As I write this, we have just returned from the baby’s six-month check up. Six months and I feel like she’s always been here, can’t imagine life without her. She is so cuddly, sweet and happy I can’t get enough of her. Six months of feedings, diapers, doctor’s appointments, sleepless nights (only the last few; she’s gone backwards) spit up and burping – it seems as though it’s always been this way. We adore the two of them and are so blessed and happy to have the children and we will spend every day loving them and making the best decisions we can for them. Isn’t that what it’s all about at this point in their lives? We love them and care for them and part of taking care of them when they are young is making really profound decisions for them. It’s quite intimidating when we stop the crazy race of life and think about how you actually raise a child.
The check up got me thinking about the vaccination debate. This is one of those decisions that we make as parents that are extremely important to our children. To give them or not to give them is the main question.
Many parents (not all) of children with autism of varying degrees have speculated that immunizations given to infants and toddlers are a cause of the disorder. Many tests have been done and no one has found evidence supporting those claims. Now, I’m not saying what any parent should do or not do regarding their children. As we all know, I try to be non-judgmental in every aspect of my life (as hard as it may be and, remember, I’m not perfect) and if I had a child with autism, I would want to research every possible thing that could have possibly caused it to happen. Many parents of autistic children have stated they saw a noticeable difference in their child’s behavior after receiving an immunization at a young age; it does make you wonder. However, it also makes me wonder why the millions of other children who have received all of their vaccinations show no signs of autism.
It’s just one of those major decisions you have to make. It definitely makes you think twice because, although there has been no overwhelming proof that vaccines cause autism, the talk is out there and what do any of us really know? Nothing, unless we have been told by a doctor or researched it on the Internet and we all know that just because someone says or writes something does not make it true.
I chose to vaccinate my children. I chose to do this because I trust the proof in our neighbors and ourselves that these immunizations do the job that they are meant to do. Keep all of these nasty bugs and viruses out of our systems so that we don’t live in fear as people did so many years ago. We don’t worry that our children will be stricken with polio and be paralyzed; we don’t worry about diphtheria and typhoid, horrible diseases that took so many young lives only a few generations ago. I trust the proof in our health and the health of those around us. Do I wonder about the correlation between vaccines and autism, yes, I do, but I would rather my children be vaccinated against these awful diseases and be able to attend school with the majority of the young population. I have seen no proof that vaccines cause autism and so I support vaccines 100 percent. I hate to say it, but those who don’t vaccinate are putting all of us at risk. For instance, pertussis (whooping cough) is making a rise again and I can’t help but wonder if it’s because people are choosing not to vaccinate their children. So, no matter how you look at this, whether you vaccinate or not, remember it is your decision as a parent and it’s one of the most important ones to make in their little lives.