My daughter's one-on-one aide spent last weekend in jail.
You see, in addition to being one of the best things in my daughter's life, her aide is a passionate advocate for animal rights. She protests at the circus, rescues turkeys (I'm not kidding) and other animals, and was even one of the leaders in a recent successful California ballot initiative on behalf of more humane conditions for farm animals. Apparently, one of these protests got a little out of hand and that's how she ended up in a jail cell.
It got me thinking that if we ever want to change the discussion about vaccines and autism, that we need to get loud. The current medical system is destroying a generation of children. A recent report found that 54% of children suffer from a chronic health problem, and that 1 in 6 has a developmental disorder.
And we worry about sounding crazy.
We're supposed to genuflect at the altar of vaccines, then speak in a reasonable tone of voice, and ask for them to please look into the safety of their products. But they never do.
They'll never provide us with the answer to what happened to our children. We will have to take it from them. We need to get militant, and I mean in a way that scares those in power. You know what I'm talking about. We saw these kinds of people when the AIDS epidemic was taking so many lives. We saw these kind of people when segregation was the law of the land. I see one of these people on a regular basis because she works with my daughter.
And I wonder when the autism parents will be willing to do as much as my daughter's aide is willing to do for the animals she loves. I know this kind of activism and confrontation doesn't come easy to us.
But I'm starting to believe that what's more important is not the kind of people we are, but the kind of people we need to become to stop this epidemic. We need to have the kind of strength to pull down those in positions of power and toss them into the street.
Let's tell the truth about vaccines. They have been a large uncontrolled experiment on the population and we are seeing the results.
All of us need to be willing to spend a night in jail to help our kids. Only then will we start to get real change.
Kent Heckenlively is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism