by John Thomas
Is it safe to discuss the option of not vaccinating your children with your child’s pediatrician? Are you risking being turned over to Child Protective Services, if you and your doctor disagree about vaccination?
During a recent conversation with Judy Converse, MPH RD LD, a pediatric nutrition specialist, I discussed the medical kidnapping of infants and children by agents of Child Protective Services. Judy Converse provides services to children with a wide range of neurodevelopmental conditions.
She also had the personal experience of being threatened with Child Protective Services involvement when she refused to continue vaccinating her son in the mid-1990s when he started experiencing developmental delays. She is the author of three books on the topic of nutrition and child development, and has lectured at numerous national and local gatherings for parents and professionals on topics related to autism, Asperger’s, and related developmental conditions. Her work emphasizes the profound impact nutrition and a healthy gut have on the developing brain.
I posed the following question to Judy Converse during an interview on March 26, 2015.
QUESTION: How can a parent who is concerned about the harm caused by vaccines determine if it will be safe to work with a specific pediatrician, and not worry about whether you and your children will be turned over to Child Protective Services if you disagree with the doctor?
Judy Converse began her reply this way:
To be really frank, any pediatrician in a conventional practice is probably under some quotas to vaccinate. They make money vaccinating their patients and they truly believe this is the right thing to do. Some of them will offer some flexibility on the vaccination schedule, and I think that is the person that you might first want to speak with.Parents have shared with me that even in those offices, once they ask for what they want, they will eventually reach a point of disagreement and the pediatrician will say, “I am not willing to be THAT flexible for you.” When this happens, then you probably need to leave that practice and find a different one. There is no point banging your head against a wall with somebody you will have this ongoing argument with. There is no point in that, because your child is going to be caught in the middle.
I will share additional comments from Judy Converse about this topic later in this article. In addition, she will use her professional training in nutrition sciences to help us understand gut dysfunction, which appears in almost all cases of vaccine and antibiotic related injuries in children. She will discuss how parents can help their children heal their digestive systems so they can digest and absorb food, and recover their lives after vaccine injury. Adults with vaccine injury face the same challenge of healing the gut.
This is the fourth article in a series about healing from vaccine related damage. Previous articles include:
How Diet can Help Heal Vaccine Damage
How Homeopathy is Healing Autism
Healing from Vaccine Injuries through Homeopathy
Background of Judy Converse
Before I share more of my conversation with Judy Converse, I want to tell you a little bit more about her background.
She has a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Hawaii (1988), and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Vermont.
Her career path as a nutrition care provider changed in 1996 with the birth of her son. He was challenged with growth, feeding, and developmental problems which began to appear at birth caused by the Hepatitis-B vaccine. She was not able to obtain help from pediatricians for her son at that time, and she needed to research the solution to her son’s condition on her own.
Fortunately, because of her training in pediatric nutrition, she was able to piece together a nutrition based treatment program to move her son forward on the path to health. Her success encouraged other parents and they asked her for the same help.
When she realized no one was available to guide other families toward healing, she opened her pediatric nutrition practice in 1999. Since that time, Ms. Converse has expanded her training to include functional and integrative nutrition for babies and children. Her nutrition practice, Nutrition Care for Children, assists infants, toddlers, children, teens, and young adults (age 0-24).
She specializes in supporting those who have failed with conventional medical measures for food allergy, feeding/growth concerns, feeding clinics, tube feeding, asthma, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, mood concerns, PANDAS, or seizure disorders. She practices integrative nutrition with tenets of many disciplines, including Weston Price, organic foods, special diets (GAPS, SCD, Paleo, GF/CF, LOD), and the judicious use of supplements and herbs.
Additional Information about Judy Converse and her practice is available at her website.
