Autism Moms and PTSD: Why Your Facebook Baby Pictures Trigger My Panic

zorroI have a confession to make: Whenever I hear that someone’s expecting a new baby, I’m at high risk for having a full-blown panic attack.  It’s not that I want to be a royal buzzkill; it’s just a visceral reaction based on my own parenting experience. So if my smile dims and I start to sweat, it’s not you or your happy news.  It’s me.

You may have seen the headlines about autism moms having stress levels and PTSD like combat veterans.  It’s no lie. The hypervigilance, the hair-trigger reactivity, and the pure adrenaline and cortisol dysregulation are very similar.

Even for those of us who’ve made it out of the trenches, so to speak, life is still full of triggering events.  Facebook, for example.  I love Facebook.  It’s brought me closer to people from my past, introduced me to new friends, connected me to causes close to my heart, and brought spiritual sisters into my life.

Facebook also delivers photos of babies with captions like “Look at my little trooper who had all her shots today! I dosed her with baby Tylenol before and after like the doctor suggested, and I think it helped!” And the baby in the photo has rheumy, red cheeks, is covered in eczema, has huge dark circles under her eyes, and/or her forehead looks swollen.

The follow-up Facebook picture three to four weeks later of “My poor princess has had double ear infections all month and probably needs tubes,” makes me hyperventilate.

Jill's sonThat’s all it takes.  All those signs I missed in my own son. All that immune system dysregulation advertising itself on his fresh baby skin, the constant ear infections and the monthly doses of antibiotics, the toddler pictures where he’s lining things up (Look at mama’s little helper tidying up his toys!), the blank stares when other babies or toddlers would be bubbling over with giggles — Christmas, playing with a puppy, getting his hands on a new toy.

I’m not alone, either.  My fellow Thinking Moms and I lean on each other to get through this.  We all have stories of friends and relatives ignoring what we know are warning signs.  And we’ve all developed a bit of a sixth sense as to which kids are going to tip over into chronic health problems, behavior issues, or full-blown autism.  We are a team of Cassandras — a Trojan princess graced with the ability to see the future but cursed by never being believed.  We give dire warnings about the future and are roundly ignored. I know you don’t want to hear it.  Who would?

train wreckIt’s like watching two trains on the same track head toward each other at full steam.  There’s going to be a spectacular crash, people are going to get hurt, but I can’t say anything.  Or if I do say something, I’m brushed off as crazy.

Look, the truth is I don’t want anyone to be blindsided by developmental or chronic health problems, especially when they can be mitigated or avoided by appropriate early intervention.  So for those families who aren’t ready to dive into my world of alternative medicine and special diets, but might be persuaded to dip in a big toe, I offer this hard-earned advice:

  • Don’t use acetomenophin (Tylenol) before or after any medical procedure, especially vaccinations.  Acetomenophin turns off the body’s glutathione, the Mother of all Antioxidants and master detoxifier, exactly what you don’t want turned off.  You need the glutathione to get rid of the mercury, aluminum, MSG and formaldehyde that’s in the shots. Try a little homeopathic Thuja 30C — it’s what I used when I faced a largely unavoidable tetanus shot for one of my kids.
  • If your child completely falls apart after every round of shots, please, please, please consider an alternative schedule at the very least.  There are no studies confirming the superiority of the current schedule.  None. But there are studies showing that too much, too early can cause problems.  The grab-‘em-and-stab-‘em schedule is for the physician’s convenience and pocketbook. S P R E A D them out.
  • If your child has cousins with neurodevelopment issues or aunts and uncles with autoimmune diseases, please, please, please reconsider the wisdom of maintaining the current vaccine schedule.
  • Breastfeed if you can.  The immune system boost and support for your baby is invaluable.
  • Avoid GMOs and crap food.  And by crap food I mean fast food french fries and Goldfish crackers, anything with artificial colorings, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and preservatives.  That goes for you, too, mom — especially if you’re breastfeeding. Only eat organic corn.  Don’t fall for the “harmless aspect of the familiar,” to quote Rachel Carson.  Just because everyone eats it, or it’s cheap, or you grew up on it, doesn’t mean it’s healthful, nourishing food.
  • Probiotics! Probiotics! Probiotics!  Jarrow makes one that is suitable for newborns.
  • Good oils. This is what builds your baby’s brain. You can start adding fish oil at a fairly young age. I made my own formula from the Weston A. Price recipe, which includes fermented cod liver oil, for my youngest when he was 8 weeks old with our pediatrician’s full approval.  If you’re nursing, take it yourself.






