Autism Housing Crisis: Message in a Bottle before the Tsunami

February 25, 2020

This is a topic worse than politics or religion.

It is a topic that many actively address daily by way of status updates on Facebook, but posting and commenting are not going to change the urgency. This is not a topic to debate. It is a crisis to avoid.

My oldest son was diagnosed with autism June, 1994. I immediately feared for his future. I was asked to leave a library one day as I was researching autism because my son could not be calm nor quiet. There was no internet then.

Fast forward to the world of the interwebs: Now we can post on Facebook, tweet, private message, text, call, and chat. For some parents and care providers for autism that can be their only almost-human interaction daily. For many, it is their only means of venting frustrations and fears.

Severe autism can be very isolating. I learned that first-hand starting four years ago. Let’s just refer to that time as my advanced degree work in Autism Grad School. The first course that was selected for me was entitled “When Autism Is Fueled by the Individual’s Declining Health.” Few people in the world understand it. I am not sure as a mother and a care provider that I can ever relay the nightmare it was at moments. I was scared. Hell, I am still scared to even tell the tale of just how rough more than one day was. Those days were not just rough for my son, they were rough on his family and his neighbors as well.

The reason I am sharing this story is that I have seen so many articles and comments in the last few weeks about the lack of available care, the lack of help, the abuse that happens in the “system,” the lack of a system altogether, and an autistic person who was jailed because there was no placement for him.

I could go on and on and on.

I see the sentiment that “I can never die because who would care for my child”everywhere.

I have lost autism mom friends due to natural and unnatural causes. None of us are going to live forever.

Yes, some of our children have recovered, but the majority have not. This is not the tale of cute, quirky little kids that grow up to become functioning adults.

If we do not talk about productive and meaningful ways to start now to fix this, where will your child be?

I am not in denial that abuse can happen in any possible setting. My son is placed. Would anyone like to guess what might be the biggest thing I think about daily?

This may sound cold, but here it comes:

Posting about it—the fear, the lack of care, the inappropriate placements, the abuse in homes, both private and institutional—has changed not one damn thing.

Your post was a message in a bottle that never floated to a solution. It’s a message in a bottle, circling a whirlpool in the ocean, directly followed by the post behind it.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Katsushika Hokusai

“They say” that autism has always been here, just called something else. What a lie that is. If it were true, we would have resources and housing available.

My son was only able to receive his placement due to all his other medical diagnoses. Ohio as a state has emergency waiver placement for some counties now. And even that admission still took months. If it took months to locate a spot for the person who was born when autism was one in every 2,500 . . . do the math for the tsunami of young adults to come.

It is a scary topic, so scary that the Arc built one prototype place in Jacksonville, FL  years ago that the federal government said was too restrictive.

Autism Speaks had something in the works. Do any of us believe that they will build a significant number of units with the four percent of contributions they give back to the community? Right, sure.

So I am lovingly asking how we can fix this crisis. Living forever is not an option.

How. Do. We. Fix. It?

Much like the mother who experienced the “rare” vaccine injury to her infant and then went on to warn other parents, I am now a generation deeper into this battle and I am the mom telling you that we need to find solutions now. If some parents are now driving hours to see their child (if they are lucky enough to find a placement in the first place), where will your child be if we do not start addressing all the above-stated issues?

I knew and believed that my oldest would live with me for forever. Having to place him was the worst moment of my life. There, I said it. But I found him a place we could live with. I have watched many other parents have no choices. Placement is not one-size-fits-all. For some it will never be an option. But what are we going to do for those for whom it is the only option?

Will the autism community continue to scare each other daily, continue to fight over the causes, and continue debating legislation, while our own children end up homeless?

Currently, about 1% of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. Autism is the fastest-rising serious developmental disability. Prevalence of autism increased 119.4% from 1 in 150 12-year-olds in 2002 to 1 in 68 in 2016. As of 2013, more than 3.5 million Americans live with autism spectrum disorder. In 2018 the CDC estimated that 1 in 59 12-year-olds had autism, but a 2016 survey indicated that the true rate may be closer to 1 in 36 children. That’s nearly 3% of the child population, with no end in sight.

~ C. J. Fruscella

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Kindness Counts: Inclusion Begins at Home

February 19, 2020

Did you know that February is North American Inclusion Month? Nope? Me neither. I had no idea, and I don’t know how I missed it.

We hear a lot more about Autism Awareness Month in April because there is a bigger budget behind it due to all the funds raised for that effort over the years. When my kids were two and Autism Speaks was heavily promoted, I was so hopeful that people would learn about autism, know what it looked like, and learn to be accepting—or at least tolerant. Autism Speaks certainly held plenty of Autism Walks where families raised funds for this purpose, but that money raised was rarely used to help those in need directly. As a parent of three children with autism, I am not confident that money was well spent.

North American Inclusion Month

North American Inclusion Month (NAIM) was created by the Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities. Now some five years old, the North American Inclusion Month was established as a way of recognising the need for more opportunities for people with disabilities, including in both employment and education. February 2nd, 2010 saw a U.S. House of Representatives resolution, which acknowledged the goals of NAIM.

NAIM is an opportunity for society to be more inclusive regarding people with disabilities. Regardless of an individual’s disabilities the North American Inclusion Month aims to make them feel every bit a part of society as an able-bodied person. The month is not in place to create a better understanding of a disabled person’s needs and aspirations for just four weeks. The North American Inclusion Month is used as a way of galvanising a more positive approach, concerning people with disabilities, for the whole year.

Making society more inclusive for people with disabilities can begin with simple individual actions during NAIM. Going out of one’s way to interact more with people with disabilities is one example. Often people will not interact with people with disabilities because they are nervous about saying or doing the right thing. However, not feeling part of society is what will often hurt a disabled person most of all.


Until 2019, my family lived in a modest suburb 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta, where I commuted an average of four hours per day, five days per week for services that my severely affected twins could not access near our home or at our local school district, despite numerous meetings with legal counsel present.

Spring of 2019 we relocated to a large swim-and-tennis community that was the polar opposite of where my kids had spent most of their childhood, isolated in a fenced yard with no neighborhood children to play with. Our new community had a pool! Excitedly, we waited for opening day, our first attempt at belonging to a community. For the first time my children would be able to swim without my driving to an indoor pool that was so chlorinated it made my daughter’s nose bleed so badly we never went back.

Between May and September, we experienced a lot of disappointing interactions. My identical twin boys have always attracted attention. When they were small, their behaviors were mostly tolerated. This past summer, our first at the pool, they were 13 years old. One boy makes what we refer to as a pterodactyl noise: He flaps, screeches, gallops, and will get too close to others. Unfortunately, he loves small children and babies, which means we must be constantly vigilant around young children. His slightly smaller, more involved brother is not terribly interested in other people but has discovered the goggles-enabled sensory wonderland that is underwater. He will swim right up to anyone so he can hear what it sounds like.

My boys just want to be acknowledged and included. They can barely say hi. They are socially awkward to the point of not being a threat, but I can imagine what a parent who doesn’t know us sees. Despite almost four years of full-time behavioral therapy and social skills and many years in a self-contained classroom, they may still make your child feel anxious or threatened. Every time we get out of the car, even though I am not sure how much they understand, I tell them that they are not to get too close to small children, not to get in people’s space, and not to be loud. I don’t want them to feel as though they are being punished by keeping them home and never providing opportunities to participate in regular activities like any family, but the minute we sit down, I have high anxiety, anticipating the judgment of others.

I can never relax; I am always watching them from the side. Why am I not in the water? Honestly I need a break, too, sometimes from being a full-time caregiver. I also don’t want to hover all the time as they are now teens. I would like them to have the space to have a small amount of independence where mom isn’t constantly right there.

The pool is well attended, and early in the day there were babies, preschoolers, and elementary-school kids. Parents would hang out in chairs, enjoying social time, beverages, and watching their kids play. At first we would go, and some parents would be kind and say hello. Some would encourage their young kids to say “hi” to the boys and would be very sweet to me when I would intervene if I thought they were being annoying or invading their space. Truthfully, these experiences were rare. Even when a kid says hello, they don’t get much payoff other than a squeal, and they eventually give up when the boys do not play with them or understand what they are talking about.

One mother saw my son flapping in front of her seven-year-old and started screaming at him that he was a bully (he was simply excited). I had to run over and intervene, telling her that he was not trying to hurt her son. She immediately apologized and backed down. I was not angry; I wanted her to know not to fear my children.

