Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND and
November 13, 2007
“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident.” --Arthur Schopenhauer
We are in the midst of a catastrophe. As of February 2007, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has admitted that there are at least 1.5 million children with autism in the U.S. affecting one in every 150 children and one out of 90 boys. Even these figures are probably too low and may not take into account the other categories being created to describe our increasingly challenged children. Pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger’s disorder are two other autism spectrum disorders that describe children with variants of autism. The incidence of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one in ten children. As the saying goes, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is seriously wrong.
Government health experts claims autism is an incurable disease offering anticonvulsant and psychotropic drugs to control behavior and a behavior modification therapy called “applied behavior analysis (ABA).” They dismiss all other means of helping these children as “unproven.” Meanwhile thousands of children are back to full functionality by treating the damage caused by mercury toxicity using natural health therapies.
Our government’s slow and even deceptive response to this catastrophe is a major part of the problem parents of autistic children face. The CDC does not publicize the fact that in the 1970s only one in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism, however, in the 1980s, this figure rose to one in every 2,500. Nor does it mention that the massive escalation of cases started in the 1990s coincided with the addition of several new vaccines to the compulsory childhood vaccination lists. Currently, every American child is expected to have 36 shots by the time they are six years old.
The sudden 11-fold increase in neurobehavioral disorders of all kinds pointed to vaccines and most importantly, the mercury component (thimerosal) as the main culprit. The drug industry lobbied for laws that now protect them from liability should these government-mandated vaccines damage or kill any of the children required to take them. To aid victims of vaccination a special government-run fund was set up in but a Vaccine Court decided to disallow autism claims as there was no “scientific proof” that vaccines caused autism.
With increasing demands of parents of autistic children, in the summer of 2007, the court was forced to conduct special hearings to determine, not by science, but by reasonable legal probability whether or not there is a plausible link between vaccines and autism. If a link is established, the trust fund initiated in 1986 to pay claims could provide financial relief for families with autistic children. However, the annual cost of treating an autistic child ranges from $50,000 to $200,000. If the Vaccine Court decides there is no link, the parents of 1.5 million kids must fend for themselves. Even if claims are allowed, there are not enough funds to cover all damaged children.
There are several good articles about the CDC’s attempts to suppress information it has about the dangers of vaccines. The most comprehensive one is Deadly Immunity by Robert F. Kenney, Jr.,
Kenneth Stoller, MD, FAAP and Anne McElroy Dachel in their reports speculate that because mercury products (mercury amalgams and vaccines) are connected with the fossel-fuel industry they are protected by government.
The ferocity of the battle is seen in press reports from both sides of the debate including the government itself. In September 26, 2007, a CDC study entitled, “CDC Study Finds Kids’ Mental Acuity Not Hurt by Mercury,” was quickly followed on October 1, 2007, by a press release titled “Mercury (Thimerosal) in Vaccines: FDA and CDC 'Guilty' of Misconduct, Says Senate Report.” issued by Senator Enzi, Ranking Member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Thanks to massive pressure from hundreds of thousands of parents and Congressional leaders like Dan Burton, whose own grandchild has autism, Congress in 2007 finally passed legislation to fund autism research. However, this has not satisfied all parents. Their fear is that most of this money will be poured into genetic research and behavioral research and not address “the environmental causes of autism” i.e., mercury and vaccines. Sidestepping the environmental aspects of autism would serve to protect the vaccine manufacturing industry as well as the validity of the national policy on compulsory vaccinations.
It is important to note that autism first appeared in the 1930s, around the same time thimerosal, a mercury component, started to be put into vaccines. Not many cases were reported back then and the dozens of vaccines children now receive, had not been developed. In the 1956, Dr. Bernard Rimland, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and research design welcomed his son, Mark, into the world of autism. In that era, the medical community, under the leadership of psychiatrist, Bruno Bettleheim, believed autism was a psychological disorder caused by unloving mothers. The treatment was psychotherapy for both mother and child. Dr. Rimland did not agree. By 1964, Dr. Rimland, wrote Infantile Autism describing eight years or research and personal observation of his son with scientific evidence that autism is biochemical in nature and not caused by unloving mothers.
Finding no support from the medical scientific community, Dr. Rimland founded the Autism Society of America. Its members were and still are parents of children with autism, many of whom are health professionals. He encouraged them to become the primary experts formalizing their work by creating the Autism Research Institute, which has now has the largest database in the world on the issues of autism. The Institute collects data from parents on what works to help their children providing comprehensive surveys on results of dozens of therapies. DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) conferences occur annually where researchers and parents present information on successful therapies.
