Posts Tagged ‘Healing Autism’

Beginning Our Journey Through GAPS

Last year, when we were growing concerned about Jeshuah’s autistic symptoms, I began doing research on the explosion of autism in the recent years.  One of the books I found extremely helpful and compelling is Dr. Natasha Campbell’s “Gut and Psychology Syndrome.”  In it, she draws the correlation between our “gut” (intestinal) health and our overall health, particularly our mental health.

You see, our brain’s function is dependent on our body receiving the proper nutrients.  Over time, our bodies can become overloaded with toxins from the air that we breathe and the food that we eat.  In the last few decades, our diets have changed drastically.  Where people once used to live off of the natural, real food of the land, industrialization has now afforded us the ability to now eat primarily processed, packaged, manufactured “foods,” most of which contain chemicals or have been sprayed with pesticides or preservatives which are extremely toxic. (Obviously. They are meant to kill pests!).  All of these chemicals and processed foods are harmful to our bodies, and over time can cause excessive damage.

But the purpose of this post is not to provide proof that the American diet is harmful, or that the introduction of so many chemicals has done more damage than good.  There is ample proof for that elsewhere. My desire is to share how our family has (finally) decided to take these threats seriously and dramatically change the way we eat.

I have been convicted about doing this for some time now, but I have been so intimidated by the magnitude of the task, that I have put it off.  When Jeshuah’s autistic symptoms disappeared with chiropractic treatment, the urgency to change our diet was not there any more.  However, he still has allergies, skin irritations, pain in his arms and legs, etc. that leads us to believe there is more going on with him.

Eliana and I have also been battling thrush for weeks now and Stephen has had recurring digestive issues.  All of this can probably be treated by going on Dr. Campbell’s GAPS diet.  Her research has shown her that the reason for many of these issues is that the protective lining of the gut becomes worn down and then the toxins from our food go directly into our blood stream and affect our immune and brain function, causing a wide range of issues, including autism, ADHD, allergies, depression, chronic yeast infections, etc.

But the gut lining can be healed, and these issues can be greatly diminished or disappear completely.  The healing process typically takes at least two years on the diet, depending on the severity of the issues.  Once healing has taken place, you can usually begin eating many foods that were not allowed on the diet before–foods such as gluten and ones that have a high starch content like potatoes.  These things are not bad, they simply do not aid the process of healing once the gut has been damaged.  But while you are able to return to eating most foods, all foods should still remain whole and real in order to avoid re-injuring the gut.

And so this is the process our family is beginning.  That GAPS diet looks extremely overwhelming and intimidating at first, but the more I research, the more I find out my options, and the more comfortable I become.

We plan to start the diet in April, and commit to being on it for at least two years.  It means daily detox baths.  It means ridding our home of harmful chemicals.  It means all of our meat needs to be organic/grass-fed/hormone/antibiotic-free, etc.  It means all dairy products are organic and raw and preferably fermented (yogurts, kefirs, etc.). It means all produce must be organic and fresh–nothing canned. It means nearly everything we eat is made from scratch.  Obviously, this means no eating out. It means we will have to bring our own food with us when we visit other people. It means a lot of hard work and sacrifice.  But we trust it will all be worth it in the end.

For a full list of foods allowed and not recommended, visit here.

Naturally Simple Solutions: Reducing Your Toxic Load

There has been a lot of talk lately about toxins and our toxic load.  We are surrounded by reports that new products, fragrances, foods, are proving to cause cancer, disease, and neurological disorders.  The information available is extremely abundant.  I have found it so overwhelming at times, that I find it easier to throw up the defense mechanism of “Oh, please, another study showing such-and-such leads to such-and-such and is dangerous. It’s probably inaccurate, and I shouldn’t worry about it.”

However, as overwhelming as all this new information can be, there is at least some truth to it.  I want to raise my family and care for my home in as healthy, informed way as possible.  But I do not want to become obsessed with this, or make natural, healthy living my gospel.  I want to learn and apply these things as a means of preparing my family to be better enabled to serve Jesus and spread the gospel and glorify God.  And for that reason, I plug on, sifting through the mounds of information out there to seek out what is true and beneficial for me and my family.

I know many of you feel the same overwhelmed, condemned, despair at all the information about dangerous toxins out there.  It is my desire to lay out some simple, step-by-step solutions to help ease our toxic load a bit at a time.  We all have a certain capacity for toxins.  Some have a higher capacity, some have a lower capacity.  But eliminating any little bit helps. Do not think about the grand scheme of things and all that you could be doing but aren’t.  Simply do the best you can with what you know. Rejoice in each and every tiny step you make towards reducing your toxic load!

Below are some simple steps you can take to reduce your toxic load. They are by no means comprehensive, and they are not in any particular order of importance.  Choose one or two that seem easiest to implement and go with it!

