Autism Watch: 2007

Vaccines: Current Protocol Truly Worth It?

Posted on: April 22, 2008

I’ve got some strong feelings on vaccines — I’m one of “those” people, you know, the people who don’t want anti-freeze components, formaldehyde (yes, the stuff used to preserve dead bodies) and thimerasol (a form of mercury, known to cause mercury poisoning symptoms) injected into my body or my children’s bodies. I also feel that, hold onto your seats, we parents know our children best, and — still sitting down? — should have the right to determine what our children are exposed to, taught, administered, fed, etc. Silly me, I know, I live in a ‘free’ society, yet I expect that freedom to extend to my parental rights when the government insists that it knows better about vaccines. For now, I still have the freedom to say yes or no to vaccines, so I use that right. I also educate myself about all vaccines, not just the ‘mandatory’ (not) school vaccines, but those that continue to crop in and make big money for pharmaceutical companies. The HPV vaccine won’t come near my girls (unless they decide when they’re adults that they want it, and so far, my 19 year old daughter has read enough of the fine print to know that possible death or severe illness is less preferable than being smart with her body) and no one in my house has gotten the flu vaccine in years.

Interesting thing about the flu shot that many people don’t know is that it only protects against the strain(s) of flu that the manufacturer thinks will be the strain(s) to worry about that season. Check out this article (2007-2008 Flu Vaccine a Failure, Worst Flu Season in 4 Years, WiredPRNews.com) for some details on what an awesome (cough) job this most recent flu vaccine did. Was it really worth the dose of thimerasol that came along with it?

While thimerasol may have been taken out of regular childhood vaccines, there’s a common misconception that children stopped getting vaccines containing thimerasol back in 2000 or so, when in reality, manufacturers stopped putting it into newly manufactured vaccines, but the vaccines that had thimerasol were still used until they expired. In some cases, they were used years later. So if you think your child wasn’t exposed, you still might want to review their records. Lot numbers on vaccines are tracked, and you can research to find out exactly how much mercury your child was exposed to. It’s rather scary, and honestly, I have yet to research it on either my autistic son  born in 2000 or my epileptic (but no brain damage/injury — in other words, no reason found) daughter born in 1995. I already know I should have said no to vaccines. Maybe one day I’ll do the math.

However, let me be clear. I am not anti-vaccine. I am pro-vaccine. However, I am pro-SAFE-vaccine. The unnecessary garbage in the current vaccines needs to be removed before they are safe though. Sure, it might cost a little more to manufacture safe vaccines, but aren’t our kids worth it? Current vaccine schedules expose our children to something like 36 vaccines in the first three or so years.

I believe autism is caused by a child being genetically pre-disposed to autism, and when they are exposed to some toxin, they then have autism. (This would be why not all children who get vaccinated get autism, a common question I get.) Obviously, I’ve simplified that but you get my drift. For some kids, this could show from birth onwards. I know people who feel that their child’s autism wasn’t caused by any toxin or environmental issue because they were ‘different’ from birth. (And I’m there with you, my son was different from birth.) However, a lot of those people forget that their child is given a bunch of shots there in the hospital, and within days of birth, then weeks, and then months. In our case, my son was easily irritated, wanted to be tightly wrapped, stared at ceiling fans, didn’t look at us much, and flailed at startling sounds from birth, but at around 18 mths or so, things worsened. Does that mean the autism ‘began’ at 18 mths, or just that his developmental delays started to become more evident? Hard to say, but I fully believe that had I not given him the vaccinations that I did (and we didn’t even do them all) that he wouldn’t be in the same situation he is today. Who knows, maybe some other toxin or medicine or whatnot would have contributed towards autism, but we’ll never know, and therefore I can’t rule out the vaccines.

I run into more and more people questioning vaccines. I respect those who don’t agree, but that doesn’t mean that vaccines can’t be improved upon to make everyone happy. The weird thing is that most of the people I know who believe vaccines are innocent don’t have a child on the spectrum. Hmmmmmm.

And for people that think that an unvaccinated child could endanger their life or that of their child’s? If your or your child’s vaccines work, an unvaccinated person poses no threat. Another hmmmmmm.