The DAN! approach also includes applied behavior analysis aka ABA (a behavior modification program which Rimland pushed for 20 years before it was accepted by the medical establishment), dietary supplements (which are still not accepted by the medical establishment including the psychiatric community), special diets to eliminate casein (found in dairy products) and gluten (found in wheat products) and a mercury detox.
Evidence of success with DAN! protocols has recently been featured on both Oprah and Larry King Live by two Hollywood authors and actresses who are mothers of recovered children. These wonderful and committed mothers effectively use their experience and notoriety to bring hope to hundreds of thousands of parents who have not heard that autism is treatable. One of the duo is Holly Robinson Peete, who, along with her husband, Roland Peete of NFL football fame, founded Hollyrod Foundation to help raise money and spread the word about autism. The other mom is Jenny McCarthy, who has just released a book about her experiences with bringing her son Evan back from autism . The book, entitled, Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism, was featured on the cover of People in the October 1, 2007, issue. She is spokeswoman for an organization called Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), which provides detailed information on what parents can do to help their children recover.
During their interview on Larry King Live, Jenny pointed out that while vaccines might not be the sole cause of autism, she believes they are a trigger, much like obesity is a trigger for diabetes. She also pointed out that her son had candida, a yeast infection, and as soon as this was cleaned up with an antifungal diet and an antifungal drug, Max started speaking complete sentences and his social development was back on track. Jenny said Evan’s experience is common among kids with autism.
The DAN doctor who Jenny credits with diagnosing Evan’s candida overgrowth is pediatrician, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. He was also on the Larry King show and said, “this isn’t in the books”, meaning the treatment of yeast in autism. Dr. Kartzinel has a special interest in autism because his own child became autistic after an MMR vaccination. His wife’s directive to him was pretty explicit. She said, “you broke him, you go out and fix him.” He quickly realized that there was nothing in the pediatric medical literature to describe the cascade of problems that develop in an autistic child. This lack of information led him to the DAN group and he is now considered a top expert in the field.
When you allow yourself to go beyond the behavioral model of autism you will find research showing that one pivotal metabolic insult to an infant who develops autism is damage to a specific kinase enzyme. In a vulnerable segment of the population, perhaps 10%, a particular gene sequence can be damaged by heavy metals (mercury in children’s vaccines or flu shots and dental amalgams in the elderly), antibiotics, alcohol, and acetaminophin. This vulnerable gene sequence is found in people who have autism and Alzheimer’s; it is the template for creating the kinase enzyme P13. Some researchers refer to this gene sequence as the Alzheimer’s gene, which is damaged early in these children by of overwhelming metabolic insults.
Why is kinase P13 so important? The body requires kinase P13 for many tasks, one of which is to help break down gluten (a wheat, rye, oats, and barley protein) and casein (a milk protein). This same enzyme allows the methylation (or biochemical modification) of certain B vitamins. Without proper methylation of B12 into methylcobalamin and folic acid into folinic acid, hundreds of functions are impaired. For example, if you don’t have methylcobolamine, your liver can’t make glutathione (a powerful antioxidant). Without glutathione the body is not able to detoxify heavy metals. The vicious cycle is complete. The heavy metal that causes the gene damage in the first place is not excreted as it should be and continues to accumulate and cause more damage. So intricate are these pathways that giving children the wrong kind of folic acid or B12 can make matters worse; consequently autism therapy must be overseen by knowledgeable parents and practitioners.
The therapies used to successfully treat autism are similar to ones used for Alzheimer’s patients who suffer mercury and aluminum toxicity and people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hormone imbalance, allergies, yeast overgrowth, viral infections, nutritional deficiencies, and heavy metal toxicity, because autistic children suffer from all of the above.
Treatment must begin with diet. Casein and gluten are eliminated because they are not digested or absorbed properly in a kinase P13-damaged body. When not completely digested casein and gluten produce brain-disrupting hallucinogens or brain depressants. In my telephone consulting practice, I tell parents that a proper diet for autism is not just a matter of giving your child healthy food, it’s more important to eliminate foods that are poisoning them. Sugar is another important food restriction. Sugar feeds yeast in the intestinal tract, which is often stimulated by overuse of antibiotics to deal with chronic infections that plague autistic children. Yeast produces up to 180 different toxins that cause or aggravate rashes, brain irritation, hypothyroidism, and IBS. In many autistic children the MMR vaccine with live measles virus has produced an ongoing intestinal infection.
