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Why do people assume the only reason for not vaccinating is fear of autism??

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
This drives me INSANE. Please tell me it irks someone else too.

Now that it's been in the news even more recently there are all kinds of blog posts and news reports saying that since that study was retracted now the vaccine debate can end. Apparently since vaccines don't cause autism now they are safe.

I can't be the only one who spent months researching vaccines in depth by reading medical journals and studies with a medical dictionary opened, talking to doctors, reading every book related I could find, studying the history of all the diseases, etc. Do people really believe that autism is the only reason to think twice about vaccinating?!?

Fear of my child getting autism wasn't even on my list of reasons why I would never vaccinate! Our family doesn't make such important decisions based on fear, anyway...

post #2 of 49
Yes, it's been annoying me for a while.

It's a red herring in a way - even though honestly autism IS a real concern, it's only one of many.

It's no accident that people have been guided to think that autism is the only concern. Now we debunk, and it's all over.

Fortunately I don't think it's actually going to go that way I think we're gaining a critical mass of people who are suspicious and resisting being told to vaccinate.
post #3 of 49
Yes, it is another attempt to shut down the debate.

But we need to watch out for the way it is being framed.

The story is that parents were concerned about autism and now that has been debunked, so all worry is at an end and everyone from birth to old age should get all of the recommended vaccines on schedule.

But there are two pieces here:

1) It hasn't been debunked. The questions about autism have NEVER been addressed

2) There are lots of problems with the current vaccine recommendations and they haven't been addressed, either.

The best strategy might be to pull up some other problem, like the increased asthma resulting from the DTP, and post that study. Drive them crazy instead of letting them drive us crazy...
post #4 of 49
Yes, it's very frustrating indeed. I think that since it's been more of a cause of the celeb no-vax crowd, that's the thing that people gravitate towards.

It's frustrating to have to constantly educate people when they question our choices....I've been asked straight out (by a well-meaning person I care for) "Has he had his shots?" My reply, "Nope, and he won't". "Wow, none of them? What about your older kids?" Then I say, "Well the older ones unfortunately were subject to my mainstream upbringing and my ignorance, and a few of them did have shots, but we stopped when we got informed".

Then the questions are always about the autism link. So I say, "I'm actually concerned with autism, since the brain has been washed with chemicals at a pivotal age. It hasn't been debunked. I've read the real research! I'm just as concerned, however, with asthma, SIDS, auto-immune disorders and more."

I've sat in the ped office, with tears streaming down my face, as an older male pediatrician tells me that "just become some fringe wacko group says they cause autism, you can't believe that! I've been by the bedside when some child is dying of chicken pox..where have the anti-vax crowd been?!" He was seriously raising his voice, and then he stormed out of the room. My baby was crying, I was crying, etc. That was nearly 5 years ago and a complaint later. We no longer visit pediatricians for anything..if someone needs a Dr, we'll go to my natural DO. We don't need to be humiliated on some idea that we heard some autism link story somewhere and therefore we aren't vaccinating...duh..
post #5 of 49
lol tell me about it! thats the first thing my medical doc said, its very annoying, i swear when people ask me about my baby and shots. i have to say,

"no im not vaccinated........and no, its not because of autism"
post #6 of 49
It has not been debunked.

We still do not know what causes autism and vaccinations are the common denominator in almost every case.

Questioning vaccinations has been a cause since Edward Jenner and even before the governments became involved. There is nothing new under the sun.
post #7 of 49
While I don't think I did quite as much research as you, autism didn't factor in my decision either. YES it's annoying when people automatically think that! Grrr...
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper44 View Post
Fear of my child getting autism wasn't even on my list of reasons why I would never vaccinate! Our family doesn't make such important decisions based on fear, anyway...
And not only this, but the majority of people assume that the vaccine to blame is the MMR only! I know many people who have fully vaccinated their children and just skipped the MMR
post #9 of 49
Probably because it seems to be the only thing the mainstream media focuses on. I never hear reporters asking about other harmful ingredients or other possible side effects like encephalitis or autoimmune disorders. Only autism and mercury. Real investigative journalism by the mainstream media is sorely lacking.
post #10 of 49
Yeah, I commented on Twitter the other day that we don't vax and within minutes someone had sent me a link to the Lancet retracting Wakefield stuff with a note "FYI" I just responded that we have MANY reasons for not vaxing, autism isn't on the list and our doctor is supportive. He shut up...
post #11 of 49
It's funny. . .whenever I mention not vaxing people bring up autism and then they always bring up Jenny McCarthy and my lack of intelligence for following her. Honestly, there are many reasons we don't vax and autism isn't the main one. I get tired of hearing it everytime.
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post
It's funny. . .whenever I mention not vaxing people bring up autism and then they always bring up Jenny McCarthy and my lack of intelligence for following her. Honestly, there are many reasons we don't vax and autism isn't the main one. I get tired of hearing it everytime.
I get this one too. The "Just because a celebrity said..." argument. Seriously? Thanks for assuming I'm a mindless drone!
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper44 View Post
This drives me INSANE. Please tell me it irks someone else too.

