Archive for July, 2013

Tonight there are a million thoughts rolling around inside my head.  Of everything ruminating deep in my brain, there is one common denominator that continues to ring true.  This common factor is personal responsibility.  We Americans, must stand up for our beliefs, continue reaching out to others spreading awareness, and possessing ownership for the presence of personal responsibility when it comes to protecting our democratic rights.

The truth here is that our government has little intent to correct the damages caused by the continued growth of GMO crops.  The biotech industry has even less reason to recommend the reduction of farmer’s use of herbicides and pesticides.  There are no corporate lobbyists behind the implementation of transparency when it comes to food safety, regulations, or even labeling legislation as demanded by today’s American consumer.

In fact, to me, it seems that the more common interest proves American citizens desire to have GMO foods labeled; the more these corporations are willing to shamelessly discredit any damning independent research, hinder statewide efforts for mandatory labeling, negotiate to increase the allowable levels for glyphosate (RoundUp) on edible crops, and even orchestrate closed-door, international trade agreements.

Right now, our President is currently pushing Congress to grant permission for “Fast Track” approval of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.  I believe that each and every one of us must diligently take a stand on this matter.  We must contact our senators, representatives through snail mail, social media, email, and even attempt to schedule face-to-face visitors with these lawmakers.  This must happen right now – or all the momentum gained on GMO labeling, GMO hazards awareness, and increased honesty in regulation may be lost.  Fast Track approval, officially known as “Trade Promotion Authority” for TPP negotiations is more dangerous than simply thwarting the anti-GMO movement.  These secret dealings are driven by ruling corporations and impact everything from future copyright infringement to patent law, public health, freedom of speech, and of course, food safety, among other important issues.  Check out this helpful handout created by the Flush the TPP organization for more basics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  If you’re interested in more than a brief summary, you can also download their excellent TPP Toolkit.  Would you like to know the specific corporations involved in these meetings?  Take a look at the running list here.  (Here is a copy of the February 2011 TPP featured on multiple websites.)

There have already been several reported documents leaked from these secret meetings that prove these corporations do not have honorable or even ethical intentions.  Imagine how our world might be, if a corporation like Monsanto could literally sue a city or country for “trade barriers” like food safety regulations, GMO labeling requirements, and so on.  With the TPP, this is a real possibility.  Imagine how a country might react when faced with the reality that they must either lift their trade restrictions or face a giant behemoth like Monsanto in a special tribunal court.  How fair and unbiased do you think such a court might be?  If it’s anything like the current U.S. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), it will be secretive, unethical, and will most often side with the corporations that have carefully crafted these processes to skirt legislation and the growing dislike of GMO-containing foods.

It is critically important that we let our lawmakers know that we are not in agreement with Fast Track approval of the TPP or any other trade dealings.  If Congress chooses to grant this permission, then they have effectively given up our constitutional right for any democratic process in such a matter.  Sign the petition to President Obama and U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman issued by the Organic Consumers Association.  Then  start contacting your members of Congress and state representatives to make certain our message is clear!  Don’t authorize Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership!!

Happy Friday,

Muckraking Maven

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Last week, my husband and I were excited to meet a new, developmental pediatrician that has received rave reviews from many Mothers in our area.  The clinic is prestigious and known for providing expert and timely help for special needs children coping with a wide range of complex to serious medical issues.  We were hopeful that this may be the very doctor we have been searching for to really listen and consider my son’s health needs – without the fast paced cookie-cutter approach favored by so many doctors today.

Overall, the appointment went well enough.  My son’s doctor was gentle, understanding, and very kind throughout the exam.  He had a calming effect on my son that was never present with any previous physician’s.  However, when we got midway through my 4″ binder of Wyatt’s medical history, we screeched to a halt on the matter of vaccinations.   Now, this is not a new debate to me, nor is it a surprising one, but I was a little surprised at how close-minded the doctor became upon discussion of the known risks and potential for vaccine damage in children with a predisposition to adverse reaction.  He waved it off nonchalantly with a mention of how many parents are misguided by celebrity-driven medical advice and quack-extremist websites.

