Friday, April 10, 2009


I read a blog entry yesterday that was so well written I wanted to post it here for you as well. It's from Dooce.

Vaccinations freak me out. And then to have a baby who was born a month early and is small for his age and has Down Syndrome - it freaks me out even more. How do I know that my little guy can handle all that crap being shot into him. How do we know that Autism won't be the outcome? How do we know the effects of all the vaccinations with each other in a little body? How do we know my little boy's immunity can handle all of this? Every person is different - so why make them one size fits all?
There are alternative schedules, Dr. Sears being our favorite. And another I read about suggests waiting until he is 2 years old. My gut tells me to at least wait until he is 3 months old so he can be what the regional center thinks of him - 2 months old because he's a preemie they don't count that first month out! So why should we when it comes to these shots? Our pediatrician told us she wanted to wait until he was 4 months old but then at our last visit she didn't remember ever saying that. Annoying.
This is the biggest decision to make up to this point in his life. Heather over at Dooce ( who made the video above ) makes great points in her post below about how if we don't vaccinate - then we are hoping that we don't catch anything - because if we do there is the potential that my little guy could give it to another little person and that person could die from it. It's better said below. But it puts it into a whole different perspective for me.
Potential Autism - Or potentially harming someone else's child.
Depending on where you stand on this issue
ie: Autism isn't caused by vaccinations
it might not be caused but if the baby already has a low immune system it can help to push it to autism

also heard that there is a higher rate of kids with Down Syndrome also having Autism.
I can't deal

i can't imagine him retreating inward - not looking at us anymore and not being able to be in the world as much as he is now. It would crush me....But I still believe that vaccinations are important - but I want to spread them out and do single doses.
but I am still terrified, paralyzed by it, and hate hate hate that we really don't know how it will effect him until after we do it. There isn't a way to reverse this.....So then I flip flop..

click below...



mary catherine said...

It's a very tricky thing! We're doing an alternative/delayed/selective schedule ourselves, with help from the Dr. Sears model and just using my gut to what feels right. There is so much varying information out there, that you can only really do what you feel comfortable with, and I can definitely see both sides as well.

Good luck in your decisions!

Andrew said...

This is a very difficult issue for most parents. So much of what we do is driven by an emotional response. Vaccinations hurt our children and usually make them sick for a few days. In the end I had to take a deep breath and rely on my training as a scientist to believe in the data. There is "no statistically significant correlation," despite all the anecdotal evidence. There are also, of course, small but real risks associated with *not* vaccinating.

I'll channel my wife now, and just say, "go with your mommy instincts."

Catherine Just said...

thanks you two
i'd love to hear more feedback on what other people have done. Especially those with a baby that has Ds.

Bpaul said...

We haven't finalized our decisions yet, but we are definitely doing some sort of delayed/extremely selective vaccinations.

For one, no vaccinations before the bebeh even has an immune system to speak of, that's asinine in my book.

And then, looking at each and every vaccination and do a risk/benefit analysis. Uncurables are extremely high on the list, of course. If it's curable, why the hell vaccinate against it?

Then there are things that are curable, but often mis-diagnosed until it's too late (tetanus comes to mind) to consider.

No effing way we're going with the standard protocol, but no way we're doing the standard one either. I saw the standard protocol list recently, and it is completely insane.

Also, just to be educated, read the side-effects list for vaccinations. This list (long) is WITHOUT mercury preservatives. There are plenty of very good arguments for extreme caution regarding vaccinations -- don't buy that "oh there's no mercury in them anymore, don't be a cry baby" argument.

As one autistic parent said "just because you take the chocolate chips out of the cookies, doesn't make them good for you."

I look forward to hearing how you go about making your decisions and talking it through with ya'll, either online or privately. It's important stuff, and only we can make these decisions for our own families.



Bpaul said...

Gah, posting while tired -- correction:

No effing way we're going with the standard protocol, but we're not going to refuse all vaccinations either.

clairity said...

That was well put.
This I know for sure: You will make the absolute right decision. Not every right decision feels good the whole time so you can't just go with your gut b/c your gut could be in knots! The great thing is that people are thinking and talking about this instead of just going on auto-pilot.

Ben said...

Came across your blog by accident, starting reading, and would like to offer my experience:

As a person on the Autistic spectrum (Asperger's), I've given a lot of attention to understanding my differences and finding the right balances in life (for my sake and possible children's). In terms of causes of autism, the most likely culprit I've found (at least for myself) is an intense viral infection early in life (8 weeks premie) altering my metabolism: reducing my ability to produce certain types of cellular energy.

From this deficit, folks with autism could be equated to walking "brownouts". To cope, different systems can compensate. The theory is that this one problem can branch into ASD (the brain takes the hit), ADD (adrenal gland steps in), CFS (the heart takes the extra load), diabetes (the pancreas), or a blend of any of these.

I like your idea of spacing out the vaccines. Hopefully, you'll avoid triggering any problems.

P.S. I'm not a doctor, so it might be a good idea to do your own research.

Bpaul said...

Ben, thanks so much for commenting on this post. I appreciate your candor and willingness to share your experience.