These are some photos of TMR kids. “They look like kids, what are you worked up about?” you might ask. You know what we see? Eczema, under-eye circles, chronic inflammation, puffy faces, flat stares, chronically runny noses, poor color, swollen foreheads…


Maybe I’ll stop flinching at baby pictures when the autism rates start to taper off instead of increasing almost exponentially, when 1 in 6 kids doesn’t have a behavioral or developmental diagnosis, when the rate of ADHD drops from 1 in 10 to something better …

Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to make you a little uncomfortable by offering advice.  It’s advice I probably would have ignored, too, but at some point your ears will open and you’re going to hear what I say.  You’ll understand why I can’t stand by and watch your precious bundle fall off the developmental charts or suffer head-to-toe eczema.  It’s a slippery slope, and it’s not a matter of if there are going to be bigger issues, it’s a matter of when.

vacant stare“. . . I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.”

— Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger


~ Zorro

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58 Responses to Autism Moms and PTSD: Why Your Facebook Baby Pictures Trigger My Panic

  1. I was diagnosed years ago with Complex PTSD. I am ashamed to say my children’s behaviors tend to trigger me. I had an amniosentisis with my son who was induced 6 weeks early. My son had a MMR shot at age 4. Up to then he showed no sign of PDD-NOS. He is almost 17 now. My daughter is 15 and has Asperger symptoms closer to dyslexia. I get very little support. It seems the older the children get, the harder it is for me to hide my own condition. Thank you for this article. Had I better knowledge back when my kids were younger, I would have done a lot differently.

  2. Amy Becker says:

    The BEST article I’ve ever read, and I’ve read tens of thousand of articles, and hundreds of books, over the nearly two decades that I’ve been researching WHY my son fell into the abyss of autism and how to reverse the damage done. No one has captured the story of my life as well as you have, Zorro. Thank you.

  3. Galaixa says:

    What do you mean when you say TMR kids? I ask because my older son has more then half of. What is described below the statement. He tends to have a runny nose, red cheeks all the time with mild eczema on them and tends to have under eye circles. He is two and I will admit our diet in the past month has been horribly due to moving.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      TMR is just a short version of Thinking Moms’ Revolution, the name of the website and the organization that runs it. The author is talking about kids of people who are part of the organization, that’s all. You should definitely start doing some investigating with regard to your son, though. Chances are good that he is sensitive and/or allergic to at least one food. You can do traditional allergy testing or try something like NAET, which helped my son a lot. You also might want to do some reading starting with Kenneth Bock’s Healing the New Childhood Epidemics.

  4. Dea Goble says:

    I applaud what you’re saying!! I do my children are unvaccinated and I absolutely believe that vaccines do link to autism and the like. However I have a perfect 27 month old daughter who still breastfeeds, who was born peacefully at home, who is unvaccinated and has never had an ear infection or been prescribed antibiotics in her life, her body has never seen chemical laden soap, the floor she plays on has never been cleaned with anything harsher than vinegar and yet… She was diagnosed with autism recently. Its no guarantee I never thought I was guaranteed anything but a child fear of autism didn’t factor into my decision not to vaccinate and i have no desire to go stab her full of needles. I fully support and stand with those who lobby for change and more studies and research etc…I am anti vaccine for my family. However it seems in the case of MY child vaccine status means nothing. I feel like she’s such a mystery I should turn her over to medical science to be researched because she seems to defy everything that society tells us causes autism. I don’t know what to blame and thats hard as a mother.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for posting your story…just as in some people turn a blind eye and refuse to believe some things might cause autism, it seems others refuse to believe there could be any “real” internal genetic cause. I have four kids and my son, who is Aspergers and just plain “different” in an autism spectrum way, has been that way since the day he was born. He was literally different on day one, not bothering to cry for feeding, not able to coordinate his muscles to pass a stool, etc. I’m sure some people might try to blame it on something I did during pregnancy, but IMO that’s just as bad as those who insist there is no environmental factor that ever causes it. Sometimes it is just THERE, no matter what.

  5. Wendy says:

    Hi! Thank you for the article! Could you please share more info or references I could use with information on the homeopathic Thuja 30C? Would this be a good daily supplement for teens to keep illness away? I’m having a hard time finding more information online other than it’s for warts. Thank you in advance and many blessings!

    • Thuja is a deeply acting homeopathic remedy that can be useful in people who have problems tolerating vaccinations. It is sometimes indicated when ailments occur from vaccinations. I would not give it as a tonic for teenagers routinely without first consulting a homeopath. Cell salt remedies are better tonics,ideal for home use, and I recommend a book by Lennon and Rolfe called “Homeopathic Cell Salt Remedies”. Please do contact me if you want more information of Thuja via my website

      I think this is a fantastic blog, by the way. Congratulations, Thinking Moms, for your eloquence and sensible advice.

