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Rodney Peete Shares His Son's Vaccine Injury Story in "Not My Boy!" from Hyperion Books

Rodney peet Today is the first day of Autism Action month. Rodney Peete, former NFL quarterback, recounts the day he and his wife Holly were drafted into autism as a result of his son's vaccine injury in Not My Boy! A Father, a Son and One Family's Journey with Autism, his new book from Hyperion. You can purchase a copy HERE. The chapter excerpt ran on MSNBC books, part of of the channel in which Dr. Nancy "There is no vaccine controversy!" Snyderman apparently doesn't interfere.

Holly Robinson Peete is a vocal advocate for her son and all of our children. So is Rodney. We thank them both.

Chapter Two: The Wake Up Call

A few months before they hit that two-year mark, Holly took the twins in for a checkup with our pediatrician. They’d had ear infections and were both coming off a course of antibiotics. Holly asked the doctor if he would delay their next round of immunizations because she thought loading them up with that much medicine while they were still a bit weak from the antibiotics might be too much for their little bodies. She believes the doctor, a very old-school, by-the-book pediatrician, brushed off her concerns as those of an overly cautious first-time mom. He said he’d immunized hundreds of children and never had any such problems.

This didn’t sit right with Holly. Something about this disturbed what she calls her “mommy gut,” an instinct that moms have that goes beyond what professionals say. She asked him if there was any way he could break up the measles/mumps/rubella vaccination so that they would not have to get such a potent cocktail all at once. The doctor said that that couldn’t be done. Besides, the nurse said, the twins were behind in their immunizations. Part of the purpose of this visit was to get them all caught up.

Holly got even more concerned when she found out that they might be receiving more than just the MMR vaccine. She wanted to know what was in the shots and how many of them there would be. She remembers the nurse looked at her like she was psycho mommy, and told her to relax while she took R.J. in to be weighed.

Holly was sitting in another examining room holding on to Ryan, when she heard R.J. screaming, “No! Mommy!” She ran to R.J. and saw that the nurse had given him the MMR plus the second hepatitis B and the polio vaccines. The nurse said that it usually was easier with the parents out of the room.

Maybe it was easier for the nurse, but for the next eight years, nothing about R.J. would be easy for our family.

At home that night, R.J. had a terrible fever and started shaking violently, just short of something like a seizure. Holly called the pediatrician to ask him what could have caused this. Should we take R.J. to the hospital? The doctor was unruffled and told us that it was not a reaction to the shots. He recommended that we give R.J. some Tylenol to help him with the fever and he promised that R.J. would be fine. R.J. had a terrible reaction to the Tylenol and we rushed him to the emergency room late that night. We believe he went into some kind of toxic overload shock. After that, we didn’t hear the words “Mommy” or “No” for about four years.

I know there is a lot of controversy in the medical community about what causes autism. Researchers and doctors reject parents’ claim that vaccines, particularly the MMR, can trigger the disorder. Many parents believe that the mercury-based chemical thimerosal, which is used as a preservative in vaccines, reacts dramatically in the immature immune systems of some children and triggers autism. In the last decade, the number of vaccinations has increased dramatically; now kids get more than thirty different shots, most of them before the time they reach eighteen months.

While the government and the vaccine manufacturers have worked to reduce the amount of mercury in the vaccinations, receiving those shots gives children a big dose of toxins to process. The symptoms of mercury poisoning look an awful lot like what children with autism suffer: rocking, circling, flapping arms, walking on toes, difficulty with swallowing or chewing, digestive problems, oversensitivity to br>The school session started in the fall, when I was right in the thick of the football season, so I wasn’t monitoring R.J. as much as I would have had I been home. Holly kept telling me that R.J. didn’t seem to be catching on at school, not the way Ryan was. We talked to our pediatrician again, and he told us the same thing. I repeated it back to Holly whenever she was telling me how worried she was. He’s just a little boy. He’s two. Give him time. He’ll catch up.

When the football season came to a close, I took over the job of driving the kids to school. When I got them out of their car seats the first day, Ryan was ready to go. She was ready to run right into the yard where the kids had forty-five minutes to play before the indoor part of the school day began. R.J. was indifferent. I had to take him by the hand and lead him into the yard. He didn’sound and touch, loss of speech or failure to speak, mild to severe hearing loss, staring and unprovoked crying, injuring self (such as head banging), social isolation, poor eye contact, and blurred vision.

The Centers for Disease Control says that the symptoms of autism start to show up around the same time that kids receive most of their shots. The CDC advises parents that this does not mean that the vaccine is the cause, and they can cite several studies to justify this position, but just to be cautious, the CDC recommended in 2001 that vaccine manufacturers reduce or eliminate thimerosal in vaccines.
 
