Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rappoport Raises Important Questions About Vaccines

First, let me say that prior to today, I have never heard of Jon Rappoport.

I have been catching up on emails, which have been sorely neglected during the Christmas break. This evening I clicked on a post from one of the groups I shadow, and followed the link to this, which is said to be an interview of a former vaccine researcher, who does not want to use his own identity because of the consequences of doing so. (If this is true, his decision is completely understandable.)

If this is not true, I still believe it is worth posting, as there are many questions that need to be asked, which may come from more interested people having access to the dialogue (scripted or not).

I encourage parents to research the vaccine issue and make informed decisions before injecting anything into their child's body. Make your own decisions.


Monday, December 15, 2008

O'Bama: Please Change Government Stance on Autism!

Hello All:
There is currently a forum on - which will allow you to submit or vote for ideas that you believe President-elect O'Bama needs to address for change when his administration is ushered into power. Please go to the following link and vote for change for our children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism:

And visit the Bodies in Rebellion site to learn more:

Here is one of the latests posts on the Change. org site: (Lots of information well worth your time to investigate.)


For all those that want to understand the realtionship between mercury and autism read the article "Blood Levels of Mercury Are Related to Diagnosis of Autism: A Reanalysis of an Important Data Set.

The symptoms of mercury toxicity and autism are almost identical: Thimerosal and autism? A plausible hypothesis that should not be dismissed . Medical Hypotheses , Volume 62 , Issue 5 , Pages 788 - 794 M .


Those that do not understand how serious a problem autism is... just read all these comments parents and relatives are making. Do a search for Dr. Boyd Haley, University of Kentucky, Dr. Mady Hornig, Columbia University, Dr. Thomas Burbacher, University of Washington; Dr. Mark Geier, President of The Genetic Centers of America and David Geier, Vice President of The Institute of Chronic Illnesses, and Dr. Jill James, University of Arkansas. They're just a few of the independent scientists whose findings link unsafe vaccines to neurological damage in our children. Research on vaccines can also be found on this link:

The National Autism Association has said that while officials continue to claim that there is no science linking vaccines to autism, many peer-reviewed published studies confirm the connection between vaccinations and neurological injuries.

Look at what the former head of the NIH has to say:

CBS News Exclusive: Former Head Of NIH Says Government Too Quick To Dismiss Possible LinkSEE VIDEO

Healy said that officials have been too quick to dismiss a link between vaccines and autism without ever studying the group that got sick. There never have been studies done on the kids that developed symptoms of autism within a few weeks of being vaccinated. She furthermore pointed out that the Institute of Medicine which produced the cumulative study on vaccines and autism in 2004 refused to 'pursue susceptibility groups.' In other words, they didn't want to find any evidence that linked vaccines to autism. She left us with the haunting statement: 'The question has not been answered.'

In the current issue of U.S. News and World Report, A Government Call for Vaccine Research, Dr. Healy again calls for more research into vaccine safety. This ad ran in USA Today on Feb 12 and 29: Green our vaccines. And administer them with greater care. .

It shows what happened to the vaccine schedule since 1983 and it lists the toxic ingredients like mercury, aluminum, MSG, ether, formaldehyde, and anti-freeze commonly found in vaccines. The soaring increase in autism directly coincided with the dramatic escalation of the number of vaccines. It's important to note that there has never been a study done on the cumulative effect of so many vaccines with toxic ingredients so soon on the health of a baby. This is also the time period in which autism went from one in 10,000 children to one in every 150 on average in the U.S. The official autism rate is one in 150 children. In the 1970s, the rate was one in every 10,000 kids. The CDC gave us the figure of one in 150 in Feb. 2007, but it was based on studies of eight year olds done back in 2002 and 2000. Those children are now 14 and 16 years old. This can hardly be considered a true picture of the autism disaster. In Minnesota, the recognized rate is one in every 81 kids. Others put the national average rate at one in every 67 children. Among the Somali immigrants in Minneapolis, the autism rate for American-born Somali children is one in every 28 kids. And these children are ones with classic autism. They could hardly have been misdiagnosed. One in every six schoolchildren now has a diagnosis of a learning disability.

Autism, once a rare disorder, is now so common that everyone knows someone with an autistic child and no one can reasonability tell us why. When we read about autism, it's always about kids with autism. Where are the 30, 50, and 70 year olds with autism like we see in our children? We should all be worried about what will happen when hundreds of thousands of children with autism age out into the welfare system. They'll become the responsibility of the taxpayers. We do not currently have a significant adult population with autism, but that will soon be changing and the cost of their support and care will be massive. Findings by Michael Ganz at Harvard make a chilling prediction of the future cost to our society. Ganz projects that it will cost about $3.2 million to take care of ONE autistic person over his or her lifetime. His findings are felt by others to be a gross underestimate of the eventual autism price tag.

Autism Has High Costs to U.S. Society, press release of Tuesday ...

The words of Laura Bono of the National Autism Association are a grim forecast for the future: "As those children reach adulthood, the U.S. is ill-equipped to care for them. Not only do we not have enough services for adults now, the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. Frankly, we don't know what we're going to do."

Click the link below to view this discussion.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lead in Wild Game, Venison, Be Careful What You Eat!

The following article is important, especially for those of us with sick children, who also live in areas of the country where wild game consumption is part of how families get by.

The take-home message is: Think about every aspect of your life, especially if you have a child with autism or other developmental disability. Also, please remember that lead only shows up in blood for a short period of time after exposure. It is stored in soft tissues, including bone marrow and the brain, for decades after initial exposure, and the effect is cumulative. In other words, it adds up. Just because it doesn't show up in blood doesn't mean it's not in your body (or your child's body).

Lead is also passed from mother to child in utero and through breast milk, so if you have eaten a considerable amount of wild game in your life and are thinking about getting pregnant, you may want to have a hair analysis and urine provocation test prior to conception. Get the lead out before you pass it on to the next generation.

Take care.

Study links lead in blood to wild game consumption

By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press Writer James Macpherson, Associated Press Writer – Wed Nov 5, 8:58 pm ET

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota health officials are recommending that pregnant women and young children avoid eating meat from wild game killed with lead bullets.

The recommendation is based on a study released Wednesday that examined the lead levels in the blood of more than 700 state residents. Those who ate wild game killed with lead bullets appeared to have higher lead levels than those who ate little or no wild game.

The elevated lead levels were not considered dangerous, but North Dakota says pregnant women and children younger than 6 should avoid eating venison harvested using lead bullets.
Those groups are considered most at risk from lead poisoning, which can cause learning problems and convulsions, and in severe cases can lead to brain damage and death.

The study, conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state health department, is the first to connect lead traces in game with higher lead levels in the blood of game eaters, said Dr. Stephen Pickard, a CDC epidemiolgist who works with the state health department.

A separate study by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources previously found that fragments from lead bullets spread as far as 18 inches away from the wound.

"Nobody was in trouble from the lead levels," Pickard said. However, "the effect was small but large enough to be a concern," he said.

Pickard said the study found "the more recent the consumption of wild game harvested with lead bullets, the higher the level of lead in the blood."

Officials in North Dakota and other states have warned about eating venison killed with lead ammunition since the spring, when a physician conducting tests using a CT scanner found lead in samples of donated deer meat.

The findings led North Dakota's health department to order food pantries to throw out donated venison. Some groups that organize venison donations have called such actions premature and unsupported by science.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., Winner of the Noble Prize

With yesterday's announcement of this year's winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, I think it is appropriate to honor the man who, sadly, will never see the full effects of his lifetime commitment to individuals and families impacted by autism. This man worked tirelessly and passionately in his quest for the true causes and effective treatments of autism to be accepted and widely applied so that more children could live free from constant pain and become independent, contributing members of society.

Today's post is dedicated to Bernard Rimland, Ph.D (1928 – 2006). The bulk of this post is a reprint of Dr. Rimland's testimony in 2000, before the House Committee on Government Reform. Given the current state of our economy and the recent 700 billion dollar buyout, I believe the timing of this post is especially relevant.

Here's to you, Bernie. Thank-you. You did not live long enough to receive the Nobel Prize, but if they gave one for being a Noble Man, you would have no competition whatsoever.

Testimony of Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. Before House Committee on Government Reform

April 6, 2000

The Autism Increase: Research Needed on the Vaccine Connection

My name is Bernard Rimland. I am a research psychologist (Ph.D.). and am Director Of the Autism Research Institute, which I founded in 1967. I am also the founder of the Autism Society of America (1965), and the editor of the Autism Research Review International. My book, Infantile Autism: The Syndrome and Its Implication for a Neural Theory of Behavior (1964) is widely credited with changing the field of psychiatry from its claim that autism is an emotional illness, caused by destructive mothers, to its current recognition that autism is a biological disorder. I have lectured on autism and related problems throughout the world, and am author of numerous publications. I served as primary technical advisor on autism for the film Rain Man.

My son Mark was born in 1956. It was obvious from birth that this perfectly normal-looking infant had something drastically wrong with him. I had earned my Ph.D in experimental psychology 3 years earlier and had never encountered the word autism. Our pediatrician, with 35 years of experience, had never heard of autism either. Autism was extremely rare then - it is extremely common now.

Some supposed experts will tell you that the increase reflects only greater awareness. That is nonsense. Any pediatrician, teacher or school official with 20 or more years experience will confirm what the studies tell us: there is a real increase in autism and the numbers are huge and growing. The epidemic is serious and world-wide.