I don’t tell other parents how to raise their children, and I kept my mouth shut when I really wished parents would say something to their kids, kids who would scream when they saw mine, pretending (in a loud voice) that my kids were monsters and running away from them. This monster game would last the whole time we were at the pool. One teen would follow my son around and splash him as hard as he could in the face. In all of these situations, I would wait for the parents to see what was happening and say something to their kids, but it never happened. Yet, I am sure those same parents would have noticed if I had stepped in to stop it. He eventually felt me staring him down and stopped.

After watching such interactions all summer, I did speak up. When some eight-year-old boys were very rude to my sons who did not understand, I said, “Hey, if you have any questions about the boys you can ask me. It’s okay.”

This completely shocked them, and one of the boys said, “They scare me, they are loud.” Well maybe at first that was true, but he and his friend began chasing him around and making fun of him after a couple of hours.

I briefly told him that my son was nonverbal and because he couldn’t speak he used behavior to get attention, so the best thing he could do was to say hello and then ignore him. I think they listened to me as I wasn’t being mean, just honest with them.

By the end of the season we started going to the pool in the evening to avoid the stress of being around young children.

Look, I get it. I want to be just like everyone else, sitting in a chair, taking a breath while my kids get to be kids for a couple hours. But my kids don’t get a free pass just because they have multiple disabilities, and I must stay vigilant. If you are in their presence for five minutes, you know this without me having to spell it out. I know parents don’t want to police their children’s behavior, but it breaks my heart to watch younger kids call mine monsters while their parents sit by and say nothing.

The scene at our neighborhood pool quickly made it clear to me that kids aged 6-10 are not aware of how their actions affect others. I started to understand that elementary-school inclusion was doing nothing to promote or reinforce understanding of children with disabilities. This is disturbing because most likely my boys will be at their neighborhood high school until they turn 21. That means that the young kids they see at the pool now will likely go to high school with them one day.

In our old neighborhood we commuted two hours per day to charter schools, schools which defined inclusion as disabled students having electives (art, languages) and lunch with typical peers. When I asked in our meetings if there was any facilitation of typical peers interacting with my children in these settings, I was told that teachers couldn’t force the other children to interact. “Inclusion,” therefore, was merely a label meaning my special-needs children were allowed to be in the same space as other children, but no one would encourage interaction beyond that. In behavioral therapy, the majority of the children were at the same level of severity as my own, so practicing social skills there would not even approach what could be learned from exposure to school-aged peers in an integrated classroom. We had IEP goals every year from age three (over 10 years now) intended to develop communication and participation skills, and none of it seemed to make a dent.

In our new school we found a silver lining. They have a program called “Friends Club” where typical peers interact with the students in the self-contained classroom. Everyone has a cool T-shirt, and they learn from each other. Now, a teen will occasionally stop us in public to say “Hi!” to the boys. Our neighbor across the street is in the club and says hello every morning. This means so much to me because we are not used to them being acknowledged in a positive way.

My son in his “Friends Club” T-shirt

During inclusion month, I would like to stress how important these school programs are. These student clubs will help teens discover that they can care for others, make a friend that really needs one, and possibly find a career someday. I can vouch for the fact that there will always be a job in an autism-related field based on the sheer numbers of children that aren’t just “quirky” but will need full-time care for the rest of their lives.

Parents, I don’t want to be the one to educate your child on how to treat others; I doubt you would appreciate that. Maybe you’ve told them before, maybe they encounter special needs kids at school and they’re still cruel. But just as you expect me to step in when my kids are invading your space and behaving oddly, I would appreciate your help when your children are treating mine badly.

I respect your family’s personal space, and I don’t expect your child to be friends with mine if they don’t want to. But children’s attitudes toward those with disabilities are shaped while they are young. I don’t want to be the scary lady who reprimands them at the pool because of my awkward teen boys. But, please, I am not sure my heart can take another summer of my children being called monsters by yours.

All of our children, typical or not, hear everything and understand more than you realize—and so do I. If you see me and ever have questions about our family I hope you will ask.

And to those who understood the importance of being kind to everyone, we appreciate it more than you can know.

~ Karma

For more by Karma, click here

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The Slippery Slope of Censoring So-Called “Pseudoscience”

February 3, 2020

The day before yesterday, an article came out in the U.K. Telegraph stating that the U.K. might soon make it a criminal offense to post “anti-vaccine propaganda” on social media. This was Crush’s response on her Facebook page. It was so good, we decided to post it here.

The thing about this is, for every time they call it pseudoscience or misinformation, we just happily continue sharing their information.

If you notice, not one of my posts have ever been flagged, not one removed, not one with their special little warning about “false information.” Why? I am clearly labeled an “antivaxxer.”

The problem is that when the information shared is directly from the CDC, NIH, FDA, WHO, peer-reviewed medical and science journals, manufacturer inserts, safety studies, federal lawsuits, FOIA requests, VAERS, medical records, etc., you can’t then say, “Don’t listen to those antivaxxers; they post misinformation.”

Well, I mean I suppose you can say that, but then you technically are saying, “Don’t believe any of our science because we are liars.”

You don’t get to have it both ways. If we are spreading misinformation, it is your misinformation. It’s not ours. We aren’t carrying out our own studies and posting them on Facebook; we are kinda busy caring for those kids you pretend don’t exist and kinda broke trying to support their needs now that we have had to give up our careers to provide daily care.

I’m not screaming, “Don’t vaccinate your kids”; that choice is yours. But I am fighting to keep medical choices (all of them) as yours to make because we all know what happens when a government gets to make your medical decisions and decide whom they deem worthy. And I am screaming that we have some very big problems with the products and schedule that need to be addressed. I am no more anti-vaccine than I am anti-water. In both cases I am sure we want the safest possible version for our children, and I believe that should be the only option.

When we have entities that are fighting to silence the public, we should always be questioning it. Ask why.

What would make tens of thousands of parents stand up to pharma, an industry that has made clear they will silence anyone who speaks against them? Should the Vioxx families have been silenced? Should we have sat quietly against tobacco lies? Should those fighting for the Flint kids have been called crazy and been jailed? Did we scream about those who spoke about their brakes not working, labeled them anti-car and legislate their Pinterest pages? Should we ban books that changed sanitation laws too?

People should speak out when there is a problem. Silence changes nothing. Silence is what created the so-called anti-vaccine movement. If public health agencies had addressed any of the problems that they are well aware of, we wouldn’t be having a discussion on how to silence social media.

I promise you that this is just the tip of the iceberg. You may not agree with me on this topic, but this banning of words will one day affect something you believe in and you will wonder why you sat quietly by or encouraged this idea.

Other countries are fighting for uncensored information, and yet we have that freedom and we are fighting to allow our governments to put a stop to it?

Think people.

~ Crush

For more by Crush, click here

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Schuessler Twelve Tissue Salts—Natural Healing Support for You and Your Family

January 17, 2020

Last week TMR mom JuicyFruit wrote a blog on “My Alternative Medicine Kit.” I would like to build on her work and offer an important addition: a Schuessler Twelve Tissue Cell Salt Kit. These tissue salts go by several names: cell salts, tissue salts, biochemic salts, bio-chemic gems, and Bioplasma.

What Are Cell Salts?

Have you heard of them? When I asked people “What was your first experience with Schuessler tissue cell salts?” the replies ranged from  “I have never heard of them,” to “cell salts help with headaches, overcoming hot summers, after surgeries, against fatigue and after illness. I LOVE them! For my family and my pets.” These are some other responses that can give you some idea of what cell salts can do:

Ferrum Phos, for low iron

Mag Phos for leg cramps

Helping with remineralizing teeth

My first experience was with a tissue salt combo called 5-Phos (Calc Phos, Ferrum Phos, Kali Phos, Mag Phos, and Nat Phos), which my chiropractor (at the time) recommended as a nerve tonic while I weaned from an antidepressant 10 years ago!

I was introduced to cell salts during my study of homeopathy and wanted to learn more, so I have continued with self study. I couldn’t imagine being without them now.

As a homeopath and online educator, I am well aware of just how intimidating it can be to purchase a homeopathic remedy kit and then look at your 36 or 40 remedies and go “Huh . . . what is this remedy for? Or this one?”

With the Schuessler Kit, you have only 12 little remedies to learn, and once you have mastered them, you will be able to use them for everything from menstrual pain to ear infections, bone spurs to coughs and colds, and support for brittle bones, hair, and nails. You can even use them in pregnancy to help maintain the health of both mother and the developing baby.