Simple Steps to Reducing Your Toxic Load

  1. Whenever possible, eat organic. This can seem like one of the most daunting and expensive steps, but it is so very important!  Produce are laden with pesticides that seep into the fruit and have an affect on our bodies.  This same produce is fed to the animals we eat, who are in turn bolstered with artificial hormones and antibiotics.  All of this makes its way into our system and harms our bodies.  There have been numerous studies done on the validity of these points, so I will not belabor the issue. I only want to reinforce the fact that what we consume does affect our ability to think clearly, live healthfully, and function properly.
    • Begin by downloading this list of the “Dirty Dozen” and, if nothing else, substitute one item for the organic.  For all non-organic produce, use a cleaner (like Veggie Wash) found at your local grocery store and scrub under hot water to remove as much residual pesticide as possible. Every little step helps! To help economize your food budget, try these suggestions: Eat out at a minimum, Menu plan, shop in season, homemake as many items as possible (you pay a premium for processing and packaging), create a budget and stick to it.
  2. Eliminate chemicals from your home.  We are, unfortunately, surrounded by chemicals.  They are in our food, in our utensils, our toys, that “freshly” scented air we breathe, even down to what we use to clean our house.  I have found that it is not as much that chemical-free options do not exist as we simply do not know about them!  I have been posting a series of very practical, helpful tips on how simple and economical this can be!  Check out the side bar categories for Toxic Talk Tuesdays and Naturally Simple Solutions. (I know there isn’t too much there yet, but it is growing!).  Start by replacing your cleaning options with more natural, eco-friendly ones. Melaleuca offers fantastic options while you are figuring out how to make your own out of four simple, natural ingredients! Also, opt for natural solutions to air fresheners. Open the windows (even when it’s a little chilly!), use lemon in your disposal and essential oil diffusers.
  3. Use the stove and oven, not the microwave. Microwave ovens not only emit harmful rays, but their method of cooking/reheating destroys the nutritional content of the food.  Whenever possible, cook and reheat using the stove or oven or eat your food cold.
  4. Reduce your use of plastic. Plastic is made out of petroleum and contains chemicals that are harmful to our health even at miniscule levels.  For an excellent online shopping resource, check out Life Without Plastic.  For our part, we are purchasing these sippy cups and using these utensils as a step in the right direction.  I am also looking into chemical-free toy options like wooden kitchen sets and Brio train sets.
  5. Drink purified, filtered water.  I am still searching for a filter or water source that will help take out the added fluoride to water, but for now we just use a Brita filter.  Avoid plastic water bottles, due to the toxicity of plastic and their carbon footprint.  Refill a BPA-free Nalgene multiple times a day and enjoy!
  6. Cut back on screen time.  Televisions, computers, and cell phones are some of the more recent inventions that pose a possible threat to our health. The effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are still being studied, but it is at least hypothesized over exposure to these fields are harmful.  At the very least, taking a few measures to decrease our exposure is not only beneficial to health, but also to the family and society as a whole! Limit television watching and computer use time.  Do not carry your cell phone in your pocket. Instead, drop it into a purse or backpack.
  7. Deny, delay, or space out vaccinations.  For more information on making informed decisions regarding immunizations, read my post here.  I hate communicable disease as much as anyone, but I have found that vaccinations are not the answer to stopping the spread of these diseases.  The effectiveness, validity and safety of immunizations and have been largely propegated by falsified information out of fear and monetary gain.  There is considerable evidence that they are causing far more harm than good by compromising our immune and neurological systems with numerous neurotoxins and heavy metals. Dr. Bob Sears has a revised immunization chart to space out the vaccinations and allow the body to absorb them at safer intervals.  This can be found in his book The Vaccine Book.
These are simply some of the first steps we are taking as a family, and this list is by no means complete.  I am still learning in all of this!
What steps have you taken to reduce your toxic load?

Toxic Talk Tuesday-Laundry Care

Baking Soda

As I continue on my journey toward healthy living, ridding my home of chemicals has been high on my priority list. I find that most of the challenge in healthy living is not in the actual practice itself, but in the process of learning how to do it.  Toxins and chemicals are so normal in our day and age that we don’t even give it a second thought. Most of the time, when we are faced with a new study that concludes certain chemicals are toxic and shouldn’t be used in our home or on our bodies, we may want to change, but we feel paralyzed to actually know how to carry it out. We simply are not aware of any other options.

I stumbled upon Chris Fabry Live!’s broadcasts of Toxic Talk Tuesdays with Andrea Fabry recently and have been so excited by their wisdom, knowledge and passion for toxic-free living.  They themselves have been on a horrific journey of household mold causing serious health issues and have now relocated to Arizona where they are detoxing and learning to rehabilitate. The journey left their entire family extremely sick and highly sensitive to any trace of chemicals.  It was this that sparked Andrea’s quest for knowledge on toxicity and its relation to health.  She challenges people to live healthier even if they don’t find the immediate need, and they will find the benefits far outweigh the labor involved in learning how.  But another passion of hers is making this whole journey simpler for others than it has been for her.

Each month the Fabrys do a broadcast focusing on a different aspect of our lives or homes, identify toxins, and give practical, economical suggestions for substitutions for common chemicals. I found it helpful to summarize these broadcasts and use them to walk through de-toxing my own home. I am not always directly quoting as much as I am summarizing key points and consolidating ideas and suggestions.

