Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thimerasol Fascists

OK, this is my peeve of the day: thimerasol fascists.

When one is dealing with other parents of children with autism, you find a large pool of people who are depressed, in shock, in disbelief, scared, worried, exhausted (both physically and emotionally), angry (or as my son would insist, "furious"), and generally in not good shape. And those are the folks who have been dealing with this for a while- the people who are just getting into this with this diagnosis are in worse shape. You end up meeting a lot of people who insist that what happened to their child and what works for their child is what happened to and will work for your child. Unfortunately, some of these things are not useful for Joey, would be dangerous, or are simply bogus in the first place.

I can understand wanting to DO SOMETHING. That is one of my mechanisms for coping, too. When the doctors are telling you to try medicines, diets, shots, exercises, therapies... you try them. I can also understand wanting to share strategies that work for your child with other parents. That's very kind and helpful, and a compassion for other people. But I do not understand people who not only insist you do what they do, or believe what they believe, or experience what they experience, but get downright ugly about it when you don't.

The worst of these for today are the thimerasol fascists. These are the people who believe that thimerasol is to blame for autism. Thimerasol is a preservative that is/was used in vaccinations, and it contains a type of mercury that drug companies insist is harmless (as opposed to the kind that makes you Mad as a Hatter). Personally, I think anyone who thinks putting mercury into a child's system is a good idea is just plain nuts. Even if is was safe to do, most folks don't know there are different kinds of mercury, and the perception of danger alone would be enough for me to question its use. However, I seriously doubt it is safe. It is still used for flu vaccinations.

However, I knew thimerasol was bad news when I was pregnant. Joey has never had any. NEVER. NONE. He never had a flu shot, because he's allergic to eggs. My doctor and I discussed the problem and she had stopped using vaccines with thimerasol in them before Joey was born. Thimerasol did not cause Joey's autism.

Thimerasol fascists don't seem to care about Joey's lack of exposure. To them, thimerasol is the problem, the rest of us be damned. I'm not saying thimerasol isn't a problem. I'm not saying that mercury exposure is not a cause of autism. I'm not saying there doesn't need to be a push to end its use. I'm just saying it isn't the only cause. We need to look at all the causes of autism, all the strategies for treating it, and do what needs to be done for our children- ALL of our children. Research needs to explore not only thimerasol and mercury poisoning, but other possibilities- genetic problems, other environmental factors, even possible causes during pregnancy.

Thimerasol fascists are closely following on my peeve list with Diet Fascists (who insist that ALL autistic children need to gluten and casein free), ABA Fascists (and Joey gets ABA therapy, so I know it works for us- but for everyone? I'm not convinced), and Medicine Fascists (sorry, Joey is not on any medications for his autism. He doesn't need any.). If these things work for you, then fabulous! I'm glad for you! But getting nasty when I say Joey is not in 40 hours of ABA therapy per week, eats bread and cheese, and doesn't take any medicines is really not necessary. Honestly. He's my kid, and I'll do what works for HIM.


Anonymous said...

Children do not produce enough bile compared to adults (fact),

this creates the situation of constipation (fact),

they are then susceptible to chemical poisoning from Thimerasol/Mercury (fact)

because the liver is not functioning at capacity;

bile and a functioning liver is needed to filter out toxicity.

Now ask yourself this. Do you believe that chemical poisoning does nothing to the brain, nervous system etc etc.

Joeymom said...

My child does not suffer any sort of constipation or irregularity, Fact.

My child was never exposed to thimerasol, through specific and conscious efforts. Fact.

I have no gall bladder, and am not autistic. Fact.

Chemical poisoning may well cause problems with brain and nerve functioning. However, my child does have any chemical poisoning that would cause such effects, nor does he display the symptoms of such poisoning. Be sure to ask a proper physician about what those symptoms are, because just because a child is autistic doesn't mean they don't have other issues that other, non-autistic children might have. Lead poisoning and other chemical poisoning is a very serious condition that must be addressed immediately.

Now ask yourself this: are you, perhaps, a Thimerasol Fascist? Because you just hit my Peeve List with your comment.

lisadom said...

just found you while googleing thimerasol Joeymom. You might like to visit our little community of Mums who are doing their best and ignoring the facists too. We are on facebook and a couple of us blog.

My two have some times had digestive complaints but they were always due to bad diet (fussy eaters) and then problems that a physio therapist would put down to bad muscle tone. Once I started supervising and insisting they go regularly, things went a lot better.

I do wonder at how people like your previous commenter can draw a conclusion on cause, when there are so many environmental factors in play.

I just downloaded the Ernie And Bert Banana sketch on Youtube. Hey, deciding that it was chelation that cured autism makes as much sense as putting a banana in your ear.

Look forward to meeting you again soon.

katholicchik said...

seriously great post and great zingers to the fascist who wrote in and commented. I enjoyed reading and felt it was incredibly well put. Thanks for contributing. I cannot wait for autism causes to be understood. CANNOT wait. I am sure you feel the same.