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Have Babies. Then Vax Injury. Then Autism. A Life Rearranged Out of Necessity and Love.

Fierce loveNote: I'd like to thank Shelena for sharing this honest, raw post about her life. It's not easy to write about yourself, your family with such emotion. It takes guts. Please join me in welcoming her to Age of Autism. Share your story in our comments. This is a safe place to talk about the unvarnished and yes, often tarnished, lives we lead. Lives rearranged by autism. We do it out of duty and love.

By Shelena Jensen

Have babies. A simple, but strong, carnal female instinct that I had for as far back as I can remember. I never dreamed of a career. As other girls fantasized about being a teacher, doctor or veterinarian, I could never get excited about anything regarding adulthood, other than getting married, having babies, and being the best mother I could be.

My childhood pretty much sucked. You could say I fit the typical statistic of a child of divorce, abuse, poverty, and everything else that comes with that bullshit. My entire reason for not putting a bullet in my head as a teenager was meeting the love of my life and the strong will to have children and give them the kind of life I should have had. The kind of life, every child should have. I wanted to be the perfect mother. A stay at home mom who dedicates her life to her children.

I was going to be the mom who would wake up every day, ready to enrich my little baby's life with knowledge, creativity, optimism, and love. My child's home would always be clean, welcoming, safe, and nurturing. And most importantly, a home where the truth and  love of Jesus would be shared.

I would be the mom that volunteers regularly in the classroom, goes on every field trip, never forgets a picture day, always sends her child to school, clean, well fed, happy, and ready to learn. The mom who would teach her child to be kind, intelligent and always remember to treat others as they would want to be treated.

I'd say I did a pretty good job at living up to this dream when my first son was born. A perfect 7 pound, 10 ounce baby boy with a head full of black hair, and a cry that could clear a room. Although I did develop a pretty bad case of postpartum depression, I was able to overcome it through prayer and guidance from God. Also, I’m sure the Zoloft didn’t hurt.



As my baby got older, and especially as he started to sleep through the night, I didn't take one minute of being blessed with a perfect baby boy for granted. I rarely felt the slightest bit overwhelmed. I woke up every day enjoying life. Of course there were days that could have been better, but I was just so happy. I loved this little baby with everything I had. I had pushed my depression and anxiety far back into a place in my mind, far enough that I thought it would stay there for good.

I put off having another baby for fear of going through the dreaded sleep deprivation and postpartum depression again. Three and a half years later, my second son was born. During my pregnancy, I wondered if I'd be able to love another child as much as I loved my first born. But when he entered this world, a plump 8 pound, 4 ounce baby, also with a head full of black hair, and I held him in my arms, it was the exact same love that had consumed every ounce of my being once before.

I had the perfect family. My high school sweetheart and two adorable little boys.
Our new baby was such a sweet, easy going baby. He slept through the night at 3 weeks old! He loved when big brother played with him, and they formed a close bond from day one. He was hitting all of his milestones right on time. He was a very happy, social baby who smiled and laughed often.

Within the first few months of his life, he suffered from chronic ear infections which were treated by one round of antibiotics after another. By the age of 6 months, he had been on antibiotics almost every month due to his ear infections. During his 6 month checkup, I asked the nurse if it was ok for him to continue to be vaccinated even though he had been so sick and on so many antibiotics. She assured me that it was fine as long as he wasn't currently running a fever. So I blindly trusted her.

My baby boy received 6 shots that day. He developed a high fever, he had a red and swollen lump on his thigh were they jabbed him. He screamed all night, his cheeks were beet red, and he was very irritable for days. I called the doctor during this and they assured me these were all normal reactions to his vaccines.

So I continued to vaccinate him, even while he continued to be overdosed with antibiotics and still suffering from chronic ear infections. With each vaccination, his mental and physical health slowly deteriorated. I was too naive and uneducated to recognize it.

