A brilliant choice, if you ask me.

The California Immunization Coalition has put together an awesome website with a twist: using ‘just folks’ to explain why they support vaccination at Why I Choose.

I suspect many anti-vaccine parents feel condescended to by medical professionals, and are reluctant to take their advice as a result; this website is, in contrast, much more down-to-earth and accessible. That doesn’t mean they soften the pro-vaccine message, however. The site also discusses the downside of not vaccinating, and there are several video testimonials by parents of children (and adults) affected by vaccine-preventable diseases. There is also a list of links to reliable websites for further study.

As I said in the comments of an earlier post, this pro-vaccine ‘assault’ should have started years ago. But better late than never…

http://www.whyichoose.org/

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41 Responses

  1. Like you, I fear it comes too late. Moreover, the pro-vaccine groups will never have the emotional power of the folks who believe their children were harmed by vaccination. I think that’s one reason the “our celebrity vs. your celebrity” nature of having Amanda Peet as spokesperson for ECBT is doomed to failure. If Ms. Peet had a kid who had died from pertussis, or sustained brain damage from measles encephalitis, it might work, but (fortunately)it’s unlikely we’ll find a celebrity with that kind of personal story.

    I think a better strategy–although so exploitative as to make it unpalatable–would be to get some parents from countries where VPDs kill children on a regular basis to do some interviews, etc. Of course, the incredible sense we in the developed world have of the “otherness” of those in less developed countries would probably sabotage that effort from the get-go. (Can you just hear the litany of “Yes, but WE have clean water and better nutrition…”?)

    • Diana, you bring an excellent point about the emotional aspect of the antivaxxers, and I agree that bringing parents where these diseases are rampant will not help. Sadly, right now there are more than enough parents from first world countries to make a very emotional video, in fact, if you use only english speaking countries (US, canada, UK, australia) you can still make a very strong case. I think, as esther said, pro-vaccine arguments was simply too medical for too long. The only ones making the case for too long were doctors (mostly out of touch with what the public wants to hear) and health officials (doctors and PhDs, again too scientific).

      I don’t think the cause is lost, but I think it will take many deaths and outbreaks to create the type of publicity that change the minds of some people. Think of the Australia Pertussis video x 100, plus most people knowing someone who know someone who got a disease.

      I see this argument in the same light as the homebirth debate. Most people who do it are just fine, except the small percent who are not. When people start meeting parents who lost children at a homebirth or read blogs then they start understanding the “gibberish” called risk that doctors always talk about. If you do a search there are plenty of blogs of women who chose homebirth and lost children and are now anti-HB. I’m assuming we will have similar cases soon about infectious diseases.

    • “Moreover, the pro-vaccine groups will never have the emotional power of the folks who believe their children were harmed by vaccination.”

      If we are lucky, that is.

      If people like Jenny McCarthy get their way, we will see enough Measles and other diseases in the US to make us all know how horrible those diseases really are.

  2. How much would you like to wager that the anti side is putting together a ‘vaccine injury’ video as we speak? A noble effort by the CIC, to be sure, but I’m afraid it will be cast aside as ‘fear mongering’ (sigh).

  3. That is a good site. What baffles me is how can someone go through their whole life and not get vaccinated? When I went to college, for my BA (years before returning for BSN) I had to give the college copies of my vaccination history. How are these kids going to get admitted to colege or even public school?

    I now tell my patients (new parents) about avoiding contact with non vaccinated children. Since their baby is too young to be vaccinated and does not have all the immunites necessary. I throw it in with my hand washing talk.

  4. OK, so how come an Israeli doc has to clue me in to a site in my home state!

    Thanks — I’ll be blogging on it soon.

  5. There is a measles outbreak going on right now, largest in 10 years, btw:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,379388,00.html
    Meanwhile, there is “Celebrity Moms on a Mission” feature in the May issue of “American Baby” magazine (not available online). Jenny MaCarthy tops the list. I don’t know if anyone else had a chance to check it out… anyhow, it’s on page 48. My favorite part was her reaction to her kid’s autism diagnosis: She popped a Valium. How lovely that a mom of a toddler should have a stash of prescription meds handy! My second favorite part was her googling “autism” to find a cure. My third favorite part was her joke about avoiding taxes, a hot topic if nothing else. My fourth favorite part was her not planning any more children. Good. She shouldn’t.

