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Kent Heckenlively: An Autism Father's Day Here I Stand

Super dadBy Kent Heckenlively Health Choice Square

As a father, I live a divided life. My daughter Jacqueline has severe autism, seizures, and at the age of sixteen years old still cannot speak. When she walks she sways like a drunken sailor, always looking like she’s about to capsize – but more often than not making it to her destination.

By contrast, my thirteen-year-old son Ben is neurotypical. He does not have seizures or autism, and is athletically gifted. He is usually the fastest kid in his group, and as his soccer coach recently told me, “Ben has this almost sixth sense for being in the right place at the right time to get the ball.” 

My son is also highly verbal and has a wicked sense of humor. Because I’m a science teacher and a member of the executive board of my union, I’m often interacting with a few of his teachers and they tell me many of the funny things he says in class. I cringe sometimes because I recognize my barbed, sarcastic humor and know that in many instances it is appreciated and amusing to people, but fear in others it will get him into trouble. “Watch your tongue,” I’ll tell him, worried that he might be viewed as defiant, and yet secretly proud that he is nobody’s fool.

As a science teacher I’m aware that my parental life presents me with a classic science experiment. I have one child with no trace of autism or other neurological problems, and another who is severely affected. Granted, the sample size is small, but it might yet present some intriguing data for further consideration.

My daughter was born without complications and developed normally for the first six months of her life. Around Thanksgiving she went off breast milk, graduating to a bottle with a formula using regular cow’s milk. Her six-month checkup in early December was normal, but around Christmas we saw the first little head-bobs of what we would later realize were seizures. At ten months she was diagnosed with infantile spasms and we entered a new world of doctor’s visits and medication; her diagnosis of autism was at age three. Along the way she had several rounds of antibiotics for ear infections, and we discovered she had a milk allergy, eventually putting her on a hypoallergenic milk formula.

Along came my son and when he made the switch from breast milk to a bottle, he also received a hypoallergenic milk formula. My wife’s family has a history of milk allergies, so this was a natural thing to do. But a hypoallergenic milk formula is expensive, and so at around fifteen months we decided to switch him to regular milk formula.

I took my son to his eighteen-month well-baby visit and the pediatrician ran him through an entire developmental check-up, because I thought she might have missed something with my daughter at six months. Ben passed with flying colors, responding appropriately to stimuli, and had about 15 to 20 words. With that part of the appointment over, Ben got his shots and we left the office. Within three days he went mute.

By the grace of God, that Sunday night I was at a book store and came across the book Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder by Karyn Seroussi, which first introduced me in a serious, compelling manner to the concept of vaccine injury and the gluten-free/casein-free diet.

Both my son and daughter went on the GF/CF diet the very next day. After twelve days my son spoke again. I will never forget the moment. We were outside Nordstrom department store in Walnut Creek, CA, right near a statue of a lion’s head with a small stream of water coming from the lion’s mouth into a pool. My eighteen-month-old son was mesmerized by this small stream of water, gazing intently at it, and finally from his lips burst the word “Bubbles!” It was as if something in his brain had realigned, and he kept saying “Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!”

Read Kent's full post at the HealthChoice.org site.

Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.

Comments

Lisa Bloomquist

What kinds of antibiotics was your daughter given? If she was given fluoroquinolone antibiotics, they have been shown to cause mitochondrial damage (http://www.bu.edu/abl/files/stm_kalghatgi.pdf) and induce oxidative stress (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249743/?report=printable). The "vicious cycle" of mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress can be extremely damaging and it is often ongoing until the natural positive feedback mechanisms that have been build up in us through billions of years of evolution overcome the negative feedback loops induced by a pharmaceutical toxin.

Fluoroquinolones are appropriate for use as chemo drugs, not as antibiotics - http://www.hormonesmatter.com/cipro-levaquin-avelox-fluoroquinolones-chemo-drugs/

Fluoroquinolones also decimate the microbiome - of course - they're incredibly powerful antibiotics.

They have also been shown to initiate adverse gene expression - http://www.medicinabiomolecular.com.br/biblioteca/pdfs/Nutrigenomica/nutrig-0043.pdf

It sounds like your daughter's symptoms preceded her round of antibiotics. But if she took a fluoroquinolone, it may have exacerbated her problems.

Maurine Meleck

Karen's book was the first one I read also. Following my first grandson's autism diagnosis, I called a halt to my second grandson's vaccines when he was 5 months old. Even with the early vaccines, he was diagnosed by Amy Holmes with autism-PDD/NOS. With ABA at 15 months, special diet and supplements he recovered within 2 years. Not so his brother who had vaccines to nearly age 2. I surely don't need a rocket scientist to explain what happened. Thank you for this extraordinary post.
Maurine

Kapoore

What a sad story about your adult daughter. We can protect our children only up to a point and then they have to learn the hard way. I don't know what it is going to take to wake up the public to the predatory nature of the medical industrial complex, but none of our children is safe until the predators are exposed and jailed. I hope that day comes soon. Happy Father's Day.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Kent, for standing up for our vaccine injured. Happy Father's Day to all AoA dads!

Taximom5

Wonderful post, Kent, and very illuminating.