Soon after my textbook on autism was published in 1964, I began to hear from other parents. Many parents told me that their children were normal until getting a triple vaccine - the DPT shot. In 1965 I began systematically collecting data on the symptoms and possible causes of autism: In 1967—33 years ago—I began querying the parents, specifically about the child's response to the DPT shot. Many had reported marked deterioration.

During the past few years the Autism Research Institute has been flooded with an upsurge in pleas for help from parents throughout the world - from wherever the World Health Organization vaccine guidelines are followed. The majority of these parents say their children were normal until getting the MMR - another triple vaccine.

Let me dispel several myths promoted by those who deny the autism-vaccine connection:

  1. They claim the vaccines are safe, but physicians are indoctrinated to disbelieve claims of harm and are not trained to recognize nor required to report any adverse reactions. From 90% to 99% of the adverse reactions reported to doctors are never reported by those doctors to the government's extremely lax Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, known as the VAERS.

  2. They say that the suspected linkage between the MMR vaccination and autism has been disproved by a study conducted by Brent Taylor and his colleagues in London, and published last year in The Lancet. The Taylor study is seriously flawed in many ways, as had been noted in a number of letters to the editor of The Lancet and in a number of additional letters on the subject which have been posted on the internet. It was subject to strong attack at a recent meeting of the British Statistical Society. I have been a full-time researcher my entire professional life, for almost 50 years, and I respectfully asked Dr. Taylor for a copy of the data so that I could reanalyze them. He refused this ordinary professional courtesy, and I have subsequently written to the editor of The Lancet requesting that an impartial committee be asked to reexamine Dr. Taylor's statistical methods. If he refuses again, I urged The Lancet to retract his paper.

  3. They say that autism has a large genetic component, and therefore vaccines must play a minimal, if any, role in the causation of autism. My book Infantile Autism, published in 1964, was the first systematic attempt to marshal the evidence for genetics as a contributing cause of autism, so I am certainly not hostile to that idea. However, genes do not begin to account for the huge increase in the incidence of autism, ranging from 250% to 500% in various places. I might add that we have just reviewed all of the recent genetic studies for the next issue of the Autism Research Review International, which I edit. The results are spectacularly inconsistent. The best guess is that there are at least 20 different genes involved in the causation of autism. Gene therapy is decades off, and may be infeasible.

  4. They claim that autism naturally occurs at about 18 months, when the MMR is routinely given, so the association is merely coincidental and not causal. But the onset of autism at 18 months is a recent development. Autism starting at 18 months rose very sharply in the mid-1980s, when the MMR vaccine came into wide use. A coincidence? Hardly! See the graph below.

Autism is not the only severe chronic illness which has reached epidemic proportions as the number of (profitable) vaccines has rapidly increased. Children now receive 33 vaccines before they enter school - a huge increase. The vaccines contain not only live viruses but also very significant amounts of highly toxic substances such as mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde. Could this be the reason for the upsurge in autism, ADHD, asthma, arthritis, Crohn's disease, lupus and other chronic disorders?

As a parent and as a full-time professional researcher, I am bitterly disappointed with the medical establishment's dismal record with regard to autism over the past 60 years. The medical schools, as well as the governmental agencies, have consistently supported outmoded, unproven and even disproven theories from the very beginning, and have actively opposed the most promising approaches for the treatment of autism. They supported the psychoanalytically-based theories which held the mother responsible for causing autism through her supposedly hostile attitude toward the child. They opposed the use of behavior modification, the most uniformly beneficial treatment for autism, by claiming that it neglected the deep-seated emotional blocks that were supposedly at the root of autism. They have ignored, and continue to ignore, the long series of studies conducted both in the U. S. and Europe showing that the elimination of foods containing gluten and casein from the diet brings about marked improvement in many autistic children. They have consistently ignored the series of 18 consecutive studies, conducted by researchers in 6 countries, which showed that almost half of all autistic children and adults respond favorably to high doses of vitamin B6 and magnesium., with no adverse effects. Eleven of these studies were double-blind placebo-crossover experiments. There is no drug that comes close to B6/magnesium in terms of safety, efficacy and positive research findings.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on non-productive lines of research, while virtually no money at all has been given to research on the methods of alternative medicine, which are far more promising in terms of both safety and efficacy.

The most interesting questions are not being asked: Why does the majority of the population survive such epidemics as autism, the bubonic plague, Legionnaires' disease, polio and AIDS, while relatively few succumb?

The answer is that the survivors have a healthy, effective immune system. Would enhancing the immune system decrease the likelihood of adverse reactions to vaccines (including the anthrax vaccine - DOD please note!)? Very probably. It is well known that the immune system must be adequately supplied with many nutrients if it is to function properly, including especially vitamins A, C, E, B6 and a number of minerals, including zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Nutritional levels of these substances are not only harmless, they are essential to good health. Since people do not change their diets readily, I believe that foods should be fortified with these nutrients - especially foods that will be consumed by infants and children. Research along these lines - as well as on the safety of the vaccines - is desperately needed.

As a parent and a researcher, I believe there should be a marked redirection of effort and funding, along the lines suggested above.

Committee on Government Reform

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

(202) 225-5074

Reprinted from:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Flu Vaccine - Is It Worth It? A Cost-Benefit Analysis

A few weeks ago I posted an article on this blog entitled, "Is There Thimerosal in the Flu Vaccine." At that time, it had just been announced in the media that the CDC was stepping up efforts this year "like never before" to ensure that every man, woman, and child (including babies and the as-yet unborn) receive the flu vaccine. As I wrote then, this is extremely concerning, especially when it comes to vaccinating pregnant women in the second trimester, and vaccinating babies and children with something that contains mercury. I cannot understand why, after the CDC finally agreed to remove thimerosal from the childhood vaccine schedule, they would now recommend vaccinations for babies and children that still contain this extremely toxic heavy metal.

I know this is a topic I already covered, but it is one that is so important it's worth expanding on.

Today was one of those rare days when, having attended the Health Fair at USI, I found myself at home with my feet up when the news came on. One of the stories covered by Ann Komas, anchor for WFIE News, reported on a "Drive-In Flu Clinic" that took place today in Indianapolis. People are lining up in their cars, simultaneously rolling down their windows and rolling up their sleeves to get the flu vaccines they have been so fervently advised to receive.

I wonder how many of them know about the thimerosal.

As my 8 year-old watched the news report she screwed up her face and said, "EEEWWWW! Gross!!!" I was very relieved to be able to tell her that she didn't have to worry about that because she is not getting a flu shot.

The government has GREATLY over-stated both the severity of the threat to healthy individuals from the flu, and the efficacy of the flu vaccine in preventing flu-related deaths. If you would like to read a fascinating article, written by research-physicians that will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not to submit to the government's push, click here.
If you don't care to read the entire article, here are some things to consider:

This information is taken directly from the article, "A Shot of Fear," written by By Steven Woloshin, Lisa M. Schwartz and H. Gilbert Welch, published in 2005 in The Washington Post.
  • According to the CDC, 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur among people age 65 years and older. Based on this information and the age distribution of the population, the chance of a flu-related death for people in that age group is about one in 1,000. Another way of saying this is that the chance of not dying from flu for those 65 and older is about 999 out of 1,000. (For context, the chance of a flu-related death is slightly lower than the chance of dying from a fall or other accident.)
  • For people younger than 65 (including children), the chance of a flu-related death is much smaller -- about one in 100,000.

The authors of the above-reference article point out that the wording of papers published in some highly-regarded, peer-reviewed, medical journals is misleading and overstates the effectiveness of the flu vaccination.

  • For example, a 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine observed that the flu vaccine was associated with a 50 percent reduction in the overall death rate (that is, death from heart disease, stroke, cancer and all other causes combined). To attribute an effect of this magnitude solely to the flu vaccine is ludicrous: Flu-related deaths make up less than 2 percent of all deaths. If the claim were accurate, the vaccine's power would dwarf that of any other medical intervention.

The authors go on to point out that for some, it is not necessarily the concern of death from the flu that drives them (now, literally) to get the vaccination. Many Americans roll up their sleeves and hold their screaming children down to receive the flu shot because they don't want to be sick and don't want to miss work or school.

  • The authors write, "Many may get flu shots simply to avoid getting sick. The Cochrane Collaboration identified more than 20 randomized trials addressing this question. The overall chance of developing "clinical" flu was 19 percent in those chosen, again by chance, to receive the recommended flu vaccine vs. 23 percent in the control groups."

If I'm interpreting this correctly, having received the flu vaccine conferred a 4% advantage when it came to actually getting sick, when compared to those who did not receive the flu vaccine.

Read on:

  • Studies have also measured another outcome: how vaccination affects days lost from work. On average, there are about 0.16 fewer days lost from work per person vaccinated. Another way of saying this is that about 5 percent of those vaccinated avoid missing about three days of work because of the flu. (That is, 0.16 days divided by the 5 percent who benefited from vaccination equals 3.2 days.) The other 95 percent vaccinated got no benefit.

For anyone who is concerned about injecting mercury into yourself or your child, PLEASE ask yourself, "Is it worth it?" before obediently and blindly rolling up your sleeves. For pregnant women and parents of small children, PLEASE, JUST SAY "NO."

Marcella Piper-Terry, M.S.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The success rate experienced by families who undertake a biomedical approach for autism is often excellent, for those who stick with it. A major problem is that by the time people hear about Biomedical interventions for Autism, they have been convinced by their pediatrician or family doctor that there is nothing that can be done for autism, and since we live in a society that tends to value a physician's word as being on par with "the word of God" this can be a big hurdle to overcome.

