T.H. asks from Okemos, MI on February 13, 2007
Vaccinations Causing ADHD And/or Autism?
As many of you know being a new mom means that you worry about everything and I am no exception! I have been doing some research about childhood vaccinations being linked to ADHD and autism. (I know this is a heated topic and I don't mean to offend anyone.) Some believe that is it the mercury in the shots that is causing problems. I am now questioning what I should do about my baby girl. I would hate to have something happen to her. I am curious what other moms are thinking about this. Are any of you not vaccinating? What are your reasons? Do you have any good resources for me?
I am also aware that we, as parents, are free to not vaccinate. If that is the route I choose what are my options? Can she still go to school, summer camp or any other activity that requires shot records? On what grounds are we allowed to refuse them?
Sorry for so many questions but I am so confused and really conserved! Thanks!
C.O. answers from Medford on February 19, 2007
I have 5 children ages 21, 19, 8, 5 & 2. All have been vaccinated. My 8 yr old and my 5yr are autistic. I personally do not feel that the vacianations are a cause of it, I could tell that there was something wrong with my daughter just days after she was born. I sometimes wonder if it is enviormental issues that can cause i, I have read many articles stating this and therefore with my own personal experiences I feel that this may be more of a cause of autism than vacinations. My two oldest children who are NT were born in Paradise California, my two children that are autistic were born in Crescent City Ca. Lastly my 2 yr old was born in S. oregon and he also is NT. Only the two born on the coast have autism. When my 5 yr old daughter started school she was not allowed to continue school after about 2 weeks as she was in need of one shot so I dont know what the laws are regarding school attendance. Ive never had to deal with that part of it. I would continue to research all that you can and good luck.
K.L. answers from Seattle on February 14, 2007
My daughter is three and a half, and the only shot she has had is her vitamin K she got the day she was born.
We've decided to put off her vaccinations until she is old enough to go to school. There is a much lower chance of side effects when they are a little older.
Also, we are only getting the ones required by law.
J.Q. answers from Los Angeles on February 14, 2007
First I want to tell you a story that was told to me when I was pregnant by mid wife. She told me a story of an old patient of hers, she came to her pregnant and brought her older daughter whom was autistic. My mid-wife was hesitent on
performing a home birth because of the added risk. Her patient then brought in a video of her daughter before she had her first vaccinations. She was completely different, her patient said that the change was immediate, right after the vaccine was administered she notice her baby start to change. It was heart breaking.
I know that this is not the case every time a vaccine is administered but if you have the gene somewhere down the line you are more susseptible to it. In my family my cousin has down syndrome so I did not feel comfortable taking the chance. So I made the choice against the vaccines.
Now a year and 9 months after Cadence was born at my moms home, she has seen a doctor 4 times. Once after she was a week old, one month old, 6 months & once when she had the stomache flu around 2 weeks ago. She has never had any vaccinations. I work full time and she is in day care 1 day a week the rest of the week she's with my family. She is a very healthy, smart, playfull and happy. She has no problem communicating and zips thru the flash cards meant for 3 year old.
Cadence's daddy said it best "if it's not broke than, don't try to fix it".
Make an educated choice.
Y.M. answers from Portland on February 13, 2007
Thank God you (we)live in America. The majority of children are vaccinated. So if your child were in a classroom or a daycare, she would probably be safe.
Just a few tips. The mercury is not in the infant shot, but it is a preservative in the childhood shot. It's not in all shots only one (ask your Dr.). The main problem with mercury is that it's a neurotoxin. But, there are preservatives in other shots such as flu shots that people also think are linked to autism.
I think you'll find that most people that claim there is a link between the preservatives (not the immunizations themselves) and autism are moms of kids who have autism, organic fanatics, and natureopath fanatics. It seems to me like they feed off of each other about diet, nutrition, and then of course the immunization thing as a thing to blame autism on. And it seems very obsessive to me. Just my personal opinion of some moms who struggle to understand and come to a conclusion about WHY their child has autism.
My son has a neurological disorder and he's been through intensive chemotherapy. His medical care is managed by a team of top pediatric doctors in the country. When he was done with chemo they instructed me to wait 6 months and then get him re-immunized. They didn't instruct me to avoid the mercury or the preservatives even though he already had enough neurological problems. When I asked them why they weren't prudent with their instructions, the head Dr. said that it is because there is no factual link between the two. He further explained that the main reason why people blame immunizations is because the odd behaviors of autism can become most apparent during the toddler years, and that's when the majority of immunizations are given. I also worked for the head Dr. of the State of Oregon (a major organic fanatic state) who wrote and directed protocol for the care of medically fragile children, intensive behavior children (primarily autistic). She also educated many Dr.s and parents about how there is no factual link between the two. These are both people who care about children and would jump on it, if they were convinced that the claims where legit.
