Beth was an 11-year-old girl whose mother brought her in for a consultation mostly to address behavioral and emotional issues. Over the years she had a number of neuropsych evaluations that led to an alphabet soup of diagnoses - ADHD, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), AS (Asperger Syndrome) and my personal favorite PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified).
The movie ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe’ made the rounds of select theaters in Vermont over the last several months. These showings
The movie ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe’ made the rounds of select theaters in Vermont over the last several months. These showings - one of which took place in Brattleboro at the Latchis Theater this past Monday evening - are sponsored by the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice (ww.voicesforchoice.com) and are part of an effort to raise awareness about risks associated with vaccinations.
What makes Vaxxed so compelling is two-fold:
There are many powerful, heart rendering scenes in which parents of vaccine damaged children testify to their experience of having their child vaccinated and then soon thereafter witnessing profound neurological degeneration. These interviews watched one after the other can leave the viewer emotionally stunned - and enraged at the forces that led to these outcomes.
Not long ago, I was talking with a young couple, a relative and his wife, who were expecting their first child sometime next spring. After inquiring into how the pregnancy was going, plans for the birth and offering some congratulatory chitchat, I asked about their thoughts on vaccinations. Not that surprisingly, the father-to-be replied that they were intending to vaccinate, but what was surprising were the reasons he articulated for doing so.
To paraphrase his reply, he said that it was ‘tough out there’ if one doesn’t vaccinate a child. Not tough in the sense that the child might suffer from illness, but that the societal pressure is difficult to resist. The issue wasn’t whether vaccines were safe or necessary, but a fear of being ostracized and isolated. Presumably they were referring to pressure being exerted by medical authorities and schools, and perhaps even extending to friends, work colleagues and family as well.
The outbreak of measles in California reported with great alacrity in the mass media has been a useful punctuation point for a campaign of the national medical and pharmaceutical industries to force multiple mandatory vaccinations nationwide as well as stigmatize those who withstand the pressure to participate.
People are increasingly faced with the prospect of losing jobs or educational opportunities based on their vaccination status. The FDA is currently unveiling a ‘Mandatory Adult Vaccination and Electronic Tracking Program’, and supposedly social media will be monitored for ‘anti-vaccine chatter’. Word has it that an alarm system is in the works which will identify non-vaccinated individuals and send out ‘Bio-Safety Alerts’ via text messages to cell phones in their vicinity.
It’s been a number of years since I first met the two brothers, Jordan and Samuel. They were as different as two persons could be. Samuel, age 6 at the time, was a gentle, cheerful fellow – easy to smile and easy to talk to. Jordan, 3 years his elder, was retiring and sullen. Communicating with him was challenging at best. And his thin, wiry build was contrasted with the soft, full frame of his younger brother. Reflecting the difference in their constitutional nature, each boy was brought in for quite different reasons. Samuel easily developed respiratory ailments that turned into a bronchitis or asthmatic wheezing. Jordan’s issues were only paritially physical as they had strong emotional and behavioral components.