Sometimes it gets a bit frustrating when your own family thinks you are crazy and questions the things that you do. I hear the comments and know what they are saying behind my back. “I don’t think vaccines cause autism. Why do they go and see all those different types of doctors? Why do they do this and why do they do that?” However, I still try to inform them of the dangers of vaccines. After all, these are my nieces and nephews whom I love and care about. If I didn’t I would STFU, as Sunshine would say. My brother lied to me about vaccinating my niece last year. He blamed his wife and told me she took her in for her vaccines. My niece told me, “No, it was my dad who took me.” I had her put my brother on the phone immediately, and asked “Why did you vaccinate her?” He gave me the whole BS, “She can’t go to school unless she has her vaccines.” Truth is, he was lazy and it was just easier to give her the vaccines than get a vaccine waiver. He told me the line was really long, and he had to get back to work. Some may disagree with me on this, but I talked to my 13-year-old niece and told her, “Don’t ever let him take you to get another vaccine. If they (meaning my brother) even think about it, you call me.” She just laughed and said, “I will. I don’t want those stupid shots; they are poison.” I would probably never do this to anybody else. I believe it is a parent’s decision when it comes to medically treating their child. However with this niece, she is like a daughter to me, and I will protect as if she were my own.
Next onto my sister in-law on my husband’s side. She has two daughters. I tried talking to her once about the Gardasil vaccine. That was a huge mistake. She told me, “All of her friends got the shot, and you know teenage girls are going to do drugs and have sex. So at least I know she is protected.” I did not even touch that one with a 10-foot pole. End of conversation.
Finally to my sweet great-niece Emmy. Her mother, Cameron, is my niece through marriage. Cameron is an amazing mother. I love her and she is a Thinking Mom. Emmy had had only one vaccine. When it came time for her to get her next round, I spoke with Cameron and she said, “I am only going to give her one at a time.” She was going to be taking her to the doctor and she was going to give her the DTaP. She went on to tell me that they use saline and don’t have any of the toxic ingredients. I asked who the vaccine maker was and she said Sanofi Pasteur. I immediately got online and Googled “Sanofi Pasteur DTaP vaccine ingredients,” and there it was staring back at me: Aluminum, Mercury (remember Mercury has been removed), Formaldehyde, etc. I emailed the link to Cameron, and that was it. Emmy did not get that vaccine. Cameron had previously worked for a pharmaceutical company, so she knew how to read a vaccine insert and she did all her homework on all the vaccines. After educating herself on vaccines, SHE decided to stop vaccinating her children (She also has six-year-old twins.). She told me, “It just does not make sense to me. Why would I inject those dangerous ingredients into my kids?” THINKER!
According to Cameron, Emmy was significantly delayed in all of her developmental milestones: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking and talking. Her pediatrician always said, “Don’t worry; she is fine.” When Emmy was nine months, Cameron noticed Emmy had dark circles around her eyes. When she brought that up to the pediatrician he asked the same questions: How does she eat? Sleep? etc. And followed up with his patented line of “She is fine.” Shortly before Emmy turned one, Cameron brought her back to the pediatrician and insisted something was wrong, and asked the doctor to test Emmy for anemia. It turned out Emmy was not fine, she was anemic. With that diagnosis Cameron put her on an iron supplement.
Also, Emmy had extremely bad diaper rash. It was so bad that Emmy would scream and cry every time Cameron changed her. Also her stools were always green mush. Cameron now tells me, I thought that was normal. She also had a distended belly. Cameron thought that was cute. These were all things that concerned me in the back of my mind. Fast forward, Emmy was now just turning two years old and she was not talking. Besides not talking, I started noticing things about Emmy that had me concerned. The first time I REALLY noticed was on her second birthday. We were at Build-A-Bear and I was holding her. I was asking her “What bear do you want to build?” Emmy just focused on a button that was on the wall. She was completely ignoring me. The more I tried to engage with her, the more she was ignoring me. Then when we got to the part where they stuff the bear, the woman working there said, “Hi. What is your name?” Emmy didn’t even notice her, or anything else. She was more fascinated with the cotton stuffing spinning in the big machine. It gave me chills, because she reminded me of my son at two. I thought to myself, you are probably being paranoid, plus she was playing with the teapot appropriately at Pottery Barn.
That night I said something to my husband. “I am a little concerned about Emmy.” He said, “Are you kidding me? I have been concerned.” We started to have a conversation. He told my how he was purposely trying to get her attention, and she was ignoring him at her birthday party. I said, “But she was playing with her sisters and the balloon.” He said “No, she wasn’t. I was observing her. She wanted the balloon that played music. She did not play with her sisters.” When we would attend family functions, and people would notice Emmy was not talking, I would hear the comments. “She is probably just delayed.” “My kids were late talkers, too.” She will talk when she is ready.” My husband and I are not let’s-wait-and-see type of people. Especially because of what we know: our environment, food supply, vaccine schedule, and pediatricians of today who are not paying attention to what is going on with the children of today. THEY ARE NOT GETTING IT! We decided to keep an eye on her. My husband said, “I think you need to get involved.” So I did. I was that nosy aunt meddling in their business.
