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    More Mystery of Autism Quotes

    December 15, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and
    Pervasive Developmental Disorder:
    A Mother’s Story of Research & Recovery

    I was going to reserve this for quotes in the latter third of the book, but I couldn’t resist starting off with one that I had forgotten in the earlier quote post. Again, I will try and give quotes {with references to original sources if necessary} and headings to separate them.

    Let me know your thoughts! All anecdotal evidence is welcome here. It’s not scientific in the current sense, but there was a time when science began as a state of observation, of simply looking at the world around us and wondering and thinking and figuring it out. In that sense, anecdotes are the beginning of science.

    • Are some forms of arthritis a result of food allergies?

      I certainly should not have been surprised by the connection between food and physical well-being. My mother suffered from crippling arthritis at the age of forty that turned out to be an allergy to “nightshade” foods: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Her instantaneous recovery baffled her doctor, who was more inclined to call the problem psychological than he was to admit the possibility of a food allergy. Over the years I had seen the odd slipup, when she ate some ketchup or a few french fries, and I knew how bitterly she regretted it the following day. {p. 66}

    • What are the vaccination connections that people keep referring to?

      “We believe we have actually found measles antigen at the sites of disease in the bowel. Based on viral DNA comparisons, we believe its origin in the MMR vaccine, and that autism may be a gastrointestinal disease.” [Dr. Andrew Wakefield] {p.156}

      [I]t seemed obvious to me that a genetic predisposition toward immune system dysfunction was the groundwork for the ultimate condition of autism.

      The recipe was simple: start with a child from a family like mine and add cow’s milk, ear infections, long-term antibiotics, diphtheria {3x}, tetanus {3x}, pertussis {3x}, haemophilus influenza B, oral polio {2x}, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rebella before the first eighteen months, then let simmer until all language and social skills have disappeared. {p. 182}

      Later, when I spoke with Dr. Yazbak about his preliminary findings, he told me that he was quickly coming to the conclusion that any live, attenuated virus should not be given to women after their late teens, especially before, during, or after a pregnancy. {p. 183}

      In many of the children, Wakefield found a red “halo” around the lesions, which signals early stages of Crohn’s disease. Although he identified measles antigen at these sites, and assumed that this was due to an underlying chronic gastrointestinal measles infections, he also discussed the possibility that the combination of measles and mumps in the same vacination was partially to blame for the damage, citing records collected by the medical associations in Iceland and in the United Kingdom. {p. 196}

    • What type of mother will do the diet?

      “Well, I suppose I could take away all of the dairy,” she said. “But I don’t think I’ll be able to take away wheat.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I’d be a rich woman. How odd to hear someone say that she would go only so far to help her children.

      “I’ll tell you the difference between you and me,” I said finally. “When I discovered that taking away some milk made a slight difference, I immediately took away all milk. When I discovered that gluten might be implicated, I took that away as well. It wasn’t easy, but it was easier than spending the rest of my life with an autistic child. If you are in denial about this, I suggest you get out of it quickly, for your son’s sake. It was nice seeing you again.”

      I trembled as I pushed my cart away. Later, I called Lisa and felt her anger rise as I described the incident.

      “I know exactly how you felt,” she said. “I’ve met a hundered like her. I always tell them that when their child’s welfare becomes more important than their own convenience, that is when they’ll be ready to do something. It’s a harsh thing to say, but it’s the truth.” {p. 162-163}

    • Really? Remove foods?

      What you need to understand is that for certain children, these foods are toxic to their brains. For some, removing gluten may be far more important than removing dairy products. You would never knowingly feed your child poison, but if he fits into this category, that is exactly what you could be doing. It is possible that for this subgroup of people with autism, eating these foods is actually damaging the developing brain. {p. 208-209}

    • Can children really recover from autism?

      When Dr. Rimland stopped by to pick up Alan for a meeting, he walked into the kitchen to find the two children standing on the chairs at the counter, wearing oversized aprons and giggling, taking turns adding rice flour to the mixing bowl, singing out, “Your turn,” “your turn!”

      “What are you two doing?” he asked, smiling.

      “Making cookies!” they replied in unison.

      “You can have some cookies when they’re done,” Miles promised. “We’ll save you some.”

      “Miles, let me have the big spoon. You can use the cup,” Annie said.

      “Okay. Careful, you spilled a little!”

      “These are our two little dietary success stories,” I told Dr. Rimland. “What do you think?”

      “These are…?” Dr. Rimland looked at me quizzically, then suddenly, he realized that these two children had once been diagnosed with autism. “They’re–they’re wonderful,” he said in amazement, taking a step back and looking at the children once again. “Wonderful,” he added softly. {p. 187}

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  • Reply Brandy December 18, 2007 at 1:07 am

    I agree with you, Ellen. I did wonder about the author’s forcefulness with other moms. I don’t think that I would be quite so forceful. Part of this is because my philosophy is that other parents are truly responsible to God for their children, which means that we are free to dispense our advice, but not free to dictate to them how they should raise their children.

    I understood the author in that she felt a sense of urgency, she was compelled by the idea that the situation was time sensitive (and I don’t know if it is or not).

    I will say that the other mother eventually tried the diet, her child became almost fully functioning, and she now believes that she avoided autism in her second child by having him on the diet from the time he was a toddler. That is her perspective. Obviously, we can’t know what would have happened if she hadn’t done the diet with her second child.

    As a final note, I feel compelled to add that I have personally met parents who will not change a child’s diet because of their own convenience. To some extent, I understand this. We are actually on the diet, for reasons I will explain in a future post, and it is exceedingly inconvenient, especially in the first months.

  • Reply Ellen December 17, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I had to wonder about the quote you listed about the mom who wasn’t willing to take away wheat. I think I’d be careful before I had the other woman’s angry reaction. The mom was probably unwilling to talk about taking out wheat because she was unconvinced that it would work, not because she wouldn’t do whatever it took for her child. I am unconvinced that changing diet drastically like this can make a huge difference in an autistic child’s life. Being unconvinced is different than being unwilling to make sacrifices. The gain has to be worth the pain, and some of us aren’t sure that it would be.

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