Quick Cell Salt Tip:

Have the flu this year and it left you feeling “down”? 

If the flu left you feeling exhausted and worn out, you can take Kali Phos to help you recharge and regain your energy.

How Do These Twelve Salts Do So Much to Support and Maintain Self-Healing?

Cell salts were and are, much like homeopathy, ahead of their time. Only in this last decade has there been so much interest in an information on the microbiome, the importance of health at the cellular level, and how to self-heal at the cellular level.

Dr. Schuessler was an outstanding intellect of the late nineteenth century: a doctor of medicine, a homeopath, a physiological chemist and a physicist who was well ahead of his time. His goal was to make homeopathy simpler. He developed his unique system of cellular therapy using biochemistry. Dr. Schuessler found that there are 12 basic inorganic minerals present in the body which he called “tissue salts.”

Tissue salts are specially prepared micro-doses of essential minerals. These minerals are important for the functioning and health of the body; if deficiency or imbalance occurs, common ailments or illness may result. These 12  tissue salts address the cellular mineral deficiencies and imbalances which can lead to illness, making this a useful, simple system to support self-healing.

Are Cell Salts the Same as Homeopathy?

Similar . . . but different.

Cell salts are prepared in the same way as the homeopathic pharmacy process—trituration (grinding) and dilution. Unlike high-potency homeopathic remedies, however, the trituration and dilution process leaves trace amounts of the mineral in the final product. Instead of a pure material substance like calcium, which can be difficult to digest, you have a “potentized” version that is much easier to assimilate at the cellular level. As the cells heal, so the unhealthy state resolves.

Quick Cell Salt Tip:

Low Iron? 

How many have had the experience of low iron in the blood? And how many have taken iron supplements only to realize one of the side effects: constipation? With the micro-dose of Ferrum Phos in tissue salt form along with Calcarea Phos in tissue-salt form, you can help restore iron levels at the cellular level—without the constipation.


Cell salts can be used as an adjunct to help support the whole person while they are under a homeopath’s care for constitutional treatment. Miranda Castro, an eminent homeopath and teacher, likes to call cell salts the “supplements of the homeopathic world.” This means that as a home prescriber, you can use the cell salts safely and effectively for any acute illness (short term with a beginning, middle, and end, such as colds, sore throat, flu, headaches, menstrual cramps, or ear infections) while on constitutional support. Be sure to let your homeopath know, though.

One main difference between homeopathy and cell salts is that cell salts are based on Schuessler’s theory of mineral deficiency at the cellular level. Homeopathy, however, is based on the tenet of “like cures like”—a triturated and diluted substance can be used to treat the same symptoms that the substance would cause in a healthy person. This is more a matching of symptoms in the person— whether chronic (ongoing illness like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, heart disease, or diabetes) or acute—to the symptoms associated with the remedy.

The homeopathic materia medica includes over 3,000 remedies. Schuessler isolated twelve cell salt remedies. While tissue salts are obviously less specific, you can imagine how much easier it is to learn how to use the tissue salts than even the 30–40 remedies in the average homeopathy kit.

How Can I Learn about the Twelve Tissue Salts?

If all this sounds intriguing to you, I am offering a course “The Schuessler Twelve Tissue Salts” by popular demand from former participants in some of my other homeopathy courses.

Follow this link for all the finer details—dates, times, and orientation class. The cost? $57.00 USD (early registration before January 22, 2020) for 14-15 weeks of lessons. After January 22, 2020 the cost is $77.00 USD.

I have been on a mission to get a homeopathic remedy kit in every home and to teach home prescribers how to use their remedies safely and successfully for acute illnesses (even epidemics or pandemics) and accidents, whether at home or traveling. I have since expanded my mission to include a Twelve Tissue Salt kit in every home!

I intentionally keep the cost of all my courses to a minimum. For some folks, even this may still be out of reach financially. Vets, retired folks, families with vaccine-injured children, chronic disease, fixed income—there are many reasons why a person may feel that education is only for the financially secure.

I understand that a lot of families dealing with health issues may also have financial problems as a result. More than once in my life, I have been financially vulnerable. I know what it is like, and I know that when we get back on our feet, we joyfully give back to others or pay it forward.

To ensure that what I teach is accessible to all, I am pleased to offer a Pay-What-You-Can-Afford-Model. To access this scholarship please email me at in confidence, and we can individualize a price that works for everyone.

My promise is that no one will be left out of my courses because of a lack of funds.

If you wish to pay it forward and gift a course to a friend or stranger, you can do that too, with gratitude and thanks.

If you have any questions prior to the course start (January 22, 2020), send me an email or watch for a Facebook Live presentation on Monday January 20, 2020.

~ Donna Powers, DCH

Donna is a homeopath, online educational teacher and is also available as a workshop consultant, speaker and writer. Donna is the founder and owner of Powers of Homeopathy and publisher of Homeopathy First Magazine.

As a homeopath and educator, Donna provides information about infectious childhood illnesses and teaches parents how to use homeopathic remedies to help support self-healing. Outbreaks of infectious childhood illness are happening more frequently worldwide. In an emergency, having a system of medicine that will support healing at home is critical. In epidemics and pandemics (especially in viral outbreaks) conventional medical support will be limited.



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Your Perception of My Story Is Irrelevant

January 13, 2020

Does the post-holiday season have you down? If so, I get it. Who else has had their dreams for the new year stomped on by those who are supposed to love you the most?

I was determined to change my life for the better by erasing bad habits and nurturing positive, healthy approaches to life. But after all of the present-giving and carol-singing this past holiday I was punted right out of my happy vibe orbit, and I found myself floating helplessly in a space of haunting emotions.


Turing 40 this past October year was a chance for a new improved version of myself; a person who easily threw away old adjectives that no longer described me.

I don’t want to be so sensitive. So now I brush things off and refuse to let the critics occupy my mind.

I don’t want to be a doormat. So now I see people for who they are, and I set up boundaries accordingly.

Transforming isn’t easy. It takes focus and commitment to the change each and every day. And the results are worth all the effort.

My whole adult life I struggled to understand how to be a forgiving person without being used and taken for granted. This time last year, after a lousy 2018 holiday season, I put up a boundary that was long overdue. I realized, with the help of some fantastic friends, that I could forgive the words and actions, not hold anger in my heart, and at the same time refuse to put myself in the position to be hurt again.


Unfortunately, a close family member had crossed the line with hateful comments about me and my children, resulting in a firm boundary being set in place.

Criticizing me for how I look, my religion, or my life choices hurts my feelings as it would many of us—I’ve had to work daily to thicken my skin—but when someone attacks my children, the gloves come off and the “mama bear” inside is awakened. I wonder how many of you are like this, too. Especially if you have a child with special needs.

Holiday gatherings with family tends to create a perfect scene for scrutiny and gossip, although I’ve witnessed it other times as well.

Last year’s voiced observation was about my youngest son, whose special needs are not as obvious as my oldest. He has progressed and regressed, and progressed and regressed, as often happens with kids like him. This family member accused me of fabricating his challenges and creating an adult who could not care for himself, due to my sheltering and enabling.

Any parent could imagine my offense. Parents of special needs children feel the deep stab of pain even more so, as if it were their own family’s criticism of their child and their parenting.

But maybe only those who have a severely disabled child and a child who is less noticeably affected could completely understand why these comments are so devastating.

We parents of obviously affected children know what it is like to mourn the future of our child. We know all about planning for a future where our child never leaves home, and we know the dreaded fear of wondering what will happen to them when we die.

We also know what it’s like to hope with every ounce of our being that our other children will progress and meet the milestones and achievements that our obviously affected child never will. We envision graduations, weddings, and grandchildren. We want them to have it all.

Why would we ever want or wish the kind of limitations one child has on another child?

Mother and Son, by Thomas Sully
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Parents of special needs children often walk around with a broken heart. With every breath, the shards inside us cut a little more. Every graduation party, wedding, baby announcement, trophy or award, we are sliced up inside, barely surviving, yet we continue to act like everything is okay. We can’t afford to fall apart; our kids need us.

My holiday buzz this past December was ruined by other judgmental family members who told me I was being unreasonable for enforcing the boundary I had set. In fact, they thought she was right. They attribute my youngest’s behavior to attention-seeking, justifying their stance solely on the fact he has a disabled brother. But if the critics took the time to ask about his childhood, they would come to understand that this child has always had the greatest share of my attention, because he has always been a much more challenging child to raise. He was more defiant, argumentative, and more needy. My oldest son has learned to be independent in ways my youngest son has still not conquered.

