By Anne Dachel
June 10, 2013, KALW Public Radio San Francisco, Your Call: How are moms organizing to help their kids with special needs?
Alison MacNeil, co-founder and author of The Thinking Moms' Revolution
and Megan Davenhall, co-founder and author of The Thinking Moms' Revolution were guests on "Your Call," a program on KALW public radio in San Francisco.
The topic was getting help for sick kids and host Rose Aguilar let listeners know that the situation is dire--our children are chronically ill in never-before-seen numbers-but there is hope. Rose solemnly announced that fifty percent of U.S. children live with some form of chronic illness, calling that number "staggering." Megan Davenhall talked about how it's now "normal" to have a child with asthma and debilitating food allergies.
Alison MacNeil talked about how the book, The Thinking Moms' Revolution,
came about, how the 23 moms and one dad found each other and put their stories together. Megan brought up the failure of the medical community to do anything to address what's happening to children today.
Alison made it clear that her son Nick was injured by his vaccinations. She gave us a litany of the health problems he lives with. Alison stated that Nick "was born healthy" and before his 15 month vaccinations he was "meeting all his developmental milestones."
Megan also said her son was born healthy and that continuous ear infections and antibiotic use set him up for vaccine injury.
Alison brought up the fact that doctors have no liability if a child is harmed by vaccines and said that only a fraction of vaccine injuries are ever reported.
Megan agreed with the suggestion that GMO foods are also a factor in the decline in the health of our kids and their growing sensitivity to certain foods.
When Rose opened the phone lines for calls, a mom called in to say she's had to struggle to get help for her daughter with sensory issues and outbursts.
Next a doctor phoned from Berkley to discuss the "misinformation that vaccines actually lead to autism" that was being discussed on the show.
"The link between vaccines and autism has, for all intents and purposes, been disproven." She was adamant that studies show no link.
Alison countered by saying that the schedule as it's given has not been studied.
The doctor said we're seeing "increased detection" because the definition of autism has changed. Megan disagreed. She talked about her experiences as a teacher and the changes she'd personally witnessed in our schools.
According to the doctor, all that is anecdotal. She said it was dangerous to be talking about this topic on the air to a large audience.
Rose asked the doctor about the huge increases in autism and she responded by saying, yes, "there may be something environmental going on." She suggested that it might have something to do with older parents, but mostly she thought it's because of changes in the definition. The same thing is true about ADHD. The doctor urged caution about the diagnoses.
Alison and Megan stressed that autism doesn't stand alone. These kids aren't "a little quirky." They're sick. They're in pain.
And there are answers. We were told that healing the gut can help the autism. Homeopathy and diet can make a big difference in a child's health. Megan emphasized that there are so many ways to help these kids, but "it's up to the parents."
Robert Sears, MD, joined the conversation at the end of the show and talked about what's happening to our kids. As a pediatrician, Sears didn't see the conditions he's seeing now when he started practicing medicine in the 90's. He believes our toxic environment is damaging our children. He urged parents to be green and organic. He endorsed the protocols that Megan and Alison talked about to help autistic children get better.
What stood out in my mind as I listened to this was the disconnect between what the moms said about how sick their children are and the response of the emergency room doctor who called in.
The doctor called to counter the "misinformation." She referenced the studies that show no association and retreated to the tired claim that signs of autism "happen to occur around the same time certain vaccines are given."
The doctor conceded that while there may be "some degree of increasing prevalence," there is also "a huge degree of increasing detection" because of the changes in the definition. "A lot of things that in the past may not have been called autism spectrum are now called autism spectrum because of increased recognition."
This doctor sees no real problem with so many autistic children. While "there may be something environmental going on," she's not really interested in what it might be. It just can't be vaccines.
Actually I could have predicted what this doctor was going to say when the host announced that a doctor from Berkley was on the line. They always say the same things. They've got all the studies that show no link. There's never really a problem with a soaring autism rate because the definition was changed and doctors are better at diagnosing it.
In truth, no one really buys that defense. All the studies officials use have been shown to have pharma ties.
Those studies are the least trustworthy in medicine. "Epidemiological" may sound impressive but in reality they're just population studies that are easily flawed and likely to be manipulated to get the results the researchers want.
It's almost laughable to still be hearing that a definition that was changed almost 20 years ago is still responsible for the continual increases in autism. Just how good are doctors going to get at recognizing it? And as long as no one can show us a comparable rate among middle aged and elderly Americans, there is no proof that all the autism is just better diagnosing of a disorder that's always been around.
This ER doctor is on very shaky ground. If she really wanted to make her case for something in the environment, she'd have been able cite something other than older parents.
She can't say they looked thoroughly into the issue of vaccines and autism-because they haven't. They've never looked at the cumulative schedule. They've never looked at the kids who suddenly and dramatically lost learned skills and regressed into autism to see what the causal factors might be. They've never done a simple retrospective comparison study of never vaccinated and fully vaccinated kids to see if they have the same rates of chronic health issues, including autism.
I was amazed that the doctor ignored the whole first part of the discussion where Megan and Alison talked about how sick children are. Why are kids now plagued with things like chronic infections, seizure disorders, asthma, bowel disease, life-threatening allergies, arthritis and diabetes? She never addressed this issue.
This doctor is an emergency room physician. Emergency room? She must be seeing an endless parade of children coming into her ER with these problems. In the early years of my son's life we're made so many trips to the ER that I said we should have chairs with our names on them in the waiting room.
John had chronic ear infections, sinus and upper respiratory problems where he couldn't stop coughing. He had tubes in his ears and the ER doctor finally said, "He's here so much, he's probably got asthma. Lots of kids do."
That was it. I finally got so tired of the endless prescriptions for antibiotics from doctors who didn't care that I became determined to make my son healthy. I turned to a naturopath who introduced me to homeopathic remedies, supplements, and natural medicines. I learned about organic food, raw milk, and free range meat. I now grow an organic seed garden and can my own vegetables. I threw out all the toxic cleaners in our house.
Incredibly, John got better. The whole family is extremely healthy and we're going to stay that way.
The message from this doctor is that we just need to accept the status quo. She did her best defend vaccines and ignore autism, along with everything else crippling a generation of children. The Thinking Moms, Alison and Megan, offer hope. They told about things they did to improve the health of their children. They're sharing their ideas everywhere and people are listening. The ER doctor needs to realize that the Thinking Moms are also the Writing Moms and the Talking Moms, and they're never going to stop!