immune system if parents wait until later in evaluate the potential for harm, as Dr. Haley has already successlife to expose them to vaccines containing aluminum, or if they’re fully done. exposed in smaller doses, one at a time. How many more children need to be potentially harmed beHow much of a role does injected aluminum play, either actfore we invoke the precautionary principle and the Hippocratic ing alone, or in conjunction with other vaccine ingredients and Oath—First, do no harm? If there’s no adequate science, and environmental toxins, in the selection and subsequent developwe have positive evidence of toxicity from aluminum, injected ment of chronic illnesses, in a susceptible population of children, alone or in conjunction with other ingredients, and we have a through the disruption of Th1, Th2, Th3? There is no scientific potential model to understand why certain chronic conditions evidence to answer this question because no one has investigatmay be developing in a susceptible population of children, then ed this issue. We have no scientific studies in infants, children, injecting aluminum-containing vaccines into anyone should stop or adults to help us understand the nature of the progression of right now until we have the proper scientific proof we need to Th1, Th2, and Th3 immune responses to any of the injected matesay otherwise. We need the same scientific proof of safety for all rials in vaccines. vaccine ingredients and their interactions, and we need parents, You cannot research questions that people don’t believe are scientists, and practitioners to stand up and demand nothing worth asking, or are afraid of the answers that might be revealed less before we make matters worse. if the proper studies were done. It is unfortunate that we continue to drag out this dialogue by singling out each individual vaccine ingredient as a detriment Larry Palevsky, MD, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to the health of our children. First thimerosal needed to be past President of the American Holistic Medical Association co-founder removed, despite contentions from the medical community that and President of the Holistic Pediatric Association. Dr. Palevsky there were any real medical reasons to do so, and now alumiteaches holistic integrative pediatric and adolescent medicine to parnum. According to Environmental Defense (formerly known as ents and medical and allied health professionals both nationally and the Environmental Defense Fund), all the vaccine ingredients internationally. He can be reached at: www.holisticchildhealth.com. are poisonous, carcinogenic, or potentially harmful to the skin For additional resources and references visit: and gastrointestinal, pulmonary, immune, and neurological www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html systems in our bodies. What about formaldehyde? Are we going to wait until another brave physician or scientist writes about the damaging effects of

50

pathways | issue 21


® ®

safe

^

THE CO-SLEEPING SOLUTION

Experts agree Arm’s Reach

makes breastfeeding easier

Dr. Bill Sears, M.D. “The Baby Sleep Book”

Dr. James J. McKenna, Ph.D.

• • • • • •

• • • •

• • • •

“Sleeping with Your Baby”

Check out our complete selection

TAILORED MINI CLASSIC

of custom-fitted earth-friendly mattresses, fitted sheets, bedding and accessories made of organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or wool.

• • • • •

MINI CONVERTIBLE

SOOTHES AND COMFORTS A FUSSY BABY. STIMULATES AND ENTERTAINS NATURALLY. ADJUSTABLE BACK.

BASSINET CONVERTS TO PLAYARD FIVE STAR RATED FOR QUALITY

Now that you’ve made the decision to sleep near your baby, Arm’s Reach gives you a whole array of styles to suit your health needs and decorating wants. Tailored sassy or pretty solid colors or trendy prints in a selection of fabrics and textures. CO-SLEEPER® bassinets convert to free-standing bassinets and select units to medium and full sized playards. Visit our website, then your favorite store.

www.armsreach.com ( 800 ) 9 5 4 - 9 3 5 3

( 805 ) 2 7 8 - 2 5 5 9

© 2008 Arm’s Reach Concepts, Inc. All rights reserved. ARM’S REACH,CO-SLEEPER, Mother & Child Logo and all other trademarks are rigorously protected. Arm’s Reach Concept’s products may be protected under issued United States and Foreign Patent Registrations and Patents Pending.

pathways | issue 21

51


sneak peek

Sacred Spark

52

pathways | issue 21

© joe mahoney

Sacred Spark is the compelling, true story of a child affected by mercury poisoning, and his minister-mom’s decade-long battle to restore the light in her son’s eyes. It is also the inspiring story of Reverend Sykes’ work with the United Methodist Church to pass the first global resolution advocating the elimination of mercury from medicine, a nascent social justice movement on par with historical faith-based campaigns against child labor and slavery. With pragmatism and compassion, Sacred Spark calls for putting the well-being of children first. Through Sacred Spark’s unflinchingly honest, first-person account, parents and physicians demanding safer vaccines will find clarity to support their informed choices as well as inspiration and guidance to become advocates for children. Woven seamlessly into the book’s engrossing narrative are Rev. Sykes’ victories in appropriate and landmark biomedical treatments for her son, the success of empowered parents to enact state bans on mercury and to approach Attorney Generals across the country, attempts to find precious allies against a corrupt and protected industry, and her family’s lawsuit defeat against a pharmaceutical company. As a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate and minister of 19 years, Rev. Sykes inspires the reader to go beyond compromised scientific studies and profit-driven political debates, and examine the mercury/autism issue through the first-hand experience of a mother and the faith and conviction of a minister. Sacred Spark ultimately teaches us that it is ordinary people who ignite the fire of reform.

An Excerpt from Chapter 3: Chelation By Rev. Lisa Sykes

It was perfectly white as far as the eye could see. Wesley, whom I held in my arms, sensed he stood at the brink. There at the edge, where identifiable outlines and hues disappeared, he clung to me with his arms about my neck and his legs wrapped about my waist. His physical proximity, his closeness, his touch, was so unusual in these days. When I did experience them, it was because Wesley was experiencing great fear. Too, he was cold. He was cold because he was naked. And he did not understand how his mother could be so cruel.


