Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April 2nd, 2008

First World Autism Awareness Day

I’m intrigued by and admittedly terrified of autism. It’s not something I feel is a real and present threat for my children, and yet why couldn’t it be? I deeply dislike not having a firm understanding of something so devastating, yet not knowing what could cause or cure autism sends me into panic of another parenting predicament.

I’ve delayed my Toddler’s two-year vaccinations.

And I feel guilt.

Whether or not it’s been officially diagnosed, my Husband’s genetic contribution presents a slight display of behavior that could possible belong on the autism spectrum. I don’t see this as a negative, rather as a beautiful intelligence that allows one to focus on the details and contemplate in ways I can’t.

But isn’t that one of the possible risks for a normally high-functioning child to suddenly develop autism following vaccinations? And to what degree of autism? Nobody knows. Nobody can tell me that my little boy will remain as precocious, intelligent, socially aware and engaging if he is vaccinated.

I realize I’m (as usual) allowing my panicked nature to rule over logic, but logic also tells me that autism rates average 1 in 150 children, more prevalently showing in boys.

My Toddler, the one who melts and breaks my heart daily, turns three in one week. He’s due for a check-up and vaccinations - long-overdue for vaccinations according to his pediatrician. (Granted, this is the same doctor who thought breastfeeding past one year was unnecessary and circumcision would’ve been the easier and more practical choice, but rural life doesn’t always afford one a vast choice of progressive pediatricians.)

I’m struggling with this fear of an unlikely outcome.

Chances are (1/150) the vaccinations won’t trigger autistic behavior.

I hate taking chances with my child.


Blogger Andy said...

I met two sisters in their 20s recently who had never had ANY vaccines. They had never been sick and had traveled and/or lived in all sorts of third world country-type places. Makes me wonder what's fear-based marketing, initiated by the drug/insurance companies and perpetuated by the corrupt American health-care system, and what's actual true medical science.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Chicka said...

Get the shots. There's no proof a tall in any of the studies that the shots (or anything they contain) cause autism.

I have two incredibly gifted daughters (they get that from me. LOL!) and one of them has Asperger's, Anxiety Disorder, and Sensory Disorder (her dad is ADHD, so it doesn't surprise me).

They both had their shots right on schedule and at the same ages.

One has severe reflux. One has asthma and allergies.

No matter what you do in life, you're going to take chances with your kids. There's higher potential for harm letting them leave the house in the morning for school than there is in getting the vaccinations.


(How funny - word verification was "ameba". Heh.

5:09 PM  
Blogger lemony said...

The oldest Lemon had all of her immunizations delayed because somebody we loved and (mostly) lived with had a rather severe depression of his immune system. If he was going to die it wasn't going to be because the baby who gave him so much joy inadvertantly gave him whooping cough, too.

It was the choice I could live with then and the one I'd still make today.

You follow your heart and your gut and make the choice you can live with without worrying yourself crazy every morning.


12:26 AM  
Blogger ar said...

In the good news front (sort of) I recently read an article in one of my smarty-pants medical journals that has directly linked a relatively newly discovered mitochondrial mutation to the spectrum of autism disorders. It means as human beings we are changing, even though all evolutions are not for the benefit of the species, and the influx of Autism diagnosis is a result of an increase prevalence of this mutation (why we see familial tendencies). You are a phenomenal mamma…truly my muse, and I know what ever decisions you make for my little “weed-whacker” will be the best ones possible. It’s just too bad we couldn’t mutate into something cooler…or maybe we are.

1:06 PM  

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