I’ve just finished watching a You Tube clip that was fascinating. It was Robert Kennedy Jnr talking about the link between vaccinations and autism. It gave me goosebumps watching it, it was so rivetting. The more I see things like this or read books such as Jenny McCarthy’s ones the more I think that there has to be a link. It just makes sense.
Here in Australia, in my opinion, our whole medical and government system of dealing with autism is incredibly archaic. It’s just recently, within the past 2 years, that the government has put into place an autism initiative package that enables parents of autistic children to seek services that they require for their children. Children who are pre school age, up to 7, can use $6000 per year to get various therapies for their kids. The waiting lists can be long and the paperwork and assessment can be just as exhausting and frustrating as parents realise their time is running out to use this money. Many therapies weren’t prepared for the huge amount of people putting their hands up so that held up much needed therapies.
When Beth went to early intervention we were lucky as we could access one whole day of therapy a week. We had been told that people used to get 3 days per week but we were pleased with what we could get. Now the same early intervention program offers up to 2 hours per week for the same fees! The waiting lists are incredible. All the research has showed that early intervention is the vital key to helping our kids and we can get assessments early (if we’re lucky) but unless you can afford to mortgage your house to the hilt to afford intensive one on one therapies, then we have to say “thanks very much, we’ll just wait it out then.” Don’t the Government realise that if we help these kids at the beginning then they are less likely to be a burden on society when grown. To coin a phrase – der Fred!
We with older kids aren’t left out either. We can access 20 subsidised visits to a health professional (ones approved by them, whoever ‘they’ are) over the course of a lifetime. Of course these aren’t free visits but if going often enough we get over the Medicare threshold fairly quickly so we get more money back. We’ve nearly used all of these up now as we decided to use all of them up as soon as they were available. Who knows if they really will be available for ever, we’re best to use them now and see what happens in the future.
There are other schemes such as Enhanced Primary Care which are 5 subsidised visits each year to a health professional for a chronic condition. Also the Mental Health scheme which offers 12 and sometimes 18 subsidised visits per year to a Psychologist and in some cases such as ours, an Occupational Therapist. It’s wonderful that we have such things. They can be difficult to get, some from doctors, some from Paediatricians. The autism initiative package for example requires a one hour visit to the paediatrician at the cost of approx. $250. I waited for the questions and the form filling to be done by our guy only to be told that no, that’s fine, we just needed to see him and he would do the rest. When asked why I needed a one hour appt for something that took 15 minutes I was just told that that’s what they had to tell people when they called. I was even shown the page printed out, sent to them by goodness knows who, to tell them that this is how long they have to make the appt for and this is how much they have to charge! Of course you could claim some of that back, but you had to have it in the first place!
One of our doctors is continually amazed at Australia’s lack of system when it comes to our autistic kids. He migrated here from the UK where he says when you get a diagnosis you get put into their system. All of the resources are available to you and there are no waiting lists. I’m not sure about costs but still, how nice to know what services are out there.
It’s such a horrible time when you first get a diagnosis without having to try to figure out the mine field of what is out there, what is a genuine therapy and who are charlatans trying to rip you off. We’ve been very lucky in finding some wonderful therapies and have found various treatments such as Cranio Sacral Therapy to work wonders for our Beth. But, we’ve had to find these ourselves.
Sometimes the doctors can be the stumbling blocks themselves. Going back to the whole vaccination / autism theory, the doctors here in Australia just don’t believe in this at all. I don’t know whether it’s what they’ve been told or taught but it’s a real battle to get doctors to even consider that anything but traditional medicine works. Of course they can’t tell us why our kids are autistic in the first place but that seems to be besides the point. “We don’t know why Beth is autistic but don’t try any of these things because they just wont work!”
So I’m supposed to just say “Thanks very much for that diagnosis, shit happens, I guess I’ll just get on with it then shall I!” Not bloody likely! Our kids are the way they are because of something. Just as they are all different in their autistic ways, so are the reasons why they became autistic. It may be because of the vaccinations, it may be because of something we ate when pregnant, it may be because of food intolerances or a combination of all three. It could be any number of things. Lets treat them as individuals, try anything that doesn’t hurt, we might just happen on the one thing that actually works.
One thing that stuck with me in the Robert Kennedy Jnr speech was about an Amish Community that has 30,000 people. They don’t vaccinate their kids. Now he isn’t saying to not vaccinate, just to vaccinate with no metals. In this Amish Community there should be statistically 130 kids who have autism. They have only 4. 3 of them were adopted after they were immunized. One live downwind of a chemical plant. At least in America they’re admitting that it could be possible, that mothers could be right about their kids. They have doctors who are called DAN Doctors, or Defeat Autism Now. I hope that one day we can have doctors who will at least consider that it is possible to defeat this. Sadly, I think it’s still a fair way away yet.