    • K……how in the world would you know anything about any mother of a child with autism if you your self are not in their shoes? But yet, you so foolishly judge them for taking a pill…

      Oh ya, theres a HUGE measles outbreak, not as huge as how many children have autism… are there 1-150 kids getting measles daily? NO 127 total in 15 DIFFERENT STATES over a period of time not DAILY and not even in the same CITY!!!!!!… do you realise that by getting the vaccination its NOT a guarantee that you will not get the virus ever…..Our society is much to easily influenced by our medical community who says they are doing what is best for us. Right, sure they are as they keep giving their money to BIG PHARMA and dishing out the meds from their offices. There’s always a pill to fix something, instead of doing something like try taking wheat out of your diet or milk, or try losing weight….

      • Thank goodness! Due to a computer malfunction I’d lost the contact info for my tinfoil hat supplier and my current one is all practically thread bare. Lo and behold, she’s chimed in here. M, I need a 7 1/4 with a brim. Shipping and billing info should be in your records. Please dispatch ASAP.

      • “Oh ya, theres a HUGE measles outbreak, not as huge as how many children have autism… are there 1-150 kids getting measles daily?”

        the real comparison–

        how many kids have measles–a lot.

        How many kids have vaccine-caused autism? Looks like none.

  6. I came across your blog through another one I found on blogher and just wanted to comment about something you said on her blog. It honestly made me very sad, because I believe you don’t understand what its like to be in my shoes, at least I have found no mention of you having a child with autism. So forgive me if you do then I have mispoken…

    You were referring to parents of children who do not vaccinate yet and Jenny McCarthy. In it you said that we belong to a disgusting cause…..I think its sadthat you would think that was because parents like me have chosen to educate myself on my sons history and the whole likelyhood of my youngest son also getting autism, which I may add, he is totally typical, has developed like any other child and has had no vaccination to date and won’t until he is past the age of 2.

    My question to you is, do you honestly think we as parents go out there and just decide “Oh I think , I will harm every other child out there and put them at risk along with my child and not vaccinate until my child is older?” When I made the decision to not vaccinate my youngest it was a hard one to make, but its even harder to think of another one of my beautiful children getting autism! I was side swipped when my oldest son was diagnosed with autism and OUR government has NO SUGGESTIONS for me besides typical therapies and ABA therapy which, ironically my sons disability insurance will not pay for.

    So I am left to pick up the pieces send him to the therapies they will cover and figure out something to help my son recover as much as possible example: supplemental vitamins, and DHA and B12 shot , gastro doctor visits and more vitamins and choosing not to vaccinate until he has progressed further…I guess that puts me in the disgusting group, like so many other parents just trying to help their kids recover to a point from autism.

    • Lisa,

      No, I don’t have a child with autism. I have an autistic nephew, but that’s neither here nor there. What matters is that there is no scientific evidence for, and plenty against, the notion that vaccines cause autism. The vaccination status of your children has nothing to do with whether or not they have autism – in fact, my niece (said autistic nephew’s older sister) is fully vaccinated and certainly not autistic. OTOH, there is ample evidence that vaccines save lives by preventing children from getting killer diseases like measles and Hib.

      So yes, Jenny McCarthy’s cause is a disgusting one. In the link I provided immediately after, she said that she’s OK with kids dying from these diseases to further her cause to “green vaccines” – a cause with no purpose and not much meaning, either.

      There is also no evidence that any of those expensive “biomedical treatments” are of any help in curing the condition. The doctors who provide these supplements and treatments are charlatans, are robbing you blind, and – depending upon the nature of the treatment, might even harm your child. Please, don’t take out a loan to pay those snake-oil peddlers and get your son good behavioral treatment, because it is the only thing which has been shown to make a difference.

      And as I said in the post which got you here, I highly recommend Paul Offit’s new book, as it explains why Jenny’s cause (and those of the DAN! doctors) is so pernicious, and why vaccines can’t cause autism. There are several posts to this end as well here on my blog – look under the category “vaccines”.

      • If these bio medical treatments don’t work than why oh why is my son talking more? Just because? Lets see the regular therapies he was receiving were not working any more and when I introduced supplements such as additional vitamins ( I see how that is such a scary thing to do) and B12 shots into his system he is talking more!

