The Impact of Fearing Autism

Last night I spoke with my brother by phone.  He is unable to travel.  His voice was so raspy, his breathing slow and labored, had I not known it was my brother I was speaking to, I would not have been able to guess from the sound of his voice.  He wasn’t able to complete a sentence without pausing to take a breath.  It was clear listening to him that the act of talking was incredibly difficult and painful.  When we said good-bye to each other I was overcome with emotion.

My brother is very slowly recovering from pertussis, more familiarly known as whooping-cough.  Because so many parents have chosen not to vaccinate their children for fear that vaccinations cause autism, whooping-cough is on the rise.  I’m including some links ‘here‘ and ‘here‘, for those of you who may not be aware of just how serious and deadly whooping-cough is, not just to our children, but to teenagers and adults too.  This is the other side of not vaccinating, the side so many do not consider.  People of all ages are getting sick and even dying of diseases most of us assumed had been eradicated long ago.  Whooping cough, once unheard of, is now on the rise.  In my brother’s case, his coughing was so extreme he would vomit, was unable to breathe and speaking became impossible.  Fortunately he is slowly getting better, but whooping-cough can take more than three months to recover from, for those lucky enough to recover at all.

My children are vaccinated.  I am vaccinated.  I have had moments in the past when I wondered if there was a connection between vaccines and autism.  I never believed vaccines caused autism, but I did wonder if it exacerbated pre-existing conditions.  I no longer wonder because I stopped fearing autism and listening to those who would have us fear it and those who are Autistic.  And it seems this is what it comes down to.  When we fear “autism” so much that we are willing to put our child’s life at risk because of those fears, we must, as a society, look at what we are saying and believing.  Organizations intent on fueling those fears for monetary gain are being dishonest with themselves when they refuse to see the connection.  Adults, teenagers, children and babies are dying from preventable diseases because of people’s fears regarding causation and vaccinations.

When a parent makes the decision to not vaccinate their child they are not just putting their own child at risk for developing life threatening diseases, they are putting all of our lives at risk.  It’s important that we are clear about this.  None of us live in a bubble no matter how careful we might believe ourselves to be.  The decisions we make affect more than just ourselves and our families.  The decisions we make have larger ramifications that impact everyone we come into contact with.

For those of you on the fence regarding vaccinations – I understand the dilemma.  I understand how difficult it is.  I understand how debilitating fear can be.  Really I do.  I’ve felt it.  But in the end your decision comes down to this – are you willing to put not only your child’s life at risk, but your own and every person’s life you come into contact with?

Completely unrelated photograph taken yesterday of the rocky mountains

Perfection

 

47 responses to “The Impact of Fearing Autism

  1. I hope your brother recovers soon. I am glad you put this post out to remind people (or let them know in the first place) that some of these diseases are on the rise. Those of us who are vaccinated can only offer so much “herd protection” for people who are not.

  2. Paula 💕 I’ve been thinking of you and hope you’re feeling better. I hesitated writing this because it’s such an emotional issue for so many, but after hearing the pain and fear in my brother’s voice, I couldn’t stay silent. He was vaccinated, but it wasn’t enough to keep him safe. I am actually going to get a booster when we return to New York City as those of us who received the vaccination during our childhoods are now at risk, which I didn’t know.

  3. Great post, Ariane. Although I’ve had my doubts about vaccination schedules (as in, WHY do they need so damn many at once?) I have never doubted the great need for them. People seem suprised that my older child is autistic, but both of them are fully vaccinated.

    That is not to say I think they’re entirely without risk. It’s not to say that I don’t think there isn’t something environmental going on contributing to autism. Even though in my daughter’s case, we now know exactly why she’s autistic – that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be doing everything they can to figure out what causes autism and to do something positive to help everyone.

    I don’t think that anyone would *choose* for their child to have a life threatening disease. Nor would anyone *choose* to have a child with autism. It’s not about fear of autistic people themselves, it’s about fear of having a child (like mine) who will very likely never speak, nor live independently. The fear comes from what will happen to that child when you’re no longer around, not from fear or lack of love for the child themself.

