Our autism and vaccine journey..

Our autism and vaccine journey..

My wife and I have never put any stock in the whole vaccine debate. I have to admit that I just trusted our doctors and never really researched the whole debate.  That changed when we were advised by our sons psychiatrist to re-evaluate our stance for Emmett John.

Read my post here: http://wp.me/pQI30-3a

Anyway, we have been researching a ton lately and have begun seeing the vaccine and autism debate for what it is. Does anyone even know how the debate got started? If not you should Google the name “”Dr. Andrew Wakefield”.

The whole debate was started over a now completely discredited research (and I use the term loosely) study. It was based on false information that was apparently “unethically” obtained.  This guy is currently under review to have his medical license revoke as well.

Having educated myself over the past few weeks I’m left to wonder why so many parents are blindly aligning themselves with one side or the other? In my opinion (and it’s only my opinion) if the source of the entire debate has been proven to be false why is there still a debate?

I really learned a lot since this issue has arose for us. As I’m new to blogging and to the whole debate, I apologize if this has been over discussed. I just thought I would share some of what I have learned..


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no it wasn't you it was someone else's comment and I wanted to just say that I'm not mad about the illness. I accept it for what it is. Definitely wasn't at you. Just stating on the other side that there maybe some who are mad but I'm not one of them. People beat the drum I think cause they want to have something medical or scientific to say look this caused it you can't convince me otherwise. It's the nature of the beast I think easier to blame something or someone. Some people I think even loose their way in faith due to what is happening with kids. Cause if there is a God why would he bring this on his children? Why are some perfectly fine and others all screwed up. So no worries I'm not mad, just saying that I know some are mad and have to blame I would just hope they wouldn't be mad at the kids as they can't control this anymore than we can.



We never believed vaccines caused Matt's autism simply because he didn't regress. He just didn't thrive at the pace of his peers. But back then, in 2003, I found a majority of parents of asd kids were against or just afraid to vaccinate. I was afraid as well and it was because the naturual path that we went to convinced us that vaccinating him would make him worse. Scared the daylights out of us. But as parents, we needed to research and educate ourselves. Just like you did. We can't just rely on what one person is saying nomatter how big their platform is.

I agree with you, Rob on the vaccine issue.

Lost and Tired

You know we felt the same way with Gavin. Looking back sometimes it feels like he woke up one morning and was autistic. The reality is there were signs we just thought he was reacting to what was going on around him at the time. He hit all his big milestones but looking back knowing what we know now there were red flags. I understand the need to assign blame as that's just human nature but someone needs to shut some of these people up. That would really be the public service 🙂 I'm just saying.


see ours didn't hit all the milestones and we got concerned when other kids were walking and ours weren't and others were talking while ours were silent. The only regression they had was a few words they new they stopped saying other than that there was no real regression. And I disagree with the statement of being mad, I don't love my any less, I'm not mad they have autism. I accept it as part of who they are and don't love them any less. I was part of the "I don't wanna vaccine" but looking into it more and talk with the doc. She said that there is such an outbreak on Measles she would rather them get shots and protect against measles then them getting more sick on top of it.

Lost and Tired


I never meant that anyone was mad. I certainly never meant to give you the impression that you loved your kids less because they are autistic. I have nothing but respect for you and your family. I was saying that people in general want to know why something has happened. I was saying that I understand the need to assign blame to this. It's a way of processing everything. No one knows what causes this to happen to our children but sometimes it's easier to focus on something tangible like vaccines. I just don't underatand when it has been proven otherwise why people still keep beating that drum.

Honestly, their are times I am angry with God for my kids condition. I'm not angry for myself but angry because there will be so many things and life experiences that my kids will likely miss out on. I'm angry because they have done nothing to deserve this. I am heartbroken because no matter how hard I try I can't remove this burden from them. I can't keep all the cruel people that have called my kids "retards" out of their lives. Life is going to be unfairly challenging for them. That makes me angry. I have never been or will ever be angry or mad at my children for being autistic and I certainly love them no less. All I want for them is to be happy. In the event I gave you a different impression I just wanted to clarify.


I don't know anyone who has a child with regressive autism that is "mad" that they didn't get the child they wanted. I also don't know any of those same people looking to blame, profit or otherwise capitalize on the issue. They simply want to make their child healthy again. Many of those parents believe their child is physically ill and want to make their child well. Most of the parents I know who are concerned about vaccines don't believe it is the cause of their child's autism; rather, they believe it might be a trigger to something already problematic within their bodies. There is a difference.

