Do Vaccinations Cause Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Problems?

by Denise Thompson

The most common learning disabilities and behavioral problems seen today, that cause parents to seek medical advice, include:

Other behaviors recognized as abnormal include:

In 1988, the Journal of the American Medical Association, called minimal brain damage "the single most prevalent disability reported by elementary schools..."

Information from the Development Delay Registry, indicates there has been an alarming rise in the number of development delayed children in just the past decade.

A well known child psychiatrist, Dr. Leo Kanner, found the same symptoms of learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children in 1943. However, he only found 11 cases.

Because there were so few, Dr. Kanner believed this was a new mental illness. However, further research showed there were others. He learned these were children who had suffered side-effects of "epidemic encephalitis" (inflammation of the brain caused by an infectious illness) . The children with less severe symptoms had been sent to reform schools and those with more severe symptoms were institutionalized.1 The numbers of children with these learning and behavioral problems continued to increase in the coming years, even where epidemic encephalitis had not occurred. Then in the 1960's there was a sudden rise, that has continued to today. There are now an estimated 200,000 or more diagnosed cases in the U.S. alone.

Harris Coulter, author of Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality, the Medical Assault on the American Brain, researched autism and found that vaccines have been known to cause encephalitis since 1922, when an outbreak of it occurred as a result of the smallpox vaccine. The Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccines followed in 1925. More cases of autism were found , and a link between vaccines and encephalitis was recognized. However, this information was ignored as a possible cause for these learning disabilities and behavioral problems because of what it implicated about both the vaccination programs and the medical society.

In 1945, vaccinations were given on a wider scale. Autism became more common as well as other, milder forms of "learning disabilities". This same generation of children were the teenagers of the 1960's. A time in history unlike any before it, representing rebellion, immorality, drug and alcohol abuse, irresponsibility, disrespect for property and authority, impulsive behavior, crime, love of rebellious music, depression, anxiety and violence towards others that continues to this day.

An article in Pediatrics Journal, Volume 39, 1967, suggests it is highly probable that autoimmunity and developmental disabilities are interlinked by vaccine-induced encephalitis.

The Pertussis vaccine (The "P" in DPT), has been known to cause allergic encephalomyelitis since 1959, when scientists conducting experiments on lab animals, with the purpose of inducing anaphylactic shock, found it to be extremely effective. It is still being used for this in the lab.

Most of us have been told by our doctors that only babies or children who have severe reactions to their vaccines within the first few hours or days after a vaccine is given, are at risk of suffering brain damage. However, this assumption has been proven to be false. Research indicates there is no correlation between the severity of symptoms suffered with the diseases and the damage that appeared later. In many cases, the symptoms of the disease were mild, yet severe post-encephalitic complications arose months or years later. Often the damage became more apparent during times of sudden growth, such as during the ages of 7-10 or during the early teen years. Likewise, parents of vaccine-damaged children often noted no acute reaction to their child's vaccinations, yet the damage became apparent months or even years later.

In 1984 Time Magazine ran an article about the results of a mental health survey in America. It was found that rates of sociopathic personality and other mental illness are much higher in those born after the 40's (when mass vaccination was instituted) than before the 40's.

When the children of the mid-forties reached college age and took their Scholastic Aptitude tests, in 1963, a significant decline in their intelligence was noted. Scores today are the lowest in the 60 year history of these tests, even though the tests have been rewritten, so they are easier to pass. Tests given to military recruits in the 70's also reflected this decline in intelligence; especially when compared to the recruits of 1941-1945. These early recruits would have been adults who were not part of a mass vaccination program. Few would have been vaccinated, and none as infants. In 1965, Congress passed the Immunization Assistance Act, extending their vaccination programs and making them mandatory. In 1986, the National Health Interview Survey found that, in persons under the age of 17 years, the occurrence of mental and nervous system disorders had increased 80% and behavior disorders, drug abuse and hyperactivity 300%.