Every time the DMSA pulled a significant quantity of mercury from his tissues, the rash would appear on the backs of his knees. Every time the rash There were tears on my cheeks. Just when I thought I’d become accustomed to them, the torrent seared my face again. I had always planned to be so happy, and such a good mother. And now, I knew, in these moments, I only terrified my child. Truth be told, I terrified myself also. I tried too hard to comprehend the enormity of my life, lived its length, with Wesley’s autism. I tried to comprehend the daily struggle to remain sane while my child suffered sporadic and indescribable agony. Autism instructed my soul in desperation. There were times I wondered if my spirit and mind could withstand the strain. There were times that Wesley’s panicked reactions convinced me that neither of us could. This was one of those moments. His panic, like so many other things, was an enigma. I was oblivious to the oblivion he perceived. I knew only that I had one immutable goal in mind for this cataclysmic moment and that was to give my autistic son a bath. After Seth and I finally succeeded in wrestling our son into the tub, we sat upon the ceramic tile, restraining Wesley by the shoulders to keep him in the water, and stared at each other, exhausted. How could it be that giving our son a bath had become so impossible? We did not yet understand the terror now in Wesley’s soul because we had not yet grasped the havoc that mercury had wrought in his brain. Once Mary Megson, M.D., made her diagnosis, once she boldly decided to risk her standing and her medical career to speak the truth to me, the course of treatment before us was clear. Wesley’s body had been injected with poison. The preservative in his childhood vaccines, which he received from birth to two years of age, and in my Rho(D) shot, which I received when I was 28 weeks pregnant with him, was Thimerosal, almost fifty percent mercury by weight. The mercury injected into my son as part of these FDA approved drugs would remain in his body, wreaking havoc, unless Seth and I chose to treat him, and pull it out with chemical compounds designed to bind with the mercury. The process of extracting it was called chelation. Seth and I gained courage by researching the history of lead poisoning that resulted from paint only decades earlier. The agent used to detoxify a child of lead was the same agent used to detoxify a child of mercury: DMSA or meso 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid. It was a white viscous liquid packaged in a capped measuring syringe. Wesley would have to take one syringeful of the foul-smelling slime every four hours by mouth and around the clock, for three days at a time. The goal of this dosing schedule was to keep the chelating agent level in the blood, so that the mercury, once captured by the DMSA, did not have any opportunity to retreat and hide once again in the tissues until the cycle was complete. For three days, we would dose Wesley with DMSA, and then for four days we would let him and his weary body rest, while replenishing his stores of zinc, iron, magnesium, and the other good metals, with supplements. Every month we would check his mineral levels and run a complete blood count and liver enzymes to make sure we were chelating him safely.

would appear, I would catch a urine sample from my son and send it for toxicology testing. Consistently, these samples showed high levels of mercury. More mercury. The new test results showed a high level of mercury in Wesley’s urine. This time the line did not run off the page as it had the first, but it still extended past the reference range, and the elevated range, into the final column indicating the need for alarm. I felt compelled to document Wesley, his treatment and his results, now more than ever. I did not yet know how important this would be. Fortuitously, among pediatric patients being chelated for mercury, this blue-eyed child, whose gaze still stole hearts even through the haze of autism, was uniquely consistent. Every time the DMSA pulled a significant quantity of mercury from his tissues, the rash would appear on the backs of his knees. Every time the rash would appear, I would catch a urine sample from my son and send it for toxicology testing. Consistently, these samples showed high levels of mercury. Unlike many other parents, who did not know when their children were dumping mercury because they had no outward sign, I always knew when Wesley was because the rash would appear on the backs of his knees. Because of Wesley’s rash, the luxury of good insurance, and an amazingly supportive spouse, I amassed a comprehensive clinical record on Wesley’s poisoning. There was no doubt that this particular cycle of chelation was worse than most. After three days of lethargy and an upset stomach for Wesley, the cycle ended. After one full day without medication, Wesley’s head finally lifted from its pillow and a hint of his sweet smile showed about the corners of his lips. The return of that enchanting smile caused tears to gather in the corners of my eyes. With my help, Wesley got up slowly and came down the stairs. It was then I knew something had changed. Instead of twofooting the stairs, allowing one foot to catch up with the other before advancing another step, my son was alternating his feet upon the stairs, one step at a time. Suddenly, my child was descending the stairs as I did, and as he never before had. He was certain of his feet, and poised with his balance, and I was dumbfounded by the change. This first revelation was followed by a second, while Wesley and I sat on the front porch relaxing after our ordeal. Wesley loved to sit out on the rocker in the breeze, whatever the season, and so I took him there, hoping the caress of spring would soothe him. When Wesley sat down, this autistic child who had always had a bewildered look on his face seemed to gaze with clarity at the world around him, and at me. I puzzled and puzzled over what had changed, unable to discern at first what was so markedly different and yet ironically, too, so subtle. It was then that I realized: Wesley’s pupils had contracted in the bright sunlight. All of the months and years in which he had carried such pathways | issue 21