Toxic Talk Tuesdays with the Fabrys-Laundry

July 19, 2011

  • “I do have a heart to help people know change is possible. I have discovered something that is so much fun and freeing, too! We know this subject can be so negative, but we don’t want to live in fear.  I took action out of fear and necessity, and what I found is there are great alternatives that are better and less expensive, and you will feel better, but you don’t have to walk around afraid of the world.”
  • Most people hearing this program will say “That would be so nice! But you know, I’ve got the mortgage to pay, I’ve got the kids, etc. I don’t have time! And changing is just–it’s global, we are surrounded, so why would I change anything?” The Fabrys made this massive life change out of health necessity when they realized they were chemically sensitive. It was overwhelming. They had to change every thing from cologne to shampoo to deodorant to detergent. Andrea’s immediate reaction was to go out and buy everything “natural” and “organic” and ended up spending a lot of money and throwing a lot away that still didn’t work for them.  Learning to read labels and identify harmful ingredients was pivotal.
  • You can make your own of pretty much anything. “I know that is the part that is most overwhelming, but that is the most exciting to me! There is a spiritual component, as I have walked through this journey one tiny step at a time, I discovered something very enriching. The focus on most of these products is ‘Look at what man has done, isn’t man amazing!’ And it’s true, there are some incredible things that man has done. I mean, think if we didn’t have insulin for our son! But, when you go back to some of these basic ingredients, plants, herbs, minerals, there is some connection with God that I have sensed is so moving and so unexpected where I will be putting together a mixture of something and I’ll smell lavender and it and I’ll think ‘He made that! And it smells so good!’ It’s just taken me to a level that I didn’t expect.”
  • In the end, you will not only feel better, but in the end, it’s less expensive!
This can be so overwhelming, where do I begin?
Start with the laundry! Whatever we do with our laundry stays on our clothes 24/7. Whatever detergent and softener we use in our laundry touches everything–clothes, sheets, towels,etc. It affects us the most, and it is also the most difficult to change. For an article on the 31 most harmful chemicals found in fragrances used in detergents, read here.  Let’s work backwards from the least to most difficult. Just take one step at a time if you can!
  • Eliminate dryer sheets. Their fragrance is putting chemicals onto our clothes at the last step before they come in contact with our bodies, and it does not get washed off. If you really want a scent on your laundry, you can take a spray bottle and fill it with filtered water and an essential oil, such as lavender, and spray it on your wet clothes as you transfer to the dryer. You can also try a damp rag sprayed with the solution and add it to your dryer with your clothes. Essential oils can be found at your local health food store or online. Just make sure it is 100% pure.
  • Do not use fabric softener. This is also a chemical that stays in the clothes. You can use dryer or tennis balls to help reduce static cling. Try using white vinegar in your rinse cycle. It kills some of the pathogens that may still be left after the soap has done its work. It will not feel exactly the same as you are used to, but the switch is worth it.
  • Options for laundry detergent substitute: Soap nuts, homemade laundry detergent.  A key to using soaps is less is more. We tend to oversoap, and soap doesn’t rinse out very well.
  • Natural stain removal.  Most Stains can be removed without harsh chemicals such as bleach.  It’s all about chemistry. Grass stain is alkaline, so an acid like white vinegar will neutralize it. For an acid, like a meat or a blood stain, you would want to use a mineral like baking soda. A high concentration of hydrogen peroxide will whiten when used as a soak. If you can find 33% concentrate, add to water to soak overnight, then wash as usual in the morning.
  • In every load, I use 1/2 cup of baking soda at the beginning and 1/2 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle. Tea tree oil, which is an anti-fungal, can be helpful to add into the wash, especially with towels, which tend to get musty and moldy quickly.
Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean your whole house.  Baking soda makes and excellent “scrub” for counter tops, around faucets, etc. When vinegar is added, it bubbles up as you scrub. You can use a pumice stone to scrub around your toilet with baking soda and vinegar.  White vinegar is one of the most versatile natural cleaning agents available.  At around $1.50 for a gallon, it is a very economical way to clean. Hydrogen peroxide is also an excellent carpet stain remover. Test a small area first to make sure you do not discolor your carpet! You can buy 33% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it to 3-6% for household use (the little brown bottles in most stores are diluted to 3%).
A common argument heard is, “But it doesn’t smell the same! It doesn’t smell clean!” This is the hangup. We think “clean” has a certain smell, which is actually a chemical smell, such as bleach or fragrance.  But do you know how a clean house should smell? Like nothing! And before long, you begin to love the smell of nothing, because you know it is clean and chemical-free! However, if you like some natural fragrance, find an essential oil you love and use it in your cleaning.  (I love using tea tree oil, which is a natural anti-microbial, in my housecleaning. I love the fresh smell while knowing it is safe to breathe in and God-made!)
Andrea’s motto: I would rather use something that is contributing to my health rather than using something my body has to fight. Essentially, I want to be as close to the natural form as possible. There is something so creative about  finding natural ways to keep things clean.
To hear the entire broadcast, click below.  A link to Andrea’s extremely informative website, MomsAWARE is also below. Stay tuned for Toxic Talk Tuesday on how to clean your kitchen and personal care products!

Chris Fabry Live! July 19, 2011

MomsAWARE

Making an Informed Decision Concerning Vaccines

CDC-AAP-Immunization-Schedule-2011

Since posting our story on Hope for Healing Autism, I have been asked a lot of questions regarding my opinion on vaccines and whether or not we would choose to vaccinate in the future.   When our son was born and the question of vaccines came up, all I knew was that it was a widely debated issue. I myself had been fully vaccinated and had no reason to question the validity of this practice.  But, with my awareness that this was a controversial topic and my “question everything” personality, I knew I needed to study this issue myself and come to my own conclusions on the matter.