In 1986, Congress took the responsibility for the damages from the DPT vaccine by establishing the National Childhood Vaccination Injury Compensation Program, authorizing payment of damages, by the government, to children harmed by vaccinations. The laboratories making the vaccines had no longer wanted to take responsibility and pay out of their profits, for the damages from their vaccines. They felt the government and its tax payers should pay for the damages, after all it was a governmental agency, the FDA, who approved them. They have since paid over 450 million dollars to families of these vaccine damaged children.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 60,000 DPT shots annually are reported as having been followed by convulsions, shock, collapse, temperatures of 105 degrees, and/or high pitched screaming. Children who do not survive are often labeled SIDS (Sudden Infant Death) babies, even if they die the same day of the shot. One out of 750 children who receives all of their DPT shots is left severely injured. At least 12,000 others will be clinically diagnosed as having been severely damaged by vaccinations, yet still alive. Another one in five children suffers damage serious enough to be diagnosed as having a "developmental disability". The milder cases of learning and/or behavioral problems go undiagnosed or are unrecognized as vaccine damage. The FDA estimates only 10% of the adverse effects suffered by children after vaccination are reported by doctors.

Before 1975, Japan also vaccinated their children beginning at the age of 3-5 months. In the years following, they noticed an alarming rise in the morbidity and mortality of these children. As a result, they changed the age at which to begin vaccinations to twenty-four months and no longer made them mandatory. An 85-90% reduction in severe reactions and deaths to these children followed. It has also been noted that the average Japanese high-school student out performs American students who are in the top 5% of their class.2

The DPT and the MMR vaccines are thought to cause autism by interfering with normal myelination of the nerves in the brain, or demyelination of the nerves already coated. Myelin is the tough, fatty insulation that coats the nerves and helps prevent misfiring of nerve impulses, or messages to the brain; such as those that take place during times of learning, growing, and developing motor skills. When babies are born only a small percentage of the nerves have myelin on them. This process is just beginning at birth and will continue throughout life, unless something happens to stop it, or causes demyelination of the nerves already coated. When this happens, responses to new situations, information or other stimuli, are not recorded in the brain as they should be. Information can be lost (poor memory or retention), mis-stored (causing confusion or misunderstanding of information), or not stored at all (slow learning, retardation, limited learning abilities).

How do we "protect" our children if we don't vaccinate them?

This is usually the first question on the minds of parents when they decide not to vaccinate their children. However, we also need to ask, do vaccines protect? Are we really giving anything up? The MMR vaccine is considered the second most dangerous to our children. It is suspected of damaging the myelin sheath, the autonomic nervous system, and the right temporal lobe of the brain. It's effectiveness is also being questioned, as measles outbreaks are becoming more common, even among the vaccinated. In one outbreak, at a college university, in 1995, more than 70% of the cases had been fully vaccinated for it.

Pertussis (whooping cough), the `P' in DPT, is thought to be the most dangerous of the vaccines given to our babies. When this vaccine became mandatory in 1978, the incidence of whooping cough went up 300%. There have been numerous outbreaks of this in recent years all across the United States, with the majority of people contracting it in the vaccinated group. This vaccine guarantees NO protection from the disease nor relief of it's symptoms. It has also been observed that those not vaccinated for it seem to have less severe symptoms than those who have been vaccinated. This was our experience also. When my children and I got pertussis during the recent epidemic, those of us who had been vaccinated for it had more serious symptoms and a longer recovery period. The children who have not been vaccinated, had very few symptoms, and a fraction of the recovery time. Other countries, such as Sweden and Great Britain, have also made this observation and no longer use this vaccine because of it's dangerous side-effects and questionable benefits.

