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Best of AofA: Preventing Autism An Emerging Hypothesis

Vaccine Bear Here's a "best of" post for Autism ACTION month. Prevention, don't leave the delivery room without it!

By J.B. Handley

My second child’s autism diagnosis put the plans my wife and I had for at least three kids on potentially permanent hold. Three years later, we are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, and we feel well-armed with the wisdom of other parents and many doctors to prevent her from the same fate her brother experienced.

What? We’re planning to prevent her from developing autism? The notion of being able to prevent autism is a highly controversial idea, and one sure to make many sentences in this entry blogger-fodder. So be it.

It’s probably worth taking a quick step back. The Generation Rescue  website spells out pretty accurately how we feel about the cause of autism:

We believe these neurological disorders ("NDs") are environmental illnesses caused by an overload of heavy metals, live viruses, and bacteria. Proper treatment of our children, known as "biomedical intervention", is leading to recovery for thousands.

The cause of this epidemic of NDs is extremely controversial. We believe the primary causes include the tripling of vaccines given to children in the last 15 years (mercury, aluminum and live viruses); maternal toxic load and prenatal vaccines; heavy metals like mercury in our air, water, and food; and the overuse of antibiotics.

As we began to think about child number three, and armed with this general point of view above, my wife and I began to network with other parents who were in similar situations. Specifically, parents with an autistic child who had decided to have an additional child after becoming biomedical experts.

Through all of these conversations and time spent with many great doctors, we began to develop a plan to prepare for life before and after birth that we believed would reduce the chances for another autistic child. The complete list of ideas, from which we chose the right plan for us, included:

Early Preparation for Mom (prior to conception):

- Switching to a gluten/casein free diet
- Eating organic foods and avoiding all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Limiting sugar
- Focusing on gut health through a combination of anti-fungal treatment, beneficial bacteria re-population, and digestive enzymes
- Detoxifying the body through a combination of chelation and natural detoxification techniques like FIR sauna, NDF Plus, Zeolites, etc.
- Adding a pre-natal vitamin and B-12

During pregnancy:

- Maintaining all dietary approaches listed above
- Avoiding all vaccines
- Avoiding any environmental risks like lead paint, home construction, cleaners and solvents, chemicals, etc.
- Avoiding antibiotics except in life-or-death situations
- Avoiding x-rays and sonograms, unless high-risk birth issues exist
- Continuing supplementation of pre-natal vitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and B-12
- Proper supplementation of mom’s methylation cycle based on genetics

After birth:

- Maintaining all dietary approaches and supplements listed above while breastfeeding
- Holding off on introducing solid-foods until at least 6 months
- Avoiding antibiotics for breastfeeding mom and baby except in life-or-death situations
- Avoiding any environmental risks like lead paint, home construction, cleaners and solvents, chemicals, etc.
- Supplementing baby with infant-safe probiotics
- Avoiding all vaccines for at least the first 2 years of life, and then taking extraordinary caution
- At the right time (typically 6 months or older), adding proper methylation cycle support
- At the right time, proper supplementation of Omega3-6-9
- Providing natural detoxification through things like Epsom salt baths

On the one hand, it’s been “painful” to watch my daughter develop through seven months now without the eczema, ear infections, severe bowel problems, or sleepless nights her older brother experienced as his body slowly stopped functioning properly. “Painful” because I feel like so much of his suffering was preventable. On the other hand, we are grateful every day for the wisdom our son has given us about how to reduce the risks of autism for his new sister.

Are we out of the woods yet? Not remotely, we worry about autism for our daughter every day. Part of me was too superstitious to put these words on paper, but I hope other parents considering another child may benefit from the insight we feel helped us.

One final word on vaccines. Some have wondered whether or not we would consider vaccinating our daughter. Not anytime soon. Aside from the fact that the vaccine schedule has not been proven to be safe and that testing for it is grossly inadequate, we also feel that for whatever reason we produce children who react poorly to vaccines, based on the experience with both of our boys. As free citizens, we are exercising our rights to decide which medical procedures are safe for our children, and vaccines do not meet our standards. Might we change our minds as she gets older? Maybe, particularly for diseases like Rubella that can cause real problems for girls.

