The never ending debate in my family about shots: HELP

Anna - posted on 12/23/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )




Okay so I have a 4 1/2 year old son with autism. I have done a lot of reading-especially the Jenny McCarty's "Healing and Preventing Autism". That book made me more aware of the whole vaccine issue and opnend my eyes. My doc knows that I wont give him anymore shots but my other two sons (age 3 and 1) still need shots. They have an appointment on the 2 and I am having high anxiety as to get them the shots or not. My 3 year old is behind on speech and just qualified for OT and SP which is what my son with autism is in too. My 1 year old is a bigger baby and is doing great so far...only problem is he cant get the shots at once because he gets really sick, so they give him a shot at a time. THis was mentioned in the book as being a sign to stop shots. What are your view points on this. I need help and no matter how many times I weigh the pros and cons I literally get sick to my stomach because I just dont know...please help me and give me any thoughts-good or bad as to what you would do....PLEASE. Thank you


Sara - posted on 01/30/2010




I have 4 1/2 year old boy/girl twins and my son is autistic. My advice is to listen to your inner mom voice. If you think it is not right, then don't do it. There are pediatricians that will offer alternative shot schedules that spread the shouts over a longer time period. If your pediatrician won't listen to your concerns, find a new one! Some people have said that if it is the vaccines then it would happen to all children, but I disagree. My son was affected by his MMR shot and it had to do with a negative reaction by his weaker immune system. It was too much for his body to handle at one time. I believe that shots are important, but I also think that ALL parents should agree with Jenny McCarthy about cleaning up the crap in the vaccines and reevaluating the shot schedules. Parents of autistic kids need to fight for our kids and to stop the increase in cases. Two years ago when we were diagnosed it was 1 in 150 and now it is 1 in 110. A startling increase! Whatever you choose, I wish your family well!

Frances - posted on 01/13/2010




My son, now 4 1/2 was diagnosed with autism when he was 18months old.

Only when we had to fill out the questionaire at the pediatric brain surgeon it dawned down on us what had happened...

Werner was born as a healthy little chap with everything in tact from physical to mental. The problem was that everytime he had his vaccines, his after-fever sky-rocketed into the 40+ degrees celcius. I have read that children can contract brain damage if they get such high fevers, but didn't suspect that this might have been the cause for his autism.

Let's get the following into perspective... If you become blind, your sense of hearing improves and becomes abnormally stimulated and fine tuned. Couldn't this perhaps have happened to some of the autistic children that were not born autistic but became autistic after their vaccines? If you get such a high fever, a part of your brain gets dammaged and other parts of your brain gets over stimulated, thus the old womens tale that autistic children are actually very intelligent. The part of the brain that was not dammaged will be over-stimulated and be abnormally high functioning because of the loss of brain-use in other parts.

The point is: Some can handle vaccines and others can't and you never know what card you have been dealt.

According to statistics you have a way higher chance to contract autism than contracting childhood illnesses. Why take chances? I have made my sums. My second son, now 1 year old won't be vaccinated.

Tami - posted on 01/02/2010




I will give you my advice as the Grandmother of children who had adverse reactions to vaccines, and now with a Granddaughter who really struggled with the current AAP vaccine schedule (especially during her 1st 2 years). She went on to develop Aspergers and it was suspected by age 2, and confirmed later on. She is very verbal and she was verbal quite early but she needed OT for a few years for other developmental delays.

She also has Sensory Processing Disorder (her first diagnosis at around age 2), and Non Verbal Learning Disorder which was diagnosed around age 5/6.

They are ALL right brain neurological disorders and she has been to a developmental pediatrician (who had a waiting list of about 2-3 years) and my daughter and I have still not found out from a doctor what the could be the cause, or trigger, of these/her disabilities, and they are disabilities that she struggles with on a daily basis.

It had been very sad for me as her Grandmother (I watch her full-time) to see her go through this. Her last 2 disabilities were discovered during testing for Kindergarten. Since the school knew that she had SPD (her first diagnosis) they tested her for the other 2 and for autism too I think. Her Asperger's is borderline, thankfully not severe.

