In 1985 the number of children being diagnosed with autism was 1 in 15,000. By the early 2000’s the figure increased to 1 in 166 children becoming autistic. Just this past October, 2009, the Maternal & Child Health Bureau of Health Resources and Services Administration (HSSA), US Department of health and Human Services released a study which indicated that the number of children in the USA who currently had a diagnosis of ASD, increased to 1 in 91 children (of which 1 in 57 were boys . The above study surveyed 78,000 U.S.households.

There are three levels on which these behaviours classify a child as autistic: Impairment of

  1. Social interaction (“world of their own”)
  2. Communication (can’t communicate at an age appropriate level)
  3. Imagination (doesn’t play in the same way as other children do).

Whatever the behaviours are, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is marked by a narrow, repetitive range of activities and self-limiting behaviours.

Few parents know what to do when their child receives as diagnosis of autism and as a Clinical Metal Toxicologist, I wish to express today that autism is NOT a life-long, condition for which there is no hope. The Autism Research Institute, USA (www.autism.com) has pioneered an intervention called Defeat Autism Now! – one of many hopeful intervention strategies which has show-cased to the world at large that children with autism can and do recover.

In order to understand how protocols like the Defeat Autism Now! Protocol works, one needs to first understand the foundational truths about this condition: ASD is not primarily a genetic disorder, though there are genetic links that has been uncovered which can give rise to more than one sibling becoming autistic in a single family. In May 2005 studies were published that stated that there were between 5 – 20 genes implicated in autism – with location on chromosome 11 & 17.

Dr. Devra Davis, from the Mt. Sinai Medical Institute recently visited South Africa and said about cancer: “Genes give you a loaded gun, but environmental factors pull the trigger”.

What dr. Davis suggested for cancer is equally true for ASD. For many boys and girls the loaded gun is what makes it impossible for them to properly detoxify. Leading scientists conclude that non-genetic factors may at least be partially responsible for current epidemic proportions of the diagnostic incidence.

There are at least 51 overlapping genes which show a genetic predisposition for autism and a sensitivity to environmental factors.

Unfortunately there is no “magic bullet” – no single biomedical test available which can pinpoint with a great amount of certainty that a child is or isn’t autistic, or what the cause might be.

Currently upwards of 1/6th of all children in the USA suffer from autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities. “Kids at Risk” – the US News and World Report already announced on 19th June, 2000 that there is a definite link between chemicals in the environment and the rising numbers of children with learning disabilities.

From uterus throughout adolescence a series of complex nerve processes develop in a carefully timed sequence. Cells proliferate; move to the correct spot, synapses form, neural circuits are refined, neurotransmitters and receptors grow. Neuro-toxicants may slow, accelerate or otherwise modify any of these neural processes and the end result could be autism.

In California the rise in the number of children becoming autistic has been recorded as follows: 1987 – 1998: 210% increase in cases diagnosed from 3,164 to 11,995. Learning disabilities in the state of New York soared by 55% from 132,000 to 204,000 between 1983 – 1996.

In March 2000 research in the state of New York revealed that pregnant women breathed in at least 3 neuro-toxic pesticides which were able to cause disorders in foetuses as they commute to work.

Why are these figures so disconcerting? They frighten us because toxic metals and pesticides are ubiquitous: apples, for example, are sprayed with arsenic-containing pesticides 14 times per season before the fruit makes it to market.

Research has shown that PCB’s (Poly-carbon-bi-phenols) are involved in language delays. Increased exposure to aluminium has dire implications for the developing brain: it is implicated in speech delays, seizures, muscle problems, and the like. It also causes hesitancy, stuttering, disarthria, dyspraxia, dysphasia, myoclonic movements, directional orientation, constipation, colic, nausea, gastric irritation, and loss of appetite, local numbness, loss of energy and even senile dementia and Alzheimer ’s disease. Experts now speculate that Autism might be a form of juvenile Alzheimers disease (Shaw, 2001). Aluminium hides itself in cooking utensils, salts, food additives, antacid tablets, anti-diarrhoea medication, cosmetics, baking powder, pharmaceutical and personal hygiene preparations, soya baby formulas, drinking water and dental fillings!

Of all the interventions which brought children out of their autistic shells, the Autism Research Institute ranked detoxification from heavy (toxic) metals at the very top of their list with a rating of 35:0 – that is for every 35 children recovering from detoxification not a single child got worse) (Baker and Pangborn, 2005)!