 
Holly and I, and many of the other parents of children with autism, believe that the scientists who have concluded that there is no connection between vaccines and autism should have designed their studies differently. Our kids tend to be sensitive to foods and stimuli that other children tolerate without any trouble. We’d like to see studies performed on vaccines and children who have gluten sensitivities or are allergic to dairy, for example. We believe it might be true that kids with those difficulties shouldn’t have to follow the strict vaccination schedule, at least not until their bodies have developed further.

Many of us believe that science should give this idea of a sensitivity-specific study more of a chance rather than rejecting it in favor of studies on a general population of young children. Too many families have had to suffer through a huge—and in many cases permanent—change in their children for science to turn its back on us and refuse to explore this question.

That day of the vaccination marked a major turning point for R.J. Within a week of the shots, he stopped responding to his name. Normally, when I came in to pick him up from the crib where he slept with Ryan, he’d be standing up alongside his sister. They’d look at each other and crack up, laughing at one of those private jokes that only twins can understand. Shortly after the shots, R.J. withdrew. He stopped making eye contact and he didn’t laugh much. Often he’d just lie curled up in a ball staring at his hand or the wooden slats of the crib, lost in a world of his own.

Even his interest in trying to figure out how things worked changed. Before the shot, I’d watch him study the chain that went around a bicycle wheel and try to figure out how that made the wheel move. As soon as it made sense to him, he’d look my way with a big grin that said to me, See, I figured this out! After the shot, he was obsessive. He’d just sit there watching the chain go around and around, staring at it for hours. I’d try to get him to change activities, but he’d go right back to that chain. He also started with odd new behaviors: flapping his hands and flicking his ears. His speech stopped evolving too. He went from learning new words to saying the same thing over and over again.

We asked our pediatrician what was happening with R.J., and he acted as though what we described was no big deal. He reminded us that boys develop differently than girls. Growing up isn’t a straight line, he said. He’d catch up just like Ryan had pretty much caught up with him physically.

I see now that we were willing to accept this because he was telling us what we wanted to hear. There was nothing wrong with R.J. He was just going through a phase, a temporary setback that he’d recover from before he started school in the fall. We were overjoyed when we found out that Ryan and R.J. had been accepted into our top choice for preschool. The teachers there were well trained and compassionate, and we expected that they would help R.J. learn more social skills and encourage him to make friends.

I thought that trying to keep up with the other kids would be a huge motivation for R.J. to snap out of whatever phase he was going through. Maybe once he was around the other kids he’d start to do what they did. That would help with speaking too, I thought. If R.J. really was a member of the Robinson-Peete family, there wasn’t anything that could have prevented him from talking. Our pediatrician confirmed everything I had hoped about how getting R.J. out into the world would be a way to break his isolation.
 
 http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/36120715/ns/today-today_books/

Comments

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GKK

While on vacation the TV was on NBC's Today Show. Not paying much attention I glance up to see the Rodney Peete family on talking about autism. The volume is low so I can't really hear but by the time I get to the remote it's almost over. Curious, and because I already knew their earlier story, I pulled the video up from the NBC Today Show online link and watched it. They talked about how their son was a completely normal kid and suddenly changed into a zombie just before 2 years old and how they reacted and the school handled him and how they found a school that would handle him but NO WHERE did they talk about what ALSO happened at that time... in the video.

But if you read the article, they went into detail about what they believe triggered the autism in their son and in the transcript of the book they were pushing which happened to be the MMR shot along with a polio and second Hep B shot! So, I shared this outrage with my extended family of how the "TV" version neglected to mention the vaccines that they obviously thought was the cause in the book but was not mentioned in the TV interview. An interesting segment of Matt Lauer saying, (paraphrased) "The thing that always strikes me is, R.J. was doing fine... and then it changes suddenly, and I wonder if it is even harder than being told at the moment of birth that there's a problem". Nothing about cause/effect/choice! Total BS!

So what kind of reaction do you think I get from a (mostly) "health care" crowd? Basically, NOTHING! Well, there was an "Oh" and I think a "Huh"

Tired of lack of interest/response like I'm the loon here.


GKK

cmo makes THE important point of the Peete family segment on NBC's Today Show. It DID NOT mention the vaccines so anyone that watched it or watch it online will just think it was some kind of fluke because all that is mentioned is that "suddenly" the boy changed.

Here is a high-profile family that make clear points in their book that the source of the problem was the vaccines (and Tylenol) but in a network broadcast they happen to leave that little fact out?? Major issue with the mainstream media here as should be shared far and wide as an example of dis-information.