Here is my advice:

Go to the site on Monday morning (maybe you could reschedule your appt. and take the time to think this over more, or go to the appt. and ask for more time to make your vaccine decision and bring up your concerns ) and post directly to Dr. Bob Sears, he actually answers parents there. His next book which is due out soon will be on Autism (so he is gathering information on it), his other book is on vaccines. He recently attended a vaccination conference, and I am trying to get an update on that online.

Yes there are definitely some posters on his site who feel that you should vaccinate no matter what, and there are posters there who feel that your family medical history plays a role in your vaccination history and should play a role in the vaccination decisions that you make for yourself and for your children. Ask Dr. Sears about that.

Also any prior adverse vaccine reactions in your children, and existing "on the spectrum" diagnoses in any of your children should, from all that I have read, definitely play a role in your vaccination decisions and factor in. Ask Dr. Sears also about that.

The AAAP does not seem ready to acknowledge that yet, but from what Dr. Sears has said on his site, there are medical groups getting ready to now study vaccines more thoroughly, vaccine adverse reactions, and autism, etc.

I also have read Jenny's books and many others, and I have also done quite a bit of research. I have books, online articles, and websites that I could recommend to you.

My Granddaughter's Peds group still wants to continue to vaccinate her, and give her the last, and from what I have heard/read, the most reactive of the series, the 5th/last DTAP booster. My daughter has so far declined it, and has chosen to not vaccinate again unless it is medically necessary, for example a tetanus booster if needed, the pandemic flu (she got the flu before the vaccine reached our area), etc.

And for an outbreak like Pertussis, etc. she has been given a public school exemption for her daughter that allows my Granddaughter to waive the requirement to have all the vaccines on the AAP schedule for her to be a student there, and she has to stay home during any outbreaks that she is not fully vaccinated for until the outbreak is over.

I strongly believe in the genetic connection in regards to vaccines and adverse reactions to them, and that there is also a genetic predisposition with some autism spectrum disorders like Aspergers. The Aspergers genetic link can be found online and it was pretty easy to find that. So there could be cases of autism and related disorders that I feel that could possibly be "triggered" by vaccines and that I think is called an "environmental factor". And there could most likely be cases of autism that could also be linked to the prenatal environment, or to just genetics in general.

And keep in mind that a lot of Peds practices/drs will not accept/keep a child who is not going to be fully vaccinated, even if the parent chooses to delay some, or do only a few at a time.

With my Granddaughter it was quite clear to all of us, and that includes the peds drs and nurses, that something was going drastically wrong during her biggest vaccination period (the first 2 years). But they still wanted to continue to vaccinate her, and even trying no more than 2 shots at a time, and then 2 weeks later 2 more shots didn't seem to help. Some vaccinations like Polio, she didn't react to with a high fever and excessive sleeping, but the end result was still the same, and she now has 3 neurological disabilities.

Also on are links to "vaccine friendly" doctors by state. There aren't a lot to choose from at this point. And a lot of the DAN drs (Defeat Autism Now) (there is an online link to them and I agree with the other thread on this site, check their references carefully and what services they offer) are GP/family drs so families like ours do have other choices for drs as a traditional Peds practice is not always a good fit for us.

Good luck to you in your decision making process, I am here for you if you need me:O)

Tanya - posted on 02/09/2010




i don't believe that the shots are the cause just a trigger. some children are more vulnerable then others my older two boys had all their shots and everything, my last child i would not allow any shots if he was the slightest bit sick and no more then one , two shots at a time at the most the only shot he does not have is the mmr shot and once they can tell me one way or the other if he is autistic toothen i will decide if he will recieve the shot. just my way of dealing with the confusion, i think there are alot of issues on what causes the autism(herity,gentic, environment) maybe a combination of all three but right now i am comfortable with my desision you have to be too.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS


View replies by

Tricia - posted on 12/19/2011




If you are truly concerned that your babies are receiving 'toxic chemicals' I hope you are breastfeeding your babies - formulas have many more chemicals yet noone suggests that these are banned. Immunisations have saved so many lives!