With 1 in 150 children being diagnosed with some form of autism, people need to realize this is an epidemic, and there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic. Something out there is causing it, and we need to figure out what it is. It’s Autism Awareness Month. Wherever you are on the topic of vaccines and autism, public awareness is key to getting the funding out there for the so-needed education and advocacy. My mantra? “Educate, advocate, and love.”

 

 

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8 Responses to "Vaccines: Current Protocol Truly Worth It?"

You said: “With 1 in 150 children being diagnosed with some form of autism, people need to realize this is an epidemic…”

As an autistic person, I have to respectfully disagree with that part of your post in particular. The term “epidemic” is used to describe rampant diseases, like malaria, AIDS, the Ebola Virus, and obesity, though I think that last one is a stretch at best because obesity itself isn’t really a disease, it’s an acquired condition. Autism is not a disease like the others I have mentioned.

Your piece is pretty well balanced, in that since you’re not antivaccine, it’s not rabid against science, which as well all know, is not perfect. I do think that the health industry wants to do what’s cheapest……preserve vaccine solution in something so it can be stored up in big bottles……less money. But until that happens, we’ve got what we’ve got, unfortunately.

I think that vaccination is better than getting all sorts of diseases that could be prevented…..I have to admit that I never gave the current vaccine protocol much thought. I’m not sure why kids are given so many vaccines so soon.

Hopefully things will change in the future. In the meantime, continue educating, advocating (correctly though. Autistics prefer a certain kind of language to be used, that describes us accurately. We prefer “autistic person” as opposed to “a person with autism” because most of us are proud of the fact that being autistic makes us who we are) and loving.

And, please remember that autism is NOT an epidemic.

Thanks 🙂

peace to you

The Integral of athenivanidx

Thanks for your comment! But, I think we’ll both have to respectfully disagree. 😉 An epidemic is something that’s widespread and prevalent, and autism is. I’ve also heard that some people don’t want the word “autistic” used about them or their child at all, so I think that’s a personal preference that differs amongst the community.

I have to disagree with you, too, athenivanidx. The diseases you mentioned (malaria, AIDS, Ebola) are considered pandemic (if you look in the dictionary you’ll see the various definitions of epidemic). And, I think your comment about obesity is insulting. Obesity is a disease and it is not necessarily an acquired condition. For someone who wants to be treated a certain way and referred to in a certain way you should be more sensitive to those types of things.

Oh, and you said you didn’t think autism was a disease like those other things. Here’s the definition of a disease:

“A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.”

Autism IS a disease.

I believe the number of children being diagnosed with autism nowadays IS an epidemic. And, regardless of the word used (I’m not going to get into a battle of semantics) this is a major concern for our country and for the world.

I’m the parent of a three-year-old boy diagnosed with autism more than a year a half ago. My wife and I are of the group of people who believe that vaccines played a big part in our son being autistic. If we had the choice to do it again there’s no way we would have let him get the shots at 18-months-old. We have refused any further vaccinations for our son and don’t feel like we are doing a disservice to him. Until the drug companies, the government, and the CDC show honest efforts to make vaccines safe–and are completely transparent about what’s in them– I will live in doubt.

The way they try to force vaccines on us seems to be less about concern for our health and more about profits, control, and other motives. I was forced into getting a booster MMR shot so that I could take a couple classes at a local college. My MMR from when I was a child apparently weakened. At least that’s what they told me. I researched the possible side effects of this shot on an adult and saw that one was a rare chance at sterility. This was at the same time my wife and I were trying to start our family. I took the risk and got the shot but if I would have become sterile would anyone in the drug companies, government, or college have cared? I was an adult and able to speak up for myself…children get no say in these issues and if they don’t have strong, well-informed parents they can be harmed very easily.

I have to make another comment about how you said that people with autism wanted to be referred to as an autistic person and that you were proud of being autistic. I don’t think you should be speaking for all people who are autistic (plus that’s just a label–I have asthma or I’m an asthmatic…I don’t care even way). Also, it’s important to be proud of who you are but not because of an affliction you have. Be proud of being a human being and of being a good person. I’m proud of my son regardless of him being autistic or if he were “typical.” And my son is proud of himself (yes I can tell) and he knows nothing of being autistic.