At first I was overwhelmed by the mixed reviews and conflicting reports. I became so frustrated with the fact that everything I read seemed to come to a different conclusion on which vaccines were safe, if any. My doctors urged me to vaccinate for the wellbeing of my child and the world at large.  Parenting magazines stated that there is no validity to the claims that autism is linked with vaccines. Friends urged me that this was not true and that vaccinations were dangerous. Other friends argued the exact opposite.

In the end, it was largely my research into the autoimmune disorder epidemic that heightened my awareness that there is more to all of this than meets the eye. After much reading and studying, we have come to the conclusion that we feel it is safest not to vaccinate.  I know that statement will turn some people off instantly, but I have compiled a list of facts I wish I had known when I began researching this issue in the first place.  It is my desire that these facts will help you better understand the debate, become more accurately informed, and most of all, will help you to be comfortable with whatever choice you make in this area for your own family. Feel free to disagree with or disregard any or all of this information.  To the best of my knowledge, it is accurate, but as with anything, it may have its flaws.

I do not want to convince anyone of anything.  I do not want to cause arguments or debates. I simply want parents to be able to make more accurately informed decisions concerning vaccines.

Interesting Facts Regarding Vaccines and Disease[1]

  • A two month old baby can receive as many as 8 vaccines on a single day. At age 15 to 18 months, a child can receive as many as 12 vaccines on a single day. 
  • During the past quarter century, the number of children with learning disabilities, ADHD, asthma and diabetes has more than tripled.
  • An epidemic of chronic disease and disability is plaguing America. Our children are the most highly vaccinated children in the world and they are among the most chronically ill and disabled.
  • More than twice as many children have chronic brain and immune system dysfunction today than did in the 1970’s when half as many vaccines were given to children.

Factors that Weighed into our Decision on Vaccinations:

  • It is a common misnomer that when children aren’t vaccinated, they are at risk for life threatening diseases.  It is widely believed that vaccines have saved our world from all sorts of diseases.  However, health statistics show that there was a steady decline of infectious diseases in developing countries whether they had vaccines or not.   There was also a decline in infectious disease for which there were no vaccineIt is believed that this decline is due to improved sanitation, hygiene and better nutrition.[2]
  • By 1850-1940, instances of infectious diseases were down by 90%.  This was long before we began introducing most vaccines.  In a study done by John and Sonja McKinlay in St. Martin’s Press, New York, it was stated that “it is estimated that at most, 3.5% of the total decline in mortality since 1900 could be ascribed to medical measures introduced for the diseases considered.  Furthermore, medical measures were introduced several decades after marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influences in most instances.”[3] Only 10% of the world got the smallpox vaccine.  Yet we hear that this vaccine eradicated smallpox.  According to Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, “Smallpox would have died out anyway regardless of the vaccine.”[4]  This is also the case with Polio.  The disease was already dying out before the vaccine was introduced.[5]
  • But if you don’t vaccinate, your kids could get meningitis, etc.!”  Statistics actually show that the majority of people who report getting these infectious diseases are, by far, the ones who were vaccinated. 80% of people who get the flu have been vaccinated against it.[6] Multiple studies show that more children who have been fully vaccinated get measles than those who are unvaccinated.
  • The amount of required vaccinations has more than doubled in the last twenty years, bringing the grand total recommended vaccinations to 49 within the first 6 years of a child’s life.[7]
  • The FDA wants to add even more vaccines into these tiny baby’s bodies almost as soon as they are born, including a flu shot twice a year for the first two years followed by an annual flu shot for life.
  • Most of these vaccines are given before the age of five.  Yet the majority of the brain’s development is in the first five years of life.  The toxins in the vaccines inhibit the brain’s ability to develop properly.
  • It is a common misnomer that a student is required to be vaccinated in order to attend school. However, each state has exemptions.  Find out how you can be exempt in your state.
  • The things that fill vaccines are known neurotoxins (e.g. formaldehyde, thimerosol (mercury), aluminum, ammonium sulfate, aborted fetal tissue, antibiotics, MSG)[8], meaning they are literally poison to the brain. Our bodies cannot detoxify these substances, and therefore, they hide away in our brains and bodies creating new diseases.[9]
  • Each vaccine has been tested individually.  However, they have not been tested together.[10]  And now that so many vaccines are required, they developed “cocktails” so that our little ones only have to receive one or two pricks instead of five or six.  This sounds appealing to the mother concerned about the pain involved in getting shots, but can these little bodies handle this many toxins at once?  Once again, studies have not been done to show the safety of these vaccines given in numerous doses, nor have there been long term studies on the affects of all of these new vaccines being given to our little ones at a younger and younger age.
  • Vaccines artificially expose the body with these viruses in a way the body was not meant to defend against. God made our bodies with the amazing ability to heal and protect itself. Babies are exposed to germs in the air, and their bodies are constantly learning to detoxify them and strengthen them. But only when they are introduced in this natural way, by breathing them in etc. are their immune systems able to build up a defense against them.  When they are injected directly into the bloodstream, the body’s natural defense mechanisms are not triggered properly.[11] As one researcher said, our bodies never grow stronger by taking the easy way out. It is only through the difficult way, that is, being exposed to and fighting the germs the way God intended that our bodies can build up that lifelong immunity to the much scarier adult forms of the diseases (shingles from chicken pox for example). Vaccines do not trigger the lifelong immunity that actually catching the disease does. This is why you have to be re-vaccinated every 5-7 years.
  • Many of these vaccines, like the Hep B vaccine, were never tested on newborns for safety–only 5-6 years olds.[12] Yet new moms are told to give their babies this vaccine moments after it enters the world!
  • Most of the vaccines–like the one for pertussis–are not even given until after two months of age, and yet an infant’s greatest risk is before they are two months old.[13]
  • Statistically, infectious diseases such as influenza and pertussis are rarely fatal.   When these diseases prove fatal, it is in those who are autoimmune compromised, such as the very young, the autoimmune disordered, and the elderly.  However, because of the nature of vaccines introducing disease into the body, autoimmune disordered children are recommended not to receive any further vaccinations.  And yet they are the ones with the highest risk for fatality if they catch the disease.
  • We are not taking into account the cost at which we are attempting to “save” our children from illness. We will vaccinate in hopes of preventing them getting polio and tuberculosis, but at what point do we say, “Which is worse? The threat of an illness that has all but been eradicated? or the new childhood epidemics autism, asthma, ADHD and allergies that are paralyzing people and are called “living death” that are strongly linked with receiving vaccines?”
  • Much of what drives the vaccine issue is fear. We are so afraid we will harm our children we will do anything to help them! And most people think this IS helping them. Fear is the big motivator. We are running to get these vaccines because we are afraid.  But the more we inform ourselves, the less we realize we need to fear.

Understanding the Immune Response to Infectious Disease vs. the Immune Response to Immunization[14]

What is the difference between normal immune system response to illness and vaccination?  If we do not inform ourselves, we live in fear.  When our babies are born, everything in their body is underdeveloped except their brain stem.  This is a time when they need to be protected from toxins, not assaulted with them.  What is the process?  When the body is exposed to an infectious illness, the body identifies it and begins detoxifying to fight against it.  It initiates white blood cells and T cells which attack the invader directly.  When the THi cell gets involved, your  body develops lifelong immunity.  A fever (up to a certain point) plays a critical role in fighting off the infection in the body.  There is no system in the human body which is strenghtened by avoiding challenges, but only through overcoming them. The medical model does the opposite of what the body is doing.  If you challenge the immune system and it overcomes, it is healthier.  If children are not well, there are so many things you can do to proactively help their bodies respond better.

Let us look at the way our body responds to food poisoning for instance. When we eat bad food, we vomit.  Is this unpleasant? Yes.  But it is actually our body ridding itself of the poisons.  The body goes through a similar process when it is exposed to infectious illnesses.  However, there are some major differences in the body’s response to an encountered illness and an injected illness. First, when an unvaccinated child is walking around the world, they are being exposed to infectious diseases slowly.  A child is not going to be exposed to eight different diseases all at once.  When we are injected with a vaccine, we are not only changing the timing of exposure, but the method. When we vaccinate, we bypass the normal method and inject it straight into the muscle (also all the toxins).  If it goes into the blood, that disease can go into all the vital organs of the body and wreak havoc. TH2 cells are stimulated, and they do not have lifelong immunity, which is why you have to be continuously re-vacccinated for the rest of their lives to maintain “immunity.”

Hep B vaccine was designed for the prostitutes and drug users.   Hep B is passed by having multiple sexual partners or by dirty needles. Now they are giving it to babies within the first few hours of their birth.

Being informed on the facts of how rarely anyone actually dies from these illnesses, we realize we do not have to live in fear to do whatever it takes to prevent it—even exposing ourselves and our children to even more harmful toxins to avoid them getting the actual disease.

A bit about mercury content in vaccines[15]

The FDA has stated “lead, cadmium, and mercury are examples of toxic elements that are toxic even when present at relatively low levels…”  Mercury is the most poisonous neurotoxin on this earth.

When women become pregnant, one of the first things they are warned not to eat is any type of fish. Why is this? Because of the mercury contained in fish.  Even a nursing mother is told to avoid fish due to the mercury content.

Thimerosol is a form of inorganic mercury.  It has long been associated with serious neurological disorders.

While thimerosol has been largely removed from vaccines, there are many concerns about the legitimacy of this claim.  First, if it is not an active ingredient, manufacturers do not have to list it in the ingredients. So you may ask for thimerosol free and think you are getting it, but it may still be in there. Also, they have been gradually weeding out the thimerosol over the past few years, and when tested, trace amounts still exist within the vaccines. It is kind of like a food that has been manufactured on equipment that had previously been used to produce peanuts.  They list that fact on the side because even trace amounts of peanuts can be fatal to those with an allergy.  And remember what the FDA said about even trace amounts of mercury—it is toxic. And then there is the question of what they replaced the thimerosol with—are there studies on their safety?

In the 1950’s, the amount of thimerosol that five year old children were exposed to via vaccines was 50 micrograms.  By the year 2003, children were receiving 212.5 mcg of thimerosol by the age of 5.  According to the EPA Safety recommendation, infants should receive no more than .01mcg-4 mcg a day.  However, in one round of vaccines, an infant will receive 41-60 times the amount of recommended thimerosol (FDACenterfor Biologics Evaluation and Research).  These neurotoxins do not get eliminated.  They are absorbed into the brain like water in a sponge, causing long term damage.

