Thursday, September 25, 2008

Autism vs Vaccinations


lsautism2 - 9:12 AM
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PLively, So because you work with children with autism, you know more than a parent who lives with autism 24/7? That is what your post implied. The two are no where equal. People extremely close to parents of children with autism don't even understand fully what we go through. No one can understand unless they have been there.


lsautism - 8:38 AM
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Actually I wasn't referring to your post, but the post before yours. I am sorry that you took such offense to mine. After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims. The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case. The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.


jaylomom - 12:03 AM
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My son also who will be nine in Feb. has Autism and I have believed from the get go it was because of the shots. I remember after that shot my son would sit there and shake and that is when he started showing signs. By age two he quite talking, but I am very lucky to say he is doing much better now. He still has Autism and will the rest of his life. If I had to do all over again I would not allowed my sons to be given the "shot".


PLively - 12:02 AM
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I would surely vaccinate subsequent children. Why would I put my children at risk for illness or even death when there are vaccines to prevent these illnesses? Sorry but the Federal Court didn't rule that vaccines cause Autism. The court simply found that there might be a possible relationship. That's a huge stretch from that to a causal relationship. Reread my comments. There is no judgement passed. I'm simply stating that not vaccinating a child puts other children at risk. Please, make no assumptions about how blessed I am or that I haven't had to make the decision they made. I take care of children with Autism. You have no clue when you pass judgement on me about my choices, my decisions and my experiences. And, you are clueless about what I'll live with the rest of my life. Pot/kettle/black The only disservice we can do for families of Autistic children is support the idea that vaccines cause Autism. It's a hell of a lot more compassionate to work together to find a cure. Focusing on vaccines as the culprit is a distraction from the task of helping Autistic children and their families.


lsautism - 9/24/2008
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If your first child was a beautiful, typical child until the vaccines and then disappeared within himself, would you vaccinate the children that came after him? The United States Federal Court just ruled in favor of a family and their ruling was that vaccines caused their daughter's autism. Do I know if autism is caused by vaccines? No, I don't. Would I expect the Davis family to vaccinate their second child? Not in a million years. It is easy to sit back and pass judgement when you don't have to walk in another families shoes. How blessed you are to not have to make the decision that they had to make. But, please don't make judgements on something that you have never experienced and won't have to live with for the rest of your life.


PLively - 9/24/2008
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The possibility of vaccines as a cause of Autism has been studied over and over. The one thing which DOESN'T cause Autism is vaccinating a child. But, not vaccinating a child puts that child and those around her at risk. If parents want to put their own children at risk for vaccine preventable illnesses that's one thing. To put other children at risk is unacceptable. For example, Haemophilus Influenza type B causes invasive infection which results in blood infections and/or, meningitis. It killed many children, and gave others brain damage or hearing loss. Funny though, I haven't seen a case of invasive Haemophilus B since routine immunization with the HIB vaccine was initiated in the early 1990s. The prevention of disease by vaccines is actual, not theoretical. The causal relationship between vaccines and autism is theoretical and, fortunately, has been disproven. Regards, Paul H. Lively, D.O, F.A.A.P


iolan - 9/24/2008
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If parents reject vaccinations, their child or children should not be allowed in public schools or any other place where large crowds are. Also if their child comes down with the disease and there are complications resulting in long hospitalization, they should have to bear the cost themselves. And if it is serious enough to endanger the life of the child, they should face criminal charges. Phillip L. Crown 821 E. Broadway IOLA, KS 66749

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo - As a baby, Tristan Davis showed all the signs of being a normal, healthy child. His parents say he met all the major milestones of a developing baby, including walking and talking.

However, for the past six years, Aimee and Joel Davis say their oldest son has not uttered a single word.

"We always describe it as a dimmer switch," Aimee said. "It was just like slowly, slowly he was fading away. And then by the age of 2, he was gone."

Tristan, who turns 8 next month, has a severe case of autism. The brain disorder affects his ability to communicate and causes wild mood swings. While playing in the backyard, Tristan has a tendency to dart off and climb fences, forcing Joel to chase him down in neighbors' yards. Inside the house, he is under constant surveillance.
What Happened?

