Editor’s Note: This is a repeat post of David Kirby’s review of the film Autism Yesterday, premiering tonight in more than 140 venues around the world. If you aren’t headed to a screening, the film is now available at Amazon..
By David Kirby
At a time when Big Medicine, Big Government and Big Media are trying hard to make the vaccine-autism debate go away, along comes a quiet little film like “Autism Yesterday” to throw a wrench in the establishment’s best laid plans to stifle the pesky vaccine chatter once and for all.
Anyone out there still declaring that this debate is over, that medical science has fully exonerated mercury and vaccines, and that thousands of parents who insist otherwise don’t know what they are talking about, really should watch THIS film before embarrassing themselves further.
“Autism Yesterday,” a beautifully shot film with a stirring original soundtrack of softly strumming guitars and plaintive but hopeful songs, tells the story of five West Coast families who bucked all conventional wisdom -- and began to recover their kids.
In each story, we see clear before-and-after evidence of a child’s heartbreaking descent into the silent, baffling world of autism, and then their steady, sometimes miraculous progress back towards health, happiness, communication and, yes, recovery.
In each case, the parents explain how they turned to controversial “biomedical interventions” such as wheat and dairy-free diets, or the removal of heavy metals from the body, to treat their ailing children. And the film, in elegant detail, shows us exactly how far these kids have come.
Their progress stands in glaring opposition to all those “experts” who insist that neither mercury nor vaccines could possibly have anything to do with autism, and that biomedical intervention is nothing short of dangerous snake oil, bordering on child abuse.
Many of them, in the process, have denigrated, ridiculed and dismissed parents who are treating their children anyway. Such parents, the media tell us, are overwrought and hyper-emotional, they are desperate and distraught, confused and ignorant, even greedy and litigious.
But watch “Autism Yesterday” and you see and hear a different story – something I have come to know after speaking with thousands of parents in over 30 states: These tireless advocates for children are neither crazy nor stupid. Their thoughtfulness, intelligence, compassion and determination is what strikes us most.
Instead of slamming them, we should be listening very carefully to what they have to say.
One clear message from “Autism Yesterday” is that parents often know what is going on with their kids far better than the professionals. Many doctors dismissed them when they insisted their healthy children regressed into autism. Studies have proven the doctors wrong.
Now, parents are insisting that biomedical treatments, in at least some cases, can virtually make autism go away. And once again, the moms and dads are being dismissed, even laughed at.
But all the derision, scorn and snickering in the world is, to them, irrelevant. As one mother calmly explains about treating these kids: “If you don’t fix ‘em, who will?”
(Managing Editor’s Note: You can watch the trailer for Autism Yesterday HERE. The film will be making its premier in April, stay tuned for more information.)
David Kirby (www.evidenceofharm.com) has been a professional journalist for over 15 years, and has written extensively for The New York Times for the past eight years. Kirby was a contracted writer with the weekly City Section at The Times, where he covered public health, local politics, art and culture, among other subjects. Kirby has also written for a number of national magazines. He was also a foreign correspondent in Mexico and Central America from 1986-1990, where he covered the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and covered politics, corruption and natural disasters in Mexico. From Latin America, he reported for UPI, the San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, The Arizona Republic, Houston Chronicle and the NBC Radio Network.