People who have no idea the life we have lived need to keep their opinions and assumptions to themselves.

Most people don’t know the sleepless nights, the buckets of tears cried, or the guilt that rings so loudly in our ears that we can barely function day to day. Warrior parents know: What should I have done better? What should I do now?

My heart is constantly mourning what could have or should have been.

So for those of you reading this and thinking of someone you know, whom you believe to be inventing their child’s challenges, I urge you to ask yourself if there may be more to the situation than you know. Ask kind questions so that you might be able to better understand and offer comfort rather than what you might think are obvious solutions.

Because it can be heartbreaking and life-crushing to know your child will remain like a ten-year-old forever. Regardless, you love them unconditionally and couldn’t imagine life without them. You work yourself to the point of exhaustion to get them as independent as possible—you love and celebrate each and every little gain! There is no way a person who lives a life like this could ever keep a child they raise from progressing on purpose, or choose to magnify their weaknesses. Warrior parents have one mode—and that is to travel the road to success one small step at a time.

Let’s stop assuming we know everything about other people’s lives and have some compassion. Why is this so hard to remember this time of year? Do you feed the homeless, or buy gifts for a struggling family yet forget to show love and understanding to your own family?

Just because my children are adults, doesn’t mean they are done progressing. We are working on goals every day, just as we always have. And just because we haven’t met your criteria of success—on your timeline—doesn’t make you right, and it doesn’t negate our journey or our successes. We will continue to work as long as I am on this earth.

My resolution to improve who I am and how I handle difficult situations is steadfast and immovable.

I know my story. Your perception of my story is irrelevant.

~ Green Bean Girl

For more by Green Bean Girl, click here

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How to Destroy Your Health and Your Relationship with Your Parents at the Same Time

January 9, 2020

You may have seen an article on WikiHow that’s been making the rounds. I don’t want to tell you how to feel, but as a parent I found it deeply disturbing.

You see, the article gives step-by-step instructions for “How to Get Vaccinated without Parental Consent.”

In other words, it encourages children to subvert their parents’ decision to refuse powerful immune-modulating drugs with potentially devastating side effects for their children.

The article, written by an anonymous team of 13, includes such helpful suggestions as “Petition the court for emancipation if your parents are really bad,” implying that the “protection” afforded by these drugs is better than the protection of parents who have chosen to say “no, thanks.”


Listening Will Change Your Parents’ Minds

Step 2 of “Making Plans” would be hilarious if it weren’t so chilling.

It contains some unintentionally ironic language: “Try talking to your parents. Explain your own worries, and let them voice theirs. Make sure that it’s a two-way conversation, and you show respect for their perspectives (even when they frustrate you). It takes time, and often good listening skills, to change people’s minds.

Much as I appreciate the exhortation to “make sure that it’s a two-way conversation,” I find the implication that “listening” will change a parent’s mind rather than the other way around both fascinating and presumptuous. As if a 14-year-old who has gotten most of their vaccine information from the same heavily biased medical establishment that their parents grew up with has necessarily done more thinking and research on the subject than those parents—the same parents who, in most cases, have had to drastically revise their own beliefs over the years due to experiences, conversations, and scientific literature that directly contradicted their previously unquestioned beliefs.


I Want to Avoid Shingles

Step 2 also suggests things to say to parents, like “I’ve read about what shingles can do to the body. I’m scared. I don’t want that to happen to me.” For anyone who has actually researched vaccines, that statement alone is a groaner.

While chickenpox is very rarely a problem, shingles, a re-activation of the same virus (varicella) is more likely to be painful or even dangerous. But the authors don’t mention that minors rarely got shingles before the introduction of the varicella vaccine.

While anyone who has been exposed to varicella virus (naturally or through the vaccine) is theoretically susceptible to shingles, historically, few people other than senior citizens with little-to-no contact with children actually got shingles.

Since the advent of the varicella vaccine, however, the virus is no longer in general circulation and fewer and fewer adults are getting the associated immunity boost. It’s not clear yet if it’s a result of widespread use of the varicella vaccine, but since the vaccine was licensed shingles cases have been continuously rising in almost all age groups in the countries who vaccinate against chickenpox (including the U.S. , Germany, and Canada)—and such an increase was predicted when varicella vaccination was adopted.

There are two vaccines specifically intended to prevent shingles now, but they are not even approved for children, much less recommended for them.

The more recent vaccine, Shingrix, is a live-virus vaccine. [Edit: A reader has pointed out that I got the shingles vaccines backwards: Zostavax, the older vaccine, is the live-virus one. Shingrix is a “non-live recombinant, AS01B adjuvanted” vaccine. (Don’t get me started on adjuvants; that’s a blog for another day.) This just goes to prove my frequent refrain: No one gets it all right. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, not even mine. Read the sources!] As the insert states it is “indicated for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in adults aged 50 years and older.”

Shingrix Package Insert


The insert also explicitly states that “safety and effectiveness in individuals younger than 18 have not been established.”


Shingrix Package Insert


So, I ask you, how exactly is getting vaccinated without parental consent supposed to help a teenager avoid getting shingles?

That recommendation/justification is incredibly reckless, ignorant, or both.

And these people are advising our children?


Start with the Assumption that Your Parents Are Idiots

Step 2 also suggests saying “I understand that people are saying a lot of scary things, and that it can be hard to figure out what’s true and what isn’t true. I know it must be difficult for you.”

Is there a parent on earth who would not gag hearing such a patronizing statement come from their child?

It must be difficult for me, you say?

Yeah, I suppose it was difficult for me forty years ago . . . but since then I’ve gotten a college education (with a major in physics, by the way), read hundreds of scientific studies, met thousands of people who have experienced severe vaccine reactions, and read a hell of a lot of mainstream material that obviously misrepresents the facts.

So, while I can understand that it would be difficult for a teenager who has only had access to information that is officially sanctioned (i.e., unlikely to lower vaccine rates) to “figure out the truth”—no, it’s not particularly difficult for me anymore, thank you very much.

And how exactly does patronizing one’s parents “show respect for their perspectives”?


My recent teenager and I at her high school graduation


Be Untrustworthy

Step 3 of “Making Plans,” though, is the pièce de résistance. The authors baldly state, “You are allowed to lie to your parents,” and suggest “you could pretend that you want to know if you’re at risk for ‘vaccine injury.’ ”

I just love the quotations implying that vaccine injury doesn’t exist, don’t you?

But more important is the fact that these anonymous cretins are suggesting that a child be deliberately dishonest, and then they have the nerve to further suggest in Step 6 that it is the parent who is unworthy of trust: “Try asking a school counselor, school nurse, parent of a friend, family friend, doctor, or other trusted adult if they can help out,”  they say, implying, of course, that the child should not trust their parents.

Step 2 gets much more specific about the lies it is “okay” to tell parents: “If your parents are distrustful, prepare your cover story especially well,” the authors say, implying that parents are at fault for being “distrustful” of the child who is now specifically planning to violate their trust.

The logic of this is astounding. It is akin to saying, “If your parents are smart enough to suspect that you are lying to them, then lie better.”


Pretending No One Is Ever Really Hurt by Vaccines

Disgusting as all of this is—and it is disgusting no matter what side of this argument you may find yourself on at any particular time—it doesn’t even approach the horrors of section three: “Handling Any Aftermath.”

At least the authors mention the potential for a few days of “mild side effects,” but nowhere do they discuss what to do if those side effects are not “mild.” Nor do they suggest what to do when their parents inevitably receive the doctor’s bills or the insurance company’s explanation of benefits. That’s because by that time the authors will have achieved their objective. Why should they care what happens next?

Adolescence is hard. It’s even harder when complicated by neurological issues, as it so often is these days. (Keep an eye out for the upcoming TMR book on Autism and Puberty.) Successfully navigating adolescence in today’s world requires a great deal of open communication between parent and child. That goes triple when there are serious health concerns.

What are children supposed to do if, as a result of going behind their parents’ backs, they develop encephalitis (a known side effect of all pertussis and MMR vaccines)?

Or Guillain-Barré syndrome (a polio-like paralysis and known side effect of flu vaccines)?

Or rheumatoid arthritis, thrombocytopenic purpura, type 1 diabetes, or any one of the other more than 100 other autoimmune conditions reported after vaccination?

Vaccine Injury Table—Influenza Vaccines


Vaccine Injury Table—Rubella and Measles Vaccines


How is the parent who has been kept in the dark supposed to handle the mysterious, sudden disability of a previously athletic teenager?