    But, bottom line – vaccinations are important. I hope your brother starts feeling better soon, and I’m reminded I need to get myself and the kids our boosters.

    Hope you had a great Christmas!!

    • It’s complex and nuanced, but in the end it’s about how important vaccines are.
      We had a wonderful Christmas, hoping you did too.

    • @Angie T:

      I think that some of us would choose to have children with autism. I think comparing autism to a life threatening disease in this way is unfair. Some people with autism never speak, some learn to at a later time, some of us are more dependent on others and some of us are fiercely independent and live that way, even if it reduces our quality of life. Like neurotypical people, we autistics can grow and change in these respects over the course of our lives.

      I hear that you feel fearful about the ramifications of your child possibly never learning to speak, or needing more assistance with daily living tasks, throughout her life, than most typical people would. I hear your need to feel secure about your child’s future safety and quality of life, especially after you’re no longer around. I ask that you read the following blog post by Brenda Rothman, which addresses the handling of these kinds of fears and needs: http://mamabegood.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-address-fears-about-autism.html

      • @Matt – I suppose it depends on the circumstances and severity. This is where our opinions differ. I consider my daughter’s inability to communicate life threatening. She cannot tell us when even the simplest things are wrong. I live in fear every day that somehow, someday, she’ll be very sick or injured and we’ll miss it.

        My daughter was recently (she’s ten) diagnosed with atypical Rett Syndrome. She faces an uncertain future, at best. In addition to autism, we now have to worry about scoliosis (which she already has), breathing problems, heart problems, etc.

        We have no family willing to take her if something happens to us. They are already telling us, at just ten years old, to get on waiting lists for group homes for her. She cannot communicate what might happen to her in this sort of setting. If all this isn’t life threatening, I don’t know what is.

        I’m very sorry if what I wrote offended you, it certainly wasn’t meant too. And thanks for the link you provided – though I already read Brenda’s blogs quite often. This one is especially relevant to me, but unfortunately, does nothing to alleviate my fears.

    • I would happily have a child with autism. Of course I would never choose an autistic child over an allistic one, even were some kind of choice available, because I don’t believe I have the right to make that choice for my child. But I would never choose to be non-autistic, and I certainly wouldn’t choose *not* to have an autistic child, if that were what was in the cards.

  4. Adults who have been vaccinated, but are concerned about whether they still have immunity regarding a specific problem may want to discuss the option of having a titer test with their health care provider. This will let them know if they still have immunity. If they do not have immunity, then they can decide whether to get vaccinated; if they still have immunity, they do not need to decide that issue. As an emergency medical provider, I have my titers checked regularly for many “childhood” diseases. It does give a measure of reassurance.

    • Chou Chou Scantlin

      Hope you brother feels better son, and I’m so glad you had a wondwrful Christmas!
      Paula, feel better, too!
      As for vaccines, yes, do get vaccinated, for everyones sake, and autism is not caused by vaccines, so relax. That said, some of us are born with crazy immune issues, and it is my belief that caution should be exersized in giving vaccines to those might get a bad reaction. They give so many at once now. Maybe a more spaced out schedule. I don’t know, as I do not have a child growing up in this generation. I have always had awful reactions from immunization and even flu shots. My doctor just won’t give them to me any more. When I was small, they still gave us the small pox vaccine that would blister then scar your arm. My arm would not blister, and I was given it six times before it finally took. I had measles five times, chicken pox twice, mumps twice, and I won’t bore you with the rest. I know I am not alone in these immune issues, and, while it does not apply to everyone, autistic or otherwise, parents should be aware if they have one of those rare children who have reactions. Vaccines are best for everyone, with the caveat of caution for a few. Soaring fevers, rashes, breathing problems, lots of crying, hard lumps at the injection sight that last for weeks and months are not normal. Brief mild ickyness is. Just be observant if your child is an immune exception. Don’t assume that your child is an exception because your child is autistic.
      …and Happy New Year to everyone! XO!

      • Happy New Year Chou Chou!

      • There has been an issue with the spaced-out schedule that some parents try to avoid the perceived danger while still getting their children fully vaccinated. End result–the additional visits make parents less likely to finish the full course of shots.