Is autism preventable? We believe it is. A radical concept several years ago, we feel it’s a topic that deserves a lot more airtime today. Even mainstream scientists are now acknowledging the role “the environment” is playing in autism. What if you could modify that “environment” to reduce the risks?

J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue.



Elizabeth Seton

I believe there is something else that can be done to help prevent Autism from developing after birth.
Consider all the modern contraptions that infants are placed in today compared to previous generations - swings, bouncy seats, walkers, car seats, strollers, high chairs, Bumbo seats, etc. Today's infants don't have as many opportunities for freedom of movement as do the infants of previous generations. Also, today's stay-dry disposable diapers cause a disconnected in brain processing between what is happening in the body (peeing) and the result outside the body. It is no wonder that late potty training children (3 years and older) have a hard time learning to recognize when they are peeing. Who knows how this disconnect in this basic frequent bodily function has affected the increase in sensory processing disorders.



I have said that a trillion times on this blog. As long as you do not vaccinate your children against diseases they would never get any way you will be fine. Everything else is bullshit

Congratulations JB on your beautiful child- my second babys autism also stopped my wife from having our third child she will not do it she is depressed and hurt




Aspie, you are completely wrong and wrong on so many points. Riley IS the hero in this house. He holds the most esteemed position in this house. He was injured before I realized what I was doing to him. HE SAVED HIS SISTER from being vaccine injured. Words can not express how grateful I am to this child, a child who did not choose this. A child who has so much dignity, kindness, sweetness in face of the terrible gut pain he's had to live the majority of his life in. In face of the fact that he can't tell me where it hurts. I wish that there was a space to put a picture on my comment. I would show you his school picture this year. The sad face, the tears brimming over the edge of his eyes, his eyebrows knit together in worry because he was afraid of the camera. Those are his school pics this year and it positively BROKE my heart to see that face, the one he shows me when he's hurt and broken, frozen in time. Frozen as a memory. Most parents send their childrens pictures back because their kid has a goofy look on their face, or they had their eyes closed. I won't be sending his pics back. I'm keeping them. I don't know why but I'm keeping them.
I wish there was some way I could thank him properly. The only thing I can do is show him the devotion and respect he DESERVES and I will spend the rest of my life giving him that level of commitment, if that's what it takes. If I'm unable to reverse the damage done by a callous, asshole doctor that used him as a guinea pig, giving him 11 vaccines in one day to "see what would happen". Without my INFORMED CONSENT.
I'm often told, "Wow, having a child with autism must be so hard". I say NO, HE'S my good kid! It's the two NT kids I have that drive me bonkers.
I love all of my children with every ounce of my being. Every bit of who I am is wrapped up in them. Riley is everything to me. My other two will grow and move out, get married and have children of their own. I hold the hope, courage, desire and faith everyday that Riley will join them. I love my other children, more than my own life, but Riley, Riley will ALWAYS have my soul.
Are you so wrapped up in your hate and your "ND" status that you have to go out of your way to make short sided, ignorant comments? Do your parents see you as a hero? They should. I think you are and here is why...you have the courage to go on the internet and voice your opinion about how unloved you think our children are. You're wrong but at least you had the courage and were able to VOICE your opinion.


Aspie, I disagree completely - in fact, the affected child gets so much care and attention that the sibs can feel left out, as is often the case when a child has a serious diagnosis that requires a lot of work, like Autism.



I sense that the parents here give their children with ASD the idea that their siblings are worth more than they are. This attitude is wrong.

Gina Perales Waterman

Wow! I am speechless. Amazing article and amazing faith you have. Thank you.