        But yet you say they don’t work and the DAN doctors are charlatans? I have proof that what we are doing does work, I have a precious 5 year old who didn’t say a darn word until I took him off of dairy all together and then magically he started talking! Then I introduced a vitamin supplement into his daily routine and he started being able to do more gross motor skills that he did not have before.

        I won’t go into arguing with you on the topic, I simply wanted you to know as a parent of a child with autism who is trying everything…. I felt sad that you would think people like me,( who by the way has a brain of my own and started biomedical treatment before Jenny McCarthy even came out with her sons symptoms) are so ignorant. I’m not, I simply have chosen to not vaccinate my child until he progress’ more. His body can not tollerate one more thing happening, he doesn’t even do well when he gets a simple cold.. the symptoms will stay around for months, not just weeks. I just think that its a sad thing in our society that you can sit there and point your finger at a parent like me when you are not in my shoes. As far as you suggestion for getting behavior therapy, yeah I WISH… see our lovely caring government doesn’t cover that on our insurance and to be able to afford it out of pocket I would have to be Jenny McCarthy, can you see my trouble here? I wish upon every breath I take that I could afford ABA therapy, but that is not possible. So instead we do a at home program and continue with my sons biomedical treatment and continue to see the GREAT improvements he makes. I do honestly wish you could see how much my son has progressed and then maybe you would understand why parents like me do this.

        In all honesty, I really ment no harm by my comment just being a mom trying to explain my circumstances and hoping others would see me and my child for who we really are and what we are trying to do.

        Regards,
        Lisa and Matthias

  7. I also have an autistic son, and I’m also using biomedical approaches. My nephew and niece are both autistic. My sister-in-law has decided to take the traditional medical route– treating autism with medical interventions and some therapy. My nephew is like a guinea pig, he has been hospitalized at least three times for psychiatric reasons, because the medication is not only not working, he has attacked my sister-in-law and niece with a knife.

    I would like to know why doctors refuse to accept that there is some environmental stimulus that causes autism, whether it be immunizations, processed foods, or conditions inutero. I can tell you that the so-called “experimental” and “disgusting” treatments have helped my son loads more than putting him on anti-depressants, stimulants, and just therapy alone. In fact, after starting the biomedical approach, I discovered that my son has lead poisoning, which he was not even tested for by his primary care doctor.

    The reason I found myself using biomed was my son had a diaper rash that would not go away. It was so bad, that he would dig at his anus until it bled. I was told simply that I wasn’t changing his pants enough. Ironically, when he soiled his own diaper, he changed himself before I had even a chance to. I took him to 5 specialists before he was diagnosed with a yeast infection. He was given Nystatin, and oddly, he began to potty train.

    So please explain to me why I should fully vaccinate my daughter, who was on the same developmental path as my son, when biomedical interventions are working, and my daughter has absolutely no signs of autism anymore? She was evaluated at 18 months with a developmental delay– she was flapping, not talking, poor gross motor, and lining up her toys. Now at 3, she has tested as extraordinarly gifted.

    • “If these bio medical treatments don’t work than why oh why is my son talking more?”

      Because autism is a developmental disorder, and if your son has a PDD then he will adapt, grow, learn (you know, develop) without magic detox rays and pixie dust.

      • Autismne,

        I never said my son has PDD, he doesn’t have Pervasive Developmental Disorder! He has Autism diagnosed with autism in 2006 not PDD, there IS difference! All your reply does is tell me that you didn’t read any of my previous comment. If you had you would see that I never mentioned PDD. Oh and by the way giving your child B12 and other vitamin supplements is not detox rays or pixie dust, these are things my sons pediatrician agreed with using for my son!!! YOU MORON! Grow up

    • Jodi:

      Doctors don’t ‘refuse to accept that there is some environmental stimulus that causes autism’. The medical profession (overall – I can’t speak for every single individual doctor) is perfectly open to the possibility that autism might be caused/triggered/worsened by particular environmental stimuli, and research into possible causes goes on.

      However, the only way to know whether or not any particular potential stimulus plays a role in causing autism is by studying it to look at whether autistic children are more likely to have been exposed to this stimulus than non-autistic children; or, working from the other end of things, at whether children exposed to the stimulus are more likely to turn out to be autistic than children who aren’t. If a particular environmental stimulus causes autism in even some cases, then that will show up in studies – comparing a group of children exposed to the stimulus and children not exposed to the stimulus will show the exposed group to have statistically significantly higher rates of autism than the non-exposed group. Conversely, if studies show that children exposed to the stimulus and children not exposed to the stimulus have equal likelihood of turning out to be autistic, then we know that the stimulus does *not* cause autism. And this is exactly what studies have shown in the case of both the MMR vaccine and mercury exposure through vaccines (the two big concerns raised by groups who claim links between vaccines and autism). Studies have shown that those two factors are not linked to increased autism rates.