        People like you are the biggest reason I’m pro-vaccine. Yes, some people react badly, or have weakened immune systems, and can’t be vaccinated. That just makes it more important that everyone else is.

    • Thanks so much for this excellent suggestion Lisa. I will be getting a booster when I return to NYC in the New Year as well as having both children checked.

  5. Awesome post, and thank you for reminding everyone how bad these diseases can be. I really hope your brother recovers fully. I suffered myself through pertussis at the age of 17, and was left with permanent damage to my lungs as a result. I grew up in a family that was anti-vaccine and witnessed, and experienced first hand how dangerous these diseases can be. I am, to a degree, reliant on that herd (sometimes better referred to as ‘community’) immunity, because my health coverage does not cover vaccinations for adults, unless they are routine boosters. I’m currently unprotected for most childhood diseases that people take for granted and it does worry me, since vaccinations have been waning and these diseases are coming back, that I might be unfortunate enough to come across one of them and that would be ‘all she wrote’ so to speak. I’m current on my TDaP booster and my MMR, I’ve had mumps, and chicken pox. I’m really scared of polio and meningitis (which I have seen) and all those others I can’t get boosters and/or vaccinations for.

    As to the autism question, my son, is the only one of my six children that was not vaccinated on schedule, he is also the only of my six children with autism. He had some vaccines, to start with, no hep b at birth due to being jaundiced, but at 2, 4 and 6 months he got the recommended vaccinations, with not even mild reactions to them. After that, his health coverage lapsed (long story I’ll not get into) and so fell behind on his vaccinations. While I noticed peculiarities in my son from birth, he was progressing normally, in fact well ahead of the curve, so I didn’t think much of his being more challenging other then to mention it a few times. When he was 14 months old, he began to lose skills, plateaued developmentally and began developing ritualistic and stereotyped behaviors, which after about a year we were convinced was autism and began the search for evaluation. It took about six months for us to finally get him in for an evaluation (part of that included getting him back under some kind of health coverage) and he began the Early Intervention program just after he was 2 and a half years, due to begin special ed pre-school once he turned three, provided his vaccinations were current, an absolute requirement for special ed pre-school as it was not only for children with developmental delays such as autism, but also for children with other issues, many of whom had fragile immune function. So over the course of about 5 months, we proceeded to get his vaccinations current (trust me, not the way you want to do it).

    In June of 2010, three months after my son turned 3, they had completed their evaluation and he was given an educational label of ASD (I was still not aware he needed a medical diagnosis, that came a year later). It was about a months after his evaluation was complete and I finally had my answer, and I was finally feeling like I had a path ahead of my, even though it wasn’t clearly visible yet, when I first learned about the vaccine autism question. I went home and read the details involved in the claim, at the time, Wakefield’s study was the big topic, and his fear mongering regarding the MMR vaccine. I must admit that for a brief period of time, I had that thought that vaccines were to blame, until I remembered, my son didn’t have the MMR vaccine until after his characteristics were obvious and we were already looking for evaluation for autism. I learned later about all the other vaccinations accusations with regard to autism, and honestly, after that initial realization regarding my son and him being behind in his vaccinations, it was really easy to look past the fear, past the emotion and see the lack of actual fact, data and evidence in all the claims being made.

    While I am fortunate that during the time my son was not vaccinated, he didn’t contract any VPDs, at the same time, I’m also very glad that he wasn’t vaccinated on schedule, because it would have been all too easy to use that as a catalyst to fall back into the anti-vaccination mindset I grew up with, and to me, that would have been a HUGE step back for me. I know my story is only anecdotal and no more convincing then the myriad of others that say the opposite, the difference between mine and the others though, is science, evidence, backs my story up. That is all the difference in the world.

    • Lara, I spent a number of years going back and forth on the vaccine issue. We too received the diagnosis in the midst of the Wakefield nightmare and it was extremely frightening to read the various “reports” and theories of cover up etc. My daughter showed clear signs of autism from the day she was born. We also spread her vaccinations out and yes, mine is just one more anecdotal tale too.
      But in the end, I feel incredibly grateful to have such an incredibly healthy Autistic child. We have been very lucky.