A related problem is that most traditionally-trained physicians are not taught about nutrition or methods of disease prevention. They are taught to suppress symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs and to remove body parts when they decay or stop working - often because the symptoms of underlying disease are masked with pharmaceutical drugs while things continue to get worse.

Physicians and clinicians who employ biomedical treatments for autism (and ADHD, ADD, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, etc.) subscribe to the belief that the most important thing is "FIRST, DO NO HARM." As is the case when considering any kind of intervention, we must ask ourselves if any risks associated are greater than any potential benefit that may come from taking the particular course of action. This is referred to as a “cost/benefit analysis.” In any cost/benefit analysis, you want to make decisions where the potential benefit outweighs the potential cost. I believe this is especially true when considering a treatment approach for a sick child.

The Autism Research Institute has been collecting data from parents for several years, regarding the success rates of various interventions, both biomedical and pharmaceutical. To view the complete list of parent ratings for biomedical and pharmaceutical interventions, click the following link:

Data from more than 26 thousand of parents indicates that biomedical interventions, such as dietary changes, antifungals, targeted supplementation with specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and probiotics, and chelation therapy to remove heavy metals, organophosphates, and pesticides, are many times more successful than treatment with psychotropic medications AND they are far less likely to cause negative reactions in the children.

For example, Adderall, Ritalin, and Risperdal are three of the most frequently prescribed medications given to children with autism to help control behavior (suppress symptoms). Parent ratings regarding the success rates for these medications are as follows:

Adderall: of 775 cases, 43% got worse; 32% got better; 25% no effect.
Adderall: Better:Worse Ratio = 0.8:1

Ritalin: of 4127 cases, 45% got worse; 29% got better; 26% no effect.
Ritalin: Better:Worse Ratio = 0.7:1

Risperdal: of 1038 cases, 20% got worse; 54% got better; 26% no effect.
Risperdal: Better:Worse Ratio = 2.8:1

Note: "got worse" in these parental reports relates solely to the worsening of problematic behaviors. To read further information regarding potential side effects of these and other psychotropic medications click the following link:

Constipation and diarrhea are rampant in a vast majority of kids with autism, as are problems with eczema, skin rashes, and environmental and dietary allergies. Because 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract, problems related to GI injury and inflammation are often the source of a domino-like cascade of issues as the child becomes immune-compromised and increasingly susceptible to bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections.

Dietary changes often help to correct issues in the gut and are therefore frequently targeted initially in biomedical treatments for autism. Parent ratings regarding the success of dietary interventions are as follows:

Remove Milk/Dairy: of 6360 cases, 2% got worse; 52% got better; 46% no effect.
Remove Milk/Dairy: Better:Worse Ratio: 32:1

Remove Wheat: of 3774 cases, 2% got worse; 51% got better; 47% no effect
Remove Wheat: Better:Worse Ratio: 28:1

Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet: of 2561 cases, 3% got worse; 66% got better; 31% no effect
GF/CF Diet: Better:Worse Ratio: 19:1

Candida Diet (Yeast-Free): of 941 cases, 3% got worse; 56% got better; 41% no effect
GF/CF Diet: Better:Worse Ratio: 19:1

Food Allergy Treatment: of 952 cases, 3% got worse; 64% got better; 33% no effect
Food Allergy Treatment: Better:Worse Ratio: 24:1

Yeast overgrowth (Candida Albicans) is a very common finding in children with autism, and is one of the effects of their weakened immune systems and resultant administration of antibiotics to fight recurrent bacterial infections. Physicians who adhere to the Defeat Autism Now! approach very often order laboratory testing to determine if yeast is problematic, and if so, will treat accordingly with antifungal prescriptions. Parental reports of success with antifungal treatment are as follows:

Antifungals: Diflucan: of 653 cases, 5% got worse; 57% got better; 38% no effect
Antifungals: Diflucan: Better:Worse Ratio: 11:1

Antifungals: Nystatin: of 1388 cases, 5% got worse; 50% got better; 44% no effect
Antifungals: Nystatin: Better:Worse Ratio: 9.7:1

Specific nutritional therapies and supplementation targeted for the individual child is a cornerstone of biomedical treatment of autism. One must be careful in giving vitamins and it is not advised to do so unless you know what you're doing. Having said that, one of the most frequently recommended supplements for autism is Cod Liver Oil or Fish Oil (must be treated to remove mercury - don't buy cheap fish oil!!!!). Other Fatty Acids are also supplemented, based on lab results and detailed developmental history and family history. Parent ratings for the success of these interventions are as follows:

Cod Liver Oil: of 1681 cases, 4% got worse; 51% got better; 45% no effect.
Cod Liver Oil: Better: Worse Ratio = 13:1

Fatty Acids: of 1169 cases, 2% got worse; 56% got better; 41% no effect.
Fatty Acids: Better: Worse Ratio = 24:1

Heavy Metal toxicity is a very common finding in children with autism, as is shown on hair analysis, through urine provocation testing, and now with porphyrin tests. Chelation (removal) of heavy metals and other toxins is often a very effective component of biomedical treatment for autism and is used when indicated, based on laboratory findings. Parent ratings for success rates of chelation treatments are as follows:

Chelation: of 803 cases, 3% got worse; 74% got better; 23% no effect.
Chelation: Better:Worse Ratio = 24:1

There are many other intervention strategies that are helping to recover children from an autism diagnosis and Defeat Autism Now! clinicians and researchers all over the globe are working tirelessly in their efforts.

If you ask a parent whose child disappeared for years, who made no eye contact, spoke no words, and spent hours each day watching his or her fingers and spinning in circles, that parent's response to the question, "How successful is biomedical treatment?" will depend on his or her own experience. If you ask one of the parents I met at a Defeat Autism Now! conference, who's children actually got on the stage, made eye contact with the interviewers, and answered questions in front of hundreds of other parents and professionals, the answer, I'm sure, would be "Extremely successful!"

Biomedical interventions do not work for everyone, and the results are varied, depending on the particular child. This is also why the GF/CF diet or SCD diet or LOD diet, or whatever, is not THE answer for everyone. Individual children need to be treated as individuals. Treatments need to be tailored, based on the child’s own developmental and medical history, observations of parents, and results of laboratory tests that assess specific areas for intervention.

Every child is different and EVERY CHILD WITH AUTISM IS DIFFERENT. That's why the standard medical response, "There's nothing you can do for autism" makes no sense.

Autism is treatable. Recovery is possible. One child at a time.

To view videos of some of the many children who have been successfully recovered from an autism diagnosis by implementing some of the above biomedical interventions, please click on the links below. Head’s up: You might want to grab a box of tissues for these.

This information is 4allofyou!


Baxter's Recovery from Autism:

Ethan's Recovery from Autism:

Edward's Autism Journey and Recovery:

Friday, September 19, 2008

NIMH Cancels Chelation Study While Dr. Proffit Heads for the Bank

Guess what? A couple of days ago the media announced, "A government agency has dropped plans for a study of a controversial treatment for autism that critics had called an unethical experiment on children. The National Institute of Mental Health said in a statement Wednesday that the study of the treatment - called chelation - has been abandoned."

I'm shocked. (that's sarcasm)

Okay. After about ten minutes of research, here's what I found:

First, the NIH study was called off because an experimental psychologist at Cornell University found that rats who were administered a chelating agent (succimer) specifically meant to chelate lead, suffered from learning disabilities that are long-lasting if they were administered the drug when they did not have lead poisoning to begin with. Towards the end of the article, it notes that the most likely reason for this is because succimer depletes zinc and iron and the resulting deficiencies of these minerals are what probably caused the cognitive problems. DUH!!!

Two problems with NIH calling off the chelation study as a result of the above:

1. ANY doctor trained by the Autism Research Institute (Defeat Autism Now!) KNOWS that one of the FIRST things to do is assess the child's nutritional status, including testing for zinc and iron levels. AND, they know that chelation with ANY agent is NOT an option unless the child has DOCUMENTED heavy metals in the body. This is WHY we do hair analysis AND urine provocation AND fecal metal tests. Any physician who uses chelation to treat heavy metals in the absence of proof that there ARE heavy metals should NOT be using chelation. This is akin to prescribing chemotherapy for cancer to someone who LOOKS like they may have cancer, without ever doing the tests to determine if the cancer really exists. Chemotherapy drugs are some of the MOST toxic drugs on the planet, but nobody is suggesting that we not use them! (At least nobody in "mainstream" medicine)

2. A more appropriate design for the NIH study, instead of administering chelating agents to children who do not have heavy metals, would be to document that ALL children in the study have heavy metals in their systems and then administer ALL of the same interventions, including addressing mineral and nutritional deficiencies in ALL participants. The experimental condition should be those children who receive chelation, while the control group should be a group of children who are matched on all other interventions but do not receive chelation. In this way, there would be no problems associated with the fact that the control group did not have heavy metals AND there would be no problems associated with mineral depletion because, just as it is in the clinical setting in hundreds of Defeat Autism Now! trained physicians, THE MINERAL LEVELS WOULD BE CONSISTENTLY MONITORED TO ENSURE THEY ARE NOT BEING DEPLETED BY THE DRUGS! AGAIN, DUH!!!!!!

Why can't NIH figure this out?

I suspect this is because the powers-that-be do not understand clinical nutrition. This is most likely because traditionally trained physicians practicing traditional western medicine are trained in medical schools that are funded by pharmaceutical companies, and most M.D.s have never taken a SINGLE course in nutrition. It is NOT REQUIRED. No WONDER we have so many drugs that have been pulled from the market after significant numbers of patients have DIED because of side effects of the drugs, which WERE approved by the FDA.

