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CEDAR – Dr. Marvin D. Anderson, of Cedar, is a physician with a very special mission – caring for children with autism.
His new book, “Autism: Prevention, Care, and Management: The Plight of the Canary Children and Their Release from Captivity” (G.U.D. Publishers, 2012), is the result of a quest that began with the need to discover the cause behind some very perplexing symptoms his wife, Jill, was experiencing. But the astounding results of this quest also have implications for the ever-increasing numbers of American children diagnosed with autism, and those who love and care for them.
Anderson, who is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, found that each person’s body eliminates contaminants in a way that is biochemically unique. These biochemical routes of excretion, or “detoxification pathways,” lie largely in the liver. Some people are more sensitive to environmental contaminants and medications than are others; this turned out to be the source of the problem that was causing his wife’s suffering.
When he observed that autistic children also had detoxification and elimination impairments, he began applying the same principles to them – understanding the individual child’s biochemistry and how it is deficient, and working to correct it, especially with regard to the functioning of the liver.
Anderson says that, because of biochemical individuality, a “one size fits all” approach to medications, including immunizations, can be harmful.
“Autism is very rare among the Amish,” he said, “who delay vaccinations and spread them out over time” – a practice which prevents overwhelming an already weakened system.
“I believe that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to vaccination – which is basically what is occurring today in doctor’s offices throughout our land – may be the wrong way to look at these childhood shots; the error is in the failure to give proper consideration to each child’s biochemical uniqueness.”
Anderson advocates the creation of a new specialty in medicine, one which would train doctors in genetic biochemical individuality. He believes that understanding the immune system of each newborn and young child would enable the physician to know when, and how many, immunizations could safely be given to a particular child.
“Even pure, fresh water can kill people who have certain conditions that affect the body’s ability to handle the water load,” he said. “It’s the same with vaccinations. A particular child’s ability to tolerate them is based on that child’s biochemical make-up.”
Anderson’s work also addresses the gastrointestinal tract, because most children with autism also suffer from G-I problems, a finding that makes sense given that the brain and the gut develop from the same embryonic tissue and respond in a similar fashion to exposure to noxious influences.
Testing to identify gastrointestinal organisms and removing gluten grains and milk casein from the diet were found to be helpful.
Anderson also emphasizes the role of environmental toxins in autism including a food supply laced with flavor enhancers, coloring agents and other additives that are, in effect, toxic chemicals – and the nation’s depleted soils and farming practices that include using industrial waste as a filling agent in commercial fertilizers.
The inability of the liver to handle these toxins means that they accumulate there as well as in other organs, especially the endocrine glands and the brain. And since testing has revealed the presence of 287 toxic chemicals in newborns’ umbilical cord blood, he strongly recommends that women planning to become pregnant detoxify their bodies beforehand.
Anderson suggests that the ideal solution would be for families to grow their own food in gardens that are removed from sources of contamination and that honor the vital connection between fertile soil, healthy crops, healthy animals and healthy humans.
Interacting with small animals such as rabbits and goats also helps children have higher levels of oxytocin, which not only bolsters the immune system, but helps them relate better to both animals and human beings.
In 2009, Anderson created “Abba’s Place,” on his small organic family farm in Cedar, to care for children with autism. There, Dr. Anderson can instruct caregivers in the lifestyle that has shown itself beneficial to autistic children.
“I wanted to do something to stem the scourge of autism,” he said. “This book is my best shot at it. If one child is saved due to this effort, it will all have been worth it.”
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