Other hopeful interventions were: removal of

  • milk products (32:0),
  • chocolate ( 30:0),
  • addition of vitamin A (powerful anti-oxidant – 23:0),
  • introduction of fatty acids (protection against cell membrane peroxidation by toxic metals – 23:0),
  • introduction of digestive enzymes (toxic metals suppress enzymes – 20:0),
  • introducing zinc supplementation (zinc is a key part of metallothioneine – a protein which binds to toxic metals and removes them from cells – 20:0),
  • gluten and casein from the diet – 20:0).

One of the most devastating exposures in fetuses and young children is exposure to mercury in fish (in 1976 the Canadian government already warned pregnant women not to eat any fish caught in Canadian waters – coastal or inland – due to the heavy mercury poisoning of the food chain by industry). Babies in my practice show high mercury shortly after birth because of breastfeeding from a mother who has mercury amalgams in her teeth. The higher the mercury load is in the mother, the more certain that she will chelate her mercury through her breast milk to baby.

In a recent campaign to bring awareness about the dangers of mercury in children’s vaccines, the CIMIV (Children Injured by Mercury in Vaccines) lobby posted a huge advert asking the following question: “Does your baby weight over 500 pounds?” As ridiculous as that might sound, the fact is that according to the Environmental Protection Agency a person must weigh over 500 pounds ( 227.27 kg) to “safely” process the amount of mercury still present in certain vaccines, like the DPT, including flu shots. And yet, these shots are recommended for pregnant women and infants.

What you as a parent should know is:

  • Mercury is STILL present in all vaccines in South Africa except the MMR, which contains 3 live, attenuated viruses that pose their own risk to the fragile immune system of your infant.
  • These vaccines are STILL being injected into children and pregnant women and strongly encouraged by our national health ministry.
  • Numerous scientists from the best universities in the world are proving that mercury is vaccines kill brain cells as well as immune cells.
  • 1 in 6 children currently suffer from learning disabilities
  • Most flu shots and several other vaccines contain 50,000 parts per billion mercury. Landfill waste must be less than 200 parts per billion mercury!
  • Mercury is not a necessary component for vaccines, but it does increase the profit margin for pharmaceutical companies.
  • Only 15 people – The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the USA – tell the Centres for Disease Control in the USA which vaccines to put in that country’s national immunization schedule.
  • In 1999 the federal government of the USA and physician groups vowed to remove mercury from children’s vaccines – but when a first world county like the USA decided that, the glut of unusable vaccines manufactured for that market was dumped on third world countries and developing countries like South Africa.
  • The ACIP refused to honour the promise made by the USA government, physicians and President Bush if re-elected to office.
  • TODAY, IF YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO FIND A VACCINE WHICH IS MERCURY FREE – it’s still a multiple-in-one vaccine and the “new” preservative to drive up profits is… Aluminium (Sanofi-Pasteur – own communication, 2008).

Our babies are born into a frightening world of chemical excesses. There is much we can’t prevent, but when it comes to toxic metal exposure there are steps you as a parent can take:

  • Avoid smoking and insist that no-one smokes near you – don’t let being polite harm your unborn child.
  • Avoid eating fish, especially tuna, during pregnancy – you need Omega 3, but obtain it through a filtered, guaranteed mercury-free supplement source.
  • If you have amalgam fillings in your teeth, don’t fall pregnant before removing these safely (www.smilestudio.co.za) and NEVER have amalgams inserted or removed during pregnancy.
  • Drink Reverse Osmosis filtered water with the good minerals and trace minerals reintroduced.
  • Don’t sit near an open fire where there’s smoke (avoid braais).
  • Defer your child’s vaccines and try and go for homeopathic alternatives to vaccines, especially if there is left-handedness, allergies and immune system problems in your family.
  • If you HAVE to vaccinate, demand that the state remove mercury from vaccines as well as aluminium.
  • Peel all fruit and vegetables after washing them thoroughly.
  • Move / change your job if you live near any mining operations, gold / coal or coal-fired power plants – coal-ash from power plants product 10 times more radiation than nuclear reactors because the concentrate trace amounts of radioactive elements with pollute water, air and soil (Scientific American, December, 13, 2007).

If we remove the toxins from our mouths, stopped smoking and held national (nuclear) regulators responsible for more stringent environmental protection laws governing radiation, toxic waste and dirty energy production, we’d have nothing to lose and everything to gain. At the very worst, it can’t hurt us if we clean up our act, but, at best, we might save the lives of millions. I vote for the latter!

 


The Prevalence of Parent-Reported Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children in the United States, 2007, published in Pediatrics – reported by the Autism Research Institute, October 6th, 2009.

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