      • Hi Ariane,

        I am a little curious. What are the clear signs of autism that you noticed when your daughter was born?

        All right, it’s not merely curiosity. I have a daughter who was briefly misdiagnosed as autistic (she is really mild ADD), and I am wondering what it was that I should have noticed/not noticed when she was born.

        • hi Nish, this is such a good question and I wish my answer could be clear and concise, but it can’t. Looking back is much, much easier than wading through those murky waters of the present moment looking toward the future. Were I to do it all over again, knowing that my daughter was autistic I would have done many things differently. I think this will be the topic for this mornings post (!) But were I to do everything over again, while not KNOWING she would later be diagnosed…. that’s much trickier because there really weren’t any CLEAR signs. There were subtle signs, but no, not clear.
          So here is a list of the subtle signs for my daughter (which may be utterly meaningless to anyone else’s child)
          ・Early internal distress which the pediatrician labeled colic.
          ・Ongoing abundance of yeast, both in her mouth and vagina. We were told this was not uncommon and treated with topical creams.
          ・Disinterest in breast feeding – again we were reassured this was not uncommon.
          ・Slow in walking, did not walk until almost 14 months old and never crawled on all fours. She had one leg out, like a crab. Crawling on all fours is evidently a sign of “neurotypical” development, I’ve been told.
          ・Little interest in other small children (again this may or may not mean anything, definitely NOT a clear sign of anything)
          ・Did not play with toys as a neurotypical might expect (Em had little interest in toys, though she did love a play phone and would pretend to talk on it.)
          ・When in a toy store, Emma didn’t ‘want’ anything. (Again this is NT vs Non and says more about NT deficits than Autistic ones.)
          ・Emma didn’t seem to “remember” close friends or relatives the way our son did as a baby. She didn’t like being picked up by anyone other than us (her father and mother)
          ・Seemed uncomfortable with the air on her skin. Preferred being bundled (swaddled) tightly.

          I know there’s more… but as you can see, every single one of these in another child would mean absolutely nothing. Perhaps when taken all together they begin to add up, but even so, this was not cut and dry or in anyway “clear”.

          There are some good check lists now if you google – “what are the early signs of Autism”.

          The last thing I want to say is, even if we’d known from day one, what would we have done, and the answer is, I wish I’d known so that I could have NOT done so many of the interventions and therapies we did. I would NOT have done ABA. I would have trained in DIR/Floortime and I would have relaxed a LOT more. This whole thing is a marathon, not a sprint and there was so much anxiety and fear I wish I could have felt more reassurance that it was going to be okay. That my daughter was Autistic, yes, absolutely, but that did not mean she was destined to a miserable life, forever alone, locked away in some mute, impenetrable, walled fortress. This just is not the case. There’s a whole, beautiful world out there of Autistic people, a vibrant community that gives me hope not just for my daughter but for all human beings who occupy this world of ours.
          Good luck and please do not hesitate to reach out any time.

          • Ariane, You make a really good point that early signs, from birth are ‘subtle’ and not always indicative of anything. Looking at your list of early signs it is quite different from my list of early signs, but I did know from birth that my son was ‘different’ then my other five children before him. My partner, his father, told me that all his other children were the same (he had two, a boy and a girl) so we chalked it up to his temperament being present in our son. Of course it turns out now, after learning everything I do about autism and ASD, that my partner also falls on the spectrum. He shows some very clear characteristics, even if he can’t get an official label.

            But like the old saying goes, ‘if you’ve seen one person with autism, you’ve seen one person with autism’, with my son, the early signs were very different. He did have intestinal distress, but so did my first two, and that was because I had hyper lactation syndrome and overactive let down. Once I learned how to correct my issue, my son’s intestinal issues abated (what I wouldn’t have given for the Internet and Google when my older two were infants). A big indicator was his lack of sleeping. Until I put him on low dose melatonin therapy on the recommendation of his developmental pediatrician (he only needed to be on it for six months) he always had sleep issues. Seeming to not need as much sleep as a typical newborn, infant, toddler did, even though I personally was suffering from lack of sleep. My son hated swaddling, but was just as distressed when he wasn’t swaddled. Everything seemed to give him pain and sleep would only come after hours of screaming and he finally succumbed to exhaustion.