Therapeutic supplements are added to the diet as needed. For measles infection and yeast overgrowth natural antibiotics can be used. Methylcobalamine (B12) and folinic acid are given instead of the more common cyanocobalamine or folic acid. Hyperbaric oxygen helps revive damaged and starving brain and nervous system tissues. Urinary porphyrin testing helps determine the mercury and lead burden in a child and IV chelation with glutathione, phosphytidyl choline or calcium EDTA helps reduce the load. I recommend food based organic vitamins and angstrom-sized minerals for superior absorption of missing nutrients. Homeopathy is used to treat minor ailments in children so they aren’t exposed to unnecessary medication. Practiced by an experienced homeopath, homeopathy has the potential to heal autism and ADHD. Judyth Reichenber-Ullman has written several books about the treatment of ADHD and autism with homeopathy. Impossible Cure – The Promise of Homeopathy written by Amy Lansky, PhD, a former NASA computer researcher describes how the writer’s son, Max, recovered from autism using homeopathy.
To those of us in the thick of the effort to treat autism, it’s a modern day battlefield and no single practitioner and no single therapy holds all the answers. The management of autism requires exquisite chorography between practitioners of diverse disciplines and the use of all manner of non-toxic products.
The job is difficult and expensive but the rewards are great. In one family I work with, we began with simple dietary exclusion of sugar, gluten, and dairy. Within days the 2-year old’s siblings exclaimed “Justin is back. Where was he?” Pulled back from gluten and casein-induced brain depression that kept him in a fog of withdrawal and apathy, Justin was, indeed, back among the living. In another family I worked with, magnesium and a simple homeopathic remedy were all that Allen needed to begin detoxifying and healing.
For me, the most heartbreaking part of working with families with autistic children is that modern science and modern medicine do not acknowledge the need for nutritional intervention. Long-standing criticism in our culture of people following healthy diets being called ‘health nuts’ and self-help being labeled ‘unscientific’ has kept most people in the dark about the necessity to take care of themselves and their children. Such criticism has likely been promoted by the drug industry and processed food industry and has served them well economically but has led to a population struggling with chronic disease.
I encourage the parents I work with to think of themselves as scientists who use safe therapies and through a process of trial and error, they can “scientifically prove” in their own clinical trial (with their child) what works and what doesn’t work for them. In our local parents group, whose members have given themselves full permission to look to all corners of the healing arts industry, I am constantly learning new things. Most important to realize is that each of us is different, and each child has its own set of issues that need to be addressed on an individual basis. Pediatricians, however well meaning, are trained to follow a standardized treatment plan and usually have no means of individualizing care the way a mother would or the way a natural health practitioner always does.
Hopefully this brief overview alerts you to the epidemic of autism and in the same breath assures you that there are viable treatments for this so-called incurable condition. Browse the links that Elissa has provided to further your research and please leave no stone unturned to help the next generation overcome autism.
Resource list for article.
ORGANIZATIONS –These sites offer videos of many children who have been restored to normal function as well as considerable help for parents and families.
ARI Summary of Biomedical Treatments for Autism
Laboratoire Phillipe Auguste – Testing available to doctors and direct to the public for health issues including autism.
The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential – offers courses and other support to teach parents about the field of child brain development so that parents can use that knowledge to help their brain-damaged child toward wellness.
Larry King Live
Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism By Jenny McCarthy. Blow by blow story of how the author’s son was healed.
Impossible Cure – The Promise of Homeopathy by Amy L. Lansky, PhD. Author’s son was cured by homeopathy. Book covers details of his treatment as well as many other aspects of homeopathy useful to know.
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman - books about how to treat Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD and other related maladies with homeopathy.
Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy – by David Kirby.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND – three books covering health issues autistic children suffer. The Yeast Connection, IBS Syndrome and Magnesium Miracle and several soon-to-be published E Books on mercury, sugar, as well as a health encyclopedia of naturopathic interventions to use instead of medications for common health problems.
DNA Is Not Destiny – The new science of epigenetics rewrites the rules of disease, heredity, and identity – by Ethen Watters. Discover Magazine November 2006. by Ethan Watters
Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head: – The devastating derangements of autism show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition the brain - by Jill Neimark. Discover Magazine. February 2007.
Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor, naturopath, and nutritionist. She is a recognized authority in conventional and alternative medicine and author of a dozen books on health and healing. Dr. Dean offers private telephone wellness consultations through her website.