I once had someone tell me that vaccines were safe and I just needed something to blame my sons autism on. This person has no idea. Unfortunately, most people won't see the truth until they are personally affected by it. A sort of cognitive dissonance takes over and we refuse to see the evidence that is right in front of us.
I had doubts about vaccinating my son. I even had a couple of people hint at the idea that vaccines might be harming him, though no one ever flat out said it. I wish I had listened to my gut. I wish someone would have told me that there ARE harms associated with vaccinating and that there are hundreds of studies that prove it. That the issues we were seeing were possibly being caused by vaccines. I wish I would have known.
So many parents live in this regret. It is heartbreaking and impossible to understand unless you've experienced it. Unless you have seen your child disappear like so many parents have. A child who spoke stopped speaking, a child who was always happy stopped smiling. Unless you have seen your child struggle to speak, or refuse to eat for weeks, or bang their head against the floor because they are having a meltdown that they cannot control. Unless you have experienced your child completely fall apart in the backseat of your car, thrashing and screaming, trying to hit you while tears stream down their face, because you went out the wrong side of the parking lot when leaving Target.... You just can't possibly understand.
You could not know that we would give anything to be able to go back and make a different choice. It is not an easy thing to carry, the guilt. But we have no options but to keep going forward. Because once you have a child with disabilities, with a future of uncertainty, it becomes critical that you, Keep. Moving. Forward. The fears of what will happen to them when we are gone. Who will take care of them if we aren't here? It's all very heavy. It weighs even heavier knowing that it didn't have to be this way.
I think most parents would agree with me when I say that I would rather it have been a genetic issue. This was just the way it is and nothing I could have done differently would have changed it. To know that my son could have had a normal life. That he didn't have to go to therapy 5 days a week when he was only 2 years old. That he didn't have to be so sensitive that at times it was unbearable to leave the house because the SOUND of OUTSIDE was too much for him.
To know these struggles could have been avoided if I would have refused the Hepatitis B vaccine because it was only safety tested for 5 DAYS! Not even in babies who were just born but in adults. Also because he has a 0% chance of getting Hepatitis B at this point in his life and studies have shown that boys vaccinated with the Hepatitis B vaccine in the first month of life have a 3 fold higher risk of autism than boys who aren't vaccinated until after one month.
If I would have refused the rotavirus vaccine because most babies (who are the only ones at risk of dying from rotavirus) are protected against rotavirus with breastfeeding. Or because in the vaccine trials which compared the vaccine to the vaccine minus the antigen, 1 in 30 to 1 in 40 control group participants suffered a severe medical event. 43 infants in the Rotarix trial died and 20 died in the RotaTeq trials.
If I would have refused the DTaP vaccine because Diphtheria mortality rate dropped 87% before the vaccine for Diphtheria was used extensively and, that the antitoxin used to treat diphtheria since 1891 has a clinical efficacy of 97%. Whereas "receipt of 3 doses of diphtheria toxoid vaccine is 87% effective against symptomatic disease and reduces transmission by 60%. Vaccinated individuals can become colonized and transmit; consequently, vaccination alone can only interrupt transmission in 28% of outbreak settings, making isolation and antibiotics essential."
Among all persons with reported tetanus, from 2001-2008 the CDC states that "in the multivariable model, comparing age ≥65 years versus <65 years, diabetes versus no diabetes, and no doses of vaccination versus 1 dose, neither diabetes nor vaccination were statistically significant"
Because It has been shown in a study exposing baboons to pertussis, that those who were vaccinated previously carried the bacterium for 5 days longer than the unvaccinated baboons, and were able to infect other baboons with the bacterium. Whereas, the baboons who had previously been infected by pertussis were not able to spread the bacterium to other baboons following re-exposure.
If I would have refused the Hib vaccine because death rates from Hib were 1 in 2 million prior to the vaccine. Also because studies show that vaccination with the Hib vaccine may induce diabetes related autoantibodies. My dad was the only diabetic in our family. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after getting very sick following a vaccination he received at age 12.
If I would have refused the Pneumococcal vaccine which protects against 13 of the 90+ different serotypes. In the clinical trials there were 18 fewer cases than expected of Pneumococcal infection but almost 1,200 infants in the vaccine group had emergency room visits and 500 were hospitalized.
And finally, if I would have refused the polio vaccine, one of which causes more cases of polio than wild type polio itself, and because the other states in the vaccine insert, "Although no causal relationship has been established, deaths have occurred in temporal association after vaccination of infants with IPV."
If I had taken the time to look into vaccines, just as we take the time to look into what vehicles are most reliable before purchasing a new car, or what brands give the clearest picture and best sound before purchasing a new TV, I would have known. I could have changed the course of my sons life if I had just known.
So what I say to the person who thinks I am looking for something to blame my sons autism on is, you're wrong. As parents we would give our lives for our kids. So as a parent, try to imagine that you could have protected your child from something that would cause them lifelong harm but you didn't. You were supposed to be the voice for your child because your child could not speak up for themselves. If they could they might have told you that their brain was on fire. You didn't protect them from this harm and now you have to live with that. Watching your child struggle everyday as a constant reminder. Why would we choose to blame our child's pain on something WE could have protected them from? If parents were looking for something to blame their child's autism on, I can assure you we wouldn't pick this.