Sally Beck On HuffPo: Lancet, Richard Horton and Waffling
Age of Autism Comment of the Week: 2/13

Congratulatons to Lyn Redwood, Spectrum Publication's Person of the Year"

Lyn redwood Congratulatons to Lyn Redwood, Spectrum Publication's Person of the Year. In addition, read Dan Olmsted's tribute to Lyn, also in Spectrum below the jump.

Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, NP, sits at her desk in her rural Georgia home. She is surrounded by pictures. There are pictures of her three children and children of her fellow “mercury moms.”  They are the faces of the children whose lives she has helped improve. The pictures are there to keep her motivated, a constant reminder of what she’s working for.
   
There’s something else Redwood keeps in her office: a rejection letter. Several years ago Redwood began writing a book, Mercury Rising: The Untold Story Behind America’s Epidemic of Learning Disabilities and Autism, and shopped it around at publishing houses. No one wanted it. The rejection letter from Simon and Schuster, framed and hanging on Redwood’s office wall, says that the subject matter is so upsetting they doubted that parents would want to buy a book as alarming as this one. 

Luckily for the autism community, rejection does not scare Redwood. During the last 10 years of advocacy, she has had to become accustomed to it. She has even found a way to thrive on it, out of necessity and perhaps self-preservation. She and other autism parents have been waging a monumental battle for the lives of their children for over a decade. And they have certainly not gotten the results they thought they would when they started out. 

What has made Redwood’s role in this battle even more remarkable over the past few years is that she is free to go. Her son, Will, is now recovered from autism. She could have left the autism world far behind years ago. But instead of easing her way out of the community and reveling in a “normal” life once again, she has increased her workload.


Read Dan Olmsted's column on Lyn Redwood in Spectrum Publications.

Talk about clueless. Back when I was first getting into the autism issue, I was invited to dinner in Washington with some people I have since come to know well and respect highly, including Jim Moody, Mark Blaxill, Laura Bono and Lyn Redwood. Sallie Bernard was also coming but her plane from Colorado was a bit late, and I remember telling Lyn how excited I was to meet Sallie because she was the Bernard of Bernard et al., which had set the whole thimerosal debate on fire.  It was a brilliant piece of detective work by citizen scientists. It was then that Lyn unassumingly mentioned that she was an et al. (and others), a co-author of this foundational document.

When it comes to key moments in the autism struggle, Lyn Redwood has been there from the start, not pushing her way forward but, by dint of hard work and smart thinking, ending up in the middle of the most important battles. David Kirby’s Evidence of Harm tells the first few years of that story well, of course, but over the ensuing years I’ve come to see it for myself. In my mind’s eye I see her at a rally at the Capitol on a hot, miserably humid day, speaking with great feeling and introducing her son Will, who, if I recall correctly, reminded everyone of what his mother had helped establish – that putting mercury in children on purpose is stupid...

Congratulatons to Lyn Redwood, Spectrum Publication's Person of the Year"

Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, NP, sits at her desk in her rural Georgia home. She is surrounded by pictures. There are pictures of her three children and children of her fellow “mercury moms.”  They are the faces of the children whose lives she has helped improve. The pictures are there to keep her motivated, a constant reminder of what she’s working for.
   
There’s something else Redwood keeps in her office: a rejection letter. Several years ago Redwood began writing a book, Mercury Rising: The Untold Story Behind America’s Epidemic of Learning Disabilities and Autism, and shopped it around at publishing houses. No one wanted it. The rejection letter from Simon and Schuster, framed and hanging on Redwood’s office wall, says that the subject matter is so upsetting they doubted that parents would want to buy a book as alarming as this one. 

Luckily for the autism community, rejection does not scare Redwood. During the last 10 years of advocacy, she has had to become accustomed to it. She has even found a way to thrive on it, out of necessity and perhaps self-preservation. She and other autism parents have been waging a monumental battle for the lives of their children for over a decade. And they have certainly not gotten the results they thought they would when they started out. 

What has made Redwood’s role in this battle even more remarkable over the past few years is that she is free to go. Her son, Will, is now recovered from autism. She could have left the autism world far behind years ago. But instead of easing her way out of the community and reveling in a “normal” life once again, she has increased her workload.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Maureen H. McDonnell, RN

Congratulations Lyn, The award is well-deserved. In your many roles, you have fought to ensure that the relevant research gets done, that politicians stay focused on this crisis, and that parents have access to information that will help heal their kids.... I don't know how you juggle all your hats, but you do an amazing job.
All the best, Maureen

Suzanne

Thank you Lyn for all you have done and all that you continue to do. Your hard work is very much appreciated!

nhokkanen

Lyn is one of the autism parent heroes who by speaking out years ago pointed me to scientific studies, minimized neurodevelopmental damage to my son, and helped start him on a healthier life path. For that I an eternally grateful.