At 12 months he received his MMRV. That's measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox all in one. Four live virus were injected into the bloodstream of an already immunocompromised child. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

He lost all eye contact, stopped responding to his name, started spinning in circles, flapping his hands, lining up objects obsessively, refused to eat foods he had always eaten before, his bowels were a wreck, he was surviving on PediaSure for "nutrition", he screamed and tantrumed most of the day, and he was a very sick, hurting, and miserable child.

In my heart, I suspected autism, although I knew almost nothing about it. My spouse and I fought over getting him evaluated. He was in denial. I finally made the call to have First Steps come to our home to evaluate him. They determined he needed speech, occupational, and developmental therapy. They sent a psychologist to our home, who after observing him for 60 minutes determined he had autism spectrum disorder. My worst fear had been confirmed.

This was the beginning of our new life. A life we never could have anticipated if we tried. I began researching like a mad woman in a desperate attempt to educate myself and find options to help our baby boy. I found an organization called TACA (talk about curing autism) which opened my eyes to the vaccine-antibiotic-autism connection, and how to detox through diet, supplements, chelation, and other natural ways to heal the gut and undo the damage done to a very poisoned body.

I started to share everything I had learned eagerly with my husband. He was very much a skeptic and said there is no way we could afford it. He also questioned what his son would be able to eat, and that he may starve. He was scared. I was scared. We fought about this issue nonstop until he finally gave in, reluctantly.  

At the age of four, much later than I wanted, we started the DAN (defeat autism now) protocol. We removed gluten, casein, soy, dyes, and artificial flavors. We added many nutritional supplements daily as prescribed by his autism specialist. Our son went from a nonverbal, self-abusive, diaper wearing, miserable boy, to being fully potty trained, began to be able to communicate his wants and needs with simple one or two word sentences, his self-injurious behaviors almost disappeared, and he was happy again! My husband feels a tremendous about of guilt for not listening to me and agreeing to start when I wanted to.

His progress has been slow, but steady. He is now 10, and can communicate anything in full sentences, he can read and write, is a math expert, meltdowns are few and far between, and he is a happy child!

We still have a long way to go, and we still have days where we feel like giving up. Living with autism on a daily basis can be unpredictable, stressful, challenging, EXPENSIVE, and exhausting.

No matter how much progress is made, and how thankful we are for any of it, it is always a struggle. Every day is about survival. Trying not to go crazy thinking about the future, what will happen when we are both gone, trying not to worry about IEPs and case conferences, trying not to worry about being able to afford his food and supplements, trying to balance time dealing with autism, trying to be a good wife, and making sure my sweet, amazing oldest son isn't getting left out because of the constant needs of his brother.

Raising a child with autism has aged me beyond my chronological age. I feel my mind and body struggling to function some days. It has changed what I can tolerate and enjoy. It has exhausted my patience and has affected my ability to be around large groups of people or children. It is hard work, every day and I'm pretty much tapped out in every way.

But what raising a child with autism has also taught me, is how to be a better person. I'm a better, stronger mother. I don't take anything for granted. I stop and thank God for the simplest things each day. My son has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love and brought out the warrior mother in me. He amazes me every day. His smile, his hugs, his kisses, they are all pure and genuine. He doesn't have the ability to be fake, to lie, to intentionally be rude or mean. His soul is pure innocence, and angelic.

I struggle with the guilt of the "what if I would have known then what I know now?", every day of my life. His autism was preventable and it haunts my soul. This is when my anxiety, depression, and childhood memories make their way back up to the surface, and I question if I'm strong enough to be the person I have to be in this life. But I will never stop fighting for him. His brother will never leave his side. His father will do everything in his power to make his future successful. This family is strong. The love we have for each other is unbreakable.

Although this is not the life I dreamed of as a little girl, I am no less proud or thankful for the family I have been blessed with. After all, God did answer my prayers for the family I had been longing for. As my children become adults, and look back on their childhood, they will never describe it as one that “pretty much sucked.” This is my passion. This is my career. This is my life.

