“To change the world,
Start with one step.
The first step is hardest of all…”
They. Are. Everywhere. Sick kids. I can’t go anywhere without seeing sick kids. They are at Target. They are at the pool. They are in every school in America. Multiplying.
See that girl over there by the vending machine? Look at the dark circles under her eyes. Allergies. Probably dairy or wheat.
Did you hear about the boy down the street? Life-threatening peanut allergy. Just diagnosed.
The Kindergarten teacher’s daughter? Hospitalized with asthma complications after her flu vaccine.
Your cousin’s child developed OCD after a strep exposure? Welcome to your new life with PANDAS.
And the autism. My God, the autism. It is everywhere.
So what’s a Thinking Mom to do when she encounters these situations every single day in every corner of society?
There was a time when I would have done nothing. When I was just starting out trying to treat my own son biomedically, I kept my mouth shut tight. I barely knew what I was doing. Who would listen to me? What does a mom know anyway? I am not proud of those days because even then…I saw it. I saw kids who needed help. Kids that were ill. But as we traveled along our autism road and my knowledge base grew, I became slowly more vocal and increasingly more forward.
I started occasionally posting compelling articles on my Facebook page about health, vaccines and autism. Not all the time, but enough to get it on my friends’ radar. Hey…autism is medical! We are doing (insert intervention here) to help our son. See…you can too. I’ll never forget when I got two messages in one day from long lost high school friends saying, ”My kid just got diagnosed with autism. Where should I start?” I cried for an hour that night. Despite the 25-ton weight I felt on my heart, I was grateful that those posts could help get a child on the road to recovery and better health. Yes, our kids with autism are sick, but they can get better.
Maybe even more importantly, I started talking. I talked about my son’s history of antibiotic use and the fact that he got vaccinated while taking them. I talked about how he stopped growing, and stopped developing. I talked about how three months of cod liver oil brought eye contact back. I stopped being worried about what the person on the other end of the conversation thought. I talked at the bus stop. I talked at preschool. I talked to my family. I once had a mom at preschool approach me to tell me her son was in the process of getting diagnosed. She had heard me talk about my son and met him at pick-up. She felt alone and needed someone to talk to. I handed her Kenneth Bock’s book and she read it. And she acted. And guess what? Her son is no longer on the spectrum. He no longer meets the criteria for an autism diagnosis. Read that again. Recovered.
One of our fellow Thinkers sent us this message along with the photo below: “This is exactly how I feel about speaking out on the causes & treatments of autism. I’ve made it my personal goal for 2013 & every year after to never be afraid again. Thank you for your site. You make it so much easier to be brave.”
No other message that we have received has touched me the way this one has. Probably because I feel the same way. Being part of this group of amazing people and this supportive, knowledgeable community has given me the confidence and the courage to put it all out there. No longer silent, I now say something and take action as I wade through our sea of sick children. We must never stop talking about all of this. We must not be afraid of the conversation.
Still, I am not as outspoken as some. I am a subtle, drop a pearl of wisdom here, or suggest an alternative to medication there, kind of gal. I could do more, but at least I am no longer silent. I tell my friend when I see those dark circles under her son’s eyes that her child likely has a food allergy. I express my concern about a neighbor’s child if I am seeing red flags. I can’t sleep at night if I don’t.
To all you Thinkers out there…not just the autism moms and dads, but the aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, grandparents and friends. Find your voice. Don’t be afraid. Please, share with us what your message is. You may help another Thinker find his or her voice. Even better…you may start a child on the road to recovery.
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