Now that it's been in the news even more recently there are all kinds of blog posts and news reports saying that since that study was retracted now the vaccine debate can end. Apparently since vaccines don't cause autism now they are safe.

I can't be the only one who spent months researching vaccines in depth by reading medical journals and studies with a medical dictionary opened, talking to doctors, reading every book related I could find, studying the history of all the diseases, etc. Do people really believe that autism is the only reason to think twice about vaccinating?!?

Fear of my child getting autism wasn't even on my list of reasons why I would never vaccinate! Our family doesn't make such important decisions based on fear, anyway...

I did not even know about the link to autism when we decided not to vaccinate.

Unfortunately, oftentimes when you step outside of "the box", you will come under quick judgment, assumptions, and scrutiny by some folks.
post #14 of 49
Autism has nothing to do with my decision not to vaccinate. In fact, I have a child with autism, and I'm offended that anyone would decide not to vaccinate based on the possibility of having a child like mine. My kid is AWESOME!
I don't vax my kids for a number of reasons. And I don't appreciate people assuming that I would want my older son to be a different person.
post #15 of 49
A lot of people on this thread say autism isn't even on their radar, isn't even just one of their reasons.

Why? Is it that you don't believe autism and vaccines could be related, or is it because you don't find autism concerning at all, or maybe you don't believe autism exists?

As for the "we're not motivated by fear" statement, what does that have to do with your decision to not vaccinate and to not consider autism one of the factors? Or are you saying that none of your reasons to not vaccinate are based on any attempt to avoid anything, including autoimmune disorders and so on - and autism is just one of many examples?

ETA: I posted just when the previous poster did... but I still wonder about others, do they feel the same way as the previous poster (autism is not something to be avoided but embraced) or is it something else?
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
A lot of people on this thread say autism isn't even on their radar, isn't even just one of their reasons.

Why? Is it that you don't believe autism and vaccines could be related, or is it because you don't find autism concerning at all, or maybe you don't believe autism exists?

As for the "we're not motivated by fear" statement, what does that have to do with your decision to not vaccinate and to not consider autism one of the factors? Or are you saying that none of your reasons to not vaccinate are based on any attempt to avoid anything, including autoimmune disorders and so on - and autism is just one of many examples?

ETA: I posted just when the previous poster did... but I still wonder about others, do they feel the same way as the previous poster (autism is not something to be avoided but embraced) or is it something else?
For us while we believe that vax's *may* cause autism in some individuals, we haven't seen it thoroughly studied either way. With the research I've seen, I cannot say definitively that vax's alone can cause autism, regardless of what my personal suspicions may be. However, I CAN say without question that the human body was NOT meant to be bombarded with things like foreign human diploid cells, formaldehyde and heavy metals. While we do have a concern over autism, yes, that's not topmost on our list of our concerns. Also there's a fundamental belief for us that the human body was designed to fight off disease and every time you try to circumvent that with vaccines you are damaging that bodys ability to function correctly.

Our decision not to vaccinate is very much based on attempting to avoid things like autoimmune disorders - which based on our research, seem to be something that crops up anecdotally quite frequently among vaccine injuries. From personal experience I know that our 5.5 yr old DD still spikes a fever and goes into seizures when she gets ill, which is a result of being vaccinated. The lack of fear that you hear discussed, for us at least, refers to the illnesses themselves. I've had chickenpox. Every kid I went to school with had chickenpox. Chickenpox is *not* scary and very seldom fatal. I am not afraid of it, and laughed outright when I had a dr tell me my kids would die from it without the vaccine. I've seen measles, and likewise, it does not frighten me. We found a set of medical books from 1919, and the entries on the VPD's was quite enlightening! With the lack of advancements in medical care and no antibiotics in sight, most of the "deadly" conditions we vaccinate for were considered a mere blip on the radar and normal childhood events.

As for the OP why it's always about autism, I think the medical community focuses on that one solely because short of extensive testing on say identical twins (which of course I would never advocate and would never be done), there's no concrete way to prove the link 100% and it's easy enough to get evidence suppressed. The other issues it's not so easy. You just can't argue some of those points, so instead they pretend they don't exist and focus on the one thing they can try to control.
post #17 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
For us while we believe that vax's *may* cause autism in some individuals, we haven't seen it thoroughly studied either way. With the research I've seen, I cannot say definitively that vax's alone can cause autism, regardless of what my personal suspicions may be. However, I CAN say without question that the human body was NOT meant to be bombarded with things like foreign human diploid cells, formaldehyde and heavy metals. While we do have a concern over autism, yes, that's not topmost on our list of our concerns. Also there's a fundamental belief for us that the human body was designed to fight off disease and every time you try to circumvent that with vaccines you are damaging that bodys ability to function correctly.

