MEDIA RELEASE AUGUST 5, 1999
AUTISTIC CHILDREN ARE "WAKING UP"--RICHMOND PEDIATRICIAN MAY HAVE FOUND
LINK TO VITAMIN A DEFICIENCY AND AUTISM
Autistic children are "waking up" using a pioneering approach created by
developmental pediatrician, Mary N. Megson, M.D. Megson is testing the
effects of natural Vitamin A on children with autism. So far, results
seem promising. "Many of these kids are waking up," Megson says. Many
autistic children develop normally until about 15-18 months of age.
"Then all of a sudden, they shut down," says Megson, the former director
of developmental pediatrics at Children's Hospital.
But why do they shut down in the first place? Megson's theory is that
the receptors in the brain controlling vision, language and perception
may already be weakened in some children. These receptors may depend on
natural forms of Vitamin A, found in sources like cold water fish such
For these at-risk children, Megson theorizes it's possible some vaccines
may act as an "off switch" to the already weakened receptors. "The kids
stop talking," and descend into a world of their own, she says. Natural
Vitamin A may "switch on" these receptors, Megson says. Her patients
take safe doses that she carefully monitors. High dosages can be toxic,
Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., of the Autism Research Institute (ARI), and
Portia Iverson of Cure Autism Now (CAN), both report that many parents
of autistic children note symptoms soon after vaccinations.
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reports significant
increases in vaccine reactions, including immune system dysfunction and
autistic behaviors, as the required number of vaccinations increases.
Currently, any relationship between vaccines and autism is not proven,
but parents are asking questions.
As advocacy groups around the country demand answers, Megson is one
pioneer who may have found the trigger. Megson advises that parents
investigate their child's Vitamin A status through a simple blood test
to determine the timing of vaccines. If Megson's theory is correct, more
research is needed in the use of these lifesaving vaccines, while
minimizing possible risk.
An assistant professor of pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth
University, now in private practice, Megson is researching possible
causes of autism. Meanwhile, she is devoted to finding effective
treatments for the children. "More studies need to be done right away to
identify these at-risk children," she says. "We can't wait any longer."