      So, that’s why doctors reject the vaccines-autism hypothesis. It’s not because we refuse to believe that any environmental stimulus could cause autism. It’s because repeated studies have shown that this particular environmental stimulus doesn’t cause autism.

      As to why you should vaccinate, I would say that it’s because there is no evidence (despite repeated attempts to find some) that vaccines have anything to do with autism; but there *is* evidence that they reduce not only the chance that the vaccinated child will contract the disease in question, but also the chance that other children will contract it (fewer children catching a disease means fewer children passing it on, which has a knock-on effect on everyone’s chances of catching it). If you would like to read about how I made this decision in my case, you can do so at http://goodenoughmummy.typepad.com/good_enough_mum/2009/02/mmr.html. (This post is specifically about my decision concerning the MMR, since that has been a particular hot topic in my country, and hence some of the points made are specifically about that vaccine; however, I’ve also made some general comments about my decision that would apply equally well to my decision to give any vaccine.)

  8. It is revolting that “enterprising” alt-med doctors will sell vulnerable families every remedy under the sun for autism, which isn’t affected by any of them.

    As today’s illuminating Chicago Tribune article notes, it’s no gift to give autism parents false hope. http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-autism-lupron-may21,0,242705.story?page=1

    It does drain their wallets, though. Way to go, bloodsuckers. And encourages them to make their younger kids into disease vectors. Thanks a heck of a lot.

    Esther, THANK YOU (for real) for being a voice of reason on this! For those who don’t think the pro-vaccine story can be emotionally compelling, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh_6X6C2Icc

    • That story is a horror show. Even one of the doctors who was originally on board with the treatment backed out. And the doctors pushing Lupron claim that Simon Baron-Cohen endorses it when he doesn’t. I hope he sues the holy hell out of those charlatans.

  9. Lisa and Jodi,

    As children get older, they acquire new skills and move through developmental stages. This is true even of autistic children. They may not move through those stages at the same pace as neurotypical children and the stages may be incomplete, but they do develop nonetheless. So even if you didn’t give your children any treatment at all, you would expect to see some improvement in their ability to communicate, among other things. That doesn’t mean that the biomedical approaches are working–it could simply be correlation, not causation.

    Also, Jodi, it is very difficult to diagnose a child younger than two with autism. Even if a child has autism symptoms, it’s not uncommon for the symptoms to resolve, as you’ve seen with your daughter. Also, being extraordinarily gifted is not incompatible with autism. You can be extremely intelligent and also be autistic.

    I have a lot of sympathy with where you both are coming from. Autism isn’t well understood, the mainstream treatments don’t work for all kids and even if they do improve a child’s functioning, they don’t cure autism. Parents with autistic kids really go through hell with poor services, insurance companies that won’t reimburse for treatments, family and friends who aren’t supportive/don’t understand the illness. It’s not surprising that you’ve turned to alternative treatments for your kids.

    But I believe that these alternative medicine people are doing a tremendous amount of harm. They are giving false hope, subjecting kids to treatments that are useless at best and downright harmful at worst. They take money from families who are already strained by having a child with special needs. And they are siphoning money and attention from research that could actually lead to better treatments for autism.

  10. Lisa, calling people names will get you nowhere. I suspect your pediatrician is on board with the vitamins because they are (mostly, probably) cheap and harmless. Other stuff…notsomuch. And probably not what you’re soliciting money for, either.

    Anyway, I have a new blogpost up addressing some of your claims and concerns. Please take the time to click on the links – they are very worthwhile reads (and I can tell if you click on them or not, BTW).

    • Estherar,

      Your right it won’t get me anywhere, but imagine the kind of feelings I have when people are constantly telling me how stupid and ignorant I am? That if I just get my child into a good behavioral therapy it will work, NO REALLY??? Yeah it would if the insurance that is provided for my son would cover it I would get it, but they don’t. No shocker there as they don’t cover much of anything, but yet the government wants us to take care of them as best as we can. Can you see where my frustration over this issue comes from?