I can assure you that I am not misguided, when it comes to my son’s health.  I doubt many parents have journaled, logged, and tracked data like I have over the years when it comes to my son’s autism and the ebb and flow of behavioral challenges or health concerns.  I periodically track his nutrition by reviewing his diet closely a few times a year on a spreadsheet.  (Yup,  I’m OCD about this stuff.)  This ensures that I’m packing as much nutrition as possible into the meals he is willing to eat.  If a questionable or negative behavior arises, I chart its occurrence – as well as the events preceding and following such an event.  This helps me to uncover a root cause to address.  When in doubt, I create a social story because this is the most effective means for my son to quickly understand expected social cues and upcoming new experiences.  I inhale scientific studies with my morning coffee on a wide range of subjects.  I read beyond a study’s Abstract, even if this includes 50+ pages on average, per research paper.  My opinion on the vaccine-autism link is steeped in personal experience, 60+ scientific research studies, and the fact that my son continues to improve as we improve his diet, reduce his exposure to toxins, and gain success through homeopathic means (NAET) proven to help reduce negative autoimmune responses.  If Autism were solely genetic; why would simple interventions like diet, supplementation, and natural detox be so effective in reducing his “Autistic symptoms?”

I am ready for more debate with this doctor and know we are game for real investigation into the root cause of past vaccine reactions.  He has referred us to an immunologist for further testing and digging – so I’m hopeful that this may provide some of the answers we’ve been trying to find for years.  What’s on my wish list?  I want to know if my son has a sulfate or glutathione deficiency, metabolic dysfunction, or methylation pathway abnormality before I consider any future vaccination.  I’d like answers for the continued G.I. complaints, that are now much improved, yet lingering with undetermined cause.  If there is a way to correct such a deficiency upon discovery, then this may enable a path where my son could be safely vaccinated in the future – but only with a single dose, milk-protein free, G.E. yeast free inoculation – and only for truly critical vaccines NOT flu shots.

If you doubt the potential for adverse reaction, browse the list of more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate a vaccine-autism link.

If you doubt the potential for adverse reaction, browse the list of more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate a vaccine-autism link.  It’s quite impressive and revealing.

I am so grateful for Ginger Taylor’s excellent list of studies supporting a vaccine/autism link.  Shared by a friend online, this resource couldn’t have come at a better time; since my notes are scattered here and there in all manner of folders .  Why do so many doctors rely on research conducted decades ago?  How can they not question the rising prevalence rates (1 in 88, now 1 in 50…) and environmental factors?  Why are they not aware of a vaccine’s ingredients or FDA mandated contraindications?  Why do they like to lean on studies like this that report incomplete data that skirts around the real questions;   like this recent study by the Journal of Pediatrics?  This study is often cited as the proof that any vaccine-autism link has been reputed, which is simply not the case.  This particular study focuses solely on the potential for adverse reaction with regard to the antigens and polysaccharides within vaccines, not the presence of heavy metals like Hg and Al, or the impact of genetically engineered ingredients like yeast, aborted fetal tissue, or other questionable ingredients.  Well done, JPEDS, I agree that the antigens and sugars are unlikely to lead to an Autism diagnosis…but what about the real questions that remain here?

When I get mad, I educate.  When I face opposition, I naturally debate an issue.  The list created by Ginger Taylor is AWESOME and I wanted to share it to help any other families that have experienced adverse reactions in their children’s health.  Vaccines do not harm all children and in theory they are powerful allies to our health.  However, I don’t see the need for heavy metals, formaldehyde, and other toxins to remain in the mix.  Take these ingredients out!  Reduce the vaccine schedule and eliminate combination series shots.  Is there a possible connection between the use of genetically engineered yeast in the Hep-B vaccine and my son’s recurring yeast overgrowth? (I believe there could be.)

