Modern Research & Epidemiological Data Have Confirmed the Connection

Some 30 years ago we had a foster child who was profoundly autistic. She came to us on an emergency basis from an orphanage. Her body was covered in scars that had been made by cigarettes. At that time, the famous Austrian psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim had shown that it was sometimes possible to cure autistic children, provided the brain was not damaged. I took training at his Orthogenic School in Chicago in order to help her, but she had banged her head for years against cement floors. The escalating anxiety in her was unstoppable, even with drugs, until the damage she did to herself was so terrible, only an institution could handle her. It was a horrific, soul-numbing mystery to observe autism unfold at its worst. It was then beyond imagining that the causes of, and cures for, this horrible affliction could ever be known. Yet, this has come to pass: on June 21 and 22 the Autism Canada Foundation is hosting a conference for parents of autistic children in Toronto at which international experts on autism are offering real hope and real solutions.


Autism was first described in the 1940s. Often mental retardation is involved, but so-called “idiot savants” like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman, are also among them. Autistics cannot relate or communicate, are often self-destructive, suffer from night blindness, usually are extreme in their inability to pay attention or carry out a task and are fixated on repetitive rituals. When these children were first observed, it was noted that most were born to educated and more affluent families which gave rise to then prevalent psychoanalytic views that these kids had become autistic due to emotional neglect (today it seems more likely that those families were able to afford vaccines and mercury-amalgam dental care). The emotional neglect theory came from the meticulously documented psychiatric information on victims of Nazi concentration camps. Child psychiatrist Dr. Bettelheim had observed as a prisoner in Auschwitz how severely abused people, who had given up all hope, became classic autistics. When he later opened his practice in Chicago he researched case histories of institutionalized autistic children. Wherever he found serious neglect and physical abuse, he proceeded to remove them from their mental hospitals and treated them in an environment of painstaking care. For some it worked dramatically.

Dr. Bettelheim’s observation that autism can indeed stem from severe and prolonged emotional stress, today is part of the field of psycho-neuroimmunology. The spectacular recovery of Barry Neil Kaufman’s autistic son made through a program of intensive emotional support is documented in his wonderful book “Son Rise.” Equally astounding is the autobiography of the autistic Donna Williams, “Nobody Nowhere”; her treatment combined intensive psychotherapy to overcome her childhood abuse — with vitamins. Both cases show how treating mind and body can heal both. However, the great shift in medical theory over the past 50 years is away from the old doctrine of “one cause — one disease”, going back to the Middle Ages. Nothing is simple anymore in medicine. Just as a headache can be caused by a blow to the head, it can also come from a brain tumor, a drug reaction or emotional stress.


Today, autism is a catastrophic epidemic with an increase of 1,500% in the U.K. in the last decade. In California one in 150 children is autistic — a 54% increase in just 2001/2002! The primary causes of autism now known come from vaccines, maternal overexposure to heavy metals and antibiotics, heavy metals from industry pollution of the air and water, and the chemicals used in the electronics industry. Significantly, the first cases of autism were described in the U.S. shortly after the vaccines for whooping cough were introduced in the 1940s. The sudden increase in the U.K. began with the introduction in 1990 of the triple vaccine MMR against mumps, measles and rubella. In California, the greatest increase is clustered in Silicon Valley where people are exposed to more than 700 chemicals almost all of which are neurotoxic, especially to newborn babies with immature immune systems. (


The standard medical approach to children’s healthcare is as follows: At day one a child is automatically given a hepatitis B shot containing 12 micrograms of mercury — 30 times the safe level set by the World Health Organization. By age four months, a second hepatitis B shot and the DPTP vaccination (against diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio) give your child 60 times the safe limit of mercury in addition to the first assault. The shot given at age six months contains mercury at 78 times the safe limit. By the time you get to the MMR vaccine, your child gets another 31 times the safe amount of mercury; if given as an intramuscular shot the toxicity of mercury is increased by an additional 30 times because it crosses the blood-brain barrier at once. By age two your child has been given at least 237 micrograms of mercury. The EPA recognizes as safe only a one-time exposure to 0.1 microgram!

