I continued to speak about how the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) acts as if vaccines are one-size-fits-all, as if they should be administered at the same rate for all children without regard to the individual child's needs and biological makeup, and I felt something even more profound. I felt the collective energy of all moms everywhere. I felt them jumping up and down on their couches, I felt them glued to their TV screens, crying and raising up their arms, I felt them calling their own moms on the phone screaming, "Are you hearing this?! She said it!"
Oprah finished with a statement from the CDC, which said there was no science to support the connection between vaccines and autism. I couldn't help but think, "Who needs science when I'm witnessing it every day in my own home? I watched it happen." I replied with all the love that I could muster in my heart. "At home, Evan is my science."
Oprah smiled warmly into the camera and then again cut to a commercial. As soon as I saw the red light on the camera go off, I leaped out of my chair and walked offstage to relax my pent-up nerves. I had just opened a giant can of worms and I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. I tossed my concerns aside and centered myself. Today was the first day that anyone was allowed to speak freely about vaccines, and Oprah was the first to allow it. It might have been news to some people, but mothers who have children on the autism spectrum know. People we told about the vaccine connection called us crazy and desperate to blame, but we've lived with our children and have watched them suffer. I could understand if only a few mothers were speaking out, but when millions of mothers are screaming that something happened when their child was vaccinated, I think it's time the world listened to what we have to say.
I sat back down and looked at Oprah. She smiled at me and I knew I had made her proud for speaking from my heart. I was excited about the upcoming segment because I was going to talk about recovery. I knew many people watching didn't know that children with autism can recover from it. Even people who have children with autism knew of no such thing. The hard part for me was knowing that the treatments I was about to discuss would cost people more money because insurance doesn't cover treatments for autism. But I had to say it. People needed to know this information, and pediatricians aren't offering it.