            My son actually was hitting developmental milestones significantly early, rolling over at least three weeks ahead of schedule, starting to reach for objects a month early, trying to get on his hands and knees at 2 months, crawling at 4 months, walking at 8 months and began using small words at 9 months. He had about 9 words by the time he was a year old, and that was when his regression began.

            The other subtle signs my son had were stimming on lights, words on the page of a book I tried to read to him as an infant, seeming sensitivity to certain sounds. No interest in solid food until he was about a year old, and then only wanted rice and hotdogs. And he was always rocking, on his hands and knees when he was able to, and in my arms when he was not (rocking is the only thing that seemed to sooth him as a newborn, but spending all day and all night rocking him took a toll on me.) Again, at the time, all I knew was he was more challenging then any of the children I had before. Looking back now that I have a reason, it all fits and makes perfect sense, but at the time I thought it was just me, being older and lacking the patience to care for an infant anymore. Honestly, I was a little relieved when I realized it was autism and not my lack of parenting skills, but of course that was my own vanity. (P.S. Sorry this is so long).

            • Thank you so much Lara for adding your son’s “early signs”. It’s so baffling and hard for new parents with all the information out there and fear and worry.

  6. Yikes…I may get myself down to the health department vaccination clinic when I’m back in NYC. I think my pertussis vaccine is up to date, but I haven’t had my flu shot this year.

  7. But I want to live in a bubble!!
    A dear friend of mine had whooping cough, she was in lock down for half a year, everytime she left the house she got sick again and ended up in ER because she couldn’t breathe.. it’s awful, I hope your brother recovers soon.
    I know a few families that did not vaccinate their latter child after their first was diagnosed Autistic… and the latter children still have autism.
    Matt and I are going to try for a baby after our wedding in February… unlike most couples we will assume the child ASD until diagnosed otherwise =)
    oxox

  8. Thanks for raising awareness about this. Just to add to what you are saying here is more perspective and further ways for smart vaxing….

    http://www.smartvax.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=43

    Family dynamics:
    Typical 13 year old daughter stopped with any and all virus injections at 5.
    Special Needs 10 year old son stopped with any and all virus injections at 3.
    Typical 8 year old daughter stopped with any and all virus injections at 1.

    Not because we think virus injections cause any neurological issues but because we have found that the added ingredients was not worth the big picture. http://rense.com/general59/vvac.htm
    Also see from CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm

    We are not anti-virus injections we just think it might be better if the injection schedule for our babies could be spread out over a longer period of time especially when the babies are still vulnerable and their brains are still molding in to shape.

    We found your blog because we are hoping to one day follow your footsteps to Panama at the Stem Cell Institute and are inspired by your experience.

    Peace

    • George, glad you reached out with a comment. As Angie so accurately stated, the three stem cell treatments we did, i deeply regret. We placed our daughter’s life in danger. We have no way of knowing what the long term ramifications are of having subjected her to those three treatments. If we are lucky, there will be none and we will have simply lost a great deal of money and time that we could have spent helping support her in other ways such as helping her communicate through typing. Do not kid yourselves, stem cell treatments are invasive, serious and with absolutely nothing to recommend them.
      This blog began as a document of what I then believed would be my daughter’s certain progress because of those treatments. The single best thing we have done to date in helping our daughter has been meeting, listening and becoming friends with autistic adults. If there is one thing i can inspire any parent to do it is that- read, meet and speak to the people who share your child’s neurology. What you may find will blow your mind, open your world and change everything you ever believed possible. All of our lives have changed immeasurably as a result of these relationships. I wish you and your family the same happiness we have been so fortunate to have found. Please feel free to reach out any time.

