Friday, August 14, 2009

everyone has cancer

I was talking to one of my sisters about the recent deaths of a few of our relatives, and I was amazed to hear her say, 'I think cancer is something we'd all die of if we lived long enough,' or words to that effect. I guess that's one medical view: that cancer rates in modern times are just a fact of living longer.
The odd part is how much it reminds me of the 'everyone is autistic to some degree' argument, which posits autism as somehow part of the general human condition, with serious cases just the nth degree.
It's possible, isn't it? I mean, I don't want to argue with that view if it turns out to be a simple fact.
But here's the but. What if it isn't part of the human condition?
What if it is to do with generationally increasing levels of background toxins?
When I look at my shampoo bottle I see that it contains mutagens — chemical that have the ability to mutate genes. There are carcinogens in my spice rack, food cupboard, floor, cupboards and walls, and the highway in the distance sends a constant stream of airborne carcinogens as well. It's a bit like the autism question: if environmental agents have been accumulating for generations, how would we know what's genetic and what isn't?
Maybe it's time to stop accumulating those toxins, just to be on the safe side.
Something causes autism.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

wow, six years and counting

Six and a half years old... That's amazing, isn't it? Still in nappies, still no speech, but we love her to bits.

Her latest obsession is neck kisses. She'll back up to me and give me a little tilt of the head to know it's acceptable if I kiss her now. It's particularly pleasing for her if I combine the kiss with a chin tickle or sudden growling lunge to play chasings. Emotionally, she's incredibly switched on.

I still remember the day we decided to give her a birthday party even though 'she wouldn't understand'. (Remember, she'd been vegetative for a long time, and we worried that a birthday party would upset and confuse her.) She started crying and laughing at once when we all sang 'happy birthday', and then she tried to eat the whole cake. For months afterward I just had to start singing 'happy birthday' for her to start laughing hysterically.

Now she has birthday celebrations every year, and sometimes I give her an extra birthday just for the hell of it.

Doesn't quite make up for the losses, but it helps.

Something causes autism.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

when she came back

Driving past the airport today reminded me -- the day she came back.
For about six months our girl was AWOL. All she did all day was bang her hands on the walls and cry. One day I picked her up and looked into her eyes and there was nobody there. She'd stopped recognising me.
Not long after I started chelating her I took her with me to pick up my father from the airport. As I went to put her back in the car, she suddenly took my face in both hands, turned it toward her, looked into my eyes and laughed.
Chelation was labelled dangerous after a widely publicised child's death in the US. It seemed to work for us. Within two days of our child's first dose she began to eat and drink again. Two weeks later her strange lopsided walk miraculously became even. She began to use her left hand, which had more or less become inert, and to splash and play in the bath again.
Something causes autism. And something else might be able to treat it — but you have to do it yourself.

Funny old funny

She's a funny old funny.
Loves the weather lady -- walked up to the TV and kissed it.
Kissed me today -- big sloppy cheek one that was almost a bite.
Had a rumble on the couch, laughing her head off, enjoying tickles.
Nice moments.

Genes schmenes

A potted family history: notwithstanding the grandmother who yodelled at parties and one addicted to barbituates, our families weren't autistic. All worked, socialised, got on together more or less, and basically functioned.
The biggest mystery of autism isn't the MMR. Our girl never even had that jab. It's why families with no prior history of autism can have severely autistic offspring.
The Health Report's Norman Swan suggested that autism may be a compounded genetic syndrome where like likes like -- that is, slightly autistic-inclined people are attracted to other slightly autistic-inclined people, and together they make one whole autism. Twin studies certainly suggest a genetic link. But gene studies can't explain the apparent rate increase since the 1970s, as most genetic syndromes that inhibit procreation gradually decline out of a population. If it's genetic, why is it on the rise?
Whatever causes autism probably involves up to 30 genes, according to researchers. What's unacknowledged is that many genes rely on environmental circumstances for expression, and certain environmental toxins are gene-altering. The interplay between both makes gene research on its own a blinkered field.
Meanwhile, news reports talk of autism 'triggers', but the image of the loaded gun just waiting to go off is in all likelihood a furphy. Far more accurate would be the metaphor of gas in a coalmine, with our children the canaries. That gas may affect the canaries first, but it sure as hell isn't good for anyone else.
Something causes autism.

Real estate treat! Arsenic loaded pine!

I've been looking for a house to buy in a new area, and it's amazing how many homes have shored up their surroundings with aresenic/copper/chromium treated pine. In the area and price range I want, about one in three homes has extensive use of treated pine.
These houses have treated pine retaining walls; treated pine garden edging; treated pine decks; treated pine swing-sets; and/or treated pine pool surrounds. Some have all of the above. Our house had treated pine decking when we moved in. We thought nothing of it when we bought.
Is treated pine a factor in increasing autism rates? I don't know.
All I know is something causes autism.