And when does the child break down and tell the truth about what was done to them? In the emergency room with doctors mystified by brain swelling “out of the blue”? Or months later when attempting to relearn how to walk or talk? Or never because an anaphylactic reaction took them by surprise and they didn’t make it to an emergency room?

None of this is covered in the article. That’s because the authors don’t care at all—I was tempted to put that far more crudely—what actually happens to the kids who  follow their terrible advice.


What to Do If You Are Caught Lying

But the authors do give three suggestions to use as justifications for one’s actions if a parent does find out what their child has been up to:

  1. “I read about meningitis, and how quickly it can kill someone. It was scary. I don’t want to live with that fear hanging over my head. I know that you may not approve. I did this to give myself peace of mind.”
  2. “I’m autistic. I can’t be turned autistic twice. But I could die of polio, and I’d really rather not.”
  3. “I want to be a mom someday. Vaccine-preventable diseases can kill a baby in the womb. I did this to protect my ability to have children in the future.”

I’m going to go over all three of these because our young people deserve better than this overt emotional manipulation. They deserve to know the truth about the risks they face.


1.     Real Meningitis Risks

Meningitis can indeed kill quickly. That’s why it’s vitally important to know the symptoms of a serious bacterial meningitis infection (sudden fever, headache, and stiff neck) and get help immediately. However, it is also true that bacterial meningitis is very rare with only about 2,600 cases per year in the whole country, 70% of which are in children under 5. That leaves approximately 780 cases for all the older children this WikiHow is aimed at and young adults. There were 73.7 million children aged 0-17 in the U.S. in 2017, about 20 million of which are under 5. That means that an older child’s risk of contracting bacterial meningitis is significantly less than 1 in 6,844.

None of the available vaccines covers all types of bacteria that can cause meningitis, and all of the vaccines have “serious adverse event” rates of at least 1% in teens—which means that they are at least 68 times more likely to get sick enough for a hospital visit from just one dose of vaccine than they are from meningitis itself. In order to protect yourself to the fullest extent possible by vaccination (there are lifestyle things you can do to reduce the risk as well), you would have to get six doses altogether of three vaccines, one of which is not even recommended for all teenagers—and you could still die of meningitis!

The truth is, much as we would all like for our “peace of mind” to be able to prevent any risk of infectious disease, it is simply not possible. And vaccinations used to avoid infection can—and often do—have very serious consequences.


2.     I’m Already Autistic and I’m Afraid of Polio

This blatant attempt to exploit the autistic population is more than a little infuriating.

First off, no, you can’t “die of polio”—unless you’re traveling internationally on your own as well as vaccinating on your own. No one has even had a case of non-vaccine-strain polio in this country since the 1970s.

Secondly, you can indeed worsen the neurological issues associated with autism through vaccination. If you don’t know that autoimmunity runs rampant in the families of children with autism, you should. It is irresponsible and shameful to exploit medically vulnerable teenagers in this fashion.


3.     I Want to Have Children Someday

Bad as numbers one and two are, three may be the worst of all.

Yes, “vaccine-preventable diseases can kill a baby,” but science is indicating that it may be the immune activation associated with the illness rather than the illness itself that is the problem—immune activation of the very sort that vaccination induces. In addition, one particular vaccine may be causing high rates of infertility in young women who receive it.


Needless to say, none of the authors’ suggestions is going to make life bearable for either a child injured by a round of illicit vaccines or a parent who has been lied to about—and must deal with—said injury. But that’s not the authors’ problem; their only concern is to increase vaccination rates because they side with the CDC and pharmaceutical companies.

We all know that the CDC and pharmaceutical companies would like to increase uptake for each and every vaccine out there, regardless of the risks to any particular individual. We also know that they are by no means beyond using propaganda and emotional manipulation to achieve that end, even if it comes straight from the Nazi playbook.

But in an era of rampant immune-mediated chronic illness and low rates of infectious disease mortality, that is lousy public health policy.

And teaching children to be dishonest and violate their parents’ trust is lousy for everything else.

If we care about our children’s health—and we want them to care about it as well— it’s up to us parents.

We need to do everything we can to make sure that our children are not vulnerable to the kind of blatant propaganda being promulgated by the management team at WikiHow.

To do that we need to nurture our relationships with our kids right now, even when it’s hard—no, especially when it’s hard—making sure they understand the value of honesty and trust, when it comes to both their lives and our society as a whole.

~ Zoey O’Toole

For more by Professor, click here

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My Alternative Medicine Kit

January 7, 2020

The other day one of my younger mom friends sparked this blog by asking me what I would advise her to keep around as kind of an alternative first aid kit. After sharing a fairly long list of things that I find critical, we decided it would probably be a useful kind of list to share here.

I will tell you some of what we use these things for, but as always, standard disclaimers about medical advice and speaking to your provider apply. Also, getting proper training in administering the various interventions is critical.

I broke this down into categories of use.

Minor Boo-Boos (abrasions, swelling, soreness, and burns)

Arnica is my go-to for trauma. When my son was learning how to walk, he fell face first into one of those wrought-iron magazine stands. In the time that it took me to run upstairs for the ice pack and get back downstairs, he sprouted a golf ball-sized goose egg at the edge of his eye socket. I was able to apply arnica ointment to all but the very inside part of the goose egg. The next day the swelling was gone entirely, and the only bruising was where I was unable to get the gel due to proximity of his eyeball. I keep arnica in the forms of gel/cream and homeopathic pellets in 30C and 200C.

Calendula is one of the best herbs for treating minor skin stuff – burns, abrasions, eczema (sometimes). I keep it around in both cream  and dried-flower forms. It’s one of the ingredients in my own personal chapstick recipe, and in a pinch I could make a strong tea and poultice using it.

Tea Tree Essential Oil is antifungal and antibacterial. It’s basically the woo-person’s hydrogen peroxide. It can also dry pimples.

Lavender Essential Oil is very soothing for minor skin irritations. I like to put it in the bath with a good quantity of almond oil.

Aloe Plants are essential for burns. You simply cut a leaf off and squeeze the gel out. It’s amazing. It’s perfectly happy being grown in a pot in a window.

Comfrey Plants require a yard because comfrey roots pretty deep. I keep comfrey growing in my yard because it’s basically human spackle. You can pack a clean wound with a comfrey-leaf or -root tea poultice (you make a strong tea, soak a piece of muslin cloth in it, and bind the wound). Comfrey is also one of the ingredients in my aforementioned chapstick. Unless you are an experienced herbalist, you should not ingest or recommend ingesting comfrey leaves.

Epsom Salts are fantastic in the bath for aches and pains, for mild detoxing, and a little bit of magnesium absorption.

Arnica flower

Cruds (viruses, internal infections)

Enzyme Defense (formerly known as Virastop) from Enzymedica is one of the few that I will recommend by brand. My son has been a viral-regression kind of kid, so we like to make sure that we address viruses just as soon as we are aware of what we are dealing with. The particular combination of enzymes breaks down the outer shell of the virus and allows the immune system (or other antiviral that you have on board) to be more effective.

Calcium Lactate for fevers. If you follow Covenant Integrative Wellness on Facebook, you already know this. Dr. McGowin did a Monday Minute on this protocol in the fall of 2019. Turns out the reason a body spikes a fever is that it needs calcium to fully mount an immune response and the easiest way is to get it from the bones. The fever leaches out the calcium. So by providing calcium lactate when a fever presents, we give the body what it needs, and it no longer is required to leach from the bones. I have personally run the fever protocol when my son spiked a 102 temperature one day, and it works.

Peppermint Essential Oil  is usually my first go-to for plugged-up sinuses, simply to sniff from the bottle. Peppermint is also analgesic (can help pain, I like it on my temples for headaches) and is another method for reducing a fever when applied up the spine, to the big toes, or in the belly button. It’s more of a suppression, whereas calcium lactate is more of a “the body has what it needs so it can reduce the fever.”

Eucaylptus Essential Oil is good when peppermint alone isn’t enough to loosen up congestion. You can dilute eucalyptus into a little bit of almond oil and rub on the chest and big toes.

Oregano Essential Oil is incredibly antipathogenic. If I see mucus starting to show signs of infection, I will do oregano in the diffuser and on big toes. Oregano is also tremendously antifungal.