53


sneak peek

Instead, the light gave impetus for his eyes to react as they always should have, and only now could, because a substantial amount of mercury had been pulled during those three long days. I guessed, and Mary would later confirm, what Wesley had regained was his depth perception. How long had it been since the world made any visual sense to my son? a horrific amount of mercury, his eyes had registered his toxic state by their dilation, a clinical symptom of mercury-poisoning. Mercury had kept the pupils from shutting down, so that Wesley’s eyes could not limit the amount of light that entered on a bright sunny day. Is it any wonder that he would sometimes fall to the ground and scream when moving from inside to outside? At times like that, I had been powerless to stop the light from momentarily and painfully blinding Wesley. But now, in the softness of full daylight, Wesley did not construe the sun as his enemy. Instead, the light gave impetus for his eyes to react as they always should have, and only now could, because a substantial amount of mercury had been pulled during those three long days. I guessed, and Mary would later confirm, what Wesley had regained was his depth perception. How long had it been since the world made any visual sense to my son? Did the mercury from the Rho(D) shot lodge in his brain before birth, corrupting his vision in infancy? Or did the immunizations, with their additional and excessive loads, overcome his ability to see normally while he was a toddler? Unable to answer these questions, I set my jaw, and clenched my fists in an anger that, like the mercury, was quiet yet catastrophic. It had never occurred to me that my son was effectively blind. After all, his eyes moved intentionally. In fact, they seemed perpetually and futilely to search and seek for something indefinable. But the information they captured, when sent to the brain, was received by tissues tormented by the mercury. Depth perception had disappeared from Wesley’s field of vision. Though his eyes might see, his brain could not perceive his surroundings with any accuracy at all. The world was, for Wesley, a maniacal fun house. Worse than a hall of mirrors, what Wesley saw in his field of vision as he took each step up to this point in his illness, was precipice and abyss and blizzard. His inability to see normally, and the terrifying nature of what he did perceive, caused him to bump into walls and stumble down stairs.

54

pathways | issue 21

I chastised myself for not understanding how my child had struggled to process the outside world until this dramatic change. The change in Wesley’s pupils and his new ability to transition into the sunshine, walk down stairs, and suddenly match a picture to its corresponding 3D object during therapy, might have seemed dramatic, in and of themselves, had it not been for the bath. Had I only understood that Wesley had no depth perception from the time of his diagnosis to this point, I would have known why he hugged the faucet once Seth and I finally succeeded at wrestling him into the tub. It was the only violation of the white, the only beacon in the storm. Shiny and gray, the stainless steel faucet protruded in stark contrast to the white abyss of the fiberglass shower. In order to have this only point of reference to secure him, Wesley had to be within two inches of it. Therefore, he would plaster his back against the tub directly beside the faucet, and refuse to move anywhere. I had no idea that for Wesley, the spigot was a flag in the blizzard, and a meager promise of return from a world of white infinity. That faucet was Wesley’s only hope of ever finding his way back to a place where there were shapes and colors, however odd they might seem to him. At last, I knew why this naked child clung to me as if he would die, should I let go of him, whenever I tried stubbornly to place him in the bath water. My precious child, my second son, thought his mother was about to pitch him into a chasm when I, instead, was only trying to get him into the tub. For me to hold Wesley by the side of the white fiberglass tub, I now realized, was for me to dangle him over the sheerest cliff on Mt. Everest. Wesley feared for his life, convinced that if he let go of me, he would fall for an eternity through the nearly seamless and smooth whiteness. And in the face of such terror, he could utter not one single cry, nor explain to us the horror that gripped him, just as he gripped me. Now, after an unusually large dump of mercury in Wesley’s urine, Seth and I watched in amazement as our little boy sat gleefully in the tub and splashed in the water as he once had in infancy, before mercury fully invaded his brain.

Rev. Lisa Sykes currently serves as the associate pastor of Welborne United Methodist Church, Richmond, VA. She is president of CoMeD, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to the elimination of mercury from medicine. For more information, visit www.sacredsparkbook.com. For additional resources and references visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html


news and events

The United Methodist Church Resolves to Protect Children from Mercury in Drugs

When the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, approved the resolution “Protecting Children from Mercury-containing Drugs” on April 29th, it brought a new and commanding voice to the issue of mercury in medicine. Comprised of 992 international delegates, the General Conference is the top decision-making body of the United Methodist Church. In passing this resolution, the United Methodist Church affirms its commitment to safe vaccines and seeks to safeguard public confidence in vaccines and other drugs by advocating the removal of mercury from them. Mercury is a known poison, neurotoxin, and carcinogen. Of particular concern, thimerosal, the mercury-based ‘preservative’ first patented in 1928, remains commonplace in some vaccines (including flu and tetanus shots) as well as other drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, used in the United States and abroad. With many published scientific, medical, toxicological, and epidemiological studies (some underwritten by pharmaceutical companies and government agencies) reaching opposite conclusions about the danger posed by mercury in the global drug supply, the United Methodist resolution brings a new religious and ethical perspective to this debate even as it brings this issue to the attention of a global community of concerned Christians. With its passage, The United Methodist Church, with 11.5 million members around the world, becomes the largest global organization and the first faith community to advocate for mercury-free drugs. Because The United Methodist Church has a network of medical missions, clinics, and hospitals around the world, its leadership hopes that their expressed preference for mercury-free vaccines will cause other agencies involved in the delivery of healthcare, both in the United States and around the world, to examine this issue with great care. Early efforts, first led by the Rev. Lisa Sykes and other parents of mercury-injured children, brought their well-researched The Rev. Lisa Karen Sykes concerns about mercury in mediPhoto by Barbara Wheeler/ United Methodist Women. cine to the attention of their local churches and annual conferences. Ms. Julie Taylor, Executive Secretary for Children, Youth, and Family Advocacy, within the Women’s Division, explained: “As part of its history, the organization of United Methodist Women has advocated for the health and education of women and children. Because of their faith and since the turn of the century, the women have sought to raise awareness and provide assistance