I am mother to a 6 yr old boy who was born at 31 wks (4 lbs), had surgery at 18 months (for a brain cyst in his left hemisphere), and then diagnosed with ASD at 2.5 yrs--all the while getting vaccinated according to schedule (inc. RSV shots because he was a preemie). Though we did not have an 'aha' moment because of K's global delays-- I know in my heart, there has to be a link.
You see, I did not find my "warrior" moms until he was enrolled at a local university speech program at age 4. Thank God for these women; they shared their stories and their bookshelves with me. Now I am in a position to share with other women just starting their families, or worse, just getting the diagnosis.
We just recently moved school districts and you bet when I enrolled him, I proudly handed over a 'vaccine exemption' form.
Our son has responded incredibly to the diet, supplementation, and of course, traditional therapies (now that his body and brain are healing). We are so grateful for AofA and all the other resources out there. It has made a huge difference for our son, K.

Cynthia Cournoyer

So many families out there with vax/unvax kids to compare within the same family, and it's the same story, the unvax kids are healthier. Same genetics. What a perfect thing to study. Too bad what is right in front of everyone's faces (unvax are healthier), is so hard to see.


GREAT article and a statement of faith. Thanks as always for your courage and outspokenness.

One precaution I never hear people mention, though, is for pregnant women to STOP PUMPING GAS! Despite all my reading and precautions, this one didn't occur to me until I was standing there doing it and read a California notice that it could be hazardous to pregnant women. I felt stupid for not realizing it sooner, but every pregnant woman I've mentioned this to has had a similar "Oh sh*t!" moment. It's a blind spot.

I also chose not to vaccinate my daughter after watching the years and $$ it's taken my sister to recover her son from autism. I've always been hyper-sensitive to medications myself, so I feel my daughter was a prime candidate for Autism. I committed to breast feeding for a minimum of 2 years instead of vaccinating, which has been easy from day 1 (latch problems have been associated with -- you guessed it -- the HepB) and now that she's two I'm finally starting to lose that fear that she's going to suddenly regress like my nephew did.

She's extremely bright, loquacious, healthy, well-adjusted and well-ahead of all milestones. She's never had an infection. I trust her immune system to be stronger than most of her peers, whose health whoas I watch with much sadness and alarm at what our society insists on doing to generation after generation of kids. Something HAS to change.


"adding proper methylation cycle support"

Can you please explain? What types of supplements do this? Is this CoQ10?

Thanks! And THANK you for this. I've been struggling with the idea of having another child. I'd love 3 (but right now just have 1 that is PDD-NOS).

Anna-Marie O'Brien

Preventing autism (and a whole laundry list of other issues) is the primary reason we haven't vaccinated...yet. When I had my first baby, almost 4 years ago, I spent my entire pregnancy researching vaccines, and I was just torn up over the issue - but I went with my gut and did not vaccinate her, the idea being that we'd delay for a couple of years. She is almost four years old. Never been on an antibiotic, never been to an urgent care, never been to the hospital. When I had my second baby, a boy, you can dang well be sure that we did not vaccinate. Both kids have never had any medical issues. No allergies. No behavioral problems. Meanwhile, all of my friends who have vaccinated tell horror stories - getting vaxed and spending a week in the hospital PICU, asthma attacks, night terrors, allergies to everything, chronic ear infections, etc. I feel very blessed. My motto has always been: "think for yourself, question authority." I may decide to selectively vax in the future - but I'm not in a hurry. Thank you for all of the great information over the years - you've been a great resource to our family, and it has paid dividends. I'm just sorry that so many families have suffered from preventable vaccine injuries.

Heidi N

Having given birth to 3 children officially diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and recovering them, I have absolutely no fear of autism now. But I am over 40, so I am definitely not having any more.

Adam M

RE:Theodore Van Oosbree

After the ravaging of my three sons (two with autisn, one with ADHD), we learned our bitter lesson and my two beautiful daughters are perfectly healthy and normal (and unvaccinated!). BTW - why do so many people deny we are anti-vaccine? We are manifestly anti-vaccine in that we won't vaccinate our own children. How do you "green" poison?

PROUDLY ANTIVACCINE! We all know what these things are made of. Once you know that you can NEVER GO BACK! But I'll admit fear is a POWERFUL force. Ignorance makes it that way.

