Saturday, November 14, 2009

NAC Saturday: Barbara Loe Fisher - Vaccine Safety & Science

Barbara Loe Fisher, the co-founder and President of the National Vaccine Information Center ( gave a moving and empowering talk this morning. Following a poignant slideshow of children who died or were severely injured following vaccination, Barbara shared her own family's story of vaccine injury.

She discussed the science behind how certain vaccine ingredients (even when allegedly treated to reduce activation) can cause injury. She explained how certain vaccines (such as DTaP, HIB and the seasonal flu vaccine) contain endotoxins and that often these vaccines are given on the same day thereby compounding the effect of those endotoxins. She highlighted the increasing number of vaccines and the increasing rates of not only autism but also asthma, ADHD, learning disabilities, and diabetes, among other conditions.

On you can find a new vaccine ingredient calculator which is a work in progress - check back for further refinements.

She discussed the risk of compromising the integrity of our immune systems by having no natural expose to disease. She discussed the increase in drug-resistant disease strains (with vaccine manufacturers' responding by merely creating new vaccines to address more strains). She also pointed out that many of those who have gotten sick in recent outbreaks of childhood disease are those who are vaccinated against the disease - we are creating more resistant disease strains in highly vaccinated populations.

She raised the fact that vaccine safety testing is not rigorous - vaccines in combination are rarely tested and the vaccine trial methodologies are set up in such a way that adverse reactions -- even death and serious injury -- may be written off and excluded as merely "coincidental." Other protocols may allow for the comparison of two experimental vaccines with no placebo/control. She also told the audience that reports of serious adverse effects to the H1N1 vaccine are coming out. In short, she referred to an uncontrolled national medical experiment on our children.

She urged parents to educate themselves to make the right choices for their family and to weigh the costs and benefits given your family's situation. She told us not to trust blindly but to trust those who earn our trust. We need to stand up for voluntary and informed consent and be brave enough to stand up for the integrity of our bodies and those of our children. It was chilling to hear Barbara frankly state that the biological integrity of the human race is at risk. She urged us to never give up.

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet (second from left) with NAA-NY Metro's Peggy Becker, Sabeeha Rehman, Khalid Rehman and Kim Mack Rosenberg

NAC Saturday: Dr. Jeff Bradstreet: Common Problems & Effective Treatments

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet presented on treatments based and judged on lab results. Dr. Bradstreet told us that neurotypical is the goal for our children and that goal requires our persistance and the persistance of our doctors and other treaters. He reminded us that if you have no idea which medical problems your child has, biomedical treatment can be a guessing game. This is why doing labs is important -- you can define the problem, then choose appropriate interventions. This can save both time and money. You also can use those lab tests to help evaluate how effective an intervention may be for a child.

Brain inflammation is a common problem for our kids and can be challenging to treat. Children on the spectrum often have chronic autoimmune processes. Neopterin is a good biomarker for this. High neopterin = inflammation and, in the absence of infection, suggests autoimmunity issues.

He also suggested some non-invasive biomarkers for inflammatory bowel disease or similar conditions. In particular, he suggested calprotectin as the biomarker that shows the strongest correlations with bowel conditions. Genova Diagnostics can run this test.

Dr. Bradstreet noted that differences between individuals' microbiotia influence not only our health risks but may also help explain why individuals respond differently to interventions.

Dr. Bradstreet noted that recent research has shown that, in one study, 11.5% of mothers of children with autism have reactivity against fetal brain (but not adult) without similar numbers in the control groups. The cause is not known at this time but may potentially be viral. This reactivity may also play a role in families with multiple children on the spectrum, but this requires more research to determine the connection, if any.

Dr. Bradstreet also said that while we know that many of our children have oxidative stress issues, we should test ourselves too. Many parents have increased RNA oxidation which increases our risk for early onset Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease. We also are at greater risk for autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Bradstreet reminded us to take care of ourselves as well as our children.

