Some Friday Randomness…

  • A coupon for you guys: $5 of $25 toy purchase at Target (doesn’t expire until 10/1/08)
  • I’m not really feeling all that prepared for P’s birthday party on Sunday…. its snuck up on me this year.
  • I’m stressing about Porter’s 2 year appointment next week. I’m oddly over concerned (or, maybe not) about the vaccines. I’ve been reading a lot on the parenting boards about the links between autism and vaccines, and I’ve heard so many stories about 2-3 year olds who get their vaccines and then just change like a light switch. It freaks me out that P is at that age and I just keep thinking “What if”. What if he gets his shots and stops being Porter… stops talking. Shuts down. It freaks me out. (things I keep thinking of: why don’t the Amish have autistic children? Why is autism so prevalent now, and compare that to the huge increase in vaccines on the schedule as compared to 20+ years ago). However, I don’t feel informed enough on this topic to tell my pediatrician that I don’t want to vaccinate him. There are great debates for each side, and I’m not sure which to believe/follow as the topic is so in depth I can’t imagine how long it’d take to understand where I should stand, or to make an informed, comfortable decision. I just hate the thought of doing one or the other and regretting it (vaccinating him and having some adverse reaction… autism etc., and regretting that, or not vaccinating and having him catch some rare disease. If any of you have any thoughts/words of wisdom for me on this topic, I’d love to hear them. I just feel like its my job as a parent to be informed and educated on this stuff and I’m not. I have found this website and have been browsing some of the posts. *sigh* So much information.
  • More decisions. Trying to decide where and when to camp this summer. Reservations in Michigan begin 6 months prior to the date (ie… Want to camp in June? Make your reservations in January…). We are going up to Silver Lake for sure, and hopefully somewhere else on Lake Michigan as well. At Silver Lake we have a family owned campground that we always camp at, and their sites are nice and grassy and well kept. However, they’re $37/night or so, and we can camp for cheaper at the State Park (however, sites are not as well kept…). We need to make decisions soon if we want to get a site (or, a good site, I should say) and I’m hesitant to make such a decision without knowing what camping with a newborn AND a 2 year old will be like….
  • I’m getting super excited about going to Chicago next month. Just 4 more weeks! Wooo hoo! I can’t wait to spend the weekend with these great girlfriends of mine. I only wish that this wasn’t the year I’m pregnant LOL! I hate being so heiferish, slow and achy all the time. Ok, so I’m not quite at that horribly uncomfortable point yet, but I’m sure at 30 weeks I’ll be plenty huge and uncomfortable. Grr.
  • Another Porter-Funny. Ryan ran up to the store to buy some bacon for dinner (scrambled eggs and bacon YUM!). Porter heard him come home and he says “OH! My daddy home!” and then he goes to the front door, knocks on it and says “Knock Knock! Who is it? Ohhh.. my daddy!” HAHAHA! I swear this kid cracks me up every single day.

  1. I think we’ve already had this conversation, but I thought I’d repeat myself anyway. With a husband who works in research in drugs and vaccines, if he thinks our kids should be vaccinated, than I’m more than comfortable with it.I’ve never done the in depth research either, but skimmed many an article, forums and a few studies on it; what I’ve come away with personally is that the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh the risks. I believe that there is simply a window for the appearance of the symptoms of autism and it is for the most part, coincidental with the young age of receiving immunizations. Besides all the hype about the vaccines, there are plenty of kids who show symptoms and are even diagnosed before receiving the vaccinations. There are actually studies in Japan where the rate of autism continued to rise after withdrawing MMR vaccines. The “debates” I’ve read have left me feeling like this: those against vaccines seem to be drawing their concerns from fear and absoluteness and a little bit of jumping to conclusions. those who see no valid danger in vaccines seem to be a little more level headed and researched up and analytical of all aspects.Anyway, lots of stuff out there. It is hard to know what to think. One who I consider a well educated parent dealing with autism is, as you know, Ali Edwards. I found it interesting what she has to say about the shots…

  2. sorry, p.s. again…I don’t mean at all to say that if you’ve (as in anyone reading/commenting) decided that vaccinations are not the right choice for your family that you are acting out of fear or blind conviction…I was just saying I’ve noticed that’s the general feel of what I’ve come away with from the conversations and “arguments” I’ve witnessed/read. Maybe I’ve been reading the wrong articles. I don’t beleive that every argument would come off that way…