Tara - posted on 12/17/2011




Stop the shots!!! Your other two children do not NEED shots. If you have a genetic tendency towards autism, you need to not contribute to it by using toxic chemicals in your childrens bodies. Please do research. Read Dr. Sears book on vaccination, look up Dr. Lawrence Palevsky. My own son was helped greatly by a gluten free diet, try alternative methods for good health and you will be amazed by how much healing occurs. You have nothing to lose by changing what you are doing, but if you continue on the same path you could lose everything.

Frances - posted on 12/16/2011




Does anybody out there know, statistically wise, what the chances are of a child to become mentally disabled, or autistic after high fever? Maybe 1 in 150?

How about some statistics of people contracting a deadly/crippling disease? Maybe 1 in 50 000, or more?

Hmmm... tricky discisions.

It is interresting that two years after my first post in this discussion group, I'm still choosing statistics over a thumb suck.

Sophie - posted on 12/11/2011




The study that has linked Autism to vaccination was flawed and has been completely discredited. I am a firm believer in vaccines. My grandfather grew up in an era where the was no vaccine for Polio, a disease that made him sick and disabled from the age of two. After seeing first hand the effects of this disease, I cannot with good conscience avoid vaccinating my children. I know that saying this will not make me popular with some, but I think it irresponsible for people to avoid vaccinating their children, they are putting them at risk of disease as well as those children they may come in contact with that are too young for the vaccines. Vaccines were created for a very good reason, eradicating potentially fatal diseases.

Aniesha - posted on 12/10/2011




I haven't gotten my son any shots at all. He's 3 and fit & healthy:). A great book to read is Leslie Kenton's "Nature's Child". Also, get onto some forums online that are anti-vaccinations, and you can get some interesting reading, not just people's thoughts, but links to articles, research, etc. I think it's scary either way you decide to go, I've just gone with what I believe to be the lesser of two evils. Good luck with your decision:)

Ilene - posted on 06/01/2010




HE didn't retract the paper -- The Lancet retracted it. They should have NEVER published it in the first place. The study was flawed from the beginning and started an international panic. Dr. Andrew Wakefield has also lost all of his credentials because of this, and in my opinion, it's about time!!!!!

Valerie - posted on 06/01/2010




Ok, well as most have heard the original Dr. who came out with the whole idea that vaccinations are directly linked to the MMR vaccinations has retracted his paper due to the lack of testing to support his accusations. My husband and I would fight over this same discussion cause he believed it was the vaccinations that cause my sons autism. Well, to prove him wrong I looked at my sons vaccination records. I asked my husband when we had noticed something was different with my son and he said about 6 months of age. Sure enough is vaccinations showed that he was given the MMR shot at a year and a half I think. Needless to say I strongly believe that vaccinations aren't to blame for Autism. For all we know it could be in the water... that was a joke so no one stop drinking water because of what I said. You just have to remember when it comes to Autism, you need to read everything and anything you can come across. Everyone has their opinions and theories. My daughter has had all her shots and is perfectly fine. My son has been different since he was under a year.

Melissa - posted on 02/14/2010




I would trust the health of my children to Hugh Laurie before Jenny McCarthy. Neither one of them are doctors, but at least he plays one on tv.

There is a very small percentage of children for whom vaccines are truly dangerous. If your children have had severe reactions or have weak immune systems, I would avoid immunizations or would stagger them. If your children are bombarded with the same environmental toxins and germs that the other 99% of the children have been exposed to and not "gotten" autism, immunize them.

The only exception I would have would be if there was a marked and dramatic change in your child immediately after receiving a certain vaccine. However, since most symptoms happened *noticed* (not necessarily occurred) around the same age as immunizations are being given, I will urge you to remember that Correlation Does Not Mean Causation. For example, if a ladybug lands on you one day and you get cancer the next year, that doesn't mean the ladybug gave it to you.

I hope that makes sense. It's just my opinion and I'm not trying to be mean. What can I say? My son gets his socialskills from his mama. :D

Alison - posted on 01/21/2010




Tami, you asked some great questions/made great points!

Mercury poisoning: First of all, mecury poisoning, as an indepoendent diagnosis, has symptoms that look a lot like autism. I've had a few students who have a comorbid diagnosis of ASD and mercury poisoning. If you also consider the number of heavy metals that have been bent to mankind's will since the industrial age, it is no wonder that the human body has difficulty managing them when they enter the body. From an evolutionary standpoint, the human body is not equipped to handle hevay metals and so has neurological adverse reactions when forced to do so.