Our decision not to vaccinate is very much based on attempting to avoid things like autoimmune disorders - which based on our research, seem to be something that crops up anecdotally quite frequently among vaccine injuries. From personal experience I know that our 5.5 yr old DD still spikes a fever and goes into seizures when she gets ill, which is a result of being vaccinated. The lack of fear that you hear discussed, for us at least, refers to the illnesses themselves. I've had chickenpox. Every kid I went to school with had chickenpox. Chickenpox is *not* scary and very seldom fatal. I am not afraid of it, and laughed outright when I had a dr tell me my kids would die from it without the vaccine. I've seen measles, and likewise, it does not frighten me. We found a set of medical books from 1919, and the entries on the VPD's was quite enlightening! With the lack of advancements in medical care and no antibiotics in sight, most of the "deadly" conditions we vaccinate for were considered a mere blip on the radar and normal childhood events.

As for the OP why it's always about autism, I think the medical community focuses on that one solely because short of extensive testing on say identical twins (which of course I would never advocate and would never be done), there's no concrete way to prove the link 100% and it's easy enough to get evidence suppressed. The other issues it's not so easy. You just can't argue some of those points, so instead they pretend they don't exist and focus on the one thing they can try to control.
I agree! We are concerned about the way vaccines work in the body--the way the adjuvant over stimulates the immune system and what possible consequences this may have. (Vaccines have an adjuvant specifically designed to hyper stimulate the immune system that so that you develop a very strong immune response to the weakened/inactivated disease in the vaccine.)

Autism is something I wouldn't want my children to have to face, just as it would be hard to see them struggle over any extra hardship or handicap. But if I had an autistic child I have no doubt we would love them and appreciate their unique qualities just as we would any other child. It's not much different from getting pregnant and not knowing if your child will be born perfectly healthy or with any kind of extra challenge.

Aside from that, we know two children who were born at home unassisted and are unvaxed and they both have low functioning autism. They are from the same family, so maybe it's genetic? Who knows. Their older sister was vaccinated and is 100% normal...or neuro typical, is that the right phrase?

The link between vaccines and autism may be there somewhere, I honestly do not know and can't argue either way, but there isn't enough extremely strong evidence for autism to be my specific reason to not vaccinate.

It almost seems demeaning that other people (and medical professionals also) assume that those who choose not to vaccinate are just blindly afraid their child will be autistic.

About fear--what I meant was we don't choose anything out of fear. I don't decide to vaccinate my child because I'm terrified she'll get polio, and I don't decide not to vaccinate her because I'm afraid she'll have a bad reaction. We looked at all the facts we could find, thought carefully, and decided that the risk of tampering with her immune system was more than the risk of her catching or dying from each VPD. Being afraid of one outcome or the other just wasn't a factor in the decision making process. But it seems for a lot of people (in general) that fear of something seems to be a main motivating factor behind making the choice of whether or not to vaccinate.
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
A lot of people on this thread say autism isn't even on their radar, isn't even just one of their reasons.
There are many, many reasons why I don't vaccinate and if I wanted to be very specific about each and every possible disease that vaccines can cause, I would have thousands of reasons and autism would be one of them. But generally speaking, autism would be lumped in with my reason that vaccines can cause many different kinds diseases. Maybe that is what others meant about autism not being on their radar?
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
Also there's a fundamental belief for us that the human body was designed to fight off disease and every time you try to circumvent that with vaccines you are damaging that bodys ability to function correctly.
This is my belief as well; I trust Mother Nature and its infinite wisdom so I'd be very hesitant to interfere with my child's rapidly developing immune system and brain functioning as the consequences are complex and not fully known yet.

Instead I choose to strengthen his little body with natural means such as proper nutrition, exercise, sunshine, avoidance of environmental toxins etc.
post #20 of 49
Quote:
A lot of people on this thread say autism isn't even on their radar, isn't even just one of their reasons.

Why? Is it that you don't believe autism and vaccines could be related, or is it because you don't find autism concerning at all, or maybe you don't believe autism exists?
For me, autism wasn't on my radar because I knew nothing of the controversy when I made the decision to no longer vaccinate. My decision was based on seeing how my oldest child was reacting to his vaccinations and not knowing what they could be doing to him. Autism came much later.

Quote:
As for the "we're not motivated by fear" statement, what does that have to do with your decision to not vaccinate and to not consider autism one of the factors? Or are you saying that none of your reasons to not vaccinate are based on any attempt to avoid anything, including autoimmune disorders and so on - and autism is just one of many examples?
There is a difference between "fear" and a healthy level of skepticism. One doesn't need to be afraid of the opposing choice in order to question its merits. I question whether vaccinating is the safest and healthiest method of disease-prevention, and whether it should be the default choice. My skepticism was validated when I discovered recently that my youngest is allergic to latex; she has never been vaccinated, which in hindsight may have saved her life because latex allergy is a contraindication for many vaccines... yet she would never have been screened for a latex allergy (or any other allergy, for that matter) before she would have been given a vaccine.

Quote:
ETA: I posted just when the previous poster did... but I still wonder about others, do they feel the same way as the previous poster (autism is not something to be avoided but embraced) or is it something else?
Well... having a child with autism is very challenging; I consider it a good day if I don't contemplate suicide. I embrace my child, but I don't embrace autism any more than I would embrace a heart defect or chromosomal disorder; its part of who he is and I will do everything I can to ensure him a safe, happy life... but I would take autism away in a heartbeat of I could.
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