I don’t understand why my son’s doctors wouldn’t be more concerned with the presence of allergens that are known to cause severe reactions in children with these conditions!  (My son has a long history of severe food allergies and intolerance – but somehow this is not a concerning factor.  Milk proteins cause intestinal bleeding in my son – I would imagine that a shot containing milk proteins is far worse than simply eating a food containing milk proteins.)  In fact, I believe this is why he had to be hospitalized for a week after his DTAP series of shots when only 2 months old. )  In brief, when there are 60+ studies that exist that do show potential for causation, why aren’t we pre-screening our children to ensure the noted deficiencies do not present a predisposition to vaccine damage prior to immunization?  I’m not asking for any weird science here…why wouldn’t we want to reduce potential risks in a product that is inherently not safe?  (And that’s exactly how our FDA puts it, “inherently unsafe.”)

Checkout Ginger’s up-to-date list on her blog.  Print it out and keep it available for easy reference.  Do you think my son’s new doctor might question the existing dogma if I printed out a hard copy of each referenced study?  I think that’s how I’m going to handle this.  Could you imagine the look on his face if I brought in 68 printed peer-reviewed scientific studies – delivered to him at our next appointment in Trader Joe’s paper bags?!  (Yea, because I recycle…and have far too many of these bags saved up as it is.)  Do you think he’d believe that I don’t rely on celebrities for my information after that?!  I welcome the immunologist’s perspective and ability to help sift through potential root causes of my son’s past adverse reactions.  Despite our difference in opinion when it comes to vaccines, this is a step that no previous pediatrician has been willing to do.  For that, I am truly grateful.

Take care,

Muckraking Maven

There is something I’ve been wanting to write about for over a month, now.  It’s a very personal account of our son’s introduction to NAET.  I cannot deny the powerful positive change the first treatment has provided.  However, I wanted to hold my breath, just in case it didn’t stick.  We are anxiously awaiting our next visit with Dr. Marilyn Chernoff and have much hope for continued improvement in our son’s allergies, immune system strength, and general wellness.

I first learned of NAET last winter.  It was a brief mention in a string of comments on a blog – I can’t remember the name.  Something about that word, “NAET,” got stuck in my brain and soon I was Googling it to learn what it was all about.  Honestly, at the time it seemed pretty over-the-top in concept.  However the treatment was based on acupressure (pressure not needles) and was non-invasive and completely holistic.  From this point, I continued reading about this innovative treatment helping many children with allergies, individuals with chronic pain, and even some children with autism.

I inhaled a study overseen by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum that compared a control group of children on the spectrum with a group, also ASD, that underwent NAET treatments for one year.  At the end of this study,  a majority of the children in the NAET group experienced substantial improvements in allergic reactions, communication, eye contact, and unresolved ailments (such as eczema, stomach pain, etc.).  More detail on this study and its innovative discoveries can be found in an article featured in a fairly recent Psychology Today article,”23 of the 30 children receiving NAET returned to regular school classes with their typical, non-autistic peers – as opposed to none of the 30 untreated children in the control group.”

The article further cites, “The children receiving NAET also demonstrated both statistically and clinically highly significant improvements in all four autism-related outcome measures:

  • 64 – 82% range of decreases in the 4 ATEC tests.
  • 47.4% average increase in the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) – another well respected assessment tool.
  • 85% decrease in total Allergy Symptom Rating Scale (ASRS) – a tool for evaluating allergies.”

This study, and the way that this therapy captured my interest  out of left field compelled me to buy Dr. Devi Nambadripad’s books, “Living Pain Free,” and, “Say Goodbye to Allergy-Related Autism.”  Along this path, I met a wonderful lady in Louisiana who shared her son’s success story with me on several phone long phone calls.  I also exchanged emails/chats with two other mother’s whose children had experienced great improvements upon engaging in NAET therapy.  It was something I simply had to try.

My dear hubby thought I’d finally taken the crazy train out of Fresno with this “hare-brained” scheme, but I couldn’t and didn’t let it rest.  I was totally OCD on this subject and finally made the great leap of faith this past May despite my hubby’s voice of reason.  To prep my son, I created a social story that detailed the doctor we planned to visit, how the procedure would progress, and what to expect.  We watched videos together on YouTube of another child receiving NAET and talked about the process as much as he was able to communicate.