Vitamin C – At the first signs of an impending upper respiratory infection, I do a gram  (1,000 mg) of Vitamin C (buffered) an hour until I start having watery diarrhea (this is what “to bowel tolerance” means), and I do that until I no longer feel those signs of illness.

Vitamin D – Also at the first signs of an impending upper respiratory infection, I do what is affectionately referred to as the Vitamin D Hammer. I’ve heard the dosing described several ways, but basically it’s a megadose of Vitamin D once a day for three days. The dosing is based on body weight, and you should Google to ensure you are doing what is correct for your weight. In my house it’s 50,000 iu  for a 165-pound body.

Elderberries – I keep them around in dried form because I make my own tincture and syrup from scratch. You can purchase pre-made elderberry syrup (watch the expiration instructions) and elderberry throat drops. There are some really interesting studies popping up that are showing elderberry actually unwinds the flu virus at a cellular level.

Oscillocillium is probably the most well-known of the homeopathic pellet treatments because it really does help influenza if you start it really early. I’ve actually had MDs recommend it to me. I generally give one tube of remedy every four hours the first day then slow down frequency as long as symptoms stay away.

Bone Broth is soothing, healthy, and full of immune-boosting properties. Everyone should drink a cup a day unless they have histamine sensitivities.

Calendula flower

Tummy Issues

It’s pretty rare for a child on the autism spectrum to NOT have some sort of gastrointestinal involvement. It could be anything – constipation, diarrhea, too much/not enough stomach acid.

Castor Oil (both capsules and not) – It’s much easier to get down a child in a capsule than not. Castor oil is not my top-of-the-list laxative because it’s so . . . dramatically effective. That said, oftentimes a nice castor-oil pack on the liver (or uterus for us perimenopausal mamas) helps soothe cramping when nothing else will.

Activated Charcoal (encapsulated) is one of my go-to remedies for dietary infractions, as it pulls everything out. You should not administer activated charcoal within at least two (and some folks say four) hours of administering medications or supplements because the AC will pull it all right out. Don’t be alarmed that post-AC bowel movements turn black.

Bentonite Clay (encapsulated) is activated charcoal light. This is my go-to for diarrhea. Same rules as AC for timing around medications, but you won’t have black poop. This is personally my favorite binder.

Magnesium Citrate is my go-to for constipation. Its much less . . . dramatic than Castor oil (causes way less cramping). I like to dose it at bedtime and plan to stay near the toilet most of the next morning.

Nox Vomica in 30C and 200C doses is homeopathy for over indulging, heartburn, vomiting, etc.

Miscellaneous Multitaskers

Apis in 30c and 200c for swelling and allergic reaction. I handed my sister in law the apis from my purse one day when she was given a salad with jalapeño peppers (to which she is allergic). It stopped the throat itch and swelling sensation in minutes.

Rescue Remedy – I keep this flower remedy in my purse for when we feel a meltdown starting. Sometimes Rescue Remedy with a quiet room will stave it off.

Cell Salts – This is a new one for us, but it’s a good all-around support for nervous tension, fatigue, headaches, and colds.

Apple Cider Vinegar / Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice to alkalize the body and help digestion.

Baking Soda to neutralize the body’s pH. You can add ¼ tsp of baking soda to eight ounces of warm water.

Colloidal Silver is hands down the best over-the-counter antibiotic available. I have used it for bladder infections, upper-respiratory infections, skin stuff . . . It’s second only to breastmilk for sties and eye sores.

D-Hist is is a robust herbal antihistamine and can be kept on hand for unexpected allergy flares.

A well-rounded, living, probiotic – I debated including this because, in truth, I think we should all be using a well rounded living probiotic every day anyway. I have used both Liovi and Flourish brands in the last few years, and both are miles beyond the freeze-dried and encapsulated probiotic pills in effectiveness. I include them in the first-aid kit because they will help restore the gut after antibiotic use and will help repopulate the gut after a bout of stomach bug.

All first-aid kits should include a good assortment of Band-Aids and a package of menstrual pads. (I will never forget my little brother cutting his legs up pretty good falling off his bike and my mom slapping a pad on it until they could get to the doctor.)

And, lastly, I wholeheartedly recommend getting a basic homeopathy kit that comes with a materia medica.

~ JuicyFruit

For more by JuicyFruit, click here

Photo credit arnica: Enrico Blasutto at Italian Wikipedia [CC BY-SA (]
Photo credit calendula: Kmtextor [CC BY-SA (]
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Pregnancy and Infant Loss: 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Infant Loss, SIDS, and Injections

October 15, 2019

Pregnancy is a time when you are faced with many decisions. You desperately want your child to be born healthy and beaming with life. Yet, during pregnancy you are bombarded with birth horror stories,  videos of coughing babies, and the ever-increasing fear of disease.

But, have no fear, you are told. You can protect yourself and your baby with a simple shot.

It seems so easy at first, a little pinch in exchange for lifelong safety from disease. But the full picture is so much bigger. The full picture is that while you are told vaccines may save your infant’s life, the risk is that vaccines may also take your infant’s life.

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. As we honor the babies who gained their angel wings too soon, we hope to share with you five alarming connections between vaccines and infant loss that should have been disclosed to you before any shots were ever offered. Knowledge is power, and when you know better, you do better. While many say the science is settled and it is unwise to ask questions about vaccines, I am confident that by the time you finish reading this, you will have a file folder of questions to investigate. 


Here is what you need to know about injections and infant loss: 


  1. You should absolutely know that no vaccines have ever been tested on pregnant women, and there are no studies showing that vaccines are safe for the pregnant population.  

The CDC recommends that all women receive both the flu shot and the Tdap during pregnancy. Both of these state clearly on the insert that there have been no safety studies showing that they are safe for use in a pregnant population. 

In fact,  a study performed by the CDC itself shows that women that receive certain strains of flu vaccine two years in a row were seven times more likely to miscarry

In the largest post-market study on the health of babies whose mothers were given Tdap and/or flu shots, the abstract states that the study supports the safety of current vaccine recommendations to pregnant mothers. However, when examining  the study’s methodology, it is alarmingly clear the data collected is insufficient to make any safety claim.  

There are two main reasons that the study cannot claim vaccines are safe for the infant during pregnancy: 

First, the authors did not compare outcomes for babies born to mothers who were vaccinated and those that were not. To know if a drug or safe,  it’s imperative that we have a comparison group. This study had access to data on the health of babies that were born to mothers that were unvaccinated. Rather than comparing the two groups, the researchers simply excluded the unvaccinated. When they say vaccines are safe, what are they safer than? There were babies in the vaccinated group who spent time in the hospital, died during the first year of life and had all kinds of difficulties. Apparently, the number of difficulties was simply acceptable to the researchers. Were any of these difficulties related to vaccines? We don’t know because they didn’t compare the two groups to see which group was healthier in the first year of life. 

Secondly, even more important than a comparison of the two groups is who was excluded from the research. The authors excluded any children that were miscarried, stillborn, born premature, died at birth, or spent time in the NICU. These are the babies that should have been the focus of a safety study, not ignored by it. As mothers and care providers, we need to know if a drug will increase or decrease the likelihood of survival for a baby. These are the possible injuries we want to know about. Were vaccinated mothers  more likely to experience pregnancy loss, still birth, have a baby born with a birth defect, or a baby that spent time in the NICU? We don’t know because the study excluded them altogether.

We know that medication given to mothers during birth can have systemic effects on a developing fetus and potentially cause all of these things. For example, Zofran, another drug recommended to pregnant women before proper safety testing was performed, was found to double the risk of a baby being born with a hole in his or her heart and made it 30% more likely a baby would have a birth defect. We have a CDC study showing that the flu shot can increase the risk of miscarriage. Unfortunately, all other risks are hidden from us, as the potentially injured are excluded from the data.

This is the quality of the “settled science” of vaccine safety.  

In February 2019, the Informed Consent Action Network won a lawsuit against the FDA, requiring them to produce all clinical trial data used to approve influenza vaccines for pregnant women. The FDA responded, “We have no records responsive to your requests.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a vaccine safety advocate and lawyer in this case, stated, “As a nation, we can no longer pretend our trusted agencies are protecting our children. It is time to hold federal agencies accountable.” There is no one but you watching to make sure these vaccines are safe.

  1. SIDS is listed as a potential side effect on the first vaccine your child will receive on the day he or she is born.

SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is also not tracked well. There are 130 ways a coroner can report cause of death for a baby, and vaccine injury is not one of them. That means that though we know and accept some children will die because of this intervention, we have no way to accurately track how many, which ones, or if there is anything we can do to lower the risks. 

