Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Today is a very special day for me. A day worthy of celebration, a day I have waited on for a very long time.
My son, Chad, had his annual IEP meeting at school today. We were to determine whether he still meets criteria for special education, and if so, update his annual IEP.
Before I tell you the good news, I suppose I should share some of the background to make this more understood. Chad has autism. He was diagnosed at 15 months and was nonverbal until between 4-5 years old. Chad was pretty severe in his earlier days, but made significant progress with much biomedical, therapeutic, dietary and educational intervention.
Chad got to a place where he became indistinguishable from his peers, and somehow in the last 2 years, we started moving backwards, or maybe just standing still. Academics became more of a problem and he started falling behind. His ADHD/hyperactivity was ramping up a good bit and focus & attention were a struggle.
I had to change my bio, which once had said my son was recovered, to correctly reflect his current situation. Now, having said that, he would NEVER in a million years meet any criteria for an autism diagnosis at this juncture, but definitely an ADHD diagnosis. His gut related autism problems were gone, his language issues were gone, his social/emotional was very slightly behind, but he was in regular classes and was no longer pulled out for special education services.
I started getting worried, as to be honest with you all, I just flat shut down over the last 5 months and kind of let things fall through the cracks. I wasn't doing homework like I needed to with Chad. I was depressed, overwhelmed, and just going to bed when I came home from work. Not acceptable, I know, but it happens. Well, finally started addressing some of my health issues, am beginning to feel much better, and am starting to get back on the right track again.
I help Chad back in the 2nd grade because of emotional/social issues, thinking he needed that extra year to catch up, which I still maintain was the best decision I ever made. He's a year older than his peers in the 4th grade now, but it's still a good fit. So, with all of this in the back of my mind, I was STUNNED to hear what the IEP team shared with me today.
They looked at qualifications, and other than the fact he had an autism diagnosis on paper, he would not have qualified for ANY special education services. When looking at his testing scores academically, hew as at or above grade level in all areas other than math, and just a slight bit behind. Not even enough to qualify him for services, outside his diagnosis still being autism.
The next sentence STUNNED me. The team said that Chad has done so well socially, emotionally and academically, they think he needs to go to 6th grade next year, instead of 5th! WHAT? HOLY COW! I was expecting to get railed for him being behind because of my lack of involvement so far this school year, and to my surprise, he blew me away!
They said what made this all the more incredible, was that since I had not been helping him at home, he has done all of this on his own, without mom prodding and constantly poking to move forward. They also told me that Chad is reading at every opportunity he gets. That is work sometimes gets sloppy because he knows if he finishes early, he can go read and he can't wait to get his hands on the chapter books at school. Chad has never liked to read and this just astonished me!
All I can tell you is that today, I am one happy mommy! As a parent of 2 children with ASD's, we long to hear these things about our children from others besides ourselves and those in our immediate environment. We crave hearing good reports, in hopes of confirming what we wish for our children. Not everyone has that luxury and I am all too aware of that, which makes me that much more thankful for the news I received today.
I doubt I will allow him to go to 6th grade next year, as the whole public middle school thing is very hard on our kids and I still don't think he's read for that socially. However, just knowing that others do has me beaming from ear to ear right now!
Come celebrate with me! My Chad is graduating from the clutches of autism!
Now, let's help everyone else's kids do the same!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Tesla Energy Lights and Autism
Please check out Autism Solution Center's 6 Part Video filmed during a 1 week period using Tesla Energy Lights with individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorders. MUCH research needs to be done to determine appropriate outcomes & supporting data, but what we saw within one week was very encouraging.
We now have the Tesla Energy Lights full-time at ASC, and are looking forward to much more exciting news to come as we collect more data. We will keep you posted as new information becomes available.
To go hand in hand with the new information we are learning about pH levels and cell voltage, we are recommending you read the following book, that explains in much more detail how increased cell voltage and subtle energy, such as Tesla Energy Lights, can affect change in your system.
This is technology that has not been researched in the field of autism and holds great promise, as we learn more about what increased pH or cell voltage means to specific areas of the body and mind.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
pH = Cell Voltage!
So in all the years I have been doing biomedical as it relates to autism, I have never heard things explained in the way I am going to lay out over the next few weeks. I ran across a medical theory this past week that has turned everything I currently think on its ear. Not that it makes any of the current info irrelevant or incorrect, it just changes its perspective and takes it one layer deeper to understand more of the etiology of what's going on and why we often can't get past a certain point in treatment.
We talk a lot about pH in autism, as most of us know that acidity is a problem when it comes to health. That's why we have so many people drinking alkaline water and incorporating different interventions to keep pH under control as best as they can.
pH (potential hydrogen) is really cell voltage, which makes sense, but cells require certain millivolts of power to regenerate and heal damaged areas. Take a look at this correlation between pH and cell voltage.
pH 0 7 14
Voltage +400 mV 0 mV -400 mV
A normal pH is said to be between 7.35 – 7.45, which is equivalent to -20 mV - -25 mV. So the normal operating cell voltage is between -20 mV - -25 mV, which is in the alkaline range. Any time there is damage, our voltage in that area automatically shifts to -50 mV, which is the voltage required to make new cells to replace the damaged ones. Anything from -1 mV - -400 mV is considered an electron donor. Anything from +1 mV - +400 mV is considered an electron stealer. Electron stealers are acidic, free radicals, have a positive pole, cause damage, and spin left atomically. Electron donors are alkaline, antioxidants, have a negative pole, cause regeneration and spin right atomically.
