Over the past several weeks, Little Miss has been having little twitchy-stretchy movements of her neck, arms and legs. I first noticed it at Disney, when she was holding her ears a lot, and I thought the unusual movement might be troubling her. But her classroom teacher noticed it too, so we had her checked out, and had her physical at the same time.
The nurse came in and checked basics, then started outlining the vaccines it was time for. I listened politely, then told her “No, thank you.” She looked at me like I was some sort of freak, and said she was due for a Hep A and chickenpox. Apparently she thought I had a hearing loss of some sort. I politely insisted, “No, thanks.”
Then I waited for the doctor to come in and fire us.
I’ve heard about a lot of autistic kids’ parents losing their medical care because of their stance on vaccines. As a professional with standards of practice myself, I can understand the doctor’s wish to distance themselves from a patient who flaunts his recommendations.
When I was a kid, you got polio vaccine and smallpox vaccine. Now they get 20 shots before they’re three. I’ve read a lot about the vaccine situation. I’ve seen courts go both ways. I don’t know. I really don’t. I personally know some parents whose children faltered into autism after they received their shots. Not ours–they’ve got it in their genes. But my gut tells me that if something chemical/environmental in my children doesn’t work or process correctly, then adding a vaccine for a disease they may never be exposed to or might sail through just fine doesn’t make sense.
All the kids had their baby shots, before we realized what was going on with them. Little Miss got her tetanus booster last year, because she’s always digging in the dirt and playing in the woods, and I don’t know what she’s going to get into. So it’s not like they never had protection.
I’m just being extra cautious.
I’ve had this conversation with the main pediatrician at the office. He suggested vaccines. I asked if he could guarantee it wouldn’t impact their autism. He admitted he couldn’t. I said no, thanks. He understood. I hoped this was the doctor we drew.
It wasn’t. We actually got the old-fashioned doctor who hadn’t understood anything about autism any other time we had been there ever. Great.
But it was a miracle.
Somehow he had been educated. (Maybe because as we have the best school autism support program in four counties, all the parents are moving into our district. There’s a lot of us.) He asked all the right questions. He wanted to know, even though her language was impacted, if we were exposing her to music and art and other means of expression, because children affected with autism were often gifted. He said he thought the twitchiness was just growing pains, because our girl is in the 95% end for height. He reluctantly agreed on the vaccines. I was pleasantly surprised. Shocked even.
So we dodged the bullet this time. Certainly it will come up again. If any of them want to go to college, they’ll likely be required to have boosters of MMR and chickenpox vaccine. If the vaccines are so effective, shouldn’t they last longer than 15 years? You’d think so. I just don’t want to take the chance that all the progress we’ve been able to make could be impacted by negative effects that could last 15 years–or a lifetime.