January 5, 2011

"New" autism news. Are parents listening??

You always want to protect your child...from both the seen and unseen dangers in the world. And when a headline screamed the words "AUTISM LINKED TO VACCINES", parents sat up and took notice.

Now there are headlines stating that the 1998 British study that launched the autism-vaccine link has been retracted. The British Medical Journal stated that the study's author misrepresented or altered the medical information of the twelve (TWELVE??) patients in the study.

How many of you parents are sitting up and noticing now?

It is quite a conundrum, isn't it? You've been trying to be the best parent you can. You've been reading all the magazine articles, listening to the news and following current recalls to make sure your baby isn't sleeping in a drop-side crib or wearing a hoodie with drawstrings.

And when the supposed autism-vaccine link was made, you reacted. Maybe you spaced out your child's vaccines or didn't vaccinate at all. And after putting stock into one idea, how do you flip back to the other side? Or can you? You believed that news story/author/parent back then. Can you really change your mind now??

When my daughter was born, I was very concerned about vaccines. But I had been actually hearing for quite some time that the autism-vaccine link didn't hold any water. And despite knowing this, I still spaced out her shots.

Why? Because it made sense. While I wasn't sure if there the MMR shot would suddenly change my happy-go-lucky kid into an autistic, I did realize that pumping several drugs into her little body wasn't the right thing to do.

So instead she gets one type of shot at a time. That way, if there is a reaction, I know what she is reacting to. And honestly, it eased my mind.

But I know there are those of you who believe there are too many vaccines and that they are given too early. And I can agree to a point. For instance, why do ALL infants have to be given a Hepatitis B shot, when it seems unlikely that they would come in contact with the blood or semen of an infected person? It seems to me someone (read: Merck) is making a whole lot of money off all these shots. And that makes me nervous about whose best interests are being protected.

So after hearing this "new" news, how many of you are willing to change your mind about vaccines? What would it take to make you believe that vaccines DO NOT cause autism? And if you are holding steadfast to the link, why? I'm sure many parents (like me) would love to hear both sides.

Until next time....


  1. Once you get something in your head that could be bad for your child, its hard to get it out. Even though weighing out the risks and benefits, vaccinating our child was the right thing to do in our minds, there its still a thought that it is possible for an adverse reaction. It can be a slippery slope when you hear there is a possibility of harm, but do your research, and make an informed decision. Like you said, you can always space out your vaccines, there is always a middle road.

  2. I think it is important to question and I thank the autism scare for bringing about a lot more awareness and knowledge on the subject. The thing that convinced me to go forward with all the vaccines as scheduled (for both kids) was that everyday we are introduced to pathogens - LOTS of them- and if you added all the vaccines you get in a lifetime together you still wouldn't get even close to the number of pathogens you are exposed to daily. This just made sense logically to me and I (we:) decided to get our kids vaccinated. I know with all the things I had to decide and worry about when pregnant that if it weren't for the supposed autism link I never would have researched it and I am glad i did - knowledge is power!

  3. I have notoriously been one of these "concerned" about vaccines type parent. Nikki, I swear you wrote this article to me. I have been hearing about the discredited link between autism and vaccines for some time now, and was glad to see the study come to light on national news recently.
    However, i am still skeptical about vaccines for several reasons, too many to list here. One of the main reasons you've pointed to, for-profit vaccines. And ultimately, in who's best interest are they for, is certainly an issue here. My child is 6 months old and has not received any vaccines to date. We will most likely get some, but not until he is at least a year old and his immune system has had time to develop. And because we've heard it and this response is painfully common... for all you parents who react to this with a astounded "Stupid people, by not vaccinating, your putting the whole population at risk!" I say to you, "If your vaccines worked as effectively as you claim, wouldn't you be vaccinating your child FROM people like us?" We are not harming anybody, except potentially ourselves, and if your vaccines are so great, you have no need to concern yourself with our choices.
    Massive outbreaks you say? If you look at the medical history of almost ALL the major outbreaks ever seen in this country, the diseases were already on the decline by the time the vaccines could be invented and distributed. How? Our bodies did their thing. Yes people died and no, i wouldn't want it to be my child, but this makes me think.

    Chicken pox vaccine? It would serve people to get chicken pox while they are young, a few itchy days out of school and presto! Lifetime immunity. If we don't get chicken pox during our youth we spend our lifetime being vulnerable to potentially deadly for adults, Shingles. How do we avoid shingles? Pay continually for the vaccine for our lifetime! Who's best interest?
    Anyhoo, i'm going on. Nikki your provoking discussion topics keep me on my computer longer than i want to be!
    You might be interested to know that in recent studies they are finding more and more correlations between pesticides and autism. Makes sense, just the nasty lawn fertilizers/weed killers we send our kids out to roll around on is enough to make me shiver. But this wisdom points a finger at big agricultural sprayers mainly, but i still go organic always. Here's some links


    In the mean time, we keep our exposure to massive crowds down, our diet healthy and nutritious, and immune boosters a-go. It's the best choice for our family, and big pharm isn't going to scare us into thinking otherwise.

  4. Nikki, i just wrote the longest freakin response to this with my name shown and the computer/website denied it, or ate it! But i did answer, and it was awesome in my opinion! it is now floating in the ethers, but i wanted you to know. Damn you tech devouring monster.