Diphtheria, the `D' in DPT, is another vaccine who's effectiveness is being questioned by medical authorities. In Germany, there was a 17% increase in the number of Diphtheria cases after this vaccine was given, with a 600% increase in it's death rate. Many researchers now believe vaccinations weaken the immune system, leaving the vaccinated individual vulnerable to even more devastating effects from these diseases than ever recorded before, as well as to other diseases.

In 1937, William Howard Hay, M.D., about vaccines, stated that "it is nonsense to think that you can inject pus into a little child and in any way improve his health."3

Surgeon General Leonard Scheele, in 1955, reported at the annual AMA Convention that "no batch of vaccine can be proven safe before it is given to children".4 Until recently, it was thought that a vaccine was safe if no "apparent" severe reaction occurred after it was given. New research has proven this not to be the case. James R. Shennan of the National Institutes of Health, is reported as saying "The only safe vaccine is a vaccine never used."5 An article in the 1992 Journal of Anthroposophic Medicine, concluded that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and dangerous. It was also noted that a high vaccination rate in the U.S. is not able to stop measles outbreaks, and there is now an unusually high complication and death rate with measles that was unseen before the vaccine was instituted.

The Sabin Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is also under fire, even by it's inventor, Dr. Jonas Salk. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this vaccine is the only known cause of Polio in the U.S. today.

Dr. Richard Moskowitz, M.D., who has researched vaccines and written a number of articles about their possible negative side-effects, stated in one article, How Do the Vaccines Work?, " It is dangerously misleading and, indeed, the exact opposite of the truth to claim that a vaccine makes us 'immune' or protects us against acute disease..."6

Physicians of the 30's and 40's noted that children often appeared to go through growth spurts shortly after recovering from a childhood illness. They believed this was a positive response stimulated by the strengthening of the child's immune system from the illness.

Scientific evidence indicating this to be true was also mentioned in the 1992 article of the Journal of Anthroposophic Medicine.

Most parents who vaccinate their children were unaware they had the right to refuse them.

According to Attorney Tom G. Finn, in his book Dangers of Compulsory Immunizations, How to Avoid Them Legally, "no state has the legal right to force any of it's citizens to allow injection of a substance into the blood streams of their children". There are three ways for parents to get exemptions to vaccinations for their children, and Tom outlines these in his book. There is also a kit available through the National Health Federation.

What can you do to naturally protect your children from these diseases? There are many things parents of nonvaccinated children have found helpful to alleviate the symptoms and shorten the duration of a childhood disease. Adelle Davis, in her book, Let's Have Healthy Children, says, "it is unbelievable how mild these diseases can be when no malnutrition exists". She found that supplements of vitamins A, the B-complex, C and E alone would greatly reduce the discomfort and duration of childhood diseases.

Combinations of herbs put together with the purpose of supporting the immune system are also helpful when a child has either been exposed to, or has, a childhood disease. Some of these combinations include: IMM-C, THIM-J, Defense Maintenance or VS-C. For children who cannot take capsules, the Children's liquid Vitamins Plus Iron and Chewable Elderberry Plus may be helpful. The single herbs alfalfa, echinacea, parthenium, red clover, rose hips, Siberian ginseng, Una de Gato (Cat's Claw), and yarrow are also beneficial. Some of these are beneficial because of the nutrients they provide the body. Besides supplementing your child's diet, there are other factors that research indicates are important in order to achieve a healthy immune response. These include breastfeeding, which supplies antibodies and essential nutrients that make up the baby's first immune system response. No formula can do this. Also avoid sugar or foods containing refined sugar. Studies have shown these depress the immune response. Structural alignment is also important. I have found that chiropractic adjustments can be very beneficial when preceded by 2-4 epsom salt baths, spaced one week apart.

For children who have already received vaccinations, there are many things you can do to help their bodies repair damage and rebuild healthy tissue. I started with a homeopathic remedy called Antimonium Tartaricum in 30c strength to support the body in it's efforts to eliminate the fungus from the DPT vaccine. If another fungus is present, the Elecampane combination, when taken by itself several times a day for 5 days, helped the body eliminate it. By following this our bodies were able to get rid of all fungus in 2 weeks instead of several months, as was once expected. After the fungus was gone, tissue repair was more successful.