I’ve read many things written or said by people with autism and they mention “neurodiversity” and “don’t try to cure us” and they often seemed very angry with parents who are trying to help their autistic children. I realize there are probably parents out there who, when told their child is autistic, don’t know how to react to that. They don’t know how to raise them, or treat them, or communicate with them. Some may even be so mentally unstable that they stop loving their child or do harm to their child. I think those are rare but they seem to be the types of people/parents that are talked about most (the public likes to hear bad things and ignore the good). Every one of the parents at my son’s developmental disabilities school are dedicated and loving to their children and their needs as autistics.

I believe it is every parent’s responsibility to do whatever they can to help their child when they are ill or when they face a challenge. The minute my son was diagnosed with autism I knew I would do whatever it took to help him get past it. He has been getting ABA therapy since January of 2007 and he has made much progress. His teachers are optimistic about his chances to go to kindergarten with other kids his age. That is our goal for now. We’ve had only person so far make a negative comment about my son’s prospects for the future (“He’ll never be a lawyer but there are a lot of good trade schools.”) and my reaction to that was $&&@*@# that! Never, ever tell me or my son what he can’t do. I believe he can be whatever he wants to be. I love him with all my heart regardless of what he does.

I think it’s a joke that I should be looked at poorly by some autistic people because I want to “cure” my son. As I mentioned, I have asthma. Should my parents have not wanted a cure for me? Should I not take my asthma medicine because it changes “who I really am?” Bull! I’m a well-informed, loving parent and whatever I feel is safe and productive to help my son (and yes, cure him) I will do in a second.

My son has a great personality. He’s fun and smart and loving. I believe he would be that way even if he weren’t autistic and, if anything, his autism holds him back from being those things even moreso. We treat him no differently than if he were “typical.” Communicating with him is obviously our biggest challenge and understanding his stims can be heartbreaking. If he could talk to us I believe he would thank us for helping him get the ABA therapy.

I’m sorry if this comes off as confrontational or angry (or a little off-topic) but I’m tired of a) not getting truthful answers about the vaccination connection to autism and b) being told how to treat my son’s autism.

I want to thank you for the awarness you are creating. Very important stuff!

okay………I will have a response for you all……..at some point. We’ve been thinking about it for a while now……and about the “insulting” comment about obesity, I didn’t mean it that way…….I’m not very good with words all the time…….let me know of a better way to word it and I’ll remember in the future. I’m not being sarcastic here, I’m being honest.

The Integral of athenivanidx

meanwhile, until I come up with my response, here are a couple of sites to consider about autism

http://www.gettingthetruthout.org

http://www.autistics.org

I’ll post others as I think of them

The Integral of athenivanidx

We need to get the word out, and perhaps create an alliance of like-minded folks to SHARE THE CAUSE and find out what we can do about UNSEEN KILLERS wreaking havoc on our bodies. Jump on this bandwagon and follow this initiative of forward-thinking scientists, doctors and passionate individuals on a mission to share a SOLUTION to our body’s POLLUTION. Watch http://www.share-the-cause.com and know that this will benefit even the next generation.

Athenivandx,
The Web sites you provided are, in my opinion, offensive. Especially the content that appears on autistics.org.
Something like the Autistic Liberation Front (with the threatening fist logo) seems very militant to me. And the graphic of the aborted babies in the C.A.N. (Cure Autism Now) garbage can are disgusting.
Again, as I mentioned in my previous comment, I don’t know what kind of people you have been in contact with regarding the ways you are treated as an autistic person, but if those interactions have been negative I assure you they are the minority of the public and not the majority.
I love my autistic son and I love every one of the children at his developmental school. I’ve volunteered there for a couple things and when I’m surrounded by the children I get an intense feeling of love and wanting to do whatever I can to help them. And my desires to help are nothing but positive.
As I said, it’s very offensive to see the way that some autistics view us non-autistic people. As I mentioned before, if there is a story about someone hurting an autistic person or taking advantage of them in some way, the media loves to jump on that and make it a top story. But you rarely get to see stories about people who are truly trying to help autistic children and adults. You don’t see the stories about the teachers who devote their lives to working with autistics. You don’t see stories about parents who experience many challenges raising their autistic children but who’s love for them inspires their every day.
One of my son’s teachers has two tattoos related to autism (talk about a permanent commitment). Another one of his teachers has time after time spent her own time and money researching ways to help my son.
So, if you want my attention to what you have to say don’t try to get it with b.s. Web sites like those you posted.

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