We are on the verge of a welfare disaster in this country. Eighty percent of autistic
children are under the age of 17. In a few short years, the states are going to
be forced to provide support for an overwhelming number of disabled autistic adults.
“The costs will be in the trillions,” according to Ann Dachel.
Ann should know. She is a special education teacher, a member of the National
Autism Association, and the mother of a boy with autism and a daughter who developed
epilepsy after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine.
Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that for many years was added to
childhood vaccines to boost drug company profits. In the 1990s the CDC added
more and more Thimerosal-containing vaccines to the mandatory vaccine schedule
without adding up the cumulative amounts of mercury that children were receiving
from the vaccines.
Finally, in 1999, after watching the dramatic autism and other neurological
disorders, officials at the CDC and FDA realized that a fully vaccinated infant
was receiving up to 125 times what the EPA considered safe for mercury exposure.
Because half the officials involved were on payrolls of the drug companies
they were charged to regulate, they have never ordered the pharmaceutical industry
to stop using Thimerosal. In fact, the product is still used in some vaccines.
Last year's flu vaccine had a mercury content eight times the EPA safe limit
and it was recommended for six-month-old babies and pregnant women.
The generation of children poisoned by vaccines during the 1990s is now reaching
puberty and if the Bush administration is successful in blocking lawsuits against
the vaccine makers that caused this epidemic of neurological disorders, taxpayers
will be left holding the bag and a heavy bag it will be.
The theory of mercury toxicity and autism is not promoted by parents only.
It’s been verified by such esteemed biochemists as Andrew Hall Cutler,
PhD and Boyd Haley, the chemistry department chair at the University of Kentucky.
A study by Bernard et al titled “Autism: a novel form of mercury poisoning”
documents about 100 matching symptoms.
The transcript of a closed meeting in 1999 attended by officials from drug
companies and the CDC and FDA, which was leaked to the press, reveals how the
52 vaccine policymakers at the meeting discussed ways to deal with statistics
showing that children given mercury in vaccines had a much higher rate of autism,
attention deficit and other disorders.
On August 18, 2003, Dr. Leonard G Horowitz warned members of the congressional
committee at a Government Reform Hearing on Vaccines as a Risk Factor For Autism
“the great and grave likelihood that disease prevention through vaccinations
is violently backfiring -- dramatically increasing mortality and morbidity especially
among America's youngest citizens.”
Horowitz cited the dangers of our nation's “most established, generally
accepted, public health practice of vaccination, and its links to skyrocketing
rates of autism and brain damage in children.”
This public health professional by training, and independent investigator with
expertise in medical sociology and infectious disease research, told Congress,
“I have unfortunately, over the past two decades, grown accustomed to
instances of poor decision-making, gross negligence, and downright cover-ups
in safety oversight and pharmaceutical industry control in the vaccine arena.”
In 2002, the research team of David and Mark Geier released a study based on
tens of millions of doses of vaccines given to children in the US during the
1990s, that presented the first epidemiologic evidence that associated the increase
in Thimerosal from vaccines with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Professor Lynn Adams, a speech-language pathologist at Radford University who
specializes in autism, says a 1999 study determined that the average child received
33 doses of 10 different vaccines by the age of five. She claims the multiple
shots could “flip a genetic switch” in children predisposed to autism.
Lisa Blakemore-Brown, a Psychologist in the UK, also maintains that Thimerosal
is the cause of autism, and suspects it is also the culprit involved in a wide
variety of other health problems showing up in children today.
According to Blakemore, the current autism epidemic did not occur earlier because
children “were given single vaccines with single amounts of mercury…[B]ut
with the introduction of triple vaccines the amount of mercury contained within
the preservative was multiplied and the cumulative effects are only just now
being discovered by the public.”
Parents Struggle With The Burden
Laura Bono is the mother of an autistic child and she wants the public to consider
the latest research pointing to the mercury-vaccine link. For instance, researcher,
Mady Hornig, recently announced the results of a study where mice were given
Thimerosal at the level of the childhood immunization schedule and began exhibiting
Bono cites a study where toxicologist Dr Jill James, a former FDA researcher,
found a problem with autistic children's methylation that made it difficult
for their bodies to rid themselves of mercury. Bono notes the findings of Dr.
Richard Deth, that once in the body, Thimerosal shuts down the detoxifying methylation
Bono reveals how her son Jackson experienced a four-month regression beginning
days after receiving shots. He received HiB (with 25 mcg. of mercury), DT (with
25 mcg. of mercury), Oral Polio, and Measles-Mumps-Rubella. All totaled, he
received 50 mcg. of mercury, three dead viruses and four live viruses. The 50
mcg. of mercury was on top of the 75 mcg. of mercury he had already received
in his first year of life through one DPT and two other DT shots. The 50 mcg.
of mercury he received in one day was 44 times the EPA exposure limit. He would
need to weigh 550 lbs. on that day to process that much mercury. He weighed
just 25 lbs. The total amount of mercury he received from 2-months-old to 16
months was 139 times the recommended EPA exposure levels.
“My outgoing, social, verbal child was a shell of his old self,”
Laura said. “Jackson’s body was still here. But his personality
-- what made Jackson his smart, loving self -- was gone. The sick body replaced
the well one. The sleeping child was replaced by one who would awake startled
after a few hours and not go back to sleep all night. The one who had a healthy
appetite was replaced by one who became picky and whittled his foods down to
one or two. The happy child was replaced by an unhappy one. The child who at
one time didn’t miss a thing and was the life of the room became distant
and preferred to be alone. The one who was developmentally ahead of the crowd
began making strange noises and exhibiting odd behaviors. The child God gave
us was gone.”
