To the parents who chose not to vaccinate your children, I get it. I am not being sarcastic, I legitimately get it. Autism is scary. I have been a teacher for sixteen years, and I will tell you having a student on the spectrum makes class more difficult. As the mother of a daughter with the syndrome formally known as aspergers, it makes family more difficult.
I am not Miss Polly Anna. I am not here to blow sunshine up your bum and tell you everything is rosy. I am not one of those moms who will blog, saying what a blessing autism has been to a family because it made us stronger. In fact I will tell you that AUTISM SUCKS. It sucks your energy, it sucks the passion from your marriage, it sucks the dedication to your career, it sucks! If given the chance, I would have chosen to remain weak and have a child not on the spectrum.
However, nobody offered me that choice. We have had many battles, and her disorder has taken its toll on every member of our family. It is not fun to be screamed at by your daughter, to physically fear her, to resent her. It is agonizing. It hurts when she bites me and brings real blood. It hurts to see her baby sister cry because she is screaming so loudly it hurts the younger’s ears. Mostly it shakes me to my foundation to know the emotional pain my daughter must endure. To see her thrashing, wailing, or harming herself because she cannot handle what is happening is torture.
So, yes, I was afraid of vaccines. I know that they have been proven safe, but as a friend once told me “Your doctor will tell you what the FDA tells him. The FDA is run by the government, and our government has no problem not being truthful to its citizens.” Stew on that one for a while….
So I did research. I refused to get the flu shot that had thymerisal. I also did research that told me that if I had a severe case of the flu, I could miscarry. So I took it upon myself to call clinics all around me to find a flu shot that was thymerisal free. Each time I called a doctors office to see if they had a thymerisal free vaccine a nurse or secretary would say to me “You know, thymerisal has been approved to give to pregnant women” I replied, “Yeah, so was thalidomide”. I never got a response to that.
I was willing to do extra work to make sure myself and my daughter were protected. I was not going to make her pay for my choices.
We have continued with the recommended vaccine schedule. A friend of mine has elected to have some of her daughter’s shots un-bundled. This is how she is able to feel as if she is protecting her daughter from Autism as well as protecting her preventable diseases. I respect that decision.
It is OK to be scared, it is OK to not go by the black and white book. However, it is not OK to make your child victim of perfectly preventable diseases.
To make a short story long, measles can kid a child. Kill, not coming back, gone. No matter how much my oldest can drive me to the edge, she is my reason for breathing. I love her more than I thought I could every love anybody else. If given the choice between giving her a vaccine that could cause autism or allowing her to catch a disease that could kill her, I will choose the former every time. She is a delightful, smart, beautiful, wonderful girl. She and her sister are the two greatest blessings God has given to me. Each day, I feel unworthy to be their mom, because they are so special.
So, I understand your fear. Autism is not fun, it is painful, but not remotely close to the pain you would feel if you were to lose your child, or the remorse you would feel if your child caused the death of another. Think about it.