This meme recently caught a second wind over on my old facebook page, Autism Wars. People are sharing it. Good. I hope it makes some think.
Here is the story behind the moment the sentence “Vaccines are the leading cause of coincidence in the United States.” popped into my head. I was reading “Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder” by Karen Seroussi, and she mentions how “fish” was her son’s last word, because there was an aquarium in the waiting room at the doctors office when she took him for his MMR. I about fell off my chair. Me Too. Gavin Too. “ishies” was his last word… because there was an aquarium in the waiting room at the doctors office when I took him for his MMR. I wondered how many moms had that same story.
I laughed to myself when I pictured the medical community saying, “Tapping on fish tanks and saying “Fish”” is linked to autism! Get rid of your fish tanks!!
I thought about all the other “coincidences” that all our kids have in common. The ear infections, the gut trouble, the eczema, the timing of the regression… All, ‘coincidentally’ following vaccines. And there it was… vaccines! Vaccines are to blame for the epidemic rise in coincidence in this country!
Insert: *eye roll*
You know, true scientific method doesn’t ignore even the smallest of coincidence. It studies it. Our CDC did study it… and they found that MMR vaccine was linked to an increase in Autism in black boys and individuals with isolated autism (which, is pretty much all our kids). And then they reworked those numbers to make it go away. Don’t believe me? Go see Vaxxed.
Don’t stay misinformed. You don’t have to. Fish tanks in doctors offices don’t cause autism. Vaccines can, however, and vaccines do. You have to look at what is biologically plausible. You have to understand that autism isn’t a “thing” in and of itself. It’s a label slapped on a box that holds a list of symptoms. What causes all those symptoms? Start here, 124 studies that support the vaccine/autism connection.
[Be sure to watch the video at the end. We all need to keep laughing. It’s important. We’d lose our minds otherwise.]
I know we really shouldn’t feed the trolls, but frankly I felt like I needed a link to post to them instead of my usual image which is:
So why not feed them a little knowledge. Not sure it’s possible with these idiots, but if I save one moron… well… Then there is only about 7 billion more to go.
Since you all appear to be too fucking lazy to read the press release, allow me to copy and paste for you.
“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”
Is that simple enough for you? Hey Snopes, It’s NOT “Probably False” anymore. [Update: Now listed as ‘mixed’ on Snopes. Of course it’s funny that the ‘mix’ comes from them quoting that douche on ‘Science Blogs’ *eye roll*]
[Second UPDATE: It now reads FALSE. WTF are they smoking? –Read this iReport about it]
Wrap your head around the fact that his lawyer ALLOWED him to SAY that. While the Press Release does reek of ‘lawyered-up’ you have to see it for what it is –for what his lawyer actually allowed to be said. You realize what lawyers do right? Trust me, I once went to law school for a whole year and then dropped out. (Thanks Autism! –and trust me, you learn everything in the first year. The last two are just hazing and profit.)
I posted this picture to Anderson Cooper with a message that this was a Before and After MMR photo. To LOOK into my sons eyes. I get this reply:
Here is the photo I posted, you’ve seen it before:
Ok, twatrocket, let me explain something to you… 1. I know my kid is beautiful. He has my genes. I’m fucking smoking hot. Thanks. But, since you are not being sincere and mean this as a troll, I shall explain some more.
2. If you can’t see the OBVIOUS neurological deficits in this picture, let me break it down for you –as a portrait photographer (Yes, I’ve done every job at least once.) Every kid can have a bad day. But I could always get a kid to smile. Even my toughest customers. I once did a hand stand while making ape noises to get a kid to smile.
That picture on the left is my son at 15 months. He was an easy smile’r. A couple days after that first photo he got his MMR and DTaP, we injected him with neurotoxins. The second photo was taken at 18 months of age. We worked hard just to get him to look at the camera. Just to look at us. He was more interested in that block in his hand. The block he kept flipping over and over and staring at. Hand stand, ape noises… Cookies as bribes… lots of tears. And that blank stare was the best one we got.
