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Hall of Fame: Background (next page) click for a PDF of this page
"Virtually every step forward of any consequence with respect to the scientific agenda [on autism] has come from parents. This is a new phenomenon: direct scientific activism by parents using their own professional skills to aggressively take on anyone who makes arguments based on sloppy science to try to make this problem go away."
-Mark Blaxill, Director, SafeMinds (Sensible Action For Ending Mercury-Induced Neurological Disorders)
As the rates of autism skyrocketed in the mid to late 1990s, many parents struggled with the explanations they received from mainstream health authorities on the reasons for the increase. To the benefit of hundreds of thousands of children, some of these parents put their everyday lives on hold with a dual mission of doing everything they could to help their own child heal and ensuring that the epidemic end to save future generations of children. The vast majority of the ideas and information contained in this website have been generated by these courageous parents.
The other phenomenon of the autism epidemic was that the swelling numbers of autistic children would inevitably find doctor-parents, scientist-parents, and politician-parents and grandparents. These courageous individuals, touched by tragedy themselves, chose to think outside of the box and pursue a radical (at the time) idea about the cause of autism to help their loved ones and all children.
In the mid-1990s, as the reports of autism diagnoses grew, there were some common themes emerging that seemed to transcend geography, race, or social class: children who had been seemingly normal regressed as they hit the age of 2 or 3; many seemed to do so following routine vaccinations; and, many of these children were exhibiting common physiological issues that were never mentioned by the "autism experts" including gastrointestinal distress, food allergies, impaired sleep, suppressed immune systems, and malnourishment, to name a few. Could there be a common cause for all these shared physiological and neurological issues?
On The Mercury Trail...
A number of independent events and actions by courageous parents, doctors, and scientists have all culminated in the growing, self-evident conclusion that autism and other diagnoses including Asperger's, PDD-NOS, ADD/ADHD, and other speech and developmental delays are all misdiagnoses for mercury poisoning. Each action, treatment, and study was undertaken by an individual, motivated by tragedy, loss, outrage, or their own sense of moral duty that has furthered the understanding of autism's cause and treatment for all parents and their children. The synopsis below does not do justice to the thousands of individuals involved with finding the cause and cure but will demonstrate to parents what has taken place as the mercury trail has become widened and well-worn.
Dr. Bernard Rimland, father of an autistic child and founder and President of the Autism Research Institute, was the first to debunk the myth widely held at the time that autism was caused by cold, unemotional, "refrigerator" mothers. He also began talking about the correlation between autism and nutrition. At the time, because the rates of autism were so low, few people were listening. Dr. Rimland discovered, in particular, that Vitamin B6 and Magnesium, given in higher than RDA-level doses, seemed to improve the health and behavior of autistic children, including his own son. Additionally, he found many parents reporting that the removal of dairy (casein) and wheat (gluten) seemed to help autistic children.
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