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By EmpowHER February 28, 2008 - 2:17pm
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Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Share your stories.

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I find it scary that the vaccinations required for all children keep increasing almost every year. I specifically remember when Prevnar was first introduced and I looked it up. Their own website said that it was only recommended for young children in daycare settings. Later, the ages it was recommended for increased and it was recommended for ALL children. But there are so many variations on the pneumococcal infection and Prevnar prevents only a few. The odds of a non-immuno-compromised child contracting the pneumoccal bacteria is rare, and complications are even rarer.

As it was already mentioned, Hep B is not a childhood disease. It is caused by risky adult behavior, but the campaign to vaccinate adults failed miserably. So now they give it within a day after birth, just to make sure everyone is vaccinated.

I have an unusual situation in that my second son abruptly stopped babbling the day after receiving a round of infant vaccinations (not the MMR). He didn't speak at all until he was almost 3, and when he did he used no consonants. He also has some gross motor delays. Through early intervention and therapy, he is mainstreamed in a standard kindergarten class, and I am grateful he doesn't display the social symtoms associated with autism/asperger's. But he DOES display every single other marker.

It goes without saying that I delayed the rest of his vaccinations. I even requested the MMR shot be split into its component vaccines, but my dr. told me they were unavailable separately.

Research is all fine and good, but even the research and experts now admit that vaccinations, especially the MMR, can trigger autism spectrum disorders in children who are succeptible. The true problem is that no one knows which children are succeptible until the shots are administered and it is too late. Children developing autism after age 6 is virtually unheard of, and all future vaccinations for my children will be delayed until they are at least that age. I did vaccinate for polio and pertussis early, and after extensive research, but the MMR, varicella and some others can wait.

April 15, 2008 - 9:18am
HERWriter Guide

is mercury - and used as a preservative in vaccines (and still used in some, as well as flu shots). The FDA has stated that it is perfectly safe yet they are removing it from childhood vaccines. Hmmmm.

People who are against thimerosal have linked it to autism in children, but those who believe it is harmless, obviously have not. Many organizations dedicated to autism research believe there is a link.

I don't allow any shots with thimerosal to be give to my children. Children's flu shots still contain thimerosal - you have to specifically ask for the flu shot without it. These mercury-free flu shots for children are not as widely available and are more expensive.

I also have stopped any Hepatitis shots for my children as they are not a requirement for schools in my district as yet and I want as few vaccines as possible going into their little systems. The new vaccine 'cocktails' are scary to me. I worry about how these combinations will react in their bodies.

I am also a big believer in vaccinations but I worry about the new cocktails, as well as the need to vaccinate very young babies/children against Hep A B and C, in addition to polio, measles, mumps, rubella, flu and many, many more. I believe a slower introduction into their bodies is better and that they are absolutely thimerosal free.

March 2, 2008 - 7:21am

Does anyone know the purpose of adding thimerosal to vaccines, and if there is another additive that can replace this?

Also...are there other substances or additives in vaccines that have been linked/associated with autism, or is thimerosal the only one?

I'm so glad we are talking about this, because I definitely haven't done my research. I just knew that autism diagnoses are on the rise, and so are many other environmental influences, like pollution and TV (wasn't there, at one time, a link between autism and TV-watching?). I assumed that since autism rates were on the rise, researchers were trying to find the cause, and looked at other factors that were on the rise: hence the possible links to pollution, TV and vaccinations.

I'm personally all for vaccines; there is a reason that many previously common diseases are not common anymore (polio, mumps, etc). Vaccines do work, and like any substance that is put into our body, we are usually advised as to the possible side effects. So, vaccines have possible side effects...and maybe worse. Why isn't this discussed more openly? I feel that it is discussed in a few ways, none that are helpful for me: either a 30-second blurb on the 7pm news (in a scary, alarmist way that I tend to disregard), or you have to become an honorary doctor and review publications on the CDC website. Then, there are outspoken advocates for or against this issue, who have been personally effected, and I'm not sure which "side" to believe. I agree with you, Susan, that more information to the general public (and some security for pediatricians to feel comfortable in talking about this issue) is the key to lessening the fear.

March 1, 2008 - 2:17pm

Good grief, I had no idea!

February 29, 2008 - 7:07pm
HERWriter Guide

the vast majority of pediatricians absolutely refuse to even talk to parents of children who worry about the connection between immunization (particularly MMR/thimerosal) shots and autism.

If there is no connection (and since we don't know WHAT causes autism, how can we be so sure what DOES NOT cause it) then fine but why the fear in even discussing it?

If there is a connection, the law prevents any lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, but the government has set up a fund in case of a connection. Seems rather strange to me.

My former childrens' pedicatrician told me she would not discuss any autism/immunization questions with me because I "did not have the science behind me or the knowledge to be able to talk to her about it". I fired her and the new pediatrician also believes there is no connection but allows to me to express my fears and to delay/omit immunizations where I feel necessary. I told their pediatrician that she gets to go home after a day of giving immunizations with not a care and I get to go home and hold my breath for weeks for fear that my child may have an adverse reaction to something I am putting inside their bodies because I love and care for them and want to protect them.

Too many parents have seen a direct connection for us to just ignore it. We at least have to continue to research any possible link.

While some children certainly have autism and have never been immunized, I happen to believe a link is very possible, particularly with the MMR shot (or any shot)that has contained thimerosal and my other main concern is why doctors are so against even discussing it.

Pharmaceutical companies are very powerful and with power comes greed and corruption. I am in no way saying there is any kind of "keep it quiet" conspiracy but I feel very uncomfortable with the refusal to talk as well as the protection pharmaceutical companies have from lawsuits.

My husband and I personally know a family whose son exhibited symptoms of autism within 72 hours of his MMR shot and has been in all sorts of therapy, including a strict nutritional regime ever since at a cost of thousands and thousands of out of pocket expenses. Their child is THEIR science! They said he went from being a normal kid to a stranger within days. They were aghast and terribly scared.
They know most doctors don't believe them but many professionals do.

I just want more information, rather than being patted on the head because I am not a medical professional. I find that terribly frustrating. I am a parent and I have a right to have information and discussion without being made to feel like I am hysterical or jumping on some sort of band wagon.

In addition, the CDC has failed miserably in it's accountability.

We do NOT need thimerosal in immunizations! Or in flu shots! Please make sure all immunizations for your child are free from this damaging mercury!

The National Autism Association has stated that "recent studies have confirmed the association between the use of thimerosal and autism has moved from "biologically plausible" to a "biological certainty".

If you are a parent of an autistic child, what are your thoughts or experiences with this immunization issue?

February 29, 2008 - 3:36pm
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