In addition to vaccines, there are other medically-approved parenting practices that we MUST question, and look for a connection with vaccine reactions and autism.

"My daughter was born without complications and developed normally for the first six months of her life. Around Thanksgiving she went off breast milk, graduating to a bottle with a formula using regular cow’s milk."

So the formula industry--which has some ties with the pharmaceutical industry, yes?--convinced the medical community and parents that breastfed babies should "graduate" to formula in a bottle at 6 months of age. Never mind that the World Health Organization recommends 2 years of breastfeeding before weaning. The US pediatricians, and, just as importantly, the media set formula as the norm.

There are plenty of studies showing that formula-fed babies have a much, much higher risk of developing autism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1578554/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24506526
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22541054
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24099931
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23745030

So, if the medical community and the vaccine industry are so desperate to point us to every possible link between autism and anything-but-vaccines why aren't they publicizing the link between formula-feeding and autism? The link is plain to see, but you have to hunt for the studies; there are no news articles, no reports in the media, no conversation about it anywhere.

Why not?

Well, actually, the answer is pretty obvious. Formula feeding alone doesn't cause autism. Vaccines alone don't seem to cause autism for *most* children.

But combine the thimerosal/aluminum laden schedule of the last 20 years with formula feeding and THERE YOU HAVE THE MAJORITY OF THE AUTISTIC CHILDREN.

And that involves two very lucrative, very powerful industries who don't want you to see the connection.

Add the fact that today's formula are based on milk from cows given RoundUp-laden feed, antibiotics, and Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, and that gives a third industry, Monsanto, a strong reason to hide the link as well. The involvement of gluten may also be a result of GMO's and RoundUp, as that might be why so many more people have celiac disease.

So, it's actually worse than just being "vaccines cause autism." It's "vaccines in the presence of infant formula plus GMOs/RoundUp cause autism."

And each one of those powerful industries will bend over backwards to protect the others, since they are all partners in crime.

Twyla

As we say on FB: Like!

Thank you for always speaking out eloquently. So glad that your son is doing so well. Wishing you and your family all the best.

Benedetta

Kent;

I had Bernard Rimland that I should have listened to him about the gluten-- but medical community was so closed to anything - I did not know who to trust --

Sometimes -- esp, in the beginning, it is hard to figure out who is the seer or a false prophet.

Rimland did put a thought in my head though, and made me or open to Dr. Atkins and Paleo diets- and then came the rediscovery of the ketogenic diet. .

Still I kept thinking we were rare - and so did my daughter. I was so focused on my son I did not really hammer home to my daughter that she too was at risk. Besides never has there ever been a more stubborn -----------

So, since she wanted to be a nurse and help kids like her brother, She would not/could not stay away from the vaccines even in her late 20s.

It was bad enough that she had a series of three Hep Bs that caused unspecified inflammation. She continued with a flu shot - which a horrible year followed and in which we came to think she had bipolar.

But she did not stop!


In 2012 she received a DTaP - which finally to her credit she did request just a tetanus shot -- the request was ignored without her knowledge -- how about that?

So as a former science teacher, former microbiologist of the forest service, a former environmental researcher for a chemical company - it has been interesting and terrifying to watch how it went down in 2013.

After coughing her head off for a month --but she would not believe me it was the DTaP shot - it was her hay fever time.

It took a whole 8 weeks before she developed worse --- much worse stomach problems. She use to just have acid reflux --and throw up all the time, but this time she then began to bloat.

She came in one day from work asking me what she could do about her belly. I don't care how stubborn someone is -- they do not deserve that much pain and suffering. . All I could tell her was to fast and then eat low carb.

She blamed my vitamins for causing her to be almost late for work every morning because of diarrhea, this went on for three long months. .

I have been around the medical ERs, hospitals a lot - since everyone in my family seems to require their services. I never seen so many donuts in boxes come rolling in -- or pizza --or Chinese with all the MSGs. These people that work in the health profession places eat all the time and they all leave fast food. It took a I worried about my daughter working in a hospital setting for that very reason. .

I told her this and asked her if the mental hospital for these mentally sick young kids even came close to serving healthy food. She joked with me by telling me that her hospital that she worked for was for profit and it was not in their interest to serve a low carb, gluten, casein free or sugar free diet. But I could tell she worried.

We have got to get the medical people to pay attention; I hate them for being so stubborn.

Along with all of this my daughter developed - depression -- even though she was on Lamictal -- which is very good at making you feel good, plus a low dose of prozac. They upped her prozac again.

I wept that day when she told me what she and her health provider planned on doing. WE HAD BEEN THROUGH THIS ALREADY A couple of year before.

By summer she was putting cinnamon in the washing machine and feeling really good. Too good.

I called her caregiver and she did nothing.
But never fear soon her work place had to call her caregiver and the prozac was stopped. Did you know that prozac acts like heroine or morphine when a person is trying to get off of!

This is a grown woman I am talking about -- but she too needs protection from the medical profession.

I am too ashamed of how I handled this whole affair considering all that I knew.

But it does not end with the medical profession huriting our small childern -- they plan on assaulting them again and again and again through out their whole entire life unless the can be stopped.

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