Rhogam still contains full level of mercury-25 mcg.  It is possible, though very difficult, to find Rhogam shots that do not have thimerosol in them. If you are pregnant and have the Rh factor, ask for a specific list of ingredients and ensure you are receiving the vaccine without rhogam.

_________________________________________________________________

I have done my best to gather reliable information in my research on vaccines.  I would have liked to footnote more thoroughly, but it was rather overwhelming since a lot of the information was gleaned from multiple sources and can be found at numerous locations.  I have listed below many of my sources so you can seek out further information for yourself. Please do not fault my improper citation below. I did not list every publishing detail, etc. I mostly just linked to websites or articles. It is not my mom’s fault. She taught me better. Really.

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, Dr. Kenneth Bock

Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Natasha Campbell

The Vaccine Book, Dr. Bob Sears

Thinktwice.com


Hope for Healing Autism: Our Story

Any of our friends who have known and interacted with Jeshuah over the past few months will notice a drastic difference in his personality and behavior from that which we had been so concerned about for the better part of a year. That is, the very real possibility of him developing an autistic spectrum disorder. Indeed, every day I continue to marvel at the changes in him, hardly able to believe it myself. And yet it has all happened so fast, I realize I have not had the chance to tell many of you yet.  I find many friends whom we do not see regularly are completely unaware of how our household has changed in these last few months.  Allow me to fill you in on what has happened.

While Jeshuah, currently eighteen months old, has never been officially diagnosed with the label of autism, by twelve months of age, there were many symptoms which caused our pediatrician and therapists to be concerned.  He had some precursors, some “red flags” or warning that he may be developing it.  You see Autism as we define it nowadays is a kind of regressive autism, in that these 1 in 110 kids who have it now are not born with it. They develop it by the age of three. For more detailed information, see my post on Autism here or check out the resources at the bottom of this post.

Since this form of autism doesn’t typically show up fully until between two and three years of age, when he was evaluated by his doctor and therapists, they all said he has some concerning symptoms, but we would just have to wait and see.

When it comes to the health and wellbeing of our son, Stephen and I are not “wait and see” type of people. I remembered remarking to Stephen after watching Temple Grandin last year, “If someone was going to have a kid with autism, it would be me.  I would be Temple’s mom. I would be beating down doctor’s doors to find the answers to help my child and not just label and give up.”

A couple of months later I began noticing things about Jeshuah that were developmentally and socially disconcerting.  It began with his obsessive spinning of round objects around 9 months of age. At first it was amusing, adorable, amazing, and entertaining.  But after a few months, when I realized that was all he ever, ever, ever did and he was growing further and further behind all his friends developmentally, I began to grow concerned.

And then he got his 12 month immunizations (at 14 months since we were behind).  I had been hesitant to get him immunized in the first place, as my research on the issue was inconclusive and left me just plain uncomfortable.  However, well-meaning people and doctors pressured me that it was vital to his health and well-being and the health and well-being of all children, and I felt compelled to do it.  Although I noticed a distinct disturbance in his habits and sleep every set of shots he got, I tried to brush it off as inconsequential as everyone sites these concerns and thinks nothing of them. (Now that I have had a chance to research this issue further, I have blogged some of my findings here.)

Because I had delayed and denied some, the doctors were catching him up to date, and I was distracted by that visit by our doctor’s concern over Jeshuah’s obsessive spinning. I didn’t notice how many immunizations they were giving him, nor that they were giving him immunizations that I had previously been denying. When I left the office and gathered the papers of info for the shots he had just received, my heart was sickened at the amount of vaccines he had been given in a single day and that he had received vaccines that I didn’t want him having in the first place. But it was too late now. I would watch much more carefully next time I was in the office.

But that night Jeshuah woke up screaming.  A couple of hours later, he was awake again.  And then again.  While he had been sleeping through the night beautifully long before that, for the next month, Jeshuah awoke in the night multiple times, screaming and distraught. When he awoke in the morning, I wept as I watched him crawl around the house, sobbing inconsolably, banging his head on the hard wood floors, writhing, flailing and screaming. Nothing I could do calmed him.  At first I chalked it up to teething.  But now that he has grown multiple more teeth without so much as a fuss, I realize that correlation was most likely inaccurate.

It was around that time that we noticed spinning things both consoled and distressed him.  He would spin by the hour, his body stiffening, his face contorting, eyes squinting, making choking/gasping noises, and then he would look at us and begin to cry. And spin again. The whole cycle would repeat itself continuously. (This video shows only a very mild stiffening/seizing compared to what it later became.)

That was when we took away everything he could spin.  That proved difficult as he tried to spin everything so we were pared down to a few simple toys that didn’t have pieces or any rounded edges.  But now we had a difficult time any time we left the house. He would see wheels on cars or rounded light bulb posts and go into fits and frenzies, signing that he wanted to spin them. He began withdrawing socially, cowering into me as soon as we walked into church or anywhere there was a crowd of people. Clinging to me, he would burrow his head, cry, and refuse to be put down. (I am aware of separation anxiety. This was very different. In general, he has never minded new people or been clingy to either Stephen or me only.  This terror in large crowds was a reaction to sensory overload, and if I took him in a dark room by himself, he would calm right down).