Using Special Diets to Heal Injuries from Vaccines and other Toxins
I specifically sought out Judy Converse for this article, because I had hoped she could bring some clarity to the complex topic of using specialized diets to heal injuries caused by vaccines, antibiotics, and toxins found in processed foods and in the environment. I was blessed by the range of knowledge that she provided on this subject and I am pleased to share some of her practical suggestions. As you will shortly read, she gives sound guidance to parents who are searching for the right kind of diet to help heal their children and teens. Her suggestions for healing the gut also apply to adults.
QUESTION: How should parents participate in the conventional healthcare system when they disagree with the standard vaccine protocol recommended by pediatricians, and want more individualized medical care for their children? Should parents always depend on the services of a pediatrician to help their children grow and thrive?
Judy Converse responds:
In my case, we stopped going to the pediatrician and went to a family physician instead, and we also worked with a family nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner had her own private practice, and used to work with a pediatrician in my town. So we found some other providers and we were fine. We found a way to get the healthcare we needed, without the constant pressure.I know it is a bit of a sacrilege, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful to pediatricians who are out there working hard and trying to do the right thing, but you may not need a pediatrician. If the debate between you and your doctor becomes large enough, then you might need to talk to a different type of doctor. A family practice physician might be an option or an osteopathic doctor might be an option. I had to make that decision when my son was 5 months old.Even though I was a health professional, I was kind of terrified to say that we are not going to have these people in our lives any more. It was very liberating and very much the right thing to do in his case. The minute we stopped seeking the pediatrician’s advice, my son began to get healthier, because we were seeking advice from people who had other tools.
QUESTION: What are the health challenges of your clients?
My clients are children age newborn to young adult. They have all sorts of problems that their usual MD care teams have not been able to resolve, typically because no one has helped them with food, nutrition, and the restoration of gut health. They have growth and feeding problems, food allergies, food protein intolerance enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), asthma, autism, mood or anxiety disorders, etc. Some are medically quite fragile with failure to thrive. They don’t grow and are at very high risk. They may have gastrotomy tubes, which is a tube that is surgically implanted in the stomach to force in food.Some are so behaviorally challenged that they have lost school placement, meaning they’ve been kicked out of school at ages as young as five or six. Some are suicidal and failing on conventional psychiatric medications.
QUESTION: How is previous vaccine use related to the health challenges you see in your clients?
Most of my caseload are struggling with problems they would not have, had they not been vaccinated or if they had been vaccinated differently (fewer vaccines, given at a later age, monovalent vaccines, not during pregnancy, and vaccines without aluminum or mercury). I say this based on exhaustively reviewing their medical histories starting in utero – from brain scans to endoscopy reports to immunization records, to blood work they’ve had done over the years, to growth patterns and developmental histories. There are undeniable patterns.There still has been no prospective large scale study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. There is survey data, and it does show a clear pattern of more chronic illness and disability in vaccinated children.
QUESTION: What are other factors that contribute to the developmental problems of your clients?
In children not vaccinated but with similar challenges, invariably I find a potent toxin in their history that exerted a deleterious effect. One parent I worked with had worked in a factory that made film processing materials and was exposed to many toxins in her work while pregnant; she also smoked. Others have been children of conventional farm workers who are routinely exposed to agricultural chemicals. Still others live near toxic industries.Examples of toxic exposure from my caseload include: a paint factory, fracking activities, and a mom who accepted flu, Rhogam and DPT shots while pregnant. I also find that children whose immune systems are challenged at birth struggle as well – if they were exposed to lots of antibiotics in utero, or to antibiotics during delivery or while breastfeeding. This appears to set up problems too. The other important piece is GMO foods, which entered our food supply by the mid-1990s. I advise all my patients to avoid GMO foods as much as possible.
QUESTION: What is your therapeutic approach?