Delegates to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference meet in Fort Worth, Texas. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose. April 25, 2008

for these areas of concern, both in this country and around the world. Undertaking the issue of mercury in vaccines and other drugs is just one expression of that faith and commitment. Today’s women are advocating for safe vaccines. They want children to be protected from diseases but they also want that to occur in as safe a manner as possible. Getting mercury out of vaccines is one way to do that.” A number of factors underscore why this issue has ascended through the structures of The United Methodist Church so quickly. The first is that this issue is consistent with both the history and the doctrine of the denomination. Affirmed in the United Methodist Book of Discipline is the church’s great commitment to social justice: “The United Methodist Church has a long history of concern for social justice. Its members have often taken forthright positions on controversial issues involving Christian principles. Early Methodists expressed their opposition to the slave trade, to smuggling, and to the cruel treatment of prisoners.” Of particular concern to the church is the demonstrated toxicity of mercury. In addition, the parents of mercury-injured children were especially troubled by the government’s inaction on the issue of infant exposure to thimerosal in vaccines: “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding the lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protection-

pathways | issue 21

55


news and events

The United Methodist Church’s Global Resolution declares: That The United Methodist Church supports all efforts to protect the public, especially children, from mercury-containing drugs by calling on the World Health Organization, and international and national health officials/agencies, including the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to: Immediately prioritize mercury-free stocks of vaccines and other pharmaceutical products for pregnant women, newborn infants, and children; Provide ‘the opportunity of informed consent’ to individuals about mercury exposure through their pharmaceutical products or vaccines, detailing the known risks of toxicity and U.S. Federal Safety Guidelines for exposure to mercury; and ban the presence of any mercury compound in pharmaceutical products or vaccines, prescribed or over-the-counter, unless the presence of the mercury compound has been proven clinically to have no adverse effects at a level at least 100 times higher than the level in the drug product. And further resolves: That, until mercury is banned from medicine, the medical missions and ministries of The United Methodist Church shall state a preference for mercury-free vaccines over mercury-containing ones and shall communicate this preference to: the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as any other organization from which vaccines are purchased. ism of the pharmaceutical industry.” “I hasten to add, however, that based on the publicly available information…it appears there may be sufficient evidence to find a substantial likelihood of a substantial and specific danger to the public health caused by the use of thimerosal/ mercury in vaccines because of its inherent toxicity.” The United Methodist Church is also concerned about the denial of informed consent whenever mercury is administered as a part of a pharmaceutical product to any patient, especially an unborn or newborn child. Finally, there is one other fascinating aspect of United Methodism’s landmark involvement in this issue: the Simpsonwood Meeting which took place June 7–8, 2000. At this meeting, which was held at Simpsonwood United Methodist Retreat Center, carefully selected members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and

56

pathways | issue 21

the World Health Organization, met with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry behind closed doors. Without any notice in the federal register, this meeting was called to discuss the Verstraeten Study (named after its lead author) which showed an association between the mercury children received in their vaccines and several serious harmful outcomes. The Simpsonwood meeting was held 3 weeks before congressional investigative hearings into the conflicts of interest between pharmaceutical companies and government agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began. Vaccine safety advocates, who oppose the use of mercury in vaccines, have long charged that the meeting which took place at Simpsonwood was illegal and collusive. Because of a transcript obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the public is becoming increasingly aware that those attending the meeting expressed great alarm behind closed doors

about thimerosal-containing vaccines: “…we have found statistically significant relationships between the exposures and outcomes… First, for two months of age, an unspecified developmental delay… Exposure at three months of age, tics. Exposure at six months of age, an attention deficit disorder. Exposure at one, three and six months of age, language and speech delays… Exposure at one, three and six months of age, the entire category of neurodevelopmental delays, which includes all of these plus anumber of other disorders.” —Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, CDC. “(the study) leads me to favor a recommendation that infants up to two years old not be immunized with thimerosal containing vaccines… My gut feeling? It worries me enough. Forgive this personal comment, but I got called out at eight o’clock, and my daughter-in-law delivered a son. Our first male in the next generation, and I do not want that grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on.” —Dr. Richard Johnston, University of Colorado. Before the Verstraeten study was presented to the Institute of Medicine in 2001 and 2004, it was revised multiple times, until the associations between mercury and these adverse outcomes disappeared. The General Conference resolution is a first step toward addressing what happened at Simpsonwood, and more importantly, it is a first step toward addressing what is happening to the children in an age when 1 in every 150 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and 1 in every 6 children now has a developmental disorder or a behavioral problem. To weary advocates, especially the parents of mercury-injured children who have often despaired that the public would ever learn the truth about mercury in medicine, the General Conference resolution has given real and tangible hope.


© istockphoto.com / mitar holod

Why the Vaccine Debate of Mercury and Autism Continues to Rage By Theresa Wrangham, President of SafeMinds

We’ve all heard it—mercury has been taken out of vaccines and was never connected to autism. However, no matter how often these claims are repeated by vaccine officials, trust in the nation’s immunization program continues to deteriorate. At the heart of this distrust is simply parents’ desire to provide their children with the best healthcare available. Unfortunately, parents are confronted with another reality on discovery that these well-worn claims designed to inspire trust are false. Recent factors contributing to the increase in the crisis of faith regarding the recommended childhood immunization schedule are last year’s federal compensation to the Poling family for their daughter’s vaccine-induced autism; former NIH Director Dr. Bernadine Healy stating that the mercury-autism hypothesis had been too quickly dismissed by federal agencies for fear of where the path would lead; and NIH-funded research by U.C. Davis M.I.N.D. Institute published in January’s Epidemiology confirming that autism’s rise is real and not a result of expanded diagnostic criteria or heightened awareness leading to earlier diagnosis. Determining total health outcomes from multiple vaccine toxicants (e.g. mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, antigens), will require a comprehensive study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations to assess the