Theresa O

This is an amazing book. Rodney Peete's courage in telling his son's story, from a father's perspective, is commendable. Once again, a celebrity parent, who could choose to keep quiet, is doing the brave thing and sharing his story with the public. I was moved to tears by the scene in which Rodney finally gets RJ to play ball with him at the park. I hope every dad reads this book.

Maria

Sigh... How many more times will this same story be told? When will our government and medical professional really listen? Bottom line- my son was right on if not ahead at 6 months Then shots at 6 months 5 days he begins banging his head on my shoulder when I held him (inflammation?) 1 month later BIG seizure then ever so slowly one loss after another. No history of autism/seizures or any Dev disorder in our family.

It's hard enough having to take care of our children but to constantly have to fight for proper medical treatment (a human right) and protection from abusers in schools is just not something any human being should have to do. The lack of understanding and knowledge of autism with our society is striking. What happens when we die?

Our struggles are so unique and intense and I believe this is why once we meet another A parent there is an automatic connection.

Please for any medical professional reading this- Please use your brain and think independently instead of just reiterating the party lines- listen to parents!
Thank you for sharing and helping our families.

Sara

Twyla-only the completely ignorant, self absorbed parents don't believe in any vaccine connection to autism, seizures and G/I issues. Their children continue to be the unfortunate victims.

Teresa Conrick

"Shortly after the shots, R.J. withdrew. He stopped making eye contact and he didn’t laugh much. Often he’d just lie curled up in a ball staring at his hand or the wooden slats of the crib, lost in a world of his own."

So painful and so familiar. Thank you for helping us stop the madness.

Boyd Haley

The most common observation of cells or test animals responding to mercury or thimerosal exposure is a drop in reduced glutathione levels (low GSH) commonly called oxidative stress and exceptionally common also in autistic children. Tylenol is the most common cause of human toxicity induced visits to the emergency room. The cause, tylenol causes oxidative stress in the liver which leads to death in many cases. Our physicians seem totally unaware of the multiple causes of oxidative stress and the damage done by inducing this condition.

cmo

Another story of a vaccine Nazi jabbing children in the back room. Very, very sad.

Sounds like a money making "catch up well baby visit," so critical for the success of any american AAP office.

I would guess they look at the child's insurance coverage and then decide just how many vaccines they can bill the insurance company for on any given day.

What vaccines were given to the other twin that day ?

I see a number of H1N1 vaccines may have to be thrown out as they may expire. I would suppose the Thimerosal versions will be kept around for a few years yet...

Sherry

A big Thank You to the Peete's for sharing their story. Maybe if more celebrities get the word out on the dangers of vaccines, someone will pay attention-God knows we are.

Twyla

In the face of so many accounts such as this one, how can anyone continue to believe that vaccines do not cause autism?!?!

MinorityView

" 'I used to say that the tide would turn when children started to die. Well, children have started to die,' Offit says, frowning as he ticks off recent fatal cases of meningitis in unvaccinated children in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. 'So now I've changed it to when enough children start to die.' Because obviously, we're not there yet.'"

The tide will turn when people stop trusting the medical profession and the drug companies.

Grim reality.

Benedetta

Thanks Kristina;

I was there in the docs office that day to complain about both of my kids reacting to their DPT shot that fall (a few months earlier) Both spiked a temp of 105.5, both passed out, both gasping for breath.

Doc was not impressed, Doc said nope can't break up that shot.

Same Old story told lots of times here. It is all the medical training and they train well, and reguriate it right back out. Thanks Kristina for your comment.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Oct 19, WIRED Magazine http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience/
ran the piece, An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All by Any Wallace. In it she glorified Paul Offit and blamed all the ills of the world on non-vaccinating parents. She quoted Offit saying, " 'I used to say that the tide would turn when children started to die. Well, children have started to die,' Offit says, frowning as he ticks off recent fatal cases of meningitis in unvaccinated children in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. 'So now I've changed it to when enough children start to die.' Because obviously, we're not there yet."

I would say the same thing about children regressing into autism following vaccinations. How many stories of children like RJ do we have to hear before we stop denying what vaccines are doing to our children?
Anne Dachel
Media

Tylenol kills

"That day of the vaccination marked a major turning point for R.J. Within a week of the shots, he stopped responding to his name."

You forgot about the Tylenol...as Mr Peete writes: "R.J. had a terrible reaction to the Tylenol and we rushed him to the emergency room late that night. We believe he went into some kind of toxic overload shock."

Everyone remembers the shots with the NEEDLES, that make babies CRY, but we seem to forget that pretty red syrup, which we associate with pain RELIEF, that we are all pre-programmed to believe is safe.

Nothing could be further from the truth.


KM

wow, amazing.

