I’m a mum of two kids with autism. And I’m strongly pro-vaccination.
Here’s our story. It’s a personal story, but I hope you’ll take the time to read and, if possible and you’re also pro-vaccination, share it.
My son (now age 9) was fully vaccinated on the Australian schedule, right up until he started showing signs of autism at the age of two.
At the time, the Wakefield vaccination MMR controversy was still new and hadn’t been debunked. So when we heard that maybe my son’s autism could have been caused by vaccination we freaked, and stopped his vaccination program immediately.
I don’t think many people would blame us for that. Not even my scientist friends.
My daughter was born a few months later. A healthy, safe, intervention-free homebirth. Great APGARs. She was gorgeous 🙂
Naturally, given the scare with my son, we decided against vaccinating her, and because she was a homebirth we never had to worry that she’d been sneaked off somewhere and vaccinated against our wishes.
We even declined the vitamin K usually given at birth. Just in case the injection had something extra in it she might react to.
Fear and heartbreak…and a second child with autism
Everything seemed good with our daughter, but at about the age of two, despite never having been vaccinated at all, she suddenly started flapping her hands which is a typical autistic trait.
You cannot imagine the fear and heartbreak I went through. I can’t even think about what her babyhood was like. To be honest, I don’t even have any memories any more. It was too painful a time. My mind has wiped all the memories. They hurt too much.
My friends talk about their children’s babyhoods, and I have…nothing.
She was eventually diagnosed with autism a few months after those first few hand flaps. She went on to regress, losing first all her language then her other abilities. We wondered just how bad it would get. It was a long time before things started to turn around, and she was five years old before she was toilet-trained and could put more than two words together.
So. Two children – full brother and sister – in the same family. One vaccinated, one never touched by a needle. Both got autism.
We’re living proof that autism is not caused by vaccination. If it were, my family couldn’t exist.
When I have tried to tell my story on anti-vaccination forums, it has been “moderated” out. Removed. Censored. So I’m telling it here instead, and I ask you to share it.
Up to date now
It was a few months ago my children finally finished updating their vaccination schedules. They’re now fully up to date with their peers.
Both my children are doing well too. My son is at the “Aspergers” end of the autism spectrum, and will almost certainly grow up to hold down a job, hopefully have a partner, and be happy. He wants to be a scientist. I think he will be!
My daughter is more severe, but has incredible talents in art and music well beyond the norm. I don’t know what she’ll end up doing but we’ll support her no matter what. She’s finally talking in full sentences (age seven) and doing well.
Autism is a life sentence. It’s a hard ask for any family to deal with, and I have two kids with it. But I will never tell a family not to vaccinate their children.
The truth about vaccination is that there were some incorrect assumptions made a few years back, and people got scared. We jumped to conclusions and stopped vaccinating when we shouldn’t have. Needles are scary. I can see how the mistake happened.
But I’d imagine it’s a whole lot scarier to lose a child to a completely preventable disease. Imagine having to live with that your whole life. Imagine knowing you could have prevented your child’s death…and didn’t.
How awful. What an awful burden to carry.
What we do know about autism…and what can cause it
What we know about autism is that it is caused by genetic damage, often in utero, sometimes by drugs (including prescription medications) taken by mothers during pregnancy but often caused by unknown factors. As in, we just can’t figure it out in each case.
We also should be wise enough to never blame. Blame does nothing. If we learn anything in life is should be to be kind to one another.
One drug implicated for causing autism in utero is the common anti-convulsant sodium valproate (sold as “epilim”, “episenta”, “valpro”, and “depakote”).
Several genes – especially the Shank 3 gene – are being studied regarding autism, and there are hopes for a cure.
There is no reputable scientific evidence that I know of for autism being caused by vaccination.
Vaccination saves lives
We are 100% certain that my children’s autism was not caused by vaccination.
I was wrong to risk my children’s health by stopping my son’s schedule then not vaccinating my daughter. I’ve realised my mistake, and am now glad I’ve vaccinated my kids.
Please don’t risk the lives of your children. The diseases we vaccinate against are real, and can kill. Please vaccinate your kids.
I am not a medical professional: these are just the opinions of a mother whose family has been touched by autism, and who wants no child to suffer needlessly from preventable disease. Thanks, and best wishes.