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Chris and Carla Howard lead a discussion at the Autism Support Group, which Rep. Mike Brown attended lastThursday evening. Photo by Renee Fite

What household beauty product has propane in it?

“Mousse,” Chris Howard told the Autism Support Group on Thursday evening during his presentation of facts.

The group is now taking a step in the right direction, thanks to Rep. Mike Brown.

They’re starting to collect specific data from their members about dates and types of immunizations received by their children.

Brown told the parents it would give them a starting place to compare what information they had as a small group and to build a data base.

“If everyone in this small group could assimilate information of vaccine compounds, and when they were given, we could assimilate and compare,” Rep. Brown said. “If one small group starts, then another, we could begin to gather data. This is a good opportunity.”

Chris and Carla Howard, founders of the support group, led a discussion.

“Nobody has the answers, but we’re looking,” he said.

In New Jersey, one in 94 children have been diagnosed with autism, while in Japan it’s one in 86, and in England, one in 54.

Toxic chemicals like Teflon, plastics, mercury and formaldehyde, linked to autism and disabilities, are often found in everyday household products.

“We use it on our skin, wash our clothes and clean our homes with these products,” Chris Howard said. “Pre-cleaner has pesticide in it, and oven and drain cleaner can cause burns just by inhaling.”

Even a minuscule presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) in women of child-bearing age can cause damage, he said.

“Mercury is the second most toxic substance,” he said.

“It’s still used in amalgam fillings unless you request composite fillings.”

And a consent form must be signed before the amalgam fillings are used.

There are traces of mercury in high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything, he noted.

Donna Harris said mercury passed on to the fetus, and is in vaccinations passed directly into patients.

“In Maine, a coalition of environmental and health activists helped get a law passed requiring Maine dentists to provide patients with information warning them of the hazards of mercury and mercury amalgam fillings,” Harris said. “Maybe we can find some information from their research to help with our own.”

Autism is four times more likely to afflict boys more than girls.

The Howard’s have three boys, one with autism.

“We watched Nick change in a 48-hour period after vaccinations,” he said. “They didn’t cause it (autism) but triggered it.”

While hospitalized with a fever, the Howard’s said, “the doctor still gave him nine more shots.”

Nick had 30 shots by the age of 18 months.

“I’m 42, and I had about six shots,” he said.

When you trigger an overload of toxins, such as with vaccinations, the immune system is overwhelmed, he added.

Controls over our own pharmaceutical imports could also be better, Howard said.

“The Center for Disease Control inspects overseas plants about one or two times a year, but they give them several weeks notice and stay for a day or two,” he said.

Mercury-free flu shots are now being made, he said.

Why use the mercury?

Carla Howard, a dental assistant, said it is a stabilizer.

“And it makes the fillings very tough, they hold up, it’s easy to work with,” she said, “and it’s cheap.”

Rep. Brown asked, “If mercury is leaching, how stable is that?”

“Did you ever hear of the amalgam wars?” Harris asked the group. “It’s about the dentists who refused to use them.”

Other topics of importance include Insurance, public education and aging autistic children.

“Some people have to choose to sell their home to afford treatment or take a $12 an hour job to qualify for assistance,” Howard said.

One woman said her son is insured because of seizure disorder, not autism, which many insurance companies will not cover.

Of people with autism, 80 percent are 16 and younger.

They don’t want their children to have “whatever” jobs.

“These kids deserve better than cleaning up parking lots,” Tina Roach said.

Education concerns cause many parents of autistic children to homeschool their child.

One couple wrote a behavioral guide about how their child works to assist the teacher in understanding how to relate to their son.

They now homeschool, too.

One autistic child liked summer school because he got individual help and no one picked on him.

“Kids have to be in mainstream classrooms for the schools not to lose Federal funding,” Howard said. “Most teachers aren’t educated on the disabilities.”

Rep. Brown talked about the bill which did pass, that will take 30 to 35 students at UCO in Edmond, and train them with an emphasis on autism.

They’ll have 5,000 hours in areas of experience in autism to raise awareness and gather information, he said.

“We hope to bring it to this side of the state next year. They’re poised and ready at NSU.”

Roach asked, “Could we have a magnet school for these kids that’s parent staffed?”

Her son is turning 21, “and he doesn’t have much to look forward to.”

“Some of these kids are brilliant,” she said.

There are success stories around the county that could be modeled, Howard said.

“We will continue to build resources and look for networks,” Howard said. “We have pieces of the puzzle, but not complete answers, yet, of what works with what children.”

People ask me why I want to get involved in this issue, Rep. Brown said,

“It makes you want to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.”

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