I just have to get this off my chest and I am wondering how many of you out there feel the same as I do.
Clearly the vaccine issue has been at the heart of the what-causes-autism debate for quite a few years now. When friends (and strangers) ask my take on whether or not vaccines cause autism, my answer has remained the same since before M was officially diagnosed. That answer is that M showed signs of developmental delay from very early on, so in OUR case, I do not believe vaccinations were the sole cause of his autism. However, I do wish that I had spread them out those first years rather than following the recommended plan because I do believe they very well could have damaged his immune system (and thus his neurological system) along the way. M clearly has immune system deficiencies, and I think moderation is key for every single thing I put in his body especially when it comes to toxins. The fact that he's likely had the herpes virus actively wreaking havoc on his system for years with the inability to shed it naturally is proof enough for me that my particular child has difficulty when it comes to processing foreign viruses and bacteria. And please note that even though we have tried biomedical intervention, I am not nor have I ever been one to go singing its praise from the mountaintops in hopes that every other family with autism will also go down that path. In fact, I have always been very honest with others who ask in saying that we have actually not seen any results from biomedical intervention, but that some of the supplementing does resonate with me because of the previously mentioned immune issues as well as lab results that have shown clear deficiencies in several areas. I mention biomed here because of the point I'm about to get to...and the fact that naysayers seem to think those who believe vaxing causes autism are also quacks who shell out boatloads of money on biomedical interventions.
So to my point...I am sick and freaking tired of feeling the divide that has clearly made its way into the autism parent community. I am not a person who cares to or thinks that I even can get into an intelligent debate with those who have made it their mission to memorize every statistic or study Paul Offit and others are involved in. I am not interested in continuing to vilify Dr Andrew Wakefield or other scientists who believe vaccinations *may* have caused autistic enterocolitis (since that was Dr. Wakefield's claim, folks) or that they may damage some children. Frankly, I barely have enough energy to remember to punctuate the sentences within this blog post as my four-year-old screams the phrase 'poop in your underpants!' at the top of his lungs over and over.
What I do know, though, is that I have some very dear friends that I have met along the way of this autism journey and they believe that vaccinations were directly involved in the decline of their children into autism. I have listened to their heartfelt stories of typical development turning to seizures after a vaccination and thus a withdrawal from the rest of the world. I have heard about gut biopsies revealing crazy-ass viruses present in their children's system. And I believe them...because they are parents on a blind journey just like me wondering how this could have happened to their child and why it is happening to so many others around them.
I have stopped reading the blogs of some very outspoken proponents of the people-who-think-vaccines-cause-autism-are-stupid camp. Though these people may be bright and well educated, I no longer have patience to tolerate their penchant for talking down to those who believe differently. If you can speak calmly and kindly about your opinions, that is one thing. When it becomes clear that you think everyone who doesn't agree with you and 'science' is a fucking idiot, I'm out the door.
Stepping down now...