I looked over a lot of my snap shots from this time period. Before and After. Before? Lots of happy smiles and eye contact with the camera. AFTER? ALWAYS. ALWAYS the same fucking pose. The thumb in his mouth –he’d hook his thumb behind his front teeth to put pressure on the roof of his mouth. He wasn’t actually sucking his thumb. It’s a soothing pressure point. And he’d rub his nose with his finger. Again, soothing. Instinctual. At 18 he still does it. Often when we are out in public and the sensory stimulation is too much.
I put together a little collage last night:
Yes, his downward spiral began with the Hep B at birth. But he was still THERE. He still had language. He’d still look you in the eye and smile, respond to you. But for a couple months after his 15 month shots, that bottom row… All the photos of him look the same. That is not an energetic, happy toddler. That is a sick child. Lacking energy, lacking language, lacking any sort of connection to his environment. That is a child suffering from an acute insult to his body and brain. Line this up with his MTHFR gene mutations and it all makes perfect sense. Google it trolls, I am not doing any more fucking homework for you.
I have videos too. They are too hard to watch. Before and After. Maybe someday.
I am college educated with a genius IQ (just bragging). I am not an idiot. (Don’t let my typo’s fool you). But they duped me. They did. [Yes, I know typo’s is a typo. It’s funny. Trust me.]
I am one of the most skeptical people in the world. Yet, I can admit, I was once brain washed by the Church of Science. I believed what Doctors told me, because they went to school after all. I was you–the mere “Useful Idiot Troll”. I believed that the CDC and FDA really did work for the people. But then I decided to read for myself instead of believing what authority figures told me. Guess what? They work for profit, not for the people. Vaccines do injure. More than the 1-in-a-million that they love to throw at you. It’s biologically plausible and probable. It’s OK that you were duped. It happens. Please read a book or two on your own. Now, if you are a troll-for-hire getting paid to do this… well… I refer you to the first photo in this post.
If you are waiting for the mainstream media to cover this, like one person told me, then you really have no idea how this world works. Hint: Money.
The information is out there for you. Just waiting to be read. You DON’T need some pretty face behind a news desk to tell you what to believe.
For those of you who look at a photo of my child and tell me “what’s what” –tell me that I don’t know what happened to my own child. Even though MEDICAL doctors have since looked over his records and told me that YES, he most likely DID suffer encephalitis with his first Hep B. Those of you who STILL want to tell me that you know my child better than I do, better than his doctors do:
And the rest of you…
–‘Vaccines don’t cause Autism, they took the mercury out of the MMR! And besides Dr. Wakefield lied!’
–‘Vaccines don’t cause autism, they studied that and they are safe.’
And as a general ‘last word’ to any other fucking stupid thing you manage to say… (I actually saw one write, “If this proves to be true, those crazy anti-vaxxers will have to admit that this study means it only related to an increase in black boys and not everyone.” *facepalm* DO THEY LISTEN TO THEMSELVES??) Anyway, in general:
This ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, gave me an idea for one for Autism.
For the Autism Scrub Bucket Challenge you grab your scrub bucket, gloves and non-toxic cleaning supplies and go to the home of someone with an autistic child who fecal smears and you help scrub their walls and floors… and furniture… and light fixtures.
When you are done, Never EVER say, “I don’t know how you do it!” No!!! Replace that thought with the act of giving them a $50 on your way out the door. Post your videos!! I nominate ALL OF YOU. #AutismScrubBucketChallenge
UPDATE: So, I have been getting serious inquires from people about this and a lot of hits on it from search engines. I did this a bit tongue-in-cheek –I have a twisted sense of humor. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it 🙂 Find a family to help. Clean or babysit or slip them some cash. Trust me… none of us ever have enough money. If you want to donate to an org, give to The Nation Autism Association. THEY HELP REAL PEOPLE. DON’T GIVE TO Autism Speaks.
