Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vaccines- Is there a link to Autism?

Today I am going to talk about the controversial topic of vaccines and Autism. I am going to talk about my personal beliefs, what science says /  why there was ever a connection and why there is all of a sudden an Autism epidemic. So buckle up folks, it's going to be a long one!

My personal beliefs are this. No - I do not think that Autism is /caused/ by vaccines. I do believe, however that it CAN trigger the symptoms -  That is based on my personal experience, what I have witnessed with my son and other children. Andrew's symptoms happened to come after his shots. MMR also has egg protein in it, and at that time we were not aware of all of his food allergies, Maybe that is what triggered it. I doubt we will ever know. I believe in my heart of hearts that Andrew would have had Autism, regardless of if we would have had him get his shots.

In 1998, a researcher named Dr. Andrew Wakefield, published his study on the link between MMR and Autism in the British medical journal, The Lancet. On February 2nd of 2010 the study was retracted by the medical journals editor, stating "It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation," The General Medical Council ruled on Jan. 28, 2010 that Wakefield and two of his co-investigators had acted "dishonestly, irresponsibly and had shown "callous disregard" for the 12 children in the study. The study suggested that the symptoms of autism in eight of the children and the gastrointestinal trouble in all 12 were somehow linked with exposure to the MMR vaccine.

 Do you see what he did? He gave parents, who were sad, angry and looking for something / some one to blame, something to blame. He played on fears that all parents have of their children some how not being perfect. Autism experts have said that it is purely coincidental that the symptoms of Autism start around the age of 2 and that is when the vaccine is given. IF it were true that vaccines did cause Autism, then it would be led to believe that Children who are vax free would not have Autism, and that is clearly NOT the case.  Here is a good link to a Mother's video diary about how she knows for a fact that vaccines did not cause her sons Autism.

If Autism was caused by vaccines, wouldn't it affect both boys and girls equally? Why are boys 5x more likely to be affected? 1:54 boys compered to 1:252 girls?  If it is all about vaccines, why does Autism occur in the Amish community, where they have remarkably low vax rates? I just doesn't make sense to me.

This leads me to the last part of this debate. Why are Autism rates rising?

Autism wasn't first defined or described in the US until the 1940's It then took the APA (American Psychiatric Association) until the 1980's to classify it in the DSM, a tool used to diagnosis Psychiatric disorders, and it took another 24 years AFTER THAT, so in 2004, for the psychiatric establishments to officially state that Autism is a developmental disorder rather than a form a psychosis or schizophrenia. Until then children and adults with Autism were put in mental institutions because the medical society, and their families, believed they had a form of  psychosis.

The rates of autism are rising because our understanding is rising as well. People who were originally thought to be mentally retarded, schizophrenic, or had some other form of psychosis, now have an official diagnosis.

I can say for a fact, that any future children we have will have their vaccines. They will probably be delayed, just because I don't like having more than 1 shot at a time, so why should my kiddo have to? I can also say that, even if vaccines did trigger Autism, I would rather have my child have Autism than something deadly that will kill them.

What is boils down to is this. It is up to the parents to do their research. Make informed choices, talk to your child's doctor, talk to friends and see why they did or did not vaccinate their children. As parents, we have a lot on our plate. Mommy wars and putting other peoples choices as parents down isn't going to get us anywhere. Help, educated, listen and someone might actually get somewhere.

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