Andrian Prokofiew of New Jersey has a son who was developing normally until
he acquired autism at 17 months after receiving some 20 vaccines containing
Thimerasol. Within weeks of the last three vaccinations given in the same visit,
Prokofiew’s son, “lost all speech for 3 years, did not even look
at me or know who I was. He screamed for two weeks, his ears turned red, his
eyes dilated and he began to spin, flap his hands and bang his head,”
It took more than 3 years to find out what happened to him medically and Andrian
says she was horrified to find out the pharmaceutical companies gave bonus dollars
for each vaccine given.
“Words alone cannot express how devastating this disorder is for the
family and child, emotionally as well as financially,” she said.
Dr Allen Clark, a licensed physician for 30 years, has a son who developed
severe neurodevelopmental symptoms (diagnosed as Asperger’s, an autism
spectrum disorder) at age 7½ after receiving a routine influenza vaccine
containing 25 micrograms of Thimerosal, a dose which the EPA would calculate
as being safe only for a 550 pound adult. The Clark's son weighed only 50 pounds
at the time he was vaccinated.
Nancy and Tim Hokkanen are parents of Andy Hokkanen, age 6. Andy was exposed
to mercury before birth from his mother's tooth fillings, which are 50% mercury,
and from RhoGam shots for Rh factor incompatibility. After birth Andy also received
Thimerosal from the mandated childhood vaccinations.
Tim's health insurance has covered much of the cost of behavioral therapy for
Andy, but they were on Medical Assistance for about 9 months, which picked up
many co-pays. They estimate that their insurance was billed about $100,000 for
therapy so far.
Linda Weinmaster has a 13-year-old son that also met with mercury poisoning
before birth in the form of a mercury-containing RhoGAM shot that Linda received
during her 28th week of pregnancy along with his childhood vaccines. He now
suffers from a host of medical problems that require care.
Linda says her son's medications cost over $6,500 per month. Right now, insurance
covers his meds less deductible, but not his vitamins, which run about $300
Kendra Pettengill is a single widowed mother of a child with autism, and veteran
of the United States Air Force.
Kendra is annoyed that anyone would believe that there is not an epidemic in
autism, and claims that it previously went undiagnosed. “The claim is
better diagnosis,” she says, “as if parents, teachers, and doctors
10 or 20 years ago wouldn’t have noticed our spinning, rocking, flapping,
head banging, self-biting, children who can’t speak, and who live in their
own little worlds.”
“It is an insult, a slap in the face to parents to claim it is only better
diagnostics that recognized our children’s autism,” Kendra notes.
“A parent 10 years ago would have been just as terror stricken by their
child’s condition as I was and would have demanded a reason just as I
Kendra’s insurance company will not pay for her daughter’s medical
therapy, the diet, or ABA therapy. In fact, once autism is diagnosed, the insurance
company can refuse to pay for a visit to the doctor for the flu if your doctor
checks the little autism box on your insurance sheet, Kendra says.
“Every organization I contacted denied me assistance as they say my $30,000
a year income is too much to qualify,” Kendra said. “A good solid
ABA program can cost more than that, per year,” she added.
“I have sold my house, spent my retirement, lost my medical insurance,
all to save my child from a life of hopelessness,” Kendra says.
According to Kendra, her entire family is affected by her daughter‘s
autism: “my parents even sold their house and moved nearby to help out,”
Bob Ashburn and his wife Jamie are from Ohio and they have two children with
autism spectrum disorder.
Their son, Kyle, who is now 9, was the first to be diagnosed with autism. In
many respects they say he was the perfect baby because he was so easy to get
along with and yet there was something strange about him that they couldn’t
pinpoint. They originally thought that Kyle might be deaf.
When he was about 15-months-old, the family was eating at McDonalds when an
alarm went off. Everyone in the place reacted to the noise except Kyle, who
just sat there eating his French Fries.
At first the Ashburns thought their daughter Kris was just shy and had strange
habits, like regular hand washing and needing everything to be consistent. For
instance, she needs to sit in the same seat in the car and needs to sleep with
her same stuffed animals each night.
Kris is now 14-years-old and is very artistically talented and reads at a high
level. She can handle regular school but she really needs to have time to herself
when she gets home and usually hides in either the bathroom or her bedroom for
about an hour reading before she can face the world again.
The Ashburns worry about what kind of future their children will have, especially
Kyle, who has very few social skills and so many post-reactions to any interactions
of a negative sort with people, that they don’t know how they can live
When Kyle and Kris get upset they become violent and hit their parents. As
a result, the Ashburns have had to change their entire lifestyles so that everything
is as consistent as possible and that transitions are made with lots of preparation.
Nothing, not even a quick shopping trip for a carton of milk, they say, can
be done on the spur of the moment without some sort of violent reaction from
either one or both of the children.
Jennifer Thompson tells how for a period of time, her autistic son Zack developed
OCD type behaviors about his clothing. “He would only wear certain clothes.
No long sleeved shirts, only long pants, and they had to be tucked in! He would
only wear shirts that had buttons. This was an obsession. You did not dare think
you could make him do otherwise or he would go into an extreme meltdown. And
I know most parents out there understand what a ‘meltdown’ is.”
According to Lauro Bono, “What is measurable is the financial toll that
this medical crisis inflicts on families. After the vaccines at 16-months-old,
Jackson’s medical and therapy needs began taking every bit of money we
had saved or ever would have saved."
“The total we have paid for Jackson’s medical, nutritional and
private therapy expenses so far,” she says, “is roughly $685,000
since August 1990. That is approximately $53,000 per year.”
In addition to medical costs, most autistic children cannot be left alone and
must be looked after and cared for non-stop every day of the year. Unless these
kids and their families get the financial help that they deserve from the vaccine
makers, the entire burden will eventually fall to the taxpayers, and the cost
will reportedly exceed $2 million dollars per child.
Maybe that will make people wake up and listen.