The CDC says on their website that the hepatitis B vaccine is not linked with SIDS. However,  the vaccine insert itself lists it as a side effect. 

The study the CDC uses to show there is no relationship between SIDS and the hepatitis B vaccine is riddled with problems. It states this in its abstract: 

We found no significant difference in the proportion of HBV-vaccinated . . . and unvaccinated . . . neonates dying of unexpected causes. 

Great! According to the abstract, this paper addresses the most important question about vaccine safety: How do vaccinated populations compare with unvaccinated populations?This study compared outcomes for babies vaccinated with the hepatitis B shot at birth and babies who weren’t vaccinated with the hepatitis B shot at birth and found no significant difference in unexpected deaths. This is quite comforting and allows us all to sigh a deep breath of relief. 

But it is not the full picture. 

If you pay the $59 fee to read the study, you find something much different than the abstract would suggest.  

The study actually compared a group of vaccinated babies that had an average (median) age of 38 weeks and weighed an average of 6 pounds at birth to a group of unvaccinated babies that were born on average at 28 weeks and weighed an average of 3 pounds at birth. You do not need to be a doctor to know that the second category carries a much higher risk of death than the first. 

The abstract should read:

We found no significant difference in the proportion of 6-lb, full-term (38 weeks)  Hep B-vaccinated babies and 3-lb, 28-week gestation non-vaccinated neonates dying of unexpected causes.

This means something totally different. Was there no risk from the hepatitis B vaccine, or was the risk from the hepatitis B shot so great that it posed as much risk as being born 10 weeks early and having a birth weight of 3 pounds?

Other countries, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom only give this shot if the mother tests positive for hepatitis B. Each of these countries have a lower infant mortality rate than the United States (as do 54 other countries). 

  1. The hepatitis B vaccine is not the only shot that carries the risk of death that is given to babies on their first day of life.

In fact the vitamin K injection has a black box warning stating that death has occurred when given intravenously and intramuscularly.  

What is the vitamin K shot? Let me share with you an excerpt I contributed to the book Naturally Inspired, which is a book written by nurses, doctors, and mothers about research and life without vaccines:

The vitamin K vaccine is not actually a vaccine but a high dose of a synthetic form of vitamin K. This is administered to prevent a rare but very serious bleeding problem called Vitamin K Bleeding Disorder (VKBD). 

VKBD can happen in three stages. Early VKBD happens within the first twenty-four hours of an infant’s life. Classical VKBD happens within the first week. Late VKBD can happen up to twelve weeks after birth. The first two forms are rarely life-threatening and occurs most often when the mother has been ingesting prescribed medications which inhibit vitamin K absorption, such as barbiturates, blood thinners, antidepressants, and antibiotics. Early and classical VKBD can also occur after events such as circumcision, birth trauma (such as forceps delivery), or other medical interventions. 

Late VKBD is rare but can be very severe, even life-threatening. It has a twenty percent mortality rate and a fifty percent intracranial hemorrhage rate, which can cause mild to severe brain damage. In fully breast-fed infants who did not receive vitamin K at birth, the incidence is between one in every fifteen thousand and one in every twenty thousand. Late VKBD is almost never seen in formula-fed babies. 

Unfortunately, not even the CDC links to safety studies on their page about the safety of this injection.


  1. The DTaP makes your child more likely to get sick.

The DTaP vaccine is meant to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. If you spend much time online, you have likely seen videos of babies with a pertussis cough at the hospital with a caption saying “vaccinate your child.” If you follow the CDC schedule for this vaccine, your child will receive five doses, one at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months and 5 years. However, the effectiveness of this vaccine is being called into question. One study concluded that “all children who were primed by DTaP vaccines will be more susceptible to pertussis throughout their lifetimes, and there is no easy way to decrease this increased susceptibility.” Another study found that the vaccine does not prevent whooping cough, but lessens its symptoms. This means that anyone who is vaccinated can unknowingly have pertussis and spread it. There is no herd immunity for pertussis when the vaccine can mean silent carriers. This vaccine is very likely not making our children healthier, but rather paving the road for their sickness.

The DTaP vaccine was created to replace the DTP shot, which was removed from the U.S. market after an unquestionable connection to SIDS was discovered. DTP was used in the U.S. from 1948 to 1997. Danish researchers found that children given the DTP as part of an aid program in Guinea-Bissau, Africa, were 5 times more likely to die of all causes than unvaccinated children. DTP was used for 49 years before the safety concerns were addressed in the United States. It is still used today in some undeveloped countries. How long will it be before the safety concerns of the DTaP are addressed? 


  1. There is little to no safety testing on vaccines because they are not classified as drugs.

Many people assume that vaccines must undergo extensive research and intense safety studies before they are approved for the market. This is unfortunately not true. A typical drug must undergo at least three years of surveillance. A vaccine, which is not classified as a drug but as a biologic, is only studied for a few weeks. For example, the MMR, which is one of the most hotly debated vaccines on the market, was approved after eight clinical trials, involving fewer than 1,000 individuals, out of which only 342 children received the MMR vaccine. This is hardly enough cases to detect adverse reactions. Furthermore, instead of following these children for years and seeing if there were any long-term consequences of the vaccine, the safety review period was only 42 days. If the children had any developmental delays, developed arthritis, seizure disorders or other problems, it would not have been discovered in this time.

More than half of the participants in most of the trials developed gastrointestinal symptoms and upper respiratory infections. These events were attributed to “other viruses” and not considered in the MMR safety profile during licensure. There is evidence showing that vaccines may prevent one disease, but weaken the immune system and make the child more susceptible to any number of other diseases over their lifetime. This has been affirmed by a study on the flu vaccine, which found a four-fold increase in risk of non-flu upper-respiratory infections and pneumonia in vaccinated children. A 42-day safety trial would not give the chance to see complications such as these. 

Safety studies have also ignored death during the trial period. Seventy-two babies died within 20 days of getting the Infanrix hexavalent vaccine during the safety trials.  GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Infanrix, a vaccine indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis in a 5-dose series, disclosed this information in a CONFIDENTIAL report required by an Italian court. 


Researching vaccines should be a high priority if you are expecting a baby. 

The truth is, the settled science shows that the risk of vaccines to our infants can be very great, both immediately and in the long term. 

This information may not be easy to digest.  Personally, I like things to be easy, and I wish with all my heart that vaccines were as safe as I once believed. Unfortunately they are not. But take heart, learning about health and understanding disease is possible. You are capable of providing a safe harbor for your child. As we see in other developed countries, babies are doing just fine with more limited vaccine schedules. 

When we compare infant mortality rates across developed nations, we see that the more vaccines  given, the higher the infant mortality rate. In one study 33 countries had lower infant mortality rates than the United States. All of them have fewer required vaccinations for infants.  

Of course, we all can sigh a deep breath of relief that we have clean water, proper sanitation, child labor laws, know to wash our hands, and have a much greater understanding of what proper nutrition sustains life. 

We can thank these things for decreasing all types of deadly diseases—including scarlet fever, for which there is no vaccine—well before vaccines were ever mass marketed to us.

Deciding which vaccines (if any) to choose for your children is a personal and important medical decision worthy of your time and research. Learning to maintain health by balancing more natural approaches with emergency allopathic medicine is truly an enlightening and joyful path to pursue. 

~ Firefly

Firefly is a mother, author, and doula. She is passionate about helping moms improve their lives and births through nutrition, mindfulness, and complete birth education. You can find her work at

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Vaccine Bullying Swells the Ranks of Vaccine Choice Activists

October 9, 2019

Eight years ago, I wrote about how the folks in charge were not happy because 1 in 10 families were choosing an alternative vaccine schedule.

Almost a decade later, with even more vaccines added, I would venture to say that those numbers hold true if not have grown. We know that back then half the population had some issue with the current vaccine program and the number of parents refusing one or more vaccines has been increasing.

This year thanks to legislation efforts to mandate vaccines, the very public outing of special needs children and religious groups from public education, the push to add HPV mandates, the state by state roll out of laws to remove exemptions, the calling for vaccination status to be tied to everything from employment to public spaces to receiving government assistance, the added campaign for all adults to be caught up to the new adult vaccination schedule, and the refusal of state legislators to protect constitutional rights and to require true informed consent for patients, we saw a huge growth in the number of people opposing the vaccine program.

