Fact #1: My child has all her vaccines
Fact #2: My child is on the autistic spectrum and the better part of my life for the past 8 years has been spent trying to help her decode the world around her, help her with these too-small-for-official-notice learning disabilities. Except speech. The government was willing to admit she has some speech and language issues. Every other intervention has occurred via private care and parenting.
Some nurses have delayed the dates their own children were given vaccines, spread them out more. Some parents refuse to give their children vaccines believing that a healthier immune system is built from going through the disease itself. There are other parents and other reasons and other actions and to the parents, the reasons seem valid.
One of my biggest fears as a parent is that I caused her autism. Vaccines are one of the things I took at face value and did as I was told by her pediatrician, signed on the dotted line to give her the shots as recommended. She had far more vaccines than I ever did, at least twice as many, and she had them far younger than I ever did. Heck, the polio vaccine on a sugar cube was invented when I was already in elementary school, the measles vaccine when I was in third grade and I never had a mumps or rubella vaccine, let alone chicken pox. But I had all the diseases I wasn't vaccinated for at one time or another, I'm pretty sure.
The problem is we don't know if vaccines have caused autism in anyone. At least, I haven't seen any proof of that yet. And we won't know if it was something previously in the vaccines until sufficient statistical data exists to show that autism has declined as a result of changes made. Which will take one heck of a lot of data collection. For years. At least a decade, if not two decades. Because, like, we can't do controlled experiments on babies trying to INDUCE autism. We just have to collect data and try to isolate the various potential triggers, eliminating them one after the other, until we determine once and for all that it couldn't have been the vaccines or the vaccine schedule. It was something else. Or maybe we'll stumble over that 'something else.'
I would like to take issue with folks who've never had children declaring that my child should be vaccinated and that there's no danger in the vaccines or the vaccine schedule.
I would like to remind them that they don't live with my fear, that I caused this. This is the fear a parent has. We can rationalize it, we can dismiss it, but we still have to find a way to live with it.
And maybe it was because I was over forty and I should have known better than to have a baby so late in life because the incidence of autism increases dramatically. Only...do I have statistics on that?