long-term effects of vaccines. This is a study that CDC’s former Director, Dr. Julie Gerberding, has stated could and should be done. Yet, there is notable resistance on the part of federal agencies charged with vaccine safety and oversight to conduct such a study. This resistance was on full display at the January 14th meeting of the NIH Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), charged with creating a national autism research agenda inclusive of the investigation of vaccines and their components in relation to autism. Departing from procedure, government representatives on the IACC voted against conducting vaccine-autism research, despite their prior approval at the IACC’s December meeting. These research objectives were supported by numerous autism organizations, and requested by the IACC’s scientific work groups and Congress. The maneuver to conduct a revote on these objectives was led by CDC’s representative to the IACC. Just prior to the revote, IACC Chairman and NIMH Director, Dr. Insel, acknowledged existing conflicts of interests, due to the more than 5,000 lawsuits pending against the Federal Health and Human Services agency (HHS), of which CDC is a member, alleging vaccine-induced injury regression into autism. Some of these conflicts include the extensive conflicts of interest between CDC and vaccine manufacturers, CDC’s vested

pathways | issue 21

57


news and events

financial interests in the owning of vaccine patents, and the billions of dollars spent by CDC on vaccine promotion with virtually nothing spent on vaccine safety. These conflicts preclude the CDC’s ability to objectively conduct safety monitoring and oversight of the immunization program and necessitate the creation of a new independent agency to take on this mandate. The refusal to close vaccine safety research gaps sends a dangerous message and serves only to heighten parents’ concerns about vaccines. Gaps in vaccine safety research must be closed. Instead, thousands of informed parents have been mischaracterized as anti-vaccine, when in fact these parents understand that the immunization schedule currently in place is unable to accurately quantify the risk/benefit of vaccines. The best short-term precautionary action is the immediate removal of mercury from all vaccines, which is supported by existing supplies of mercury-free vaccines. The long-term solution

requires that vaccine-safety research move forward in determining total health outcomes, the creation of an independent agency to conduct safety monitoring and oversight of the immunization program, and that these remedies be transparent and free from conflicts of interest. Such action will secure an accurate understanding of vaccines and their role in both public and individual health.

Theresa Wrangham is the mother of Rachel (18), a teenager who is diagnosed with PDD/NOS, and Deanna (15). She lives in Colorado with her husband, Scott. Theresa currently serves as President of SafeMinds, a private charitable nonprofit organization founded to investigate and raise awareness of the risks to infants and children of exposure to mercury from the environment and medical products, including thimerosal in vaccines.

Debunking Popular Vaccine Myths

Myth 1

Myth 2

Truth: Today most vaccines in the United States are mercury-free, except the influenza vaccine. Most mercury, more than 10 times the safe limit for an infant.

Truth: Thimerosal contains ethyl-mercury, an inexpensive preservative used in vaccines since the 1930s, which has never been tested using modern safety standards. Today, federal agency

The influenza vaccine is recommended for children annu-

conflicts of interest noted in the 2003 Congressional

ally, as well as pregnant women. Most vaccines used

Report “Mercury in Medicine: Taking Unnecessary

in developing countries contain mercury. Mercury-free

Risks” remain and have led to requests by congress-

versions in the United States are driven by market

men that CDC no longer conduct vaccine studies

demand that is created by the Centers for Disease Con-

(2006) and a Senate Hearing (2007) to conclude

trol (CDC) and state health departments. To download

that the FDA had not met their statutory obligation

a brochure on mercury and influenza vaccines visit

in adequately demonstrating the safety of mercury

www.safeminds.org. Another resource on mercury

in vaccines.

Mercury is no longer in childhood vaccines.

influenza vaccines contain as much as 25 micrograms of

Mercury in vaccines is safe.

in vaccines is the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Institute for Vaccine Safety website, which keeps an updated list of many mercury-containing and mercury-free vaccines at www.vaccinesafety.edu

Vaccines have been tested for safety.

/thi-table.htm. Parents using alternative schedules

and children considered to be at risk for meningitis will

Truth: Vaccines are tested individually, but the vaccine schedule has never been tested to assess interaction when multiple vaccines are given on the same day or over a short period of time.

have to exercise caution, as there are mercury-free and

The infant vaccine schedule has increased since 1985

mercury-containing versions of this vaccine.

from 8 vaccines to 27 vaccines in 2007.

and single jab methodology may not be able to obtain mercury-free tetanus vaccine according to this table

58

Myth 3

pathways | issue 21


Great Denial of Vaccine Risks & Freedom By Barbara Loe Fisher © istockphoto.com / dan moore

The Great Denial of vaccine risks for the past three decades by vaccine makers, pediatricians, and government officials operating the mass vaccination system is the reason why more and more parents today question and mistrust vaccine science, policy, and law. When Harris Coulter and I co-authored DPT: A Shot in the Dark in 1985 exposing flaws in the mass vaccination system that allowed the highly reactive DPT vaccine to stay on the market unimproved for more than 40 years, we never imagined then that those tragic flaws in the system would remain largely intact in 2009. I knew then that the alliance between industry, organized medicine, and government was powerful. But it is only after a quarter century of witnessing the Great Denial of vaccine risks, which has produced millions of vaccine-damaged children flooding special education classrooms and doctors offices, that the magnitude of that unchecked power has been fully revealed. Thomas Jefferson, co-author of the U.S. Constitution, said in 1820: “We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” When those in power are so afraid of the truth that they abandon reason and are willing to tolerate all kinds of errors in order to hide the truth, people suffer. Fear of the truth was clearly in play at a Jan. 14 meeting of the Federal Interagency Autism Advisory Committee

