Kelly Preston is speaking out about autism and the death of her son, Jett Travolta, for the first time in a segment on the show The Doctors. She says environmental factors and chemicals are a major cause of rising autism rates, and believes that they’re one of the thing’s responsible for Jett’s autism. While we’re probably all a little scarred by Jenny McCarthy’s crusade against vaccines, but this celebrity is worth hearing out: Not only is there real research and science behind her claims; she’s also promoting a lifestyle that’s generally pretty safe and healthy. Which is a much more appealing option than taking a gamble with vaccines.
Jett Travolta, the son of Kelly Preston and John Travolta, died in 2009 after having a seizure (epilepsy is also a common autism symptom) and hitting his head against a bathtub in their family vacation home in the Bahamas. On the November 21 episode of The Doctors, Preston explains what she thinks are the main causes of his autism:
I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism and some of it is very much the chemicals in our environment and in our food.
She also says that Jett suffered Kawasaki Syndrome–an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels–when he was young, and believes her “fast and hard” labor and use of antibiotics while breastfeeding may have contributed, as well.
Autism research is confusing, no less because of celebrities like Jenny McCarthy pushing unpopular (and, largely, unfounded) claims that autism is caused by vaccines. But in the case of Kelly Preston, I have to say: She’s not pushing a radical agenda, or urging parents to take a gamble on their kids’ health.
While studies aren’t conclusive, and living an organic lifestyle isn’t guaranteed to put you out of harm’s way, there is growing belief among experts (and parents) that environmental factors–especially toxic chemicals found in our food, personal care products, homes, and even water supply–are one of the major causes of autism and autism symptoms. And, unlike skipping vaccinations, trying to avoid chemicals in everyday products and eating a mostly organic diet is easy–and doesn’t come with several of its own health risks. We hope Preston starts speaking out more often–and more loudly–than McCarthy; this is a campaign that more people deserve to hear, whether or not they’re concerned with autism.
Photo: Courtesy of CBS