Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Not Just About Autism

In light of some recent news articles and televised interviews with some leading autism community members and their detractors, I felt like I needed to explain a little, and perhaps shed some light on "how" I have come to the conclusions I have.

For me, my life changed the day he received his 18 month shots He seemed to be right on track developmentally and then within hours I saw a change. In the months that followed, he continued in that downward spiral, losing language and skills.

After years of therapies, he is doing great, but one of the results of his diagnosis is that I have become a "Vaccine Safety Advocate".

People probably think that as someone who considers themselves a "Vaccine Safety Advocate", that I was always that way, that I am a Super-Hippie who encourages grass-eating and a razor-free life.

I used to shake my head at  Hippie's who were so anti-establishment they didn't care that mercury was no longer used in vaccines, which a basic search of the CDC website will inform you of that "fact". "Stop freaking people out just so you can add another feather to your holistic life-style" were the thoughts in my head when I would talk to friends who were scared of vaccinating. I didn't know then that the Vaccine safety movement was about so much MORE than mercury.

When Samuel regressed, I read everything I could get my hands on. I was even willing to put all the blame on myself, that I somehow "broke" him by bad parenting. But the more I have read, the more I believe that in Samuel's situation, his vaccinations were a tipping point in his becoming autistic.

I am not Anti-Vaccine. I do, however, believe that parents should be better informed about what is IN them. Did you know that aluminum is a listed ingredient? And that Alzheimers (which is linked to aluminum) is on the rise? It's not just about autism-it's about the health of children in general. It's about a parent's right to choose how they want to raise their children. And IF you choose to fully vaccinate your child according to the CDC's schedule, that is YOUR right and I support it.

If I could go back to the day, 4 years ago, when I decided to check out this autism/vax link before my child's shots, I would do one thing differently. I would have done more than read only the CDC's FAQ's. Maybe then, in that extra 15 minutes of reading, I would have come across this website and read about different studies that bring to light the real risks of those little vials we inject into our children.

It's about more than JUST autism. The debate is about more than JUST mercury. It's a bigger debate about what goes into the things our bodies consume, and we do our children a disservice by allowing news organizations and pharmaceutical companies to continue to use straw-man tactics to clutter up the message that most parents, like myself, want to communicate.

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