Mom Interviews

Mika Bradford

Nutritionist, consultant, and autism activist

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One of the most defining moments for the autism community happened just a month ago: The American Academy of Pediatrics announced that they were dedicated to partnering with organizations like DAN (Defeat Autism Now, which has lead the way in autism research) in finding effective treatment options for children with autism. This was a welcomed but overdue step in the right direction.

Many mainstream doctors tell their patients that changes in diet won't necessarily hurt autistic children, but say that there's no proof that it helps, either. What has been your experience with dietary and biomedical intervention?

My experience early on in my journey through autism was devastating and downright humiliating. I am not alone when I say that many medical professionals belittled me and the questions I asked on behalf of my son. In the beginning, I had resentment but, over the years, I have come to realise that in many ways the physicians are just as much victims of the system as we have been.

If I were to put a gallon of milk in my car's gas tank, people would think that I was nuts. But when I suggested that what my son was eating affected his moods and behavior, I was belittled. We know that what we eat can affect our weight, blood-sugar levels, and how we feel. Dietary intake is directly related to medical conditions like Celiac disease and diabetes. Why would we diminish its role in other states of disease or behavioral diagnosis?

What do you think about the thimerosol/vaccine issue and the idea of a "toxic tipping point"?

I do believe a "toxic tipping point" is possible when considering most chemicals. I am continuously amazed when I hear medical professionals defending the vaccination program as an entity versus showing genuine concern for the children who are involved in the process. When any practice is held in higher regard than the people it was designed to protect and serve, we have a problem. It makes one ask, why are so many people unwilling to consider that we may be inundating the immune systems of these children with so many shots in such a brief period of time? While we, the autism community, believe genetics plays a part in the autism epidemic, the reality is that a genetic epidemic is scientifically impossible.

Most parents, including myself, are not against vaccinations. We are for improved safeguards that ensure we are protecting the child who is receiving the vaccine. Vaccination is a medical procedure that is done in hopes of altering the immune system's ability to respond to a specific virus if encountered at a future date. We must also remember that a vaccine is comprised of many components -- not just a virus and preservative, but with additional chemicals that are used in the production of the product. If we did not think it could impact the immune system, then why do we give them to begin with?

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