The mom last saw the child at 4 a.m. She fell asleep. For 15 minutes. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. Sometimes kids in houses locked down with better security than Fort Knox get out.
I beat this into the ground, I know… but the autism you see portrayed in the media is not reality for many of us. That is why “autism” is not given the attention it ought to be given.
The autism parents I know are superhuman –but even super-humans need to sleep once in a while. On lack of sleep we don’t function very well. Imagine years of lack of sleep. Add on a heaping pile of adrenal fatigue from our 24/7 fight or flight/red alert world. The world we survive in because we know, that at any second, the shit could hit the fan.
The stress and lack of sleep have a lovely downward-spiral way about them… once you are in that cycle it just gets worse. I am so disorganized at this point in my life that every day gets harder and harder. It’s damn near impossible to think about what I am going to be doing five minutes from now.
I know I am not the only autism parent in the world who’s slid the couch in front of the door to catch a nap. Our kids by their very nature don’t sleep well. So we don’t sleep well. I can remember when my son went through a phase of waking me up by screaming several times a night (all because his sheets came untucked at the bottom. Thank the Dogs for XL twin beds for giants). My life has gotten a little better because, for the moment, we are sleeping better. But the connections in my brain are still there. One scream from him derails my whole day. Brings it all back.
By the way, we are sleeping better because I let him drop out of school and adjust to his own sleep schedule which is about 3 a.m. to noon for him. That is not really a good solution, is it? It’s survival, but it means that I get no free time now.
We are hyper-vigilant. We don’t relax.
Yet, we are mere mortals.
A couple months ago my son sprained his ankle pretty bad out in the yard. It took me a while to realize what really happened, as his language skills are that of a two year old at best. He fell. He fell trying to climb over our 6 foot privacy fence into the neighbors yard because he is obsessed with their pool. I put in a nice sized above ground pool for him –but theirs… Oh, theirs is a nice in-ground pool surrounded by a screened in lanai.
Have you ever been thankful that your kid got hurt? Welcome to autism-land! I WAS. Because the pain of that sprained ankle means he won’t try that again.
About a month later we got home while the lawn was being mowed. Gavin went out back immediately. I started to walk down the hall to the bathroom… I heard the neighbors dog begin to bark in an unusual way. A red flag. My foggy brain made the connection –the gate to the fence was unlocked while the grass was being mowed. I turned and ran and got outside just in time to see the neighbor looking confused and agitated (we’re new here, hadn’t met them yet) and my son trying to break into their lanai.
What if? What if I hadn’t heard the dog and spent a couple minutes back the hall in my bathroom before I realized what had happened? What if Gavin (17 years old, 6 foot 1, complete with mustache, freakishly strong and scary –if you don’t realize what autism is) had a meltdown when she told him to leave…What if the neighbors felt threatened? What if they shot him?
What if an exhausted mom who very likely hasn’t slept good in years falls asleep for 15 minutes. Her kid drowns, that’s ‘what if’. And she now has to live with that for the rest of her life.
When these cases –and I lost track of how many this summer so far… 15 maybe? 20? were brought up to the IACC one of the adults with Asperger’s on that committee suggested arm floaties.
Can you see part of the reasons behind my frustration?
The squeaky wheels getting the gov’t appointments on these committees do not have the same “autism” that my son has. And businesses like Chili’s who canceled a fundraiser for AWAARE –one that would have raised money to help prevent wandering deaths, cave to the bull shit spewed at them from the crowd of people who think autism is a GIFT.
Come spend a week with me and see what autism really is. Bring your own vodka because I don’t have enough to share.
And if there is autism in your neighborhood, go knock on their door and get to know them and their kids and offer to babysit so mom can take a freaking nap or get out of the house for a couple hours to clear her head. And don’t take offense when we turn down your offer because you just don’t know our kid well enough to take on the role of babysitter for a couple hours.
