Vaccinations, Autism and the Immunocompromised

January 31, 2015

Dangerous territory... I know. I may offend some of you. I may not. But I feel I have to put this out there.

I am approaching this topic as the parent to a vaccinated child who has autism and a weaker immune system than some. Before you go "Aha! Vaccinated and Autistic.. Aha!", let me be clear.

Yes, my son is Autistic. Did his vaccinations cause his autism? HELL NO.

You may ask, "How can you be sure?". Simple.

If you have read this blog you know that my son was born premature. Like really really premature. Like 16 weeks premature (for those doing math, that is 24 weeks gestational age or almost 4 months early). Brain development kicks into high gear around the 27th week. The majority of ridges and neuro-connectors don't really start to form until after the 30th week. That means the key brain development for my son happened in an unnatural environment. Is it really any wonder that a connector or two might not have formed correctly? I don't think so. The fact that my son JUST has autism is a miracle.

Being a part of the preemie community means I know a lot of children with compromised immune systems. These are kids that don't just get a cold, these are kids that end up hospitalized needing oxygen support more often than not. My son is in the same boat. He either gets really sick or not sick at all. There is really no middle ground. And, in reality, I am luckier than many of the preemie parents I know. Sam has only had to be hospitalized once for oxygen support. Many of the kids I know have been hospitalized dozens of times.

Now, when you decide not to vaccinate your child, you are endangering the lives of these innocent immunocompromised kids. Your fear of your child developing autism could end up causing someone else's child to be hospitalized or worse. We allow schools to ban nut products because it could kill a child with an allergy, but we don't extend that same protection to a child with a compromised immune system. Your unvaccinated child may be as dangerous as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Chew on that for just a moment.

As a side note, having a child with autism isn't all wonderful, but it also is not the end of the world. There are many positives that come from raising a child on the spectrum.


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