  6. Julie says:

    Your article articulates how I feel and am so glad I’m not alone. My son was only slightly injured compared many children so I wouldn’t say I have PTSD, but I do feel that panic when someone mentions taking their child in for shots or my Dr. asks why I don’t vaccinate. In my mind I thinking “Can’t you see the Ecazema covering his whole body, that is triggered every time he gets sick with a cold or flu, which is every month? Can’t you see his slightly more then normal hyperactivity?(Even he, the Dr. noted it one day as my 4 year old was trying to break dance on the floor)” But I don’t say anything because generally he’s a good Dr, just not in that area and I really don’t want to argue anymore with those who have been so very throughly brainwashed. I’m just thankful I was able to find the info online I needed to be informed after my son had his first two sets of shots and I just knew something wasn’t right. We haven’t yet done the restricting diet because it wasn’t more then a few spots till just this last year, but we’ve tried every natural cream out there and give him probiotics and high quality vitamins daily. We’d pretty much start getting it cleared up and then he would get another cold so we were right back at the beginning. Just this week we started using Protopic and today is day three and so far the results are amazing. Next step is the healthier eating as soon as I can find the energy from having another little one at home that wakes up every two hours all night long.

  7. Molly says:

    Thank you for this. I hope a few people will read it with an open mind. If they can identify with you, they can say, “That could be my child”. Most people believe the hype that only crazy people “think” that vaccines can have serious side effects. Perhaps a few folks will at least consider a “less and later” policy for their own babies.

    My brother-in-law is a doctor and his wife has been very nasty to me on Facebook, constantly making fun of the idea that a vial full of mercury and aluminum might harm a baby. She neither knows nor cares what happened to her nephew. I’m like, Hello? Genetic predisposition, idiot? They have two kids so far and plan on more. I’m crossing my fingers that they don’t join the vaccine-induced autism club anytime soon.

  8. Jennifer Francini says:

    Why would PTSD experiences by anyone diminish what soldiers have gone through? I watched my husband die from cancer. I was in the er about 6 months later with my daughter because she was the bitten in the arm by a dog. They had her hooked t up to a blood pressure monitor and the sounds it was making took me back to my husband’s hospital room where I sat watching his labored breathing. I had a full on panic attack. My daughter is so needle phobic from witnessing his demise. Soldiers have PTSD due to watching people die to bombs exploding to feeling helpless or trying hard and accomplishing little or realizations on why they are really fighting, wanting to have done more, wishing they knew this or that etc. Going through cancer or trauma is similar. Its loss, grief, sounds, emotions, pain, helplessness, regret, if only… the way it happens can be any terrible road.

  9. Donna Jo says:

    No worries, Peggy! We haven’t vaccinated our son since he was 18 months and our daughter since that first round at 10 weeks! (They are now 14 and 11.) After starting school and getting really sick for the first time, my daughter developed “atypical febrile seizures” (meaning intense febrile seizures resulting in stopped breathing AFTER the age of 6). She had 2 severe episodes in which she foamed at the mouth, stopped breathing, turned blue, and during one the ambulance couldn’t even transport her for 30 minutes or more until she was stabilized! After the second one, she was referred to neurology for EEG and other tests. Luckily, they saw no lasting damage or indication she was having seizures in general. The last one was when she was 8! We started homeschooling middle of last year, in part because my daughter was being teased about allergies and special homemade foods so much. My son goes to a small, private autism school that is accommodating of his special diet and feeding schedule (he also has extreme short gut, having lost over 80% of his small intestine after birth due to a birth defect).

  10. Donna Jo says:

    Thanks! It is probably off my radar because, amazingly, peanut allergy is one of the few we don’t seem to have! At one point, my husband would tell people the kids were “allergic to food,” and we didn’t even try peanuts for years. That was mostly to keep people from guessing what they could or couldn’t eat.

  11. Alicia says:

    I also have a child with some pretty strong behavior issues. We have been to the ER and been through some Psych stuff at our local children’s hospital. However, we have a significant genetic dose. We knew it was coming and its genetics that was the problem. I get that this road is hard for parents. I can remember chanting to myself “I am the adult…I am the adult….” I spent nights crying. But our culprit was the misuse of psychology and a psychologist that would not listen to me as the mom. My husband wants to do cognitive behavior therapy now and I won’t step foot into the children’s behavior unit at our nationally known children’s hospital which is also my husband’s employer. I hate psychology and what it did to my daughter.