      • Thanks Ariane for your feedback. I am sorry to hear about your experience. Your “testimonial” is among the several other parents\patients who have had “success” through the Stem Cell Institute. See Link: http://www.cellmedicine.com/stem-cell-therapy/patient-stories/autism-patient-stories/
        This is how I stumbled upon your blog…
        Have you spoken to or reached out to any of the parents who have had the same experience?
        I appreciate your insight and suggestions regarding us reaching out to Adults with autism and their experiences. Our 10 year old son is non-verbal – used/uses PECS, iPad, Basic Sign Language for needs and wants. He was diagnosed with PDD/NOS around 18 months at first and then we went with (or begged) for “Characteristics-Like Autism” (for in home services) because of his inabliity to articulate his needs and wants. So we entered the autism world almost 8 years ago and everything that encompasses this world. Eastern Western philosphies for medical treatment and everything else in between. We don’t want a cure we just want to facilitate his life as much as possible. A lot of the testimonials are so well done that all of them seem so great. Do you know any of these Stem Cell Institute kids or parents? Were you able to reach out to them?
        Have you heard of stem cells working with any special needs patients?

        With gratitude,

        George

        • Hi George,
          I know of another family with similar expectations and results as ours. I believe their “testimonial” is also on the cell medicine web site. Over the years I have thought of asking them to take the link to my blog down, but the truth is I get so little traffic from their site, it didnt seem worth the hassle. I know of no Autistic person who has benefited from the treatments.
          We did speak with a number of neurologists and neuroscientists who strongly advised against doing any further treatments and some of their concerns regarding what might happen to our daughter if we continued were terrifying. This is unknown territory, no one has any idea of the long term dangers of doing such treatments on anyone. As I wrote, if we are lucky we will have just lost a tremendous amount of money, put our daughter through enormous physical trauma, but will have done her no long term damage – this is if we are lucky.
          There are a number of things we’ve done that are proving extremely helpful, but as I said, meeting and engaging Autistic adults has given us the hope we once expected we would have because of the stem cell treatments. So many of the things we have done to try and help our daughter are controversial. Very few have resulted in noticable improvement. Currently I am trying to learn to support my daughter in typing to communicate. It is not easy and I am by no means able to do so with any accuracy at this point. There is a terrific documentary called Wretches and Jabberers that I highly recommend watching. It’s available on Netflix and they have a website with many extras, Q&As etc.
          Our children are the same age, by the way and sound similar in communication abilities.
          Do not hesitate to reach out any time.

  9. If you follow Ariane’s writings with any regularity, you will soon figure out she deeply regrets many of the treatments they have tried, but most especially the stem cell treatments. I can tell you with absolute conviction that she’d be utterly horrified if her writings inspired someone to try this with their child.

    Sorry to speak on your behalf, Ariane, I just know how very strongly you feel about this.

  10. Angie…before “my” Emma could “talk with her hand” as we call it, I would voice my fears infront of her….alot. I became lost in my fear of the future. I was ignorant of how I was causing Emma to feel. You have written at different points that you don’t know exactly how much your daughter understands. I can assure you she feels you. Your anxiety becomes her anxiety.
    The future is the next second. When Emma was 10, my fears had me in places that 10 years later don’t exist.
    Emma doesn’t have Retts. She is Autistic. 2 years ago, at 18 she began communicating……
    Happy New Year, Angie. I enjoy reading your comments. Paige
    PS: hey Ariane and “your Emma”.

    • Happy New Year Paige and Emma! 💕

    • Hey, Paige. Risa is still autistic. Rett Syndrome is on the autism spectrum. It is a severe, girls only, form of autism with very physically disabling features. She doesn’t have the “classic” version, she has an “atypical” version. We’re lucky she can use her hands and walk.

      But to get to your point, I agree – and I try not to discuss such things in front of her. I hope someday she begins communicating, that is my biggest hope. I also know she picks up on my anxiety, as well – hell, everyone in the house does that, not just her!

      Happy New Year to you too, Paige! I enjoy reading your comments as well.

  11. I get why people are hesitant to vaccinate their kids but there is no proof that vaccination causes Autism so if i had a kid I would vaccinate them. I believe we should make decisions from a place of love not fear.