In order for a cell to work properly, you have to have the following requirements in the right ranges/amounts:
Glucose, temperature, blood pressure, pH/voltage and oxygen
If any one of these is abnormally low or high, you have problems. To break it down even further, you need the following for the cell to be healthy:
Alkaline water, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, oxygen, sunshine and pH/voltage.
The normal healing range for cells is -50 mV/pH 7.85 to -60 mV/pH 8.05. Viruses, bacteria, fungus and cancer cells die at -70 mV/pH 8.23 to -105 mV/pH 8.84. At +5 mV/pH 6.91 or higher + ranges, bacteria, viruses, fungus, decreased oxygen, pain, and damage to DNA happen. Cancer cells thrive at +30 mV/pH 6.48.
When cell voltage is low and oxygen decreases, we see an increase of anaerobic bacteria in the gut, which begins to thrive in the low oxygen environment. So, when voltage is low, not only do we see an increase in gut bugs, we also don't have the necessary voltage to regenerate the cells necessary that have been damaged.
So many of our kids have chronic gut issues. We see ongoing problems with yeast, parasites, C Diff, and many others requiring usage of Diflucan, Nystatin, Flagyl and so many other anti-fungal and antibiotic substances being used to keep the dysbiotic gut in check, along with the addition of super-potent pre and pro-biotics to attempt to balance the environment out and prevent future flare ups. Yet, we still have this subset of kids that after years and years of gut work, stability still balances on a microscopic fine line that is easily breached. Perhaps not just these methods, but a more accurate way to insure appropriate cell voltage and adequate oxygenation is a key ingredient missing. Again, not the only issue, but certainly something to think about in this mix that continues to keep so many of our kids negatively affected.
Tesla based technology was rebirthed by incorporating two Tesla coils and select noble gases in tubes which produced a “power” based apparatus in 1994 called the Bio-Electric Light Stimulator. This first version was a relic reproduction from those in experimentation in the 1800 and 1900's Tesla era.
In 1998, a subtle energy activation device was created capable of producing a much finer non-physical subtle energy field. By removing the copper wire column and replacing it with fine quartz crystal tubes applied to the unipolar AC and DC bias models, the raw electrical power was reduced while creating a transmission of plasma containing billions of fine ionic frequencies in a full spectrum of harmonics. Providing the solution with AC and DC bias complements was a far more balanced and elegant delivery system with major evolutionary break through propensities.
The Tesla Energy Lights we are now using incorporate the 2 tesla coils and select noble gases to donate electrons, or increase energy to move damaged areas into that -50 mV/pH 7.88 range necessary to begin the regeneration process. It's important to understand we can have all the right things going on with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, fats, etc., yet have the wrong cell voltage and not heal appropriately. In many cases, low enough voltage is not only preventing cell regeneration, it's causing cell deterioration and damage.
It's also important to point out that these levels of pH/cell voltage are for adults. Children normally operate at a cell voltage of -35 mV/pH 7.61, so appropriate adjustments have to be made.
It's highly important to me that I stop at this juncture and point out this is not a woo-woo, feel good, grasping at straws, hopeful theory! ALL OF THIS IS 100% PROVEABLE AND REPRODUCEABLE VIA SCIENTIFIC MEASUREMENTS! I have to admit, when I first heard about this (and please don't be offended if you fall into this category), my first reaction was here we go again. Another off-the-wall theory falling into that new-age, mysticism genre that has a tendency to be highly subjective in nature, with little scientific fact to support it. NOT SO! This is simple quantum physics, chemistry and voltage.
The cell voltage/pH issue we are discussing is only ONE piece of the puzzle! This is certainly not a fix-all and is not a stand alone solution by any means. Increasing the cell voltage works synergistically to help increase the efficacy of the interventions we are using, thus improving outcomes. It's a critical piece, but not solitary.
What excites me about this, is this is something we can measure! We plan to do studies on this to look at many different methods of measurement and improvement. Medically, we want to look at blood work, pH levels, nutrition levels, organic acids, stool and detox levels. We also want to incorporate the neurofeedback system we are using to do before and after brain mapping, to determine what changes in brain function are resulting from the cell energy shifts, being caused by the lights. EEG is EEG. We either see changes in brainwaves or we don't! No fuzzy science here!
There are several other topics I want to get into over the immediate near future, such as bonded oxygenation, iodine deficiency, hypothyroidism, and others, that play pivotal roles in restoring health. We'll talk more about them soon!
Laura Corby, Founder/CEO
Autism Solution Center, Inc.
To remain in compliance with the FDA, these statements are educational in purpose only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For medical attention, please consult your licensed doctor or health care professional. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. No medical claims are made or implied of any kind.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Improving Efficacy of Treatments in ASD's.
WOW - my head is spinning with new information from this past week's treatment sessions and the conference information explaining the underlying medical/physiological issues with deteriorating health, including ASD's! Gonna write some notes and blog posts that will blow your mind in terms of treating not only ASD's, but most other issues as well. I AM FLOORED with what I have just learned and even more floored by the fact that I have been in the autism circuits for years and have never heard anything like this, yet it makes perfect sense from a medical stand point.
Not to mention the fact that now we will be able to do some research studies to provide the scientific data to PROVE what is going on here, rather than just hearing about "feel good subjective" responses to people who have been treated. THIS IS TOTALLY EXCITING AND COULD SERIOUSLY CHANGE MUCH OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING!