Aluminum: link that mentions Dr. Sears
link with opposing view
A good best practice here is to discuss the aluminum content of vaccines with your doctor BEFORE the appointment where your child is scheduled to receive the vaccine. If you feel like your doctor is not taking yoru concerns seriously, I would recommend you bring up specific research or specific quotes concerning aluminum content. If he/she still doesn't appear to be concerned, you may want to switch doctors. After all, even if your doctor doesn't agree with you, he/she should be willing to take the time and effort to discuss your concerns and provide you with factual information.

Diet/Digestive Tract: Further supports the heavy metal concerns. If your body has trouble digesting foods and using them appropriately, it goes to follow the body will have trouble digesting and using vitamins and good minerals well, and may also lead to the enhanced absorbtion of those things the body should not take in, such as mercury or aluminum. Be well educated on eating certain seafoods if you family is known to have digestive issues.

Tami- You may want to consider genetic testing for your family if you feel there is on-going and pervasive neurological and chromosomal issues. Some people prefer not to know what they're dealing with, but you strike me as a lady who wants to be well-informed and educated to make the best decisions possible. Genetic testing can be helpful for other members of yoru family who may be considering having a child(ren) and will better prepare them for lifestyle changes that come with some of these diagnoses.
Out of curiosity, does your granddaughter with SPD follow the Feingold diet? I have a dear, dear friend whose daughter has SPD adn they follow a low-glycemic, nearly gluten/casein free Feingold diet, which is really complicated, but has REALLY helped make a difference...

Tami - posted on 01/21/2010




Thank-you so much Alison for linking us to that page.

In our family we seem to have a genetic predisposition to Asperger's. We are all also prone to vaccine adverse reactions and it actually mentions in this article "vaccine sensitivities". We are also a family with neurological diseases, autoimmune disorders (my Granddaughter's Mother has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis), food allergies and sensitivities, GI/gut problems, and eczema.

It seems like all of that might have played some role in my Granddaughter's disabilities.

So the genetic factor was there and she clearly looked like a child who was struggling with some of her vaccines. But we were not given any medical advice on whether to stop vaccinating her, so we continued with them.Vaccines with mercury were in the early part of her vaccine schedule, the first 2 years, and in the article you linked us to it actually mentions mercury poisoning and I was surprised to see that listed.

We are discussing on the vaccine board aluminum and whether being injected with aluminum in vaccines is neurotoxic to infants and children. Dr. Bob Sears has given us his thoughts on that in the past and we are talking about it again. What do you think? I think it hasn't been fully tested, or maybe even tested at all, in an injectable form and in being given to infants and children.

Dr. Bob Sears at also has a link on the right, vaccines and autism, and he blogged/wrote that there is upcoming research that is going to be done and that research will include vaccine adverse reactions and whether vaccines play a role in autism. I think that research will take a lot of time until we have some answers.

My Granddaughter showed signs of her disabilities before age 2 and she was diagnosed with SPD at age 2, and her other two disabilities were diagnosed when she started Kindergarten. We could clearly see that she had Aspergers or HFA at an early age.

Thanks again, here is the list from what you linked us to of possible causes (suspected but not proven):

Genetic factors seem to be important. For example, identical twins are much more likely than fraternal twins or siblings to both have autism. Similarly, language abnormalities are more common in relatives of autistic children. Chromosomal abnormalities and other nervous system (neurological) problems are also more common in families with autism.