As I researched further, speaking with friends whose children had begun to develop similar issues, many seemingly unconnected symptoms began to connect like pieces in a puzzle.  Jeshuah has always had allergic reactions to things, breaking out in hives, turning red with hot skin, watery eyes, etc.  Since he was eight months old, he has been sick nearly constantly. Almost every time we end up at the urgent care with an antibiotic prescription. He catches every germ that passes and his body simply cannot fight off any infection by itself.

Doctors are beginning to find that this regressive autism is actually caused by an autoimmune disorder.  Short version: their little bodies’ immune system has backfired and turned on itself.  Because it is constantly attacking itself, it cannot ward off any infection it is exposed to.  This would explain why such a large number of families report drastic behavioral changes directly after their child is immunized.  While vaccines may be considered “safe” for the general population, they are not recommended for anyone whose immune system is already compromised. Why? Because a vaccine is actually a tiny bit of that virus (or, in our day and age multiple viruses in the same vaccine) that, when injected, is designed to build an immunity within your body to the real virus.  However, if your system is already overwhelmed by attacking itself, it cannot adequately defend itself against this new virus. Instead, it buries itself away in the body and wreaks havoc. Many children develop immediate and severe behavioral changes following vaccination, but this goes largely unreported, and when it is reported, doctors brush it off as a coincidence. Which is exactly what our pediatrician did, with a disgusted shake of his head at my concern. When I cited concern that his behavior had dramatically regressed immediately following each vaccine, he denied the possibility that they were connected and informed me that I would need to find a new pediatrician if I intended to discontinue vaccinations.

Around this time, I had been conducting extensive research into the area of upper cervical chiropractic and its treatment of autistic kids.  Through a family friend, we heard about a practitioner in the area who was working with autistic spectrum disordered children and seeing dramatic improvement.  Stephen and I are both very skeptical and wary of chiropractors in general, but we know there are both legitimate and illegitimate ones out there.  I have to admit, it took many weeks of thinking, praying, and researching for us to even begin to think a chiropractor could in any way help our son.

However, when we finally took the time to watch the documentary on upper cervical chiropractic, the lightbulb went on in both our heads. This particular school of chiropractic focuses on the atlas, the first bone in your neck.  It is through this bone which all your nerves run, sending messages to the rest of your body.  The following quotes were taken from upper-cervical.com:

“The brain, like a powerful computer system controls and monitors all bodily functions. Brain messages; signals from the brain to the body are the medium used to communicate instructions from the brain to the different body parts. These brain messages move in a vast network of connections, our nervous system, which allows the brain to communicate with even the most remote part of the body.”

When the atlas becomes misaligned (which can happen for any number of reasons, from birth trauma to a bad fall, car accident, etc), the nerves running through the neck become pinched, inflamed, or irritated and can begin to send the wrong signals.  These incorrect signals include anything from mimicking multiple sclerosis, to blindness, to autism.  But when this bone is set back in place, the symptoms disappear within hours, days, or weeks (depending on severity and length of misalignment).

“As soon as the correction is made, muscles begin to relax, blood and oxygen circulation increases, the immune system gains strength and vitality and the body’s natural, self-healing process begins.”

Does this mean that everyone who has cancer, is deaf, and has allergies should go to an upper cervical doctor and will be healed? Unfortunately, no.  These, and many other issues, are very real problems which may be completely unrelated to the atlas, and therefore, this procedure would not help.  However, the fact of the matter is that many, many issues are merely masquerading as other problems, when in reality, the brain simply has its wires crossed. Rather literally.

Now that I am done with that rather technical explanation (sorry! I probably find this way more fascinating than most people), I want to tell you about our own experience with this chiropractic care.  Once we understood the premise, we figured it was worth a try.  After all, the doctors don’t have any answers for us, and other people are finding help this way–we might as well try!

We scheduled the appointment with Newhouse Health Solutions and took him in the next day.  Sure enough, his little atlas was off, and with a couple of gentle nudges (most of which made Jeshuah giggle because he thought he was being tickled), Dr. Newhouse set him to rights and informed us that we should expect a very large poo and a very lengthy sleep that night.

As Stephen and I drove away, we both had a sick feeling in the pit of our stomach that we had just wasted our money on quackery.  We spoke about how neither one of us could even imagine our son seeing a round object and not spinning it.  We could not fathom taking him to a parking lot and not seeing him seize up at the sight of wheels.  It was all too good to be true. A fairy tale dream that didn’t exist.  I began settling in my heart what my next steps would be when this treatment proved to fail.

That night Jeshuah slept like a log and, true to prediction, had one very. large. poo.  I still held out little hope that I would actually see any improvement in my son’s obsessive, abnormal behavior.  However, the next day I brought Jeshuah home from a round of errands, set him down on the floor, and relayed to Stephen, “I just took Jeshuah to multiple stores, and I just realized…he never even seized up at the sight of all the cars.”  Later that day, I took him for a walk, and he merely walked past the cars parked on the street, hardly noticing their rounded wheels.  Two days prior, we would be permanently waylaid at the sight of any wheel, and then there would be tantrums and fits when he wasn’t able to spin them. I locked these observences away in my mind, still too afraid to hope.

Earlier that week Jeshuah had taken some of his first real steps, and by the end of the week, he was practically unstopable.