The second step, for older children or adults, was to support the body in its efforts to repair any damage to the spinal column. The homeopathic remedies Arnica in 60c or 200c strength, Rescue Remedy 200c, or Star of Bethlehem 200c are indispensable for this. Once this was accomplished, I used a homeopathic remedy called Vaccistat, to support repair of the autonomic and central nervous systems. With one of my children, I found it necessary to also use the homeopathic nosodes (available through Naturopathic physicians). Omega -3 EPA oils helped facilitate repair of the myelin sheath. Lecithin oil is also beneficial for this with some people. Grapine with Protectors or High Potency Grapine, when taken with Gotu Kola can help the body in it's effort to repair damage to the brain. Several herbs/combinations help support the nervous system. Some of these include: Lobelia, Lobelia-St. John's Wort, RE-X or STR-J. Some doctors are also having good results using high doses of B-Complex vitamins with these children.

As many researchers have indicated, hyperactivity often results from allergies and allergies will manifest when the spine is misaligned. Misalignment of the spine is common in babies born the `Standard American Way', where Doctors pull on the baby's head, either with a vacuum extractor, forceps or with their own hands. It is also suspected that the damage from vaccines may be more severe if the baby is vaccinated when the spine is out of alignment. To help the body eliminate allergies, and the hyperactivity that results from them, we found that two or three epsom salts baths, followed by appropriate chiropractic care to be very successful. Flower essences for trauma can also be helpful in the case of spinal repair.

The last thing we incorporated into the program was Biochemic Tissue Salts, also known as Cell Salts. One in particular, silicea, is very supportive to the body in its efforts to repair tissue damage. I use either 6x or 12x strength, depending on the needs of the individual.


  1. Vaccination Social Violence and Criminality, the Medical Assault on the American Brain, by Harris L. Coulter (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA , 1990).
  2. Ibid., p.256
  3. Warning! Vacinations Are Dangerous, by Pastor Peter J. Peters, Scriptures for America Ministries, LaPorte, CO., 1993
  4. Murder by Injection- the Story of the Medical Conspiracy Against America, by Eustace Mullins, p.145
  5. Ibid, p. 145
  6. "How Do Vaccines Work" Dr. Richard Moskowitz, M.D., The National Health Federation, Immunization Kit, 212 W. Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, CA


Article "The Naked Truth About Vaccinations", by D. Abba Krieger, DC, M.P.H., The National Health Federation Vaccination Kit.

DPT, A Shot in the Dark by Harris Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, Warner Books, 1985.

Dangers of Compulsory Immunizations, How to Avoid Them Legally by Attorney Tom Finn, Family Fitness Press, New Port Richey, FL., 1987

Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? A Parents Guide to Childhood Shots by Neil Z. Miller, New Atlantean Press, 1992

Vaccination Fact Sheet, "Are You or Your Child at Risk?" National Health Federation, 212 W. Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, CA , 1996.

"A Follow-up Study on the Hyperkinetic Child with Minimal Brain Dysfunction", by Menkes, Pediatrics Journal, Vol. 39, 1967

"Report on the Task Force on Pertussis Immunization", by Cherry, Pediatrics Journal, June, 1988.

"Vaccination: Prevention or Poison?" by Kathleen Finn, Delicious! magazine, Sept, 1994

"Who Calls the Shots", by Richard Leviton, Health Freedom News magazine, July/Aug 1989.

Immunization: the Reality Behind the Myth by Walene James, 1988, Bergin and Garvey.

"The Vaccine Reaction", National Vaccine Information Center, Vol.1, #6, Jan/Feb 1996.

The Immunization Decision by Randall Neustaedter, Publ. Group West, CA., 1995

copyright 1997, Tree of Light Institute