According to the best available evidence in the mainstream literature, autism becomes an extremely high risk at levels of 62 micrograms of mercury.

Unlike the slow assault of the developing fetus’ brain through pesticides in the mother’s blood stream and interstitial fluids, autism appears to be brought on by the sudden assault on the new baby by heavy metals — especially mercury, cadmium, and lead — used as preservatives in vaccines which then cause inflammation of the brain and deregulation of gastro-intestinal and immune function and development. The preservative used in standard vaccines, thiomersal, contains mercury. Vaccine expert Dr. Neal Halsey at Johns Hopkins Medical School told the FDA and the public in January that this preservative was accidentally tripled when the vaccines for mumps, measles and rubella were made into a single combination (MMR). McGill University’s epidemiologists Dr. Walter Spitzer and Dr. Victor Goldbloom urged the Quebec government to study this connection seriously, as now one in 300 children in Quebec is autistic (Medical Post, April 17, 2001).

Genetic theories are of no help. Genes are involved in every living process, but nothing is fixed in life. A BBC program from July 17, 2002, pointed out that with nine children per day being diagnosed as autistic, a genetic explanation becomes absurd. Epidemics are by definition environmentally mediated events. Genes are not only vulnerable to toxic insult, but also respond to curative intervention. Nothing is fixed in nature and that is the message of hope.

Autism expert Dr. Mary Norfleet Megson in testimony on April 6, 2000, before a U.S. congressional committee explained how at least one genetic interaction with environmental toxins causes autism. When a baby is given the MMR vaccine at 15 months and the DPT at 18 months the mercury-based preservative “causes uncontrolled cell-growth differentiation of the G Alpha signals in the G proteins which upgrade and downgrade signals in sensory organs that regulate touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision” — all classic deficiencies in autism. The child sees “only color and shape, except for a box in the middle of their visual field. Children try to make sense of the world by lining up toys, sorting by color. Their avoidance of eye contact is an attempt to get light to land off centre in the retina where they have some normal visual function; their mother’s touch feels like sandpaper on their skin. Common sounds become like nails scraped on a blackboard.”

Another well understood path to autism proceeds by mercury causing encephalitis and then general inflammation, which becomes chronic and deregulates several bodily systems. Many autistic children also are found to have some fixated (“locked”) cranial bones, presumably also due to developmental disruptions. These kids bang their heads with incredible force, causing outright brain damage, in an effort to loosen up the tension inside.


In 1998 one of the world’s leading medical journals, Britain’s Lancet, was the first to take seriously the vaccination connection in a study written by Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the medical school of London’s Royal Free and University College. He proposed identifying autism as an autoimmune illness and implicated primarily vaccines as the cause (The Medical Post, May 8, 2001). Harvard Medical School agreed and by February of this year proposed, on the basis of their own research as well as Wakefield’s, that treatment protocols should address autism as a brain-gut disease because, among other things, harmful gut bacteria such as candida literally thrive in a mercury-saturated environment and join forces with that heavy metal in escalating neurotoxicity.

That hit pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth, and Eli Lilly like a bad dream. Eli Lilly, also the world’s leading producer of biological warfare materials, has the corner on vaccine production. In March 2002, when class-action suits by parents of children made autistic by vaccines, began to be registered throughout the U.S., law firm Waters & Kraus introduced in court evidence showing that Eli Lilly knew since the 1930s, when vaccines began to be developed, that the use of mercury as a preservative was bad news especially for children.

It comes as no surprise that Dr. Wakefield found himself suddenly fired because his “research was no longer in line with [his employers’] strategy” — understandably so, as that university is heavily supported by those pharmaceutical giants. However, Dr. Wakefield was immediately hired by Dr. Jeff Bradstreet at the International Child Development Resource Center in Florida. You can hear Dr. Bradstreet, parent to an autistic child himself, this June. It is Wakefield, Bradstreet and other researchers whose successful treatment of autism you can learn about directly at this conference designed for parents.