  3. If you DON’T vaccinate your child and someone finds out they can all call CPS because it’s considered neglect.My son Chase has classic Autism and is doing better now that he’s in a special ed. school. I have a problem with the fact that he went from normal to Autistic in just a matter of months and his doctor was telling me he was fine when he wasn’t and I had voiced concern. I DO blame the doctors who don’t screen for it, vaccines, the kinds of food out there today and other sources. Nicole, you’re right about Amish kids. There’s also children born before the mid to late 90’s that turned out okay too. It’s a huge thing to get into a discussion about but it’s unavoidable when you have children. Not a lot of people get into how more women have fertility issues and miscarriages now than before the drug manufacturers came out with 20 different versions of the pill, shot, patch, etc. Some go on a form of birth control way too early and it messes them up hormonally in the long run sometimes. Medications tend to cause more complications and side effects today than people care to acknowledge.

  4. I have heard some people consider the combo vaccinations to be the ones that have the most “junk” in them, and taking each vaccination individually is better. I have no clue and I don’t really care too much. I think it is better to get them , than not. Because the majority of people nowadays DO get them, the diseases ARE rare. If everyone stops taking them, then they might well just come to be a problem again!Also my hubby’s mom gave him and his older sister their vaccinations, but did not give her 3 younger girl ANY of theirs. Her three girls are CONSTANTLY getting sick….every little cold and flu virus…and TJ who has had all of his shots is rarely sick.TJ doesn’t get the flu vaccine, but that is the only one he has not had since birth.

  5. My kids don’t usually get flu shots either… some versions of flu shots are the only ones that may contain the thimerosal (which is what contained the mercury), which was the leading “suspect” in any immunization/Autism link.

  6. The topic is very frightening, I think because of the uncertainty. Until the cause of autism has been definitively named, I would be somewhat leary of vaccinations too!

  7. I have to agree with Heather on many of her points regarding the supposed link between autism and vaccinations. My first piece of advice? Stay away from parenting boards when it comes to this subject. There are a great number of people out there who buy into hype and mania, and are hell bent on spreading it despite the fact that they have done no research to back their claim.One of the main things to consider with autism is that the diagnosis and the autistic spectrum did not exist 20 years ago! There has been a tremendous increase in the diagnosis of autism because the medical community now has a word for it and a tool to diagnose it. Think back to when you were in school – children weren’t autistic, they were ‘weird’ or ‘slow’ or labeled as learning disabled. In addition, recent research has found a mutation in a particular area of DNA that seems to be common among children who have been diagnosed with autism (I am sorry I don’t have a link for you – I am feeling a bit lazy!) The California Department of Health also recently completed a study tracking the elimination of thermisol in vaccinations with the rate of autism diagnosis, finding that that latter continues to increase, despite the elimination of thermisol and a growing trend against vaccination by parents (again, too lazy for a link . . . Google is fantastic.)To each their own on their decision to vaccinate or not . . . my own personal choice has been to provide that protection for my children (a decision made in part by the fact that San Diego saw outbreaks of whooping cough, measels, and Hepatitis A while we were living there.) And I would not hold it against you if you chose not to vaccinate your children – provided you had done your research and had sound, logical reason for having made that decision. Good luck!

  8. Okay, that Porter funny was so cute! What a ham! I just eat that stuff up.I feel exactly the same way about the vaccines. I just don’t have the time to do the research necessary to make a truly informed decision, and the whole thing terrifies me! At Dylan’s 12 month appt. I did all the shots but the MMR, because somewhere I thought I read something bad about that one (I could be mistaken). Now his 15 month appt is Monday, and I have to make a decision. I will say that public schools require kids to have all their shots, but I don’t know if they have to have them exactly on the doctor’s timeline.

  9. Just another crappy decision we have to make as parents. You have to rely on your gut instinct, I think. You can read until you’ve confused yourself even further than you began with this topic. For instance, I have a friend who was dead set against the vaccines. She started seeing autistic characteristics in her child and correlated the two. After changing the child’s diet, things turned around. Regarding the Amish, how do we know that there aren’t that many of them developing problems? I’m sure the problems that they have would never amount to the numbers in our culture, since they’re a fairly small entity. Would they report it to the media? Who, other than their own, would truly know about it? Again, maybe it’s environmental.You have to go with your gut feeling. He’s your child.

