15 Jan

The Enigma of Autism

This week’s column discusses the mystery surrounding the cause of autism.

Natural Healing

By Yvonne Kleine

There are numerous theories on the cause of autism. Natural Healing columnist Dr. Yvonne Kleine discusses the enigma of autism in this week’s column.Credit

The latest nonsense concerning the causes of Autism would make me laugh out loud if it didn’t infuriate me so much. According to the latest “research,” women having their children “too close together” run a higher risk of giving birth to children afflicted with Autism.

Let’s now terrify every woman having a close together pregnancy with something that is only a theory, and in my opinion, one of the most ridiculous theories ever presented. Daffy Duck could come up with a better theory than this one.  It ranks right up there with the one that said  vitamin C is bad for you. If this theory is true, then everyone in my family ought to be Autistic.

My maternal great-grandmother, a fine Italian Catholic woman, had thirteen children.  None were more 19 months apart, save for the youngest who was born when my Grandmother, next youngest, was 8-years-old.  By then, my great-grandmother was getting on in years, and she stopped getting pregnant. This bothered her a great deal, since she was always happiest when she was expecting a baby.  Not one of her children suffered any emotional or physical impairment or disability.  Most lived well into their eighties and nineties and my great uncle lived to be 96.  My own Mother, another “close together baby,” is a healthy and vigorous 94. My paternal great- grandmother had eight children, all born very close together.  Except for a baby boy who died of “crib death,” they all lived to be over 100-years-old.  None were Autistic.

Growing up in my Italian-Irish Catholic neighborhood, I cannot recall one single child who could have been classified as “Autistic.”  Not one.  And the old expression “Irish Twins” applied to many of my schoolmates, Irish or otherwise. 

Let’s look at some facts. The average woman having a baby 50 or 60 years ago smoked, drank the occasional cocktail and ate whatever she wanted.  Pre-natal vitamins were practically unheard of.  The overwhelming majority of these women gave birth to normal, healthy babies,  your parents and grandparents.   

Please don’t misinterpret this as my approval of such behavior.  Vaccines as we know them today, were in their infancy, and surely they were administered one at a time, not “bundled” as they are today. Pardon me, but I also believe the food was also a lot more nutritious, fat and cholesterol notwithstanding.  Back then, you shopped for your food every day or two, frozen and processed foods were just arriving, and there was no such thing as hormone enhanced milk or meat saturated with antibiotics or steroids. Preservatives? How about old fashioned canning? Stress!  It’s the new word for “worry” and our folks had plenty of worries.  Having defeated the Nazis. they were now faced with the menace of the Soviet Union, the Arms Race and the daily threat of nuclear annihilation. 

The innocent TV shows of the day reflect the fantasy Hollywood wanted us to buy into, but my Dad was nothing like “the Beaver’s.” He had a Ph.D. in spanking.  Yes, I know that the research of Dr. Wakefield has been discredited by the powers that be, and he has been accused of falsifying data to prove his theory that Autism is caused by excessive vaccination. If this charge is true, it is execrable. Yet, think about it with an open mind. You have an infant or toddler and you give that child bundled vaccinations.  Is it a stretch to think that it’s developing immune system might react adversely to having three and four different toxins thrown at it at one time? Is it unreasonable to realize that Autism began appearing in much greater numbers after the advent of bundled vaccinations?    

All these vaccines at one time are just too much for a baby.  As if this isn’t enough, we take them back for “booster” shots without running Titers to ascertain the numbers of antibodies present in these children. I cannot tell you how many parents have told me that their child was just fine until he had the last group of vaccinations.  Are the parents lying? Clutching at straws ? Or are they intelligent people who are capable of detecting just when the changes appeared in their children?

Am I saying that over vaccination is the sole cause of Autism?  Of course not.  But if I had a little one today, you can bet I would never allow him to be vaccinated more than one shot at a time, with a good three weeks in between each one.  And I would demand my pediatrician run Titers to determine the need for further vaccination. I wouldn’t care if his nose got out of joint, either. It’s your child. For goodness sake, my veterinarian does this for my cats and dog. Read the work of the courageous, brilliant Veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds, and then tell me what you think. 

I am also very concerned about residual levels of pesticides in the soil and the effects of these on the developing nervous systems of our children. After World War 11, we had a lot of nerve gas left over.  As the “good guys” and signatories of the Geneva Accords, we never used our chemical or biological weapons.  We found another use for them, spraying our plants and lawns and pets with these new “pesticides.” Yes, shockingly, Organophosphates are the direct descendants of this nerve gas, and this is what pesticides are made of.  

Way back in 1996, I addressed the Neighbors and Gardeners Club of Bayport and lectured on the very real dangers of pesticide use in the home and at school. I must say, my fellow Bayporters scooped up the alternative treatments I provided and I know I did change the way many avid gardeners went about controlling their pests. So it is gratifying to see that our school districts are finally waking up to this omnipresent and very real danger to the health of our children. Better living through chemistry does not apply here.

The specter of Autism is a daunting one, and one that we wish we could abolish, never to return. Using prudence when vaccinating, caution when fertilizing or killing pests in the home, feeding children nutritious “clean food” without additives and making sure that a pregnant woman has adequate nutrients in her diet are all important. 

Let common sense reign supreme. Someday, we may know for a certainty just what causes Autism.  Until then, I would not gamble with the future of my children because someone in a lab coat tells me some new theory he can’t prove.

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