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Autism Vaccine Court Blow February 13, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Health, Parenting, politics.
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Most Americans are fed up with the government… and have been for many years. We don’t trust politicians or attorneys. In fact, I bet lawyer jokes outnumber “Yo mama’s so fat…” jokes by a margin of 10:1.

Or maybe it just feels that way to me since I happen to be a lawyer.

Anyway, it was easy on Thursday for many people …especially families with autistic children…to hate the government and its lawyers. That’s when the “Special Masters” appointed by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C. ruled that… in the first three “test” cases on behalf of autistic children… the petitioners failed to demonstrate (a) that thimerosol (the mercury-containing substance once contained in many vaccines) can contribute to causing immune dysfunction, or (b) that the MMR vaccine can contribute to causing autism. 

Because I’m an attorney, I’ve often been asked my opinion about the outcome of the famous trials. You know, the ones in the headlines. The Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuoco mess. The OJ Simpson fiasco… And my policy has always been not to comment.

The reason I don’t comment is because I believe that unless you sat in that courtroom for every minute of that trial, personally reviewed every piece of evidence, and took part in the jury’s deliberation process, you don’t have all of the information necessary, nor the mindset, to make a fully-informed decision on the issues of the case.

And despite the fact that my emotional “mother of an autistic son who regressed right after the MMR shot” -self is silently screaming otherwise at the moment…my rational “professionally- and painstakingly-trained to see a potential lawsuit in any situation attorney”-self has to believe that the justice system if fair. Even when the results don’t seem to support that.

It’s one thing to “know” something. It’s another to be able to prove it. I am not surprised that since our children are all so different.. and the onset and severity of their symptoms are so different… it was difficult to prove the link to the vaccine.

While I am not anti-vaccine, I am not convinced that our vaccines are safe, nor am I in agreement with the schedule with which they are administered. Too many too quickly. I understand that upon learning of the court’s decision, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Dr. Paul Offit, actually proclaimed it “a great day for American children.” To that I reply, “No, you dumb ass. The day we can cure this miserable disability will be a great day for American children.”

In Fabio’s case, he regressed right after the MMR. Instead of the second dose, we opted for titers…bloodwork to show whether he was immune. What we learned horrified us. He had…and still has…an enormous amount of that vaccine in his system. He is flooded with measles! His damaged immune system was not able to process that vaccine in the manner a healthy, normal child’s immune system would. Needless to say, he did not need…nor will he ever get…that second shot. His DAN doctor signed that it was not medically necessary.

I really don’t try to preach much here but his is important info so I am going to strongly suggest that all parents consider two things: 1) break up the MMR into individual shots and spread them out if you are going to take them and 2) if you take the first MMR, get titers before taking the second one…plus titers for all other applicable follow-up vaccines… to see if your child is immune already adn doesn’t need the follow-up!

We all have our own opinions on what may have caused our child’s autism. For me, I think there’s probably a genetic predisposition to get autism and that the trigger…or combination of triggers…is different for each child. I wonder if my infertility treatment is a factor, or anything that happened in-utero, the pre-term labor, the premature birth and its related under-developed immune system, the onslaught of vaccines, infections and anti-biotics, the diet of foods he could not digest which further damaged his gut and immune system. Each of these things may have pushed Fabio just a bit closer to the edge…made him wobble a bit. Made him stumble. But each time, he managed to pull it back together. Until the final shove came full force. The MMR. And over the edge into autism he went. That’s how I see it.

Thankfully, one of our local Assemblymen, Marc Alessi, is continuing to fight on behalf of  autistic children like my son by reintroducing a bill that would allow New York parents to skip vaccinating their children on “philosophical grounds”. 

Maybe government can be trusted. Maybe some politicians are really fighting for autistic children. Maybe there will be change. Didn’t somebody pretty important recently say “Yes we can”? Now if only we could get the doctors on board…

Hey, Dr. Offit. I’ve got one for you: Yo mama’s so fat…”

I’d love to hear what other’s think caused their child’s autism of special needs issues.