    I am concerned that these parental experiences are being compared to PTSD and what our soldiers have experienced after war. I am fearful it lessens what soldiers are going through. Do you really believe that what we experiences as moms is true PTSD? That is a significant comparison and I just don’t see it.

    I am an educator. I see people make bad decisions about education all the time. I try to warn them. I try to explain why isolating kids is a bad decision, why pushing them too far in advanced math too early just sets them up to fail in high school and even take developmental non-credit math in college. I try to explain that social maturity is just as important as academic ability. People don’t listen to me either and I just have to sit back and watch families make their own mistakes. Its part of maturity and knowing when we can’t do anything else.

    Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. Being a mom to a gifted kid that has significant behavior issues is definitely the most traumatic and frustrating thing I have ever experienced. Do I want people to learn from my journey? Absolutely? Will most people? Nope…The best I can hope for is to be able to support someone else that is walking that path. But are we experiencing true PTSD….I don’t think so. I don’t want to minimize what our national heroes are going through when they return from the battlefield.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      I’m actually working on a book on PTSD at the moment with a practitioner who treats it, and I can say, yes, for many people it IS true PTSD. That in no way diminishes the PTSD experienced by others, whether they are in the military or not. There are many kinds of traumas that can cause PTSD and watching your child go from healthy to extremely sick is right up there. I had a baby who died, and I had the same kinds of issues for a couple of years after he died.

    • Molly says:

      Being an autism mom is not just “being a mom”. I have four non-autistic kids, and my experiences with my autistic son have been thousands of times harder. It was easier to homeschool four children while having morning sickness than to have one autistic two year old to handle. He had a developmental age of an infant in language skills while he was an active four year old. It is a living hell, a nightmare, a world you apparently do not understand. My husband calls those first few years “The Hell Years”. (We now find parenting delightful.) He was always a beautiful boy, but the hours of screaming, the rages, the self-injury – and then he slept maybe four hours at a stretch. He is now a much higher functioning “handful” at 11, but both of us barely survived having a severely autistic toddler. That is not hyperbole. We literally both became suicidally depressed; only the support of my parents pulled us through. Seeing photos of us in those years makes me physically ill. I used to hide in a closet and weep on his birthday because it was one more time I was reminded how much he was missing and what kind of life he could be enjoying. We are past those years now, but I still become panicked, nauseated, and shake like a leaf when something triggers those memories.

      You have no clue what you are talking about. I have four other gifted kids; one with dyslexia. That’s a cakewalk, lady, a GIFT. Thank your lucky stars instead of assuming you “get it”. You don’t.

    • Alicia says:


      Thanks for your response. I have often told my daughter that someone’s response to her is more a reflection of them than it is her. It has helped her when others look at her differently and just don’t get her. She struggles socially and it breaks my heart. Unfortunately, you have helped to prove my point. I hear you loud and clear….

      #1 Becuase I ask hard questions I am told I don’t get it. I am told I am not welcome here because I don’t buy in to everything that is said in the post. That my parenting struggle isn’t as difficult as others. Because I have a different opinion, we can’t have an open rational discussion about parenting and our children. I am at the beginning of my journey here and don’t buy in to everything yet. I have challenged my kids psychiatrist, Psycologist, and the entire behavior department at children’s. And now my husband and I are at odds because he wants to try it again. Talk about being alone…..then when I come here it is suggested that my experiences weren’t hard enough.

      #2 Our onset was fourth grade, many of the experience some had with a toddler we had with a 90 pound fourth grade child that we could not physically control because of her size. We had to call 911, we had to watch the psychiatric ER physically restrain here. We went through an anger management program with her with a Psycologist that wouldn’t allow questions and told my daughter what to think. I don’t know much about psychology but I do know that isn’t allowed. Be very careful telling people they don’t get it and that being a mom to my daughter isn’t the same. No one knows the struggles of others. You don’t know my walk. And now I am scared to share it for fear of being judged.

      #3 This post came up on my news feed in Facebook and it caught my eye. I was looking for some conversation, discussion and support. I spent a lot of time last night going through the website hoping to find some support to wake up to your message. I looked into the autism book that TMR published. What do I do now since I don’t get it? Where else do I go?

      I hear you, I won’t be back. You should warn new comers they aren’t welcome unless all their ideas and experiences are exactly like yours.