Stay tuned for more. I have a lot of information that I have to process to find a way to explain all this so it makes sense. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT WHAT WE COULD POTENTIALLY SEE IN TERMS OF IMPROVING EFFICACY OF THE INTERVENTIONS WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN DOING TO TREAT ASD'S!
Give me a few days to a week to start working on explanations and ways to convey this, and I'll start pumping out posts to share the wealth! :)
Friday, October 8, 2010
I just read an article by Lisa Jo Rudy, blogger at Autism Guide. Her article was entitled, "Can You Offer Help for Parents with Asperger's Syndrome?" What was being discussed was 2 particular individuals with Asperger's Syndrome who were experiencing some significant life set-backs because of their condition, yet once again, apparently the community at large is at a loss for providing any tangible assistance, as this blogger is taking the question to her readers. Why am I so surprised?
I am posting my response to this blogpost below, as I believe we have to start addressing this question NOW! This situation is NOT going to get any easier, as the diagnostic rates continue to rise faster than the waters of the mighty Mississippi during a monsoon!
Here's my response and I hope the autism community will begin to rise up against the ego's of the world, to shout out, "There is help available - Are you willing to accept it?"
Hello Lisa Jo!
I just finished reading your article titled, "Can You Offer Help for Parents of Adult Children with Asperger's Syndrome?"
As an individual with Asperger's Syndrome/ADHD, the mother of a child with Asperger's and another with autism/ADHD, along with founding an autism treatment center that deals with thousands of individuals with ASD's, I would love to weigh in on this with some thoughts!
Over the years I have changed my opinion to that of ASD's being a lacking of skills that needed to be learned, to understand that it's truly more of an overage of ability. What I mean by that is those with ASD's typically have an ADDITIONAL set of skills that those who are neurotypical do not have. They are overwhelmed by these additional skill sets and don't have many role models to teach them to weild these tools properly, as most do not have them, nor do most understand what we are experiencing on a daily basis and why, how we process information, and how we have to work through those issues to come to a resolution on the other end that results in life changes.
ASD's are medical problems, with neurological consequences and behavioral outcomes. Simply addressing behavior is NOT enough, hence the reason these families are getting no help for these out of control teens or adults with AS. I see it every single day and it's becoming a crisis in terms of the sheer volume of individuals being affected, yet what options are these families being given in terms of tangible help and assistance?
I see psychobabble and overmedication constantly being used as a means to "subdue" the situations and behaviors at hand, yet with unfortunate results in the realm of losing cognition and gifts in the process. Outside of what we have been doing at the Autism Solution Center, I have yet to see real change be affected in the lives of these incredible individuals with AS, bringing them closer to independence, which is what the struggle is all about.
We need to be heard by the medical and professional community. Just because we may not have a M.D. or Ph.D. behind our names does not mean we do not have incredible insight to offer in this field, that most professionals are failing miserably in. I am interested in changing and improving the quality of lives being led by those with ASD's. Opinions are just that, but at the end of the day, it comes down to doing what works, and frankly, most (not all) in the medical and professional community are at a loss in this area when it comes to AS. Let's hope they start listening and recognizing insight from within those with these disorders for what it is.......... incredibly useful!
Just my 2 cents!
Laura Corby, Founder/CEO
Autism Solution Center, Inc.
9282 Cordova Park Road
Cordova, TN 38018
Remember, the Ark was build by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I had a very interesting conversation this week with a fellow individual with Asperger's (AS) and we were talking about our inability to sometimes recognize the emotions we are projecting out towards others.
As I continue to work with individuals with ASD's, I see a very specific situation continuing to rise to my attention. We often are oblivious when it comes to recognizing that others rarely perceive what we are actually feeling. In other words, we are not good at "showing" accurate emotions to display what's going on inside. Our actions and body language often tell a tale that is not in sync with and often far from what we know to be true.
I recently watched a conversation, or rather a debate, take place between a group of individuals, one of whom was an individual with AS. As he tried to explain his position on the topic at hand to the others in the room, you could see his frustration and anger rise. They just weren't seeing his point of view, which he happened to be quite passionate about, and it seemed the more intently he tried to explain, the more heated the conversation got. His face turned red, the volume of his voice rose significantly, and he began to lean in towards the others, his body language signifying his intensity and intent on changing every mind there.
Interestingly enough, when I spoke with him afterwards about the situation, he said he was absolutely not defensive, heated or angry, yet every person present would have bet their life otherwise. This is a common occurance and the more I see it happen, the more confident I become that these individuals really do not know how they are coming across! When confronted with the scenario, they are usually dumbfounded and often even hurt that anyone could have taken what they were saying out of context to the point of assuming they were mad or defensive. It's kind of an interesting dynamic, as the very same people will then see the identical behavior in another and take great offense, feeling as though everything is targeted at them and as though they are being attacked.
This whole scenario once again goes back to my last post, and the often inability or limited ability to think outside ourselves. It's so critical for others to understand that the self-consumed and seemingly selfish nature of those with ASD's is not what it seems. It's not a matter of not caring, not having an emotional connection, or not having sympathy or empathy. It's also not a matter of being selfish because of ego or internal wants and needs. It's more a matter of being completely overwhelmed by our environment and so many issues within ourselves (anxiety, sensory, OCD, etc.), that we are consumed with what's happening within, let along bringing additional outside issues into the equation!
Haven't you ever had a day where you've had so many difficult things happen, that you feel as if you will completely shut down if you have one more set back? Days where you are so overwhelmed it's impossible for you to think about one more tiny task, as you're spent on what's currently on your plate and the thought of one more thing will just send you over the edge? Welcome to our world! That's often how many of us feel on a daily basis, but don't often have the means to appropriately articulate that to others. Something to consider as well, is that we often don't know we are in that state. Sounds kind of strange, but just follow me for a second.
If you are born blind, then that's all you have ever known. At the age of 15, how would I then try to teach the concept of the color green to you? It's impossible, because you have no frame of reference for colors. I could explain a leaf to you, as that's something tangible you could touch and feel to understand, but an abstract concept like color would be more than challenging. We have to take into consideration that many of us with ASD's have lived every single day of our lives, or at least as long as we can remember, with very heightened anxiety, OCD, paranoia, sensory integration dysfunction and many other issues. If that's all we have ever known, then that's "normal" to us. We don't identify ourselves as anxious if that's how we have always felt. That's our "normal". Only if our anxiety was heightened far beyond what we normally experience, which would be difficult, would we be aware that something is different with our system.
What's interesting here, is that the level of emotions and stimuli we typically experience on a daily basis, would be considered by most as high adrenaline, or "fight or flight" mode. In comparison, most would only experience that level of heightened anxiety and senses if their life was truly in danger.
Imagine if you will, being accosted by a thief at gunpoint. Your sensory system is on high alert, your heartbeat increases, your respiration slows, your bloodflow is more restricted in your extremeties and pushed to your core. WHY? Because your body senses your life is in danger and it's converting all your resources to either fighting or flight. Self preservation is the name of the game, and whether or not someone just loaded the dishwasher incorrectly is not even a consideration at such a time!
Haven't you ever heard the stories of a mother who has a child run over by a car, and somehow in their heightened adrenaline fight or flight mode, they manage to pick up the car to remove their child from under? It's AMAZING what our bodies are capable of in that state. The strength, the rage and influx of emotion can be absolutely incredible. Most rarely, if ever, experience that amount of adrenaline. Those of us with ASD's, on the other hand, live like that daily and have to find ways to temper that heightened state. It's a very difficult balancing act and often more than a full-time venture. If most or all of our time and energy is spent controlling our mood and sensory modulation, how reasonable is it to expect we can monitor the body language and mood modulation of others?
That's not to say we are off the hook and get away scott free with our issues, but it is to say that we have to be TAUGHT how to do this. It's not learned by osmosis! Interestingly enough, we are often only able to learn these things when we are NOT in fight or flight mode. Teaching someone geometry when they have just been robbed and are in fight or flight mode is not a great idea. Their ability to focus, concentrate and stabilize their mood is impossible at best. You wouldn't attempt to teach them until several days after, once the adrenaline had calmed down and they have had time to ramp down from the experience. Likewise, our loved ones with ASD's are very difficult to reach in fight or flight mode. We usually have to bring them down a few notches before they have the ability to truly listen, observe and learn what needs to be taught. Once we accomplish that, THEN we are able to teach mood modulation skills, de-escalation interventions, and many other sensory and self-help skills that enable them to both recognize and eliminate the reactive behaviors that a hyper adrenaline state produces. They then have the skills and ability to stand back and process through information before acting. Once they have a handle on their own system, then they are freed up to notice more about their environment and others that participate in it. It's then we can teach social and other relationship skills that often are underdeveloped.
There's so much more to discuss within this particular topic. We will explore this in more depth in the next post. Stay tuned!
Laura Corby :)
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I remember some time ago there was a line in the movie, "Airplane" where this old grandmother type says, "Excuse me, I speak jive!" Many other comments have since come from that funny snip, but one that flies around my office quite often is, "Ask Laura, she speaks Autism!" Though this is often said in jesting, there's also a good bit of truth to the statement. In my years of working with individuals with ASD's, I have found we do think quite differently than others and we do express ourselves differently. As I work with parents and their children, I notice there is a HUGE disconnect in understanding. It's as if they are speaking different languages and I am often acting as the interpreter. Though I seem to understand both sides of the conversation, the other two parties rarely understand one another and a good bit of explaining has to be done to get them on the same track.
I see this especially when it comes to relationships with adults, such as marriage or dating. Quite often those of us with Asperger's and HFA assume that others completely understand where we are coming from, as if they can do the Spock Mind Meld and see directly into our thoughts or beliefs. More often I find that others don't understand emotional things the way we seem to explain them, and our passion about things comes off as anger or indifference, which is rarely the case at all.
One of the most difficult journeys coming out of the frey of ASD is learning to think outside our self. What I mean by that is we will often do for others the things we would love to have done for us. That's our way to show love and affection, as it's all we know. Many would say, "What's wrong with that?" Well, there are several issues there. One of the biggest issues is that everyone is different and shows emotion and care in different ways. The things that might float our boat may not in fact be the things that are longed for by our significant others. Assuming that others know our wants and needs by osmosis is a very risky venture! And assuming others want the same things that are important to us is just as risky! Both parties end up feeling dejected, while both are adamant they are doing everything they know to do to make the other person happy. TRUE... BUT... if each person is doing what "THEY" want and not what is needed by their significant other, there are problems afoot! Talk to you partner, ask them what they need to feel loved and cared for. What are the things that you can do for them that make them feel significant? Don't assume you know what those are, or you may be in for quite a surprise! Likewise, make sure you are articulating your needs to them as well. In this realm, it always comes down to commuication, or lack thereof, that can make or break a relationship of any kind.
Learning to communicate specific wants and needs in a way others can clearly understand, and finding a way to learn and understand the wants and needs of others, so we are able to meet them, continues to be one of our greatest deficits. Social and emotional reciprocity is not always our strongest skill, but with practice comes great improvement. Another practical tip is to ask for examples. So often someone tells us what they would like us to do, but if we are speaking different languages, we may not be interpreting things the way it was intended. Whenever I give instructions to an individual with an ASD, I will then ask, "OK, now what did I just say?", followed by, "Now what does that mean? Give me some examples." We are very good at regurgitating information we have been given, but that doesn't always mean we understand what we have just been told. If there is any misunderstanding, using this tip will identify it quickly and give the opportunity to clarify.
I'm going to continue along this line of thinking in my next few posts, and spell out some of the thought processes that happen in the mind of those of us with Asperger's in particular, though other ASD's often share some of these characteristics. I'm hoping by giving some specific examples, you may see a light bulb come on regarding thought processes you may not have understood from a loved one with ASD in the past. Hopefully, we can be an interpretation tool to help get you all on the same page.
Laura Corby :)
Autism Solution Center, Inc.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
What? No you say? Well then, this blog post is not only timely, but necessary!
A friend of mind was injured on a camping trip this past weekend. Fortunately, he was there with some friends and family, so when he injured himself and fell to the ground, there were others there who were able to go after his daughter with autism, who was running away from the campfire! He made a comment that I hear far too often in my line of work. He said that his situation brought home the reality that he will not always be able to single-handedly care for his daughter, and he felt he had not appropriately planned?
I hated to hear that he had such an incident, yet I was relieved that he was realizing how important it is to plan for our special needs kids. There will come a day when we are no longer here or able to care for them, and the more planning we do in advance of that date, the better.
Most individuals in the U.S. do not realize that if someone with special needs has greater than $2,000 in assets, which is not much, it can affect their access to government funded assistance. So, as an example, a well meaning aunt can leave $2,500 in her will to a special needs child, and if that is not run through their special needs trust, that seemingly small donation can cut off access to medicaid/medicare and other long-term government assistance plans for those with disabilities later in life.
The best suggestion I can make is to talk to MetDESK - they are a division of MET Life that handles special needs trusts and they do the consults for FREE. Here's the website where you can get more information and schedule an appointment to talk to someone highly skilled in the laws regarding these trusts:
There are also attorneys out there who do special needs trusts, but I have met more of them that don't understand the details than those who do. My suggestion to everyone is to educate yourself on the law and the facts, so you do not have to be 100% reliant on someone else. What if they are wrong? That's not something you want to find out about too late! There's some great information on this page explaining the trust and how it effects benefits, etc.
Definitely do your homework and talk to MetDESK, just to make sure you have your facts straight. They can help you to determine where to go from there and what the needs are in your specific case.
Hope you find this helpful!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I often wonder how many individuals believe what they are told without taking the time to consider both sides of the argument, the facts presented by each side, and truly weighing for themselves what seems reasonable based on the evidence at hand? I'm seeing more and more of this disturbing trend and as history has clearly shown time and time again, when we begin to follow leaders without questioning, we reap the distasteful rewards of that behavior. Far too often, those rewards come with devastating consequences that we should have seen coming. Why do we not question? In this age of internet and social media, now that we literally have the world at our fingertips, it's easier than ever to research information and make our own decisions. Why then do we silently follow the herd to slaughter?
Yesterday, I read a great blog post called: Taking Umbrage with Dr. Nancy Snyderman - AGE OF AUTISM. Here's the link if you would like to read the awesome post!
I posted a link to this great article on my facebook page and received several responses. I find myself in pretty heated debate from time to time on my page. Not that I enjoy conflict, quite to the contrary! Yet I find myself continually amazed by the number of individuals who spit out scripted responses, as if they were reading talking points from the American Medical Association, CDC, pharmaceutical representatives and the like.
I have decided to post my response to some of these, as we have got to start getting people educated on the issues at the heart of autism spectrum disorders. I mean no disrespect, but I'm speaking to more and more people who have no idea what all is involved and make assumptions based upon what they have been taught in school or in practice. Just because we are taught something, that does not make it true.
Hopefully this will at least open some doors that will lead to further appropriate research, education and conversations about the true etiological basis for the virtual plethora of immune-based, bio-neurological disorders that are rising up at frightening levels, one of which is regressive autism.
Here is my response, in two parts:
Autism is very much an epidemic. Rates have risen faster than any other childhood developmental disorder EVER! It's not simply a matter of better diagnostics or expanding the spectrum. If that was the case, then where are all the adults who would now be identified with classic non-verbal autism? They're just not there and they aren't hiding in closets either!
We have to look at what has changed to increase these numbers. Yes, diagnostics have improved and that accounts for a small increase in the number, however, environmental toxins, inadequate food sources, genetic predisposition, increased vaccination schedules and much, much more have all combined to create somewhat of a "perfect storm" or a perfect environment for autism to thrive in the numbers we see today. We also know this is quite different as we don't see as much increase in "classic" autism from 40 years ago. Those numbers remain quite the same. What we do see an epidemic increase in is "REGRESSIVE AUTISM" or children who develop perfectly normal for the first 12 - 36 months, then either stop progressing or start losing skills and regressing. This was not the classic autism of 40 years ago.
Health in general has declined in the last few decades with the introduction of pesticides, genetically modified foods, low nutrition value foods, antibiotics/steroids used in meat sources, and the list goes on. All these issues play havoc on our immune systems and neurological functioning. Each new generation is more affected than the last and consequently, the numbers are rising to show that. There is much more to this debate than just better diagnostics.
Also important to look at the treatability of those affected. Many of those with what we would consider regressive autism are responding beautifully to treatment and becoming indistinguishable from their peers with appropriate, intensive and early interventions. We have to take a tough look as a society at what we are doing to our own people. We have made so many new innovations to increase production and meet demand, yet so often, there are consequences to those changes that are not adequately researched BEFORE they are doled out to the public. We find out years later that these things caused problems, and unfortunately, that's too late for many.
If you would like some material or additional sources to research this further, I have enough information to keep you busy for years! The data is there and the outcomes are crystal clear. The question becomes are we willing to lose some profitability for the benefit of our future generations?
We treat these kids every single day and time and time again we are seeing the same things. If it were just simply genetics, then these kids would not be getting better with treatment. Part of what you have to look at is the metabolic dysfunction involved. So many of these kids have significant issues with methylation and with sulfation. Inadequate sulfur chemistry would keep them from detoxifying any heavy metals or neurotoxins that most average people have the ability to rid themselves of naturally. That in and of itself is a problem. Add to that the additional toxic load from vaccines, pesticides used at home, toxic cleaning products, and problematic food and we have some issues. The reason we don't see this across the board is that many people have the healthy suflation to detoxify themselves and move these neurotoxins out. Our kids just don't have that luxury.
As far as the family environment and behavior, there is no question this plays some role, but we have children from all walks of life and all family styles, good and not so good, showing the same exact symptoms and responding to treatment the same way. Again, this can't possibly just be genetics, far too much going on.
A huge part of the difficulty among the scientific community is several fold:
1) They are treating symptoms and not getting to the etiology of the problem. If they would continue to dig deeper, they would find the same issues we have been seeing for many years.
2) It's just flat not profitable to use preventative health care. At the end of the day, most in the medical community would prefer to treat a symptom with a medication, than to get to the root of the problem, treat it effectively, and eliminate the issue completely.
When dietary interventions and supplementation are used to address these ills, and quite often VERY effectively, it is pooh-poohed and looked down upon. Why? Because if people are well, then they do not need doctors or pharmaceuticals. The medical community prefers to treat illness, as opposed to eliminating and preventing it. Pharmaceutical companies make sure that is the case.
3) Simple bloodwork and organic acid profiles, among other tests, will show the excesses and deficiencies that plague these kids. It's not rocket science, and simple testing can often identify the problems. The other issue we have is that even if testing is done, most pediatricians are not skilled enough in biochemistry and metabolics to interpret the testing results. Quite frightening, yet entirely true. Most are not familiar with the pathways enough to follow them to deeper levels to identify the root of the problems.
4) Mark my words, in 10-15 years, when the truth finally comes out, and it will, this is going to be the perfect storm that I outlined above, combined with genetic predisposition, immune system dysregulation, and chronic inflammatory responses throughout the system. The inflammation/mucous production creates gastrointestinal problems, which affect absorption and nutrient deficiency, which affect everything else. Obviously there are many other issues as well, but this is where it starts and once that ball starts rolling down hill, it's very difficult to stop.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, yet have seen thousands of kids with many of the same exact issues over and over and over. At some point, we have to stop looking at flawed studies disputing this information and start considering the outcomes of the children who are responding beautifully to treatment. If we were wrong, then why are thousands of children getting better when the correct interventions are done in a timely fashion? If the mainstream medical community is correct, then why are the children they are treating not becoming indistinguishable from their peers as ours are?
At the end of the day, we can make a study say anything we want, depending on who funds it. Studies are not without fault and frankly, our children do not have 10 years to wait for science to catch up with what we already know is working. I have to question at some point why the scientific community is so unwilling to even appropriately investigate and consider approaches that are clearly working with an enormous percentage of the population affected by regressive autism.
In closing, I return to my belief that there is not any one trigger across the board. This is a combination of factors affecting the environment, food sources, vaccinations and more, combined with ill functioning immune systems of those predisposed genetically and have significant underlying medical issues that continue to go unaddressed, which in turn create the perfect environment for this epidemic to continue multiplying throughout our world. Again, if you enjoy research, I have TONS of materials to reinforce what I am saying and would be thrilled to point you in that direction. We really need people to start reading COMPLETE studies, and not just the outcome headlines that are passed down by CDC and AMA. It's truly amazing how misleading a headline for a study can be, when once you read the entire study, you realize that's not exactly what the outcome shows. We need researchers to do the homework themselves, instead of buying lock, stock and barrell whatever the powers at be say. We need to start thinking independently and weighing evidence ourselves, following the money trails, following the medical/metabolic trails for those bodily systems not working correctly, and not ostracize those trying to correctly assist these children, when no one else seems to be listening. Our communities need to be educated and the general public needs to understand what is at stake. Though many believe it does not affect them, in the very near future they will find it's going to affect everyone, as the "system" will be picking up the tab for the long-term care of these individuals who are not adequately treated.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
We are very excited to announce we have reached an agreement with a fabulous production company that is going to be filming our autism documentary they have tentatively called, "The Autism Solution".
We're very excited as our intention for the documentary is to educate the general public globally about the regressive autism epidemic we are seeing and "the perfect storm" or combination of circumstances being created that is inducing this epidemic, as well as many other immune based, bio-neurological disorders that seem to be appearing and increasing at an alarming rate.
What's changed in the last 50 years and how have those changes and supposed improvements to society affected our environment, our bodies, and the coping mechanisms within that drive our every day lives?
We intend to include issues such as genetic predisposition, immune system problems, gastrointestinal issues, metabolic issues, food source problems (processed foods, pesticides, hormones, MSG, anitbiotics, artificial sweeteners, genetically modified foods and much more), environmental toxins (pesticides, water flouridation, chemical run-off, industrial pollutants, etc.), pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, and many other involved components that brew the perfect environment for immune-based, bio-neurological disorders, and predominately the regressive autism epidemic we are living now.
We're also pleased to be able to educate the communities abroad on methods of prevention, and treatment for those who have already been affected by regressive autism, and many other similar disorders. This is a necessary and long overdue film that will strip away the politics, the hearsay, and get to the heart and truth of the matter.
We hope you will support our endeavor as we work to film this over the next 6-12 months. We hope to take this far beyond the walls of the autism community, and into the mainstream public on an international level. It's time the entire world knows the WHOLE story on regressive autism, how to prevent this in the future, and how to help those amazing individuals who need help NOW, and don't have 15-20 years to wait for the scientific community to catch up.
Expect to see more updates and our blog, which will be posted shortly, so you can follow our progress and journey into the waking up of a toxic nation!
Laura Lum Corby, Founder/CEO
Autism Solution Center, Inc.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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RSVP MAGAZINE ARTICLE FOR
APRIL'S AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
Q&A with Laura Corby
Being that April is Autism Awareness Month, it seemed more than appropriate for RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick to meet up with the founder and CEO of the Autism Solution Center, Inc., Laura Corby. This facility helps children and adults with autism and autism spectrum disorders, like ADHD, ADD, Asperger's Syndrome and bipolar disorder, and was the first of its kind to offer services across all domains and at no cost. Though the center’s staff continues to treat patients in-house and online, times have been tough for the nonprofit, forcing Corby to make a decision to start charging patients a small fee last month. She’s saddened to not be able to help everyone that needs treatment and is on a mission to educate the general public about the necessity of this center. Corby also plans to open an Autism Solution Center in all 50 states and hopes to make her current Cordova facility into a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art treatment center in the near future.
RSVP: What initially motivated you to start the Autism Solution Center?
Corby: I have two kids with autism spectrum disorders, and I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a high functioning form of autism. My daughter and I were actually incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I got diagnosed at 16 with bipolar disorder, and they put me on all of these psychotropic meds for 20-something years that made me very nonfunctional. I even quit school in 10th grade. My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD at age 7. They put her on psychotropic meds, which made her psychotic. Then, my son, who about that time was 1, got very ill. He ended up going to the hospital, and he came home and was unresponsive. He quit talking, he lost all of his language, he stopped eating, he had chronic diarrhea. People don’t realize a lot of the signs and symptoms with some of these kids because it’s not just about talking and socialization. This is a medical problem that causes neurological consequences that has behavorial outcomes. When you just treat the behavior end, it’s like spanking a kid with cerebral palsy and expecting him or her to get better. We have to look at the etiology of this disorder and look at what the underlying issues are that are causing all these problems.
RSVP: What are your thoughts about the causes behind autism?
Corby: Before I even go there, I want you to know I’m not anti-vaccine at all, but I’m absolutely, positively one million percent convinced they play a role. I don’t think they’re causal, and I say that because if they were a cause, everybody that had shots would have autism. What we do know is that there is a subset of our children that have a genetic predisposition, and that genetic predisposition is setting the stage. Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger. It’s not just the shot in general, but there are a lot of different things. The mercury for some kids is a trigger, the live viruses in vaccines for some kids are a trigger (such as the MMR), the combination can be a trigger and sometimes kids can get a bad bout of the flu that’s a trigger. It can be environmental stuff, and you know that too because you look at places like New Jersey, where they have a lot of coal burning facilities, and you have pockets around those industrial areas where the rates of autism are thousands of times higher than they are any place else, and it’s because coal burning emits mercury. There’s a lot to look at, and there’s really no one answer. We are not telling families not to vaccinate, just to be educated about their choices and vaccinate safely. Thimerosal-free, single dose vaccines and spreading them out when there is a family history. What harm is there in being safe if there's any question?
RSVP: What’s the difference in people who shows signs of autism at birth versus those who show signs at a later age?
Corby: Well, I’m guessing that about 85 percent of the kids we see now have regressive autism, where they develop normally and somewhere between ages 1 and 3, something goes wrong. Even with those groups, you find parents saying, “Even early on, I noticed some of the symptoms but never put it together.” You have to recognize that even in the regressive kids, there’s still a genetic predisposition that is there from birth, which can still give them a lot of these characteristics, it’s whether or not they’re pushed over the edge. What I think is interesting too is if you look at the rates of at-birth kids 10-15 years ago, which were one in 10,000 kids, you see those rates are close to still intact today. That I think is fascinating because that shows us that those rates have remained pretty stable, but we now have this whole new plethora of kids that have this new regressive form, and it’s often recoverable. In at-birth kids, you don’t see a lot of recovery, improvement yes, but not often recovery, but these regressive kids are getting better when they’re treated. So, if autism is truly genetic only, you don’t get better from genetic disorders. That tells me that there’s a tremendous amount of environmental factors involved that are sending a whole group of kids over the edge. This is not just a genetic disorder.
