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Friday, September 30, 2005

Autism’s Razor: Epidemic’s Cause Found

By James Ottar Grundvig
Special to The Epoch Times

I am not sure what caused the most heartache when I saw the first signs of autism return in my son. Was it the constant looking at objects out of the corners of his eyes? Was it the hand flapping while running back and forth like a wounded bird trying to fly? Or was it the flopping on the floor, drained of energy? This second wave of autistic behavior and fine-motor tics has been painful to watch, especially after special education therapy had eliminated them. So what has brought them back with a vengeance?

My son, Fridrik, was born in 2000. In the first two years he grew rapidly. He received his vaccines on schedule. He was a model of excellent health, rarely sick, always energetic. He ate everything put in front of him—he loved food. He also began to speak words, respond to his name, and pointed to objects on a normal trajectory.

By his second birthday the nightmare began.

In one week Fridrik stopped talking and eating. He flopped around for hours, as if his energy had been sucked out of him. He would only eat crispy-crunchy things and Cheerios. For the next three years, the items in his diet could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Despite the collapse of his diet, he continued to grow. Today, Fridrik is a five-year-old boy in the body of a seven-year-old.

At the same time that he stopped eating a variety of foods, he lost the ability to speak. Why? We learned that many autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) kids develop hypersensitivity to touch on their skin, and to the texture of food on their tongues.

In 2004, we suspected, but had no clue, that an environmental trigger had impacted Fridrik. That was one year after he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). This seemed the only diagnosis that could explain his baffling symptoms.

Layover Brings New Diagnosis

Our view changed one fateful day on a connecting flight in Charlotte, North Carolina. The flight was delayed due to engine trouble. Fridrik leapt out of his seat, exhibiting the motor tics that have plagued him. A couple sitting next to me asked if he had PDD. How did they recognize the signs? They had an eight-year-old son who was diagnosed with PDD, but who had been treated for mercury poisoning.

Where does mercury come from in babies? Vaccines are one source; the air they breathe from industrial plants another. In researching data, articles and medical journals, I have come to one conclusion: Thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative used in many baby vaccines, is the culprit in Fridrik’s mercury poisoning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute for Health (NIH), along with the pharmaceutical giants, have denied evidence to the contrary. They argue over daily limits of thimerosal and say that the mercury comes from the air.

If that were true, then how can one explain the Amish, who live in Pennsylvania, a coal mining state, and spend more time outdoors—as farmers and riding in a horse-and-buggy— than any other subpopulation of people in America? The Amish have only three children with autism. Based on our current ratio of 1-in-150 born developing ASD, the Amish should have 130 autistic children.

Enter Autism’s Razor. Derived from Occam¹s Razor, the 13th century principle of simplicity that the fewest assumptions lead to the truth, Autism’s Razor states that the primary cause of autism in children is mercury from baby vaccines. This also explains why most autism cases are seen after babies have received the bulk of their childhood vaccines.

In studying Fridrik’s vaccine chart, I was astonished to see that by eighteen months old he had received twenty-two vaccines for eleven different diseases. But the chart was incomplete. Missing from it was the birth dose of hepatitis B—a vaccine given in the hospital in the first hours after he was born without our knowledge or consent.

In normal children, mercury from vaccines is excreted through the hair. But in ASD kids, mercury blocks the release or production of glutathione, the brain’s natural chelator. So the next time an ASD-susceptible child receives vaccines, mercury builds up. Not only are the children poisoned by a neurotoxin, but, without sufficient glutathione in their bodies, heavy metals, such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and, yes, mercury from the air, build up in their system further poisoning them.

Help for Fridrik

We stopped listening to the government and to many doctors as well, and found a physician who excelled in environmental medicine and who would listen.

After giving Fridrik vitamin supplements and amino acids that his body lacked due to his collapsed diet, the doctor prescribed an IV push of glutathione. By the third injection, for the first time in three years, the mute boy trilled the gibberish sounds he had made as a baby. It was extraordinary. In six weeks, glutathione did more for his ability to say words again than three years of speech therapy. After ten weeks on glutathione, the secondary heavy metals of arsenic and cadmium no longer showed up in his lab work.

The next phase of Fridrik’s detoxification, chelation therapy, has been bittersweet. Bitter because of his gut-wrenching spiral downward into illness as mercury poisons him for a second time. Sweet because it confirms the root cause of his PDD and that cause is now being treated. The period of regression will last three months as he dumps mercury, after which he will rise out of the autistic fog that has enveloped his mind.

Parents Can’t Wait

If we had not taken this path a few things were likely to have happened. By eight years old, if Fridrik did not speak, the software in his brain that gives emotion to the voice would have vanished. He would have talked in a robotic or lethargic way for the rest of his life. If the heavy-metal toxicity goes untreated, then mercury and lead can stay in the body for up to thirty years.
I suspect that if the government agencies ever decided to tackle autism, then they would ban thimerosal from all baby vaccines. Asking Big Pharmaceutical companies on their own to do so has only resulted in the levels of thimerosal being reduced. The chemical is still being used in the production of vaccines to keep batches bacteria free. The government should also test every child for heavy metals contamination who has been diagnosed with ASD and pore over the medical records of those spectrum kids who have been treated to build an historic database and to better understand the new epidemic of the twenty-first century.

If more is not done, the financial strain that these children will place on society will be as devastating as the disorder. In the meantime, parents can’t wait for the health agencies to intervene and re-introduce moderation into the baby vaccination program. They must act now or be burdened for years to come.

James Ottar Grundvig is the father of an autistic child. He lives and works in New York City.

Posted by Becca

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