A reader asks for my thoughts on autism and vaccinations. She asks for, “…thoughts on moms being anti-vaccine due to the fact they believe it causes autism? What would you say to moms that believe this? If vaccines do cause autism (which they don’t), why is autism seen as such a negative thing? Why would moms risk their child suffering from a disease that is very preventable/curable to ‘protect’ their children from getting autism?”
These are great questions. I applaud this reader for her courage in asking them. Let’s start by looking at some basic facts about autism and vaccines.
There is still much about autism that is not known. It continues to be defined by its symptoms. In some cases, babies are born with it. In other cases, babies develop normally, but then regress into it. Approximately one-third of children with autism also have seizure disorders. Most children with autism have little or no speech at a young age, but some do.
From the 1930’s, vaccines came in multi-dose vials which used thimerosal as a preservative. Thimerosal contains almost 50% ethyl-mercury. Vaccines also contain aluminum, formaldehyde, and other chemicals. In the 90’s, the number of vaccines given to infants and children increased dramatically.
My Experience With Autism and Vaccinations
Hannah’s development was typical during her first year, except her gross motor skills – they were ahead of schedule. She was fully walking by 10-months-old. She was a healthy child. In fact, the doctor noted on her one-year exam that she was “well-developed.”
However, when she received her 12-month vaccinations in 1998, she became very ill. Emergency Room visits began within a few days. Over the next 10 months, we took her to the E.R. ten times. Her doctor admitted her to the hospital three times, and had her air-lifted to another hospital once. She lost all her language skills, began crying and screaming inconsolably for hours at a time, and became self-abusive. She received the diagnosis of a seizure disorder by her second birthday and autism shortly after.
I believe there are different types of autism with differing causes. I believe some types are caused by genetics, others caused by environmental factors, and still others caused by vaccinations.
However, I am not against vaccinations. I’m against multi-dose vials of vaccines, because if not shaken well each time it is used, the chemicals may settle at the bottom. This would cause the child receiving the last dose from that vial to have more chemicals injected into their system.
Because of the added chemicals, I also believe there must be a different schedule to spread them out over a greater amount of time. This allows time for the body to eliminate the chemicals before the next vaccine.
Why Is Autism Seen As A Negative Thing?
Autism can be incredibly scary. When your child doesn’t develop language skills…or loses them, and you don’t know how to help them, it’s scary. Seizures and self-abuse make it twice as scary. When they just want a friend to show up at their birthday party, but it doesn’t happen, it’s heart-wrenching. When they’re made fun of or bullied and don’t have the words or can’t find the words to tell you, it’s…well…I can’t think of a word to fit what you feel as a parent. These are a few of the negative effects of autism.
Positive Effects Of Autism
There are also positive effects of autism. People with autism are some of the most loyal people I know. They accept people for who they are – not how popular they are or what type of family they come from. They also have a strong desire to follow the rules which really helps them through their teenage years.
What Would I Say To Other Moms?
I totally understand moms’ concern over autism and vaccinations. However, I don’t believe you have to risk other diseases. Talk to your pediatrician about spreading out their vaccines over time, not having too many at once, and making sure they don’t come from a multi-dose vial. By doing this, you help protect them from autism and other diseases as well.