The Issues: Vaccines & Autism – The Great Debate

vaccine,autism,vaccination,herd immunity,mmr,chickenpox,smallpox,diptheria,whooping cough,health,children,infants,

Listen, parents who do not vaccinate…I am not here to tell you that you are wrong. I am not here to lump you into one group and blast you all for your beliefs. I will not think less of you as people, as parents, for your choice, no matter how misguided and dangerous I feel it is. There are thousands upon thousands of comments, blog posts, etc, that do that already. This post is simply about the debate itself, and will also touch on why, after doing diligent research into vaccines and autism, I chose to vaccinate my children, though on a delayed schedule (with the blessing of the pediatrician).

I’ve read so many articles, so many comments where any semblance of civilized debate flies out the window. Ignorant idiots on the pro-vax side (yeah, we’ve got outspoken ignorant idiots over here, too) will stoop to unbelievable levels, including expressing this little amazing tidbit: “Let them refuse to vaccinate. Then when their offspring die out in greater numbers, the ignorance will not be passed on” and “I hope your child gets crippled by polio”. Ignorant idiots on the anti-vax side (you’ve got them too…admit it) will say things such as: “I hope that your child has a horrible reaction to a vaccine and dies, you shouldn’t be a parent…” and “I hope your child gets autism”. Really, people. Wishing death upon a child, wishing physical and/or mental suffering on a child…is heartless. It’s just pretty freaking heartless, and to those of you (on both sides) who think like that, shame on you.

I get it, anti-vax crowd, I really do. While I believe the general anti-vax stance to be grievously misinformed and misled, I can understand that your decision to not inoculate your children comes from a place of love. You truly believe that your child *will* suffer if vaccinated, and because you love your children, you of course want to spare them that suffering. It’s the same on this side of the fence…we believe that not vaccinating our children will greatly increase their risk of contracting a completely preventable disease that in some cases will prove to be fatal, and because we love our children, just like you do, we want to prevent that suffering. Of course no good parent wants to watch their child suffer.

I could write a novella on the process of deciding to vaccinate my children…I believe that ensuring my child will be well protected against a preventable disease not only benefits my child, but also the children who *can’t* be immunized…those immuno-compromised children won’t get sick from my kids. I could go into how the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the minimal risk associated with them. I could argue that there are many substances we ingest, inject, etc (be it food or medicine), that in small doses are almost harmless, therapeutic even, but in larger doses these substances become toxic, and do a great amount of harm.

I could write a book on my disdain for Jenny McCarthy, if only on the basis of her hypocrisy alone. Hypocrisy, Merry? How on earth is she a hypocrite? I’ll briefly tell you. She is a loudmouthed self-appointed spokesperson who has decided to rally against “vaccine toxins”, yet she routinely injects her face with botulinum toxin (one of those mentioned substances that is therapeutic in small doses yet highly toxic and lethal in larger doses), and flat-out gleefully proclaims that Blu e-cigs allow her to smoke wherever she wants. For someone who rails against toxins, she sure does put a lot into her own body. Classic hypocrite.

But all my reasons aside, the most important, driving factor in my decision to vaccinate my kids? Allow me to copy and paste a Facebook status I posted some time ago, on this very topic:

Dear Antivax Crowd:
Even though I did all due diligence before deciding to vaccinate my kids, even though numerous independent studies have found *no* link between vaccines and autism, I will confess, I too considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they can. I still decided to vaccinate them. Why? Yes, it was out of a social and ethical responsibility to help maintain herd immunity. Yes, it was because I didn’t want some immuno-compromised person getting sick and possibly dying because my kid carried an illness they couldn’t be vaccinated against.

But above all, when it finally came down to it, this was what made up my mind in favor of vaccination: Even if vaccines did increase the chances of autism, I decided that I would rather have an autistic child than a child who died from a disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine.

Think about that before you rally behind a woman who tells everyone to stop vaccinating yet regularly injects her face with one of the most toxic proteins known to man.