So, I take all of this in myself... and I try to listen to the arguments from both sides. And this is what I personally have come to: I decided to have my children immunized.
As far as my son goes. I had already decided to put him through chemotherapy. In chemo there are preservatives and chemicals that have huge side effects long term and short term. Because he went through the chemo, he's considered immune compromised for another 5 years. Regardless of the fact that just about everyone around him is already immunized, I wanted him to be covered also.
He does display sensory processing trouble, he's hyper, he's aggressive, and his behavior is hard to handle. But, the Docs keep telling me he's an absolute miracle and they are impressed and amazed by his tenacity to make up for lost time. He faught for his life and boy oh boy does he have the strong will to match it. I wouldn't call him autistic or Aspergers... but, still I'm learning the same skills (and using them) that parents of those kinds of kids use to manage their intense needs. And I don't blame his behavior at all on the immunizations. It's clear to me that the brain tumor, some of the side effects of chemo, and all of the medical fear and trauma that he went through contribute to his difficult behavior.
Kids get symptoms of things like autism, or allergies, or hyper sensitivity, for many reasons. So many in-fact that that's why I don't buy into the immunization arguement. Seems like a lot of parents of autistic kids also go a little over board about the "food allergy" argument. But, from what I learned when Hunter was on a G-tube and receiving intrevanous nutrition (which probably has preservatives in it), is that it kept him alive, brought him back to life, and nourished him. Everything we eat or comes into our bodies breaks down into the same basic vitamins, minerals, and fats. And God gave us a liver and kidneys for a reason. Hunters are tested regularly and everything tests out fine. They are doing what they should. Even when it came to his body processing the Big Gun chemicals or those immunizations, his body did what it should.
Isn't all of the analysis about immunizations, organic foods, alternative medicines, and narrowing down food allergies all about trying to answer the question: Why is my child behaving this way?
For me, I'll never know WHY Hunter got a brain tumor. His was so rare and the only link that's been proven is to depleted uranium from the mine fields over seas. There's a lot of kids over there getting the same kind of brain tumor that live among the mine fields. Where the heck around my house is a mine field of depleated uranium??? And also for the rest of the kids in America that have been diagnosed. I asked the Dr.s if it was my fault because I ate Reeses peanut butter cups (which have preservatives in them) a little too much when I was prego with him. And I asked them if it was because I ate processed food sometimes... and I drank non-organic milk. They reassured me that it wasn't my fault and that there are women who have healthy children who are FAR FAR FAR worst off than me. No matter how hard we try, sometimes there is nothing to blame. What is... just is...
And with that, I also had my new baby daughter immunized. She's absolutely wonderful and normal. I personally think that this immunization/autism thing is similar to lung cancer and cancer in general. Why would someone who has never smoked a day in their life get lung cancer, yet someone who has smoked more than a pack a day, and cigarrs, and drinks, live till they are 99 without a lick of cancer. Every body's body is different. I think that some kids are just going to be prone or lean toward displaying autistic symptoms whether or not they are immunized.
And if by any chance there is a valid link discovered some day, we should also consider how many children (the majority) where not effected at all and look more into why some where pre-disposed to react that way and so many were not. So, I'm not dismissing it all together.
I hope you appreciated some of my thoughts and experience. I too am a mom that has spent some time weighing this issue. And I just wanted to share how I arrived to my decision.
God bless you on this one, may He make his daily direction clear, YM
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B. answers from Las Vegas on February 15, 2007
I know how you feel. I had the same concerns as I had heard all the controversy as well and happen to be an RN. I know how the medical system works and how close minded main stream medicine can be. I did let me daughter be vaccinated but I didn't have them all bunched together and I waited for her to have the MMR until she was 2 or later. My daughter has High Functioning Autism. I do not know if vaccines are responsible or not. She did not have the regression after a vaccine or any bad reactions. SHe just stopped progressing past 2-3 words sentences. She does have an immune deficiency that her DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor says is vaccine induced. She also has a toxic mercury load in her system that likely came from vaccines. They say there is a genetic component and an environmental component. At a conference I attended they gave the example, "The gun is loaded (genetic component) and then something causes the gun to go off (environmental factor)." I also learned at the conference that they may say childhood vaccines are mercury free but a chemist from Kentucky, Dr. Boyd Haley, sent vaccine bottles taken from pediatrician's offices and sent them to an independent lab for testing. They were the "mercury free" vaccine bottles. They came back with mercury in them. The bottles had the word "stabilizer" on them. Very misleading. Also, the reason mercury is not in the MMR vaccine is the virus is a "live" virus and mercury kills it! The MMR is a problem for some kids because it is such a large amount of virus at once and it is live. Some kids like mine had an immune deficiency and just can't handle it. So if further destroys their immune system. Until further notice, she will not be receiving anymore vaccines. Like I said, I do not blame vaccines for her autism as I just don't know. Looking back, I would demand that her vaccines be given one at a time, at least a month apart and not give her any multiple (3 in 1 shot) vaccines together like the MMR, DPT. They are available in single injections though very hard to find. So what if she has to have 10 shots instead of 4. She's a baby and won't remember. At least one at a time a month apart you'll know if she has a reaction which vaccine caused it. Do your research. Great websites are TACAnow.com. autismwebsite.com (ARI Autism Research Institute). danwebcast.com shows the speakers on video at dan conferences talking about many subjects. You can probably find one of Dr. Boyd Haley's. It's a difficult decision but be informed. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me gotta run and get her off to school. We hope that we can recover our daughter from autism (loss of the diagnosis). It is possible but takes a lot of therapy and a great deal of money.