Care for some Vioxx, anyone?

It seems to me that the reason the powers-that-be do not want chelation to become more readily available is because if they did, more children with heavy metal poisoning would have access to this very effective (and very safe) treatment. That would mean that there would be hundreds of thousands of children whose levels of mercury (and lead and antimony) would be DOCUMENTED, and doctors like Paul Offit, who happens to sit on the IOM (Institute of Medicine), which has declared that an association between thimerosal (mercury) and autism does not exist, can continue to rake in the dough at the expense of our children. For those who don't know, Dr. Paul Offit is not only the most vocal opponent of the mercury/autism connection, he is also one of the recipients of 182 MILLION DOLLARS, for royalties to the Rotavirus Vaccine, of which Dr Offit is a patent-holder. HMMMMNNNNN.........

Has anyone ever heard the saying, "The Fox is Guarding the Henhouse?"


Once again, I advise parents to DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and do not rely on the misinformation being put out by those like Dr. Offit, who have SO MUCH to gain if our children remain poisoned by heavy metals.

To read more about chelation and the truth about the scare tactics, please visit the Autism Research Institute's website and read the following two articles:

Marcella Piper-Terry

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Open Letter to Governor Mitch Daniels Regarding Thimerosal and Environmental Mercury

Governor Daniels:

I have lived in the state of Indiana for seven years. There are a few questions I, as one of your constituents, would like for you to address.

First, I would like to know why Indiana, and particularly Southwestern Indiana, needs more coal burning power plants, and please do not tell me it's because it's good for our economy.

  • With the majority of counties in SW Indiana out-of-compliance with the EPA's Clean Air Act our economy and infrastructure is no doubt on the losing end due to loss of federal funding.
  • The cost of lost work days by our citizens who are too sick to work, due to the effects of heavy metal poisoning and cardiopulmonary damage from particulate matter surely cannot be good for our economy.
  • The increase in the incidence of autism, which has been shown to be related to the proximity to coal-burning power plants, cannot be good for our economy, especially when you consider that there are no daycare facilities who will accept children with "behavioral problems." Mothers of sick children frequently have no other option but to withdraw from the workforce and stay at home to care for their child. Statistics reveal an 85% divorce rate in families of children with autism - they succumb to the unrelenting stress, which encompasses EVERY aspect of EVERY hour of EVERY DAY. There are no state provisions for respite care, and no state funded programs for adolescents and adults with autism who age out of the system at eighteen. Families are left holding the bag and footing the bill. Surely this is not good for our economy in the state of Indiana.

And, speaking of sick children, I for one do not think it is coincidental that the top five agricultural crops grown in Indiana (and exported all over the world) are the same top five foods that have been demonstrated to cause intestinal problems, including colic, chronic constipation, and diarrhea in children with autism. It is also not coincidental that when these five foods (wheat, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs) are removed from the diets of children with autism, more than 65% of those children improve significantly, some to the point where they actually LOSE their autism diagnosis. Do you really believe this is a coincidence? What is going to happen to the economy in Indiana when the rest of the world realizes that it may not just be the food that's making them sick, but the poisons that are in the food? SURELY THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE GOOD FOR OUR ECONOMY!

As I am sure you know, the heavy metals that go into our air and water also go into our soil and from there, into the food we grow. As the photographs above clearly show, there has been no effort in this state to ensure that our food supply is spared from the toxic plumes being spewed from the coal-burning power plants. There has also apparently been no concern about locating power plants within spitting distance of elementary schools where our children are required by state law to spend a certain amount of time outdoors, running, playing and practicing sports and other activities. Isn't this inconsistent with your push for Healthy Hoosiers?

With the ever-increasing frequency of Ozone and PPM days, during which "sensitive groups," including children, are advised to stay indoors, it's no wonder Indiana ranks at the top of the charts for citizens who qualify as morbidly obese. With the serious health problems associated with that condition, I can't fathom how this outcome could contribute to a strong economy for the state.

With the neurological damage caused by heavy metals, including the loss of IQ points associated with even minute exposure to lead, we are spending increasing amounts of our tax dollars on special education programs, to remediate the damage done by the power-plants and their toxins. How is that good for our economy?

In Vanderburgh County, we are currently on target to surpass last year's suicide rate, and once again reclaim our title as the county with the highest suicide rate in the nation. Two years ago, the rate was four times the national average - AND the rate in Vanderburgh County was four times the rate of the state of Indiana. Of course, many of those people who killed themselves may have been on the public assistance roles, due to physical and mental health problems, so I guess their deaths could conceivably be good for the economy on some level, but I sincerely hope this is not one of the areas you would consider a "positive" outcome of increased coal production.

A related issue is the extreme amount of Vanadium introduced into our environment as a result of coal production. With excess vanadium resulting in the depletion of lithium, this is a very likely contributor to the suicide rate, as depletion of lithium is associated with bipolar disorder. Of course, you may not be aware, or may have forgotten the outcries for more psychiatric facilities after the suicide death of 10 year-old DeTwain Barnett in May 2007. Unfortunately, until the environmental poisoning is decreased, the suicide rate is not likely to decrease, nor is the shortage of mental health providers in this area.

A second question I have is related to your former position as Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Eli Lily, and your subsequent position as Budget Director for the Bush White House. In my attempt to understand the Lily Rider, which was sneaked into the Homeland Security Act, I did find a newspaper article that printed your adamant denial regarding any knowledge or responsibility for this rider, which was meant to deny families of children poisoned by thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines their right to due process in a Court of Law. My understanding of this rider is that it is called "The Lily Rider" because Eli Lily was the developer of thimerosal and so by denying families their day in court, the rider protected the pharmaceutical giant, which just happened to be your former employer.

Two questions:

1. If not you, then who?

2. Do you own stock in Eli Lily?

One final question I'm pondering is this: Given the obvious health problems and associated economic costs to a state from being the "coal-burning power plant capital of the world," and, given the documented association between mercury and coal-burning power plants AND autism, WHY WOULD THE GOVERNOR OF ANY STATE WANT TO INCREASE MERCURY IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF HIS OR HER CONSTITUENTS?

Of course, I could understand why, if the governor in question had reason to confound the evidence regarding whether or not thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines had anything to do with the epidemic of autism in America's children.

If not you, then who?

Looking forward to your assistance in sorting out this confusion.

Sincerely yours,
Marcella Piper-Terry

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Diet and Autism, the GFCF Cult

The photos above show the corn, soybean, and wheat fields located between Marr's Elementary School and the smokestacks belonging to Vectren Energy's Brown Power Station located on the west side of Evansville, Indiana. These photos were taken in July 2008.
Today's post:

This post addresses some questions people have been asking about the Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet and why it is so important in recovering kids diagnosed with Autism. By the way, all of this information also applies to ADHD, ADD, Asperger's Syndrome, and other forms of Pervasive Developmental Disabilities Diagnoses.

When Jenny McArthy first came out publicly with her son’s story, she took a huge personal risk, braving all sorts of criticism from mainstream medicine and groups who believe that by improving a child’s state of wellness, we are somehow saying that we do not accept our children’s individuality. While I applaud Ms. McCarthy’s willingness to make herself a target for all kinds of backlash, one concern I have is the extreme emphasis on GFCF (Gluten-Free, Casein-Free), or for that matter SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), LOD (Low Oxylate Diet), etc., as THE DOCTRINE everyone must follow. It's not that simple. If you start removing things because of sensitivities, without also focusing on improving digestion, clearing constipation, and healing the lining of the intestinal tract, eventually you end up with an even more limited list of foods because the child will keep developing new sensitivities.

DAN! has been hesitant (in my opinion) to recommend the use of digestive enzymes, which seems to be because they do not want people to use the enzymes as a "lazy" alternative to cleaning up the diet. Cleaning up the diet is a very important thing to do - by getting rid of artificial dyes, artificial preservatives, white flour and sugar, artificial sweeteners, fermented foods, yeasty foods, and basically eliminating things your child is obviously addicted to (this often means wheat and cow's milk), allergic or highly sensitive to (frequently, soy, corn, & eggs).

Personally, as a resident of the Midwest who drives by multiple corn, soy, and wheat fields, as well as coal-burning power plants on a daily basis, I have strong suspicions that the extremely frequent "food allergies" and "food sensitivities" to these five foods in particular, may have more to do with where they are grown and the environmental toxins, than with the food itself. Our food is being grown in soil that is polluted with heavy metals. The corn being grown in this region is fed to the cows and chickens from which our milk and eggs are derived.

Back to today's question and why Dietary Interventions are so important:

Many children with autism self-limit their diets to the point where the only foods they will accept are wheat and dairy-based. The problem is that with a leaky gut - caused by candida overgrowth - among other things, gluten and dairy are not broken down effectively and they are misidentified by the body as opiates. In combination with the alcohol produced by the yeast, you get a kid who is mixing drugs and alcohol and no wonder they're spaced out! And no wonder they have such high pain tolerance. Opiates are what we give to adults after back surgery!

The GFCF diet works so well because it removes the sources of opiates. This is why you may initially see an increase in negative behavior and hyperactivity when removing wheat and dairy from the diet. They are going through withdrawal - aka "cleansing." This is also why the diet is so difficult to stick to because like all addicts, when the kid is not closely supervised, he or she is going to "drug-seek." Lock your cabinets and put a chain on the freezer door!