A story that almost point for point mirrors our son's experience.

Thank you Mr Peete for speaking up for a 10 year old boy who can't now after the same experience.

Amber

Many thanks to the Peete's, I'm excited to read this book. My husband and I grieved in such different ways and we grew apart very quickly. We eventually came back to eachother (in an emotional sense) and now we are stronger. I feel for the couples that don't make it.

I still think my pediatrician is partially to blame for my son's autism. Ultimately, the vaccines themselves are the destroyers, I was too nieve to question, but that day in the ped's office, my son was 17 months and my concern was his development, the ped's concern was catching him up on all his shots. In the end, I ignored my mom's intuition, the pediatrician got his way and my son...he still doesn't speak 9 years later.

Autodad

Uh oh. Call Paul offit. We have another vaccine coincidence story that needs some spin.

David Taylor

It's been a long time since I cried. The last time was the day of my son's autism diagnosis. Today was another. My comment on the MSNBC site:

--

Nine comments so far and no one has talked about the 800-lb gorilla in the Peetes' living room. How many more times will Americans have to read this, virtually the same words repeated by 1000s of parents, before we finally deal with the rather obvious fact that the one-size-fits-all Rx for infant vaccines is a disaster for 1 in 110 children. Childhood immunizations are important, but it's far past the time for 1 million children in the U.S. to re-examine when and how many are given. Just ask the Peetes.

That day of the vaccination marked a major turning point for R.J. Within a week of the shots, he stopped responding to his name.

Shortly after the shots, R.J. withdrew. He stopped making eye contact and he didn’t laugh much. Often he’d just lie curled up in a ball staring at his hand or the wooden slats of the crib, lost in a world of his own.


Odysseus

Many thanks to Rodney Peete for telling his story and writing this book. I hope his voice is heard and publicized.

Glad to see Rodney speak out on behalf of all Dads struggling with the impact of Autism. Moms have a lot of role models in the community to look up to and a sisterhood to share tears with, but Autism Dads often have different emotions and struggles to battle. JB, Mark, and many others are definitely role models and beacons for other Dads, but it's nice to see someone with Rodney Peete's public persona step up and tell his story.

Henderson

The run up - 'mommy gut' - etc. to, "she heard R.J. screaming, “No! Mommy!”"

I'm having a hard time here - I remember much of the same story.

:(

cmo

This was the Rodney Peete clip on the Today Show with
Matt L. this morning.

The BOOK talks about the vaccines, the NBC interview does not....
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/36120715/ns/today-today_books/#36131247

Dr. Fancy was NOT at the interview, I think she is still in Aspen at the vaccine pimp and princess convention.

Jenn

Everytime I hear these stories I get sick to my stomach just as I did when it happened to my daughter. Why isn't Dr. Sears figuring all of this out and speaking out? What happened? We need him, and others like him to show their support. This is happening over and over again. It needs to stop.

Terri Lewis

In some kids, vaccines cause brain damage--really bad, really significant, sometimes permanent.

Your doctor won't be there to take care of your mentally, emotionally, physically challenged child--but you will.

For anyone out there "wondering," you'll have one chance to get it right.

You can learn it the easy way, or you can learn it the hard way, like so many of us here.

jennifer polak

you want autism awareness?? there it is..

Kristina

Benedetta, the doctor was partially right. The P in the DPT does not come separately. The doctor of course should have told you beforehand of the DT option, though.

Benedetta

Could the MMR shot be broken up - the answer was no the don't come that way.

Same words came out of my doctor's mouth about the DPT shot.


However, the next day after my son's stroke they are writing in his medical files no more P in the DPT. The next time he was due a DPT shot - the broken up vaccine that did not exist suddenly appeared - the DT????

My doc was a liar.

kerbob1

Fool me once...

Nobody in their right mind would ever support Autism Speaks no-show agenda. Nobody in their right minds tells the world they'd vaccinate all over again.

No one respects the flame quite like the fool badly burned.

These combinations in restraint of trade are the real April Fools.

Where are these celebrity people when the rest of our families have needs?

We have a great deal to gain and nothing to lose by speaking out loudly against this sham legislation which would, in the long run, be harmful rather than beneficial to our children. - Bernard Rimland

bensmyson

This is a story that many of us have told over and over. This is a story that will reach our parents, a story that will educate them as to what happened to their grandchildren.

"At home that night, R.J. had a terrible fever and started shaking violently, just short of something like a seizure. Holly called the pediatrician to ask him what could have caused this. Should we take R.J. to the hospital? The doctor was unruffled and told us that it was not a reaction to the shots. He recommended that we give R.J. some Tylenol to help him with the fever and he promised that R.J. would be fine."

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