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Autism = Mercury Poisoning - A Mother's Story

Autism = Mercury Poisoning - A Mother's Story

By Evelyn Pringle
Miamisburg Ohio

Last year Mother Jones published an excellent article that reported on the autism epidemic. Today, one child in 166 is diagnosed with autism. In addition, one child in 6 now also requires special education services.

There is a now well-documented theory that this epidemic is actually a result of mercury poisoning. Mercury that was used as a preservative in childhood vaccinations and injected into children over the past 15 years. The preservative basically served one purpose, to boost drug company profits by allowing them to package bulk amounts of vaccines in containers rather than packaging each vaccine separately.

Records and reports obtained with FOIA requests over the past several years, prove that our government has known about this mercury poisoning since at least 1999, and the FDA and CDC hid the results of the studies and allowed the drug companies to continue to inject the poison into our children.

In fact, not much has been said about the matter period. I myself knew nothing about it until about a month ago. Unlike the drug companies who's only interest is in profits and avoiding lawsuits, some people believe the mainstream press refuses to give this subject the notoriety it deserves, in part, due to fears that panic could lead to public avoidance of vaccinations which could potentially lead to outbreaks of disease.

Nancy and Tim Hokkanen are the parents of Andy, a 6 year-old son who is recovering from mercury poisoning.

Nancy wrote to me and said, "I write in the hopes that you or someone you know may bring this story further into the light." I asked Nancy to answer a number of questions so I could relay what its like to have a child diagnosed with autism so that I could alert other people to the travesty that has been perpetrated on our country's greatest resource, our children and grandchildren.

Nancy testified before a Minnesota Senate committee hearing on mercury on Feb 1, 2005. Her story is typical of the many others that have been relayed to me over the past month. Here are Nancy's own words.

My 6-year-old son Andy is recovering from mercury poisoning. Two years ago tests of his hair, blood, urine and stool revealed toxic levels of mercury, copper, and other metals. The results were verified by two clinics and a PhD biochemist.

Andy was exposed in utero from my tooth fillings, which are 50% mercury, and from RhoGam shots for Rh factor incompatibility. After birth he received Thimerosal from routine childhood vaccinations.

Shortly after Andy’s birth I noticed some developmental problems, but their significance was not clear until after I read about the effects of mercury.

At 6 months of age, my son quit saying "mama" and his vocalizations became inarticulate. He spoke no more words until 14 months. He had trouble swallowing thin rice cereal, he gagged often, and had chronically loose stools.

At 18 months Andy’s behavior became very strange and wild. Over the next two years he began scripting, perseverating, obsessing and raging.

At age 3, he almost flunked out of a Christian preschool; it took most of one aide’s time to keep him in the room and on task.

During that time Andy was given the psychological diagnosis of autism by Minneapolis Public Schools special education department, and Fraser Child and Family Center, an autism treatment organization.

In June 2002 a neurologist prescribed Adderal for my son without first running tests. My son became psychotic. For four days by mid-afternoon he had to be held down in a dark quiet room while he screamed himself limp.

Next the neurologist prescribed Ritalin, saying, "Usually if one drug doesn't work, the other one does." My instincts told me that this was another disaster in the making, so I quit seeing that neurologist and began reading studies. Then I learned that Adderall enhances levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine, which in my son were already high.

I began doing my own research on the Internet, turning up repeated references implicating mercury toxicity with autism. The theory was promoted by chemistry experts such as Boyd Haley, PhD and Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD. I saw a study by entitled "Autism: a novel form of mercury poisoning," which documented about 100 matching symptoms.

In November 2002 when my son was 4-1/2, we had tests of hair, blood, urine and stool samples run by HRI+Pfeiffer Treatment Center of Warrenville, Illinois. Results came in mid-December indicating mercury toxicity and high levels of copper and other metals, and various nutritional insufficiencies.

Within 2 weeks of supplementing Vitamin B-6, zinc, manganese and magnesium, our son showed drastic improvements in mood, behavior and abilities. We had an almost-normal Christmas without tantrums and bizarre behavior.

The next year in kindergarten my son spent half time in a mainstream class, and half time in the autism classroom. This year for first grade he spends most of his time mainstreamed.

My husband's health insurance has covered the cost of behavioral therapy at Fraser. For about 9 months we were on Medical Assistance.

We estimate that our insurance company was billed about $100,000 for therapy. However we never noticed any drastic improvement until we began biomedical treatment, which has cost about $2,000. Strangely, our insurance company wouldn't cover the costs of those medical tests.

Nowadays Andy is happy, social, creative, intuitive. This, from a child who at 4 engaged only in parallel play, and refused to hold a crayon. He reads 140 words a minute.

My son hears me talk about mercury a lot, because I have been trying to get information on mercury toxicity to physicians, teachers, legislators, and parents. Last summer he asked, “Mommy, is there something wrong with me?”

I told him, “No, you just have a little too much mercury in you and we’re trying to get it out.” I said that grownups have a problem when they don’t clean up their messes. Sometimes grownups don’t take the time to read and learn about important things, or they decide to look the other way.

Recently I saw a press release from the Mayo Clinic regarding an epidemiological study of autistic children from Olmstead County. I wondered why no one tested those children for the presence of mercury and other toxic heavy metals.

I view society’s failure to restrict mercury use as a form of “fatal entrenchment” --when an unhealthy practice or norm is allowed to continue simply because it has been done that way for so long. But we should not let our desire to disprove an unpleasant theory keep children from having the chance for a normal life.

Nancy told me that most children are far worse off mentally and physically than her son. That he is perhaps one of the highest functioning on the scale, which gives her more time and energy to pursue advocacy.

She says, "Because other people wrote about the autism/mercury link, I was able to get my son properly tested and give nutritional supplementation. He is now mainstreamed into first grade, and his reading speed has gone from 81 wpm to 140 since September. Other so-called "autistic" kids deserve this chance at a normal life."


Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government

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