As the District Attorney in San Antonio, TX, Nicholas “Nico” LaHood may be a government employee, tasked with carrying out justice against criminals, but when it comes to speaking out about his son’s vaccine-induced autism, it’s very personal. He doesn’t care about being politically correct. (READ: The real cause of autism.)
“I’m just speaking my mind, which I have the right to do,” said LaHood.
LaHood said he had no idea the level of fame his recent statements regarding vaccines and autism would bring him. While he’s been surprised by the backlash, he’s been even more surprised by the tremendous amount of support he and his family have received following going public with the truth about their son, Michael’s, battle with autism. LaHood has heard from people not only in his home state of Texas, but people all over the country and world, from Canada to Switzerland. Their message for LaHood? “Thank you.”
Not only are folks passionately thanking him for speaking out on their behalf, but they’re sharing their stories with him. He said there are countless parents with stories just like his: “Their child was fine, and then they were vaccinated -there was this event- and they changed.
“We’re not all making it up. If I was 1 in 100 or 200, it would be an anomaly, but that’s not the case,” LaHood said. Most recent estimates indicate that 1 in 45 US children are now diagnosed with autism.
Why the LaHood family is doing things differently
Like most parents, LaHood and his wife Davida never questioned vaccinations. After they chose to have their oldest daughter vaccinated, she developed such severe hives that it was thought she had an autoimmune disease. He said she still struggles with a skin disorder. It was after their son, Michael received his MMR vaccine at around 18 mos old that life was forever changed for the LaHoods. Michael descended into his own world, babbling, and struggling to make eye contact and connect with family members.
They later learned Michael had autism.
The LaHoods were done with vaccinations: “I tried it your way. Two strikes, and we’re done,” said LaHood.
After their first two children had adverse reactions to vaccines, the LaHoods chose not to vaccinate their younger two children. “Praise God, our youngest two children are healthy,” he said. “We chose not to vaccinate them, and that’s our choice.”
More than anything, he thinks it’s important for parents to have the choice to make an informed decision.
DA LaHood said he struggled with guilt after learning that his son had autism, and knowing that he could have done things differently to prevent it, but, ultimately, he knows it’s through Michael’s story that he can educate others.
But LaHood isn’t anti-vaccination. He just wants parents to be informed and make educated decisions for their children. “Vaccinate your kids,” he said, “if that’s the decision you want to make. I’m not telling anyone not to vaccinate their children, I just want them to make an educated decision.”
How can parents make an educated decision?
LaHood said he doesn’t understand why “vaccines are this holy grail. Why can’t we question them?” He said his work as a prosecutor has put him in a position to question the government on many levels, but he finds that there’s much more resistance when it comes to questioning the government about vaccines.
He’s not giving up, though. LaHood said that, in essence, he’s being a DA for his son: getting to the truth and fighting for justice.
What about the push for “neuro-diversity?”
Many parents become offended when it comes to the idea that their child with autism is “damaged” or needs to be healed. They insist these children are just different and we need to accept “neuro-diversity.”
LaHood rejects autism as a variation of normal. “I’ll say it. There is something wrong with my child. We can live in a wonderland and ignore this problem, or we can try to make sure other families don’t go through this.
“I could stand in the shadow and not deal with this. I already have enough on my plate. But I can’t do that. I cannot sit quiet. When I know we have credible information to consider, I have to share that,” said LaHood. “If we don’t do something, one in two kids will have autism by 2032, and no one can tell me why. Why aren’t we asking questions? Give me the independent study that proves vaccines are safe. ”
LaHood wants to see four things happen.
To parents, he says:
- Educate yourself.
- Let doctors be doctors. They shouldn’t be ostracized if they don’t support vaccines.
And to the government and vaccine manufacturers:
- Don’t force vaccinations on parents.
- Do independent safety studies (not done by the CDC, he emphasized).
In order to have a safe and healthy society, said DA LaHood, we have guidelines; we have the penal code: “Don’t rape, don’t murder, these are obviously good laws, but we cannot force vaccinations.”
LaHood knows the importance of parental rights when it comes to vaccines, and that we must be active in order to protect those rights. “I encourage people to talk,” he said. “Tell your story.”
Most of all, LaHood wants to encourage parents: “Speak out, educate yourselves, and DO NOT BE SILENT.”
To buy the movie Vaxxed, which releases in just a few days, click here.