By Cathy Jameson
Reading several parent testimonies that were shared with me and also submitted to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee for the record in response to the Congressional Hearings on Autism brought me to a place I try not to visit. It’s a place where Every now and then I find myself sobbing uncontrollably slumped in a corner in my kitchen on the cold tile floor. I sit there unable to move. Holding my chest as overwhelming emotions wash over me, I try to make sense of what has happened and what didn’t have to happen. I shake my head back and forth without even realizing that I am shaking while screaming in my head (and sometimes out loud). Last week the pain and sadness had me in that place again crying, "Why? Why Ronan? Why all of these children? For the love of God, WHY?!”
Those stories i cried through are testimonies that are now part of a permanent record of the investigation regarding the rise in the US autism rates. Each documents and provides intimate details about normal births, perfect APGAR scores, beautiful babies handed to doting parents and what followed when parents submitted to what their doctors deemed, and our government approved, as best.
Every single testimony.
Each one I read was full of facts about perfects babies, facts pertaining to vaccine injury, facts about how typical childhoods disappeared, facts about future fears stemming from false information delivered as truth. All of these testimonies were full of undeniable, hard-core facts.
Line by line the stories were full of horror and read like a science fiction novel turned medical investigation mystery. Characters are innocent children experiencing full-body eczema, multiple food allergies, cyclical vomiting and chronic diarrhea. Their communication turned to screaming bouts having replaced baby babbling or first words while seeking relief from pressure and pain by head banging the floor or the walls.
Lists of the new “normal” fill the pages:
Severe gut problems.
Immune system failure.
Special education placement.
Every single one of the testimonies revealed more evidence to support what any interest or research group would need to say that enough is enough to today's vaccine schedule. Every single parent stated the obvious—that their child was normal. That vaccines were introduced. And that life is anything but normal now. Loss of time, money and faith in the system that encouraged an inadequately researched but heavily promoted vaccine program remained throughout the testimonies. While every single story is different, every single story had the same theme: our children are sick, it didn’t have to be like this and vaccines contributed in some way.
For some fortunate few whose children have responded, either to diet, intensive one-on-one therapy or several years’ worth of treatment, parents shared their child’s current successes. Only through the parents’ persistence were they able to reverse much of the vaccine damage. These stories included children being mainstreamed in regular classrooms with no educational supports, that children are indistinguishable from their peers and that they regained speech and can talk, play and make typical-kid choices.
For the not so fortunate, testimonies included worries about the future, about navigating the road ahead that will include medical ignorance and medical nightmares, that a growing financial burden looms, that the lack of school support and understanding is a constant concern and that the unfortunate lack of insurance coverage causes great distress.
Interestingly, throughout those stories was another message:
Now that we know that you know about vaccines and autism, please don't screw up this chance to finally do something to prevent autism from affecting any more children.
A Parent Who is Encouraged but Watching Your Every Move
Last week we witnessed history when autism was reintroduced in that Congressional Hearing. The conversations about what was asked, and then offered as the truth, is far from being over. Congress has a huge task to finish as they continue these conversations because autism, the autism our children have been labeled with, isn’t an accurate description or diagnosis and goes well beyond the 299.0 IDC-9 code.
It isn’t autism. It's medical.
It isn’t an epidemic. It’s an injustice.
It isn't going away. If things don’t change, it's soon to be everywhere.
And, it isn't going to just affect children and their families any more. It will one day cripple our nation as we begin to lose a future workforce, thousands of potential tax payers and eventually entire communities. Ignoring the autism epidemic for as long as it has been ignored is one of the most tragic responses to parents and their children and shows a complete disregard to human life. But, it isn’t too late to support Congress’ efforts.
While sorting through those stories, our stories, my hope is that we have given the committee more than enough motivation to take many more forward steps to not only recognize the autism epidemic but also to prevent it. What lies in their hands are what I hope are thousands of accounts of indisputable proof that vaccines have caused more harm than good. Yes, it's a crying shame that it took this long for asking for and of acceptance of those facts, but I do believe we helped solidify the need for much more action and quickly.
Our children are getting older. Some will get sicker and others will begin to age out. We’ve worked for how long already? Five years, ten…and for our veteran parents, 20 years and more? While I do certainly hope there can be an end in sight, I feel like the results of last Thursday is another beginning for us—but a beginning where we finally can offer a solution.
Most beginnings have an end.
I hope and pray that the influence our testimonies brought can bring an end to
the unfortunate results of the autism epidemic.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.