Autism Anxiety

I love him. 
I'm anxious this week. I'm a little scared, a little worried. Starting October 1, we'll have new insurance that will allow us to see our normal pediatrician that we haven't seen since the day after Maggie was born. I've got three appointments made, one for each child. I've also got a speech evaluation set up for Brighton next month. Maggie has a lump on her toe that I'm concerned about, Owen is awesome, but I'll probably get a lecture about not vaccinating him and Brighton is perfect in my eyes. Brighton is the one I'm most concerned about though. I'm worried that the doctor is going to tell me that he's on the autism spectrum, something that I've worried about since he was 6 months old. This is not something that I would be ashamed of, but it's something that I have been fighting in my mind for awhile. Brighton is not severely autistic by any means, but he does have some autistic traits that have concerned me for a long time. He stopped babbling at 6 months of age after his 3rd round of vaccinations of Hib and Prevnar. He was non-verbal until 2 1/2 and still has a hard time being understood at the age of 4 1/2 by people that aren't around him much. He walks on his toes, flaps his arms when he's excited, has a hard time socially and eats only a handful things. I don't completely blame the vaccinations. I'm very thankful I had done my research before that point and had opted to selectively vaccinate him because I know 100% in my heart that he would be severely autistic had we followed the recommended schedule. I did all the things leading up to his 6 month of life that are considered possible contributors to the autism epidemic. I had an epidural, pitocin augmented delivery. He was fed non-organic formula from bottles made of BPA plastic that I warmed up in the microwave for every meal and added bottled water that I kept warm in a mini fridge that doubled as a heater. I lathered him up with baby products every day that contained chemicals and endocrine disrupting pthalates. This kid's immune system didn't have a chance against all these attackers. So when we vaccinated him at his 6 month appointment, I believe it tipped the toxicity scales just enough to cause minor neurological injury. I try very hard to keep him on an organic diet, but I've noticed when I let a few things slide and give him pesticide ridden food or drink, he regresses a little and starts flapping a lot. It's not the flapping that bothers me so much, but whatever is going on his little brain to cause it is what concerns me. Despite his little quirks, I believe he is a musical genius and a deeply compassionate little man with all the potential in the world. So, I guess what I'm afraid of is not that he is on the spectrum, but that somehow I will be judged for it and that Brighton will suffer socially and emotionally from it. Parenting is hard. It is the greatest and most protective love in the world and it is hard. Every decision you make is judged by everyone else, sometimes based only on the reason that it was a different decision than the one they made. I am just so unbelievably thankful for the wisdom God continues to give me when it comes to parenting. The choices we make are the most informed and best ones we can make at this time regarding our children. Take advantage of this age of information and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. People tell me I read too much and to "get off the internet." It cracks me up, because they're essentially telling me to "Quit educating yourself! Follow the herd! Stop making waves!" That's just silly. You care about your child more than anyone else in this world does. You are their strongest advocate. Be a knowledgeable one. Do your research and make an informed decision and not one completely based on the trust of someone you see for 10 minutes at a time, a few times a year. It may be a different one than mine and if it is, be confident in your informed decision and don't let anyone make you feel inferior because you made it. :)

For further reading on the subject of vaccines, please read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Bob Sears and/or watch the documentary by Dr. Jay Gordon, Vaccinations. I have spare copies of it if anyone is interested. The National Vaccine Information Center is also a great online resource.

For more information on endocrine disruptors, such as BPA and pthalates, specifically the role they play in boys, please read Boys Adrift, by Dr. Leonard Sax. The Environmental Working Group has great info on BPA as well. To find out the toxicity of common baby products, such as lotions, shampoos, sunscreen, etc... please visit the Environmental Working Group's sister site, Skin Deep at I have spent hours on this site. Just because it says "natural" doesn't mean it's safe.

This is very therapeutic for me to write about this issue, thank you for reading and please, no judging. :)

ETA: For an update on Brighton's appt., see this blog post.

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