Childhood vaccines. Could there be a link? Why one local doc says "yes, but no"

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    Are childhood vaccinations  linked to autism? Could changing your diet help kids get better? One local doctor says today's information can be confusing for parents of autism. But you don't have to go to dangerous extremes to see results.

Ask his patients, and they'll tell you family practitioner Dr Thomas Rohde at "Renew Total Body Wellness Center" in Decatur is not your typical "Doc in a box."

Dana and PJ Summers have three kids. The youngest is Landon, who is 5 1/2 years old. Over the past four years they have been through numerous doctors and test and tens of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses. They were relieved to find Dr Rohde.

    "His beliefs weren't just out there like some of the other doctors you may see or hear about" said Dana. "He had a lot of the same beliefs that we did. And so it was a good fit." 

    "He's got a severe regressive autism" Dana said of Landon. " He was diagnosed at about 2 1/2."
Dr. Rohde says that's not unusual, and that more and more children are showing signs of autism early on.

    "The blood brain barrier, which protects your brain from the rest of the body, is not formed well until about 18 months" Dr. Rohde told us. "When the kids received the majority of their vaccines is prior to 18 months. And so any of the heavy metals which are in those are going directly to the brain, which affects cognition and function"

    "He was speaking around 18 months, but lost the ability to communicate verbally," said Dana of Landon.  Dr. Rohde believes some vaccines carry high doses of metals, they can be toxic for some children whose bodies cannot "naturally detoxify." But he wants to make it clear that he is not ant-vaccination. "I believe in reasonable vaccinations. So instead of doing 6 or 8 vaccines at one time, let's spread them out. There's no reason you can't do those one at a time."

    It's important to note: The American Medical Association refutes any correlation between vaccines and autism, as does The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . But Dr. Rohde says the medical communities in many other developed nations do. He makes available to his patients simple tests to determine things like which children naturally detoxify, which don't, chromosomal abnormalities and which treatments can help eliminate those toxin, like high doses of metal, from a child's body. And he believes a healthy, clean diet is worth a try.

     "We weren't meant to eat the quantities of, what I call, he crap we're eating these days" He told WAND News. So whether you want to try a diet that is gluten free, GMO free or hormone free, do it and keep detailed notes. That's what Landon's parents decided to try. "We took it slow. We removed food coloring and sugar. And he went from a drunken behavior to bouncing off the furniture and yelling to just being able to sit and focus and do 3 hours of therapy at a time," Dana said.

Dr Rohde sees these kind of results first hand all the time. "Imagine a child that's in their own world that doesn't communicate. You know you start to see changes? Well that's a huge step for parents," he added.

Landon's parents were skeptical, but willing to try anything. "It involved lots of documentation, writing things down" said Dana. "When he got a sneak of food, we knew what kind of behavior to expect." 

Both PJ and Dana say it's a matter of trial and error. "Don't expect really good results at a fast pace. It's a slow process. But anything you can do to help your child improve and give him the best chance at life is the way to go."

Dr. Rohde says taking time to listen to his patients helps him develop treatments that are as individual as the patients themselves. The summers recently started a Facebook page called "Landon's voice" and a foundation by the same name to raise money for treatments and communicate with other parents. For a link go to our home page here on and click on sitewatch.

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