      The only thing you said in the last post that frustrated me is that you said I am probably soliciting money for something that is probably NOT vitamins/supplements ect, wrong… I’m not… you can go back to that site where you call it soliciting, which I think sounds offensive, seeing as its a micro loan that I will be paying back monthly, not just money that is given to me. Everything I am asking for on my loans is for supplements and lab tests. I’m assuming you are talking about chelation as that is the big one everyone talks about. For my son, no that is not what I am asking for on my loan. Again if you don’t believe it you can return to my site and see what I am asking for on the loan.

      All I am saying in all of these posts, is try and understand where I am coming from. I hear from people all the time like I am some kind of idiot parent who has an education from Google… NO I researched in libraries and studies that were conducted, I did my job as a mother and found something that I know is working for my son. I know what I have seen and dealt with on a daily basis with my child and its something that has never happened before.

      In the end, I will respectfully agree to disagree with you.

      • I had no idea what you were soliciting the loan (yes, that is the correct terminology) for, but most vitamin supplements are relatively cheap. Other, more ‘exotic’ supplements can cost a lot more, as can the bogus tests designed to make you want to chelate your child or buy even more supplements for him. Yes, you would be making a better investment if you took that money and spent it on behavioral therapy.

        It’s not only stupid people who fall for the biomed cures. It’s hard to ignore the convincing-sounding testimonials of “cure” when you’re desperate and you feel time is running out for your child. To look at Dr. Laidler’s example, even he was initially convinced by the siren song of biomed. The difference between him and most autism mommies is that he had enough of a knowledge base to eventually see that the emperor had no clothes, so to speak. Even with your library research, you simply don’t have the necessary training.

        However, refusing to look at the evidence against these ‘treatments’ is typical of the biomed mommies I’ve met IRL and online. That’s why I said that I most probably won’t convince you and those women at Babycenter who are already deep into the woo. They – and you – don’t understand how the human mind can trick itself into believing things.

      • Estherar,

        You tell me calling people names will get you know where, and yet you still call me stupid. I won’t waste my breath on your comments any longer. Apparently you think you are God and know everything there is to know in this life, which thankfully I know who my God is and trust HIM completely not you.

  11. Also, Lisa, Autismne said he has “a” PDD. Which autism is — it’s one of several pervasive developmental disorders. You are confusing it with PDD-NOS, which is also a pervasive developmental disorder.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervasive_developmental_disorder

  12. A friend who commented above asked my to stop by & lend my perspective, which I summed up on BlogHer a couple weeks ago:

    http://www.blogher.com/my-child-has-autism-and-i-vaccinate

    Yes. I vaccinate my autistic child.

    An autism diagnosis can be devastating, especially since at this time no one can definitely tell parents why their child has autism and what they can do about it. I was so terrified to about potential environmental factors that I refused to vaccinate my kids for several years after my son’s diagnosis.

    Since then, the autism/vaccine link has been debunked time and time again, and these preventable diseases have been on the upswing. We need to vaccinate our kids not only to protect them, but to protect kids who are too young to or cannot be vaccinated.

    Let’s stick to the vaccine topic here. Unless you want to open the door on documented biomed injuries, which are also real, but about as rare as documented vaccine injuries.

    For the record, I don’t think biomed works, but I also think it’s generally harmless — unlike the very real risks of not vaccinating your kids.

    @Li, on May 21st, 2009 at 6:21 pm: I appreciate your empathetic response. It is frustrating to read children being “cured” when it’s likely they have reached a socially acceptable point on their atypical but natural developmental paths (and have often had a good 1:1 behavioral therapy program).

  13. Oh dear. The crazies have shown up. Give it up.

    Do you know why doctors don’t like the autism equals vaccines hypothesis? Because they’ve done study after study after study and found what? Nothing. Not a clue.

    I am sorry for mothers who have children with autism, children who might have either been just written off as strange or quirky years ago. Or declared educatably mentally retarded or learning disabled.

    But that still doesn’t give you the right to endanger other people’s lives (or the life of your child) by not vaccinating.

    Motherhood means you gave birth. It has absolutely nothing to do with knowledge of biology, chemistry, epidemiology or much of anything else.