Here is a short video of my son getting ready to go meet Dr. Chernoff and try our first NAET treatment.  Dr. Chernoff confirmed many things I’d already suspected about my son’s health and immune system.  He was far too sick to receive the vaccinations he did his first year of life.  In fact, his G.I. problems at the time were listed as part of the vaccine manufacturer’s FDA mandated Contraindications – my ped should have used more caution.  (If the GI problems weren’t enough to warrant more caution, my son’s milk protein allergy should have ruled the vaccines out at that time – as many contained milk proteins – and coincidentally led to hospitalization for intestinal bleeding.  If I’d known better…well, you know how that story goes…  In any case, my son has had a myriad of challenges due to severe food allergies, vaccine reactions (involving hospitalization), and intestinal bleeding.  Dietary changes have made a huge impact in his health, but we’ve still dealt with lingering, mystery allergies – that no doctor has provided potential answers for.  They all just want us to give him Claritin, allergy shots, etc. and stop worrying about the root cause.  I am MOST concerned about the root cause and believe that Dr. Chernoff in combination with our DAN doctor, may just help us to get there.  On our first visit, we discussed my son’s medical history at great length and then she checked to see what substances he may be reacting to.  Her initial evaluation revealed that W has trouble with Vitamin C, milk proteins, eggs, corn, and other popular allergens.  She began his treatment by treating him for Brain-Body-Balance paired with Fear to alleviate some of the emotional fear he harbors due to so many negative medical experiences.  For the sake of brevity, here is the short list of improvements tracked in my daily journal within the month after NAET:

  • Sleeping through the night in his bed, nightmares not waking him.
  • No more need for melatonin to get to sleep and stay asleep.  Prior to NAET we were giving him 3mg of melatonin nightly.
  • Improved conversation and spontaneous communication.
  • Improved gross and fine motor coordination.
  • Decreased sensory hypo- and hyper-sensitivity
  • Improved muscle tone in legs, emergence of age-appropriate reflexes, and notice W now gets dizzy fast.
  • Developed interest in Paparazzi-styled photography and videography inside the Moore house using the iPad.
  • Increased patience with good waiting.
  • Improved use of words and reduction of tantrums.
  • Desire to be more engaged with us, requesting play together more often.  Playing more frequently in his bedroom, happily occupied with toys.
  • Improved imaginary play – not dependent on scripts or “practiced” routines.
  • Improved social engagement with family and friends – and their children.
  • Disappearance of chronic rhinitis due to undetermined allergies.
  • Introduction of arguing, bargaining, and general disagreement on potty prizes, meals, and various part of our daily routine. (His conversation has essentially leveled-up to the point that everything is a bit of a debate – but this makes my heart so happy!)
  • Not as enchanted with his plastic magnetic letters and numbers – more interested in toys – and playing with them appropriately.
  • Less need for a visual schedule or story strips because we’re finally able to talk through a scenario verbally, with understanding.

You can see why I’m amazed with the potential for NAET.  Now, I fully understand that this is not a treatment that will work for every child, but there’s enough potential here that some of you may wish to learn a bit more about it.  I know that I can’t technically “cure” my son’s autism.  It’s a neurological disability and it will be here throughout his entire life.  However, if I’m able to provide real relief by determining the root causes to his allergies, G.I. upset, sensory dysfunction, and even physical coordination, I don’t see any reason to stop this train right now.  This is one holistic journey that I intend to follow through.  I’ll keep sharing as we progress on this journey and hope some of this information may be helpful to another.  My son put the effects of NAET in his words best, “Dr. Marilyn Chernoff helped make my body feel better.”

I’ll close with a short video of my son having his first spontaneous and productive conversation (not scripted) the day after our treatment.  The benefits continue to surface each day and I’m very excited about our next visit, coming soon!

After the first NAET treatment our son was happy and engaged, almost immediately.

After the first NAET treatment our son was happy and engaged, he was more physically coordinated and aware of his body in space, almost immediately after leaving Dr. Chernoff’s office.