  10. Let me rephrase that…I’m not saying “it’s environmental” in most cases, but, there could be some that have jumped to the “autistic” conclusion and not considered the most minute factor in our environment. How many of the reverse cases have really been reported, is all I’m saying.

  11. I quizzed my pediatrician on this before Grace’s first vaccinations. He was quite adamant that there is not a link and even quoted several clinical studies with thousands of patients. Being in my line of work it was comforting that he had the data to back up his conviction. “Driving with the brakes on” is dead on with the fact that more children are being diagnosed in the “spectrum of autism” now. Broader range equals more autism. Ultimately, for me, the benefit outweighed the risk. Children can DIE from the diseases you are vaccinating them from. It is terrifying though; there is so much information out there…On a happier note: Happy b-day to Porter!

  12. vaccines are a hot debate right now and i imagine they will continue to be. i did tons of research and decided to have the kids vaccinated. last year we had a kid die of whooping cough that was totally preventable. that scares the shit out of me. i think there are TONS of other things that need to be investigated when it comes to autism…like our environment!!!

  13. There is a great book out there called “The Vaccine Book” by Dr. Sears. It is by far one of the best books I have read. It is very well researched and written. Dr. Sears gives you the scoop on all the vaccines, what is in them, the risks, etc. And at the end he tells you what he would do. Basically, he says that by giving only 1 or 2 shots at a time you decrease the likelyhood of a reaction and their bodies are able to process the vaccines better. This way they still get all their shots and are protected, but not so many at one time. One ingredient that is prevelant in a majority of the vaccines that no one talks about is Aluminum. The amount in each vaccine is sometimes more then the FDA recommended amount for adults. And sometimes you child gets 4 of these. He said that aluminum by itself is not toxic, but when you have 4 all together it can create a toxic effect. Pretty scary. Dr. Sears is really pushing for more testing on this. Anyway it is a really great book. It helped me to make a more informed discision. Thankfully my pediatrican loves Dr. Sears and is open to an alternative schedule. In response to the one persons comments about the law and getting in trouble for not vaccinating. It is not true. There are very few laws regarding vaccination. Really it is more the schools vs states. In the back of the Vaccine Book Dr. Sears gives you a link so you can read up on what your state requires or does not require.

  14. As I said…this is a huge discussion to get into. I only commented about things said by a Pediatrician, two school district Principals AND a representative of Wayne County, Michigan’s CPS. There are also articles I found regarding this subject. Some Pediatricians CAN/DO bully and scare parents. Schools and Center’s CAN/DO refuse children until they ARE immunized. And CPS can abuse their power and call it “medical neglect”. ARE many causes of different and difficult illnesses and disorders out there. There ARE too many possible contributing factors. I would rather my kids be immunized than not..but I can not trust and believe that these things don’t sometimes come at price as well. I’ll be posting my own Blog about this now. Great thought, Nicole!!

  15. Immunizing or not immunizing your child is a personal decison. These are our children and we have a responsibility as parents to make informed choices. We should know what is going into their bodies. We can and do have rights saying if and when this is done. I only know what I have read in Dr. Sears book, whom is very well respected in the medical community. He spent the last 15 years researching vaccines.Regarding Michigan’s Laws, Michigan is one of the easiest states to get exemptions from vaccines. Attached are links with more information. Michigan Immunization Exemption Facts Vaccine Rules & Reg’s

  16. I’m a little late commenting on this, but I just wanted to say that I too have had the same concerns as you about the theoretical link between vaccines and autism. My son will turn one in two months, and then he’ll have the MMR shot, which is one I had been ‘hearing’ a lot about. So at his 9 month appt, I totally quizzed my doctor about it, and she said there has been NO proof that thimerosol or any other vaccine/additive has any link to causing autism. She cited older children who come to the US unvaccinated and then get vaccines- they do not get autism. She also said regarding the kids who suddenly “turn off” after they’ve been vaccinated- that most of the time there are signs in these children very early on (as early as 2 mos) that something is “not right” and parents/doctors don’t recognize it that soon. Now I know she’s coming from a medical perspective, and they’re always going to stick up for their field, but my pediatrician is also a mother of 2 kids, and she told me she has never once hesitated vaccinating her kids because the benefits of vaccinating far outweigh the risks.Still…I’m a little nervous about the vaccines. And nervous about autism. I am a teacher and have seen many autistic kids, and it’s heartbreaking. It’s also scary to know that boys are more likely to be autistic than girls. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here.

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