RSVP: What are the national rates for autism?
Corby: We’re talking one out of 90 children. We have an entire generation of children’s lives who are at stake right now and are not going to be functional. Think about that. That’s crazy. And there's all this money going into genetic research, but who's helping these kids NOW that have already been affected?
RSVP: How have doctors received your efforts to help those with autism?
Corby: I speak all over the country at conferences and training/teaching workshops. The bottom line is you can tell me all you want to about how what I’m saying isn’t scientifically valid because there’s no CDC placebo-controlled studies to prove it; well, yeah, nobody will fund them because they don’t want to know the answers. And interestingly enough, there are plenty of studies out there supporting this, that have been dismissed. At the end of the day, you can make studies say whatever you want to—depends on who’s funding them. I don’t give a darn what studies say anyway because what I really want to know is, “Are the kids you’re treating getting better or not, because ours are?” If they’re not, isn’t it time we start doing something different? It's all about outcomes, and should be. So, families love us, but many in the therapeutic and medical community think we're absolutely insane. Really though, at the end of the day, doing something that works and is getting kids better does not seem like the insane option to me.
RSVP: What’s some advice you give to parents if they suspect their child is showing signs of autism?
Corby: One thing I tell parents now is, “You have that instinct and that intuition for a reason, don’t you ever ignore it. It’s never wrong.” I never heard a mom come in here and tell me, “Oh well, I thought something was wrong, but it really wasn’t.” But, what I hear every day is, “I just feel sick because I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t pinpoint it and no one would listen to me.” Doctors need to learn to listen to that. There are autism checklists on our website that parents can complete if there’s a concern. Better safe than sorry. http://www.autismsolutioncenter.com.
RSVP: Do public schools offer any programming for kids with autism?
Corby: Good question. I had to learn the law and learn what, on a federal mandate level, are these early intervention systems in schools required to do for these children with special needs. We pay taxes for all these services, but my child, for instance, wasn’t getting them. I actually went in to my son’s school and said he needs this and this, and when I asked the school if they had those services, they said, “Oh, we don’t have that here.” I told them that’s not what the law says, and I think they were floored I knew the law because I don’t think anyone had challenged them before. My son ended up getting everything he needed. He got 35 hours of ABA in the home environment, which is a behavior modification technique, which is how our children learn and is what our kids need desperately. He also got five hours a week of speech therapy, three hours a week of occupational therapy and an hour a week of music therapy, and we were the first family through early intervention here that had ever gotten that. All of a sudden, he started making these huge gains. Then all these other families are saying, “Will you help me?” It was really empowering because the more I learned, the more I realized that I was driving this bus. About that time, I opened the center. I worked out of my house for two years, and then in 2003, we applied for nonprofit status after I leased a space just for the center. Then, we got the land donated for our current location, and we put up these temporary buildings thinking we’d just raise funds for a building. How naïve was I? Here we are, still in these temporary buildings five years later.
RSVP: What’s your biggest challenge currently at the center?
Corby: We’ve been doing this seven-and-a-half years now, and until last week, it was a no cost center. We did everything at no cost for families because what I found is when you go to these DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctors, who are a group of specially trained medical doctors who have expertise in metabolic issues and gastro and immune issues that are common in kids with autism, you can easily drop $2,000 or more in one day, like I did when I had to take my kid to a DAN doctor in Louisiana. If I didn’t have a credit card and they hadn’t been willing to work with me on a few things, I couldn’t have done that. What do people do that don’t have an open credit card? The answer is their kids don’t get helped. That’s why I decided to incorporate the no cost policy at the center, and we hired a DAN doctor and started bringing him in to see patients. I was doing biomedical counseling, dietary counseling, teaching functional communication, behavior modification and pretty much doing everything, and he was coming in once a month to see patients. We did that probably for four years off and on, and then he moved. I hired another doctor for about a year, and he finally came back. Unfortunately, I’m at the point that I’m having trouble just paying the bills, so we are charging what were suggested donation rates now for services. Also, our donations have dropped almost 50 percent in the last year. We need help. We need board members, volunteers and help fund-raising. It makes me sick because I know if we go away, there’s no one else doing what we do. This is so desperately needed, and people don’t realize what an epidemic autism is.
RSVP: How many autistic people have you helped at the center?
Corby: I can’t give you an exact number because I don’t know off-hand, but I can tell you from my database that we’ve helped close to 1,800 people in the last five years. That’s not even counting how much I do online. I have on a continual basis thousands of e-mails constantly in my inbox and our phones ring off the hook. I can’t keep up with it!
RSVP: Where do patients at the center come from?
Corby: We have one family now coming to us from Iraq. We have others from Canada, Australia and all over the place. You know, we were the first organization worldwide that did everything under one roof and did it at no cost. Of course, we can’t say anymore that we do it at no cost, but maybe again soon.
RSVP: What is your ultimate goal with the people you and your staff treat?
Corby: My goal is to get people with autism living independently. I don’t want these parents when they die to have to worry about who’s going to take care of their kids.