State by state people turned up and said enough! Because of their efforts, we saw those who believe in parental rights, and less government join in. We saw scientists, doctors, and so many nurses stepping forward to fight. We welcomed those who understand the corruption of big industries and those who don’t believe we should be using aborted babies. Those who are appalled over flu shot failures, the vegans, and those fighting the glyphosate fight joined in. Republican groups, Moms who once fought to change the DTP after their child was harmed so many years ago, physicians organizations, and those who can’t wrap their head around the idea that we would vaccinate pregnant women without knowing it’s safe, all joined in. We saw teachers who think it’s crazy to allow children with diseases and illnesses in schools but to put forth laws that refuse to educate those who have no disease or illnesses, and Dads who have buried their child after a vaccine injury speak out. Those who believe the government has no business in our medical decisions and those who read/listened to the words of the whistleblower as he professed his part in harming millions and covering up the evidence on behalf of the CDC began seeing the whole “anti-vaxxer” movement for what it really is: a whole bunch of people who have very real and sincere concerns.

And we grew and grew, and the numbers showing up to fight now reflect that this is no longer just an issue of a those who don’t want 7 vaccines injected into their child at one visit and prefer to space them out, and never was a group of just crazy Moms looking for someone or something to blame. This has always been a group of concerned citizens demanding better of science and medicine.

It has always been those who believe in doing what is best for our children and loved ones and not in trusting those who have a record of deception, fraud, and corruption.

It is about getting dangerous or morally reprehensible ingredients out of what we inject into our little ones. It’s about safety testing and accurate risk vs. benefit analysis.

It’s about a schedule that is scientifically sound.

It’s about informed consent and the right to make your own medical decisions in partnership with your care providers and family.

What is freedom if we are not free to say no to preventive medical treatment with the potential to cause long-term disability or death?

It is about admitting and doing right by those we harm.

It’s about having honest conversations about disease and not trying to get neighbors to hate each other based on scary propaganda.

It’s about dangerous chemicals, human rights and whether experimenting on the unborn is okay.

It’s about aborted babies, untested ingredients, and how we treat those who have been sacrificed.

It’s about our beliefs in how many people we believe it is okay to kill in the name of the greater good, and whether that view of the greater good is actually backed by legitimate science.

It’s about whether you have a right to decline treatment for cancer or which medications you take or whether the government does.

It’s about asking the public to trust you, as you say in the same breath that a parent doesn’t need to see the actual vaccine insert or shouldn’t be handed a list of ingredients.

It’s about why, instead of studying susceptible populations, millions are getting dumped into preventing people from being able to ask these questions.

It’s about the CDC washing their websites of incriminating information and government officials asking corporations to remove all books or websites related to the subject instead of working to provide an accurate database of adverse events.

I have said for years that the easiest way to make us go away is to do the work. If you have nothing to hide, then hide nothing. Address people’s concerns, don’t try to bully them into compliance. Admit your failures instead of covering them up by name-calling those who call you out. Address the safety limits, do the long-term studies, stop claiming the science is in when very clearly section 13.1 of every vaccine insert says it is not. Find out if those vaccines work in infants, and those with gut issues and ask the tough questions about vaccinating preemies and those with autoimmune issues.

Fix the vaccine court. I repeat, please fix the vaccine court and stop dragging those families through hell, they have endured enough. Or better yet, make pharma liable for their product, so that they not only are responsible but they have a reason to do better. Stop proclaiming herd immunity nonsense when anyone with common sense knows the herd hasn’t existed thanks to ineffective vaccines, waning, adults being unimmunized or under immunized and the teeny small numbers that can’t or shouldn’t be immunized.

Tell people the truth about how the mumps efficacy was faked and how whooping cough seems to be a big problem–and not with scary big, bad wolf commercials but with a real conversation about asymptomatic carriers and a vaccine that wasn’t what you expected.

Listen to the religious groups and why they are opposed and work towards solutions as opposed to treating them as lesser than, all because they don’t share in your dogma. Analyze what is in the vaccines like we have to do on our own currently, and figure out why we now have all these contaminants and random DNA and what the long-term consequences are of that.

Use titers before boosters. Use science for the schedule, not a committee. Put in place an independent oversight organization.

Do anything to make us believe that you are attempting to address our concerns, but start somewhere. Anywhere.

The fact is that the more you move to ignore us, paint us as crazy, or mandate us into complying, the more of us there are. We won’t stop. We will keep reaching out to those who don’t even know yet that they are allies. They are us. We keep growing.

Your move. We aren’t going anywhere.

~ Crush

For more by Crush, click here

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The Real Reason for Vaccine Mandates

September 11, 2019

The argument made for denying a public education to children who are unvaccinated or selectively vaccinated is the risk they pose to the immune-compromised who can’t be vaccinated. It’s a heart-warming story motivated out of compassion for those children who are medically fragile.

Or is it?

If we take these pro-mandate advocates at their word, then it would follow that we also cannot allow any child or adult to attend our public schools and day cares who isn’t fully immunized. This means not just being vaccinated, but rather genuinely immunized against infectious diseases.

So, this begs the question(s):

1.  Are immune-compromised children who can’t be vaccinated allowed to attend school and day care?
2.  Is the 10% of the population who are non-responders to artificial immune stimulation allowed to attend schools and day cares?
3.  Is the significant percent of the population whose antibody levels have waned allowed to attend schools, day cares and other public spaces?
4.  Is titre testing being conducted to determine who has adequate antibody levels and therefore safe to attend school and day care?
5.  And, if disease transmission is really what the proponents of vaccine mandates are worried about, then shouldn’t children recently vaccinated with live-virus vaccines also be excluded from schools and public spaces until the viral shedding has ceased?

If vaccine mandate proponents aren’t demanding all of these individuals be excluded from schools, day cares and other public spaces, then one has to wonder whether the transmission of disease and the safety of the school environment really is their primary concern.


It’s Not About Medical Risk

I think we all know the answers to these questions.

None of the unvaccinated immune-compromised children are denied access to a public education. None of the non-responders to the artificial stimulation of the immune system via vaccines are denied a public education. None of the significant number of children and adults whose immunity has waned because of the temporary nature of the immunity provided by vaccines are denied a public education.

We know there is no required titre testing to determine who is actually immune to infection and who is not. And there is no acknowledgement given, much less consideration given, to the viral shedding from a recently vaccinated child. The fact is a child can be vaccinated with a live-virus vaccine in the gymnasium and be back in their classroom within minutes.

This means that the restrictions being imposed upon unvaccinated or selectively vaccinated children are not about medical risk. It is not about the transmission of disease. It is not about the safety of the public space.

If it was about medical risk and the transmission of disease, these other unvaccinated and non (artificially) immune children and adults, as well as those recently vaccinated with live-virus vaccines would also be denied a public education and access to public spaces. But that will never happen.

What is obvious, if we dare to think, is that vaccine mandates are not about making the public space safer. Vaccine mandates and school expulsion are punishment for challenging vaccine ideology. Vaccine mandates are a crude and heartless means to coerce families to vaccinate their children by creating hardship and threatening the future of their children.

When you examine the justification given for eroding parental rights, the medical right to informed consent and constitutional rights, it isn’t what they claim it is. It isn’t about medical risk. It isn’t about compassion for the medically fragile. This is the sham of the medical industry. This is the deception of the vaccine lobbyists. This is the lie perpetuated by the mainstream media.

Vaccine mandate lobbyists like NB Education Minister Dominque Cardy purport to be about health and compassion, but it isn’t health he is concerned about. It isn’t compassion for the immune-compromised. It’s all about selling vaccines and preventing parents from saying no to unwanted and potentially unsafe liability-free medical products.

The medical industry is a for-profit corporation that is captured by greed, arrogance, a lack of accountability, and willful ignorance. This is a profession that purports to have compassion for the vulnerable but has no compassion for the vaccine injured or those made medically fragile as a result of vaccination. This is all about selling vaccine products, with or without your consent.

So, when a politician, medical professional or vaccine industry lobbyist tells you that school mandates are necessary to protect the vulnerable, let them know that you see through their fraud and deception. Tell them you see their lack of integrity.

Tell them that if they really had compassion for the vulnerable, they would have compassion for the vaccine injured.

Tell them that ‘the emperor has no clothes’ and you see their naked greed and callous disregard.

Tell them you do not consent to giving away your right to informed consent and medical decision making for your children and never will.

Tell them that your body belongs to you.

Tell them to take their vaccine mandates and go away, because we live in a free country and intend to keep it that way.

~ Ted Kuntz

For more by Ted Kuntz, click here

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