It’s a process. Basically I leverage nutrition to replenish tissues so that children can detoxify and grow more robustly. First I sort the nutrition problems, and there are standard clinical methods to do that for infants and children. Looking at growth pattern, detailed info on what is being eaten and how much, and gestational history are key. I review the full medical history.If needed, I will engage lab tests for a variety of possibilities from iron status to heavy metal exposure to inflammation from foods and gut biome. I use functional nutrition assessments and integrative tools, from special diets to supplements and herbs. Once we’ve sorted all the potential problems, we methodically restore health. You can’t do it all at once. I prioritize gut health and work to get kids eliminating normally every day. Great diets and supplements don’t do much good in a gut that can’t absorb them.Food is the only thing we have to run all these systems and machinery in the body. It all comes from what we extract from food. If the food is inflammatory, or sub-par, or not enough, or full of toxins and additives, or if the gut is not working well, then children can’t thrive. Their brains are sputtering. They can’t learn, grow, or develop to potential. I find the blocks to that, and help them get there. If they’re using other therapies (speech, OT, ABA), nutrition intervention makes these work faster and better, because the brain can get what it needs to function better from food. It’s always great when my clients’ MD providers get on board with nutrition, because parents need the support. It’s hard work.
QUESTION: How does your work address the gut/brain connection in your clients?
If food isn’t absorbed well, it won’t reach the brain – and the brain needs nutrients every minute more than any other tissue. So many nutrition factors influence the brain, and of course, every cell in the body. The gut is foundational here. This is actually where many parents get tripped up with this stuff – they try special diets or this or that supplement, or even a psych med, without assessing what is going on in the gut first. Can your child even absorb that anti-anxiety supplement or medicine you tried? Is there enough food to begin with? Does your child eat enough protein to run brain chemistry in the first place? Is it inflammatory protein? Let’s find out first. Those are the questions I help parents answer.The gut should allow for calm, reliable digestion without pain, constipation, diarrhea, or discomfort. If a child is dependent on medications like Miralax or Prevacid, I work to improve their digestion so they don’t need those, because they interfere with digestion and can exacerbate the problem with long term use.
QUESTION: There are many different healing diets. How does one know where to start?
I work with all these diets and have for many years: GF/CF/SF, Weston Price, GAPS, SCD, Paleo, Body Ecology, Feingold, Low Oxalate, rotation diets, yeast free diet, ketogenic diets, modified Atkins diets, and even elemental diets.What’s most important is meeting parents where they can begin. There are zealots for every diet, but not all parents are there yet – the GAPS people get mad at the GF/CF people, the SCD people feel turfy about their stuff, the Paleo people are basking in their moment and so on – it’s so silly – everyone gets “judgey” — this is of no use to families who are overwhelmed and just need help getting started. And all the diets have their merits. The key is matching the kid to the intervention. Not even to the diet, but to what that one child needs. I usually end up with some sort of individualized hybrid intervention for a patient.Some parents can only start by not giving candy every day – literally! A family may really struggle there. There are kids out there living on M&M’s and Skittles, and some milk — I’m not kidding! This is all they’ll eat! They are given this stuff in their ABA trials (Applied Behavior Analysis) as rewards. Their pediatricians do nothing about it.Other parents do a fantastic job with providing a perfect Nourishing Traditions diet, with bone broths and meat and a no grains protocol that they read about online — only to have their kid wither into failure to thrive. It doesn’t mean it was a bad diet, it means it was wrong for that child. It is really important to keep the priority on the kid’s wellbeing, not on how perfect a Weston Price cook you are.Another common trouble spot is the SCD diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), which uses nuts and eggs. If the kids can’t digest nuts and eggs – this will be a sure fail. Kids are growing, and can’t wait months and months for this method of gut restoration, when the key proteins and fats the diet provides can’t be eaten. You have to find a workaround and it may not be SCD.
QUESTION: Do these diets work for all families?