Many children, especially those who are further to the right on the continuum between autism and ADHD, will benefit significantly from the addition of digestive enzymes, which help to break down particular offending proteins (in most cases, gluten & casein). Others, who are facing more significant challenges, will need to be completely free of dietary sources of gluten and casein. For some, even a minute amount can be problematic and the negative effects can last for several weeks after a single dietary infraction. The only way to know where a child falls on the continuum is through thorough examination of the developmental history and by gathering objective data through laboratory testing.

Many older children, and especially those who are high-functioning, make the connection between how good they feel when they abstain from problematic foods and take digestive enzymes, versus how bad they feel when they don't. As a result, they are much more likely (at least in my house) to be the ones to say, "Mom, I need an enzyme!" Does that make me lazy? Okay. It also helps to keep me - and my kids - closer to the "sane" area on the continuum.

BALANCE is the key! Not rabid adherence to any particular diet just because that's what worked for someone else's child. In most children I have seen, once yeast is eradicated and constipation and/or diarrhea are under control, you can often re-introduce foods, especially if you are supplementing with enzymes to break them down. My kids have been taking enzymes with every meal and snack for the last few years, along with probiotics, CLO, and full-spectrum vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplements. As a result, they CAN eat cake and ice cream at parties. The only time we really have problems with dietary infractions is if we run out of enzymes! Then there was the time my husband bought a package of those frozen "cherry" slushy things - even enzymes couldn't handle that one. He has learned his lesson about red dye, believe me!

Being a mom (or dad) of a sick kid makes you nuts. Accept it and roll with it. You don't have to necessarily join the GFCF or SCD cult in order to be successful at motherhood (parenthood) - even if your kid happens to have autism. The best dietary advice (in my opinion and experience) is to stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store. Shun anything in a cardboard box. You may as well feed them the box; it has more nutrition and fewer preservatives and neurotoxins. Avoid cans as much as possible. Read labels. The more ingredients something has in it, the less you want it. If you can't pronounce it your body probably can't recognize it and won't know what to do with it. When your body can't figure out what to do with it, valuable energy is wasted trying to get rid of it and it gets lumped in with all the other toxins in the heap.

When you have a child with autism, "Diet" is about controlling that which is possible for us to control. "Perfection" and "Diet" only belong in the same sentence when you're talking about anorexia and bulimia. We're all too obsessive-compulsive already. Where do you think our kids got it from?
If your child does not respond to the more general dietary interventions, then you probably need to consider formal laboratory testing for food allergies (IgG – not IgE) and enlist the help of medical professionals to eliminate problematic foods while ensuring your child receives the proper nutritional supplementation for optimal wellness.

In the meantime, give yourself a break as a parent. Congratulate yourself for being proactive regarding your child’s healthcare! To celebrate, have a piece of fruit - just be sure to peel it if it's not organic.

Marci Terry

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is There Thimerosal In the Flu Vaccine?

Yesterday I spoke at a local private school, where I talked about Executive Dysfunction and the change in what is considered "normal" as our society moves along the continuum in response to changes in our environment.

After my presentation, there were a few educators present who had some questions regarding my work as a Defeat Autism Now! provider. One of those questions was regarding the flu vaccine and if there is thimerosal in it. The woman who asked the question reported to me that her daughter had asked her pediatrician about the safety of the flu vaccine because she was considering whether or not to give it to her child. The woman before me (the grandmother of said child) indicated that the pediatrician in question responded to the concerned mother, "Of course the flu vaccine is safe! There hasn't been thimerosal in vaccines for six years!"

This is an outright lie.

Thimerosal was taken out of the CHILDHOOD vaccine schedule in 2004. The huge numbers of vaccines that were already stockpiled in pediatricians' and family practice docs' offices were NOT discarded - this means that unless a parent SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED their child be given INDIVIDUAL DOSE vaccines without preservatives, YOU DON'T KNOW if the vaccines given during and after 2004 were thimerosal-free or not. (You can research the vaccines yourself if you obtain a copy of your child's shot records and look up the particular vaccinations your child received.)

Of HUGE concern at this time is that the CDC and Pharmaceutical companies who develop the vaccines are pushing for ALL children, including infants and those yet unborn, be vaccinated against the flu. (Recommendations include vaccinating pregnant women during the second trimester of gestation.) A news story yesterday announced that flu vaccines have been produced and are being distributed in record numbers this year in the attempt to vaccinate every man, woman, child, and infant in the U.S.

For those nay-sayers who believe this is misinformation reported by some radical wacko with an agenda or crazy conspiracy theory, here is the link to the CDC article declaring that yes, the flu vaccine contains mercury. Please read this very carefully and with the same skepticism I would hope you apply to everything you read online (including this blog):

Note that the CDC uses terminology indicating that even in the vaccines that are labeled "preservative-free" THIMEROSAL IS USED IN THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS. The CDC states that the amount is so small and by the time the process is finished, it is untraceable. This is different from stating that IT IS NOT THERE. This is the same type of semantic trickery that has been played for years. Nothing has changed.

Please take the responsibility upon yourself as a parent to do your own research and find out the truth before you allow anyone to inject ANYTHING into your child. I don't know if the pediatrician mentioned above actually knows he is lying to the concerned parents of his young patients. If he does not realize this, it is his responsibility as a professional to research more closely the products he is declaring as safe. I encourage all parents reading this to ask your pediatrician about thimerosal in flu vaccines before having your child (or yourself) vaccinated. If your physician tells you there is no thimerosal in the vaccine, I suggest you find another physician. If he or she doesn't know about thimerosal, with all the media coverage on this issue, what is the likelihood that he or she researches any of the other drugs before writing out prescriptions?

Who is educating our doctors?
The pharmaceutical reps who peddle the prescriptions. The effectiveness of the sales pitch may be the determining factor as to which drugs a doctor prescribes. That's not about healing. That's about money.

As a Defeat Autism Now! provider, I am not taking the position (at this time) that you should not vaccinate your child at all. I am, however, suggesting that you become more proactive in the well-being of the children you have been blessed with and do not blindly follow advice just because the person dispensing it has the letters M.D. behind his or her name.

Posted below is a suggested schedule, for those who make the decision to vaccinate their children. This schedule includes the vaccinations that are protective against CHILDHOOD illnesses and is less likely to overwhelm their immune systems by greatly decreasing the number of antigens introduced into the body simultaneously. This allows the body to respond more appropriately to the invading antigen, and should decrease the likelihood of immune system confusion (which is related to auto-immune response).

Hepatitis B if mom is Hep. B Positive, otherwise wait
4 months
Hib, IPV
5 months
6 months
Hib, IPV
7 months
8 months
9 months
15 months
17 months
Hib, IPV
18 months
21 months
24 months
Prevnar 1 dose
30 months
4-5 years
Varicella (if not immune already)
4-5 years
Hepatitis B series
4-5 years
DTaP, IPV boosters
4-5 years
test titers for MMR and do not give unless not immune.

Please note that the above recommendations include not vaccinating a newborn against Hepatitis B unless the mother is positive. Hepatitis B is a sexually-transmitted disease. It is NOT typically a disease of childhood and should therefore NOT be given to all children as part of the CHILDHOOD vaccine schedule. Please also note that it is recommended that you NOT give a second round of vaccines for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella unless the child is not already immune. The reason the "Booster" vaccine was recommended in the first place is because 10% of children failed to establish immunity after the first vaccine. (I would argue this is a failure in the vaccine, rather than in the children themselves.) Rather than recommend testing for immunity to determine WHICH 10% of children actually NEEDED another dose of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella into their systems, the CDC recommended re-vaccinating ALL children, to be sure we catch the 10% still at risk. Ask yourself who benefits from that decision: Answer: The pharmaceutical industry and the companies who develop the vaccine.

Okay. Rant over for today.
Educate yourselves. We are humans - not sheep.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


The emissions of heavy metals and other toxins from coal-burning power plants in Southwestern Indiana have increased exponentially since Mitch Daniels took office as governor. Things are not getting better, they are getting worse, and people are dying as a result.

I'm reposting this because it is so important. Please help me to bring attention to this issue.
God bless you.

Original post:

Today is August 14, 2008. The air today is unhealthy for sensitive individuals to breathe due to high levels of particulate matter. The forecast indicates we will have another PPM alert tomorrow, too. Unlike forecasting the weather, predicting the air quality here is no challenge. If it’s hot enough, don’t go outside if you are “sensitive.” This includes children, the elderly, and anyone who has asthma, allergies, or cardiopulmonary problems.

A major component of our particulate matter is sulfur-dioxide. It has been my belief for the last few years, that the high level of SO2 plays a major part in the incidence of learning disabilities, ADHD, and Autism in the children of the tri-state. In April 2007 I attended my second DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) conference, which was held in Washington D.C. One of the questions I asked was if anyone is doing research to determine if SO2 is a contributing factor in the increase of autism and other developmental disabilities. Dr. John Pangborn, who is a brilliant man and has contributed SO much in the way of research, especially regarding the role of mercury in autism, responded to my question by stating, "Sulfur-dioxide is a noxious, toxic, poison. You can see it in the air, you can smell it, and you can taste it... If you believe sulfur-dioxide is contributing to your child's problems, my suggestion to you is MOVE!"

I was so taken aback by Dr. Pangborn's response that I spent most of that night writing a letter to him. That letter is the bulk of today's post.

Having had time to reflect on this situation, I must now thank Dr. Pangborn for his candor. The message we must internalize is this:

There is no cavalry coming to save us. We, the citizens of Indiana, have to do this ourselves.

DATE: APRIL 23, 2007

Dear Dr. Pangborn:

My heart sank when you advised me to move. Then I got angry. Then I felt sick to my stomach and the tears came.