    • This will be my last comment here as I am literally drained from listening to most of you on here, I do say most not all…

      Stacy, Just because you don’t like what I am doing for my child, doesn’t mean I am crazy. Its my opinion whether you like it or not. What type of proof do you have that would show that I am crazy? Frustrated yes, crazy? Far from it, I’m not uneducated or stupid as many have said out right or said in a round about way. I am an educated adult just like everyone else on this post. One who happens to have one child with autism, who was originally vaccinated and I stopped after 2. Eventually after he has progressed more he WILL get shots one at a time with breaks after each one. The same will hold true to my 15 month old. I am not as foolish as you think I am. I made my decisions based on what I have experienced and dealt with on a daily basis with my son. When I decided to wait to vaccinate my youngest I did so knowing that I would not be able to put him in daycare of schools because of this as I am fully aware of the ‘measles out break’ and by the no parent with a child who has autism needs you to feel sorry for them, no matter what there choices are biomed or not.

      As I stated before, I am drained from listening to grown adults tell me how stupid I am for doing biomed and waiting to vaccinate. I will not be replying to any other post to this site as I have enough on my plate to manage and deal with.

  14. Lisa:

    I do have a child on the autism spectrum, as well as a niece with severe autism and (possible) concomitant retardation. I don’t think parents who seek biomed treatments and other “cures” for autism are stupid; I have some understanding of the desperation they have–we all have–to help our kids.

    I have never used biomed on my son–he has had a bit of ABA and OT–yet he has developed in sudden fits and starts, generally in a two steps forward, one step back pattern, but the trend is definitely toward more typical behaviors. When I stumble upon a technique for helping him handle certain things, it may continue to work, or it may seem to work for a while, then suddenly it just doesn’t. Why? Because he is a child, developing as all children do, and because no development trajectory–whether autistic or NT–is static. In the end, I can’t truly know which things worked and which happened to coincide with a step forward that was going to happen anyway.

    Many parents who use biomed see the same kinds of results I do with my son, and I can understand the propensity to stick with what seems to work. What troubles me is that, for many, successes seem to be attributed to a given (unproven) treatment, while failures are chalked up to “wrong treatment/protocol for my kid” rather than “ineffective treatment.” (This is what purveyors of biomed count on, and why they depend a great deal on testimonial to sell their wares.)

    I think it’s born of desperation, hope and the natural human propensity for creating patterns to make sense of the seemingly arbitrary. Not stupidity.

    • First off, I am not crazy either, so please stop referring to Lisa and myself as crazy or stupid or whatever other derogatory name you have for us.

      As far as biomed working/not working. The whole “two steps forward, one step back” developmentally would make sense, if that were the case. With my son, in particular, with biomedical treatments it’s been 5 steps forward, 1/2 step back, 5 steps forward. And most of the results are nearly instanteous. For example, nystatin for yeast issues. Within 2 weeks of starting that particular treatment, my son spontaneously used the potty. He was urine trained with a week. His anus cleared up within a week, he no longer itched or picked at it.

      My son is 5 now, we only started using biomedical treatments when he turned 4. Biomedical and dietary treatments have been around longer and are proven to work for many of the “A” disorders (meaning autism, ADHD/ADD, Asthma, and Allergies). My brother (not biological– we are adopted) has ADHD, at 4 he was diagnosed with hyperactivity, what nowadays would be ADHD. Instead of ritalin or any number of stimulant drugs, my mother was given a specific diet– the Feingold diet. We were on the diet until my brother turned 13, it effectively stimmied his hyperactivity.

      I am, personally, not trying to cure my son, nor am I desperate. The way I look at the whole biomedical versus not approach is this– if my son has an ear infection, I’m going to treat it with the recommended medical action for an ear infection. With respects to autism, my son had a yeast infection, I treated it with medically recognized treatment– nystatin. My son has lead poisoning, I treat it with medically recognized and recommended treatment, chelation therapy (and for the person who said that the blood tests are made up– my son had three separate tests– 1 urine, 2 blood– all came up with same conclusions). My son has issues with dairy, he is on a casein free diet. I don’t see anything crazy or not medically mainstream about these treatments. If you have a child with autism, and they don’t have any issues with toxicity or yeast, then by all means don’t do the treatment. There are children who respond to Floortime versus ABA therapy. Should parents be forced to use ABA therapy because it’s the only thing with scientifically proven results…

      Oh and for the record– my insurance covers everything, including biomedical treatments and ABA therapy. I pay $200 a month co-pay for a private ABA school, and about $50 copay for medications and supplements. I’m hardly taking out half million dollar loans.

