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I have been thinking about this topic for a long time now. I’ve been debating about whether or not to post my thoughts on just my personal Facebook or on my blog. After doing more reading though, I decided that I wanted to have my say. To speak the words that have been boiling up inside me for a long time.
I have two special needs children. My son, Adam was diagnosed with a feeding disorder at age one, and Autism, SPD, and Apraxia at age two. Like Carrie Cariello, I have seen all the “explanations” for autism over the years….
Autism is caused by mercury. Autism is caused by lead. Autism begins with poor maternal bonding. Certain pesticides may trigger autism. Plastics. Gluten aggravates autism spectrum disorder. People with autism should eat more strawberries. Too much automotive exhaust is a leading cause of autism. Chemicals found on non-stick cookware may trigger autism.
I am happy to announce that I do know what caused Jack’s autism, and without further ado, I’d like to tell you. Wait for it… It’s kind of a big deal.
Drum roll, please.
Jack has autism because, as his 5-year old brother Henry says, he was bornd-ed with it.”
And like Carrie Cariello, I laughed over all the “causes” because like her, I also believe my son was born with autism. You can sit here and speculate what the causes are all day, but unless you are my child’s parent you really have no place to say “who” or “what” caused my child’s autism.
Some parents will ask me “Well how do you know for sure he was born with autism?” “Are all kids with autism born with it?” I am not here to argue about everyone else’s child, but for me, for my family and for our son he was born with it, and this is how it happened.
Adam was born right when he should have been – 40 weeks, 2 days. I had no vaccinations and no complications during the pregnancy. However, after he was born we noticed some problems. They were small at first, but as he grew we started realizing something was wrong.
Adam had severe problems with eating. He wouldn’t eat at the hospital – they said it was “failure to get hungry.” He couldn’t suck or latch and none of the doctors believed me. Later, around age one we found out that Adam had no muscle tone in his mouth with which to latch, suck, or chew with. This was just the beginning of our journey autism, but it all started from day one – the day he was born.
Since then, Adam has been in therapy for three years. He is doing great! No, the autism will never be cured or never go away, but the hours of therapy we have put in have helped him cope and helped him get up to where he needs to be right now.
About two years after my son’s diagnosis we decided to try for one more baby. We knew the chances of having another child with autism were pretty good, but we also knew we wanted to love one more child. We wanted one more to be apart of our family.
My daughter Elizabeth was born right when she should have been – exactly 39 weeks. I had no vaccinations and no complications during the pregnancy. However, right after she was born we noticed some problems. They were small at first, but then we realized something was very wrong.
Elizabeth had severe projectile vomiting less than 24 hours after she was born. The nurses told me it was fine, just a little spit up. I was incredulous because I had never seen any baby “spit up” like my baby girl just did.
We took her home and it only go worse. By two months she was failing to thrive, had severe GERD, and was aspirating on her food. By three months she had to have surgery, and since then has been on a feeding tube. By age one she had been hospitalized 7 times. This was just the beginning of our medically complicated journey, but it all started from day one – the day she was born.
I have two special needs kids, each with their own special needs, each with their own ways to see the world and to learn about the things around them. We love them both, and we would do anything in the world for them. But I would never not vaccinate them.
I have been accused of giving my son autism because I vaccinate him, I have been accused of making my children have special needs because our family chooses to vaccinate. And I disagree with my entire heart because both of my children were born this way. They are special and unique and we love them just the way they are.
In light of the recent news of measles making a comeback, I wanted to write this post. If you are on the line today of whether or not to vaccinate, to get the vaccines the way the pediatrician suggests or to go your own path, can I just plead with you? There is nothing wrong with autism. There is nothing wrong with special needs kids. My children are wonderfully and beautifully made, and knowing what I know now, I would still choose to vaccinate. I still do vaccinate them.
The fear of autism cannot be bigger than the fear of mealses, the fear polio, and the fear of other diseases that have been eradicated through vaccinations. Autism isn’t something to be feared, it is something to be accepted. And if I had to choose again between my child getting measles and my child having autism. I would choose autism all over again. I would choose autism every time.
If you are on the line about vaccinating, please, please, please don’t let your fear of vaccines, of autism, of special needs, prevent you from vaccinating your children.
I have sat there in hospital praying for answers, I have handed my child over to surgeons, praying to God that He would help me trust because I couldn’t do it on my own. I have seen what diseases and sickness can do. It is not worth the hospital visits because your child has caught some horrible disease that should have not existed anymore. Nothing in the world is worth putting your child through that. It’s not worth not vaccinating.
I have two special needs kids. And yes, I choose to vaccinate.