If you have a child with autism, it’s more than likely that that same child also has gut issues. Often, you will see autistic children leaning on things like this, to put pressure on their gut. Some will be in so much pain they’ll bang their heads, bite themselves, etc. in order to not feel the pain in their gut.

This is also the exact hypothesis the “discredited” study by Andrew Wakefield et al came to when they did their case series study on those 12 children with regressive autism who also showed signs of gut issues – ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia and non-specific colitis, which they were able to confirm through biopsies of the intestine. I’m not going to get into the MMR vaccine info much here, though.

A newer study from Wake Forest recently has confirmed these same findings in over 200 autistic children with the same results.

imageSo, as the media continues to blame the vaccine-autism link on one paper in the Lancet from 1998 which didn’t even attempt to prove a link between MMR and autism, it does seem as though Dr. Wakefield was onto something by noting that there was a correlation to the MMR and gut issues in kids with regressive autism. (They found vaccine strain measles in the guts of these children in Wakefield’s study and the Wake Forest study above.)

As the media also continues to tell us that there is absolutely no link between vaccines and autism, it is highly unlikely that everyone who chooses not to vaccinate their children is doing so based on this one retracted paper from 1998. What is much more likely? Well, the reason Facebook works so well for advertising – we tend to make decisions based on the decisions people we trust make. People make decisions like not vaccinating, because of anecdotal information from people they trust, as well as any research they’ve done themselves. Thousands and thousands of parents all over the world saw a regression of their child(ren) into autism that correlated very well with the timing of a vaccine. Often times literally within a day their child completely slipped away. People are making these huge decisions because they know someone or have witnessed someone who’s regressed into autism soon after a vaccine. I’m only telling you this stuff so you can understand why some people might be hesitant to vaccinate — it’s not because of Andrew Wakefield, and it’s definitely not because of Jenny McCarthy. It’s more likely that it’s because 1 in 68 children are now diagnosed with autism. Now, I’m not trying to speak for everyone, and I’m not sitting here saying, “You shouldn’t vaccinate your kids.” I’m only trying to help others understand where I think many parents are coming from.

In the case of vaccines, the fact that parents of autistic kids are seeing their children in pain, doing things like Thaine is doing in this picture and correlating their child’s regression to when they were vaccinated says that this research, which has been replicated now by a number of studies, is a pretty strong correlation, at the very least.

Many people say that autism and vaccines aren’t linked, and many studies come to a similar conclusion. I won’t go into detail much more though. Many people say parents of autistic children are only looking for something to blame. Sure, that may be the case for some people. But, when a regression happens…..when children literally lose skills they used to have, that’s not a normal thing. That’s caused by something from their external environment. I mean, have you ever just lost the ability to walk? Talk? No. That doesn’t happen. Something caused that.

What I’m getting at is this: If the Wakefied study was wrong, then these other studies must be too. But, there’s a problem with that thinking. You see, kids with autism are actually being treated by doctors who are treating their gut issues, removing bad bacteria, replacing good bacteria, supplementing the right nutrients and literally bringing some of these children out of autism. We’ve made huge progress with Thaine after we introduced fish oil, MCT oil and some other fats. He’s responded very well to probiotics and we’ve reduced dairy and gluten quite a bit too. The week we introduced fish oil is when he started looking at us in the eyes again. MCT oil reduces inflammation in his gut, aids digestion and also has anti fungal properties, as there is more than likely some yeast overgrowth affecting him too. It also seems to help his cognition, I know it does for me as well.

I took this week off to nail down a treatment plan for Thaine and I think we are pretty much ready to rock. We will be meeting with his pediatrician, who is amazing and totally on board with the biomedical interventions and supplementation. We plan on testing Thaine’s urine and blood to see what byproducts there are which will tell us what bacteria he’s missing or needs more of in his gut. This will also tell us where to go next as far as what nutrients. Food allergies will also be tested to confirm what may be holding him back.

We will also be continuing speech at Holland Center in Minnetonka as well as starting some Occupational therapy there, too. As for behavioral intervention, we are holding off on anything like ABA and will be working with him ourselves. If you have questions on what type of methods we are using, the closest thing I’ve found to what we’ve been doing with Thaine is called Son Rise Program. There are many videos on YouTube which show exactly what they do and how it’s different than ABA. The basic difference is ABA was developed by doctors for clinicians and Son Rise was developed by parents for parents. ABA is behavior modification akin to training dogs. Son Rise program is treating your child as a human, letting your child lead. It really depends on what your goals are for your child as far as behavior goes.  You have to figure out if you want your child to just be able to blend in and still have autism, or do you want your child to grow and get better, regardless of how odd he seems to others?  For us, it’s the latter.

I honestly didn’t mean for this to turn into a post about vaccines, and I hope you don’t think it did.  But, I think it’s relevant because of the vaccine debate happening as a result of the measles outbreak.  I think it’s important for both sides, regardless of beliefs to at least understand why people do things.  It’s never the same reasons the media says.

That’s all I was trying to get across. That’s all I have for now. I will update again soon.



About The Author

Ryan P. Maier

Ryan is the co-owner and founder of DadLifts and an autism and fatherhood advocate. Ryan is also a Movement Coach and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach in Minneapolis, MN. Ryan is a husband and father of three.