A number of other possible causes have been suspected, but not proven. They involve:


Digestive tract changes

Mercury poisoning

The body's inability to properly use vitamins and minerals

Vaccine sensitivity

Alison - posted on 01/20/2010




I do not have a child with autism, but I have been teaching children with autism for over 10 years,and working in the homes of children with autism as a behavioral consultant for nearly 7. I consider myself well educated on this particular issue in the ASD community. As Ilene mentioned, there is NO valid research that supports vaccines as the cause for autism. I do believe there is creedence to the statement about very high fevers triggering autism, but again, a high fever not related to vaccines could be the culprit. At any rate, whatever the trigger, the child must have a latent GENETIC predisposition toward autism. This is not emphasized to cause guilt or pain in those who gave birth to these wonderfully different and amazingly unique children. But, the beginning to creating an effective treatment plan for your child is to have a clear picture of where his/her disabilty originated aand how to realistically move forward,

Here is a link that is written in very user friendly language that I think it helpful, fromthe National Institutes of Health,%20incidence,%20and%20risk%20factors

Best of luck to you and I wish you peace with whatever choice you make :)

[deleted account]

i thing that the shots do need to be more greener but i will alway give them to my kids,i have a little girl who has autism and she has got all her shot and i also have a baby boy and when he was coming up to his 10 month shot he wasn't talking and in my mine i was thinkin o no it 's autism again but i wasn't,he got he 's shot anyway and he's fine. it's better to give them the shot and protcet them from dieing ,i think.

Tami - posted on 01/14/2010




I feel the same way that you do Frances. Thanks for your post. I am so sorry to hear about your son. How is he doing now? What autism therapies have you tried so far?

Yes my Granddaughter got the high fevers after vaccines, and she had excessive sleeping and she was hard to wake after being vaccinated. She would also stare vacantly at times like she was out of it for awhile.

She also had infantile spasms especially in one arm, a longer startle reflex, and she was also a baby who had a lot of eczema, she needed meds for GERD/reflux, she had formula/milk intolerance, frequent middle ear infections, candida infections, and so it also seems like vaccines just really adversely affected her immune system which was already trying to keep up with everything else that was happening with her. It was in my opinion like an overload on her immune system when the vaccines were given to her.

Carrie - posted on 12/26/2009




Hi... I know what you are feeling. I toohave a son with autism. I also ran into the shot situation with him. I found out that a shit he had when he was about two years of age he was actually allergic to. We tried the one shot at a time just like you had mentioned. After doing the one shot at a time... He bgan showing really iodd signs... Pulling away from his peer group.. Wanting to play by himself, stopped being social, stopped hugging, ect. I asked his doctor about it... He said ohh it's just a phase....when he turned 4 we had him tested through child find for learning delays and were given the diagnosis of high functioning autism & sensory processing & were told that the cause of his diagnosis & the symptoms I explained were a result of his reaction to the PCV shot he had at age 2. I was furious with my doctor & have read the jenny mcarthy book as well & was blownaway with her theory on the shots... Here I thought I was crazy..knowing on my heart something had changed in my child... Only to find out what my gutt & heart were saying was dead on. My advice to you... Stick to what your heart is telling you... Let's face it...we moms know what our children need more than anyone else. Goodluck to you... Stick to your guns... & know you are doing what us right fir you & your babies.

Sarah - posted on 12/24/2009




I had been afraid that the hype was right and that vaccines caused autism, so I waited to get each of my children vaccinated until they were 2 years old. On the day that my third child was vaccinated for the first time, I filled out an autism pre-screening questionnaire at the doctor's office. The doctor came in and said "We need to refer you to First Steps. David appears to be autistic." I knew then that it couldn't be caused by vaccines because he hadn't had any until that day.

It's funny, I've read the articles about mothers who go through the grieving process over having a child diagnosed as special needs: denial, sadness, acceptance. I didn't have that and neither did my husband. We just kinda looked at each other and shrugged and said, "Okay, what do we need to do?" I think part of my immediate acceptance was that I was a nanny to an autistic teen when I was younger, and didn't see it as a problem so much as a small challenge. My husband had a childhood friend who had autism, and while he knew his friend was different, didn't know in what way. If there was something his friend had extreme trouble doing (walking or running uphill was one), he'd encourage him until he got it. He eventually taught his friend to run uphill.

Maybe another reason I was okay (and am more patient with David) is that when he was 9 months old, I had a miscarriage. Because he was still my "baby", I clung to him and bonded with him better than I had with the others. At first I was so angry at losing that pregnancy, but now I see that it was a blessing. I'm not sure I would be able to handle this as easily without it happening.

