Vaccine? Not routine

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.

9 thoughts on “Vaccine? Not routine

  1. i don’t get the chicken pox vaccine. smallpox? yes, it can kill. but chicken pox? when i was growing up, parents exposed their children to “get it out of the way” while we were young – and it was less of a medical risk…

    i’m with you… caution, especially given your circumstances…

  2. The French Boy and I were having the conversation about this the other day concerning our little Parasite. (Yeah, that’s the nick name for the baby-to-be. I know, we have horrible senses of humor.)

    We see the need for some vaccines and not others. The chicken pox vaccine is one we don’t see a need for, at least not unless the kid gets old enough without contracting it to where it can be deadly. I had chicken pox when I was a kid. I got to stay home from school for a week and play in the bathtub a lot. Natural immunity is far better than that gained from a vaccine.

    I’ve had a few vaccines in my life that weren’t really required, such as a Hep B series. I also worked in a nursing facility for several years. It was a real occupational concern. I wouldn’t recommend that everyone run out and get it, but since at the time it was covered by my employer and there was a risk of contracting it because of my job, I did it. It’s a matter of personal choice and life circumstances. For example, I know a lot of vets and their staffs will get rabies vaccines, because it’s an occupational risk. It just doesn’t make sense for everyone to just run out get one, though.

  3. I glad that your doctor was receptive to your decision. I recently wrote a post about vaccines. My cousin, 21 now, had some adverse reactions to vaccines as an infant and which caused seizures. They believe the vaccines are linked to the cause of her autism. Check out my post…

  4. I’m days late and dollars short, but I hear you. When we figured out what was going on with Foster, we had a family-wide freeze on the vaccines. Our pediatrician is reasonable and understanding. We talked about Hannah Poling. She said she thinks “the poor thing has vaccine-induced encephalopathy.” I said “No guarantees against that? Then no thanks.” She really seems to understand. But I wish I understood. I wish I could say I feel convinced that either camp is right. I know that Foster was born with disabilities. I cannot say that vaccines did not make those issues worse. I will not sacrifice my children.


  5. Howdy to you. 🙂

    I get twitchy sometimes, dependent on things like changing weather patterns, diet, sleep, stress . . . time of year . . . the moon . . . the number of stories there are in a building . . .

    I’ve been adding things to my list successively, but the thing is when there are multiple issues occurring at once, the twitchyness is more pronounced.

    For instance, I have a Saturday class that meets about every 3-5 weeks. It lasts 6 hours at a pop. Shoot me; shoot me now. Usually I can make it through the class sitting down. Today, I roamed. Luckily my teacher is understanding and luckily we had presentations. Plus, I only roamed around the backside of the classroom . . . and inched up the side occasionally . . . lol.

  6. My Husband Navar is starting school today, going back to college so he can teach Science and Art. They are requesting the MMR vaccine. I have been reading a little bit about vaccines and am not thrilled. So much to know as far as this topic is concerned, an important study. I will be looking into paper work to see if he can be exempt.

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