To the hundreds of moms and dads who’ve lost their kids to autism because they fell asleep, because they took a minute to go to the bathroom, or do the laundry, or tend to their other child for 30 seconds –because they had a human moment… All I can give you is the promise that I will keep screaming and trying to be heard.
My son with autism turns 18 this fall. He should be about to begin his senior year of high school. That’s not happening. I was just thinking about what I was doing at his age. I spent the summer before my senior year at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Wearing camo and combat boots.
Early June 1993. I got on a plane for the first time and flew halfway across the country by myself. I remember the feelings of doubt in my gut as I wondered what the fuck I had gotten myself into, but there was excitement too, and I was pretty happy with the decision I had made. It was my first taste of freedom.
You spend a few days in a reception battalion before you go off to basic training. It was over a weekend and I can remember we actually got to go to a dance one of the last nights. Yeah. It’s not your dad’s boot camp. I met a guy named Greg. He was my two hour long crush for the evening. Later I went on to name my rifle after him.
I had a lot of fun there. I know that is not the point, but I am weird. I loved the camping. I loved the smell of musty canvas tents. I loved playing in the dirt. I loved field chow. I loved the friends. I loved the crazy drill sergeants. I loved the firing range. I loved the smell of gun powder –the only downside of the range was from being right handed, but left eye dominant. You have to lean over the rifle farther. Hot spent brass goes down your shirt… into your bra. Just sayin’ –Yeah, I loved it all. Best summer camp, ever.
I still had one year of school to go, but I knew I was going to transfer to the Regular Army and was loving this new beginning. I suppose I cut all the crazy fun short by having a kid at age 21, but I was OK with that because I had lived a million lifetimes in those few short years between high school and parenthood. Great friends, great adventures, drama filled break-ups, hook-ups, parties, fights, love, hate, drunken shenanigans –shit… you name it, I did it. I loved every minute of it and wouldn’t trade a single minute of it. Those moments helped make me who I am. For better or worse. My choices. Good ones. Bad ones. My life. It was mine to live or fuck up as I saw fit. My beautifully flawed autonomous life.
My son? Oh, he’s still just pacing the house. Begging me to take him to the store to buy a big bottle of soda. Screaming when a computer program doesn’t work right. I KNOW he wants to be on his own, but he cannot. He will ask me to leave. He will ask if he can drive. I finally had to tell him one day, “Gavin, because of your autism and seizure history, you can never drive a car.” [For those who are not familiar with him, he is nowhere near high functioning. He is severely autistic. He doesn’t effectively communicate. His IQ tests very low. His brain was significantly damaged.]
He’ll never get a chance to fuck up big, to fail big. He’ll never get a chance to make decisions without me. He won’t get to learn as he goes –to mold himself into the adult person of his own choosing. He’ll never get a chance win big, to succeed big –to set a goal and prove himself even better than his wildest dreams. I am not saying there is no one in there –but his physical limitations prevent him from exploring his talents. One example, he is extremely musically talented –but his auditory PAIN AND SUFFERING prevent him from developing that talent. (I already know I am going to have people from the ND crowd telling me he CAN and I am selling my son short. But you don’t know MY son’s autism. Period. You don’t live in my house.)
He was robbed. Of his entire autonomous adult life.
He is a child inside, frozen in time. In the body of an adult man.
He won’t be meeting some girl named Kaitlyn at a battalion dance. He won’t be naming his rifle after her. He won’t be making new life-long friends. He won’t get to enjoy the smell of musty tents and gunpowder, or feel the burns from freshly ejected shell casings going down his shirt. No first kiss. No fist fights over a girl. No drunken night time water skiing on a boat with no lights 😉 No college. No high school diploma. No first car. No adult life.
Because Vaccines. Because Autism. Because people didn’t, and still can’t, see what we are doing to generations of children. Yes, I KNOW my son was genetically susceptible to vaccine damage, but that doesn’t make the vaccines less guilty.
We are killing our kids. Literally sometimes, figuratively other times. He was robbed.