18 July 2013

This week in Autism

Holy smokes. It's been more than a month since I last posted here. It's been a bit crazy. Crackle's not had a particularly easy month, Snap graduated from high school (omgomgomg), my Mom, my brother and his gf came out to visit, my inlaws came for a short visit... We also had to come up with $20,000 for repairs on the building. The dog is pissing blood again. Crackle is still vomiting every 6 weeks or so.

So yeah, no blogging time. Mostly I'm being posty-reposterson on Twitter if I do get online.

In the autism world, a few things have come up:

Higher Levels of Several Toxic Metals Found in Children With Autism
Lead, thallium, tin, and tungsten were found in higher levels in children with autism. This would be why chelation therapy (done properly) isn't the bullshit that quackwatch and other assholes like to call it. It's not a cure, no one ever said it was - well, no one with a clue, but it is some pretty good validation for those who have tried it and seen positive effects. If people with autism don't detoxify metal properly, it would also go a long way in explaining why it appeared to so many of us that vaccines were a problem. It's not that the vaccine caused the autism, it's that the already autistic person couldn't detox the metal. And that their bodies couldn't handle the toxic load. Because the immune system is implicated too.

Elevated Gluten Antibodies Found in Children with Autism
"Researchers have found elevated antibodies to gluten proteins of wheat in children with autism in comparison to those without autism. The results also indicated an association between the elevated antibodies and the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms in the affected children. They did not find any connection, however, between the elevated antibodies and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder known to be triggered by gluten"
This one validates all of us parents who insist that gluten is a problem for our ASD kids, even if they don't have a celiac diagnosis. My kids probably have celiac, because my husband and I both do, but most doctors don't accept that and want us to do a gluten challenge on them to get a positive diagnosis. I told them that if they wanted to look after them for the 6 weeks they were on gluten, I'd consider it, but I wasn't being in the same house with them.

Excessive Cerebral Spinal Fluid and Enlarged Brain Size in Infancy Are Potential Biomarkers for Autism
This one is just plain interesting. Crackle does have excessive cerebral spinal fluid, but he has a chiari malformation, and we thought that was the reason.

Now, I don't want to start a shitstorm, but this also popped onto my radar. 68 Research Papers Showing that Vaccines Can Cause Autism. I don't exactly buy this. But like I said above, I do not think that vaccines are safe in kids who already have autism (With exceptions, of course!). Couldn't it be that the child seemed to be developing normally (i.e. subclinical autism) and that the vaccines caused the symptoms to be noticeable? I guess I am baffled by the mentality that I see in both points of view. I mean, the anti-vax people don't seem to recognise that since the advent of the polio vaccine, polio has been all but wiped out. They don't admit it when their science is bad, but insist that everyone else does (okay, that's both sides). They flat out don't believe that vaccination causes immunity, despite the fact that you can test titers and see when someone has been vaccinated. And the pro-vax people don't seem to recognise that millions of people are having problems after vaccinations. Worst of all, what I don't understand about the pro-vax people is the idea that "The science is in. There's no arguing. If you argue, you're a crackpot". I don't think so. There've been a few studies, with obvious flaws. Like the one in which a bunch of the research money was stolen, but somehow they did the whole study anyway and managed to conclude that vaccines were safe, and it was a CDC funded study... If the science was in, so to speak, no credible scientists would still be studying it. And they are. I also find it relatively baffling that the pro-vax side, which tends to be left-wing or centrist, are willing to take the government at its word on this when everything else is open for question.

I'm a moderate on both. I vaccinated Crackle, even after I saw the damage it did to Snap. It was a huge mistake. HUGE. I ignored my instincts, and went with the best mainstream science I could find. I dismissed the anti-vaxxers as idiots. I figured the benefit outweighed the risk. It didn't. He regressed that day. That. Day. Became sound sensitive that day. Stopped sleeping properly that day. Never recovered. Don't tell me that's coincidence. Don't tell me that's unrelated. Don't tell me it would have happened anyway. It might have, but it wouldn't have been because I ignored my instincts.

Here's what I tell people who ask me if they should vaccinate: If your kid has no risk factors for autism, no immune system problems, and is perfectly healthy, sure. Go for it. DO NOT give them Tylenol for the fever afterward though. That's about the worst thing you can do. (Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure. Entropy, November 7, 2012)

Oh and Jenny McCarthy joined The View. FML. Like I needed this. She's lovely and perky and funny. And OMG PLEASE SHUT UP ABOUT VACCINES. What we don't need is this. We don't need her and her pseudoscience being the voice of autism. She needs to stop talking about cures too. Especially when her kid, with his team of doctors and specialists, is still quite visibly autistic. Gah! Put me on The View. I'm not as perky to look at - I don't stop traffic, but I don't chase it either... and I'm sure my foul mouth will have the effect they want. And I won't embarrass the autism community. Much.