Some people were talking about people who oppose vaccination the other day and I replied as an ex-anti-vaxxer. In that discussion, I mentioned my drift from alternative to evidence based medicine based on OCD, climate change, and finally dietary evidence. Here is the discussion from my human development class:
I’ve gone back and forth on this one over the years, and have family members who feel very vehement in both camps. We also have several cases of autism on my side of the family.
The now discredited study on autism and the MMR vaccine was just out in the mid 90’s when my oldest was a toddler, and her cousin who was 6 months older was going through evaluation for autism. My daughter was not talking yet so I delayed getting her the vaccine until she started kindergarten. My daughter didn’t talk much until she was 3 and didn’t generate sentences until several months later. Even then she exhibited autistic hand motions (and still does when something is particularly interesting.) My sister who was in medical school let me know that the MMR study had serious problems and pointed out that my daughter’s experience was a counter example to the vaccine/autism link. So I had my next two children vaccinated on schedule. One had no signs of autism and the other eventually was diagnosed with PDD-NOS
My fourth child he had GERD and was on supplemental oxygen so we didn’t get him vaccinated right away. Also by this time there was more discussion about autism being a genetic problem with increased expression due to inflammation which could happen either from a random virus or from a vaccination or any other number of things (dare I bring up food sensitivities). When he graduated from the supplemental oxygen (which was over a year) we decided to try one shot at a time, something I read about on Dr. Barry Sear’s website. But he got to crying whenever we entered the pediatrician’s office.
This brings us to the matter of emotional trauma for babies. My husband had an aunt who wouldn’t vaccinate her kids simply because she didn’t believe in anything that would make them cry unnecessarily. She also home schooled her kids, theoretically making it no one else’s business but they still went to church and could have faced both exposure or served as vectors.
The bottom line to me is that while vaccination rates have dropped, autism continues to rise. However, I also think medical procedures should be offered on an informed consent basis especially where the consent is made on behalf of a child. There may be excessive paranoia about vaccinations, but this is matched by a presumptive disregard for patient choice from the medical profession. They keep throwing more and more vaccinations on the schedule. Be an informed consumer and know the qualifications of the people whose advice you decide to follow.
-With my oldest child, she slept in a bassinette in our room until maybe 4 months, then she got moved out. I would still nurse her at night, but it was less and less often. It was mostly because that’s what my husband wanted. When I got older, I asserted myself more, but I got less sleep. Our 3rd oldest was up every night to nurse until 17 months, and our baby until 2 yrs. 4 months (when I weaned him.) I’ve heard of night weaning, where you still nurse the baby in the daytime but at night they only get a cup. I think if I could have gotten my husband to help that would be great, but he was in law school at the time we were dealing with that.
But sometimes it is the child’s temperment. My 2nd oldest slept through the night from 2 weeks on.
-Someone recently pointed out to me that if Autism were from the variety of medical interventions she’s heard blamed, from vaccinations to epidurals to what have you, it remains a mystery why it is diagnosed 4 times more often in boys than girls. However, this also argues against it being purely genetic. It is not a straightforward sex linked condition (such as color blindness) because those occur exponentially more often in males than females, and while there are more boys than girls with autism, it is not exponentially more. Some have suggested a combination of genes and prenatal hormones, since there would be a difference there.
Dr. Sears Vaccine Book discusses aluminum in vaccines, which is why he recommends just getting one or two shots at a time. On the CDC recommended schedule you could be getting 6 or 8 shots at a time and while each individual shot has been evaluated for safety and efficacy, they have not been demonstrated safe in combined loads. Aluminum is a very common element in our environment but maybe some people have a differential sensitivity to being injected with it.