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A.A. answers from San Francisco on February 14, 2007
Ultimately it is your choice. But me and my sisters have had all the vaccinations and none of us is autistic nor has ADHD. My older son is 9 and he has had up to date vaccinations. It has probably saved his life because he was always getting respiratory infections because he had moderately severe asthma. And he doesn't have autism nor ADHD.
I firmly believe that the vaccines help to make sure our kids dont get too overwhelmed by disease.
I'm a nurse and I have seen what diseases, which are totally preventable, can do to children. I've always believed that prevention is the key to good health. There is something skewed about the present health care system which puts too much emphasis and relies too much on curing disease instead of preventing them. I know this would be bad for my job security but I think I prefer to see a society where the populace is healthy - and vaccination is one way to achieve this.
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D.S. answers from San Francisco on February 14, 2007
I think it's great that you are questioning whether vaccinating is safe or not. I chose not to vax my kids. They are fine. I don't have fears that they're going to get chicken pox and die. The dr. gave me a really bad time about it. Made me feel like I wanted my kids to die or something. BUT he told me at the last well check that my girls are the healthiest patients he has.
I did my research. I got the information I needed to feel comfortable with my decision. The information from the dr & the cdc is propaganda designed to make you feel like vaxing is the right thing to do. They try to discredit any study that shows anything other than what they want you to believe. They prey upon your emotions and get you to make an emotional decision. Of course you wouldn't take chances with your child's health! Every parent's decision to vax or not is made with the same best intentions for their child.
I ask you this... do you trust pharmacutical companies to have your best interest at heart? One example is Vioxx. Merck is being sued for billions over that one that they KNEW was harmful and they put it on the market anyway. Merck makes vaccines. They are the ones who just put the new one on the market that is supposed to protect our little girls from HPV and cervical cancer. Who knows what the long term complications from that one will be?
I reccomend that you do research until you feel comfortable with your decision, whatever that may be. Look at www.mercola.com. search for vaccine and you'll get LOTS of information. www.nvic.org is a good one too. And I highly reccomend a dvd by dr. sherri tenpenny called "Vaccines: What CDC Documents and Science Reveal". That dvd is what solidfied my decision. It's plain english, just facts, no propoganda.
if you dedide not to vax, your kids can still go to school, daycare, etc. you just have to sign a waiver.
if you have any other questions, feel free to message me.
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L.R. answers from Honolulu on February 14, 2007
hello...i'm so glad to share my thoughts on not vaccinating your kids...its so rare, but that is exactly what I've done. i have two boys that are 6 months and 26 months...i have not vaccinated them at all....i have done my own research and am getting ready to start school to be a naturopathic doctor....I firstly want to say I'm so proud of you to that you are questioning vaccinating your children..if your worried about your childrens health...dont be....my kids have never had a sick day in theyre lives that includes earaches...i get compliments all the time on how well behaved they are and calm and mature compared to other children...the trick is that you keep theyre immune system strong so that theyre bodies can fight off all sickness....i get all my information from a naturopathic doctor who is also a chiropractor and he has 8 children and they were all born at home and he has not vaccinated any of them, i know its very hard to talk to anyone about these issues...i have found alot of help going to certain websites to keep me positive...here are a few to get you started.
this one is the actual site to print off exemption form to give to your schools or daycare its basically showing that you refuse to inflict harm on your children and that you morally believe its wrong to do it..