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Comments»

1. tiredmama - February 14, 2009

I believe that we have a vaccine link as well. Christian had a MMR shot (along with a few others) after just getting over a double-ear infection (at 15 months). The doctor deemed him “good enough” for the vaccines that day. He ran a temp that afternoon (but usually did after vaccines). Within a month and a half, we had a boy who no longer looked when we called his name, spun the wheels of his cars endlessly, paged through our dictionary, given up saying all words that had been there, hand-flapped, dragged his head across our floor, etc. That spark in his eyes was gone – completely. Was it only the vaccines? No. I don’t believe so. After changing to a different pediatrician a year later, we found out that he was full of metals and had systematic yeast overgrowth. The vaccines most likely just pushed him over the edge. Our daughter (4 months old at the time) was also tested and found to have the same issues. Her vaccines were haulted until her system was cleaned up and she was over the age of 2. Then the vaccines were spread out by two months and her MMR was broken into the three separate components. This was not an easy sell to our new doctor when we moved, but I finally convinced her, mother-to-mother. In her mind, I think, she was just happy we were still getting the vaccines. Christian is in the middle of his pre-kindergarten vaccines now. We are taking at least a year and spacing these out greatly (again breaking the MMR into the three parts). He has been handling this OK. I haven’t taken him in for any vaccines while he is sick or having been recently sick. I wait. I’m cautious. I feel that I have the right to be. Thankfully, our daughter has shown no signs of autism (maybe anxiety, but not autism). I don’t know what would have happened had we kept her on the “recommended” vaccination schedule, but it makes me shutter thinking about it. I am grateful we had the right pediatrician at the time that stopped her vaccines before we had to find out. It’s scary. And while I am not anti-vaccine, I am for spacing the vaccines out and being careful about only giving the necessary ones. I am concerned about the new vaccinations that are coming out and whether they will become “mandated” in an already overly full vaccine schedule!

2. HeatherPride - February 18, 2009

Wow. So far my kids are ok but Claire is only 10 months old. This possible correlation w/ vaccines and autism is terrifying. I have always followed my pediatrician’s advice and gone with the vaccines, but I will admit seeing a 4 month old receive 6 vaccines all at one time just goes against my grain!! They’ve even added more vaccines now than since my 4-year old was a baby! It seems crazy to me to inundate a tiny immune system in that way. Your story reminds me of Jenny McCarthy’s story – she said the same thing, that it was like the vaccine took the light out of her son’s eyes. That is horrifying. I hope they find the answer. I feel like I’m doing it wrong if I get the vaccines and if I don’t. It’s like you’re screwed either way.

3. MOMSBLESSINGS - February 19, 2009

When I was just barely out of my first trimester I contracted Fifths disease (which is in the chicken pox family). I had to undergo 8 weeks of sonograms, these sonograms were to check the baby for enlarged organs among other things, they told me that sometimes in severe cases if the baby is affected they have to perform a transfusion. Needless to say it was a scary situation to go through, thankfully my son was fine, but….I always have in the back of my mind whether this had anything to do with his autism. The thing I found disturbing, my doctor told me many women who get Fifths disease when they are pregnant don’t know, they have aches and pains which they blame on pregnancy and go on and have healthy babies……or do they? My thought is, is it possible that Fifths disease is a cause of autism during pregnancy? Now the doctor who did the sonograms said in the past he would have a few cases, at the time when I was there he was flooded with cases of pregnant women with it.

Just another thought, I do feel and wish I had known about sheduling the vaccines for my children. When I had my first child at his 2 month checkup he received 2 shots and I oral polio. When my second child went he received 5 shots at once. This was shocking. Fortunately I had a doctor who was right on top of things with my son, she had me evaluate him at 18 months and she held back the MMR on him because she did not want the blame to be put on the vaccine, she said she didn’t feel the vaccine had anything to do with autism but she would hold it because of all the controversy. So in my sons case I feel confident it was not the MMR vaccine.


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