      • ProfessorTMR says:

        Alicia, that was one woman’s opinion. Unfortunately, a lot of people have excessive responses to certain triggers. Believe it or not, that is a part of PTSD. Newcomers are most definitely welcome here and we are very, very interested in different viewpoints, including yours. I suspect that Molly felt like you were denying her experience by saying that it might not be true PTSD. Now it seems that you feel that Molly is denying YOUR experience. I suspect that there is an element of truth to both of them. We’ll all get a lot better discussion going if we concentrate on our OWN experiences and resist the impulse to tell other people what they have and haven’t experienced. It would be great if we could take down our hair-trigger defenses, but it would also be good to realize that those hair-trigger defenses are PART of the very issue we are talking about.

      • Molly says:

        I didn’t mean to imply that your parenting experiences and challenges were not hard enough. (Hard enough for what?) I meant that you just don’t get it.

        If you are perplexed as to why people who have suddenly been dropped into parenting a severely autistic child talk about recovering from that trauma and PTSD-type symptoms, *you don’t get it*. It was a trauma, a grief, an adrenaline filled nightmare, over many years. It was not “parenting”. It was surviving. You don’t seem to understand the difference between getting through a tough time with your kid and that type of situation. We’ve had job losses, I have a severe chronic illness, we’ve dealt with severe learning disabilities and a child with blood-sugar issues that need monitoring. Nothing. Even. Comes. Close. There are stressful times, and then there are traumas that change who you are as a person.

        If you still don’t understand the gist of this article and why she seems to be making such a big deal out of it, great! Maybe that’s because you can’t really relate. That doesn’t make you a bad person, a bad mom, or anything of the sort. It just means you need to be thankful that you don’t relate and not assure everyone that you really do get it. Hubs and I have moments of grief – actual grieving and pain – every single day of our lives still. Do you?

    • Donna Jo says:

      Alicia, I can assure you that most moms of kids with significant medical issues and/or vaccination reactions go through a tremendous amount of stress, and even through smiling faces, we can hide underlying panic and trauma. I spent 11 weeks in the NICU, not knowing if my child would make it out. Different things that people said to me at different times (doctors, nurses, etc.) will haunt me FOREVER. These are just a few:

      The ER surgery intern on call the night we brought him in with bilious vomiting: “We don’t want to wake the surgeon. We’ll see how he does through the nigh.” Luckily, the experienced ER doctor went over his head and called the surgeon on call. It was life or death!

      His surgeon, after he was responding well and before his third and final neonatal bowel surgery: “He’s doing so well. This next one will be like a walk in the park.” [insert loud buzzer sound] No, it wasn’t he lost most of his small intestine. He was the only infant to make it out of the NICU alive having lost what he did. The fact that he was doing OK while everything was dying inside him kills me to this day.

      My OB/GYN, at my delayed 6-week post-C-section check, on hearing about my son losing his intestine: “Look on the bright side. My grandma had short gut, and she could eat whatever she wanted and not gain weight.” When you are in the throes of trying to figure out what your child can eat, which foods he is allergic to, which he just can’t process, and how to help him grow best without overwhelming him, that is a sucker punch to the gut.

      Also, my OB, after a c-section that resulted in my son and I being separated over 8 hours with him in the NICU due to breathing issues: “Well, you should have a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD after all this mess. I predict smooth sailing from here!”

      The head NICU nurse, at seeing my pitiful production of 2 oz of breastmilk from pumping both breasts for an hour: “It’s OK, honey. Sometimes you smarter moms just overthink all this stuff. Some of the less educated moms can pump gallons without thinking.”

      Our daughter’s pediatrician, whom we had told we had misgivings about vaccinations due to our son’s health issues (after each round) and autism: “Well, I agree with you on him. I wouldn’t do anymore vaccinations. But this one is super strong and healthy. She will be fine.”

      This doesn’t even scratch the surface of what I remember over and over in my head. Yes, the PTSD is real and it is something we deal with all-too-often silently. A million stifled tears cried into a pillow case at night. Despair about what the future holds — whether it’s my son’s medical or autism issues or if vaccines will become forced and I have to worry about my daughter dying from a reaction. It is all there, and the slightest bit of news or pictures or words on the street can cause an inner meltdown that I have learned over many years to suppress.

  12. Carol says:

    Agree with everything you say!!!! So frustrating!!!!

  13. Britni says:

    Hi, i saw you mentioned dark under-eye circles and was wondering what causes that, in your opinion.
    Thank you for putting yourself out there. Parents who speak up about this stuff are accused of being judgmental, mommy warmongers and, yeah, crazy. It scares me to speak out and warn people. Bravo for your bravery!

    • Donna Jo says:

      I have always heard dark circles under the eyes referred to as allergic shiners. They are indicative of allergies. Sometimes there can be puffiness or swelling and redness as well.