Unable to stop the research community from pursing the vaccine connection, Eli Lilly’s CEO, a friend of President George W. Bush, decided a bigger gun was needed. Calculations had shown that if even a small number of the currently registered class action suits succeeded, the payments then ordered would exceed Lilly’s current net worth. President Bush obligingly tacked on to the first Homeland Security Act — a bill supposedly focused on protection from terrorism — a clause which immunized (pardon the pun) Lilly from any payouts exceeding $250,000. Republican congressman Dan Burton is the grandfather of a child made autistic by MMR vaccine. He had chaired the hearings at which Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Megson had testified. Burton noticed and all hell broke loose. The tacked-on rider went down in flames.

A twist to the politics of medicine came from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In February 2002 he exhorted his fellow Brits not to turn away from “life-saving vaccines” — as is the case by now in unprecedented numbers. When asked if he had permitted his 20-month-old son to be vaccinated, Blair refused to answer, citing the need for privacy.

The ongoing skullduggery includes vaccine manufacturers refusing to share raw data with medical scientists investigating their products, protocols doctored by obliging industry scientists to achieve results contradicting Wakefield’s studies, and the usual conflict of interest scene: the U.S. government’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) is both charged with promoting vaccine use as well as evaluating their safety. (The Medical Post, May 8, 2001). However, some of the CDC scientists leaked the secret report on the relationship between vaccines and autism to the public. Visit This report shows, that not only is the mercury preservative part of the problem, but so vaccination itself may be equally serious an assault on a baby’s immature immune system, even without any preservatives.


Prevention is easy. Only vaccinate your child if absolutely necessary, do so only when your child is older and insist on single-dose preservative-free vaccines. Phone Health Canada and tell them what you want. The law guarantees you the right to informed consent and safety from harm. Such vaccines are available. As for the cure, attend this conference and use the resources provided below.

The tests that have been developed are exceedingly refined. They allow the doctor to assess toxicity levels, identify the toxins involved, and what the nutritional imbalances are as a result of this assault. Hair analysis provides long-term information, biological terrain and mineralization assessments, as well as fecal and urine analysis, show current processes in your child’s body. The ph balance tests show how alkaline or acidic the body is and foods to avoid or increase. Additionally, due to the fact that autism is a gut-brain illness, many allergies need to be identified. Treatment requires removal of the toxins which have accumulated and can never be metabolized, while at the same time doing the needful to protect the organs of elimination (kidneys especially) as the toxins begin to be eliminated. International protocols have been worked out for these procedures, such as the DAN protocol (“Defeat Autism Now”). In most cases the use of the hormone secretin is essential to achieve improvement and outright cures at the level of about 50%. All of this is available through Canadian labs and physicians.


• Autism Canada Foundation, P.O. Box 1998, Burlington, Ontario, L7R 4L8, 905-332-4766, or 905-331-4480 and at  Dr. J. Bradstreet’s institute can be reached via Also visit
• DG Medical Corporation in London , Ontario, carries an excellent oral detox system for heavy metals. Call: 1-866-560-3834
• International Center for Metabolic Testing in Ottawa provides nutritional status, toxic load and urine peptide tests for doctors treating autistic children according to protocols discussed in this article. Call for names of doctors 1-888-591-4124
• For doctors trained to work with autistic children in Canada and USA call American Academy of Environmental Medicine (316) 684-5500, visit
• The Holistic Alternative (see ads in Vitality) provides access to oral detox methods and especially all the tests discussed in this article: (416) 318-8871
• For up-to-date information on vaccine damage visit and join the free e-mail list of the National Vaccine Information Center
• Best source for comprehensive overview of all issues relating to autism is

Bettelheim, B., Surviving, Vintage Books, 1980
Coulter, H.L. & Fisher, B.L., A Shot In The Dark, Avery, 1991
Cave, S., MD, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations, Warner, 2001
DeVita, C., “Attention Deficit Disorders, Autism, and Heavy Metal Toxicity”, Whole Life Expo lecture Nov. 2002; order through Audiotree (905) 665-9000
Kaufman, B.N., Son Rise, Warner Books, 1976
Williams, D., Nobody Nowhere: Autobiography of an Autistic, Doubleday, 1992

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