I know sulfur-dioxide is part of why there are so many sick children (and adults) in Indiana. My daughter is not the only one. Your statement, “…I suggest you move,” cut me to my soul. It’s the very same thing I have been fighting the urge to do since realizing, three years ago, that if I didn’t, I would be continuing to put my daughter’s health in peril – as well as my own – and that of my grand-daughter/adopted daughter.

My husband spent 24 years in the United States’ Air Force and now works managing the prototype Doppler Radar – which he has worked to build – from the ground-up, in a cornfield in rural Gibson County, Indiana. In November 2005, our community of Evansville lost 23 of our neighbors when a tornado hit at 2:00 a.m. We are still recovering and counting our blessings that thanks to the Doppler Radar, many thousands were able to prepare because we were informed and could take action against the threat. If not for the data provided by the radar, many more lives may well have been lost.

Before our move to Indiana my husband and our family lived here in Washington, D.C. Steve was the “Senior Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge” of the “Ground Radar Maintenance Shop” at Andrews Air Force Base, and traveled worldwide to maintain the Air Force Radar Systems. I stayed at home, raising our daughter and working 3 days-a- week doing neuropsychological evaluations of children with ADHD, LD, ASD, and PDD.

In 2000, I was preparing to enter the doctoral program in Social/Health Psychology at George Washington University, where I had been offered full funding and a teaching assistantship. My studies and assistantship duties were set to begin in September 2000. In May 2000, I learned that the five month-old daughter of my 18 year-old bipolar/ADHD and (I now know) severely gluten/casein allergic son had been exposed to multiple toxins in utero through her 20 year-old mother’s drug and alcohol abuse. My grand-daughter was in an environment of ongoing and worsening neglect, which I could not ignore. She was floppy, exhibited tremors, screamed suddenly and for no reason, and had very poor eye-contact. Her mother was involved in an abusive relationship and her drug use was ongoing. (My son was also using drugs heavily and had been out of the picture since before the birth.)

When information came to light about the baby’s current situation, I could not sit by. I went to the Prince George’s County Courthouse (sans attorney), filed an ex-parte (had no idea what it was) and somehow was able to obtain emergency custody of my granddaughter. One week later the ex-parte was extended for one year. At that point it dawned on me that I needed a clone because there was no way I would be able to raise this baby and do full-time doctoral psychology load and teach and raise my five year-old.

With my husband’s retirement zooming at us in two years’ time and no job lined up for him, he agreed to embark on this commitment with me (after an initial, “You DID WHAT???!!!!”). I think I forgot to mention that he was TDY (Temporary Duty assignment) to Germany and Italy for 30 days when I got the emergency custody order. Anyway, I promised Steve that if he would do this with me, I would go wherever he needed to go, and do whatever I had to do, but I could not turn my back on Leah. The Ph.D. could wait. She couldn’t. It wasn’t even hard to walk into the psych department at George Washington University and tell Dr. Paul Poppen that I was not going to be working with him after-all. It would have been much more difficult if I had not had Rachel by the hand and Leah in my arms, but I knew without a doubt, that I was doing the right thing and I have never regretted it.

We got permanent custody of Leah in August 2001 after her mother deserted her and moved to Utah with the abusive boyfriend. We haven’t heard from her since and formally adopted Leah in May 2005.

On September 11, 2001 I took Rachel to school at Francis T. Evans Elementary, just outside the the gate and then dropped Leah off at the babysitter’s at 9:00 a.m. I heard about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center when I got back in my car and turned on NPR. When I pulled into the gas station on Andrews’, I heard about the second plane. As I was leaving the base, thinking, “This is NOT good…We’re next…” I saw the military guards with M-16s running toward the gate, beginning to close off the base – as I was driving through – leaving my children and getting onto the beltway to drive to Silver Springs, where I worked. Within minutes, I could see smoke downtown, and my brain just kept playing, over and over, “This is not good…This Is NOT Good…This is NOT GOOD…”

I am thankful to God and all the guardian angels in the cosmos that NPR did not announce, “The Pentagon has been hit” until I had pulled to the curb in front of my office – 45 minutes from Andrews Air Force Base. I don’t know how long I sat – holding my breath – with my hands covering my mouth – trying to keep the first giant sob from coming out. I think it must have been at least 30 minutes before I finally was able to turn off the car and stumble to the door. I don’t remember walking – only falling to my knees as soon as I got inside. Then the shaking started – and the real tears – as it hit me that I didn’t know if Steve was on Base that Tuesday – or if he was at the Pentagon. – My Girls – Leah is on base --- Rachel is at school just outside the gate – and BUSH’s Plane – THE TARGET – is on its way back to Andrews’…

It was four hours before I knew if my husband was alive, and it was 7:30 that night before I could get home because the beltway was gridlocked and people were panicking and running over each other. We were told, “If you’re safe, stay put!”

When I finally got back to the base, it took nearly 3 hours to drive and get through security – every car had to be searched. There were dogs to detect explosives and after that, I drove through what seemed like an endless gauntlet of soldiers lining both sides of the single-lane path, each with his or her M-16 at the shoulder.

Sadly, we got used to the searches and guns every time we took our daughter to school or brought her home – or left the base and returned for other reasons.

Shortly after 9/11, Rachel developed tic behaviors. She was always spacey and “zoned out” but things got a lot worse. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD, after ruling out seizures and Central Auditory Processing Disorder at Johns’ Hopkins – I don’t mess around – I insisted Rachel be seen by John Freeman at Johns’ Hopkins Neurology and by Dana Boatman at JHU Cognitive Neurology for Central Auditory Processing testing. Then I took her to Walter Reed where she was evaluated by Stacey Williams, Chief of Behavioral Psychology. Rachel saw Dr. Lowry Shropshire, Head of Developmental Pediatrics at Bethesda – and after he put her on Dexedrine we saw a little improvement in attention – but worsening of tics and emotionality --- and so it goes.

Meanwhile, Leah continues to grow and with daily interventions (e.g., music, reading, pictures, touch, smell, etc…) her Developmental Quotients went from 100 (receptive) and 80 (expressive) at 11 months to 132 (expressive) and 134 (receptive) at 17 months – what can be done with neuronal plasticity!!! Behavior and fears were still issues, but she was (and is) doing great!
In October of 2002, we were preparing for our move to Indiana. I was still working in Silver Springs 3 days/week and was on my way to work on October 3rd – the first day of the Sniper Shootings. For the next 3 weeks I, along with everyone else in this area, lived in a CONSTANT state of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) Hyper-arousal as we waited to see who was going to be killed next and where it would happen.

My family and I finally left for Indiana on October 25, 2002 – the day after “John Allen Muhammed” and “Lee Boyd Malvo” were arrested. Since moving to Indiana we have had a lot of adjustments, but life has definitely been quieter – in some respects. I have built a practice through networking and word of mouth. I am now attending my second Defeat Autism Now! conference, with plans to further educate and collaborate with physicians and families in our region so we can help our children heal. I live in Evansville and the closest Defeat Autism Now! practitioner that I know of is four hours away.

The incidence of Autism, ADHD, and PDD in our area is staggering – just as it is in Texas, or California, or New Jersey. My child is not the only one. Rachel has definitely gotten worse with each successive assault on her immune system – Trauma, Viral Infections, and Toxic Overload are hurting MY CHILD – and thousands of other children in the mid-west. (Note: At last night’s wonderful dinner and tribute to Bernie Rimland, whom I was fortunate enough to hear speak in Long Beach, the Mid-West Contingent consisted of ONE TABLE. My friend and I – traveling together – were the only two people from Indiana – and neither of us is an M. D.)

There have been MANY times in the last three years when I have told myself – and my husband, “We HAVE TO MOVE away from Indiana! This place is a toxic pit! It’s a cancer cell and the kids here are being poisoned! We are ALL being poisoned!”

My question to you is WHERE SHOULD WE GO?

I spent the first 12 years of my life in Orange, California, where the playground of my elementary school was located on a hill directly adjacent to the 55 freeway – before gasoline was unleaded and before catalytic converters. This was the source of a significant body burden of lead which no doubt contributed to my son’s extreme ADHD and bipolar diagnosis.

In 1972, my parents moved us to Mississippi, where they bought a big white house with pillars, azaleas, a veranda, and a one-acre pecan orchard. The “Big-House” was built in 1875 and my mother absolutely LOVED it. After it was nearly destroyed by fire several years later, my well-meaning but very uninformed sisters and brothers-in-law tried to save my mother some money by doing much of the repairs and renovations themselves. The paint-sanding went on for months, intermittently. None of them wore masks. My mother, who was still living in the house, got sicker and sicker and nobody knew why. She finally got over the “blow-out diarrhea” and constant “stomach virus that just won’t go away,” but she almost never felt well enough to get out of bed for more than a couple of hours at a time.

My mother was a classical pianist. At age 64 she obtained her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance. She was hoping to get her doctorate and conduct. Six months after she got her masters’ degree, she fell and broke her hand when she put it out to catch herself. After several months of rehabilitation therapy, she was finally able to move her fingers well enough to start playing again. That’s when she discovered she could no longer sight-read – something she had been doing since she was five years-old. I will never forget the pain in her voice when I stopped by to see her one afternoon and found her sitting at the piano, fingers on the keyboard, just sitting there – staring at the music. I asked what was wrong and she looked at me and said, “I can’t make my hands do what my eyes see.” (This was the first observable manifestation of the lead that flooded her body once again when she broke her hand, releasing it from bone marrow where it had been stored since shortly after the initial exposure.)