  14. Basically exactly what I speak about in my upcoming book: Healing without Hurting: Treating ADHD, Apraxia and ASD Naturally and Effectively without harmful Medication. Anyone looking for alternatives to the hammer-like approach to mainstream thinking/treatment can find the book on Amazon. Office release Nov. 5.
    You can also find me: Healing ADHD & Aspergers without Hurting!

  15. melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s good to know I’m not the only one maybe I really am not crazy! My fight or flight instinct seems to be on fullbore all day long, it’s exhausting. I do my best to educate myself on my daughters disorder and to stay calm and patient with her but sometimes I fail. And then I feel guilty and I beat myself up about it. Quite often other people don’t understand they say I’m overthinking worried about nothing or I’m a drama queen or crazy. But I know I’m simply driven by such love for my daughter and I want to give her the best life possible this post reminded me that I need to take care of myself as well I am going through something to. And I need to be at my best in order to give her the best

  16. Nicole says:

    As a mom of an unvaccinated extremely healthy, happy and bright 23 month old, I say thank you to all the moms out there sounding the alarm bells on vaccinations and sharing their stories. I’m so sorry what happened to your children. It is a tragedy and is debating but please know that there are parents who have listened to your words of caution. I see in our local park the difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated kids. The doctors say that vaccinated kids are healthier – would love to see the study that shows that.

    • lisa says:

      Oh thank you for saying this. I try desperately to tell my friends but they think it’s just my kids. I don’t want to see anymore hurt.

    • Amanda Phillipson says:

      Oh thank you for your kind words! I am sitting here bawling feeling so grateful that at least 1 person out there has heard our cries and our screams and has saved a child. It makes me feel that the hell we have been to and back may have a silver lining it is somewhere. Best of luck to you and your family.

    • Molly says:

      Wow, thanks for listening. Most people just assume that only tinfoil-hat wearers have vaccine injured kids; like it could never happen to them. I really appreciate that you were moved to caution because of our alarm bells! May your daughter keep growing strong and healthy. 🙂

    • Kate says:

      Same here–thanks to all those who sounded the warning before me. My oldest was vaccinated with 4 single doses spread out over a year starting when she was 1. It was against my better judgment. When my son was born, my instincts screamed not to vaccinate him. I spent countless hours researching the science and reading the stories of moms like those here. I took the advice. Three healthy kids, no vaccines for the second two ever. I have no doubt that my son would have been damaged by them. I have no evidence for that; I just know. I’m sorry for all of you who have suffered. Thank you for talking about it.

  17. Donna Jo says:

    I have the same experience as the author — coincidental allergies, colic, reflux, repeat ear infections, eczema, rashes, etc. — leading up to an autism diagnosis on his second birthday. Stopping vaccinations (after starting chiropractic care and noticing tremendous gains), starting a special diet, and radically changing our lifestyles led to many improvements, but I can’t undo what I did. I was still on the fence when our daughter was born, but one round of vaccinations almost killed her — and then started a cycle of (you guessed it!) allergies and colic — and long struggle with diarrhea/constipation when her yellow, seedy breastfeeding poops changed overnight to green, mucousy mess! All the signs were there from me — I was never able to achieve rubella immunity despite multiple vaccinations, I got horribly sick after vaccinations, I developed weird autoimmune symptoms in my 20s, I have anaphylaxis to multiple medications. Not once, in all this, did anyone connect the dots, issue warnings, or even record the reactions. My daughter has a medical exemption to vaccination, based on her seizure reaction, but now that she is older (and looks healthy for the most part), I have had people suggest we should just try it again!

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Donna Jo, I think you would find reading The Peanut Allergy Epidemic by Heather Fraser to be VERY enlightening. It discusses the history of anaphylaxis in depth.

    • Peggy Winkel says:

      Donna Jo, I hope you are not considering further vaccinations…..probably not. Just in case it ever comes to mind, I had a vaccine injury when I was 2 mod. old (DPT) and almost died, was paralyzed for a time (weak in those areas now- they tend to wrench when I have exposures to herbicides and nightshade, which I don’t eat intentionally) and had horrible colic and dysentary, brain damage, etc. I have recovered many, many times only to have set backs from toxic exposures, which I do try to avoid. I spend a lot of time at alternative care appointments (thank goodness)! preparing organic food and following dietary and treatment regimens. It all makes a huge difference. Good luck to all you parents! I have PTSD from my vaccine encephalopathy/paralysis. It is an element in vaccine injury and brain damage. War is not the only trauma that causes PTSD anymore than an IED explosion is the only cause of traumatic brain injury.

  18. We fight like hell to get our kids back. We are one such success story. Coming Nov. 5 I pretty much day exactly the same thing and offer a methodically approach to healing our docs are sadly ignoring in the name of $$.