      • While the treatment for candidiasis may be Nystatin and the treatment for lead poisoning may be chelation (actually, the most common treatment is to remove the lead source) – it all depends upon who’s making these diagnoses in the first place. “Systemic candidiasis” or “candida overgrowth” is a well-known quack diagnosis – nobody with a functioning immune system has it, though just about everybody has Candida in their gut. Local infections – of the anal area, mouth, vagina etc. – can be treated with topical cream and generally don’t require oral Naystatin (though the latter is usually pretty harmless as it isn’t absorbed well by the gut). Lead exposure is tested in the blood, not the hair or in ‘provoked’ urine, and should be done by a reliable medical lab and not Doctor’s Data or similar. Even then, most cases do not require chelation.

        The Feingold diet is pure quackery. While there may be (and that a big maybe) some children who respond to specific food additives with hyperactivity, the extremely restrictive Feigngold diet is nonsense and its apparent successin some children is almost certainly attributed to the Hawthorne effect – the children are being paid more attention to.

        I may not have a child with ASD, but I do have one with ADHD (the little kid on the right in the titlebar). By the time the desicion to treat him came around, I’d seen so many initial successes-turned-utter-failures among my patients on dietary and supplement treatment that it was a no-brainer to choose the Ritalin – which has been extremely effective, I might add. You might want to read this person’s testimonial about how the Feingold diet nearly ruined her life.

        As for insurance covering quackery – perhaps not for much longer.

  15. I just find it really funny that the best thing you can come up with is something called quakery.org. Where are the peer reviewed scientific articles that state the Feingold diet is nonsense? Because as far as I can tell, patients have been treated with this particular diet for well over 50+ years. Yes it doesn’t work for some children, Ritalin doesn’t work for some children, that doesn’t make it quakery.

    How about this, you treat your children’s medical problems as you see fit, and I will treat my children’s medical problems as I see fit. In the long run, I don’t foresee any health issues arising from my children avoiding high fat, highly processed, and high sugar foods– versus organically grown, minimally processed, and low sugar foods. As far as I can see, I believe that’s what the CDC and AAP recommends over Macaroni and Cheese and fruit snacks. The way I look at it, my kid at least won’t be the sugar addicted and obese.

    And if my child didn’t have autism, but just had lead poisoning and yeast issues– I bet you my husbands substantial government salary, that I would be labeled a child abuser for not treating those issues.

  16. Jodi:

    Is it your contention that your son’s yeast infection and lead poisoning were related to an ASD?

    • Yes and no. I think that the yeast and digestive issues are a part of the autism. I think that children with autism have a more difficult time digestively processing things.

      As far as the Lead goes, I think that children with specific genes have difficulty processing common toxic materials. While normally developing people would usually process the lead in their bodies and secrete it, I feel that some children are genetically predisposed to not secrete toxins. Which in turn, causes a build up of toxic materials.

      In my son’s case, we are actually tracking were he got lead poisoning, and narrowed it down to Germany, where we lived when he was born, and it was the water. Four out of six children in our fourplex have developmental diagnosis– 2 autism, 1 ADD, and 1 ADHD. The other two children were breastfed and moved out before they consumed any water. Most of the adults also displayed symptoms of lead poisoning, including myself and my husband– fatigue, depression, insominia, mental fogginess, and forgetfulness. Also both my son and I are anemic, which anemia is a sign of lead poisoning.

      That being said, I do agree that immunizations do cause issues as well, as my son also has an overabundance of mercury in his system, but less mercury than lead. He also displayed vaccine reactions on two separate occasions that caused him to be hospitalized with siezures, vomiting, high fever, ect. I don’t think it’s a cause, but I think combined with genetics and weakened immune system, my son was more suspectible autism than anyone else. Knowing what I know now, I would have never vaccinated him on the recommended schedule.

      There is no diagnosis of toxic poisoning in the DSM-IV, and since my son has all the symptoms of autism, he was given the autism diagnosis.

