When I was pregnant with my son over 4 years ago, my biggest concern was autism. As far as I know, you still can’t accurately test for it and no one knows what causes it. Vaccines are still the leading “villain” in the guessing game of what causes spectrum disorders. At 2 months my pediatrician knew there was something wrong with my son (for new moms: he didn’t mimic and he wasn’t tracking). He hadn’t had any vaccinations, so what caused his delay? A few months into motherhood, I was given the list of the “dirty dozen” by another mom — the leading fruits and vegetables that are full of pesticides. I always thought you could wash the pesticides off and that they weren’t really harmful to humans. Well, you can’t just wash pesticides off and they actually have been proven to be harmful to children.
I’m not one of those moms that’s done a bunch of reading and research. I wish I was. They impress the hell out of me. I am one of those moms that has done a little research and feels strongly about what I’ve found so far. I believe there is a growing case being made against our food vs. vaccines. That does not rule out vaccines. I’m just beginning to believe it might start with what we’re eating as pregnant mothers. I ate a lot of apples when I was pregnant with my son. I was trying to stay away from the junk food at work. Apples are number 1 on the dirty dozen list.
I was sent a short documentary about Temple Grandin the first year we were coming to terms with my son’s condition. It was really inspiring. The most interesting part of this documentary was learning about Temple’s brain. A research study scanned her brain and found the communication center was twice as large as a normal person and branched farther into her brain. She had speech therapy early on and is now fully verbal. Her brain adapted and early intervention has helped a lot of children. My own son has begun using a few words at the age of 4. We started his early intervention therapy at 10 months.
Then I was sent a 60 minute show about ipad apps that are getting autistic children to focus and complete simple language tasks. It starts with highlighting a severely autistic twenty year old that can’t talk, but has been able to talk using an ipad app. He knows the words, he just can’t say them. He types out sentences on the ipad using preset pictures. The teachers in the children study were amazed at how much vocabulary a young boy actually knew while using the ipad. He’d never had a way to show it before.
This got me thinking. My own son can make eye contact, express emotion and read the emotion in others. He just can’t talk. He’ll use simple words for a short amount of time and then “lose” them. My son is suffering from a communication malfunction. I remembered hearing about causes of the honeybees disappearing a few years earlier. Their are no dead bees, the bees just disappear and leave the queen behind. One news program said that it was thought to be pesticides that were disrupting the communication abilities of the bees.
Earlier this year (3/13), a group of nonprofits brought a case against the EPA stating that they illegally approved the overuse of pesticides that caused honeybee colony collapse disorder. They state that the European Food Safety Authority has said recent studies show neonicotinoid pesticides pose a significant risk to bees and contribute to colony collapse disorder. “Honey bees are social insects that rely heavily on memory, cognition and communication to coordinate activities essential for their survival. Chronic ingestion of neonicotinoids damages foraging behavior, overall mobility and the communication by which they coordinate their activities. Neonicotinoid pesticides can also have several other indirect effects on honey bees, such as causing premature shifts in hive roles. They can impair honey bees’ medium-term olfactory memory and associative learning abilities, which foraging honey bees rely on to find their way back to the hive,” this complaint states.
In late April of this year the European Union voted to enact a two-year ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The U.S. has not banned this pesticide, even though the honeybee population is reported to have reached a 50 year low with a 28% decline rate. The EPA has stated they need to do more research. At the same time, they have approved a new pesticide called sulfoxaflor. Sulfoxafor is considered by many to be a “fourth-generation neonicotinoid.
Another mom sent me a video of a stay at home mom, Robyn O’Brien, whose daughter came down with a food allergy. Robyn was surprised and started to research the cause of food allergies in children. What she found has caused her to adopt the role of a “real food” evangelist. You should watch this 18 minute video. She condenses a lot of good information into that short amount of time. She found that the U.S. has approved food practices that other countries will not approve. And, if a member of another country moves to the U.S., their risks of cancer go up significantly.
I like to watch the Bill Maher show. Every once in awhile he’ll state that our food is not good for us. I thought he was talking about saturated/trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and “processed” foods. After watching Robyn’s video, it’s literally our food. She found that corn has been genetically engineered to create it’s own insecticide. To the point where corn is now listed as an insecticide. The information she’s found will really make you take a different look at what we’re all eating.
From what I’ve found, “industrial farming” started after WWII. It’s believed that chemicals created for the war machine were moved into farming — pesticides. The first cases of autism are believed to have been diagnosed in the 1940′s.
I’m not sure when Autism Speaks started to research environmental pollutants, but I do know they stated that it was an underfunded science for a long time. I heard about their research late last year. Earlier this year, I heard about “The Monsanto Protection Act.” As this article states, “Last May, the agrichemical giants — Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, BASF — pulled off a stunning maneuver to protect their massive profits. They secured a new type of corporate earmark, getting legislation signed into law that requires the continued sale of products even if the products are determined to be unlawfully approved. In plain English, that means that these companies could have legal protection to continue selling their products even if the courts pulled the products from the market.”
What do they know? There is a growing variation of spectrum disorders. My son is now listed as the newest form of spectrum disorder, “PDD-NOS.” If we were to track the “generations” of different pesticides, would we find the different variations of spectrum disorders might match up?
EAT ORGANIC!! As Robyn states in her video, it’s all about a profitable business — supply and demand, so make the demand organic.