I don't fall on one side or the other, but felt a need to share a different point of view about the parents who are concerned. I understand the great need to vaccinate and am at the same time also tired of seeing people who dare question the components of the vaccines (did you hear about the challenge to doctors asking if anyone would actually drink what's in the vaccines? No one would…) villified as the devil incarnate. These are not evil people out to kill children. I'm not talking about Jenny McCarthy here; I'm talking about regular parents who are good people, not evil people.

I, for one, have an autistic child (from birth, not regressive) who is behind on his booster vaccines. But we also do yearly titres to make sure his immunity is up to snuff on the diseases, making him part of the "herd."

Just some thoughts.

Lost and Tired

Thanks for being a voice of reason. Also I am interested in the yearly titres. Is that to prevent needless boosters? If the immunity is not up to snuff then you give a booster? That makes a lot of sense.


Yes, the titres are to prevent unnecessary boosters. With the MMR, for example, something like 95% (I'm not sure of the exact number, but it's WAY high) of kids are immune after the first shot. They go ahead and do the second because it's cheaper and easier than doing titres on everyone. Lots of people would rather give a shot than get a blood draw and they are expensive (our insurance covered them, however). Immunity tends to go down over time, so you have to continue to do the titres, but we have only repeated the MMR titre once because my son's immunity was SO high to all three. We'll do it again in another year or two, probably.

If you have a child that reacts to shots, titres are definitely the way to go. Some of the shots we have to weigh the risks of not getting them – like tetanus. Our doc thinks we can get to the hospital in time if there is an injury to warrant a booster tetanus shot. We don't do the HEP A because our child very rarely eats anything but what is made at home. Hopefully by the time he's a teenager he'll be caught up where he needs to be, but in the meantime we're trying to not put anything in his fragile system that will upset what seems to be a very delicate balance.


You'd think it was basic common sense to any rational person, right? But that's the thing, people aren't always rational when it comes to their children being disabled. You would think that science would trump their claims, and people would let the debate die already.

Let me piss off some anti-vaxxers with my opinion on why they act the way they do. They're mad they didn't get the child they wanted. They feel they *have* to have someone or something to blame. It's human nature to look for patterns, or confuse correlation with causation, and often times, it's our down fall.

Most of us can look back and think of red flags or little "hmm, that was strange" moments in our children when they were small, and realize we thought something was going on, but just weren't quite sure what it was. Add that to average age of diagnosis coinciding with vaccination, and well then, it must be those evil vaccines that did it!

While it's terribly unfortunate the scope of what this false belief has done, and the many it has actually harmed or have died as a result, know that *eventually*, these believers in a myth will have to face the outcome of how wrong they were. They may not readily admit it, but it's something they'll have to carry around with them for the rest of their lives.

Some will never learn, and for them I say just stick a fork in them, Karma will get them in the end!

Lost and Tired

This is almost exactly what our ped. said today. Well said. Our concern with Emmett John is because there is a history of adverse reactions in the family. His older brother spent a few days in the hospital after his MMR when he was Emmett John's age. We are trying to be cautious.


You have to understand that you're in a whole other ballpark than the classic anti-vaxxer. You have cause to have legitimate concern, given family history. Aside from getting a titre (and believe me, they are very important, I was working in a hospital setting for 8 years and exposed to Hep B when they discovered the first three shots didn't "stick" and it ended up taking five instead), look at your county, and what's been going around. Whereas an outbreak can occur anywhere, you may or may not see a trend, helping you to determine what your risk is looking like. Your given county may have a very low potential, and help you feel more comfortable in not further vaccinating at this point. In the end, only you and your wife can determine what is in the best interest of your children; be it a popular choice or not. You'll know in your heart which direction to proceed.


the reason the debate gets brought again and again is when people mind you famous ones at that like Jenny McCarthy go to Time magazine and talk about how she recovered her soon from Autism and how she believes that vaccines are what caused it. What you don't know is that now adays Measles are coming back. There is an outbreak where we are of the Measles. So I think you have to really consider whether you not vaccine will result in your child getting another one sick that isn't your own. It gets brought up cause it is the biggest debate out there. And with people not "buying" the research that has been proven.

Lost and Tired

What kills me is the researcher that started this has been completely discredited. It's not like people are just disputing what he found. He basicly manufactured the results. He is in the process of fighting just to keep his medical licences and if I were him I wouldn't hold my breath. Why isn't this guy Dr. Wakefield being sued and or being held criminally liable for his actions? That's what I would like to know.

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