Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lets debate: Vaccines and Autism

As a behavioral therapist specializing in kiddies with autism one subject that gets brought up alot is the vaccine debate, specifically the MMR shot and it's supposed link to autism

Autism is a neuro- developmental disorder that is on the rise. I believe that statistics have gone from every 1 in 150 kiddo will have autism and now it's closer to 1/90. For boys it's 1/3. In fact a billboard display quoted that every 60 minutes a child will be diagnosed with autism.

Along with an increase in diagnoses comes with it a need to find a cure or treatment for this disorder. And also a blame to place upon this disease

I'm sure many of you have heard about Jenny McCarthy and her sons cure from autism. Jenny blamed the ingredients in certain vaccines on her sons diagnoses. Some doctors and professionals agree and others don't. I have heard from parents their accounts of their children being fun, lovable, socially motivated two year olds with a vocabulary of about 20-30 words. Many of them stated within days of the MMR shot their children became shells, locked in their own worlds.

This blame on vaccines led to some parents not vaccinating their children and some reported deaths across the country. I've seen arguments and debates about vaccines and autism on the news, in magazines and even on facebook. No one knows what to think

I have parents ask me if they should vaccinate their children which of course I never answer. I am still on the fence myself about vaccines and their supposed link.

And so I thought it would be interesting to ask this parents out there what they feel about vaccines. Should they be spaced apart, not given or given.

And let's keep this friendly everyone.

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  1. I say spaced apart. I have been spacing Cayleigh-Graces very far apart. The only time I said okay and got the full round she ended up in the hospital because of the after effects. We get one shot at the time, nothing more then that. Yea, I get stuck trekking her into the DR's more often but I feel a lot safer doing it this way.

  2. Interesting post! I am a special education teacher and have read a lot of the research on this. I am on the fence too but there is some compelling evidence at least indicating that vaccines may contribute to autism. I had read that kiddos with autism have a harder time getting rid of certain toxins, the same goes for when they get vaccinated. They store too much in their bodies. If they are pre-disposed to having autism...mix it with two much of whatever chemical it is, then the child may show signs of autism. That's of course, just some people's onions that I have read. However, I have heard parents' stories too about how their children suddenly drastically changed...that's hard to ignore!

  3. I have a 3 yr.old son that we followed the regular vaccination schedule with, and he hasn't had any problems. However, after reading a lot of info while pregnant with my 17 mo. old twin sons, I have already spoken to our pediatrician about spacing out their two yr. old vaccines, and she's been really good with the other vaccines being somewhat spaced as well.

  4. Can of worms.. you opened! Of course there is a debate about this. However, how long have this vaccination been given? I remember getting it and I am fine. Is the rise of diagnosing autism because we now put a label on the behavior? Just like in the past babies who were diagnosed as colicky are now diagnosed with reflux and given medicine. Has there been a shift in the naming of the disease? Who knows. Now, because parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children, we are starting to see outbreaks of deadly diseases such as Measles and Whooping Cough. Six infants died this year due to Pertussis all because their parents chose to not vaccinate. Unfortunately, those children suffocated to death with the disease. I, for one, will not let my child suffer due to the media frenzy and linking vaccines to autism. Medical studies clearly show there is no link but celebrities and media outlets continue to fuel the controversy. Because of this, we may see children with Polio in twenty years... who knows.

  5. I work with children diagnosed with ASD too.

    I don't have kids of my own, but I know whenever the time comes I will be spacing out the vaccines. And, if there is even the slightest thought that my child may be a little sick I'll reschedule that appointment.

    For my Master's I did a huge research paper on ASD. There's been a ton of research on the vaccines and it being genetic. There's no right or wrong answer on whether to vaccinate or not (pertaining to Autism). Parents will continue to do research and eventually make their decision on what suits their family.

  6. Ya know, my husband never received vaccines until he joined the military, as did most of his siblings, so when I had Ariana, I wasn't sure if he wanted to or not. Of course his answer was of the "You make the decision, babe" variety, and so far, I've went with it on schedule. However, I am a little weary of the 2 year ones. The docs told me, when I was hemming and hawing about it in the hospital that not getting them could lead to her getting sick and that of course is the last thing I'd want but I wouldn't want her to end up sick because of them either. The research hasn't been strong enough for me to be able to make a complete decision yet and I'm definitely going to talk to more people about it as her toddler vaccines approach.

  7. I don't have kiddos but I do plan on opting out of vaccines when the time comes.

  8. When I was researching the vaccination debate as the time neared to immunize my first son, I was actually HOPING to find research that convinced me TO vaccinate him. Afterall, people have been doing this for years--how is it all of the sudden evil?!? The two things that have been staggering to me is the difference between the vaccination schedule of 1983 and 2008.....HUGELY different. And the stats on Autism reflect that. On the CDC's website I found one of the most unbelieveable statements about "Why Jumbo Vaccines"--and the answer was "To save the parent time and money". Because I HAD kids knowing that my life would be convenient and inexpensive, right?!
    The kicker for me, though.....was without a doubt the link between vaccinations & SIDS. That was my dealbreaker. Autism....I felt I could "risk".....SIDS....not on your freaking life.

  9. This is a hard one. I never felt that the link was that strong or obvious to me. Almost everyone I know does Vaccinate and I really don't know that many Autistic children. So I do feel comfortable with the vaccines at this time.