Friday, June 3, 2011

Autism and the Vaccine Debate

I was prompted to write this after reading a very interesting article today, and  some of the subsequent comments. Autism...it is a buzz word on the lips of everyone it seems lately. 

With a staggering amount of children being diagnosed every day , it is almost impossible to not at least know a little about it. Right now 1 in 91 children are being diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mine is one of them. Although- when he was diagnosed with Autism almost 5 years ago now, the rate was 1in 500 children. Is that not insane? In 5 years the rate has quadrupled! 

Why is that?  Is it environmental, hereditary, or the very controversial (but not completely unreasonable) childhood vaccinations?  

While I believe the causes of Autism to encompass all of these things- it is the vaccines I am most concerned about. The one thing all children seem to have in common is that they receive childhood vaccinations starting at birth. And, while dismissed as guilt ridden parents in search of answers, there are so many parents that can tell you precisely when their child was lost to them, stolen by an invisible disease called autism. And, it was directly after being vaccinated. 

I have personally spoken to several parents who have vaccine injured children and their stories are scary and heartbreaking. Personally, I cannot say definitively that it was vaccines that triggered my son's autism, he seemed to be developing normally, and then one day I noticed he wasn't talking like he should, wasn't reaching milestones like he should- and having 2 other children AND being a preschool teacher I felt I was pretty knowledgeable on developmental progress. 

Doctors, friends, other teachers all said "he's a boy" "he's the third child" and while the nagging feeling didn't go away- I tuned it out. When he was three the meltdowns began, violent outbursts that were terrifying to see, and required some restraint to keep him from hurting himself or others. 

Again, chalked up to bad behavior- being "spoiled" etc. etc. But again- I didn't quite believe it. These violent outbursts seemed to coincide with his second MMR vaccine- but I can't be positive. He had little to no language, no social skills and had lost many of the skills he had already acquired.  (now at almost 8 years old- he is almost indistinguishable from a "typical" child and is doing wonderfully- that's a blog for another day)

So, back to the vaccine debate- just a little background information- vaccine schedules have changed dramatically. In 1983 children received 11 vaccines TOTAL from 2 months old to 11 years old. 11! I was 10 years old then- healthy, active and can count on one hand the number of kids I knew who had asthma, severe allergies, and had never even heard of Autism, ADD/ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and so many more.  Fast forward to  2010, the recommended vaccine schedule for ages 0-6 contains 27 shots!! The first beginning at birth!! The number of diagnoses especially for Autism, ADD/ADHD and other developmental disorders has sky rocketed!  And this with  better medical care, better knowledge and widespread information available to all.It just doesn't make sense to me. Why the need for so many? We are not a third world country. We have clean water, access to medical care etc. Why do our children "need" so many jabs?

Now lets look at some ingredients in vaccines.....Formaldehyde, Aluminium, Ammonium Sulfate (used largely as an artificial fertilizer for alkaline soil and banned in 2009 because of it's use in bomb making), Fetal Bovine Serum, Guinea Pig Embryo Cells, Albumin from human blood, and Human diploid cells from Aborted Fetal Tissue- just to name a few.  I left out Thimerasol (mercury) because it is no longer used as a preservative- oh- wait- it still is in the flu shots, but it is only trace amounts so that is ok..NO!!!  Imagine all of that injected into your infant, multiple times. The same amount of vaccine given to a 200 lb.man given to an 8 lb. infant.  Injected into an immature immune system and a developing brain and nervous system. 
 
Why is it that parents have to sign the waivers telling us our babies may run a high fever, get a rash, have seizures or may even die as the result of a vaccine that is supposed to be helping them?  Why do you think some children DO run the high fevers, etc? 
 
 If there is already an unidentified issue (my opinion for the worst of the side effects)- why is it so hard to believe that some of these ingredients could cause an adverse reaction that may trigger autism?   

I am not saying don't vaccinate at all. What I am saying is until there are screenings and tests that can be done look into following an alternate schedule. There is one out there at http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/index.php.  Not every child who is vaccinated will develop autism or another developmental disorder. Just as not every person who doesn't wear their seatbelt will be involved in an accident.  But isn't it better to be safe than sorry?