I knew Emmy had a pediatrician appointment coming up, so invited myself to go. My niece was working, so she asked if I would pick up Emmy and meet her there. Emmy and I were waiting in the parking lot of her pediatrician. I let her out of her car seat and plopped her on my lap. “Hey Em, let’s play patty cake.” She wanted nothing to do with me. I tried several other things to do with her, but all she wanted to do was stare at the cars on the expressway, and all the bright shiny things in my truck. I wanted to cry, “Oh God, please not Em!” My next thought was if something is wrong her pediatrician will pick up on it. Well that was a pretty stupid thought. My niece expressed concerns to the pediatrician that Emmy was not yet talking. This was not the first time Cameron brought this up to her doctor. The pediatrician tried to engage and talk to Emmy, and she COMPLETELY ignored him. He even made the comment as we were leaving, “Well, clearly she wants nothing to do with me.” I was beyond pissed off.
Again, Cameron is a “Thinking Mom,” she wasn’t relying on the doctors for answers. She went looking on her own. After doing her own homework, Cameron decided she was going to take Emmy off dairy. She was speculating along with me that Emmy may have some digestive and/or allergy issues. As soon as Emmy went dairy free — WOW — she started saying words and was, at times, more engaged. They weren’t huge changes, but changes.
One evening I was at home and reviewing old videos of my son at two and a half during a therapy session with me and my son’s play therapist. During the video, it hit me, my son was more engaged and talking than Emmy. Again, I was torn. Emmy had made progress, but I still saw red flags. I thought I can’t say anything to Cameron, because I am not 100% sure about Emmy being on the autism spectrum, and I don’t’ want to put her through hell, especially if I am wrong. BUT, then I thought what if she does have issues? As I said, I learned from my personal experience the expression, “let’s wait and see what happens” is probably the worst thing you can do. So I decided to do the next best thing. I called my sister in-law.
I first apologized and gave her the “I am nervous and don’t know if I am doing the right thing introduction.” I told her I am concerned about Emmy and think we should have her evaluated by doctors who would know how to figure out what is going on. I told her I am seeing red flags, but I don’t want to upset Cameron, so I chose to upset her. I said this jokingly and she knew what I meant. We had a long conversation and I listed all my concerns: the not talking, lack of social skills, sensory issues I had observed, etc. My sister-in-law said, “I respect your opinion, and thank you.” And that she would talked to her son and Cameron. The next night I got a text from Cameron saying, “You are a nut. Why on earth would you think I would be upset with you?” It wasn’t that I thought she would be upset with me, I just did not want to upset her. I called her and we talked and came up with a game plan. I gave her the name of an MD who is a holistic pediatrician, and the name of a pediatric psychologist who specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Unfortunately, both do not accept insurance and are an hour away. However, that did not matter. We first took Emmy to the holistic pediatrician who ran all the appropriate tests that would give us some answers and they did. Based on the test results, Emmy has digestive issues and immune dysfunction. She put her on the GAPS diet and added a few supplements, one being cod liver oil. About one month later we went to the pediatric psychologist. During this appointment Emmy was as typical as two-and-a-half-year-olds can be. She was fully engaged, had excellent eye contact, was saying more words than ever. I even heard a couple sentences from her. She was a different child. Cameron and I sat there saying, “Oh, my God, she had never done this before!” We were amazed. The doctor did an autism evaluation on Emmy, and she scored a two which put her nowhere on the autism spectrum. THANK YOU JESUS!
As Cameron and I left and went to lunch, Emmy continued to do things throughout the day that amazed us. It was like a flip switched on in her. Emmy, still is delayed in speech, but she is making progress. She is a very sassy and active two-year-old. Now she doesn’t stop talking. Emmy also has a little best friend, Gabby, that she loves to play with.
Cameron knows she has to continue with Emmy’s diet, supplements and seeing the holistic pediatrician. Even though we don’t have a crystal ball. We both feel if Emmy had received all her vaccines on the current vaccine schedule, or even just the DTaP, Emmy would have been affected by autism. Or, if Cameron had done nothing and just waited to see what would happen. I since then have talked with my sister in-law and she asked me, “Do you think maybe she just snapped out of it?” I said, “No, what Cameron is doing by treating her medical issues is what is helping her.” Cameron, also went searching for another pediatrician. She chose a naturopath recommended by a couple of her friends, who choose an alternative vaccine schedule. However, this pediatrician told Cameron she will not allow them into her practice because her girls are not fully vaccinated. Obviously, Cameron is still searching. I wish all moms were like Cameron. She did her homework and she listened. I was recently talking with an aunt who works for a pediatrician, and she stated, “Moms of kids with autism just want someone to blame.” No, we don’t want to blame. We want to prevent every child and family from the living hell autism creates.
For more blogs by Snap click here.