JenB

Thank you Lyn and your family! I cannot fathom how you've continued to do all of the advocacy and the recovering of your son and still keep on, but I'm sure I would still be in the dark and unable to help my daughter, if not for you and the other "mercury moms!"

rileysmom

Lyn is a pioneer. She stood tall and proud for children when I was "happily" oblivious to autism. How lucky I am to have women like Lyn to look up too? Very. Thank you Lyn for all that you do and sacrifice. Congratulations, you definitely deserve the recognition!!!! You are an amazing woman.

another dad

Congrats on the award and standing up against the vaccine pimps, prostitutes and their very supportive press.

We now know from the CDC that mercury no longer causes symptoms of mercury poisoning.

It is also very comforting to know that those who may remove the wrong leg, or operate on the wrong side of your brain, KNOW that vaccines do not cause Autism.

you are winning

Gatogorra

Can anyone imagine what it must have been like to stand alone in the "early days" of the fight? Lyn is rare and so are the few she started out with.

Janice

Lyn (and moms like her) are the ones to look up to. I am sickened by the mothers who bad mouth biomed or have never bothered to try it and then have the nerve to write books or lecture on how to embrace autism, all while their own children are severe and/or in residential. Not the kind of mom I would follow for the well being of my child! I am grateful for moms like Lyn and hope many parents listen to her advice rather than just accept and embrace this god awful disorder.

Thank you Lyn.

CarolynKylesMom

You Moms who spoke out about mercury in vaccines, facing ridicule and skepticism, when you could have just quietly taken what you learned and done what you could to save your own children, are my heroes. The minute someone said 'autism' about my son I learned about the possible vaccine connection and immediately stopped vaccinating my son (at 26 months). I am quite sure that this is why he is doing so incredibly well. We were on the edge of losing him forever and I don't know what that one last shot might have done to him. I say a prayer of gratitude to you Moms (and some Dads!) every time my child says something complex, or catches my eye and smiles. I try to focus on you and my DAN Dr and Thoughtfulhouse heroes whenever I get saddened by the thugs who allow this to keep happening either to save their pride or to enrich themselves. Please know your heroism and outspokenness have saved countless, countless families from the kind and level of pain you and your familes endured. Please know you are deeply appreciated. And you inspire me to speak out (I've lost more than one potential date, business contacts, and a few potential friends--and I don't care!) in hopes that if enough of us do speak out, this will finally, finally stop.

I put a link to a poem I wrote here below. My son had just been to thoughtfulhouse right before I wrote the poem and had not yet been given any meds for what they found. After treatment for the ' theoretical' autistic enterocololitis they found at thoughtfulhouse, he is amazingly better and even started to play with the piano and with the dogs . . . what you started Lyn and all you Moms, is a tidal wave of truth, a tidal wave of healing, a tidal wave of courage, and a tidal wave of the hope we needed to inpire us all keep trying and keep talking and keep writing!

Twyla

Lyn is truly a hero! Her hard work, tenacity, and intelligence are amazing. And she is classy, beautiful, and articulate as well!

Becky Estepp

Yay Lyn! So smart, so gracious, so lovely and such an asset to our community.

Lisa @ TACA

Love you Lyn. Thank you for everything.

Sylvia

Lyn deserves every bit of praise given. She gives so much of her time and energy so unselfishly. She is a gift to our community, and one of the reasons so many of our kids are making such great strides.

She is the anti-Offit: respectful, intellegent, caring, thoughtful, giving. Soft spoken, but with incredible strength and resolve. Beautiful inside and out.

Maurine Meleck

Thank you, Lyn for everything you've done for me, for the autism community. I love you, the autism community loves you. Your fight is nothing short of amazing.
Maurine

Teresa Conrick

Great words Dan, about a great person. I remember reading "autism, A Unique (Novel) Type of Mercury Poisoning" for the first time. The et al, I thought, must have been the smartest and best detective parents that one could ever imagine.

Here was a baffling, life-long, disturbing disorder with a history of stigma, including divorce, institutionalization, blame, mental illness "genes", etc., and here was a group of parents, showing through published research that this was very possibly caused by injury, by mercury in your child's environment....and often by the hands of your local doctor and nurse.

I am one of those parents that you mentioned, Dan, that was saved by et al. Their analysis, and though the "subject matter is so upsetting" can be used as an excuse, it is the truth and was the fist and highly important nail in the sole genetic, coffin. They saved me as I was coming from a background of inpatient psychiatric teacher thus, genes, parent blame was a frequent rolling of the eyes in the sick world of psychiatry. Et al gave me a ladder to climb out of that cesspool of Freudian bullshit. They also gave me the courage to do the same, examine the research and investigate my own daughter's illness. Thank you Lyn for all of your hard work and inspiration for many of us.

Katie Wright

Lyn is such an amazing mother and advocate for all our kids.

She is a huge source of inspiration to me.

Thank you Lyn so much!!!!

Tanners Dad

Your voice is strong. Thank you for all you do. Lyn Stands in places & at times I know many others would fold. The odds are long but one day you will be there to witness a victory for future generations. It is just sad that many bodies have been left in the dust. We all can & must do more. Follow Lyn's example to learn. Tim

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)