And then came Sunday.

Because Jeshuah had had strep throat earlier in the week, I didn’t want to put him in the nursery. So I stayed with him in the library, where there were speakers to listen and a window in the door to see the pastor.  I had brought a can of Puffs in case he got hungry and pulled them out towards the end of the sermon.  As soon as I whipped them out of the bag, my heart sank as I realized I had not only let him see the lid, but I had placed it on the floor as a plate for the Puffs.  If I ever let him see the round lid, he wanted nothing to do with eating the Puffs, but only wanted to obsessively spin the lid. I reached to retract it quickly, but he was faster.  He had eaten the Puffs off it, lifted up the lid, and the beckoned for me to hand him the can. I blinked in confusion, but handed it down to him.  He took the lid in both hands and placed it on top of the can. He then removed it, looked at it, then put it back on.

Even as I write this, I know it is impossible to convey to you how significant that event was.  Never, ever, ever, had Jeshuah even attempted to place a lid on its container. When the therapist worked and worked with him, all he would do was spin it.  I could not let him see any of the tupperware when I would pull his leftovers out of the fridge. There would be a frenzied panic to spin them–even the square ones.  But the first time, I watched as Jeshuah not only didn’t react to seeing the round lid, but he used it as it was intended to be used, to seal a container.

As soon as church was over, I rushed into the auditorium to relay the news to Stephen.  Jeshuah was on my hip, and I realized, as we headed into the crowd of people eager to go eat lunch, he was not cowering into me.  In fact, he was reaching for me to put him down! In shock, I let him down, and he took off down the aisles, chasing the older kids back and forth, laughing at his accomplishment.  I turned to Stephen, eyes wide.  How many times had we tried to put him down on this same floor to show off his tricks to the people there? Every time, he clung and cowered and whimpered. But not today.  Today it was like we were watching someone else’s child laugh and play with other kids, unfazed by the lights or crowds of people.

When we took him to lunch that day, we sat near the windows, where I only later realized he could see straight to the cars on the street. Halfway through the meal I marveled to Stephen, Daniel and DeAnna to look at Jeshuah and take note of the fact that he didn’t even care about the cars driving past, even though he had seen them.  Not two weeks before, while out to lunch with a friend, I couldn’t even get him to eat because he was transfixed by the window, stiff, shaking and seizing the entire meal as he watched the parking lot.

After that, we began to notice more and more little things.  Suddenly Jeshuah was “into everything!” like so many moms complain about. He was pulling things off shelves, dumping out baskets of toys, and driving objects around the house, making motor noises as he followed behind.  He was curious about everything, finding new ways to use toys, opening and closing cupboards and drawers, hiding little toys to find later. His constant runny nose cleared up, his cheeks and ears stopped flushing red-hot.  He settled into a restful pattern of waking and sleeping. He began jabbering constantly, making dozens of new sounds and responding to questions like “what does the monkey say?”

Last month, I called his therapists and withdrew him from the early intervention program.  He has no need of it anymore. He is as normal as normal can be.  I thought I would never know what that felt like. I don’t think we will ever take “normal” for granted again, though. As difficult as this road has been, I am so thankful we have walked it. I am thankful to have stood in the shoes of parents who wrestle through the possibility or reality of their children having disorders, syndromes, and other “abnormalities.” I am thankful for all the research I did and all the knowledge and resources I have tucked away to hopefully be able to encourage others now.

I want others to know our story.  I want other people to find the same help.  It is not for everyone–a misaligned atlas is not everyone’s problem.  But I guarantee you it is some people’s problem. It was our problem, and now it is gone! We continue to see progress as Jeshuah’s immune system regains its full function.  Two weeks ago he had strep again, and he has had some seizing recently.  Dr. Newhouse explained that it is like a sprained ankle.  You can regain the use, but there may still be some scar tissue there that flares up occasionally.  Perhaps the seizing is residual from the infection and a weakened immune system.  Perhaps it is because I have been extremely lenient with what he has been eating over the last month.  Perhaps it is because I reintroduced dairy.  His diet may play a part in all of this, too.  Over the next few weeks I will experiment with his diet and see if that helps.  But even the mild seizing that we have seen is so mild, and so different from what it used to be. It is more of an excitement than anything, and it doesn’t cause my heart to plummet the way it used to.

So that’s where we are right now. As far as we are concerned, Jeshuah is “healed.”  We do not consider him on the autistic spectrum or in danger of ever being on it. We have wrestled with a lot of difficult things and asked a lot of questions over the last many months.  But we seem to be on the other side of that now. Could we see ourselves back there again? Of course–anything is possible! And yet at the moment, we do not suspect that will happen.

One thing we do know for sure and certain. That is, no matter what the outcome in all of this, our God is faithful to keep us, and we give him glory for all of this!

I shot this video this afternoon.  This was the first time he had even seen his donuts since we put them away six months ago.  Even after everything I have detailed, I was virtually shaking as I showed them to him, anxious that he would do what he had always done and spin, spin, spin. But I had to try and see what would happen!

While I understand this post is far from exhaustive in its scope, I have tried to be as accurate in my information as possible.  Information in this post has been gleaned from many sources, many of which have been friends, relatives, and physicians.  Some websites and books I have read and recommend include the following:

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies

Newhouse Health Solutions

ACN Forums