Recently a friend of mine and I were helping as PTO members with photograph day at our local school. Our responsibilities were to get the kids lined up, organized for their pose and comb their hair--if they wanted us to. I noticed one cute boy whose hair needed to be combed. I asked his teacher if I should comb it and she gave me a quick smile and a resounding, “No.” Then once on the photographer’s chair, the photographer went to comb it and the teacher said, “You can’t comb his hair--just take the photo--with a certainness that was not to be disputed.” The photographer backed off and started to take the photo, but the boy began to shake his head back and forth and wouldn’t sit for even one second. I’m guessing he is autistic.
During our session, my friend walked over to me from her line of kids and she commented, “I can’t believe the number of kids who are dealing with issues! What is going on?” She was referring to the kids that probably have ADHD, ADD or autism and who didn’t want to be touched, didn’t want to smile or needed one-on-one care by a teacher. I agreed with her but I had done this before so wasn’t quite as surprised as she was this photograph day.
Why is it, then, that there appear to be so many more kids with issues requiring special care and/or medication than there were twenty or more years ago, when we parents were kids? What has changed? Based upon my researching and reading as a parent and writer, I can list the following things that have changed significantly over the past twenty or so years that can all contribute and impact a child’s body and immune system:
- The number of vaccinations has grown a lot:
- 100 years ago, children received 1 vaccine;
- 40 years ago, children received 5 to 8 vaccines by age two; and
- Today children receive 52 vaccines, in the form of 15 shots, by age six months.
- Livestock are given hormones to grow more. Livestock are given antibiotics to treat infections caused by overgrowth.
- Antibiotics were invented 60 years ago. In the last 30 years the use of penicillin-type drugs in farm animals has increased by 600%, and of tetracyclines by 1,500%. The main use of antibiotics in farming is in pigs and chickens.
- Pesticides are sprayed in great quantities on livestock’s food and our foods.
- New proteins/DNA structures have been created called genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
- Heavy metals (antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, thallium, tin, uranium, vanadium, and zinc) exist in our air, water, foods and mass produced toys.
I believe that the net effect of all of these relatively new issues can impact a child’s small body in different ways. Each child has a different body--with a different genetic make up. So each child’s body probably handles the onslaught of these impacts differently. Specifically, while one child may develop autism from their body creating a chemical that affects their brain, another child may create IgE antibodies that cause anaphylactic food allergies or a delayed (less obvious but equally devastating) IgG antibody that can cause internal organs to swell like the lungs causing asthma.
It’s too early for scientists to prove these ideas. We are in the stage where the reaction has been made, but the cause is not yet discovered. Further, with different bodies and different external factors (the bulleted list above) it is extremely complex to prove: One child can react, but so much differently from the next child.
What is a parent left to do? Not give vaccinations? Not give antibiotics? Not breathe the air or eat our foods? Consider these every day solutions:
- Buy organic, non-GMO meats and foods not treated with pesticides or given hormones and antibiotics;
- Only agree to antibiotics if your child is really sick--look for a doctor that agrees and will not just hand them over when your child has a stuffy nose or a virus. Then supplement with probiotics after the run of antibiotics to avoid creating leaky gut syndrome which can lead to food allergies and related disorders of autism and ADHD. Consider separating and spacing out vaccinations by a week so that the child’s body can deal with each one individually.
- Consider detoxifying your child’s body from heavy metals. The medical process for doing this is called Chelation therapy defined as the, “administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body." While this therapy uses drugs, we can try eating cilantro (an herb that looks like parsley) to remove mercury, lead and aluminum. "Chelation therapy using chemicals like EDTA has long been used to help remove these heavy metals, but cilantro is the only natural substance...that has demonstrated this ability...All it takes is adding fresh cilantro to your everyday foods or eating a couple teaspoons of cilantro pesto (1 clove of garlic, 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves chopped or blended, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 6 tablespoons olive oil) a day for two or three weeks;”
Be sure to discuss the antibiotic, vaccination and heavy metal treatments with your doctors. If you find your doctor is not receptive to a discussion, seek out a second opinion. It is important that a parent feel he or she is listened to and has a similar strategy or goal for treating one's child. It may seem like a big step to find a new or different doctor, but it can make a big difference in your child's health and your peace of mind.
 Personal Stories of Vaccine Damage and Death , http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/vaccines.htm, 2010
 Emed Expert, 16 Interesting Facts About Antibiotics, http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/antibiotics-facts.shtml#ref3, 2010
 Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelation_therapy
 The Poor Man's Chelation Therapy, http://home.earthlink.net/~jedcline/cilantro.html