I'm often asked my opinion on vaccines and whether or not I think they cause autism. My theory has always been this - I don't think vaccines in and of themselves cause autism. If that were the case, anyone who has been vaccinated would have autism, right? However, I do believe some kiddos have some sort of genetic predisposition (many postulate that these kids have weakened immune systems) that make them more susceptible to autism when given vaccinations. I wish I'd known back when Will was a baby what I know now - I'd be willing to bet we wouldn't be dealing with the issues we're dealing with now.
Will was a sick baby. He had ear infection after ear infection - seven double ear infections total before his first set of ear tubes were inserted at thirteen months. It seemed like he was constantly on antibiotics - the ones that are supposed to clear up infections like Augmentin finally stopped working. Omnicef was the only one strong enough that would knock the infections out. Couple the constant supply of antibiotics with the recommended vaccines, and I think we poisoned our child. I do feel some guilt over this, but I know I was just doing what I thought was right for my child at the time.
Ryan and I are pro-vaccine. We believe children should be vaccinated. However, we absolute think there is no reason in the world to bombard an infant or child's body with the plethora of shots recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I'd never been one of those parents to question doctors because they know everything right? They want what's best for our kiddos, right? Now, I'm not so sure.
I'm currently reading Jenny McCarthy's new book - Mother Warriors. The foreword is written by a doctor from UCLA. He talks a bit about the harmful mercury we have all heard about that was "removed" from vaccines several years ago. The doctor then starts talking about Dr. Robert Sears' research about aluminum in vaccines. He states that the FDA claims that 20 micrograms of aluminum is considered toxic for babies, yet the Hep B shot they give newborns (which we declined - thank God) has 250 micrograms of aluminum in it. He goes on to say that if a child receives every vaccine recommended by the AAP at their two-month appointment, they will ingest almost 2000 micrograms of aluminum. I know, it's shocking. And it doesn't seem right. So let's get informed. Be armed with the facts so that when your child's pediatrician tells you there is no scientific evidence linking vaccines and autism and tries to talk you out of using a delayed scheduled, you're prepared to stand your ground and do what's best for your babies.
I have to recommend an awesome book written by Dr. Sears called The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision For Your Child. This book is awesome. It gives a wonderfully detailed but easy-to-read breakdown of all the childhood vaccines. The doctor discusses why the vaccines are given and what his thoughts are on them. He also recommends a delayed vaccination schedule - it's the one we are following for Bryn. For example, he recommends declining the Hepatitis B shot they give babies in the hospital on their birth day. At the two month appointment, instead of getting four or five shots, he recommends one and the rotavirus vaccine which is given orally. Following his schedule has given me some peace of mind - I feel like we're protecting our children from harmful diseases while protecting their systems from being bombarded by the bad stuff in vaccines.
Okay, getting off of my soapbox now...