Our son, Kenny
By Barbara Coppo

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world shrouded in a mask of vocal inability and your only communication was through guttural sounds? Imagine the fear and frustration surging through your body when you felt pain or needed something but couldn’t express it to those around you, so you instinctively take your frustrations out the only way you know how - on the people who love you most!

That is the life many children and adults like Kenny Coppo face daily. Kenny is an autistic 29-year-old boy in a man’s body. He was once a happy, healthy toddler who was curious and content, but turned into a distant and unmanageable child I could no longer control after receiving his DPT immunization at 19 mos old. Like all parents, I had simply followed doctor’s orders and governmental guidelines thinking I was protecting my baby from childhood diseases with his immunizations.

As Kenny’s behavior became increasingly bizarre and coupled with devastating seizures, I turned to professionals for help. They only encouraged institutionalization and said his autism would worsen with time. They warned the likelihood of non-verbal, autistic individuals to improve socially, or any other way, was discouragingly remote.

Although they were so right in many ways, I refused to believe he was as “retarded” as I was constantly told, and I searched endlessly for therapies and programs. In spite of a major communication breakthrough at the age of 17, where his thoughts exploded with the magic of Houdini and the innocence and honesty of the boy trapped inside, his intense compulsions became even more difficult to contend with as he grew older.

In spite of the continuous challenges facing us daily, our love for Kenny is never ending. He constantly surprises us with his uncanny abilities, which go beyond the normal. While I cry over my worries for him, he makes us laugh with his silly antics. No one ever forgets Kenny once they meet him. He has taught me the true value of what is really precious in life and worth fighting for. Once I was told by a doctor of medicine that I would eventually grow to resent my son, but the truth is, I love him more each day!

For parents feeling skeptical about their child’s routine vaccinations, here are some precautionary measures to follow based on data from the National Vaccine Information Center. Although there were no predetermining factors in Kenny’s history, this list can be helpful in preventing a negative outcome for your child. There are victims of vaccine damage from bad batches, mercury levels and babies whose blood brain barriers were not mature enough to deal with the toxins in the shots, so it is important to discuss all of these items with your child’s doctor.

1. Make sure your baby has not been sick with numerous colds or ear infections in the months prior to receiving vaccinations.
2. Don't vaccinate if there is a history of seizures on either side of family.
3. Wait until baby is older before vaccines and give smaller dosages.
4. Don't agree to extra combinations of vaccines to save time and money.
5. Ask for the Japanese version of 'pertussis'.
6. Wait until premature babies have caught up with their weight and health.
7. Make sure there is no mercury in vaccines.
8. Don't be quick to get routine shots just because they say they are required. Ask questions.
9. Don't vaccinate if there are extreme milk allergies in the family.
10. Ask for the lot number of the vaccine in case there is a problem later.

Barbara Coppo is the author of The Boy in the Window (Morgan James Publishers, Nov 2007)

Author's Bio: 

Barbara Coppo was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised in Vallejo, California. She has owned a jewelry store, sold real estate and worked as an esthetician. Her hobby was painting, and she sold several pictures to Sears years ago.

For the last 28 years, she has spent most of her time caring for, and researching treatment plans and programs for her son Kenny, who suffered brain damage at 19 months old after his d.p.t. vaccine. Kenny lives with his mother and father in the California Bay Area. Barbara also has a daughter, Rhonda, and two Grandsons, Jake and Mike.

With the proceeds of this book, she hopes to open a center for young adults suffering with autism. Please visit www.theboyinthewindow.com.