Less than a year later my mother’s thyroid disease was progressing so rapidly she was told she had to drink radio-active iodine. (Lead destroys the thyroid.) The next year, her heart stopped during a cardiac catheterization and she was taken by ambulance to University of Alabama at Birmingham where she underwent emergency open-heart surgery. After they cracked and spread her ribs, the neurological deterioration was very rapid. She could no longer speak and look at me simultaneously because what she saw interfered with her ability to formulate expressive language. When she spoke, it didn’t make sense.

The worst thing was, she was still able to realize that she wasn’t making sense. The last complete sentence my mother ever said to me was excruciatingly difficult for her to get out – and for me to hear. I can still see her face – eyes squeezed shut tightly, forehead and brows furrowed and wrinkled, and her teeth clenched so hard I thought they would break… “I wish…I could…finish…one…thought.”

There was no doubt in my mind that my mother was disintegrating because of lead poisoning. NOBODY would listen. They said her cognitive decline was due to the effects of oxygen deprivation during her surgery, and would get better with time. It wasn't, and it didn't.

“The Big House” is still standing and another family lives there now. Many houses in the Mississippi Gulf Coast town where my husband and I bought after our daughter was born did not survive hurricane Katrina. To our knowledge, no one we knew personally was killed in the storm or as a result of the aftermath. I have not been able to bring myself to visit the Gulf Coast yet. It still feels too raw…like my history has been erased.

My mother died three years ago, at the age of seventy-one. She got her Masters’ Degree at 64. She broke her hand at 65. She had her ribs cracked and spread for 2 open-heart surgeries at 66 and 67. The last word she ever spoke to me was “Dignity” – which she was finally able to say after several minutes of struggling to get it out. I knew what she was asking but I couldn’t help her. She was pleading with me to help her die. That was seven months before she finally stopped suffering.

I begged for someone to please listen to me. No one ever did.

My mother had arranged years prior to donate her body to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, in hopes that from the study of her system, others would benefit. I asked the doctors, when the final arrangements were made, if they would PLEASE test her lead levels and let me know the results. Even that request was denied. We are still waiting for her ashes to be returned to us.

My question about sulfur-dioxide is based on clinical observation and objective data. Over the last four years I have evaluated more than 60 children in Indiana. Between 1999 and 2002 I assisted Dr. Susan Van Ost in evaluating hundreds of children here in the D.C. area. The children are different.

The incidence of visual processing disorders is MUCH higher in Indiana. I believe the Sulfur-dioxide in the air is at least partly to blame and I believe it is also interfering with the sulfation pathway and contributing to the presentation of autism in OUR children. We can’t just move. We have to figure out how to fix it. If we ignore it and run away, who is going to help all the other children? And even if I COULD “just move” – Where do you suggest I GO?


Marcella Piper-Terry, M.S.

Final note: There is no real "safe place." In order to survive, we must assess the situation, do what we can to improve our ability to survive, and work together to begin addressing the things we cannot immediately control. Our children with autism and other biologically based “developmental disabilities” are the canaries in the coalmines. If we don’t learn from them, we will all pay the price.

P.S.: Dear Mom:
Today, August 14, 2008 is the five-year anniversary of your death. I miss you terribly but I feel you with me. I love you always.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008





I think the major difference between the more traditional medical point of view and those of us who employ biomedical treatments for children with autism is hope, coupled with our acceptance of the belief that we do not know if a child can be helped until we learn more about that particular child.

There are clues in every developmental and family history that guide the most important decision for your child, and that is, “Where do we start?” Once we know where to start, the process is one of growth and learning. We learn what the next step is, based on your child’s response to diagnostic trials and results of laboratory tests. In the case of regressive autism, because the diagnosis does not usually happen overnight, it is unrealistic to expect that the child you recognized previously will magically reappear as a result of a single intervention. It often takes considerable time and numerous steps to reverse the process that has resulted in the child who is presented to us at the initial appointment.

“Follow those who seek the truth but flee from those who have found it.” This quote from Vaclav Havel was shared with the room full of clinicians at the DAN! Physician’s Intensive Training I attended in April of 2007. I think this quote resonated with me personally for many reasons, not the least of which is my own stubborn resistance to accepting the status quo just because someone tells me to. (If my mother were still living she would readily attest to this aspect of my personality, which has been part of my makeup since early childhood.)

With regard to the diagnosis of autism, what this statement means to me is that if an “expert” tells you there is nothing that can be done for your child, before anything is even tried, you need to question where the “expert” came up with this information. In my opinion and experience, just because something has always been accepted as true does not necessarily mean it is true. Certain previously accepted “truths” come to mind, including those who “knew” the world was flat.

Within the world of medicine, for most of the 20th century it was “known” that ulcers were caused by stress and a hectic executive lifestyle. The medical mantra was, “No acid, No Ulcer.” In 1982, Australian gastroenterologist Barry Marshall, M.D., and pathologist Robin Warren, M.D., refuted the accepted “truth” when they showed that gastritis and ulcers were the result of a bacterial infection (Helicobacter pylori). The idea that a bacterial infection could be responsible for ulcers was heretical!

“Truth” changes very slowly; in the case of ulcers, it took 13 years before antibiotic treatment was accepted by the medical community as standard treatment for H. Pylori induced ulcers, something that was finally accomplished in 1995. (Drs. Marshall and Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005 for their discovery). I wonder how many people suffered needlessly from the pain caused by bacterial infection and inflammation during those 13 years while waiting for mainstream medicine to catch up to the science.

The “truth” about autism, according to mainstream medicine has been “There is no treatment.” I cannot tell you how many times I have seen the pain on the faces of parents as they relate their memories of how they received their child’s diagnosis. I have witnessed the tears falling down parents’ faces as they recall being told in the same breath, “Your child has autism. There is no treatment. I suggest you start thinking about institutionalizing him.” This “truth” is most often spoken by “experts” who have evaluated the child using standardized psychometric tests and questionnaires that were developed to measure intelligence, educational achievement, behavior, social skills, and developmental motor and speech milestones. All of these observations and impressions are important and they tell us a lot about how the child is functioning (or not) in his or her current environment and in response to particular situations. They do NOT, however, tell us ANYTHING about WHY the child is behaving in a particular way, or WHY the child is not growing properly, or WHY the child is not learning on par with his or her same-aged peers.

Dr. Sidney McDonald Baker has developed what he calls “The First Tacks Law,” which states, “If you are sitting on a tack it takes a lot of Risperdal to make it feel good. The appropriate treatment for tack sitting is tack removal.” Translation: If a child is in pain (due to bacterial infection, gastro-intestinal inflammation, or other systemic physical problems caused by exposure to toxins or from food allergies), the child may show a response to medication prescribed to decrease the behaviors, but that medication is not going to address the underlying issues, which will continue to get worse and require more and more medication to suppress the resulting symptomatic behaviors. Going back to the history of ulcers, stress, and H. Pylori bacteria, an analogous statement might be, “If you have an active bacterial infection in your gut, it takes a lot of antacids and pain medication to make it feel good.” It seems to me that a more appropriate way of addressing the pain is to do the laboratory tests that are most likely to determine WHY you have pain in your gut so we can figure out if there IS something that can be done about it. In the case of the ulcer, H. Pylori is the tack and antibiotic treatment is what is necessary to remove it.

Dr. Sid Baker has also developed what he calls “The Second Tacks Law,” which states, “If you are sitting on two tacks, removing one does not produce a fifty-percent improvement. Chronic illness is, or becomes, multi-factorial.”

Let’s talk again about our hypothetical adult with the ulcer. Let’s imagine that prior to developing his ulcer he was a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist whose life’s work was devoted to discovering a cure for cancer (or autism, or figuring out how to solve global warming, etc.) During the 13 years he was waiting for mainstream medicine to change the “standard of care” for his bacteria-related stomach inflammation, he was being “treated” with pain medications and antacids. He became addicted to opiates and developed chronic constipation and memory problems. As his overall health continued to deteriorate he decreased his social contacts and became basically house-bound; a shell of his former self. The antacids, which are high in aluminum, further contributed to his social and cognitive difficulties (he had trouble thinking straight) and his family members have now become concerned that he may have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. An additional complication is that because his stomach hurts so much of the time, he has severely limited his diet and is only eating a small number of foods, which are poorly absorbed, resulting in significant nutritional deficiencies and a weakened immune system. He feels so bad most of the time that he lashes out verbally (and at times physically) at his wife and children, who have become convinced that he is suffering from not only Alzheimer’s disease, but depression and possibly a host of other psychiatric problems. When he is finally seen by a psychiatrist or psychologist, he is evaluated on the basis of his behavior and current cognitive functioning, and guess what? He may need to be institutionalized. What are the chances that anyone who “treats” this gentleman will understand the role his ulcer played in the process that led to his ultimate regression into the childlike state of dementia and accompanying social withdrawal and problematic behaviors?

The hypothetical story of the adult whose entire life course was changed as a result of his untreated ulcer is presented to give an idea of how we look at the treatment of autism from a biomedical perspective. If the gentleman in the story had received the appropriate treatment for his bacterial infection in the first place, the ensuing “train wreck” may have been avoided. Think about what could have been different for this man and his family. Think about how his life may have made a difference in his community and beyond. Now think about the fact that according to CDC reports (2007), 1 in 150 children in the United States meets the diagnostic criteria for autism. The cost of raising one child with autism is estimated to be in the range of $3 million over the lifespan. Much of the burden is borne by families with additional costs to society in general. Given what’s at stake, I cannot simply accept the “standard medical truth” that there is nothing that can be done. We owe it to our children and to our nation to do our very best to uncover the biological bases for the outward manifestations that lead to the diagnosis of autism. The only way to do that is on an individual basis, learning from one child at a time. Each child is different and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for “Autism.” When we think about where to start, we have to learn as much as possible about the child in question: Your child.