Shelena is the mother of two amazing boys. Her youngest son has autism. She met the love of her life and soul mate at the age of 15, and they have been together since that day. She dedicates her life to simply loving and caring for her family, and improving the quality of life of her youngest son.

Comments

Grace Green

I am also a person who, like Cia and Ann, was brain damaged by vaccines as a child but who was not badly enough injured to realise that I was anything more than 'eccentric', until I was in my fifties and started reading stuff about Asperger's. Then I visited this blog, and watched many videos on YouTube of severely autistic people and recognised very quickly that ASD is brain damage, and that some people have it a lot worse than I do. However, the more I study it and also look back over my life, the more I see that I have been hugely affected in career (non existent!), relationships and daily life skills. My IQ is a lot lower than it should have been.
When I was young there were only a few vaccines available, so I also experienced a string of childhood diseases: mumps, rubella, measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever. None of these bothered me very much, a few days in bed mostly sleeping, then up and convalescing before getting back to normal. I would rather have had another six such illnesses than the Asperger's I've struggled with all my life. I have also watched my sons suffer debilitating autoimmune conditions and the loneliness of being Aspic, and desperately wish I had not allowed my husband to persuade me to get them vaccinated. I find it incomprehensible that anyone could read or watch accounts of vaccine damage and autism and opine that it's preferable to any other condition. I can only think they must be working for Pharma.

cia parker

And Ann,
What vaccine-preventable (or other) disease do you think would kill children in developed countries by the boatload if there were no vaccines? There is none. Please mention any which you might think would, and we can discuss why you are mistaken. Vaccines are much worse than the vaccine-preventable diseases, EVEN if no one gave any vaccines. There are many alternative and safer ways to prevent and treat the truly dangerous ones, and the childhood diseases are beneficial and necessary to go through the old-fashioned way.

cia parker

Ann,
Autistics have been brain-damaged, that's what autism is. I have Asperger's, and I really don't care, I'm used to it, but sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to be able to interact with people easily and naturally. Asperger's is different from autism, and autism is a disability, no question about it. My daughter is low-verbal, can't converse or understand most of what goes on around her. She wasn't able to mature naturally with the help of intact language structures in her brain which would have naturally kicked in to help her understand what was being said around her and produce her own contributions to it. She didn't have the language structures which would have helped her build conceptual structures in her mind to reason and gradually understand the world, its history and structure, and come to ever more profound understanding of it. Without the intact language structures, she hasn't been able to understand the experience of people around her or share information, experiences, and opinions with them, and even form friendships with them. All this because the vaccine encephalitis severely damaqed the language and social center of her brain, leaving her a frustrated, lonely, and uncomprehending bystander and observer at the table of life where everyone else is talking and laughing together. And no one cares.

Fine. You don't consider yourself damaged, and apparently think that more severely affected autists are just like you, just as capable of writing and participating in life as you. And that's very autistic, to have difficulty understanding the point of view and feelings of others. But I think such understanding would show ethical and moral superiority and is certainly a goal which you might consider working towards.

Barry

I don't doubt that vaccines can and do injure children. I don't doubt that life with an autistic and/or severely ill child is not-easy at times. Life isn't always easy for me, and often hasn't been.
BUT....We autistics are. not. broken. Whether children or adults (yes, we grow up to BE autistic...), we're still human beings with feelings, needs, and dignity. We are not a "fire to be put out", something "broken to be fixed", and last of all, you don't have to be more afraid of autism than horrible deadly contagious diseases that are preventable yet can cripple and kill children by the boatload.

*************

There are no "vaccine-preventable" diseases, that could have crippled my son more than the vaccines that supposedly prevent them.

Our efforts to undo our sons vaccine injury, have NOTHING to do with changing who he is. They have EVERYTHING to do with allowing him to be who he really is. And NOT what vaccine injury has reduced him to.