Many parents can’t do a specialized diet with their kids. They’re overwhelmed. They like the attention they get from our health care system, with broken kids. They can’t do this battle against doctors, unless they are very clear in their own direction as parents. It’s a huge battle, sometimes with Child Protective Services getting involved. You’re a “good mom” when you bring your kid in for a feeding tube. You’re a “crazy mom” when you refuse the tube and put your kid on a GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Diet).Major dietary changes require desperation. What I’ve witnessed, sadly, since beginning my practice in 1999, is that now that autism and feeding tubes and all these horrific outcomes are so common, younger parents are more asleep than 15 or 20 years ago. These things are now routine. It’s normalized.Young parents are buying the media push about being “scientific”. They think all these medical interventions are smart, including multiple vaccine doses, vaccines in pregnancy, GMO food, and so on.There’s a disconnect. None of these things are proven safe or healthy. Even as their kids get sicker and more disabled, parents would rather fit in with societal norms — even if it means disabling their children. They don’t want to go against the current and find another way. It’s a tragic thing but it is human nature.What I do in my practice is part nutrition and part reconnecting parents — moms especially — with their own inner beacon, the intuition that helps them decide what their children need.
QUESTION: You indicated that you are finding that young parents seen to be more disconnected from the problems that they are seeing with their children. Where is this coming from?
A lot has changed in the last several years. There is a whole push to label people as unscientific or as fools if they question anything about vaccinations or even medical care. There is now a hostility that did not exist when I first started doing this work around 1999-2000.Back then, parents could easily see, based on their own memories, when a child was injured by vaccines, because the children didn’t look like other children that they had seen. Today, I almost wonder if people aren’t noticing vaccine injuries, because so many children [have them and] are not developing normally.I had a parent in my office recently telling me that her child was 17 months old and had just started crawling and the pediatrician had told the parents that was fine. I didn’t in any way react or respond, but I thought “WOW, that’s not fine!” That is not normal! That is quite delayed. [In 1997] when my son was 9 months old and was not crawling, he was already getting early intervention services. So, somehow this current generation of parents has been almost hoodwinked into believing that this is all OK — but it is not OK!
QUESTION: Please say more about this. What is normal?
My sister recently shared a video clip with me on Facebook, which was one of those silly pet videos, but it actually intrigued me. It showed a very young infant sitting on the floor in front of a pet cat. The baby was not old enough to be walking [6 to 10 months old]. It was a chunky, healthy, and alert baby.
Video of Baby Interacting with a Pet Cat. (The important segment with the baby is at the beginning of the video.)
[The video shows a baby looking directly into the eyes of the cat. The baby is really relating to the cat while he eats a piece of bread. The baby offered the cat his own food. The cat takes a big bite of the food, and then the baby puts the food back in his own mouth.]
I just thought the video of this baby is so normal. The baby and the cat are having a conversation with food. This is so normal and this is not what many babies can do at this age.The first thing I noticed is that the baby has excellent motor and social skills. He is doing things many infants I meet don’t ever do, or do much later in life. For example:1. He is sitting up. This requires strong trunk and postural control. He is not flopping over.2. He already has pincer grasp. [The thumb and fingers are working together to hold and pick up objects.] Many American parents fuss over this milestone for months and months. That is, can your toddler pick up a raisin?3. Both hands and arms are working together to hold the bread, and are working together to reach out and offer the bread to the cat. This requires a lot of good neuromotor development. Both halves of the brain must work in concert. And trunk strength is spot on so that as he reaches over with the bread, he doesn’t fall forward.4. The baby has excellent oral motor skills. He is able to bite and chew and coordinate the swallowing of food. This is rotary chewing emergent. I have 3 and 4 year old kids in my practice who have not accomplished this and they are going to occupational therapy to learn this kind of feeding skill.5. The baby’s gaze is on the cat’s face and eyes. Eye contact is strong. The baby has sustained interest in the social connection.6. This social connection requires some emergent awareness of “not-self.” In other words, here is the beginning of theory of mind in action, which spectrum kids can take years to develop and even then may struggle with it.The baby understands: The cat is a separate being. This being has a mouth too [like me] and eyes. This being eats. This being may like to eat what I am eating. I will share my food. These accomplishments are huge! So much is going on in this baby’s brain!! [These are normal accomplishments for an infant of this age.]So many kids I meet can’t sit up when they are ten months old. They can’t put food in their own mouth, because their motor skills are so poor. So, here’s this baby all of a sudden doing it like we used to do when I was a kid.In my practice, I see kids who are delayed. Their motor skills are disorganized. Their social skills are lagging. We don’t realize how dramatically different this baby is from what I see in my practice every day. Of course, I usually see the kids who aren’t developing properly.I believe that we don’t really have a clear definition of “normal” right now. For example, what is the mid-range [of developmental markers] right now for babies who are 6 to 9 months old? Are those babies sitting up? Are they beginning to feed themselves?There are striking differences [in developmental progress] that I don’t think parents are really aware of now. They are normalizing it all.
