Friday, February 15, 2008

A Fundamental Difference of Opinion

An old friend of mine, Michael Carley, is the head of an organization called GRASP, which advocates for people with Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. The group's mantra is "We're happy the way we are."

They also come out against any organization or individual who dares to question the CDC party line that there is no connection between autism and vaccines, or rather the hug spike in the incidence of autism as related to the huge increase in the amount of vaccinations that children are given in the first two years of life (see previous post).

They maintain that since no money has ever been awarded in any lawsuit, that such claims are obviously without merit. Not to compare apples and oranges, but the first lawsuit against the tobacco industry claiming that their products caused cancer was filed in 1954. It took over 30 years for any plaintiff to win a dime. Does that mean that cigarettes aren't carcinogenic? Of course not.

In any case, when my kid was diagnosed with autism, I called Michael. He advised me to "live with it," and not to believe "crackpots" like Generation Rescue, who were trying to "fix" their children rather than accepting them for who they are. I later learned that Michael himself had Asperger's, which may or may not have explained his often inappropriate social behavior, but which did not affect his verbal skills.

My kid is normal in most ways, but at three years old, he is still struggling to communicate. We believe that his speech delay is connected to vaccine damage. Our former pediatrician in St. Augustine, Dr. Paul Leadom, brushed off our concerns over the sheer volume of toxins to which our one-year-old was being subjected, and strongly advocated that we give him the full volley of immunizations. Our child was sick for days afterward, and seemed to change overnight.

Two years later, we are trying to repair that damage through biomedical means. We moved to Austin so that we could take Liam to Thoughtful House, one of the leading Autism treatment centers in the US, which features several nationally known DAN doctors.

I'm on the GRASP mailing list, and regularly receive emails wherein Michael speaks out against anyone who would try to "fix" autism. It reminds me of deaf people who regard coclear implants as somehow heretical, a betrayal of who they are.

I'm sorry, but I know that not being able to communicate his needs and wants does not make my kid happy.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

While we're not about to file a lawsuit against the evil mofos of the monolithic pharmaceutical industry, we are doing everything we can to help our son talk, and recover from the damage caused by the toxic vaccines he was given at too young an age.

Call me a crackpot, Mike, but I have to agree to disagree.

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