My name is Laurel Austin and I live in Kansas. I have 6 children, and 4 of them are on the autism spectrum. The youngest 2 (Joshua & Jeremy) of the 4 are severely autistic.
I've been using a doctor-approved medical treatment for treating my sons. It's a safe, inexpensive, and effective home remedy that has created marvelous results for Jeremy and has helped him deal with the extreme irritation and out-of-control behavior that some people with extreme autism experience.
On May 21, 2019, NBC reporter Brandy Zadrozny published an article accusing me of poisoning my sons. This same reporter previously wrote an article about the home remedy I used making claims about it that are clearly false. She claimed it is bleach. It is not. She further claimed that thousands of people are injured by it each year. Independent researchers have found this to be completely false as well.
In preparing this and other articles Zadrozny collaborated with a group of notorious Internet "trolls" who enter private Facebook groups under false identities in order to take personal health information about families who meet to discuss caring for their autistic children. If the families are using treatment methods these trolls don't personally approve of, they report the families to Child Protective Services. They claim to have done this to over 100 families. Zadrozny's article praises these attacks.
As a result of the NBC article attacking me and accusing me of poisoning my sons, I have received hate mail, threats of violence, and even death threats. This has forced me to close my well-established photography portrait studio of 11 years. I believe that one of the reasons that I have been personally singled out by NBC and Zadrozny is that I'm an advocate for vaccine safety.
My ex-husband who has no made any effort to see his son Jeremy in eleven years is using this media story to generate additional negative media stories about me. My belief is that he would like to see the children institutionalized because that would reduce or even eliminate his child support payments. I have always taken care of my children personally and intend to keep doing so. In spite of our challenges, we are a happy, healthy family with lots of love to go around and I don't believe institutionalizing them and taking them away from a home where they are loved, understood and cared for is in their best interest.
Other than the kindness of family and friends, I have never sought outside help caring for my children, but the combination of this assault from a major news outlet, the threats against me by strangers, and aggressive harassment by my ex-husband, has put me in a situation where I am in need of legal representation to defend myself and counter this slander and defamation.
Unfortunately, it's a fact of life that people can lie about you and it becomes your problem and your expense to deal with it. These costs combined with the loss of income created by threats against me has put me in the position of asking the public for help.
My intention is to use the money donated to pay the retainer of an attorney to represent me and get this slanderous article and all its spin-off articles (there are dozens of them) removed from the Internet. I also hope to get some kind of restraint put on my ex-husband who in addition to seeking news outlets to produce negative reports about me has also harassed the medical office of my children's doctor.
My goal is to continue to care for my children and to give them every opportunity to heal and live safe, happy lives.