Adam M

Great Post J.B. My wife and I found ourselves in much the same place a couple of years after Zach's diagnosis. we became aware of what actually happened to him after reading Dr. Bock's book, along with David Kirby's Evidence of Harm and Dr Jepson's Changing the Course of Autism. Up 'til then we weren't sure if we wanted to risk having anymore kids with autism. But once the light bulb went on we felt pretty confident that we could avoid that fate for the rest of our children. Our daughter Sami, who is 21 months younger than Zach, had already been vaxed through 18 months of age by the time we were enlightened about the CATASTROPHE that is vaccination. Man, the things we do in ignorance would shame the devil. Needless to say she hasn't had anymore. She seems to have survived it but I wonder if there isn't a little ADD going on with her.
But, I'm happy to share that their younger sister Alice is doing very well. She was started out in life on breast milk, NO SHOTS, of any kind, whatsoever, not even the vitamin K shot and that was after a natural labor and delivery. After we got her home. she was started on probiotics - just a little on her tongue everyday. Then @ 3 months she was started on Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter oil per Weston A. Price DDS protocol. Her first food was egg yolks soft boiled- wonderful for brain development among other things. She has never been to the hospital for an ear infection, never been on antibiotics, never been given Tylenol or any cough syrup. She made Exactly ONE trip to the ER when my wife turned around and found her with a stapler wide open and trying to figure out what the staples tasted like :). An Xray determined that she hadn't swallowed any. Thank You Lord! She has hit her milestones sooner than the first two. She just turned 2 and she's rarely had a fever, usually associated with teething. I can't remember a time she was puking sick. It's awesome to see how much better things go when we work with mother nature instead of fighting her. But it took a BIG humbling to get us to that place. We can't wait for #4, Due to arrive in late July. Congratulations JB and Lisa, children are such a blessing.


After my light bulb turned on I thought, gee, if Riley is vaccine damaged WHY IN GOD'S NAME would I do the same thing to my daughter? Everytime we vaccinated Lily, she bled from her bowels. Red blood. The kind that filled up a diaper. She started this at 13days old. When I stopped vaccinating her, she stopped filling diapers with rivers of red blood. This is not rocket science, it's common sense.
I can say that she just turned 5 yrs old on Monday and on April 13th, I took her to kindergarten registration. She scored above and beyond on all of her "testing". The nurse (who knows me and my family well; she has too because of all of Riley's deadly allergies) had my vaccine exemption forms ready for me to sign as I sat down at the registration table.
I can also say that she has been on antibiotics ONE time in her short life. For a UTI when she was first being potty trained. The elderly doctor in the ER came in after confirming a bacterial infection and said..."Yes, it's a UTI and I'm going to write you a script for an antibiotics. Which antibiotics is she allergic too?" As if every child has been on antibiotics and some how every child has an allergy to at least one. I smiled and told him..."I don't know, she's never been on an antibiotic." He cocked his head to the side and was quite shocked..."You mean she's 3 yrs old and NEVER been on an antibiotic? You, mom, are an enigma." I sort of took that as a compliment. She is healthy, happy, smart, beautiful, perfect and was only vaccinated until she was 6 months old. It's just too bad that Riley had to be her hero. That Riley was sacrificed to save her. Riley became a tiny hero at 2 yrs old. If I had known, if I had had the Lyn's, the Kim's, the Dan's, the JB's, the Ginger's, the Alison's at that time. It's all 20/20 now.

Theodore Van Oosbree

After the ravaging of my three sons (two with autisn, one with ADHD), we learned our bitter lesson and my two beautiful daughters are perfectly healthy and normal (and unvaccinated!). BTW - why do so many people deny we are anti-vaccine? We are manifestly anti-vaccine in that we won't vaccinate our own children. How do you "green" poison?

JB Handley

This post was written four years ago. My 4 year old daughter is light years ahead of her peers, beautifully and wonderfully NT, and an advocate and spokesperson for her older brother w/ASD.

Did we ever vaccinate her? I'll let you be the judge, JB


Good for you! Go with your instincts!

Allison Byrd

Thanks so much for sharing this, JB. (How old is this article?)