But hey, if you’d rather take chances with polio, mumps, measles, rubella, etc…which could KILL your child rather than “risk autism” (which is NOT fatal) go ahead, be my guest. But your kid better not come around my kid with so much as a sniffle, even though my children are vaccinated. I am not willing to risk the life of my children simply because you’re willing to risk the life of yours.
I mean really. Autism varies in severity, and most children with an ASD are high-functioning, meaning it’s pretty darn hard to tell they have an ASD. By not vaccinating, you’re essentially saying “I’d rather risk having my child die than risk autism based on some quack who has been disproven many, many times”.

Even if I play along and don’t try to change your miseducated notion that vaccines = autism…even if a study came out that said that vaccines increased autism chances greatly, I would still vaccinate. Every single time. In a heartbeat. I would rather have an autistic child than a dead child.
Just sayin’.

There isn’t really too much more to say as far as my reasons go. Even if it were true that vaccines increased instances of autism, that increased risk is not worth elevating the risk of my child dying from  a preventable disease.

Where do you stand on vaccinations, and what were your reasons for choosing that stance?

Note: I am very aware that this is a very hot-button issue, as any issues concerning our children tend to be. However, per my Comment Policy, personal attacks will NOT be tolerated, and any comment containing a personal attack WILL be moderated to remove the attack. “You’re such an idiot, and you are wrong, here is why…” will be edited to say “You are wrong, here is why…”. Take your stand, defend your beliefs, but do it with facts, studies and other references, not name-calling, death wishing, etc. Keep it civil. 

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11 responses to “The Issues: Vaccines & Autism – The Great Debate

  1. You’d rather have an autistic child? You don’t know anything about autism!!! Your assertion that you’d subject your child to a vaccine that HAS been proven to cause autism is blatant child abuse.

    My son is autistic, he became autistic three days after he received vaccinations. He was 18 months old. He’s now 14, and it has been hell living with him. You know nothing about what it is like to have an autistic child. You should be ashamed of yourself for making such a flippant statement, and you should not reproduce any further.

    Jenny McCarthy is not a hypocrite either. Her son contracted autism after vaccinations, and through NATURAL means, she CURED her son’s autism. She HAS an autistic child, which makes her a better authority on it than you.

    Shame on you for not knowing what lies your platform stands on. Your children should be taken away from you, immediately, and you should think seriously about killing yourself. You’d do us all a favor.

    • Also, please provide reputable references that prove a link between vaccines and autism. Andrew Wakefield does not count, his study on 12 (yes, TWELVE) children has been disproven and his medical license was revoked.

      I still stand by my opinion…even if a vaccine was proven to elevate occurrences of autism, I will take that risk if it means being given an almost certainty that my child will have an almost zero percent risk of dying in childhood from preventable diseases like diptheria, measles, smallpox, and polio. Autism itself is not fatal. Diseases we vaccinate against can be. Not a risk I’m willing to take.

    • Well, hello, Linda,

      also have a child with autism, and I think your entire response is woefully misinformed. Children do not magically become autistic. It is highly likely that you noticed differences in your son after the 18-month appointment in which he received vaccinations. Do you know why this is? You typically go through parenting without an instruction manual, but every time you go in for a child’s well visit, you get a sheet of paper that explains normal milestones. You read over them, and you make a mental checklist. No, he’s not doing this yet, but he’s on par here, here and here. You do your best not to compare him to every other child since they’re all different anyway, but one day … maybe three days after his vaccine, you realize that there’s something just not right. If you were to be honest about your child, you might realize that he was showing signs well before you were willing to see them — I know my daughter was. I wrote off every symptom as a side effect of her epilepsy or that she just wasn’t as quick to pick things up as her gifted brother. She was diagnosed with autism just after her 3-year well visit. She had some vaccinations . . . they didn’t make her autistic. The timing didn’t make her autistic. She just was; born that way.

      Also, yes, it is hell dealing with autistic children on a daily basis. Every last nerve is frayed repeatedly as you learn things that should be easy, like how to communicate with your son or daughter. You stay in because you don’t want to have a public meltdown about whether or not she can have candy – and the looks you get whether you give it to her or not are like daggers. You skip vacation or meals out because you can’t interrupt the routine without a small crisis. You face pressure from all angles, you receive insufficient help, regardless of what path you take, and it. Sucks. I know.