Angus Files

Dear Ann Price I wouldn't wish autism on my worst enemy not even Pan You loose the mix between Autism and the person as theY "grow into autism" that is not what happened to a lot of the posters all loving parents on here it ,happened after vaccination ,temp of 103,head the size of a balloon, high pitched screaming, head to toe in a red rash,and a vile green puss coming out of his ears complimented with the same coming out in has bed clothes via his bum( he had been potty trained at 1 year old)regressing into poo smearing etc in later months and years .Sorry I digress but I could go on and on ,and on,and on..what we have now does not even come close to what we had aged 17 months..if you are real Autistic I am very pleased and delighted for you I have met people like you and it gives you a place and secureness in life ,,bucko for you but... don't ever try and tell us our kids are better for vaccinating its our biggest regret and we did did it to our child we brought them down to the docs to get the shots..its a real psych fuck no pleasure in admitting that to anyone..I don't know one person ,not one,who has had any life long condition through catching any deadly (supposedly) virus, disease, that the shots cover NOT ONE.

MMR RIP

Trina

Like many typed this sounds like how I travled with my now 10 year old son with autism..I have twins and after the MMR vaccine (1st one) my son stopped babbling - looking at us and touching his brother. He is making slow progress and now in Ca the vaccine bill was signed. Dealing with that. My boys did not get the second round of shots nor will they get anymore. It may be homeschooling time fro me - honestly that will age me more then all the therapies taht my son goes to so I am worried about that-beyond worried.

greyone

Ms Price, I am sorry for your hardships, truly, but
I think you do a disservice to the parents who have posted here as it is clear their love, respect and devotion for their children is fierce and unbending.
When I was young we got 3 vaccines.
Although we did get measles mumps and chickenpox we did not have the neurological and immune damage we see today. No one I knew had autism or seizure disorders.
Our vaccination system has been completely corrupted in the US.
We owe it as a country to those who have suffered numerous and profound injuries and even deaths from vaccinations to devote our science to rooting out the problems instead of hiding them in a closet. That will never happen if vaccine damage becomes a mandate as it has in California.

Ann Price

I don't doubt that vaccines can and do injure children. I don't doubt that life with an autistic and/or severely ill child is not-easy at times. Life isn't always easy for me, and often hasn't been.
BUT....We autistics are. not. broken. Whether children or adults (yes, we grow up to BE autistic...), we're still human beings with feelings, needs, and dignity. We are not a "fire to be put out", something "broken to be fixed", and last of all, you don't have to be more afraid of autism than horrible deadly contagious diseases that are preventable yet can cripple and kill children by the boatload.

Tribulusterrestris

Search youtube for videos on "cannabis oil autism" for a natural, non-toxic medicine to calm down agitated children with autism. Many people are having good success with this treatment. Hopefully you live where you can legally access it. It is non-toxic and a good fit with the body. No, not smoked! If seizures are in your child's life, a high CBD (cannabadiol) oil is down-right miraculous. Try out the videos on "cannabis oil seizures."
Shelena, your account is very touching and I wish you the very best. Hang in there, my friend!
--brad

Barry

diet intervention etc calmed him down a good bit but still trying to put the Autism Fire Out..thank you.

***********

Brilliantly stated.

Our story is also eerily familiar to this one Selena provided above. And although we've also made progress in the last 8 or so years, our son's vaccine-injury fire is still far from out.

But it will be.

Lindy

Well written, Shelena. My son went through almost identical ... Crap , in 1992. He was born in March 1991, when the incidence of autism was estimated at 1 in 10,000. my son lost what speech he had left (after falling into 'autism' at 18 months of age within a week of his cocktail of vaccinations...) At age 3 when he got a tetanus shot, again within a few days of the shot. There was no one who believed like I did, that 'something' caused my boy to slip away and there must be something that can reverse it. Until I heard of Andrew Wakefields work and discovered a doctor in my state of Florida who believed in Dr. Wakefields work. I met Dr. Bradstreet when my son was 7, and what a relief to find someone who believed as I did. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel , and so began our journey down the biomed path. Dr. B understood my struggles as a single parent and never charged me a dime. My son has always been a classic non-responder, and I knew that Dr. B spent many sleepless nights searching for the answers. My heart aches in the wake of his demise. My son is 24 and has made great strides through biomed treatments, his eye contact is phenomenal, he smiles again, and his personality shines through where there was merely an empty shell of a boy..but he is still very much autistic, with no speech, no academic skills, little personal care (go figure, he can tie his shoes, but can't brush his hair or teeth)... or social skills, and no sense of danger. His OCD is off the charts and has tic disorder as well. Throw in the fun of him stashing anything and everything behind the stove, TV, chairs, Bookshelves, computer, under beds,wherever...even on the rooftops In the neighborhoods...It is tough raising a child with autism, but raising a child with autism as a single parent is, again a whole diffrerent world. If you have a supportive spouse, let them know how much they are appreciated, it is very daunting doing it alone, you go through lots of burnout, which is a waste of very precious time.😕 I am approaching 60 with health problems of my own with debilitating arthritis and back injury and I fortunately installed double keyed deadbolts which keeps him contained since I can't run after him like I used to. 😉 he still spins wildly in the living room , in parking lots, wherever...and then walks a straight line. Never hits anything except my face as I attempted to walk by. He stopped at looked at me with concern. Yes, they have a very sweet spirit. I tell my boy I will NEVER give up. And he responds with his beautiful smile. THATS what keeps me going. May God bless all of our kids and families.

Nan

Thanks for writing down what so many of us have gone through. My son had the MMR at 12 months and then had 3 months of an ear ache that wouldn't go away with antibiotics. So many of us tell the same story, maybe someday more will listen. Blessings to you and yours.

Christina

Change some of the details and our story is the same.

Angus Files

Well done Shelena its not easy writing it down I don't know why?...The only time my wife and I wrote it down was for the MMR Litigation in the UK 1994...and it took ages to write he was aged 4 then and more than a handful spinning, until he fell down, eating non-edible foods, flooding the house, set fire to the house twice etc etc and even now we forget most of it, thank goodness..diet intervention etc calmed him down a good bit but still trying to put the Autism Fire Out..thank you.

MMR RIP

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Shelena, for conveying a portion of an indomitable spirit, which I think you probably have in perfect totality, through to us with your story.

Sheila Wolfe

I am proud to be a friend and involved with this family. They are amazing and a constant inspiration!

Twyla

Beautifully written. I'm in tears.

Pam

Shelena, Thank you for sharing your experiences. I can relate to so much of this. I am one of those folks who search for a meaning to the madness, wondering what good could come out of the terrible circumstances we face today. You hit on the only answer I can come up with when you mentioned the genuine and pure spirit of your son. I see this in my autistic son as well, but from working with folks with disabilities for many, many years, I can say that this has been my experience with all the folks with developmental disabilities I have known. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to know people who are so kind, and genuine. It gives me faith in people, reminding me that at heart, people are good and loving. My hope for the future is that we learn not only how fragile we are, but recognize that the fate of us all is inextricably tied.

There are so many of us now. Everywhere I go, I see people affected by mental illness, disease and disability. Families struggling to help our loved ones who are suffering from disease and disability as a result of the myriad ways we poison ourselves today. What I hope, is that we learn from the amazing strength and purity of spirit that our injured loved ones demonstrate every day. That instead of judging each other's experiences and responses to these man-made crises, we recognize that we are all in the same boat, and choose instead to support one another as we each struggle to cope and make things better, in our own way. Wether it's fighting for labeling of GMO's, reducing toxic air pollution or chemicals in the products we use, or for the right to refuse dangerous vaccines, we are all on the same side. I hope that we can learn to recognize the significance of all these issues, and understand that doing so does not take away from the importance of our own fight.

My gratitude to Shelena, and the countless families who work to fix what's broken, and protect the ones we love.

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