"I definitely believe in my heart the vaccinations triggered his autism."
So what caused such a rapid, dramatic change in their son? It is a question that vexes thousands of parents who have children with autism, a disorder now diagnosed at a rate of one out every 150 children.

Looking back, Tristan's parents say the turning point was a round of vaccines he received as a toddler. Aimee said her son immediately became sick and battled through a month of various illnesses. Joel's brother and sister had also suffered adverse reactions to vaccinations, so the family assumed it could be something in the genes.

But when the parents later received the autism diagnosis from a doctor, they suspected something else.

"The timing was too coincidental to ignore and I definitely believe in my heart the vaccinations triggered his autism," Aimee said.
Not Alone

Related Links
Thousands of Unvaccinated Children Enter Schools
The Davis couple is far from alone. It is a belief shared by a growing number of parents around the country. Doctors say they are getting more questions about vaccine safety. The fear of a possible link to autism and other health problems is causing parents not to immunize their children.

For instance, the Davis' younger son, Cole, started kindergarten this year without getting his vaccine shots. The 5-year-old is still allowed in the classroom with other students because the family filed for an exemption with the Lee's Summit School District. The paperwork states the vaccines go against their religious beliefs.

"Why play that 'what if' game?" Joel said. "We're going to take it on a day-to-day basis and do what's best for our child."
Mandated Vaccinations

Courtesy: National Vaccine Information Center
Related Links
NVIC State Exemptions
Tell Us What You Think
Updated vaccination records for students are mandated by law before they enter into school districts. However, in 48 of 50 states -- including Missouri and Kansas -- parents can get a legal exemption for medical or religious reasons. Eighteen of those states have added a third exemption, which allows parents to opt their children out for philosophical or personal beliefs.

Click on the map to see a larger version showing which exemptions are allowed in what states.

In many of the states with the philosophical option, experts say the exemption rates have jumped to 2 or 3 percent of the student population. Typically, the rate is 1 percent or less. Kansas and Missouri have seen a slight increase in exemption requests during the past few years, but are still hovering around the 1 percent threshold. The exact figures can be difficult to track because they rely on survey from school districts and do not include home-school children.

In Missouri, there has been a push over the past five years to add a philosophical exemption for parents, but the idea has yet to win legislative approval.
Questions and Concerns
Should Kansas and Missouri let parents exempt their children from vaccinations for philosophical reasons?

Yes (72.7%)

No (24.2%)

Not Sure (3.0%)
Pediatricians like Dr. Scott Dattel are getting more questions than ever from parents concerned about vaccine safety. Dattel said many of the fears are fueled by rumors circulating on the Internet. However, Dattel insists there is no proof of a connection to autism, a claim that is backed by piles of medical research.

A study released in early September showed no link between the measles vaccine and autism. Those findings debunked a 1998 British study, which originally linked the so-called MMR vaccine with a subgroup of autistic children.

"Vaccines are given to kids. Autism happens to kids. I don't think there is a true link. It just does happen," Dattel said.

Taking a Risk

Dr. Scott Dattel
"These vaccines actually protect against diseases that can kill."
So what is the harm of children skipping their shots? Health experts point to this year's measles outbreak -- the nation's largest in more than a decade -- as an example. A Center for Disease Control report found the majority of the 135 people infected did not receive the measles vaccine for personal reasons.

Doctors say it has been so long since some diseases were prevalent, parents are underestimating the potential dangers.

"These vaccines actually protect against diseases that can kill," Dattel said.

Thad Wilson heads the Mid America Immunization Coalition, a group comprised of medical and educational leaders who are trying to boost vaccination rates. He said it is good for parents to ask questions and educate themselves about vaccines. But he worries personal convictions could begin to interfere with public health. Wilson said the development of vaccines ranks in the top four public health advances of the 20th century.

"I've seen a child die of measles. I've seen someone who had polio and I know the devastation caused by it," Wilson said. "If everyone is allowed to do what they want, we'll end up back where we were in the 1920s with large outbreaks."
Looking Forward

Aimee and Joel Davis are not ruling out vaccines for Cole in the future. For now, it is a risk the Lee's Summit couple is willing to take.

"Who knows? But it sure would be nice to have some answers instead of that big question mark we've had hanging over us for the past six years," Joel said.

In Missouri, there's been a recent push to add a philosophical exemption, but it has yet to win legislative approval.