If one citizen or group of citizens in America are allowed to force fellow citizens to risk injury or death without their voluntary, informed consent, then are Americans free in any sense of the word? (IACC) when the Committee took a convenient “revote” to nullify a previous vote to use a portion of congressionally appropriated funds in the Combating Autism Act of 2006 to investigate the long-reported association between vaccination and autism. Whether the “revote” can be blamed on a turf war between federal agencies, a Committee member who defied direction given to her by her employer, Autism Speaks, or a desperate, last minute end-run by health officials to again delay the day when the truth about vaccine risks is known, it is the people who always lose in this high stakes game of denials and delays. Thomas Jefferson had a lot to say about power, coercion, and freedom. He said “Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons.” Ask Rita Palma of New York what it means to be

subjected to an inquisition about her religious beliefs by an arrogant and fallible man governed by passions and driven to harass and coerce her for private as well as public reasons. An attorney, acting on behalf of the state of New York, put Rita on the rack and browbeats her for her religious beliefs and faith in God when it comes to vaccinating her children. Rita has been working with other parents in New York to support the addition of philosophical exemption to vaccination to New York vaccine laws to protect parents, who exercise religious exemptions, and doctors, who issue medical exemptions from harassment by state officials. A public Vaccine Education Roundtable was sponsored by New York Assemblymen Marc Alessi and Richard Gottfried on Dec. 15, 2008 at Stony Brook University to examine vaccine safety and informed consent issues. Reason and faith, conscience and

pathways | issue 21

59


news and events

And if the state can tag, track down, and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of unknown toxicity today, then there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the state can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.

science, truth and freedom. Those who participate in the Great Denial of vaccine risks cannot tolerate an unbiased, methodologically sound scientific investigation into those risks. And they cannot tolerate the free exercise of religious belief and conscience by those, whose minds and bodies they must control in order to perpetuate the Great Denial. In 1997, I was asked to present an argument for the moral right to conscientious belief exemption to vaccination to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C. After my 20-minute presentation, there was a several hour “discussion” where I was grilled by public health officials who alternately acknowledged the importance of the informed consent principle and called me “selfish,” a “threat to the public health,” and “uninformed.” The defining moment of that encounter, for me at least, came when I looked the physician architect of the CDC-led “No shots, No school” campaign in the eye and said “Whether or not I put my child’s life on the line for you and your vaccines is between me and my God and not between me and you, Doctor.” The way he gritted his teeth and glared at me while his face flushed bright red, spoke volumes about what the Great Denial is all about. It is about whether we, the citizens, are going to have the power to freely choose which pharmaceutical products or other medical interventions we are

60

pathways | issue 21

going to use or whether that power is going to be taken from us by doctors and public health officials. Jacobsen v. Massachusetts is the U.S. Supreme Court decision which affirmed the constitutional right of the states to enact mandatory vaccination laws. Concerned about controlling smallpox, little did the justices at the turn of the 20th century imagine that federal officials would someday recommend 69 doses of 16 vaccines for children from 12 hours of age through age 18 years or that New Jersey would mandate more than three dozen doses of 13 vaccines for children to attend school. In an insightful review of that historic 1905 Supreme Court decision, the Harvard Law Review recently examined the application of Jacobsen v. Massachusetts to vaccine laws in the 21st century. If one citizen or group of citizens in America is allowed to force fellow citizens to risk injury or death without their voluntary, informed consent, then are Americans free in any sense of the word? When forced risk-taking involves mandated use of pharmaceutical products protected from liability in the judicial system, which the authors of the Constitution created as a check and balance on the Executive and Legislative branches of government, then people can be easily exploited for power and profit. Unless vaccines and other pharmaceutical products are subject to the law of supply

and demand so citizens can freely choose those which are necessary, safe, and effective and reject those which are not, the people become nothing more than enslaved consumers of potentially dangerous products marketed by companies with no economic or legal incentive to improve those products. And if the state can tag, track down, and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of unknown toxicity today, then there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the state can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow. As the 44th President of the United States was sworn in this year in our nation’s Capitol, we can only pray that he will have the intelligence, compassion, and conscience to make sure that his Administration is not afraid to find out the truth about vaccine risks. With 1 child in 6 now developmentally delayed in America and no answers from government health officials as to how they got that way, our nation’s future may depend on it. The National Vaccine Information Center is prepared to stand with other parent groups representing families with vaccine injured children to call for an end to the Great Denial by those responsible for ensuring our children’s health and safety. Let freedom ring: no forced vaccination. Not in America.


Autism Groups and Parents Protest

Federal Autism Committee’s

Deceitful Reversal on Vaccine-Autism Research

In a highly unusual departure from procedure, government representatives to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) voted on January 14th against conducting studies on vaccine-autism research despite approval of the same studies at their prior meeting on December 12, 2008. The research was supported by numerous autism organizations and requested by IACC’s scientific work groups and Congress. The maneuver to revote was initiated by the IACC’s representative from the CDC and pushed through by the IACC Chair, Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health of NIH. Review of the studies was not listed on the committee’s official agenda, in violation of normal committee practice. Unlike most federal advisory committees, the IACC is dominated by government representatives occupying 12 of the 18 seats. Dr. Insel admitted at the meeting that Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies (which include NIH and CDC) have a conflict of interest in conducting vaccine-autism research due to “Vaccine Court” litigation in which HHS is the defendant. Of the 6 non-government (public) members, 5 voted to retain the vaccine research at the January meeting. The lone dissenting public member resigned from her organization, Autism Speaks, the night before the meeting. Autism Speaks has issued a statement denouncing her vote. The CDC, part of HHS along with NIH, has been criticized by parents citing failure to uphold vaccine safety. In a surprising moment of candor, Dr. Insel cited HHS conflicts of interests on vaccine-autism research due to the more than 5,000 autism

