Please keep in mind when you read this: I am not a Doctor (maybe I will be some day… but right now I am not) so reading this blog post in no way qualifies as seeking professional medical advice on this issue. I am just a mother who would like to share her experiences and research with you all.
I have recently been asked some interesting questions about vaccinations (immunisations) and my choices regarding them. As you may all know, my little brother has Autism. You are all also probably aware of the controversy surrounding Autism and immunisations. I made the personal choice not to vaccinate my child at all before the age of 2. But what are the other choices? How did I go about making my choice? Where did I find my information? What will I be doing next? Hopefully this blog post will address all of these questions.
Choosing not to vaccinate was a major choice for me to make. I was lucky in that I had a lot of things that most people don’t have. I had personal experience, I had a mother who was very aware of the circumstances and information that can influence such a choice, and I studied Psychology myself at University. I will describe my motivating factors, but your motivating factors for choosing not to vaccinate may be different.
My little brother was my main motivating factor.
I get quite emotional when people aggressively question my choices. My little brother was born in 2006. He was born healthy and reached all of his milestones at the expected rate. He was beginning to talk (he could string more than two words together), he could crawl and he showed an interest in those around him. Until he had his MMR vaccination. Then he stopped speaking altogether, he stopped crawling and he stopped paying attention to those around him. He now had the characteristic “Autistic gaze”. He would not look directly at anyone anymore. I cannot describe how hard it was to see this. I cannot put into words the feelings that his regression evoked within me. I lost my little brother. I lost his smiles, his giggles, his cuddles and his baby words. As far as I was concerned, the only factor I could see that could have interrupted my brother’s developmental progress was the immunisations he was exposed to.
If you would like to know more about how my brother is coping with his Autism, please read my post: Reinvigorate Autism.
My mother educated me.
My mother helped me a lot. She pointed me in the direction of a lot of published literature that describes that link between immunisations and Autism. She put me in touch with my little brother’s Doctor and his nutritionist (both of whom specialize in treating children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder).
Studying Psychology at University and educating myself, helped me to make up my own mind.
At University, many of my courses covered Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I learned about how Autism has a rather weighty genetic contributing factor, and a number of unexplained contributing factors. As my brother is Autistic, I decided that I already had a rather hefty genetic risk of my son developing Autism (as Autism is more likely to affect boys than girls) and I did not want to introduce any more environmental risks (i.e. immunisations; and specifically the MMR vaccine). Plain and simple: I do not believe that newborn babies should be subjected to so many injections and chemicals in their first year of life. Especially when there are other ways to boost a child’s immune system.
What is a Conscientious Objection to Immunisations? How do You Go About It?
A Conscientious Objection (in Australia) is a personal, philosophical, religious or medical belief involving a conviction that vaccination under the National Immunisation Program should not take place.
To make a formal Conscientious Objection, you will need to discuss the benefits and risks of immunisation with a medical provider, consider the information, and get that provider to sign your form.
If you do not wish to immunise your child, you will need to fill out a “Conscientious Objection” form and submit it to Centrelink and Medicare.
I have attached a PDF file to this blog post, but here is the online link:
Conscientious Objection Form
With this form, your child will be able to attend school and child care facilities in Australia.
How Can I Support My Child’s Immune System Without Vaccinations?
If you do not immunise your child, you need to support your child’s immune system in other ways. I cannot stress how important this is. I would suggest:
-Breastfeeding: your immune system is passed on to your baby. Read my post on breastfeeding here.
-Tailoring Your Child’s Nutrition: I follow the GAPS Diet for my son. Read more about this lifestyle choice in my blog posts:
Food and the GAPS Diet
My Review of “Gut & Psychology Syndrome; Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyslexia, Depression, Dyspraxia, A.D.D, A.D.H.D and Schizophrenia” written by Dr. Natasha McBride MD., MedSci(Nutrition), MedSci(Neurology).
I would also suggest visiting a nutritionist to help you in this area.
-Staying Away From Potentially Dangerous Situations: do not take your baby out and around lots of people in the first few weeks/months of life. Try not to expose your infant to sickness or sick people if you can help it. Stay away from children with known fatal/dangerous illnesses like Whooping Cough. Make sure anyone who comes into contact with your baby washes their hands and is not sick.
-Let Your Child Build Their Immune System Naturally. Encourage outside play around animals and livestock. There is a difference between clean dirty and dangerous unhygienic and unsafe dirty.
-Homeopathic Alternatives to Vaccination: I have not done this myself, however I have heard good things. My Aunt has used this program with success for her two children.
There are a number of different delayed vaccination schedules out there. I am not sure if these schedules are Government approved, I have not been able to find information regarding that, however, the delayed schedule will be better for your child’s health. [If I do find out about Government Approval I will add that to this blog post and let anyone who is interested know].
If I were to immunise my son, (I am still largely undecided) I would follow something similar to Dr Miller’s schedule. He advocates:
-No vaccinations until a child is two years old.
-No vaccines that contain Thimerosal (mercury).
-No live virus vaccines (except for smallpox, should it recur).
-These vaccines, to be given one at a time, every six months, beginning at age 2:
•Pertussis (acellular, not whole cell)
•Polio (the Salk vaccine, cultured in human cells)
Find out more about this schedule here.
For Australian Parents:
If you choose not to vaccinate your child, you are still eligible for Centrelink Payments. You can receive Parenting Payment, Family Tax Benefit, Maternity Allowance and Childcare Allowance. You must however, fill out your conscientious objection form and hand it in to Centrelink and Medicare.
Here are some helpful/informative sources of information:
Other Journal Articles that may be interesting to read:
(These articles state that Rubella is a known cause of Autism).
Chess, S. Autism in children with congenital rubella. J Autism Child Schizophr. 1, 33-47 (1971).
Chess S. Follow-up report on autism in congenital rubella. J Autism Child Schizophr. 1977;7:69 –81
“Vaccine Epidemic” Edited by Louise Kuo Habakus, M.A. and Mary Holland, J.D.
If I find any more relevant information, I will add to this post and let you all know.