Contributed by Tricia Pollok
"There is no doubt in my mind that your son has autism."
The words stung as hot tears burned my eyes. My mind was spinning, reeling; The doctor responded to my tears as if he was surprised I was so emotional. I got the feeling by the way he coldly shattered my world, that he had been giving this devastating news to parents multiple times a day for a very long time. All I could think was "How did this happen? How did my beautiful, happy and very normal baby, hitting all of his milestones up until age 15 months turn into the screaming, perseverative, empty shell of a child that I no longer recognized?" Dr. Solomon, the top autism specialist in the state of Michigan, continued writing his recommendations as the pain spilled down my cheeks. I looked over at my precious 2 year old, sitting on the floor, the spark gone from his eyes. Why did he look through me instead of lighting up when I came into the room like he used to? Why couldn't I get him to play anymore? What happened to him? I often caught him laying on the floor, staring into space, pulling clumps of his hair out, or perseverating on unusual objects. He entertained himself by complusively finding ways to reach the light switches so he could insistently and obsessively flick the light/ceiling fan switch on and off...on and off...on and off...all day long if we let him...staring at the repetitive and captivating movement. He would grunt and whine at the door to the garage, begging us to open the door so that he could hit the garage door button to watch it go up and down...up and down...all day long if we let him...
And the screaming...
I couldn't deny it anymore. The reality of diagnosis was staring me in the face. I had lost my son to autism. The very essence of who he was, was gone. The gut-wrenching pain, sent me plummeting into an overwhelming pit, encompassing me, and severing all of my hopes and dreams for my son and our family. A darkness I could feel swept over me and during many suffocating moments on this journey, I didn't think I would ever be able to pull myself out of it. I had already known deep inside that something went terribly wrong just after Jackson's first birthday, and now I had confirmation that there was a reason the light in my son's eyes had disappeared; a reason he had deteriorated into a shell of a child I didn't know. Jackson's health and development changed, occurring suddenly, soon following his 15 month well-baby checkup. Over the course of a few months, I watched his life crumble in front of me, taking mine with him. Jackson kept losing more and more of his cognitive abilities, his personality; his sweet, gentle countenance, his quick smile and contagious laugh... it was all gone. He was unrecognizable to me. My boy, once vibrantly full of life, now a screaming, violent, distant, perserverative, and excessively fearful child, was about to teach me that my days of trusting the medical community were over.
In excruciating desperation and bewilderment, I prayed and prayed that Jackson would come back...that I would find him again...somewhere deep down inside himself. But the agony continued to increase, as I found he didn't want anything to do with me anymore. He screamed when I tried to hold him or join in his play. I desperately searched for glimpses of Jackson all the time, but as he continued to reject me, I drifted farther and farther away from him emotionally, distancing myself from the source of the pain. Although Jackson had very little expressive language, with most of his language consisting of parroting what he heard on a video, he sure knew how to say "I hate you mommy." I never figured out which Thomas the Train video he heard that on. There were times I doubted he would ever respond positively to me again, and my heart just couldn't bear it. Emotionally detaching from him, I was being consumed with despair. I wondered if he would ever love me again...I could never utter those words out loud...
"Dear God, why?" I grieved. There were many days when I wondered if Jackson would ever learn to carry on a conversation, or have a friend, or learn to read, or eat normal food. Would he ever show the intelligence we saw he had at his young age? Secretly I wondered if he would be so out of control someday that I would no longer be able to care for him in my home. At 2 he was already hurting Mallorie and at times, he seemed to have a strength beyond what his age should possess.
