There are many controversial theories on autism. What’s even more relevant is what isn’t being said about autism.
I’m often asked by family and friends what my thoughts are on autism and immunizations. Our son began having seizures 2 weeks after a series of booster immunizations (including DTaP/HepB/IPV, Hib, and PCV.)
One thing that isn’t being said is that immunizations won’t trigger illness in autistic children. Most people are aware of the possible adverse affects of immunizations on healthy children.
Autism has a number of other related health conditions. Children with conditions like feeding difficulties and seizure disorders, are more likely to suffer adverse reactions to immunizations.
Should autistic children be immunized?
Every child is different. It’s best to make decisions on an individual basis. Parents should discuss the risks and benefits of immunizations with a health care provider. A developmental pediatrician can help consider all of a child’s health conditions.
If a child has epilepsy or seizure disorder, discuss immunizations with a neurologist. If possible, postpone immunizations until a seizure disorder is well controlled with medication.
Some precautions to take when immunizations are given are:
1. Consider the child’s overall health condition.
2. Know the risks, be well-informed about signs of adverse reaction.
(Your pediatrician often has handouts that you can read so that you know what to expect and what to look for.)
3. Monitor for fever and adverse reactions.
4. Consider preventive measures such as Tylenol or Advil for fever, giving only one immunization at a time, or postponing until your child is in good health.
5. Be prepared. Have infant’s or children’s Tylenol or Advil on hand. If your child has a feeding difficulty (or even if he or she doesn’t) it’s good to have Pedialyte and Pediasure on hand. Preventing dehydration and getting in nutrients is important to minimize any possible adverse effects.
Immunizations save lives! So let’s use them safely!
Autism is most likely related to both genetic and environmental factors. There is no evidence (that I’m aware of) to suggest that if a child is not immunized they won’t have autism. Like many chronic health conditions, symptoms often appear with other illness or conditions.
Immunizations have eradicated many diseases worldwide. If a child who is not immunized gets a disease they are more likely to die of that disease or another illness while their immune system is weak.
There is no guarantee that a child who is not immunized will not get sick with any illness that could trigger autism or seizure disorder.
There’s a lot of bad advice for autism parents out there on the internet! It’s always best to make medical decisions with a qualified health care provider.
All opinions on this blog are my own.
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