My kids are 18 months apart, with the older one falling apart right about the time the younger one was born. By the time we found out what was going on, the younger one had been vaccinated pretty regularly, with the exception that - by the Grace of God alone - she received absolutely no mercury.

Now 13 (with autism) and 11 (NT), I've had to do a lot of praying about vaccines, as new ones are "recommended". Quite frankly, what God put on my heart is that it is He in whom I can trust, not man, and certainly not the government! Given the fact that the CDC, etc., have never atoned for poisoning our kids, have never admitted ANY wrongdoing, I feel that I would be the worst kind of mother if I ever laid my kids on their alter again. I really don't care what their vaccines supposedly "do" for you. It is what I do not know - what none of us really know, like what we did not know in the 90s - that scares the hell out of me. What reason has anybody ever given the CDC or the government to do an about face? Why should they make sure vaccines are safe? Why should they care what they are doing to kids? No one has ever called them on it; no one had made them accountable. Until that day, and maybe long after, I can not bring myself to subject my children to their "science" again. Not one reason in this whole world exists that I, or any other parent, should trust them. I've lived, I've learned, and I'm done. If anyone is paying attention, that does not make me anti-vaccine. It makes me anti-CDC!
Trying to be the best Mother I can, Allison

Teresa Magnan

The only vaccine I will give my children is Tetanus. That is if someone can find a Tetanus only shot. Makes you wonder why no one seems to be making it anymore.

Donna Alvado

Great post! I too believe that many (if not most) cases of autism are preventable. When I think about that statement, the anger within me boils. As a society, we can prevent the suffering of thousands of children born each year if only more pediatricians would open their eyes to what is staring them directly in the face. While I'm not a doctor, and don't have the ability to influence many new parents, I do everything I can to share my biomedical knowledge with every expecting mother who will listen. If I can save just one child, all of the dirty looks and wispering I've endured will all be worth it! As a result of my persistance, my sister-in-law decided to space out my baby nephew's vaccines (just 1 at a time) and agreed to avoid the flu shot. It's a start!


I would give ANYTHING if there had been some idea of prevention when I had my daughter over 5 years ago.
But I am certainly grateful that for those who will LISTEN, there is a plan NOW to help prevent more children regressing into Autism.
Thank you JB and thank you AoA for being a large piece of my sanity in all this.

Julia C.

My first child, a son, has PDD-NOS, and I have had two more since him, and am now pregnant with another. It was during my third pregnancy that he was diagnosed, so my 2nd child had already received many vaccines. Fortunately, she seems ok, though through homeschooling, I have noticed some ADD-like tendencies she exhibits that seem to be entirely absent in her younger, unvaccinated sister. My third child seems the healthiest so far, though since I stopped vaccinating, all three have been curiously healthy, including my son on the spectrum. This baby will also be unvaccinated. Like you, JB, I would like to be able to cautiously vaccinate at some point, but absolutely not until the necessary research has been done. My family has a history of possible vaccine reactions and so does my husbands. I feel like we are a lightning rod for vaccine injury, and I refuse to play that game. Not with my children's lives. I also got my mercury fillings removed about 6 months before getting pregnant.

david burd

JB, The approach you and the mother of your girl (it would be great to hear both names?) is appropriately detailed and rational, and of course you must keep everybody posted as the months go by. Three cheers for you guys!.

No metaphor is ever perfect, but I liken the Immunization Schedule (upped for the last 23 years to now 38+ doses over the first 18 months of life) to the practice of putting ever-new and ever-alleged (but little tested) better oils in automobiles, yet new models of cars keep running worse and worse, many breaking down with even engines seizing up.

Yet engineers who design the newer cars remain perplexed because they never EVEN THINK to revert back to the good old basic, simple Pennzoil Brand oil of yesteryear. Just like today's medical establishment that can not EVEN THINK to do a legitimate emergency study of unvaccinated babies versus vaccinated babies.

Thanks for sharing your family with us, and I don't think I am alone in wanting to hear your family news.

Apologies for including The Schedule, but it is clear to me it is the major culprit - hidden in plain sight:


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