Following the diagnosis, I started to question some things about Jackson's health. He not only had severe behavioral, communication and social impairments, he was physically sick. I had stopped nursing him when he was 4 months old, yet at age 2 and a half, he was still having explosive diapers. Although he had been eating solid food for quite some time, his bowel movements were far from solid. In fact, Jackson had never had a solid bowel movement. His stomach was very bloated all the time, and I suspected that some of his screams were from pain, although he didn't have the language to tell me how he was feeling. I knew that Jackson's problems had begun just after his 15 month well-baby check. I remembered that day that my pediatrician had told me it was time for Jackson's vaccinations, which I never questioned. It never occured to me that they could harm him, and I hadn't heard anything negative about vaccines in the news. Jackson received 9 vaccinations (5 injections) that day, and he was never the same. I've had people tell me that vaccines didn't cause my son's autism because "science" proves that vaccines don't cause autism. That is a lie. There are studies that prove vaccines CAN and DO cause autism. The medical doctors who have discovered the link between vaccines and autism (and other auto-immune diseases and conditions including ADHD, allergies, asthma, RA, MS and SIDS) are considered quacks and their research debunked by those in the medical community who have something to gain by administering vaccinations. Many of the doctors who have found the link between vaccination and autism have a vaccine-injured child on the autism spectrum.
I began to research and learn all I could about vaccine injury. I discovered that some of the things recommended to me following vaccination further injured Jackson. I was told by my doctor to give Jackson Tylenol to bring down a vaccine-induced fever. Unfortunately, Tylenol lowered Jackson's glutathione levels, which impaired his ability to fight free-radicals, further damaging his immune system. Between 15 and 18 months, he had a series of ear-infections, as his immune system had been impaired by vaccination, and he was promptly put on antibiotics. This caused the perfect storm inside of him. Without a strong probiotic, the antibiotics destroyed Jackson's natural gut flora, causing yeast overgrowth. His gut was a mess. He developed leaky gut syndrome, gut dysbiosis (bad intestinal gut flora), and severe food intolerances. I was now dealing with a severely impaired immune system from the vaccines, which was causing auto-immune responses (his body was attacking itself), and a severly impaired gut, which affected his ability to digest normally, and severely impaired his brain function. Gut and brain health are very closely connected and when the gut is suffering, the brain tremedously suffers (think about what alcohol does to your brain when it reaches your digestive tract). I was devastated when I learned that all of Jackson's issues were preventable. Guilt set in. I blamed myself for blindly trusting my doctor. My precious sweet baby was impaired for life because I allowed him to be injected with poisonous substances and neurotoxins including aluminum, mercury, formeldahyde, and human and animal DNA. Aborted fetal tissue DNA was in my child. I was horrified.
For 3 years, autism consumed my life, and I was determined to beat it. By day, I fought autism, and by night I researched autism, many nights until 2 or 3am, reading every website I could find about autism and vaccine injury, trying every treatment and protocol, and devouring every book I could find that would give me any ounce of hope for recovery. I was giving Jackson more than 20 supplements a day for his starving brain, injecting methyl B12 into him before bed to repair his methylation cycle as he wasn't detoxing metals, running him to speech therapy, and sending him to preschool for kids with autism. I hired a play therapist to teach ME how to teach him how to play, and then I attempted to actually play with him the prescribed 20 hours a week, yet struggled to even want to spend ANY time with him. I was keeping daily food journals of what he was eating because I had to figure out which foods he was reacting to. It took me 9 months to figure out the severity of his food intolerances, but because of his intestinal disease that just wasn't improving, I changed his diet multiple times before finally settling on an intense diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). For 6 months, Jackson ate a handful of specific and very cooked fruits and veggies, and beef meatballs. Because of his intolerance to eggs, nuts and chicken which were allowed on SCD, this was all that his breakfast, lunch, dinner menu consisted of, and he digested these foods very fast. He was always eating, and I was always cooking. Then, there was a turning point.
When he was 4, one of Jackson's preschool teachers and I started praying together. Although there are a lot of details I am leaving out, at some point, I began to surrender Jackson's life to the Father. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least, as I was trying desperately to maintain control. I would give up the situation one day, and then worry the next...Surrender takes great faith. Faith I wanted, but didn't have.
