The National Autistic Society posted a link on their Facebook page today from the Daily Mail about the links between major childhood vaccinations and autism/ asd.
I’m sure most of you can remember the media storm, and subsequent panic from parents in the late 90’s/ early 00’s when a study was released linking the MMR vaccine to Autism. This lead to a large number of parents deciding against vaccinating their children with the MMR. The study has since been withdrawn, and the findings have been discredited.
This has not stopped the great debate, however.
I was a child when the study was released, I remember it being on the news a lot. I also remember them saying that the study was false, and thought that was the end of it. I gave the matter no more thought until I had my own children, in fact, I didn’t even know the debate was still raging, until my son was of the age to get his first vaccination.
Like most parents, I wanted to know what the vaccination process would be like. When I say that, I’m talking about on the day, for example, will there be any side effects, should I give him calpol afterwards, stuff like that. I used to read a lot of parenting forums when Neil was born, and so that was my first place to turn when I had questions.
I asked for vaccination advice, and was surprised and shocked with some of the replies I received. There were a lot of people advising about temperatures, giving calpol, their children being a bit ‘off’ for a few days. And then there were some replies from people saying they were against the vaccination programme and so had no advice to give. Finally, there was a small group of people who seemed to be on some sort of anti vaccination crusade, and it scared me a little. I was told I was poisoning my child, I was a bad mother, I should be researching the vaccinations before willingly “filling my child with all kinds of shit”.
Some of the responses were a bit extreme, I thought. I decided to go ahead with the vaccinations, despite the concerns of some parents. I also got my daughter vaccinated too, when the time came.
For me, I believe the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the risks, and that’s why I chose to go ahead.
Fast forward 5 years, and we are on the verge of receiving a diagnosis of ASD for my son.I do not for one second regret giving him the MMR, or any other jab, for that matter. I don’t believe the link, but if he is the way he is due to some vaccine then so be it. I love him the way he is, autism and all.
The report on the Daily Mail today stated that a large study carried out by the university of Sydney, involving over 1 million children, had found no link between commonly given vaccines and autism. The vaccines they talk about in the study are for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
The comments on both the NAS post, and the Daily Mail article got pretty heated. A lot of people strongly for and against vaccinations, and I think it’s something that is always going to cause arguments. Some people seem to say that their child was developing as they should and deteriorated quickly after receiving the vaccination. I’m not a medical professional, so I can’t really comment on this, or the reasons why that would happen.
I don’t personally believe that my sons ASD had anything to do with his MMR, his Dad has very strong traits which went undiagnosed as a child, so for us it has to be genetic.
I did notice one or two people talking about how they used to have a perfect child, until they had a vaccination. I don’t understand how you can say your child, regardless of the problems they may be facing, is not perfect? My sons ASD does not affect how perfect he is to me. He is amazing, and I wouldn’t change him for the world
Someone commenting on the DM website even calls Tony Blair a baby killer for backing the MMR.
Now, hold on a seccond, Autism is not a major cause of deaths in children. Measles and diphtheria however, are.
The vaccinations given to us as children have almost eradicated most major life threatening childhood diseases. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have an autistic child than a dead child. I’m sorry if I’m a bit blunt there but it’s true.
Most people probably don’t know much about things like measles, diphtheria and rubella, but as more and more parents join the anti vaccination camp, we will start to see cases of such things rising. Rubella, which usually quite a mild infection for a child, can cause serious issues if a pregnant women becomes infected, including miscarriage, and brain damage to the unborn child.
Before a vaccination for diphtheria was introduced in the 40’s, is was one of the major causes of infant death in the UK. The NHS website reports that there was a diphtheria epidemic in the ‘countries of the former Soviet Union between 1990 and 1998. It resulted in 157,000 cases and 5,000 deaths.’, which was due to low numbers of people taking up the vaccine.
Is this the risk you want to take for your children?
My son may have his struggles, but he has his health and his life, and that’s the most important thing to me.
How do you feel about this? Did you decide not to vaccinate your children, and if so what were your reasons for this?