lawsuits pending against HHS. His comment supports the autism community’s contention that those in charge of promoting vaccine use while assuring safety are fundamentally conflicted and should not investigate themselves. IACC Member and SafeMinds Vice-President Lyn Redwood stated, “Revisiting objectives already approved did not appear on the meeting’s agenda.” She added, “Advocacy groups and legislators have been marginalized in this process.” “We are angered and disappointed by this last-minute deviation in the painstaking process of approving the Strategic Plan. Members of the autism community have worked tirelessly during the last two years to develop a plan that would set the stage for significant progress and discoveries for autism research over the next five years,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “In a matter of minutes, the federal members of the IACC destroyed much of the good will that had been established during the course of this process. Because of this surprise tactic, we now have a plan that is tainted and cannot be supported by the autism community.” Generation Rescue consulted with a prominent DC law firm to assess possible legal recourse for multiple violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) committed by the IACC. Generation Rescue began seeking legal counsel during the summer of 2008 when it became increasingly apparent that federal officials affiliated with the IACC were in violation of FACA rules. Due to the IACC’s actions, SafeMinds and Autism Speaks has withdrawn their support of the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Research and requests that incoming Human Health and Services Secretary will investigate the IACC’s action and reconstitute the committee, including removal of NIMH as its lead agency. SafeMinds is a private nonprofit organization that investigates and raises awareness of the risks to children of exposure to mercury from the environment and medical products, including thimerosal in vaccines. Visit www.safeminds.org to learn more.

RESOURCES Age of Autism www.ageofautism.com

Generation Rescue www.generationrescue.com

SafeMinds www.safeminds.org

Autism Action Network (AAN) autismactioncoalition.org

Moms Against Mercury www.momsagainstmercury.org

Schafer Report www.sarnet.org

Autism One www.autismone.org

National Autism Association (NAA) www.nationalautismassociation.com

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) www.talkaboutcuringautism.org

Autism Research Institute www.autismresearchinstitute.com

National Vaccine Information Center www.nvic.org

U.S. Autism & Asperger Association www.usautism.org

Co-Med www.mercury-freedrugs.org

NoMercury www.nomercury.org

Unlocking Autism www.unlockingautism.org

pathways | issue 21

61


recommendations

10

Autism & Vaccinations

Books You Need to Know About

Vaccine Safety Manual By Neil Z. Miller The Vaccine Safety Manual touts itself as the world’s most complete guide to immunization risks and protection. It includes pertinent information on every major vaccine. Detailed vaccine safety and efficacy data is written in an easy-to-understand format, yet includes more than 1,000 scientific citations. More than 90 charts, graphs and illustrations supplement the text. This encyclopedic health manual is an important addition to every family’s home library and will be referred to again and again.

Saying No to Vaccines By Sherri Tenpenny, DO Dr. Tenpenny’s Saying No to Vaccines compendium and 85-minute DVD were born of her original commitment as a scientist and researcher to “find out the truth about vaccines.” The book represents 18 years and 8,000 hours of extensive and well-cited research into vaccine issues as well as strategies for “saying no to vaccines” through exemptions. A section on special circumstances also covers options for parents facing contentious divorce, exemptions from flu vaccines for nursing home residents, and military exemptions.

The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations By Lauren Feder, MD A Los Angeles-based holistic pediatrician, Dr. Feder’s concise guide for parents is exactly that. In an amazing 121 readable pages, the guide manages to cover nearly every question a parent could have about vaccination. As Dr. Feder stated in an interview with Pathways, the perception of pro- or anti-vaccine is ultimately a clash between conventional and holistic paradigms of health—one declares war on germs and one trusts and works with the body. Dr. Feder addresses these conflicting views with the grounded reality of her practice experience, which includes a 50% unvaccinated population. “If you choose not to vaccinate, then it is especially important for you to know how to prevent and treat that illness,” Dr. Feder instructs parents. The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood

62

pathways | issue 21

Vaccinations includes descriptions and risks of diseases, as well as the holistic perspective on illness as a necessary part of wellness, and a comprehensive listing of each vaccine and their added ingredients and known adverse effects. Parents who choose to vaccinate are offered a Safe Shot Strategy in the book.

Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds By Jenny McCarthy When Jenny McCarthy published Louder Than Words, the story of her successful efforts to save her son, Evan, from autism, the book shot to #3 on The New York Times best seller list and Jenny and Evan were featured on the cover of People magazine. Using her usual, “tell it like it is” style in Mother Warriors, Jenny dishes on her behind the scenes “coming out” with her first book and the flack she took from people like Barbara Walters. In her brutally honest style, Jenny also drives home the reality of what autism can do to a family: how it can destroy marriages, drain finances, and the impact on siblings. The stress on marriage is real, Jenny writes, as the divorce rate in families with an autistic child is cited at 80%. The heart-warming and educational side of this book is the stories of how parents fought to find their own child’s “remedy of interventions” and how parents can navigate safely through many autism therapies.

Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder By Jaquelyn McCandless, MD Jacquelyn McCandless received her MD from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine and is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In 1996, after her granddaughter was diagnosed with autism, she returned to basic medicine and began working with biomedical aspects of developmentally delayed children. This is the first book, and considered a seminal work, written by an experienced clinician that gives a step-by-step treatment guide for parents and doctors based on the understanding that autism is a complex biomedical illness resulting in significant brain malnutrition. Dr. McCandless describes important diagnostic tools needed to select appropriate treatment programs. Her book explains major


helped launch a grassroots attenof vaccine safety to public for strations at the Centers 1986. DPT: d the White House in Coulter, e co-authored with Harris of ell documented critique reforms system calling for safety sent to vaccination.

left with en, her oldest son was disorder after a es and attention deficit he was rth DPT shot in 1980 when

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Vaccine Advisory Committee Forum Medicine Vaccine Safety public helped to coordinate five and y issues; the FDA Vaccines ); Advisory Committee (1999-2003 ) and is a Collaborative (2002-2005 ased Evidence-B United for repreaboration – U.S. She has conferences, ers at many scientific is a featured egislative hearings and and ferences in the U.S., Canada and ed to numerous newspaper on national ccination and appears and disms discussing vaccines consent he human right to informed

The New Epidemic Chronic Inflammation: Vaccines, Autism &

bara Loe Fisher is co-founder president of the National (NVIC) cine Information Center parents w.NVIC.org founded by in 1982 vaccine injured children A Shot e is the co-author of DPT: he Dark (Harcourt Brace 1986; Warner 1985; vanovich ery 1991; currently Penguin); to Guide thor of The Consumer’s 1997); hildhood Vaccines (NVIC itor of the bi-weekly NVIC a accine E-Newsletter and ning.blogspot.com

therapies and identifies safe and effective options for parents and physicians working together to improve the health of these special children. In its 4th printing with expanded chapters and revised sections.

Vaccines, Autism & n: Chronic Inflammatio The New Epidemic

Vaccines, Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The New Epidemic By Barbara Loe Fisher

An imminently readable 87-page review of the vaccine/autism issue with 247 citations, Barbara Loe Fisher delivers her formidable mastery of public health policy, informed consent, and her personal exper by Barbara Loe Fishe rience as the mother of a vaccine-injured child in her new book. As president of the National Vaccine Information Center, NVIC, Fisher has been a household name synonymous with consumer advocacy and vaccine safety for 27 years as well as a sought after expert regularly featured on mainstream television new shows. The book is only available from NVIC as a gift for those who donate $25 or more to become individual members ($25) or family members ($50) of NVIC or simply make a donation of $25 or more. Supporters will also receive the weekly NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter along with their tax-deductible donation. Visit the NVIC online at www.nvic.org.

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders By Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth Bock, author of The Road to Immunity, and Stauth, author of Brain Longevity, launched an investigation into potential causes of and treatments for ASDs through numerous case studies. According to the authors, “genetics load the gun, and environment pulls the trigger”: bodily toxins like heavy metals, exposure to viruses through vaccination and poor nutrition create “a veritable perfect storm of physical and neurological insult” that hits hardest those still developing their immune systems. Bock approaches each patient like a puzzle waiting to be solved: finding and treating the root cause of illness rather than its symptoms, reducing the body’s toxin load and helping the body heal itself through nutritional and medical therapy. Empathetic and encouraging, this highly readable guide breaks down complex biomedical concepts clearly.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression, Schizophrenia By Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD As the mother of a young son with autism, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride believes that these children and adults are falling into the “gap” of our medical knowledge. Dr. Campbell-McBride used a specific diet focused on healing her son’s intestines to reverse his condition. Through her research,

clinical experience and personal success, she realized that a child’s digestive system holds the key to his or her mental development. Dr. Campbell-McBride uncovers the link between a variety of disorders (learning disorders, psychological disorders, eczema, asthma, allergies, and more) and the condition of our digestive system. The verdict is that what we eat and drink plays a much bigger role than we might think. Suggestions for diet, detoxification, and supplementation are provided, along with recipes so you can begin nourishing yourself and your family to health.

Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy By David Kirby The first serious journalistic investigation into the mercury-autism issue, Evidence of Harm follows the mercury/autism debate through the eyes of the political action group, Safe Minds, and nine families like Lyn Redwood’s, an Atlanta nurse who found her son received vaccines with mercury levels more than 125 times the EPA safety limits in a single day. While scientists and government officials say there is no “evidence of harm’’ caused by thimerosal, the vaccine preservative made with mercury, The New York Times contributing science writer David Kirby says no evidence of harm is not the same as proof of safety. If there’s no “evidence of harm,’’ Kirby asks, then why did government officials begin removing thimerosal from the vaccines in 1999? And why in 2002, did politicians throw a provision into the Homeland Security Act to shield vaccine makers from thimerosalrelated lawsuits? A New York Times bestseller, Newsday magazine calls the book a “gripping investigation. Much like the 9/11 commissioner’s report, it is an alarming page-turner.”

Yoga for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents and Caregivers by Dion E. Betts and Stacey W. Betts Having successfully used yoga to combat the stress of their own busy lives, Dion and Stacey Betts discovered its potential for their son Joshua, who has Asperger Syndrome. This fully-illustrated book combines the authors’ professional expertise with their experience of parenting, offering a range of gentle and fun yoga positions and breathing techniques that are effective in dealing with the increased levels of anxiety, disorientation and tactile sensitivity often found in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Yoga for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is ideal for parents and caregivers who want to use simple yoga techniques to help children with ASDs overcome some of the symptoms of the disorder.

pathways | issue 21

63


tm

ICPA, Inc. 327 N. Middletown Rd. Media, PA 19063

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. —Dalai Lama

© istockphoto.com / nikolay suslov / susaro

Pathways to Family Wellness - Issue #21  

Pathways Magazine provides vital resources for family wellness. Our articles give parents the necessary information to actively participate...

Pathways to Family Wellness - Issue #21  

Pathways Magazine provides vital resources for family wellness. Our articles give parents the necessary information to actively participate...