NAC Friday Night: Gary Null PhD

Late last night (we ended after midnight!), Gary Null, PhD, a nutrition and health sciences expert, health advocate, and documentary filmmaker, spoke to and took questions from parents. He discussed generally his work in developing protocols for treating autism as well as his new documentary "Autism: Made in the USA". In this documentary he presents the research he and his colleagues conducted regarding causation, treatment, and why he believes we have been misled in many respects. I. am very curious to see the documentary! He also urged us to watch his earlier documentary "Vaccine Nation," which is not autism-focused but addresses death and other serious damage suffered by some families following vaccination. Dr. Null also discussed his research in other areas including AIDs, Alzheimer's Disease, cancer, aging, menopause and a host of other conditions. He has made numerous documentaries, including several on AIDs (and he currently is at work on another). He speaks at professional gatherings as well as before political leaders and challenges them -- as well as us -- to step outside the current health and medical paradigm, to not just accept what we are told but to challenge, and to dig deeper for the truth.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NAC: Dr. Anju Usman on Apraxia and Autism

Dr. Anju Usman gave a detailed overview of many issues important to children on the spectrum including malabsorption, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired detoxification/methylation, GI issues, immune system and inflammatory issues. Children with apraxia (even absent an ASD diagnosis) often present with these issues as well and can benefit from many of the treatments used for ASD. She suggested getting oxidative stress under control before doing HBOT. She recommended certain tests for children with apraxia and, based on results, foundational nutrients such as antioxidants (incl. fat-soluble), fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, good fats, phospholipids, l-carnitine, methyl B12, glutathione to help with apraxia. Dr. Usman cautioned to monitor fat-soluble vitamin levels carefully.

For apraxia, she also recommended lymphatic drainage with craniosacral therapy or other modalities.

NAC: Dr. Theoharis Theoharides on Autism as an Emerging Neuroimmune Disorder

Dr. Theoharis Theoharides just finished an amazing lecture on the potential role of mast cell activation and autism. Dr. Theoharides discussed the changing understanding of the role of mast cells - far more things can activate mast cells than the antigens that cause IgE-mediated allergic reactions. There are many things that can activate the mast cell without degranulation (basically an explosion) seen in IgE reactions so that the activation is hard to detect. There is evidence that stress-related compounds, such as corticotropin-releasing hormone, can activate mast cells, for example. The mast cells are in the brain near blood vessels and neurons and when activated can open the blood brain barrier and have effects on nearby neurons. The opening of the BBB can result in compounds that have no place in the brain entering it. Moreover, mercury can activate mast cells
and can act synergistically with other things to activate the mast cells at a higher level and viruses also can activate the mast cells. I found these to be an exciting reason to keep investigating the potential role of vaccines both with and without mercury preservative. Dr. Theoharides also discussed discoveries relating to the potential role of mast cell activation in mitochondrial fragmentation (fission). As he spoke, I was amazed by the potentially powerful effect of these mast cells. The science was complex and I have barely touched on the doctor's many salient points, and I hope that I have given you a good taste for this emerging area of research.

NAC: Roy Leonardi & Phyllis Musumeci on De-Escalation Techniques to Avoid Restraint

From NAA-NY Metro President Sabeeha Rehman, a report on De-Escalation Techniques:

Dear Parent:
"Don't wait to get involved." If the school staff is using restraints on your child, and you are not aware of it, your child is likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Prone restraints (child is pulled down on the floor, face down) have led to death.

Look For These Signs:
1. School asks for consent for crisis intervention. Ask them to demonstrate the intervention.
2. School is using weighted sensory devices with your child without your knowledge.
3. School is reporting aggressive behavior more and more frequently.
4. Your child does not want to go to school.
5. You are not permitted to observe your child's class.
6. Window's of the glass are covered.
7. Changes in child's behavior: agression, does not want to be touched, regression, lack of appetite, sleep issues.