I began to ask for it. Faith, that is. I began to ask for a LOT of it. I was on my knees in my closet more than I could even fathom to guess. That carpet has permanant tear stains I think. Oh if only those walls could speak...I prayerfully agonized in there. I was a prisoner to autism and I knew that my only hope of freedom was to be down on my knees, asking the Father for answers and healing. Realizing that I needed to stop relying on myself for Jackson's healing, I began to replace my autism books with my Bible, and I couldn't get enough of the Word. After many, many weeks of seeking Him FIRST, and believing that He would take care of our needs as I did that, Abba began showing me some things that I hadn't considered before. Things that were quite hard for me to accept. He started showing me that I needed to believe Him for the impossible, and that maybe Jackson's autism was more than just a physical problem. As I began to put pieces together, I realized that Jackson's terrifying pleas in the middle of the night to "come sleep in your bed" were not because he was having nightmares. My husband and I would often hear Jackson scurrying down the stairs at 2am and find him standing in the living room with a desperate look of fear on his face. After him talking about a Disney character for over a year, we suddenly realized that his many questions about Baloo the Bear from the Jungle Book, and his experiences he was telling us he was having with Baloo weren't just a boy with an "imaginary friend". Abba blessed us with some very serious and descriptive conversations with Jackson, ones that I am still amazed took place since he had such a limited expressive language at that time. I finally accepted that Jackson was being visited and essentially traumatized by an evil spirit that talked to him when he was alone. Sometimes it would appear to him in his room just before bed, and sometimes it would wake him up.
I share all of the above, not to glorify a dark time in our lives, or the evil we experienced, but to show you how AMAZING the Father is! Once I knew the truth about what Jackson was experiencing, I began to seek Him like I never had before. I spent hours and hours in my Bible, seeking Truth. I began to hope and believe for a miracle. I asked Abba to supernaturally heal Jackson because I knew HE deserved ALL the credit, and I had been doing a LOT of things that others could potentially attribute a healing to. I wanted there to be NO DOUBT that Abba Father was the One who healed him, and not me.
On February 20, 2010, after almost 3 hours of praying, fasting, singing, and believing, Jackson was healed and delivered from the oppressive spirit and all of the intestinal disease. Instantly.
There is no physical explanation why Jackson was healed of the vaccine injury. It was not a gradual healing. It was spontaneous and nothing short of miraculous. Abba knew that I needed something tangible that would show me and others when doubt crept in, that He conquered Jackson's diseases. Two days earlier on the 18th, Jackson had a very severe case of diarrhea while still on the SCD, proving his gut was not naturally healing itself. Although quite discouraging, recent test results revealing that his gut dysbiosis and yeast was off the charts and had not improved a bit was further proof that my efforts had not healed him. Stepping out in complete faith, we began giving Jackson foods that very day, that would've sent him reeling behaviorally and set him back months physically. There were no reactions at all. We checked his metals, yeast, and bacteria levels. All of the disease was ALL gone. The evidence that the spirit left that day was extremely obvious as many of the behaviors we thought were linked to the autism instantly disappeared. He was taken off the autism spectrum that year as the same autism specialist who diagnosed him at age 2 undiagnosed him with these words...
"He is unrecognizable to me."
Those words, that I once used to describe my son when he became trapped inside himself, were now used to say there were no recognizable autistic traits in him!!
Today, Jackson is thriving. He is a normal 10 year old boy, with a very determined (and sometimes stubborn) personality...He reads, memorizes scripture very quickly, eats a normal diet, makes friends easily, plays on a basketball team and swims competitively. He loves karate, making movies with his Playmobil sets, drawing, sharing his faith with others, snuggling with mom (woo hoo) and adores his older sister Mallorie enough to be her best friend and indulge her love of American Girl and Littlest Pet Shop. Jackson will tell you he hates math, but he is a math whiz, often solving tough problems in his head, completely showing his intelligence and cognitive abilities that were hidden and suppressed for so long. He is a fierce protector of Mallorie and me. Abba gave him his life back and Jackson knows it. After the deliverance, Jackson would often dress up in what he called his "warrior costume". Evidences of Abba's unfathomable love for us peek through each and every day.
Yes, buddy, you ARE a warrior. Abba has gifted you with so many gifts and I truly believe you WILL overcome in this life. I am just so so grateful to have you back.
"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and NOT BE SILENT. Oh Abba my Elohim, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30:11-12
In 2004, vaccine injury was not in the news.