QUESTION: So, a young mom goes into the pediatrician with her child who is two years old and says I don’t think my child is normal. He is not verbal. He doesn’t make eye contact. He doesn’t follow instructions. He doesn’t do what I believe a two year old should do. What should she do if the pediatrician says, “Don’t worry, he is normal, he will grow out of it.” What would you tell that mom when her intuition says, “I am sure that something is wrong” and my doctor says everything is normal?
- See more at: http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/healing-from-vaccine-damage-begins-in-the-gut/#sthash.fnDyB2E1.dpufI would probably tell her that if you have that intuition, then you may need to talk with another healthcare provider. It is important to talk to other people.You also might want to look for other signs of developmental concern. If your child is a fiercely picky eater, and throws teeth curling tantrums if you don’t give him the milk he likes, or is unable to have a bowel movement unless you give him Mirolax every day, or has needed reflux medicine for more than a month of his life, then any of these signs can indicate that there is not normal digestion and absorption. If digestion and absorption are not normal, then nutrients don’t get to the brain. If nutrients don’t get to the brain then it cannot develop normally. If any of these things are happening at the same time then that is not normal.Neither is it normal for your baby to have 5 to 8 wet foul smelling stools a day. That is not normal. “Toddler diarrhea” is not normal! In all my training I never heard of toddler diarrhea. I think it is another way to normalize what is not normal. If your toddler is losing stool 3 or 4 times a day, then he or she is not absorbing nutrients. When this happens, I would encourage people to take action on what they are seeing.These are the kinds of symptoms where I intervene and can redirect pretty quickly for kids. They invariably begin to improve. It is rare when they don’t improve, but it is usually because there is something quite a bit deeper that needs attention, or for whatever reason, the family couldn’t quite follow through on the plan that we set.A lot of families will go back to their gastroenterologist and say, “Well my nutritionist said…” and the gastroenterologist says “Well your nutritionist is crazy.” Sometimes parents get caught in the crossfire between professionals. And again, this is where your own intuition as a parent needs to be the boss of you. It is up to you. You are free to decide what advice you are going to follow.It has gotten a little dicier lately. I worked with an infant who had bowel infections. We saw these on stool test results. The report indicated that the infant needed antibiotic treatment. I let the mother know right away that she needed to let her doctor know about this. Well the doctor refused to treat the infection, and the baby has now ended up in the hospital for continuing to be unable to gain weight and grow, and it now has a feeding tube in its stomach. All of that could have been avoided if the mom had just drawn the line in the sand.But once you walk into a hospital you are at a disadvantage in a scenario like that, because of the threat of Child Protective Services. Parents are told, “If you don’t do it this way, we are going to take this baby away.” So, think carefully before you engage “help” that doesn’t really help you. It is the societal expectation that moms are going to go along [with whatever the doctor says] but be very careful, because you might end up in a very different place than you might want with your child.We need to maintain our freedom [to make healthcare choices]. We have to protect that and guard that, because it can very easily be lost.
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