Before I see your child for the first time, I will ask you to answer a LOT of questions. I want to know about the pregnancy. I want to know about your previous pregnancies and miscarriages. I want to know your blood type and if you have the Rh-factor. I want to know if you had the flu or took antibiotics during the pregnancy. Did you have dental work done? Did you crave particular foods, or crushed ice? Were you nauseous in the first three months, or did you throw-up every day from conception to delivery? I want to know about your family, particularly with regard to family medical history and previous history of exposures to environmental toxins. Did you grow up on a farm? Did your father own a gas station? Did you have recurrent bouts of strep or bronchitis as a child? Is there a high prevalence of thyroid disease, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or diabetes in your family? All of these questions are my way of fishing for clues about where to start when looking for the underlying issues that may need to be addressed with YOUR PARTICULAR CHILD.

I will ask you to tell me about your child – not just his or her current behavior and functioning, but EVERYTHING you can tell me about your child. I want to know if your child had reactions to vaccinations, and if so, what kind of reactions and to which vaccines. (NOTE: thimerosal (ethyl-mercury) is not the only issue with vaccines, and vaccines are not the only issue in autism. The information about vaccinations is important as ONE component of a VERY thorough investigation of your child’s lifetime experiences and medical history.)

I want to know if you notice behavior changes or if your child tends to get sick at certain times of the year. I will ask you to tell me about your child’s diet and what foods he or she tends to crave. Did he or she have problems with milk as an infant? Was soy formula used? Did he or she have trouble with constipation and/or diarrhea? Are those problems ongoing? I’ll also ask about things that you may think are totally unrelated – things like your child’s fingernails, number of cowlicks, and if he or she has little white bumps on the upper arms and legs. Again, these are all clues about where to look for further information through targeted laboratory tests for nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, which are often an essential component of biomedical treatment for Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, and Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD).
With regard to the environment, I will ask where you live now and where you lived prior to the conception of the child. The age and composition of your home is important information as certain types of homes are more likely to be sources of toxin exposure than others. For example, a child who lives in an older home may need to be checked for lead exposure and a child who lives in a home with a basement that floods may be exposed to toxins from mold. Children who spend a lot of time in wooded areas may need to be checked for Lyme Disease or other tick-borne diseases. Other sensitivities to environmental toxins include exposures from parental occupations (uniforms being washed with children’s clothing, residue tracked in onto carpets, etc.), or geographic proximity to certain businesses and industrial sources of pollution (power plants, plastics, and by-products from manufacturing).

As you can probably tell, I like to be thorough. My greatest concern is not whether you will tire of answering questions; it’s whether I will miss something important because I failed to ask.

It may seem that there are so many possible factors involved here that we will never be able to determine a particular treatment for your child. Remember, the most important first question is, “Where do we start?”

While the overall number of possible factors to consider is vast, there are several issues that tend to be common among children with autism, regardless of the particular triggers involved. Among these commonalities, Gut Dysfunction (gastrointestinal problems or problems related to eating and pooping) are probably the most significant. The great majority of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder have significant histories of diarrhea, constipation, or other “poop-related” anomalies such as grainy stools, undigested food in stools, extremely stinky stools, floaters, or a combination of some or all of the above.

Another common finding in the histories of children with ASDs is previous administration of multiple rounds of antibiotics (and steroids), which are prescribed to treat their frequent bacterial infections (ears, strep, bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, etc.). In children with a history of antibiotic treatment we frequently find clues suggesting we should check for Yeast Overgrowth (candidiasis) that may need to be addressed with antifungal medications. Some indications that yeast may be an issue include: frequent rashes, peeling feet, ridged, discolored nails, inflamed cheeks, red ring around the anus, and history of thrush, ringworm, and cradle cap.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders frequently exhibit physical symptoms indicating Immune System Dysregulation, including eczema, allergic rhinitis, asthma, warts, viral skin infections, herpes, chicken pox, (and as noted previously) strep, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and recurrent ear infections. However, the opposite may also be true, where the child with autism seems to “never get sick.” Researchers are finding that in some cases, the child does not respond to viral or bacterial invaders appropriately because of underlying immune system dysfunction. Parental response to questions about the child’s health and medical history provides us with clues as to which laboratory tests may provide further information about what’s going on inside the child’s body.

In addition to common findings in the child’s medical history, there are a number of common Nutritional Deficiencies that are often present in children with ASDs. Among the most common are deficiencies in zinc, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and B-vitamins. It is important to note that when you think about treating a child (or adult) with chronic medical conditions, you need to be careful about vitamin therapy. This is why we use specific laboratory tests to gather the hard data before recommending high doses of a handful of supplements. Each vitamin, nutrient, mineral, amino acid, enzyme, and co-factor has a particular set of purposes it serves within the body and they are all inter-related. If one is not careful with supplementation, it is easy to induce a deficiency where one may not have previously existed. Given the complexity of issues involved in these children, it is my opinion that supplementation should be based on clinical impressions and in many cases, based on the results of laboratory analysis of the individual child. This is one example of the rationale behind the statement that There is no single Biomedical or DAN! Protocol for the treatment of autism (or any other neurodevelopmental disorder). The treatment is guided by the child and the information the practitioner learns from the child, the parents, and the data from labs.

The kinds of Laboratory Tests we order will depend on the information gathered from investigation into the child’s history and from the family history. That said, there are some labs that are almost always warranted, and these include urinalysis, CBC, liver and kidney function tests, tests to measure thyroid function, and assessment of minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). We will also often want to check levels of B-12 and Vitamin A (retinol) and to assess viral titers and look for markers of autoimmunity and inflammation.

Some of the most common findings from laboratory analysis include mineral imbalances (high copper, low zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron), deficiencies of Vitamins A and B-12, and increased markers for inflammation.

In addition to the more traditional labs, we will frequently order laboratory tests that are less commonly employed by “mainstream medicine” but which are very helpful in determining what’s going on inside the body, from a cellular perspective. These “Functional Medicine” tests include Urine Metabolic Analysis/Organic Acids, Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, IgG Food Antibodies including antigliadin antibodies, Neopterin (Urine Immune Marker), and Porphyrin (Urine physiologic burden of metals).

Additional laboratory analysis very often includes tests to evaluate for Heavy Metal Exposure (urine, hair, & fecal tests), elemental nutrient analysis, plasma amino acids and fatty acids, and genetic testing.

With all of this information, the next important question involves Treatment and “Where do we begin?” The basis of the treatment plan is the foundation. In building the foundation we talk about “The Three R’s”Remove, Replenish, & Repair.

Remove what?
Think back to Dr. Baker’s “First Tacks Law,” which can be restated with the following question, “Is there something within this child or to which this child is being exposed, that if removed, would result in improvement in functioning?”

When you have a child with chronic illness and ongoing environmental exposure to multiple toxins from air, water, preservatives, dyes, and other sources, it is important to get rid of as many sources of exposure as possible. I ask parents to consider, “What is it that you have control of?”

Dietary Changes are often one of the most important first steps to improving a child’s overall physical status. We begin by “cleaning up the diet” – removing sugars, junk foods, preservatives and dyes. By the way, there is no such thing as “junk food” – it’s either junk or it’s food. When I talk to parents about cleaning up the diet, I ask them to remember a couple of basic things. First, when you go to the grocery store, stick to the outer aisles. Stay away from things in cans and boxes. Second, read labels: The fewer ingredients something has, the easier it is for the body to break down and utilize (generally). Third, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it in your body (or in your child’s body).

While we are removing things, we want to think about environmental exposures and ongoing sources of toxic exposure. If you are investing all this time, money, effort, and emotional resources, you want to simultaneously eliminate toxins from the environment wherever possible. This might mean installing water and air filters, or it might mean tearing up carpet and ripping out moldy building materials in the basement. Again, the steps you take will be based on your own situation and information about your child.

In addition to these measures we often must remove specific foods from the child’s diet, in order to address food allergies, and in many cases to help promote healing of the gastrointestinal tract (regardless of allergy status). That does not always mean that the child has to be on such a strict diet forever! However, there are particular proteins that tend to be most problematic for children on the spectrum and these will need to be avoided, at least during the initial phase of treatment.

The second of the Three R’s is “Replenish.” This issue can be assessed by asking the question, “Is there something this child is missing, that if provided, would result in an improvement in function?” The answer to this question often comes from the results of laboratory testing. The most frequent recommendations involve supplementation with probiotics (to replace the “good” bacteria in the GI tract), digestive enzymes (to help break down certain foods and assist in supplying essential nutrients), supplemental nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and essential fatty acids.

The last of the Three R’s is “Repair.” This aspect of treatment is also based largely on the results of laboratory testing. Depending on the data gathered for a particular child, the reparation process may involve the administration of antimicrobials, antifungals, antivirals, antibacterials, Immunotherapy, and detoxification (naturally or with prescription medications).

As you can probably see, there are many different questions to be addressed in the Biomedical Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders. I hope this information is helpful to you as you determine the appropriate course of action for your individual child. If nothing else, my fervent prayer is that after reading this article, you will at the very least begin to question the wisdom of accepting the standard medical “truth” about Autism. Don’t believe it. Autism IS TREATABLE. Recovery is POSSIBLE and it is happening every day. The most important first step for you is to choose whether or not to find out if it is possible for YOUR CHILD. I hope this article assists you in making that decision.

Marcella Piper-Terry, M.S.