i know that if my kids are healthy i can put them in an environment such as daycare where they wont catch colds or other sicknesses from other children, which it is common for other vaccinated children to be sick 10 to 12 times a year, Again ..my kids have never had a sick day in theyre lives. It is definitely a battle you will have to fight with schools daycare and other health practitioners. i have heard lots of horrible things from people including family members, just be strong and educate yourself. one of the things i give my kids every day is a product called vibe...I've decided to sell it because i want to tell other parents about how great of a product it is...it gives everyones body what it needs to heal itself. my site is
and the product is called vibe there is a product called vibe junior, i just give my kids half an ounce of vibe 2.0 which is what i take so we can all take the same thing its got a great berry flavor that my boys both love if you want you can put it in diluted juice so you can mix and match different flavors...but anyway this is one of the longest e-mails i have ever written...i wish you the best and pray that you stay positive about not giving vaccinations....here are some more sites...
well i wish you the best I'll let you go now...bye... let me know how things turn out...
another concerned mother, L. Lee Ritz
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J.E. answers from Seattle on February 14, 2007
I haven't really got anything to add- just wanted to say that one of the first responders said something about if you choose to get one vaccine the schools make you get them all- and that's not 100% true- my daughter (almost 7) got everything except the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine for kindergarten- mainly because I wouldn't let them do the 5 in one shot so they gave her 6 shots in one day and varicella was optional in CA (which is where we lived when we got the shots) so I opted to not traumatize her with that one. (they didn't have that one when she was a baby- my younger two got it as infants) Plus I had heard it was not 100% effective in prevention and I would rather her get it as a child than as an adult, etc. When we moved to WA, varicella was on the standard shot list and I just told them I chose not to get it and they were fine with it.
I have heard now though that they are making it a requirement for new kindergarteners this year or next.
I don't know if autism is linked to vaccines or not. My 5 year old son is developmentally delayed with some signs of aspergers syndrome (a much milder form of autism). Did it start after his vaccines? Who's to know. He never had any big CHANGE that I noticed, he just never became quite like other 5 year old boys. His sisters have had the same vaccinations (minus the chicken pox for his older sister) and are both 100% normal and healthy. Personally- I'd rather risk autism than the kinds of illnesses those vaccines can prevent. I have worked with a lot of autistic children and there are all kinds of options for them- therapies and centers and the like to help "find them" again. I have seen kids in some of those centers- after three years they are almost like regular kids again. And they are the joy of their parents lives. What causes autism is as unknown as what causes any other random "fluke" defect. It's not "supposed" to happen. Young women are not "supposed" to have Down Syndrome children because they aren't at risk until they are 35, right? I was 21 when I had my first child- born terminally ill from some random chromosome defect that obviously she wasn't "supposed" to have. We all want someone to blame when our kids aren't "perfect" but there is no blame. As someone else said, what is... just IS.
If you're going to panic about immunizations causing autism, you better not ever give your kid a hot dog either- they cause brain tumors.
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M.C. answers from Stockton on February 14, 2007
I am just like you in the questions about vaccines and autism or any other disease of brain altering effect.
Here below is all the information I have found on vaccines. Right now, my hubby and I are discussing this very topic and what to do with our 15.5 month old twin girls.
1. WildChildMagazine: http://www.wildchildmagazine.com/display.php?id=28&la...
2. What is wrong with Immunizations: http://www.medicalpoint.com.au/what-is-wrong-with-immuniz...
3. Slate.com: http://www.slate.com/id/2123647
4. Mercola on vaccines: http://www.mercola.com/2004/mar/31/mercury_vaccines.htm
5. Mothering Mag: http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/...
6. Pro Flu Shot while Pregnant: http://en.allexperts.com/q/ObGyn-Pregnancy-issues-1007/fl...
7. Con Flue Shot while Pregnant: http://www.mercola.com/2000/dec/10/vaccine_pregnant.htm
8. Moms Aganist Mercury: http://www.momsagainstmercury.org/index.htm
9. Dads Against Mercury: http://www.dadsagainstmercury.org/
10. The CDC: Centers for Deceit Control: http://www.mercola.com/2006/may/18/the_cdc_centers_for_de...
Hope these help make your decision better?
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A.R. answers from Corvallis on February 14, 2007
I am a mom of almost 6 year old twins who are both on the autism spectrum. While I think that there may be a sub-set of autistic children who have reacted to the vaccine, I do not feel that vaccinations are the cause of my twins' autism. Also boys are more likely to have autism than girls. Although the numbers are changing as new research comes to light. I do think that it is a personal choice and you really have to go with your gut feelings on it. I am sure that there are different professionals that you can question on both sides of the issue to make sure you are comfortable with your decision. Maybe one thing you could do is have her tested for heavy metal poisoning. I have read somehwere that the kids with autism that have reacted to the mercury, also have other issues with processing heavy metals. Just some thoughts to share from a mom who has kids with autism.