Q&A with Holly Robinson Peete
HRP: Again, just make sure you have a pediatrician who will listen to you and take into account that the autism rate is a bit higher in this category.
Q: Any suggestions for how to pick a great doctor? Is there a list somewhere of medical professionals who specialize in PDD?
HRP: www.autismspeaks.org and www.autismcenter.org are two excellent resources for this.
Q: Are immunizations still the focus of the Autism community or are there other potential causes being researched, such as preservatives in food, etc.?
HRP: Immunizations are just one potential contributor or trigger…there are other environmental factors that are being looked at—infertility drugs, labor inducing drugs, Herpes virus.
Q: My son is 18 months old and does not speak, and does this rocking which becomes quite methodical. He plays with his siblings and smiles at me and my husband, but as soon as he sees my mom, or anyone else, he gives a blank stare to them almost expressionless. At home he seems like a normal child. He is a bit aggressive for a 18 month old. I was wondering if you noticed any of these behaviors in your son?
HRP: Yes—some of this sounds familiar. You need to have him seen by a developmental pediatrician.
Q: From your perspective, where should you start in the therapy? What do you focus on (besides the story videos)?
HRP: I found a hybrid of ABA and floortime worked well for my son. I liked forcing him to play with me and make eye contact (floortime) and I thought the structure of ABA was also helpful.
Q: My gut tells me that I shouldn't go with the traditional vaccine schedule, but I don't know how to make the best decision. I guess I am wondering what choices you would have made if you could go back and re-do the vaccines and what you would have based your decisions on. Would you have not gotten certain ones or tried a delayed schedule?
HRP: I would wait on MMR until after 2 or 3 years or at least have it broken up into 3 shots. Any doctor can special order these shots for you. If they say they can't, they are not being truthful. The cocktails—MMR, DPT—are the ones with the highest toxicity and may be hard for some children to handle so young all at once.