  19. FallingApart says:

    (Sorry to the author that you have it too) But I am so happy to see other people say they have PTSD. My child can’t get an Autism diagnosis (although I truly believe she should) but she has PANDAS and severe behavioral issues. I am beyond my wits end with dealing with her and have PTSD from any sound, any misbehavior (even from other typical kids). I am truly Falling Apart. I am sorry to all of us who have to go through this, but this post actually made me feel better that I am not alone in the level of stress I live in.

    I was part of common culture with my first 2 children who are 17 mos apart. The oldest (the one with PANDAS) was fully vaccinated through age 5. The youngest was stopped at age 2 once we saw what was happening with her sister. I had another baby 7 years later and he is like the son of God wrt how we handle him. Hypnobirthing, bfing, absolutely 0 vax, no chemicals are allowed to touch his body, the list goes on. Each time I dress or change him, I am devastated that I wasn’t smart enough to give the same care to my first 2.

    • Molly says:

      I know where you are coming from. Our younger kids are so much healthier than our “pediatrician approved parenting” oldest. 😉 Try not to be too hard on yourself. Good nutrition and loving parenting will still make a world of difference to your child when so many kids out there get neither. But yeah, the stress is unbelievable.

  20. Natty says:

    So what about all the kids who have eczema and under eye circles who don’t have autism and have never been vaccinated? I know plenty.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      I know plenty who don’t have autism, but I don’t know plenty who haven’t been vaccinated. Most of the illnesses that are common in childhood today are a result of a combination of factors. Some of the biggest are probably vaccinations, antibiotics, Tylenol (acetaminophen or paracetamol), general anesthesia, and ultrasounds. The sickest kids, which tends to be the kids with severe autism, often have the most difficulty clearing toxins and/or have had the most environmental insults. My son had the under eye circles AND wasn’t vaccinated, but he did have a lot of antibiotics at birth and later as well.

      • momofboys says:

        my 13 month old has severe eczema. he was born at home (so no Pitocin, epidural, antibiotics or anything,) no vaccines, no antibiotics ever, no Tylenol ever, 100% breastfed

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        That’s interesting and unusual. Do YOU have any hypothesis for why your son has severe eczema? Do you or your husband have allergies? I think that there is a generational effect. People with allergies seem to have children who are more vulnerable in the first place. I have some pretty severe allergies and, though my kids were born at home there WERE antibiotics involved for both of them, and my son in particular had a tough time with allergies the first year. The allergic tendency also seems to go along with a lowered ability to detoxify.

      • Tara Glenn says:

        My doctor told me that the vaccines that my husband and I both received in the military may affect or cause conditions that our future children may have.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        That is probably true, Tara. I have been reading lately about the sorts of DNA changes that happen with stresses. DNA can be methylated differently, which changes how the affected genes express. The general field of study is called epigenetics, the effect of the environment on DNA. The healthier you can get BEFORE you have children, the better.

  21. Zorro says:

    Good to know about the probiotics. I suggested the Jarrow one because it’s easy to find. We tend to use probiotics from the holistic pediatrician we see now, specifically Klaire brand.

    Cipro is a nightmare. Many years ago I was on it for a couple of days and it trashed my health. My sister recently posted That she was on a new antibiotic and couldn’t believe how sick she was from it. I guessed it was cipro and I was right.

    Old baby pictures don’t trigger me the way new ones do. 😉

    • Justin says:

      Zorro… my firstborn has not had any immunizations and has had eczema runny noses and a speech delay… explanation? I’m with you on all of this but I’m confused by the symptoms and how my son has some of these symptoms. Just wondering what it could be?

  22. Panicking says:

    And here I thought I was the only one….
    I panic especially when people talk to me about allergies and eczema. That is how it all started with my son. I do often mention to be careful etc. but it usually falls on deaf ears. I’m pretty confident that most people think I’m totally nuts and/or paranoid but as long as I mention it, I feel like I’ve done my duty as a mom and then they can do whatever they want with that information.
    Very stressful indeed. I just don’t want people to make the same mistakes I did, and take things too lightly.

  23. Anna (Spain) says:

    I see these faces in the park, with my (healthy, non vaccinated, 17 month kid). I’m amazed people do not see this: it IS scary. I always keep in mind the faces we had when we were children. That is the way all children should look alike.
    Have a look at Weston A. Price Foundation of a healthy children’s gallery:

    • Molly says:

      Yes! We love Weston Price. I wish I had known about him from the start! Our whole family does so well on their diet and lifestyle advice. Cod liver oil is magic stuff, lol.

