Above: Landon, summer of 2011
Landon was born in late November of 1999. He was our third child, a surprise. He joined an older sister, then 6, and an older brother who had just turned 2. The pregnancy was harder than my previous two, although not difficult or high risk…it was just different. I felt more nauseous, more tired than previously. I believe Landon’s eventual outcome, a diagnosis of autism, began while still in utero. He was exposed to mercury through an amalgam I received late that summer and I also received the flu shot with that pregnancy. I had not done either with the other two pregnancies.
I remember going into the hospital on the morning he was born, I was being induced. He was a week over due at this point. I did not expect it to “work” that morning. Landon was born early that afternoon. Labor went quickly and he was born quickly. He weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 22 inches long. He had lots of dark hair and extremely dark blue eyes, they looked navy blue. He appeared normal, and healthy at birth. His apgar scores were normal. He nursed well, cried some, slept and did everything a newborn does. He cried heavily with the injection of the Vitamin K shot, and the Hep B. These are the third and fourth assaults on his tiny body.
We took him home after the required 48 hours in the hospital. All was well, until New Year’s Day of 2000. He was just about 5 weeks old. He was feverish, and his breathing was labored. I took him to the hospital where he tested positive for RSV. He remained in the hospital for a week, where he received large quantities of antibiotics and inhaled steroids. This is, I believe, the fifth assault on his body. Even then, I thought this was too much for such a young baby to handle or take on. His health was never the same after that illness.
Above: Landon before Autism diagnosis
He received all vaccinations on time, according to the CDC schedule at the time. Every month we were in the doctor’s office for an illness. He was hardly ever well. Respiratory infections, ear infections, fevers of unknown origin. Round after round of antibiotics. February of 2001 he was back in the hospital, this time it was vomiting and diarrhea with no known cause. He was there another week. He lost some weight, but gained back quickly.
Despite all of this, at this time, he appeared to be a happy, social boy. His development, while sometimes the last to meet his milestones, was within normal range. He did show allergies to eggs, and milk at an early age. He would have what appeared to be severe gas and stomach pains. There’s so much I didn’t know at the time and even now as I write this, memories come flooding back of the severe pain my son was in and other things I did not notice. The high pitch screaming, the arching of his back, the sleeplessness OR being too sleepy. The constipation that started when he was still an infant, but he would also have diarrhea. He did not tolerate going to places like grocery stores or Wal-Mart very well. He would cry, try to climb out of his cart. I believe now it was sensory overload for him. He would also have little or NO reaction to very loud sounds, and did not cry when hurt.
As a baby, he made great eye contact, played, interacted. He had great aim with a ball, could throw right to you. He laughed, squealed and was a part of our family in every way. He was not an easy child, but I just attributed that to having a different personality. The signs were there, obsessions with light switches, lining things up, clumsiness, and eventually he stopped making progress. According to doctor’s records, his development started to slow down and milestones were not being met on or around the age of 15 months. After he received his MMR.
Landon was diagnosed with Autism in late 2004. His younger brother, Liam, was just a few months old. I had already started vaccinating him. Liam was diagnosed with Asthma at age 6 months. I think it was just a blessing from God, that I don’t have a second son with Autism. The asthma diagnosis was not a happy time, but we have managed it and he is doing fine. He has not received any vaccinations beyond 1 year.
About 6 months to a year after Landon’s diagnosis, I dove head first into research. We had been trying prescription meds and they were not working. The effect would wear off and the dose would be increased. The potential side effects scared me and I started to see signs of Tardive Dyskinesia. I stayed up late, spent every free moment I could reading about Autism. I remember soon after Landon got his diagnosis, I heard something about a vaccine connection. I didn’t put much thought into it. I wish I had at the time. Once I finally did and I researched it for myself, looking up the ingredients from the CDC website, researching each and every one of them…I was disgusted, appalled and mad. Really mad. I felt so stupid. So guilty. But also, so fooled.
Above: Landon after Autism diagnosis
Very quickly, the decision was made to stop ALL vaccinations. Injecting this stuff into the body’s of my children was not in their best interest and it truly went against ALL that I believe in as a Christian. In June of 2006, we began the GFCF diet with him. We noticed some improvements right away. Unfortunately, after a year on the diet, he declined. He lost weight, and some behaviors returned. We have taken him to see a DAN! doctor, but it’s been difficult financially. We have other children to care for, 6 in all, and income has been limited. We have not had any big “wows” with bio-med, but I continue with it and the diet because I know that eating healthy and taking some supplements is what’s best for him.
Landon is now 11 years old. He has additional diagnoses of Hypotonia, PANDAS, MTHFR mutation, immune dysfunction, speech delay, fine and gross motor delay. He is thin, and it is difficult to get him to gain despite a VERY healthy appetite. He struggles cognitively and socially. He still has nights he can’t go to sleep, and mornings where he sleeps in very late. He has severe anxiety and flares of OCD. He is on a rotation diet due to food allergies.
We have had two more children since Liam was born in 2004. Lauren was born in August 2008 and is a happy, healthy, UNvaccinated 3 year old. She’s had a couple of colds, but that’s it. Her development has exceeded our expectations. We could tell a difference in her early on. I had another son in February of 2011. He will remain UNvaccinated as well. His development is advanced. He is a happy, very healthy boy.
If you are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, or have just had a baby…I URGE you, please research vaccine safety for yourself. They are not a “one size fits all” intervention. They have side effects and you won’t know if your child is at risk until it is too late.
I have learned so much on this journey, met some wonderful people. I have read about things I have never even heard of, and learned things I thought I would never have to learn. I also believe that this knowledge has helped me with my other children. The regrets are always there, and some days they seem so big. It was difficult to write this as so many memories surfaced and the tears flowed. I hope our story helps someone. Children are not “acceptable losses” and they are not just a part of the “herd”. They are gifts and blessings from God, and it is up to us to protect them and teach them.