      • There is no evidence that some people have a genetic propensity not to excrete toxins. If that were true, they’d eventually be poisoned to death – and we know that autsitic people can live to old age. While the symptoms you describe (including the anemia) can be symptoms of lead poisoning, they can also be symptoms of plenty of other conditions, and unless you actually have elevated lead blood levels in a test from a reliable lab, you can’t claim it’s lead poisoning. I suspect the only ‘evidence’ of lead poisoning you have is from the tests the DAN! doctor sent (which are, I’m afraid to say, not proof of anything). The symptoms of lead poisoning (or mercury poisoning, for that matter) do not resemble autism.

        Also, you were given the AAP policy statement on the Babycenter thread regarding testing for lead poisoning and treating it. Perhaps you missed this:

        Results from a large clinical trial showing that chelation in children with moderately elevated blood lead concentrations does not improve cognitive or neuropsychologic test scores.

        And your son is 4, according to your Babycenter profile. What mercury would he have received in his vaccines?

        I suspect you’ve simply parroted here what the DAN! doctor who’s bilking either you or your insurance company told you. It doesn’t pass the test of simple logic.

        I’m sure you’ll now tell me I’m an arrogant doctor or something like that…but it’s simply the truth you don’t want to hear.

  17. “While the symptoms you describe (including the anemia) can be symptoms of lead poisoning, they can also be symptoms of plenty of other conditions, and unless you actually have elevated lead blood levels in a test from a reliable lab, you can’t claim it’s lead poisoning. ”

    The testing was done by two different labs. One lab was Great Plains Lab, and the other lab was a military lab at the clinic where we are stationed. Both tests came back with elevated lead levels. After three rounds of chelation.

    You are incorrect on your information from Babycenter, my son is 5 years old, if you are going to hop from site to site at least get the information right.

    As for the symptoms of lead poisoning, here they are:
    -Irritability or aggressiveness– can be irritable
    -Hyperactivity, impulsiveness– both
    -Learning problems– yep
    -Lack of interest in play– yep
    -Loss of appetite– yep (regained his appetite only after we removed him from the fourplex where we lived)
    -Poor coordination– yep (clumsy plus fine and gross motor delays)
    -Weakness in hands and feet– yep
    -Headaches– I don’t know if he had headaches or not
    -Seizures– yes (again they stopped after we left the fourplex)

    So yes, my son does indeed have symptoms of lead poisoning to include anemia. And ironically, both my husband and I have experienced the adult symptoms of lead exposure:
    -Irritability
    -Unexplained changes in mood or personality
    -Changes in sleep patterns
    -Inability to concentrate
    -Memory problems
    We have not been tested yet, but it’s fair guess that we too have lead poisoning. The only person in our family who does not have the symptoms are my daughter, who was not born, nor did she ever live in the same fourplex. The fact of the matter is we have contacted both the army base and our neighbors to find similar diagnoses of autism, ADHD, ADD, and other behavioral issues.

    Does this mean I believe immunizations alone caused this? Probably not. There are a lot of things I have stated here, that I have not stated anywhere, which lead me to believe that immunizations are not safe for my family. For instance, I was in the military for five years. When I first entered service, I received several immunizations while in line. I ended up in the emergency room with a vaccine related reaction, that is in my medical file, and was documented in VAERS. With the knowledge of my reactions, the fact that autism, bipolar, and schizophrenia run in my backgrounds. It does not surprise me that my son has autism and that it may have been triggered (not caused) by vaccinations. Also knowing this, I’m not going to subject my daughter to a potential reaction– all of her immunizations are delayed.

    And FTR, this is not a line of BS handed to me by a DAN! It’s actually a line of BS handed to me by two pediatricians and several therapists. I would tend to believe them over someone who has only a limited amount of information from two websites, and no access to our medical records.

    • High levels of lead in what body fluid? Great Plains lab looks to be very much like Doctor’s Data. And if you were already after 3 rounds of chelation before you tested (what doctor would do chelation for lead poisoning before checking blood levels?), of course the levels would be elevated…whatever lead was in the tissues, elevated or not, would be in the process of being excreted. So of course you would see elevated ‘provoked’ levels of metals even in a conventional lab test at that point. I’m not saying your son may not have had (mild) lead poisoning as well as autism, but your story still doesn’t make sense. High levels of lead of the kind which cause seizures also cause severe kidney damage and alteration of consciousness – of the life-threatening kind, not something you would confuse with autism.

      Not to mention that a vaccine reaction of yours does not implicate vaccines in the pathogenesis of autism, for your child or anyone else.

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