  24. Zen Honeycutt says:

    Check into probiotics. Many companies buy from Dianesco a probiotic supplier now owned by Dupont.Jarrow admitted to this. Garden of Life too. Child life does not.

  25. Pingback: Autism Moms and PTSD: Why Your Facebook Baby Pictures Trigger My Panic – The Thinking Moms’ Revolution | Polymumof8's Blog

  26. Lisa says:

    Lisa Bloomquist, do you know anything about healing from Cipro? My husband was on it for over a month in 2010 due to an internal VRE infection. He was on a LOT of other antibiotics, too. I don’t remember the others anymore. We know he has long term issues, but all of it could possibly be explained by his medical issues & surgeries/anesthesia. Apparently some of it might also be the Cipro? Kind of worried now.

    • Julie says:

      Regarding Cipro: I took Cipro and it destroyed my stomach. I ended up with c. diff. I was treated with 2 different antibiotics THREE TIMES to try to get rid of the c. diff but it didn’t help. I became pregnant and didn’t want to take any more medication. I took grapefruit seed extract (250 mg 3 time per day) every day, and I no longer have c. diff (my baby is now 3 months old). If I hadn’t been pregnant, I would have also taken oil of oregano. I’d look up online the dosage people took, but I’ve heard that works even better than grapefruit seed extract.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Please check out my site – – for info about healing from fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome. There are lots of helpful stories written by people who have been through it and who have gained a lot of knowledge and insight. Unfortunately, like all multi-symptom, mysterious, chronic, under acknowledged diseases, there is no “cure” per se. Everyone is different and different things help and hurt different people. Magnesium seems to help almost everyone. Transdermal mag (through mag oil or epsom salt baths) and/or magnesium supplementation is helpful to a lot of people. Antioxidant supplements seem to help a lot of people. I can’t say that I felt much of a difference with antioxidant supplements, but a lot of people have experienced a lot of improvement with Coenzyme Q10, NAC, etc. I did feel like brewer’s yeast helped me a lot and it has a lot of precursors to antioxidants in it. Acupuncture helped me immensely. Probiotics are a good thing to take to heal your gut. Time helped a lot. I hate to say it because it’s a frustrating answer, but time is probably the biggest factor. Getting my head straight (not an easy thing to do because of the mental issues that I went through from the cipro) was key too.

      Fluoroquinolones can mess up the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. They can mess up all muscles, tendons, cartilage and ligaments. The result is a really bizarre multi-symptom illness.

      I’m happy to answer other questions. The contact me link on floxie hope will get me.

      Best regards,

    • Hi Lisa,

      I posted a reply yesterday but it’s not up. I’m not sure why. Anyhow, I’m happy to help your husband with questions about FQ toxicity. Lots of answers can be found on and you are welcome to contact me through the “contact me” link on floxie hope.



  27. Lisa says:

    I kind of wish I could show you a picture of my son as an older baby/toddler to see if you see what I now think I do or if it’s just my imagination. He’s 13 now, so I know the outcome. I wouldn’t want to trigger you though.

  28. Joanna says:

    Facebook is killing me during “flu season” – I understand so much better why Holden is in a psychiatric facility…

  29. Great post! I get PTSD when I hear about kids with infections, because I know that a certain portion of them are going to get a fluoroquinolone antibiotic put into them. It breaks my heart. I practically did have a heart attack when I went with a friend to a pharmacy to pick up ear drops for her then 18 month old and they were CIPRO ear drops. I just about killed the pharmacist.

    Avoiding fluoroquinolone antibiotics should also be on your list of tips.

    Fluoroquinolones – cipro, levaquin and avelox – are chemo drugs masquerading as antibiotics. They do severe cellular damage (depletion of mitochondrial DNA), lead to massive amounts of oxidative stress (which can damage every system in the body) and deplete antioxidants like glutathione and SOD.

    Here is a post (and linked journal article) about how fluoroquinolones increase oxidative stress (ROS) and deplete antioxidants –

    Info about how they are chemo drugs, how they damage mitochondria, how they cause mental problems, etc. can be found in this list of posts I’ve written – and on my blog –

    Of course, as very powerful antibiotics, they also DESTROY the gut.

    Cipro just about killed me and I was a strong 32 year old. I get quite PTSDish when I hear about kids with ear infections. Ugh.

    Thanks for the post! It’s a good one!


  30. nhokkanen says:

    Great tips. And for parents who work in medical clinics — don’t assume you’re getting complete and honest information about health treatments, particular about vaccines. Keep in mind that corporations and medical trade unions control information flow, which generally serves their bottom line.

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