  12. Pingback: The Impact of Fearing Autism | Emma's Hope Book « healthandknowledge.com

  13. Pingback: The Impact of Fearing Autism | Emma's Hope Book | Autistic Information

  14. This happened to my brother as well. He has a serious blood disorder and cannot afford to be ill unnecessarily so I wanted to take to the streets with picket signs. My mother was very pro-vaccine. We all got each one as they developed it but she had spent her late teens and 20s in a country where preventable illness still wiped out people by the tens of thousands. I was noticeably different from the first day of my life I am told so this did not cause my autism. It is somewhat likely that a medication my mother took to prevent my being miscarried may have heightened what had up to that point in our family line seemed like a lot of people with BAP but suggesting she thus should have let me die before I lived would of course make no sense. The effects of that were no known at the time and I was born alive and myself and however difficult it has been to be other is unthinkable as well.

  15. Hey A – thanks to this post i called the pediatrician today and learned the “kids” (19 and 22 (Laura)) are still good with their whooping cough vaccine; called our docs to discover that yes they give it, insurance doesn’t pay (sinful) and $100. per shot. We are fortunate that we can afford this and will “vax up” next week. But talk about the idiocy of public health/insurance industry etc, yikes. Thanks for calling this to our attention!

  16. I think the conversation that followed was just as interesting as the blog. The idea that a vaccine can cause Autism is like saying that Gay people are responsible for HIV and Aids. Both seem unfounded on research. Also someone mentioned their daughter not being able to talk as a life-sentence, yea that can be tough, but there is no reason that just because someone has Autism they will be on that end of the spectrum. I have Aspergers and am as independent as most NT people. Would I wish aspergers on anyone, no but for many people it can also be a blessing and there are many advantages and people who had Aspergers who went on to do great things. My parents were always very pro-vaccine especially with me, because I am the sentinal chicken in the family. You know the chicken that they use to know whether there are any diseases being spread because they are more susceptible.
    I don’t know why autism is on the rise but i think its got more to do with being better diagnosed than an actual increase. Disease and sickness is on the rise from overcoddling and how we fear all germs today, compared to when people were healthiest and just played outside and in the dirt.

  17. After a particularly bad reaction to vaccines as an infant, I have to avoid them. It was too dangerous a reaction to risk it. Even now, when I get a vaccine, my anxiety worsens afterwards due to the chemicals. >.< My mom and I both think that it's what triggered my ASD traits, but I don't think that they're bad for everyone- just for certain people.

  18. I’ve said it to people before, and I will say it again, as often as is necessary for it to ‘hit home’ so to speak. Nobody can predict whether their child will or will not have autism. There are just too many factors that come into play when that is determined for anyone to be able to do anything (short of abortion, which I don’t personally believe in) to prevent it from happening to themselves. It is a shot in the dark, a lightning strike, hitting the lottery, which ever simile best describes it for you, though it appears to happen in greater frequency then those three things mentioned.

    Vaccine preventable disease on the other hand, is something that can be prevented, with significantly minimal risk and significant success rates. Autism has many faces, levels of functionality, from the significantly impaired/disabled to mildly affected to the point of not needing specific supports, and everywhere in between. Disease is similar. But on the other hand, is different too. Nobody knows if anyone will get a disease, but without vaccination, your changes are significantly higher, and if vaccination rates do not remain sufficiently high to confer community immunity then the risk of exposure is greater. Another thing that cannot be predicted with disease is who will survive, who will have a serious injury from it, and who will recover completely. But without the wide spread use of vaccinations to prevent the vast majority of these diseases from spreading around in the general population, the rates of disease, death and disability from the diseases are significantly higher then a child being born with autism. One thing with disease is certain, it will cause suffering, needlessly, since vaccines can prevent that too.

    In very rare situations, a vaccination reaction can be serious. Very rare, meaning less then 1 in 1 million vaccinations given, or ten million vaccinations given, so rare that the actual reaction cannot be definitively linked directly to the vaccine so there is even little certainty that it is in fact a vaccine reaction. That being the case, it’s nearly impossible that autism is one of them because autism happens in greater frequency then serious vaccination reaction does. A good indicator that autism has nothing to do with vaccines is the number of genetic data that has been found in those with autism. That is data that cannot be ignored. Well, I suppose it can be if one is determined to believe that vaccines are the cause and nothing else, but that would be self delusion, really.

  19. Pingback: “Love Not Fear” | Emma's Hope Book

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