      But if it’s so easy to “cure” autism by the McCarthy method, why have you been dragging yourself through “hell” for the last 13 years? I mean, it should be easy to fix, yes? But it’s not. It’s JUNK science, and it was also proven that her kid didn’t actually have autism. . . .

      Please do NOT encourage one of my best friends to consider suicide or to stop breeding. She is an EXCELLENT mother, and she does has not earned your vitriol.

      For the record: yes, I would rather have a beautiful autistic daughter than the miscarriage they told me I was having. Yes, I would rather have a screaming banshee that tests my resolve every day than to not have the house filled with her occasional laughter.

      • Your daughter wasn’t born that way. She got autism from her vaccines or her environment. Search “autism and vaccines” and “environmental causes of autism” if you don’t believe me.

        Jenny DID cure her son, where has this been proven to be untrue? Where is it proven that her son did NOT have autism? What works for one child does not always work for another. I’ve tried.

        You are a mindless follower of Big Pharma, and they are only out to make money, irregardless of who they hurt. I bet you think antibiotics work too, when it has been proven that they don’t.

        Merry, my opinion of you still holds.

      • I’m mindless? Seriously? I don’t know how you come to such conclusions, but you’re clearly just not a nice person.

      • Linda, again, I ask you to provide reputable proof of your argument. I am not the one trying to prove something that has been extensively discredited…it is therefore not my responsibility to go and Google what you have told both Ilkaisha and I to look up. I did a *lot* of research and reading, as stated in my post, before making the decision to inoculate.

        Your very comment “What works for one child does not always work for another” only strengthens the case for vaccination…there are cases of vaccines failing to effectively immunize, though those cases are rare. Yes, some people do react to vaccines. There is information provided by the CDC and FDA to prove this, however, when the number of those reactions is measured against the sheer number of people vaccinated with no adverse reactions, the percentage of adverse reactions occuring is very, *very* low.

        I had the respect to refrain from making assumptions about you and your life based on your comment. Ilkaisha had that same respect. Do not assume you know about her life, because the plain and simple fact is that you don’t. In that I don’t fully know what you go through, you do not know what she goes through, and to imply that you do is truly disrespectful.

        In regards to your opinion of me, it’s just that: an opinion. I respect your right to have that opinion. But much like some of the opinions you expressed, they will remain opinions until irrefutable proof is given. On your opinion of me, I challenge you to prove I am a horrible mother. Please prove to me that I should indeed make sure I don’t reproduce again (at best), and kill myself at worst. I can say beyond a doubt that this is one opinion based on ignorance and lack of knowledge.

  2. First and foremost, please let me say how genuinely sorry I am that you have/are going through the struggle of autism with your son, and I can empathize with the sorrow, anger, and frustration you must feel.

    That said, do not assume that I know nothing of autism. While I do not have an autistic child (*knock on wood*), I have friends who do. There is a family member who is on the spectrum. So no, I do not know what it is like to be the parent of an autistic child.

    However, were I to ask the parent of the family member who is on the spectrum if she’d rather her child be at risk of dying from a preventable disease, she would say “No. It’s been hard, but I love my child, ASD or not”. If I were to ask my friends who have autistic children the same question, their response would be unanimously “No. My child is alive, and I am glad they are.”

    As for Jenny McCarthy, please provide references for your statement that she cured her son’s autism. Autism is not ‘contracted’. The vast majority of autism is of a genetic nature. There are chemicals and compounds that can inflict autistic symptoms, however, these chemicals and compounds are not used in vaccines.

    Finally, your last paragraph…I left your comment intact and unedited, even though it violates my comment policy…You are entitled to your opinions, however, to tell me I should kill myself? Just as I freely admit that I don’t know you or your story, neither do you know mine. To make that remark is hateful and disregards the sanctity of human life, and your sentiment is most certainly not reciprocated by me to you. I hope that you live a long, happy, healthy life, and I hope that your struggles ease up.

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  4. You know what’s hell? Having your immune supressed child spend a week in the hospital because a parent chose not to vaccinate their child for chicken pox then sent the child to school even though they have another child at home with the chicken pox. If you choose
    Not to vaccinate your child that’s your choice, but putting my child or other children at risk is irresponsible and selfish.

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