Here is what you can do:

1. Have it written in your EIP that the school will not use restraints, they will not call the police, and there will be no 'crisis intervention'. If the staff still puts it in the EIP, as a parent, you have the right to put in a written statement that you are NOT in agreement. This statement will protect you legally.

2. If you get complaints from the school about agressive behavior, have the school do a functional behavior analysis. It must include ABC data and should state what happened prior to the aggressive behavior. It should be over several days and in many settings.

3. Check the school's restraint log.
4. Once a monthn go to the school to observe.

5. Verify that the staff is trained and certified in crisis management, de-escalation, and restraint. Find out which organization trained them and ask for the training manual.

6. Write a "no restraint" letter to the school.

7. Document all conversations with school.

8. Reach out to your legislators to support restraint laws that protect your child's rights.

Don't wait to get involved.

Live from the NAC: Dr. Dan Rossignol on Assessing & Prioritizing Treatments

Dr. Dan Rossignol is presenting on how to assess and prioritize treatments. He focuses on treating the child as an individual -- based on his or her symptoms not only the labs and to look at the "POEM"s - patient-oriented evidence that matters, not only disease-oriented evidence, which will not provide the whole picture (i.e., a drug that improves the condition it is intended to treat but eventually kills the patient!). He helped patents to understand the different types of studies out there, how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of study protocols, and questions to ask about the safety of medications. While emphasizing the individuality of each patient, he is discussing some of the most common treatments for the most common symptoms and the basic lab work patents should consider to help parents understand what is available and how to prioritize what is right for YOUR child.

NAC: Dr. Julie Buckley - treating Autism as a Medical Disease

Dr. Julie Buckley presented on many of the underlying pathways that might "malfunction" in our children, the importance of glutathione -- critical to so many biological functions -- as well as things that parents can do at home with natural remedies to start their child toward healing and the many biomedical treatments utilized by doctors to treat children with ASD. She emphasized the 3 (or 4) "R"s as a basic roadmap to treatment: Remove (such as gluten, casein, other foods that cause reactions, as well as environmental toxins); Replenish (our guts with good probiotics); Repair and Restore (with enzymes, vitamins/minerals, Omega 3s, yeast management, etc.). She also discussed the great success her practice had had with hyperbarics. She also reminded us not only to treat our children but to do the rights for ourselves too - eating well, avoiding toxins and generally caring for ourselves. (The photo is the pool at the conference - sorry, I could not resist!)

Rapid Prompt Method with Soma Makhopadhyay at the NAC

The first speaker on Friday's NAC agenda was Soma Makhopadhyay, presenting on her Rapid Prompt Method ("RPM"). Many people who have heard of Soma and her son Tito may think RPM is a communication method. Soma explained that it really is a method of learning and with learning comes communication. She showed how the method works for a variety of children, verbal and non-verbal. For all children, she works on higher thinking skills, finding that many children may be very verbal but still cannot express higher level thoughts and that non-verbal children, when given an effective means, can demonstrate how much they know and how well they can learn using RPM. Soma was introduced by NAA Vice-President Ann Brasher, who shared her grandson's amazing breakthrough using RPM...a very inspirational story!
(photos: Soma with NAA-NY Metro President Sabeeha Rehman and with me; Soma presenting)

Omega 3s for ASD - live from the National Autism Conference

Take your Omega 3s! Peggy and I have had the chance to chat with Tim Terry, a senior sales manager with Nordic Naturals. Omega 3s are important for all of us but are especially important for children on the spectrum, and children often can't or won't eat Omega 3-rich foods. Nordic Naturals provides some of the purest Omega 3s available, and, for kids who don't swallow pills, make very palatable flavored liquids. Our family has been using Nordic Naturals for years with great success. They can help with everything from attention to eczema!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NAA-NY Metro is on its way...

NAA-NY Metro is on its way to Ft Lauderdale for the National Conference. We are eager to learn and hoping for some sun too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On the Road...

Leaving for the NAA tomorrow morning and trying to learn to live blog!