I think many people blame vaccinations because they need to point a finger at someone or something and they don't want it to be themselves. What they don't realize is that somethings just can't be prevented. It's no one's fault, it just happens. Some argue that the number of "diagnosed autism" cases have risen recently. My response? "Well, DUH!" Before, it was just lumped into a huge category of mentally challenged (retarded people), and not given it's own recognition as its own entity. Also, with a higher population than ever before, the chances haven't increased, the numbers have. I don't remember the exact statistic (1 in 150 births?). Either way, if the population only has 150 births that year, there will only be one child with autism, statistically speaking. If there are 300, then there will be 2 children as such, and so on and so forth.

My David showed signs of being "different" almost from birth, but we didn't know at the time what we were looking for. He was a VERY "easy" child: preferred to be alone, only cried when something was wrong, refused to hold his bottle until he was 1 year old (I weened him from the breast when he was 10 months), and then he refused to give the bottle up, never showed signs of wanting to talk until recently (he's almost 3), he walked late, refused to feed himself until he was nearly 2, and he's a VERY picky eater. I could go on and on. We have 2 older children and one younger child, all who developed a little early or right on time. I will say that having a "normal" child after having David has actually helped speed along his development: he's trying harder to talk as she's learning to, he's more interactive with all of us, and he wants to actually cuddle with us! His first real word was "Squishy", which is our littlest child's nickname. And she likes him the best of all of us. They're so cute to watch.

Anyway, thank you for letting me ramble on. I don't meet many people in my area who are very educated on the subject, in fact, I find the ones who are the least educated have the strongest opinions.


Lisa - posted on 12/24/2009




its perfectly safe for your kids to get their shots my son and daughter both had them and my daughter is autistic but not my son.if it does cause autisim surely it would happen in all one knows what causes it so they will pin it on anything for those demanding an answer.your born with autism no one is to blame its just more recognised now.

Ilene - posted on 12/23/2009




Understand, before reading on, this is MY OPINION. I know this is a difficult subject to deal with and people (on both sides) are very passionate about this issue and can be frightening militant about things (reading this post after typing it, I may fall into that categorization, so realize that as well as you read this).

Now that I've said that, I don't buy it -- vaccines are NOT to blame, and it's about time that people recognized that and start putting the money to finding a REAL cause for the increasing incidence of autism in our children -- right now, the limited available resources are being WASTED!!!!!!!!!!! I am (by education if not by profession) an epidemiologist and consider myself VERY good at reading the results of these studies and recognizing the study's weaknesses as well as their strengths. Any study that has ANY statistical power strongly suggests that vaccines are not to blame for autism. Additionally, thimerosol (the mercury-containing preservative in vaccines) has been removed from almost all vaccines (except flu) since 2002 -- the rates are continuing to rise -- and at a faster rate since this preservative was removed -- therefore, how CAN it be responsible for the increasing rates!!!! My autistic twins were born in 2007 and still have not received a flu shot (personal issue with this - not because I'm afraid of autism) -- they are both severely autistic and we are working with them to make sure they can live full and productive lives. My older son, born in 2005, also has received all vaccines that have been recommended (including the flu shot on 2 occasions) and he is as NON-autistic as it is possible to be.

Spreading out the shots may be a good way to get your sons vaccinated that makes you feel a bit more comfortable. It also may reduce any reactions to those shots. It sounds like they already recognize the need to spread out your youngest son's shots because of how he's reacted previously.

If you are reading materials about this, I would suggest Paul Offit's book (Autism's False Prophets). I know there are MANY who disagree with what's in there, but there are many who disagree with Jenny McCarthy too, and if you are going to be informed, you should read things from both perspectives to make the best decision for you and your family.

For me, the consequences of NOT vaccinating my children and potentially exposing them (and consequently individuals around them) with these actual deadly diseases feels like I'm taking too great a risk with their overall health. Even if I'm wrong and vaccines are to blame for the rise in autism incidence rates (which I REALLY DON'T BELIEVE), I can't take the chance -- vaccinating against these other diseases is much more important and I can cope with autism. I can't deal with planning their funerals or the guilt of exposing their friends.

THIS IS MY OPINION, even though it's one I feel very strongly about.

It sounds like this is the type of thing you were asking for -- if not, I apologize, but this is something that means a lot to me and I tell this to people every chance I get.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms