Home > Parent Perspective, Testimonials, Vaccine Myths > Lara’s Story: Growing Up Anti-Vaccine

Lara’s Story: Growing Up Anti-Vaccine

March 6, 2012

Lara Lohne grew up in an anti-vaccine household.  Although her father was fully vaccinated, the decision for Lara and her siblings not to be vaccinated rested primarily with her mother.  Several of her extended family members happened to be chiropractors, including her grandfather and two uncles, and Lara believes that they were a big influence on her mother’s position.

Lara explains that as a young child she didn’t realize that most people were, in fact, vaccinated.

 “I lived an extremely sheltered life growing up, and I was essentially taught that what my parents (or my mom) believed was the only point of view that mattered.  Any other view was considered as rebellion and betrayal.  In my house, people who were vaccinated were contaminated and less pure than those who chose not to vaccinate. I remember when I asked my dad if he was vaccinated.  He told me he was because he served in the Marine Corps and it was required for service.  It was a huge disappointment to me and I had difficulty not feeling resentful toward my dad because of it. Of course I was only eight years old at the time and only had what my parents told me as the basis to form my beliefs and opinions.”

Lara remained unvaccinated throughout her childhood and recalls a time when there was a measles outbreak in school.  She was in the ninth grade at the time and she didn’t want to be removed from class.  She asked her mom if she might be vaccinated so she wouldn’t have to miss school.

“She had told me we’re not going to let them inject us with poison. It is only a trap, trying to force us into their way of thinking. She used to say, over and over again, “We are not sheep!” She told me that the shot would cause me to get sick, make me go crazy or retarded (her word) or even kill me. She successfully talked me out of it at the age of 14.”

Despite her mother’s insistence, two years later, Lara was surprised that her parents took her to receive her first MMR shot at the age of 16.  At the time, there was another measles outbreak in her school and the county health clinic was offering free MMR vaccines to those who didn’t already have them.

“I was a junior in high school and my mom came to take me out of class to get vaccinated. Due to the fervor in which my mom fought us getting vaccines in the past, it confused me why she would want us to get them now.  However my mom explained that it was to keep them from being able to remove us from school again. She and my dad had to drag me kicking and screaming into the county health clinic to get the shot. I even remember saying a few times while this was all going on, “I don’t want to be a sheep!”

I was hurt that my mother, who had taught me to hate vaccines and everything they stood for, was now so adamant that I get one. After successfully convincing me vaccines were harmful, dangerous and inherently evil, she took me to get one with no sign of regret or remorse. It felt like callous disregard and I felt betrayed.  I had to ask myself, why would someone who was so strongly opposed to vaccines – who believed it could harm or kill me – insist that I get one after all the times she had rejected them before?  I was convinced that she didn’t care about me because she was literally dragging me to get one with no good reason in my head other than “They won’t have an excuse to remove you from school this time.”

After getting the shot, I waited, and expected the worst to happen. I didn’t get sick, I didn’t lose my mind and I most certainly didn’t come anywhere close to dying. I didn’t even have a mild reaction.  I suppose that was when I started to really question everything I had been raised to believe.   I started to wonder about vaccines, but unfortunately I didn’t have access to any resources at that time to investigate them further.  It was an experience that I have never forgotten.”

Years went by and Lara remained confused about her views on vaccines.  Then she discovered she was pregnant with her first child and she decided that she needed to do some research in order to make an educated decision for her own child.  Since these were the days prior to prevalence of the internet, Lara researched the subject by visiting the public library, reading books on childhood diseases and discovering how and why vaccines were first introduced.  Obviously, she was very surprised by what she learned.

 “I didn’t know people died from these diseases and it was quite shocking when I learned about the harm that they could cause.  My thoughts went back to my mom and whether or not she really cared about us as she felt it was better to fight infections naturally and make our immune systems stronger.”

“I realized that vaccines contained the virus or contagion of the disease but in a weakened or dead form.  I understood that by injecting that tiny little bit into a vaccine, that a ‘natural’ immune response was initialized. The benefits? You got the immunity and you didn’t suffer the disease or run the risk of permanent damage or death. The risks? Compared to what the disease could do, the risk was minimal.”

“Since I had survived a few of these diseases myself, I was well aware of how it felt to live through them.  Looking back, I would have preferred to get a little shot in the arm then have to suffer through the disease.  The thought of watching my own children suffer through the same diseases was unbearable. What I learned about vaccines during the months I spent in the library prior to my first child being born convinced me that it would be better to vaccinate then to take the risk of my child contracting the diseases they provide immunity for.”

Growing up in an anti-vaccine household made Lara’s decisions to vaccinate that much more difficult.

“It definitely made it harder for me to accept vaccines. I didn’t want to think that my mom had been ‘telling stories’ all my life, trying to get me to believe something that wasn’t true at all. It was something I struggled hard against because along with feelings of betrayal. there was fear of rejection. I also wanted to make sure I didn’t buy into vaccines just because it was against what my mom wanted. I didn’t want it to be a rebellion thing and at first I believe it may have been.  Until I did the research of course. Then I realized that all the feelings in the world don’t mean anything if there isn’t any fact to back it up. Once I learned the facts and my common sense caught up to my emotions, I was able to make the decision to vaccinate without feeling like it was just me being rebellious.  It  really was nothing personal against my mother. It was the simply the best decision I could make for myself, my children and the general public that we would all be exposed to. Knowing that science was behind me made the decision a lot easier to make with a clear conscience.”

Over the years, Lara continued to vaccinate her children.  But then something happened that she simply could not have anticipated.  Check back on Thursday when we will reveal how one diagnosis challenged her views of vaccines and changed her life forever.    

If you are someone who has changed their views on vaccinations in the past, we would love to hear your story in the comments below.  What circumstances made you reconsider your personal beliefs? 

  1. Kami
    March 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    WTH I’d like the rest of the story….. why do you need to post it tomorrow?

  2. Jennifer
    March 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I do not vaccinate, period. I will never change my mind. I can’t believe they made such as big deal about the MMR. One- it is a live vaccine which means 3 weeks of shedding. So when children get this b=vaccine they are actually spreading this illness to every one that is susceptible. Second-increase your vit A and you will skip the measles. Simple. You can not get health from a needle.

  3. Steve
    March 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It is sad to read how her mother sheltered her so much, even to the point of confusion. This girl had no idea about reality or about how to do her own research. She truly was a sheep in her mother’s flock.

    Her mom’s inconsistency also is regrettable. I wish the mom had been more open and up front with her, perhaps having some family discussions about why we do things this way and how to understand people that think and act differently. It sure sounds like her mom was almost the head of the family cult.

    It’s sad to consider that the mother’s actions probably caused her to decide to vaccinate.

    Thankfully this is not the norm. Our family chooses not to vaccinate and we discuss it regularly and have many friends that do vaccinate. We do not think of them as unclean or impure. They just think differently and that’s ok with us.

  4. Jennifer
    March 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I agree with you Steve. Yo said it more eloquently than me. The mother could have handled it much better than she did.

  5. Alisha
    March 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Absolutely ludacris. There is absolutely NO PROOF that getting a MMR vaccine puts unvaccinated children at risk of contracting MMR from vaccinated children. Also, the MMR vaccine is a Attenuated Vaccine. The infectious agent has been altered do that it becomes harmless but still effective enough to build an immune response.

  6. Converted
    March 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    What an fascinating story. I mean, it leaves the reader wanting MORE!! “Kicking and screaming” was so exciting and impactful to read. Now, I just can’t sleep not knowing WHAT HAPPENED!! I mean it must be earth-shattering! I am truly convinced now. Vaccines are the way, the truth and the life!! Thanks to this remarkable story. The HORROR, she must have endured, living a life without vaccines. This woman is a VICTIM. Is she not a hero for what she has been through? I mean she can tell it like it is…, I mean tell it like it should be, err… like she wants us to hear it. Wait a minute.

  7. Lara Lohne
    March 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    To Jennifer and Steve,

    I don’t claim my mother didn’t have her faults. And we actually did have family discussions about vaccines and why they were bad. My story isn’t to show my mom as a monster, because her beliefs were programmed into her just as they were into me. My story is to show the anti vaccine sentiment is just the same today as it was when I was growing up, and all the reasons behind the anti vaccine movement, most of which haven’t changed one lick, are not based in fact, but speculation, rumor and opinion. I have noticed those who follow the anti vaccine line of thinking are slightly elitist, believing themselves to be morally superior to the rest. This was definitely the case in my family, thus why we were led to believe those who were vaccinated were impure and contaminated. That is just the same today as it was when I was a child, even if it’s hard for you to admit it. I have felt it, the condemnation handed down for choosing to protect my children and save them the pain and anguish of living through, or dying from, these diseases. None of that has changed, and that is what my story is about.

    My decision to vaccinate my own children was based on the information I gleaned in the library while I was waiting for my first born to come. When I learned all the facts, I felt my mother had betrayed me, yes. But after weighing everything, I came to realize my mother was only repeating what she believed was true because it’s what her parents taught her.

    Opinion is fine and there is no right or wrong with opinions, if it is a true opinion. However, fact is quite different from opinion and the two should not be confused. If you base an opinion on inaccurate and false information, however, then you are being naive and/or gullible because the fact is out there to refute your opinion and in the case of vaccines and public health, there really isn’t room for opinion. There is right, and there is wrong.

    If you choose not to vaccinate your children nobody can stop you from making that decision. However, when it comes to your children having limited access to the general public because they could pose a threat of an infectious disease to someone who is immuno-compromised, that is like those who choose to smoke, but are not allowed to do so in a public area, for the greater good of public health. I think it’s safe to say we all agree that limited exposure to second hand smoke is a benefit to most of the rest of the population. Limited exposure to infectious diseases is, to a degree, treated in a similar fashion. If your choice could potentially impact public health and safety, then expect that your children will be subject to removal from school and quarantined if necessary, to ensure those who are unable to vaccinate (there is a difference between choosing not to do something and being unable to do something) will not be exposed to something your child may be carrying without anyone knowing. It isn’t fair to the child of course, but by the decision you have made in regard to that child, you are causing, and allowing that unfairness to be. I hope you are ready for the day when your own children realize that you don’t know everything and begin learning things for themselves.

  8. March 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Lara,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It is a very interesting window into the life of a family that is opposed to vaccines. And, I have to agree with you, that the reasons and arguments used have not changed much over the years.

  9. Lucas Noyes
    March 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    If you have sufficient Vitamin A then no supplement will make a difference in the first place. Secondly it is your immune system that fights disease not your renal organs (though they play a part) so Vitamin A has no effect on a virus in any manner. You will still get measles and you will still suffer, and children will still die.

    Second MMR is a deactivated live vaccine. As it cannot combine to a cell Nucleus accurately it cannot reproduce to any sufficient levels to generate any illness. Thus it cannot be spread. No spread of the disease due to the MMR vaccine has ever been recorded. Nor can it because it is physically impossible.

    We are complex multicellular organisms. Biology functions through chemical reactions and is bound by the same laws that govern a cup of coffee. There is no magic, just Chemistry and Physics.

  10. Midwest Dad
    March 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    My wife is strongly antivax. I am not. I often wonder what my kids’ take on this issue will be when they’re grown, especially if they have children of their own.

  11. Deb
    March 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you for such an insightful comment into the anti-vax movement.

    This is a movement that has no basis in fact and therefore relies on emotion to try to convert people – much like a cult. They love playing the victim both to get more converts and try to create space for their message by framing it as a justice or rights issue rather than a science and health issue.

    I’ve never heard from anyone who was brought up in that way and discovered reality for themselves, I respect that Lara is so accepting that her mother was trying to do her best. I can completely understand that she would want to avoid the emotional overblown rhetoric she grew up with and write more rationally. Your comment makes a lovely contrast to her writing.

  12. Nathan
    March 7, 2012 at 2:08 am

    To my knowledge, there has never been a single documented case of transmission of any of the vaccine-strain viruses in the MMR. There have been for other live viruses like Flumist and the rotavirus vaccine, but in low amounts and for a limited period of time. But as Alisha and Lucas point out, it is a weakened vaccine and is not “spreading this illness to everyone that is susceptible.”

  13. Ben
    March 7, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Jennifer :
    I do not vaccinate, period. I will never change my mind. I can’t believe they made such as big deal about the MMR. One- it is a live vaccine which means 3 weeks of shedding. So when children get this b=vaccine they are actually spreading this illness to every one that is susceptible. Second-increase your vit A and you will skip the measles. Simple. You can not get health from a needle.

    Wow… that’s some scary dogma there.

  14. March 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

    “But after weighing everything, I came to realize my mother was only repeating what she believed was true because it’s what her parents taught her. ”

    Like other things families go through, some of them have a lot of potential to do long term damage to our relationships. I’m glad that it sounds like you were able to work through all of your feelings.

    And thanks for sharing your story. I guess sometimes the acorn does fall far from the tree.

  15. cia parker
    March 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I started off believing in vaccination like everyone else around me. Even though I reacted to a DTP as an infant with days of inconsolable screaming, and my brother did too, and even though I reacted to a tetanus booster at nineteen with both arms being paralyzed for two days (brachioplexal neuropathy), and later developed M.S., I still thought vaccines were overall safe, effective, and necessary to control dangerous diseases. But before my daughter was born in 2000, I had read that the hep-B vaccine at birth often caused autism, and I went to her pediatrician a month before she was born just to say I didn’t want her to get it. I had tested negative for hep-B, and it is a disease that is not transmitted casually among children. There was no reason at all for her to get it. The pediatrician forgot to tell the staff at the hospital, and they gave it to her her first day in the world without asking permission. She reacted with four days and nights of endless, inconsolable screaming, vaccine-induced encephalitis, and was later diagnosed with autism. She struggles gamely with it every day of her life, is in a special-needs classroom (but in a typical one for math, the left side of her brain was not affected by the encephalitis), and I doubt she’ll ever be independent. This experience, bolstered by the extensive research I”ve done on vaccines, have convinced me that vaccines destroy more lives than they save. The vaccine-preventable diseases fall into two categories: usually mild formerly routine childhood diseases, and rare one. All are treatable by allopathic, naturopathic, or homeopathic means. If you get any vaccination, you may not see the adverse reactions for days, months or even years, but then you may see autism, ADHD, learning disorders, seizure disorders, asthma, allergies, bowel disease, diabetes, or other autoimmune conditions, because the vaccines alarm the immune system, which often reacts with more and longer-lasting inflammation than it was supposed to.
    The rate of autism in the U.S. tripled between 1992 (the year after they started giving the hep-B vaccine at birth) and 1996. School nurse Patti White testified before a congressional hearing the year before my daughter was born that her organization had become reluctantly convinced that the sudden increase of autism in Missouri public schools starting in 1996 was because of the hep-B at birth. (Of course the MMR and the DTaP also cause a lot.) Young babies should be quarantined rather than vaccinated to protect them from pertussis, and medical personnel should wear masks and gloves when handling young babies. Pertussis isn’t usually fatal even in the youngest group, and it’s not usually dangerous at all in older infants, children, and adults. If you get the vaccine, you run the considerable risk of SIDS, asthma, seizure disorder, or autism, and you’ll be on tenterhooks waiting for the adverse events for years. Quarantine your newborn (the vaccine isn’t very effective to start with in people of any age, and isn’t effective at all in young babies), and you’ll heave a sigh of relief when they are four months old and out of the age of danger.
    My baby got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, but caught pertussis at a La Leche League meeting when she was 9 months old. It was an alarming experience, but not a dangerous one. She gave it to me as well, and while she coughed ten coughs on a breath for over a month, I coughed for over two months. But we both recovered fine. She had been brain-damaged from the hep-B at birth, but I didn’t know it yet. She was very slow to talk, but had developed two words by eighteen months, uh for up and uff for dog. But after the DTaP booster at 18 months, both words completely disappeared forever. She didn’t say another word until she was almost 35 months old, when she laboriously started saying the repeated baby syllables like baba, poopoo, peepee, mama, and so on. She had been diagnosed with suspected autism at 20 months, later confirmed.
    I had measles as a child, at that time everyone did, it was no big deal, not a disease that anyone feared. If you talk to anyone over the age of 55, they will tell you about their having had it as a child, and will confirm that everyone had it, and no one feared it.
    My daughter and I struggle every day with life, she from autism, and I from M.S., which makes me exhausted, dizzy, and nauseated most of the time. If we had not gotten vaccines, we would both be enjoying a healthy life now.

  16. Chris
    March 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    If you get the vaccine, you run the considerable risk of SIDS, asthma, seizure disorder, or autism, and you’ll be on tenterhooks waiting for the adverse events for years.

    Not really, but you have been told that multiple times here.

    I had measles as a child, at that time everyone did, it was no big deal, not a disease that anyone feared. If you talk to anyone over the age of 55, they will tell you about their having had it as a child, and will confirm that everyone had it, and no one feared it.

    It was a big deal for Roald Dahl and his family. Do you know why?

    What happened to his family happened to about five hundred American families, plus there were thousands more who had children permanently disabled. This is why proof by anecdote is not sufficient.

  17. Venna
    March 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I feel for your struggles and understand if you and your relations had adverse reactions to vaccines why you might be tempted to blame them for everything. However, what you are saying here has never been proven by science and therefore is just speculation, rumor and opinion. Your family may be one of those that is unfortunately unable to get vaccines, but the majority of people in the world DON’T fall into that category and if they started believing your stories, then your own health would be threatened more so then it already is as herd immunity declines.

    Vaccines do not cause these things you say they do. The increase in autism diagnosis, at least a quarter of the cases, has to do with changes in the diagnostic criteria, part of it is also better evaluation techniques and better early diagnosis. Research study after research study has been done for a couple of decades now and no scientific evidence has ever been found that links vaccines as the cause of autism.

    You really don’t know what your life would have been like without vaccines because you did get them and there is every indication that everything you have suffered through and experienced would have come to pass even without vaccines. Since there isn’t any way to know what would have happened, and no scientific evidence points at vaccines, your statement is unfair and inflammatory.

    There are children who develop autism without vaccines, many of them. And not everyone recovers just fine from measles or pertussis. I had pertussis at 17 and a cough that last for 3 or 4 months and once it was over, I still get a recurring cough if I laugh too much, because it caused permanent damage to my lungs. Unfortunately, without actual citations, your claims are invalid. That doesn’t minimize or invalidate your own personal suffering, it only invalidates your claims that vaccines did it all, and vaccines aren’t needed because the diseases they protect against aren’t that bad. As pointed out by Chris, this is why anecdotes do not constitute proof. I know I have a lot of anecdotes that say the opposite of what you are saying, the difference between mine and yours is mine are backed up by proven, scientific fact and research.

  18. Converted
    March 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    So Deb, are you saying families that are “anti-vax” are in fact, in a “no vax cult”?

    I’m curious as to your definition of health and how that conflicts with the anti-vax stance. Actually, I’m curious to your definition of cult as well. I’m mean that sincerely.

  19. Nic
    March 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I don’t agree that measles is no big deal. My daughter had measles when she was 23 months old. She’s fully vaccinated but, as we know, vaccines aren’t 100% effective. It was awful. She had really high fevers for over a week. Aside from the immediate effects of the illness, being so sick for so long actually affected her personality. It was as though it broke her spirit. She was really clingy and lost a lot of confidence. It took about 3 months for her personality to get back to “normal”. And measles is one of the “milder” illnesses that we vaccinate against.

  20. March 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Oh good lord. Vaccination causes neither autism nor MS. We’re not quite sure exactly what causes them (although there seems to be a genetic component to autism at least), but it isn’t vaccination.

    If you talk to anyone over the age of 55, they will tell you about their having had it as a child,

    Yes, and it was hellish. I recall my mother being worried sick, too, so don’t come the “no one feared it” with me. It was known to cause disability and death.

  21. March 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I have a friend that has two children that have autism. It wasn’t until after they were diagnosed with autism did they get vaccinated. She was afraid of all the stories she heard about vaccine=autism. Well after getting the news that both her sons have autism she knew it was not the shots.

  22. cia parker
    March 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Chris:
    As I have told you multiple times, the question is not whether or not measles sometimes causes death, but whether the rarity of fatal complications and the benefits of getting the natural disease justify giving a dangerous vaccine to try to prevent measles. The exoneration of Professor John Walker-Smith yesterday is going to lead to the complete vindication of all those involved in the Lancet article Walker-Smith and Wakefield lost their licenses over. The judge, Sir John Mitting, said that there was no fraud involved, the children were appropriately treated for their condition, there was no connection between the lawsuit and the research, that the GNC acted on no justifiable grounds in revoking Professor Walker-Smith’s license, and that its revocation of his license was quashed, and Professor Walker-Smith’s license and privileges restored. At last a breath of honesty and truth!
    The fact is that the MMR does indeed cause autism and/or bowel disease in many of the children who receive it, and this possiblility must be weighed against the likelihood of serious or fatal complications from the measles itself. This possibility must be weighed by the parents themselves, not the doctors, and their decision respected. The death rate from measles in Europe last year was three out of every ten thousand, nine total. One out of every 88 vaccinated children now has autism. (Of course, the MMR doesn’t cause all of that autism, the hep-B vaccine and the DTaP also cause it, others as well to a lesser degree.) Tragic outcomes are possible either way. Personally, I would rather take my and my daughter’s chances with getting the natural disease, as I, and over 90% of children in the 1960s, did.

  23. Chris
    March 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    The fact is that the MMR does indeed cause autism and/or bowel disease in many of the children who receive it,

    The MMR has been used since 1971. If you have evidence that autism increased in the USA between 1971 and 1990, then please provide it. You cannot just make statements without any evidence.

    And also, tell us exactly how Roald Dahl’s daughter Olivia is supposed to tell us how measles affected her life.

  24. Steve
    March 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Lara,

    Thanks for the reply. After reading both parts of your story, I remain sympathetic. It seems your mother especially sent VERY mixed messages and caused you to feel betrayed. I truly wonder what she would say if she read this story.

    Betrayal can be a powerful catalyst toward rebellion. I’m sorry you feel so betrayed by your parents. I can’t help but wonder, as someone just peeking through a window of your life, if things might have been different had your parents acted differently.

    If nothing else, this is a warning about how I need to be open and honest with my unvaccinated family. I have learned many things by reading this including the importance of open communication and explanations of why we do what we do, and of course, how to understand people different than us.

    Thanks for allowing this article to be written. I do hope you keep reading and studying the topic of vaccines.

  25. cia parker
    March 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Chris,
    According to the CDC, in 1970 autism affected 4 in 10,000 children. By 1991, 5,000 autistic children were in the public school system; by 2001, that number had grown to 94,000 (and I think it’s at least doubled since then). I don’t have time right now to look for the figures you asked for, and I don’t know how many children total were in the school system in 1991, but if you’re saying that the MMR doesn’t cause autism, I think you’d have to explain the facts I do know. I know that at Mill Creek School in Columbia, Missouri, from a personal communication with the principal Mrs. Mary Sue Gibson, the rate went from four autistic children in 2009 to eight autistic children in 2011. It appears likely that the sheer number of vaccines given now may be responsible for this huge increase. Many thousands of parents say their child was developing normally until he got the MMR, and suddenly underwent a severe regression into autism and/or bowel disease. That’s why Dr. Wakefield said in the Lancet study that so sudden and severe a regression within days or weeks of the child receiving the MMR indicated a need for further study. His case study only involved twelve children, nine of whom developed both autism and bowel disease shortly after the MMR. One mother put it off for her second child when her first regressed after the MMR, but was finally persuaded to give it to her second child when she thought he was out of the danger range, and he suddenly regressed into autism and bowel disease right after getting it.
    It would certainly be useful if researchers were allowed to do research on the rates at which different vaccines have been linked to severe chronic disease, both now and historically. I am confident they will be once Big Pharma’s big road block has been overcome. But the fact that Wakefield, Walker-Smith, Murch, and a number of other researchers were crucified merely for pointing out the coincidence of the MMR with severe symptoms, and suggested a need for further research to be done, seems to indicate that Big Pharma knows very well that it had to quash this line of inquiry immediately and thoroughly, to delay as much as they could the recognition that the MMR is associated with causing autism in many thousands of cases.
    I read that one doctor told a fearful mother that a live child with autism was better than a child dead from a vaccine-preventable disease. I love my autistic daughter dearly, and am glad I have her. But I’m sure you’re aware that most women who know that they are carrying a child with Down’s syndrome choose to abort that child, meaning that a huge number of people would choose abortion over having a child with autism, death rather than disability. So that is a moral choice which must be left in the hands of the parents. (Pennsylvania is already going bankrupt from costs associated with autism. I’m terrified that one day the taxpayer will rebel when his taxes double or triple from autism costs, and it’s gone through my mind that they might eventually euthanize autistic people, over my dead body, of course, but I’ll probably die before my almost twelve-year old daughter does). If parents choose to take their chances with measles, usually a mild disease, rather than take the chance of causing autism in their child, that’s a completely justifiable choice. I personally am completely unwilling to damage my daughter further with vaccines, trusting that either she won’t get the more dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases like meningitis C (super dangerous vaccine!), or that a combination of allopathic crisis care and homeopathic/naturopathic treatment , and the efforts of her immune system, would probably be enough to save her. But it’s not a case of making this one choice to ensure life and health for your child, but rather a choice of which path seems more dangerous to you, no guarantees either way.
    And I understand very well that the diseases can disable or kill. I’m not denying that Roald Dahl’s daughter has every right to her own opinion, based on her experiences. We all have that right, and our experiences and world view shape our opinions. But since most of us would not get the more dangerous of the diseases even if we didn’t vaccinate, would not have a dangerous case of usually mild diseases like pertussis or measles if we didn’t vaccinate, and since the vaccines disable or kill at a rate far higher than what is recognized by the medical establishment, my experiences and world view lead me to reject vaccines.

  26. Chris
    March 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I’m not denying that Roald Dahl’s daughter has every right to her own opinion, based on her experiences.

    You really don’t know what happened to her! How can you be so foolish as to not even look it up! She cannot speak up for the same reason that at least five hundred other children per year who had the same fate did before 1963. Plus the thousands of children per year who became permanently disabled, some who only communicate with sign language and others who only read Braille. Calling measles and pertussis “mild diseases” is a lie.

    She died when she was seven years old in a hospital from measles encephalitis: Roald Dahl’s secret notebook reveals heartbreak over daughter’s death. I suggest in the future you actually learn how to do real research, and stop being spoon fed nonsense by certain biased websites. Or even take the time to open up your mind to the comments directed towards you on this blog, and actually learn to click on the URL links that have been provided.

  27. cia parker
    March 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I’m sorry, you’re right, I didn’t look her up. But, as I’ve said, I’ve never denied that some children died from measles pneumonia or encephalitis. And everyone who is more afraid of that possibility than of death, autism, or bowel disease from natural measles is free to choose to get the MMR, I would not say a word to them about their choice unless they asked me. Around 1960 one in a thousand died from measles complications. Probably fewer would die now if it came back, we know about vitamin A reducing complications, the danger of antipyretics, etc. In Europe last year, as I’ve said before, the death rate was nine out of thirty thousand, a lot less than the one out of a thousand of fifty years ago. But whether it’s one out of one or ten thousand, it still means that most people who got it and get it make a complete recovery in a few weeks, with no permanent damage, but they do get permanent immunity. And it still means that thousands of parents have seen their child regress into autism within days or weeks of the MMR. Have you read Callous Disregard?
    I think you should treat me politely. I’m nothing if not sincere, and I sincerely believe that in most cases (notice that I’m not saying all or always) vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases. My belief, my right, just as you have the right to your opinion. I’m homeschooling my daughter today, I keep her out of school on Thursdays for homeschooling today and on the weekend. I haven’t fed our rabbit, guinea pig, parakeets, canary, or hamster yet. The house is a wreck. I’m studying for a very hard ATA translators’ exam in two weeks, which I know I’m going to fail. My M.S. (from vaccines) means that I”m dizzy and unsteady on my feet all the time, and I can’t sleep at night. I just don’t have the time to research everything as I would like. You are antagonistic to me, which lessens my desire to follow your links and debate with you. What’s the point? It’s not as though either one of us were going to change our opinion. How could it? I held my baby all night for four nights through the encephalitic screaming, and my heart still aches because of the autism it caused, and sometimes I look at how pretty she is, and imagine her saying something normal about her day, in a normal way, and feel so sad because that was taken from us. I hope that my witness will at least make people think deeply about the issue before making their choice.

  28. Alisha
    March 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    “I read that one doctor told a fearful mother that a live child with autism was better than a child dead from a vaccine-preventable disease. I love my autistic daughter dearly, and am glad I have her. But I’m sure you’re aware that most women who know that they are carrying a child with Down’s syndrome choose to abort that child, meaning that a huge number of people would choose abortion over having a child with autism, death rather than disability.”

    Cia,
    This is seriously one of the most disgusting and sick responses I have ever heard in my life. “MOST” women?????? There are PLENTY of women that give birth to Down Sydrome Children and Austistic children and the children lead long and happy lives. If a parent chooses DEATH over a disability then they are NOT a parent at all and shouldn’t be having kids! A REAL parent would love and care for their child no matter what. But your right!!! Let’s just STOP vaccinating ALL children and let the diseases run wild once again. We will see then, whether or not parents think it may be wise to vaccinate. Eliminate the vaccines and the disease will come back full scale. It’s okay thought right? We will just cross our fingers that our children aren’t the ones the get the “really bad cases”, who end up becoming permenatly affected or die! Because once they are born and become disabled from a disease it’s too late to abort them then right??

  29. Lara Lohne
    March 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Steve,

    Again you missed the entire point of this article. I hold not feelings of betrayal or animosity toward my parents. At first, yes I did, but I came to realize my parents weren’t deliberately keeping the truth from me, they were merely echoing what they had been raised to believe. When I was able to do my own research I found what they believed, and what they had taught me to believe were in fact wrong. That being the case, I did the only thing that a sensible person with the ability to think logically and rationally could have done; I had my children vaccinated.

    It’s very clear you will not be swayed in what you believe. Vaccines are not your enemy, nor your children’s enemy, yet you treat them like they are out to do deliberate harm. More people are vaccinated then not, and I’m sure statistically, more who are not vaccinated suffer adverse reactions because of living through a disease then those who receive vaccines. That is scientific fact, not just opinion. If you choose to disavow science, you might as well go back to having your children bled when they get sick, or treating their disease with leeches. After all, if science is wrong about vaccines, why isn’t it wrong about everything else too?

  30. KathyH
    March 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lara. It is so important to hear stories like yours! May I ask why your son was unvaccinated at first? Did he just not go to the doctor his first few years?

  31. Lara Lohne
    March 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Lack of medical coverage for my son and inability to pay for vaccines is why he remained unvaccinated for so long. Once he had coverage through medicaid, we got him vaccinated. And no, he didn’t go to he doctor, which is possibly why he was over two before we were really convinced something was wrong with him. If he had been seeing a doctor regularly, the tell tale signs would have been noticed, the loss of language skills, fixed attention of parts of toys or obsessive lining up of toys and inability to play normally with them, the toe walking, lack of eye contact as well as the obvious sensory issues and tantrums and inconsolable screaming fits and self injurious or assaultive behavior. I give a little more detail in a comment on the second part of the story. I was not away there were potentially services in place that could have helped me get him vaccinated as I’ve never been in a situation where I needed them before and generally speaking, they aren’t advertised, so if you don’t know they are there already, you generally don’t ever know until someone tells you and you do use them.

  32. Deb
    March 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Of course not – if you read my comment I’m talking about ‘the movement.’ Admittedly this is ambiguous, but I mean the people and organisations who are active in spreading misinformation and attempting to recruit others. It’s like religion – the majority have their individual beliefs, but some extremists form groups that are dangerous to the health and well-being of their own members or others. I personally consider that most non-vaxxing families believe they are doing the right thing for their children, however misguided. But the leaders of the movement and the organisations that are actively promoting their ideology and recruiting others display cult-like characteristics.

    There are a few different lists of cult behaviours, I chose this one because it was put together by a couple of people with PhDs and I think they probably know more about it than me. http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm The AVN, the Australian organisation I’m most familiar with, checks at least 10 of those boxes – I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and not counting any that I haven’t seen evidence for myself. Other people have written about it in more detail than I can in a comment, it should probably be easy to find.

    My specific statement was that the movement ‘relies on emotion to try to convert people – much like a cult.’ I used your comment as evidence that you consider emotion to be important, and I feel the page I’ve linked to demonstrates that emotional manipulation is one of the things cults do. If you are going to engage online it’s important that you read what people actually say rather than putting your own interpretations on it, so I’m glad you asked for clarification.

    I’m not sure why you’re after my definition of health, is it because I said this was being framed as a rights issue rather than health? Personally I think health is complex, but one aspect of being healthy is not having diseases – I remember having chicken pox and mumps, that definitely wasn’t healthy. Do you consider having diseases to be healthy? Many anti-vaxxers I’ve been in contact with do claim that diseases are good for various reasons. But yes, being anti-vax conflicts with my definition of being healthy, because I think diseases are bad and because being anti-vax means you are more likely to get them.

    Please don’t try to argue that vaccines have not decreased disease incidence. The various graphs that get pulled out are based on mortality, not incidence, so they certainly aren’t going to convince me. And it’s very easy to do the maths to show that anti-vaxxers are far more likely to catch diseases. My references probably won’t convince you, which brings us back to the whole ‘based on emotions rather than facts.’

    Now I’ve answered your questions, I’d like to know your take on the relative importance of emotion versus facts, with reference to your original comment which was exclusively about the style of the writing and its emotional content. Plus of course your definition of health and whether it includes having diseases.

  33. KathyH
    March 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    That is true that if you are not aware of services for infants for free healthcare, they might be hard to find. I am surprised the hospital where he was born did not help you but I am not shocked. Some hospitals just let people leave without a followup plan. At least, you have him covered and taken care of now.

  34. KathyH
    March 9, 2012 at 12:13 am

    So, he had not had the hep b vax in the hospital when he was born? He had not been sick before age 2?

  35. Chris
    March 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I think you should treat me politely. I’m nothing if not sincere, and I sincerely believe that in most cases (notice that I’m not saying all or always) vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases.

    I have treated you as politely as you deserved. I was very surprised that you had not even bothered to check up on the family of a very famous children’s author. Plus you refuse to actually open your mind to new information, or even do basic research.

    I don’t care if you are sincere if you keep making blatantly false statements about the relative safety of vaccines and the diseases. You have been told time and time again that measles is dangerous, and that there is no real evidence that the MMR vaccine (which has been used for over forty years) causes autism. When you keep repeating the false statements again despite being told they are wrong, you are either a liar or purely delusional.

    If you think I am hostile, then stay away from the Internet. If you cannot be bothered to support your outrageous statements with real data, then stop posting them on the Internet if you do not like them being questioned.

    You have a choice: you can grow a backbone, learn to actually post real evidence and read the science, or you can stay away from the Internets.

  36. Chris
    March 9, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Silly question, Ms Parker: How many ambulance rides have you been on with your own child? I was on three of his four trips in an ambulance, my husband accompanied him on his first one. I know from first hand experience it is hard to hold a baby/toddler when they are hooked up to monitors, an oxygen tube and an IV.

    Just a wee bit of advice that you don’t play “my kid was sick from the vaccine” card with me. If you think I am hostile, it is because I am realistic about the affects of vaccine preventable diseases from personal experience. A reality that you deny.

  37. Autismum
    March 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    “no-one feared it”
    Yep, measles was horrible, Mr Teapot, you are quite right. I remember my mother’s terror that even a tiny chink of light could make us blind when my sis and I caught it. I’d call that fear.

  38. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Measles in vaccinated children is often “atypical” measles, which is more severe than in unvaccinated children.

  39. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Millions of people have found that vaccines cause the things I say they do. Look at the Manitoba study done in 1998 on many thousands of Canadian children, which found that getting the pertussis vaccine at two months as opposed to later more than doubled their chance of asthma at the age of seven. The pertussis vaccine makes it five times more likely that they have asthma than if they don’t get it at all.

    Autism did not exist before the 1930s. Dr. Leo Kanner examined the first children with it after the pertussis vaccine began to be used in the 1930s, and said it had never before been seen or described by anyone.

  40. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    The French government took the hep-B vaccine off the list of mandated vaccines because so many people reported that they had gotten M.S. shortly after getting the vaccine. The tetanus vaccine has also caused symptoms similar to the paralysis of M.S., certainly sometimes causes Guillain-Barré syndrome and brachioplexal neuropathy, like what I had after a tetanus booster. Both arms became paralyzed the same day as I got the shot. That paralysis only lasted two days, it was later that I was diagnosed with M.S., but the paralysis and optic neuritis were so similar that I don’t tink a link can be ruled out.

  41. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Chris,
    One reason that the MMR started to cause autism more often is that the vaccination recommendations changed in the 1980s, those who received the vaccine at twelve months or younger were revaccinated at fifteen months; a second vaccinatin, to be administerd by the age of four, was introduced in 1991; and the current recommendation to vaccinate at twelve months was introduced. I’m going to have to split this reply.

  42. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Chris,
    Another reason the MMR started causing more autism was that in 1990, Merck quadrupled the amount of the mumps vireus included in the U.S. MMR vaccine, it was increased from 5,000 to 20,000 units. The viruses contained in the MMR vaccine interfere with each other and may increase the risk of adverse reactions. The U.S. birth cohort of 1989 was the first to receive this new vaccine.
    The hep-B at birth starting in 1991 may also have started the process of damage in newborns who got (and get) it, resulting in severe cumulative damage when the MMR is given later.

  43. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Sir John Mitting, the judge in the Walker-Smith case, suspended his judgment for a few weeks because he was deeply troubled by the case and needed to research it more. He eventually found that there was NO FRAUD involved in Wakefield and Walker-Smith’s Lancet study, the children were APPROPRIATELY TREATED for their illness, there was NO CONNECTIN between the lawsuit and the case study, that the GMC had used SUPERFICIAL REASONING to reach FALSE CONCLUSIONS. The GMC actually never alleged fraud, that was something you people came up with. Even Brian Deer back away from the allegation of fraud several months ago, when he saw which way the wind was blowing.
    This means that the Lancet study made correct, unimpeachable observations that nine of the Lancet Twelve’s terrible symptoms of autism and bowel disease started within days or weeks of getting the MMR vaccine. The study cautiously added that this did not prove a link, but certainly gave grounds for further study. It looked VERY SUSPICIOUS! Wakefield, Walker-Smith, and Murch acted like compassionate, conscientious scientists and doctors, and were DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD FOR IT! Tens of thousands of other parents have seen their children regress into autism and bowel disease shortly after getting the MMR. If the Lancet study had been followed up on fourteen years ago, and if it had then become obvious that the MMR is guilty as charged, countless thousands of families would have been spared a lifetime of disabiility.
    I’m sure it will not have been lost on you people that this is going to mean that eventually all of the researchers in the Lancet study will be vindicated, and a lot of questions will be asked as to how professional organizations could have acted in such a reprehensible manner, and whether they really thought they could hide the truth for more than fifteen years or so.

  44. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Several of you have commented about personal knowledge of severe cases of measles. Again, I would never deny that it can be serious or even fatal. But the MMR to prevent it can also be serious or even fatal. Such reactions are frequent enough that I think any reasonable person would conclude that it’s only fair to let parents make their own decision as to whether or NOT they want to give their child the vaccine. If you don’t want my unvaccinated child to associate with yours, that’s fine, I really don’t care, no one wants to play with her anyway because of her vaccine-induced autism. (No MMR for her, though!)
    Dr. Robert Sears in The Vaccine Book (2007 edition, p. 82) that measles is not usually serious. Most cases, especially in children, pass in a week or so without any trouble. However, approximately 1 in 1000 cases is fatal.
    That statistic is from fifty years ago, when measles was still a common, routine childhood disease. Last year in Europe, there were thirty thousand cases, nine deaths, so a fatality rate of one in 3,300 cases, a lower rate than fifty years ago here.
    Richard Moskowitz said that there were so few fatalities from measles, serious sequelae were inconsequential, and the benefits to those who had recovered from it and to their children were so great, that it was a bad idea to vaccinate against it and run the risk of the autoimmune problems that it often caused.
    In a 1984 congressional safety hearing, Wendy Scholl gave this testimony about her daughter’s reaction to the MMR.
    At sixteen months old, Stacy received her measles shot. She was a happy, healthy normal baby, typical, curious, playful until the 10th day after her shot when I (Wendy) walked into her room to find her lying in her crib, flat on her stomach, her head twisted to one side. Her eyes were glassy and affixed. She was panting, struggling to breathe. Her small body lay in a pool of blood that hung from her mouth. It was a terrifying sight, yet at that point I didn’t realize that my happy, bouncing baby was never to be the same. When we arrived at the emergency room, Stacy’s temperature was 107 degrees. The first four days of Stacy’s hospital stay she battled for life. She went into a coma and had kidney failure. Her lungs filled with fluid and she had ongoing seizures. Her diagnosis was ‘post-vaccinal encephalitis’ and her prognosis was grave. She ws paralyzed on her left side, prone to seizures, had visual problmes. However, we were told by doctors we were extremely lucky. I didn’t feel lucky. We were horrified that this vaccine which was given only to ensure that she would have a safer childhood almost killed her. I didn’t know that the possibility of this type of reaction even existed. But now, it is our reality.

    The pharmaceutical industry publishes a list of ailments known to have occurred following the shot: encephalitis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, convulsions, seizures, ataxia, ocular palsies, anaphlaxis, angioneurotic edema, bronchial spasms, panniculitis, vasculitis, thrombocytopenia, lymphadenopathy, leukocytosis, pneumonitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, urticaria, deafness, otitis media, retinitis, optic neuritis, rash, fever, dizziness, headache, and death.

    The Medical Research Council in Great Britain tested a new measles vaccine and found that it caused convulsions at a rate of six times more in vaccinated children than in unvaccinated ones ( Miller, C.L., Convulsions after measles vaccination, Lancet, July 23, 1983: 215.

    These are some articles on encephalitis or Guillain-Barré syndrome or thrombocytopenia occurring shortly after the measles vaccine. There are dozens more I have citations for, but I think yoú’ll get the point with these. A lot of people have taken the adverse events caused by the MMR very seriously:

    Landrigan, P.J., et al, Neurological disorders following live measles-virus vaccination, Journal of the American Medical Association 1973; 323(13): 1459-62.

    Beale, A.J. Measles vaccines, Proc of the Royal Soc of Med, 1974: 67:24.

    Roden, A.T. Fits following Immunization. Proc of the Royal Soc of Med 1974: 67:24.

    Jagdis, et al. Encephalitis after administration of live measles vaccine, Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, April 19, 1975, 112(8):972-75.

    Hirayama, M. Measles vaccines used in Japan, Rev of Infectious Dis 1983, 5, 495-503.

    Pollack, T.M., et al, A 7-year survey of disorders attributed to vaccination in NW Thames Region, Lancet, 1983, 1: 753-757.

    Jorch G., et al, Coincidence of virus encephalitis and measles-mumps vaccination, Monataschr Kinderheilkd 1984; 132(5): 299-300.

    Morris, K., et al, Guillain-Barré syndrome after measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, Lancet 1994; 343: 60.

    Oski, F.A., et al, Effect of live measles vaccine on platelet count, New England Journal of Medicine 1976; 265; 352-356.

  45. Converted
    March 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for your reply Deb. Using your cult reference, the same “cult” argument can be made about the hard-core pro-vax zealots. Ex.) Mother’s refusing to associate with others families not “properly vaxed” or who question vaxes – cutting ties with friends. Ex.) Vaccine manufacturers (leaders) are accountable to no-one. Ex.)Mothers’ proudly exclaiming “better to have autism, than a vaccine-preventable disease.” illustrating that there is no other way of being, except to be fully vaccinated. Ex.)Questioning, doubt or dissent over vaccines. *Gasp* – blasphemy!! I could go on, but the whole “cult” accusation is just pathetic.

    As to your condescending comment regarding engagement “online” – what exactly are you refering to? You are being ambiguous.

    A proper health definition is rather important when debating whether or not something is healthy. If you don’t have a clear vision of what health is, how can you know if you’re moving toward it?

    Your straw man argument of emotion vs. fact is a waste of time.

    Why should I bother to continue debating with someone who doesn’t know what health is?

    If this is going to escalate into Ad Homs, I’d rather not waste my time. Families who chose to avoid or be selective over vaccination are highly intelligent and capable of proper medical decisions for their short and long term health. Freedom to choose should be honored and not belittled, ridiculed or criticized.

  46. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Venna,
    I appreciate your expression of understanding of my position, and sympathy for what we have suffered. But I hope you will look at the post I made a few minutes ago citing a lot of scientific proof that the MMR is actually often very dangerous. I cited a number of scientific studies and testimony before a congressional hearing, which go beyond the level of anecdote.

  47. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I agree that the pro-vaxxers seem like a religious cult to me as well. I have a book by Cynthia Cournoyer called What About Immunizations? in which she talks about the vaccine philosophy which is essentially a religion. It’s as though children have to be baptized into the faith by way of vaccination, and then they and their parents are full-fledged members of the sect, and they only desire to associate with each other. The pertussis vaccine is only 30-70% effective, so it’s really not safe to let your child associate with anyone if there’s pertussis around, whether or not they or those around them have gotten the pertussis vaccine. But as long as the other people have gone through the motions of belief in the religion, and have gotten the vaccine, then that makes them “pure” enough to associate with, even though half of even the vaccinated ones can still catch and transmit pertussis. My daughter got the DTaP at 2, 4, and 6 months, caught pertussis anyway at a La Leche League meeting when she was nine months old, and a week after she started the coughing fits, I got them as well, so she was vaccinated appropriately, but still caught and transmitted pertussis.
    I think this is a case of projection of what people know to be true of themselves upon others.

  48. VSS
    March 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Cheers to cia parker!

  49. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Alisha,
    I don’t understand your hostility. There was an article in Time last week about families with Down’s syndrome children who love and enjoy them very much. But it said that rates have fallen by about 90% since women started getting the anmiocentesis because most of them get an abortion rather than have a child with Down’s syndrome. I don’t know what I would have done if I had found out I had a fetus with Down’s syndrome, I probably would have had the baby anyway, but it never happened to me. You shouldn’t blame me for a fact of our society.
    I just said it to make the point that it’s not the doctor’s place to make the moral judgment that it’s right to give vaccines even if they cause autism, because a live child with autism is better than a child who may die from a vaccine-preventable disease. My ex-boyfriend last spring asked me if there were a test they could do before birth to screen for autism and then abort the fetus. I was offended, and told him no, there wasn’t, that these children are born healthy and are then damaged by vaccines.
    Did you read the article last week about the shortage of teachers trained to teach autistic children with this huge increase? One woman commented that if these children can’t behave,, they have no business being in public school. I said that it wasn’t the fault of the children, but of the society that vaccinated them and engaged in bigtime dismissal and denial of vaccine reactions. And I said it’s going to serve the American taxpayer right for his lack of interest and lack of inquiry when he finds his taxes doubling and tripling to pay not just for public education but for the liftetime care of currently a million autistic people in the U.S., at a cost of billions and billions of dollars. There’s already a backlash against the autistic, as people are becoming increasingly alarmed at their prevalence, weirdness, and the difficulty in dealing with them or planning for their future.
    Not our fault, Alisha, we’re just some of the victims.

  50. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Someone on Age of Autism observed what I had, that there’s an absolute silence from you people on Sir John Mitting’s judgment the other day. Are you awaiting instructions from your superiors on how to play this?

  51. VSS
    March 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Of course they are. That’s obvious. They had to do quick BS story like this one to distract from the real story.

  52. Kelly
    March 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Not sure what a judge’s ruling on a misconduct case in the UK has anything to do with the decision to vaccinate or not, cia. My silence is because it is completely irrelevant. My decision to vaccinate is based on the science. A judge’s ruling doesn’t change that science.

    And unlike anti-vaxers, I have the ability to think for myself. You just parrot back the same misinformation over and over again, even though you have been corrected on this blog many times. Obviously you lack the ability to think for yourself and just do what your masters at AoA tell you to do. Doesn’t it get embarrassing for you when you take the misinformation out of AoA onto other blogs and get pwn’d every single time?

  53. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks, VSS, I appreciate your sanity and support. It gets kind of claustrophobic on this site.

  54. March 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    cia parker :
    The French government took the hep-B vaccine off the list of mandated vaccines because so many people reported that they had gotten M.S. shortly after getting the vaccine.

    Citation needed, as they say. In fact, only diptheria, polio and tetanus are obligatory for all in France. Hep B is recommended, as are a number of others, including MMR. Source: http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/F724.xhtml (in French). Some of the recommended vaccines are obligatory for certain jobs or attending a public school.

    The tetanus vaccine has also caused symptoms similar to the paralysis of M.S., certainly sometimes causes Guillain-Barré syndrome and brachioplexal neuropathy, like what I had after a tetanus booster. Both arms became paralyzed the same day as I got the shot. That paralysis only lasted two days, it was later that I was diagnosed with M.S., but the paralysis and optic neuritis were so similar that I don’t tink a link can be ruled out.

    “The weight of the available scientific evidence does not support the suggestion that hepatitis B vaccine causes or worsens MS.” Source: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/multiplesclerosis_and_hep_b.html

  55. cia parker
    March 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I do this out of love for my daughter. What do you call people who get paid for opposing us?

  56. Lara Lohne
    March 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    cia parker :

    Autism did not exist before the 1930s. .

    There is a huge difference between something NOT existing, and something not having a specific defining list of diagnostic symptoms. That is the difference with autism. Of course it existed prior to the official diagnosis of the disorder being recognized, which is probably why Dr Kanner began to study children with it so it could be defined and have specific diagnostic points. Over the years those diagnostic criteria have changed multiple times until we have what we define autism as today, but even that has yet to change next year where PDD-NOS will no longer carry the ASD definition.

    The ‘science’ you quote of course is suspect simply because you rely on information from AoA, a notorious anti vax site, where I personally have been insulted, abused, threatened and ultimately blocked from posting anything (love the first amendment rights violation there by the way) and anything coming from their site is not going to be real science, therefore it cannot be trusted. I rely on independent research, and there is a significant amount of it out there, and none has ever found any link between vaccines of any sort and autism.

    Obviously, when it is found there are safety issues with a vaccine, it is pulled from the market, that doesn’t make all vaccines unsafe, nor does it make ones that are release to replace the ones that are removed unsafe. Vaccines are subject to the most strict safety and effectiveness testing of anything else on the market, including the food you eat. Because it is important to make sure that vaccines are as safe as it is possible for them to be, as well as effective for preventing the diseases, everything about them is tested, retested and them monitored for years after they are administered to ensure there are no adverse reactions. When adverse reactions do occur, the vaccine is removed and reformulated and retested for a very long time before it is released again.

    By the way, the paralysis you mention after the tetanus shot is not an out of the ordinary reaction seeing as tetanus is actually a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis. That’s why tetanus poisoning is sometimes referred to as lock jaw. But tetanus poisoning and MS are not the same thing as MS is an auto immune disorder, not poisoning.

  57. Kelly
    March 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Public health advocates.

    I don’t get paid to correct your misinformation, cia. I oppose you because I don’t want to see children suffer for the lies that you spread cia. Not sure how spreading lies that put others at risk is showing love for your daughter though, cia. Perhaps you could explain that one.

  58. Chris
    March 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Citation needed.

  59. Chris
    March 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Why should we believe you? Post the citations, and make sure they actually support your statements.

  60. Chris
    March 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Most of those are not on the American MMR vaccine (hint: the words “used in Japan” and “NW Thames Region” (which was on DTP), one in a German journal), one is a general article on various vaccine strains, there is a case report, and neither Guillain-Barre nor platelet count are autism.

    Again, where is the evidence that the rise of autism started in 1971 in the USA?

    Plus why would the HepB vaccine be more of a cause of increases in autism diagnoses than the 1994 introduction of the DSM-IV?

  61. cb
    March 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Cia;
    You have MS, right. It may be a possibility that your “tetanus reaction” was your first episode. Occam’s razor- the most likely explanation for your phenomena is in fact a single disease entity.
    The recent judgement in favour of Walker-Smith exonerated him from misconduct, not Wakefield. The judge specifically pointed out the lack of evidence for the link which they proposed (the lack of evidence was probably what he took some time to verify). Not just lack of evidence either, but systematic attempts to replicate the Wakefield “data”. Walker-Smith is now thought to be an innocent victim of Wakefield’s fraud. Wakefield, by the way, seems to be the unlikely darling of the anti-vaccine movement at the moment. This is infuriating. The man deliberately falsified data. His motive was a single measles vaccine which he hoped to make millions out of by terrifying the public about MMR. Face the truth. The vaccine-autism link was a scam or a conspiracy by a man who wanted to make money from vaccines.

  62. cb
    March 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    p.s. as people have tried to explain, there has not been a “huge increase” in autism. What is happening is that we are diagnosing it better. Also, early intervention and other assistance for autistic children means there is additional incentive to diagnose, and many quite mildly affected children are being diagnosed (there was no Asperger’s syndrome in the ’70s).
    There was a recent study in the UK which verifies the consistent prevalence in adults of various ages and children. When using current diagnostic criteria across different age groups, this confirms that the “epidemic” theory is incorrect. Autism has always been here, in similar rates. In the past they weren’t labelled though, particularly the mild ones.

    Thanks for sharing your story Lara. There are many more parents of autistic children who don’t believe that vaccines caused their child’s autism than we might believe from reading articles on the internet. These informed parents are mostly less vocal, they’re probably concentrating on the best outcomes for their children. It’s nice that some are speaking out!

  63. cb
    March 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    That’s because the judgement says nothing about the non-existent link between vaccines and autism. See below.

  64. March 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Very little of this is accurate. John Walker-Smith was indeed reinstated on the medical roles in Great Britain. However, none of the things you said about the Lancet paper are true. It has been impeached directly and by lack of replication. The court did not find NO fraud, only that the GMC had not determined Walker-Smith’s culpability.

    Here is a copy of the actual ruling. Please tell me the section which exonerates the Lancet Study.

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.html

    Maybe this bit?
    “Professor Walker-Smith gave unchallenged evidence that this was the last draft of the paper which he saw. Dr. Murch said, again in unchallenged evidence, that there was then a meeting attended by all of the researchers and clinicians involved to discuss the draft, which they approved. At the end of the meeting there was a discussion between Dr. Murch, Professor Walker-Smith, Dr. Thomson and Dr. Wakefield about the reference to Ethics Committee approval of “this clinical investigation”, because it was a clinically driven investigation which did not require Ethics Committee approval. Dr. Murch said that Dr. Wakefield had assured them that he would liaise with the Lancet to ensure that appropriate wording was substituted. The wording in the published paper which neither Dr. Murch nor Professor Walker-Smith saw before publication was,

    “Ethical approval and consent

    Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent.”

    This statement was untrue and should not have been included in the paper.”

    Or perhaps this bit?
    “In paragraph 34 of its determination, the panel found that Professor Walker-Smith was irresponsible and in breach of his duty to ensure that the information in the paper was accurate, because it stated that investigations were approved by the Ethics Committee. This finding was justified. Professor Walker-Smith should not have allowed a paper to be published under his name without ensuring its accuracy.”

    If anyone else needs it: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/03/andy_wakefield_exonerated_because_john_w.php?utm_source=networkbanner&utm_medium=link

  65. cia parker
    March 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

    You have made a ton of false statements about Dr. Wakefield. Now that Professor Walker-Smith has been cleared of all wrongdoing, for the same research for which Dr. Wakefield also lost his license, and the GMC which persecuted both doctors has been adjudged to have given faulty, deficient reasoning to reach FALSE conclusions, it would behoove you if you were an honest, ethical person to apologize for your insults and rethink your stance on the safety of the MMR, and, by extension, all vaccines. Obviously, I know you are not going to do so. But, the dogs bark, the caravan moves on! Onward to a safer, healthier future for the children who have not already been vaccine-damaged!

  66. Chris
    March 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Ms. Parker:

    . Now that Professor Walker-Smith has been cleared of all wrongdoing, for the same research for which Dr. Wakefield also lost his license, and the GMC which persecuted both doctors has been adjudged to have given faulty, deficient reasoning to reach FALSE conclusions, it would behoove you if you were an honest, ethical person to apologize for your insults and rethink your stance on the safety of the MMR, and, by extension, all vaccines.

    You are a funny lady. Some reading for you:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/03/andy_wakefield_exonerated_because_john_w.php

  67. cia parker
    March 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Lara,

    Dr. Kanner was a renowned neurologist at Johns Hopkins in the 1930s and ’40s. He collaborated with his colleagues on a compendium of all neurological disorders known to mankind in the mid-’30s, and they described nothing even remotely resembling autism, because it did not yet exist. You people asset that it has always existed, and at the same rate as now, which would mean that at its present incidence of one in 88, one in 48 boys, someone would have noticed it and described it, but the fact is that no one ever did. Dr. Kanner examined the first children who had it, all from rich families, starting in 1938, shortly after some rich families had started to give a prototype of the pertussis vaccine to their children. He published his article in which he coined the term autism in 1943, and in it he said that this was a condition never before in all of the annals of history ever seen or described. Only rich children had it until the 1960s, when public health programs made the DTP and autism accessible to all social classes.

    Parents must be allowed to make up our own minds as to whether or not to give our children any vaccine. Drs. Wakefield, Walker-Smith, their fellow researchers, and the parents of the damaged children all thought it was significant that the nine of the Lancet Twelve who developed autism and bowel disease did so within days or weeks of receiving the MMR. Tens of thousands of other families since then have seen their own childen regress into autism and/or bowel disease within days or weeks of getting the MMR. Obviously, research of this issue was for the most part squelched by the public lynching of these doctors. Now Dr. Walker-Smith has been completely exonerated,, and the medical board which lynched him has been reprimanded for its superficiall reasoning and FALSE conclusions. Your side is going to have to do some major regrouping.

    In the meantime, the fact that measles, mumps, and rubella are very rarely serious diseases for children may welll cause a huge number of parents to reject this dangerous vaccine, and it is our right to do so. I’m not saying that they can never be serious diseases, even for children, but that it’s necessary to read and cast your lot one way or the other, there is no alternative that is a guaranteed safe choice, and the stakes are very high.

    Autoimmune diseases are usually, if not always, caused by the immune system being confused by vaccines. Vaccines are designed to cause it to react with inflammation, that’s what causes it to produce antibodies. Unfortunately, no one knows how to let the immune system know that it should keep its inflammation within certain boundaries, and so we see in a huge number of vaccine recipients an inordinate amount of acute or chronic inflammation, resulting in encephalitis soon after the vaccine (as in my baby), causing autism, ADHD, seizure disorders, learning disorders, or chronic autoimmune inflammation, causing asthma, allergies, bowel disease, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis (etc.). Vaccines can set into motion an autoimmune process which may take months or years to manifest.. These are VAERS reports on children with paralysis from the tetanus vaccine. Please don’t say these reports on vaccine damage are worthless when you don’t have any better way of tracking adverse events. It seems very suspicious that you’re just totally willing to discount and ignore any and all reports of adverse events soon after vaccines:

    298882: a 1 year-old boy received the DT in the morning and by early evening became disoriented and would walk and then spontaneously fall down.

    43425: a 1 year-old boy received the DT and three days later lost head control, his arms became weak, he developed labored breathing, and subsequently died.

    166017: a 7-year-old boy received the tetanus vaccine (T), developed complete paralysis from head to toes, and was hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

    115055: an 11-year-old girl received the T and one day later lost strength in her legs, developed visual deterioration and lost control of her bowels and bladder. Symptoms included neuropathy, optic neuritis, myelitis, spastic paraparesis, and sensory loss.

    Immediately after getting a tetanus booster when I was nineteen, the same day anyway, both my arms became painful and paralyzed, and my college roommate had to help me in the cafeteria and to get dressed for two days. Brachioplexal neuropathy. Who are you to say that was unrelated to my later developent of MS? There has been such a deliberate stifling of research related to vaccine damage that one has to wonder what Big Pharma is afraid will come to light if this research were permitted. Their lying about Wakefield and Walker-Smith, and the worldwide public dismemberment of these admirable men, would seem to indicate that they know they have a lot to fear.

    Multiple sclerosis did not exist before the smallpox vaccine in the early nineteenth century. I read books on M.S. when I was first diagnosed, and read about the Swiss nobleman who was the first recorded case of M.S.,, with a dramatic exacerbaton which then remitted. It observed that it was so dramatic and unusual (like autism a century later) that if it had existed before it would have been noticed and described. Vaccines can set off an autoimmune demyelinating reaction, stripping off the myelin sheath of the nerve endings in the brain and spinal cord. It would appear that the natural disease tetanus may cause paralysis because it causes a similar demyelinating reaction. I had sensory loss (numbness), hemiparesis (my left arm and leg were paralyzed for over a month), optic neuritis and double vision (I had to wear an eye patch over my left eye), and I would fall down when I attempted to walk. Until a LOT more research is done, I think it is premature of you to say the tetanus vaccine could not possibly cause M.S. The French government took the hep-B off the list of mandated vaccines because it caused so many cases of M.S.

    I think it is unwise of you to even mention the Age of Autism website. Those whom you have not totally brainwashed to not stick their nose out of the sheepfold may click their way to it and be impressed, as I was when I found it a year ago, by the scientific cogency and moral passion of the articles and comments published there, as well as the many personal, blow-by-blow testimonials of the families whose children, like mine, were damaged by vaccines. And since most families care more about the wellbeing of their children than about adhering to a political philosophy, you might do better to not even point them in that direction.

  68. Chris
    March 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Drs. Wakefield, Walker-Smith, their fellow researchers, and the parents of the damaged children all thought it was significant that the nine of the Lancet Twelve who developed autism and bowel disease did so within days or weeks of receiving the MMR.

    Actually, not really. That paper is still retracted, and they really did not connect any of the versions of MMR vaccine. It says so in its conclusion:

    We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.

    These are VAERS reports on children with paralysis from the tetanus vaccine.

    The real VAERS website says:

    Please read the following statement on the limits of VAERS data. You MUST click on the box below to access the VAERS database.

    Again I ask, what do you have to read and understand before accessing the database? You might find the following blog article useful: http://thepoxesblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/vaers-as-evidence-of-vaccine-harm.html

  69. Lara Lohne
    March 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    cia,

    Saying that autism didn’t exist before Dr Kanner ‘found’ it is like saying electricity didn’t exist before Benjamin Franklin flew his kite. It WAS there, always there, there was just not a name for it and no confirmed list of criteria to define it. THAT is what Dr Kanner did, he didn’t invent autism, he simply defined it.

    I believe the numbers you gave are slightly inflated. Last I heard the official numbers were 1 in 100 and 1 in 70 boys. That is everyone being diagnosed with an ASD, so it is taking everything into account, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s, Rhett’s Syndrome and autistic disorder, in the 1930s only autistic disorder was defined and only very severe or profound autistic disorder at that. The rich were not the only ones who had autism, it was in the lower income communities as well, it just wasn’t diagnosed due to lack of medical care, and had nothing to do with getting a vaccine or not, simply whether or not the child had regular doctor’s visits so the doctor could find something wrong. If a family couldn’t afford regular well baby care for their child, and since the symptoms of autism generally begin to manifest prominently between 12 months and two years of age, with a few exceptions, the only way anyone would know something was wrong is if they were being checked regularly by a medical professional to see if they were reaching their developmental milestones. Even after Dr Kanner defined the symptoms of autism, there were still many that went undiagnosed simply because their doctor was unfamiliar with it so didn’t know enough to diagnose it. We find that even today, doctor’s show a lack of understanding and knowledge.

    There are many factors that have increased the incidence and prevalence, most of which have to do with changes is the diagnostic criteria. Another would be the sheer number of us on the planet today compared with the 1930s. There are more of us, and since this particular disorder has genetic markers it’s going to become more prevalent as the population grows. Parental age has a significant influence as well and many parents now are waiting until they are in their 30s to begin their families, that could also have a huge impact. What was the average age of new mothers and fathers in the 1930s compared to now? Using your logic, one could argue that the feminist movement caused autism.

    The old line “Correlation does not equal causation” is very fitting in your situation. But you seem unable to face the fact that sometimes these things happen, like lightning striking and are random genetic mutations, you must have something to blame. I have felt for a very long time, it’s time to get past the vaccine issue and focus on the real issue: autism. If we focus on the autism, we may come to understand it better eventually. And understanding is the first step toward overcoming.

  70. Lawrence
    March 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    What, didn’t you know Cancer didn’t exist until some doctor named it, same for any other medical ailment – didn’t exist until someone gave it a name….what a maroon…

  71. Deb
    March 13, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Actually no, you can’t just say ‘Well you are too!’

    You made a sarcastic comment based wholly on the style of the piece, to which I replied by treating it as if it were actually a parody.

    You then picked out one specific comment from my reply and turned it into a straw man, as you are continuing to do – I have pointed out twice that I’m talking about something specific and you are repeatedly generalising it and turning it into an accusation.
    Given that it is a straw man I wasn’t obliged to answer it, but I clarified and gave the general answer I thought appropriate to an off-topic strawman in a blog comment. I also told you how to find further information. If I wasn’t specific enough, try googling AVN and cult.

    I then politely answered your off-topic question about health, saying that it is complex – you don’t appear to have read that, but rather used it as a further strawman as you wrench the goalposts around.

    You see, this conversation was exactly about the way information is presented – that’s what your sarcastic comment was about, that’s what was in my reply. Emotion vs facts is not a distraction, it’s actually the topic that you started! I find it astonishing that you don’t even know what your own comment was about. Was it just an opportunity to have a dig at someone you disagree with? Did you not even think about how you were commenting and that someone might discuss it?

    You’re right, I was being condescending. And now I’ll giggle over the fact that someone who makes a sarcastic comment about a blog post is surprised when someone replies. It’s the whole do unto others thing – if you treat other people like that, I consider that that is how you expect to be treated. There’s a very simple solution and it’s in your hands.

    This hasn’t escalated into ad hominem attacks, although I’m not sure whether to count this as another goal post shift or a generalised flounce. Before we leave I’ll just tally it up:
    – You were sarcastic and I replied in kind.
    – You don’t appear to understand that in a large, generalised and ongoing controversy there are many small specific conversations. You chose the specific here by sarcastically attacking the style, so I talked about style of information.
    – I see at least two strawmen and one or possibly two goalpost shifts.
    – I answered all your questions fully and with supporting evidence. You still haven’t answered mine.

    Again, if you’re going to interact online, you might want to think about how a conversation works. And find out what an ad hominem attack is – it actually means something, it’s not just an insult to throw out as you flounce off.

    There’s obviously no point in continuing this conversation when you don’t appear to know what it’s about. Seeya!

  72. Converted
    March 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Haha. Deb, you managed to put words into sentences and those into several paragraphs and not really say anything of substance. It was gibberish to me.

    Yes, the original comment was dripping with sarcasm. The point was simple. It was a story. I didn’t even bother to read the second part because it was her “story”. Now, pro-vax zealots ridicule and mock these stories daily – except when it suits their views. IRONY. It was entertaining for me, so I commented.

    In your second paragraph from your first comment, you chose to judge the anti-vax movement. Calling it a “cult”. Further stating “they love playing the victim both to get more converts and try to create space for their message by framing it as a justice or rights issue rather than a science and HEALTH issue. Maybe you should re-read your original post. You might want to research just how much of a “health issue” it really is. This comment screams ignorance.

    Your last paragraph was entertaining, pleasant and thoughtful. Thank you.

    Actually yes, I can say you are too (assuming of course we are talking about cults – again ambiguity is a re-occuring theme in your posts). I proved why.

    Your answer to my health question is that it is complex? Sadly, your ignorance with regard to the topic at hand, makes this a waste of time to debate with you any further. Re-read your… ahh, never mind.

    And again, haha, the condesceding jab at ‘conversation online’. Love it. Ad Hominem attacks are fairly typical in these types of debates. I like to steer these conversations in a respectful, productive and meaningful direction, before they derail. Not always possible. :)

    Good luck with your journey toward health. Have a great day.

  73. ChrisKid
    March 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    “The judge, Sir John Mitting, said that there was no fraud involved, the children were appropriately treated for their condition, there was no connection between the lawsuit and the research,”
    Well, except for this part: “Dr. Wakefield’s purpose was undoubtedly research;” and this: “Dr. Wakefield’s statement and subsequent publicity had a predictable adverse effect upon the take up of MMR vaccine of great concern to those responsible for public health. There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked.”
    Sir John said none of the things you’ve stated here. I suggest you look at the actual ruling, rather than someone’s biased interpretation of it. What Sir John did say, and the basis for his ruling, was that Walker-Smith believed himself to be doing tests that were necessary to the children’s medical treatment and in line with their symptoms and diagnosis. What he also said was that Wakefield knew himself to be doing research and doing it without ethics committee approval. Not quite the same thing.

  74. Quokka
    March 14, 2012 at 12:46 am

    I recently read a facinating book regarding Autism in History – I will try and find the reference. It took a rally fascinating angle of searching legal documents – which have a greater likelihood of being availalbe and kept indefinately and searched cases involving competency hearings, probate cases etc where a person was being questioned about their competency to manage their own affairs.

    Descriptions in court transcripts of social/ developmental / behavioural aspects mirrored DSM-IV criteria for diagnosis of PDDs. It was fascinating to follow individual cases of outcomes and the thinking and labeling practices of the times.

    BTW that cases were from the 1800s

  75. cia parker
    March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Measles is not usually serious, though occasioally it is. This is a link to the editorialist Sam Blumenfeld writing on vaccines for the New American. He remembers having measles as a child, as I do, and says it was no big deal for him:

    http://thenewamerican.com/opinion/sam-blumenfeld/10914-vaccines-and-your-childs-brain

  76. Lara Lohne
    March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    cia parker :
    . He remembers having measles as a child, as I do, and says it was no big deal for him:

    One or two stories by one or two people do not constitute scientific evidence that a disease isn’t harmful to many, many more and deadly still to others. Without scientific rigor and fact to back up your statements you are merely spewing nonsense and ideology, not fact and that is where the difference lies in what you choose to believe and what has been found to be correct. Measles continues to be the most contagious virus to human kind, meaning if a person has it, they can’t help but spread it. I, personally, don’t want to take my chances that a disease might ‘be no big deal’, I’d rather not have to be sick to begin with. That goes for my children also, I don’t want them to have to suffer through something like that, particularly when there is a strong potential for lasting harm. That, along with the science that backs it up, is why I choose to vaccinate my children and there isn’t anything that will change my mind.

  77. Chris
    March 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Ms. Parker:

    Measles is not usually serious, though occasioally it is.

    Quite frequently, actually. Do I have to remind of how it affected the family of the author who wrote Charley and the Chocolate Factory?

    Note that the URL link you provided includes the word “opinion.” In short, it is still not data. I know you will not bother reading this link: The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review. So I will post a couple of highlights for you, with added emphasis:

    Postinfectious encephalomyelitis (PIE) occurs in 13 per 1000 infected persons, usually 3–10 days after onset of rash [39, 131]. Higher rates of PIE due to measles occur in adolescents and adults than in school-aged children (table 2 [124, 132, 133]). PIE usually begins with the abrupt onset of new fever, seizures, altered mental status, and multifocal neurological signs [131, 134]. Although measles virus was found in cerebrovascular endothelial cells in a person who died during the first few days of rash [135], the virus usually is not found in the central nervous systems of persons with PIE. PIE appears to be caused by an abnormal immune response that affects myelin basic protein [61, 136]. As many as 25% of people with PIE due to measles die, and ∼33% of survivors have lifelong neurological sequelae, including severe retardation, motor impairment, blindness, and sometimes hemiparesis [39, 131].

    Ms. Parker, please stop downplaying the effects of measles with your anecdotes. If you have real evidence that the MMR vaccine that has been used in the USA since 1971 causes more than one out of a hundred side effects more dire than encephalomyelitis, the present the title, journal and date of your evidence. No stories, no unsupported “statistics” and no complaints how we are being mean to you. Just post the scientific evidence to support your statements.

  78. Lara Lohne
    March 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Quokka,

    If you could provide the title of the book, I know I for one would love to read it. I’m sure there are others also who would find it fascinating too. Thanks for sharing this information. It proves that even though it didn’t have a name, autism was still there.

  79. cia parker
    March 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Of course it’s your right to decide whether or not to get the MMR or any other vaccine for yourself or your children. I’m sure you saw my post about all the other horrible diseases the MMR can cause besides autism and bowel disease. Nine out of thirty thousand died of the measles in Europe last year, and I personally, with memories of the natural disease, feel totally confident that if my daughter got it, she would recover with no problem. Total bedrest, darkened room, well-hydrated, no fever reducers like Tylenol, vitamin A if there were signs of danger. The fever gets very high and the cough bad, it would be scary, I get nervous every time she has the flu or bronchitis, but the permanent immunity would be of great value. And, both of us having been vaccine-damaged, I’m simply not willing to run the risk of further vaccine damage.
    But I totally respect your decision to take a different course, and sincerely hope that nothing harmful happens to you or your children either from a vaccine or from a natural disease.

  80. cia parker
    March 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Lara,
    Look up the Touch Point website, it used to be called Judevine, an autism service agency. The CDC is supposed to release updated figures on autism incidence soon that will probably be similar to Touch Point’s one in 88, one in 48 boys. The one in a hundred figure is from three or four years ago, the principal of the school my daughter went to for five years said the number of autistic kids there doubled in two years, and Rock City, a suburb of St. Louis, said that the number of autistic kids in public schools there has doubled in the past five years.

  81. Quokka
    March 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Lara,

    Firstly – thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am a Psychologist who works with the families of children with disabilities and reading about the diversity of families and their individual journey helps others more than you know.

    Even the negative or questioning responses are important becuase they show the families of other children the range of attitudes they are going to experience.

    I had lent the book to a friend ( who runs a visiting teacher service for children with disabilities – we all tend to cluster together!) but she has rifled through her bookcase and found it for me. It is called Autism in History: The case of Hugh Blair of Borgue (2000). Houston,R & Frith, U. Blackwell Publishers.

  82. Chris
    March 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I’m sure you saw my post about all the other horrible diseases the MMR can cause besides autism and bowel disease.

    Citation needed. At no time have you shown that the MMR vaccine causes more harm than measles with any real evidence. And there is no real evidence that it has anything to do with autism, and you have certainly shown no evidence that autism increased in frequency starting in 1971 in the USA when the MMR was introduced there.

    Nine out of thirty thousand died of the measles in Europe last year,

    So how many deaths would it take for you to consider it dangerous? Back to the days before the vaccine when deaths averaged 500 per year in the USA?

    The article I gave you (here), says of the 26000 cases there were 7,288 hospitalizations. That is one in four being hospitalized. That is not considered a “minor” thing.

    Stop lying.

  83. Chris
    March 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    In addition to the book Quakka mentioned (down below), there is also a book by a dad, Paul Collins, called Not Even Wrong: A Father’s Journey into the Lost History of Autism.

  84. Chris
    March 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm
  85. Quokka
    March 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Chris,

    That looks interesting reading. I have a asked for a copy to be sent to me for consideration in our parent library. Every little bit help fights the woo.

  86. Chris
    March 15, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Have you read Unstrange Minds by R.R. Grinker? He is an anthropologist who researches autism in other countries. This is his website:

    http://www.unstrange.com/index.html

  87. March 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I live in Kokomo IN, our children attend Western School Corp. On Friday March 23rd 2011 – Howard co. Health Dept. declared a “Chicken pox” outbreak due to 5 students having the disease who were recently vaccinated and reacted. I was taught it had to be a certain percentage of students in the school, i.e. 20% or more.

    My name is Renee Hartman I’m currently earning my MS to Dr in Natural Medicine to Ph D in Integrative Medicine, i.e. both Medical & Holistic / natural / alternative Medicines. I started this journey years ago when our 1st baby almost died at 6 months of age by following our Family Physicians recommendation to reduce her high fever. Tylenol was not working fast enough so we were advised to give her infants Motrin. 20 min after I administered it, our daughter started turning blue and was gasping for air. We rushed to the hospital. We were told if we would have been 5 minutes later she would have died. The doctor at the hospital asked if we’d vaccinated her, we told him we were debating whether to vaccinate because I had reactions as a child and I wanted someone to tell me it was 100% safe…Through the years our daughter has had the most reactions to medications/ foods /detergents /soaps etc. at this time. Our youngest child also has allergies to may foods, however, I’ve not tried medications with him – because of our experience with our daughter and also having been in school learning how to help naturally…it’s just better for them and their bodies. Our children our medically exempt from any & all vaccines yearly and we get a doctors slip for milk & their shots.

    However, I received a message& letter Friday concerning the chicken pox outbreak at Western Schools -5 student is considered an outbreak?!?! SO WEIRD. We WANT our children to go to school and they have their right to their education. NO doctor in the past 12+ years can guarantee vaccines are safe for them, I know why cannot too. Besides, If our children catch the Chicken Pox, it’s a good thing, their body will make the immunoglobulin and immunomemory for it- this is NOT a bad thing. This is what “vaccines” are suppose to do but there is NO concrete proof they do this. In the letter from the Health Department, they even admit the out break was caused by children who received the vaccine. Our children may be forced to miss 21 days of school from the last cause reported – that is ridiculous!!! Our daughter has only missed 1 1/2 days of school ALL YEAR – she has all A’s. Our son has missed 2 1/2 days of school ALL YEAR – he makes A & B’s. This is SO WRONG!!!! Our children are healthy and it is OUR right as their parent to make this decision and judgment call, especially since they are medically exempt and I understand and have education on the subject at hand. Chicken Pox is NOT life threatening or a serious disease -if they get away with this…they will get away with more. Our rights are being pulled out from underneath us slowly -it’s ridiculous. Our children have already been exposed numerous times to Chicken pox, at previous schools but have not gotten it and they were allowed to attend school.

    Our children’s MD knows it is unsafe for them due to their numerous allergies, medical sensitive’s, including to eggs. I was also taught the same during Pathology & Pathophysiology in 06, i.e. “those with sensitive systems, numerous allergies, immunocompromised systems, weakened immune systems [etc] are more susceptible in having a adverse reaction and vaccines should be avoided until the allergies, symptoms subside. And those with egg allergies are exempt.” I’ve spent the past 12 + years studying not only the medical side but also natural and most of my teachers have been MD’s or had Ph D of some kind and why I’m still in school at this time. I’ve done all of this just to be able to help my children.

    As stated, we cannot get anyone to tell us if we inject a foreign pathology /substance into our children with their sensitive systems, egg allergy [etc] that it will not cause a reaction, bring harm to them or their body, kill them…I would think that their doctor would know what is best. We are not breaking any laws, we are good Christian people and we LOVE our children so much. It is our job as their parent, protector, teacher, mentor, guider and so on to do what is best for them. Again, I’m not an ignorant parent who doesn’t have understanding or education in the subject at hand. Believe me, I would not be continuing to go to school and through all of this if my children didn’t matter to me. As parents, I feel this is just part of the job and I want to help my children and I want them to have an as normal life as possible, I want them to succeed and I want them to go to school /college. We are not trying to cause any problems or trouble…what parent wouldn’t do the same for their children?!?!?!

    However, tomorrow Monday March 26th 2012 – our children may not be punished /discriminative against because they cannot receive “vaccines.” This is unjust and unfair -unconstitutional. If we allow our government to continue on this path…ALL of our rights will be GONE!!! They are slowly doing this now!!! This is SO WRONG!!!

    Thank you
    Renee Hartman

  88. Kelly
    March 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Renee, thank goodness public health officials have more sense than you and make your children stay home, not only for their protection but also so they don’t spread the disease to others.

    Expecting vaccines to be 100% safe is called the nirvana fallacy. The disease is even less safe than the vaccine, yet you wish that upon them. If you are going to use the nirvana fallacy, why not apply it consistently and not send them to school until someone can 100% guarantee your children will not be harmed by chicken pox now and not harmed by shingles in the future?

    Furthermore, here is where you fail in your understanding of the situation:
    – you don’t understand the definition of outbreak
    – you think there is lifelong natural immunity to varicella-zoster virus
    – you think children suffering from chicken pox is a good thing
    – you think chicken pox is not a serious or life-threatening illness
    – you think there is no evidence for the effectiveness of the vaccine
    – you think your children are healthy, yet admit that they have medical exemptions because they have defective immune systems
    – you think it is your right to harm your children

    For someone who claims not to be an ignorant parent, there sure is a lot of things you are ignorant about.

  89. Chris
    March 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Besides, If our children catch the Chicken Pox, it’s a good thing, their body will make the immunoglobulin and immunomemory for it- this is NOT a bad thing.

    Not really. The varicella virus does not go away, it stays in their body and will come back as shingles. How come you did not know that?

    Also, it is quite cruel to have children suffer two weeks with itchy open wounds (pox). The school district is trying to prevent that from happening to your children because you do not understand vaccines (or the diseases).

    Our children’s MD knows it is unsafe for them due to their numerous allergies, medical sensitive’s, including to eggs.

    So they have a medical exemption? The egg allergy is not a reason to avoid the varicella vaccine, so they must have more severe immune issues. Even more reason to keep them out of school if there is a varicella outbreak. If they cannot be vaccinated, you definitely don’t want to chance them getting the full blown disease! They may end up like the poor Christopher.

  90. Steve Michaels
    March 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Interesting how you have completely ignored the credentials and points made by Renee and make a completely idiotic statement about chicken pox. Let me elaborate. You said, “Not really. The varicella virus does not go away, it stays in their body and will come back as shingles. How come you did not know that?” The varicella (chicken pox) vaccine is a LIVE vaccine. If natural exposure leaves the virus dormant within the body, so does the vaccine. You also completely ignored the cause of the outbreak: vaccinated children who contracted the disease from the vaccine. Nice one Chris.

  91. Kelly
    March 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    That would be an appeal to authority, Steve, if Renee actually had credentials. The link she provides says she is a massage therapist practicing “therapeutic touch”. She is furthering her studies in equally bogus disciplines and it is evident in her line of study that they didn’t teach her about chicken pox.

    The vaccine is made up of an ATTENUATED live virus. The attenuated part is important. It means that the vaccine virus is less likely to come back as shingles than the real disease. Renee prefers the real, full-strength, virulent form of the virus which is more likely to return as shingles.

    The information Renee provided does not identify the cause of the outbreak Steve, just that the students infected so far have been vaccinated.

    You know you are way out of your league with this stuff, Steve.

  92. Nathan
    March 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    And according to the health department the children have had one dose, not necessarily the recommended two.

    http://kokomotribune.com/local/x1437237559/Western-reports-chickenpox-outbreak

  93. mplo
    October 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Lara:

    I read your story with much interest. Thanks for a huge breath of fresh air in the wake of so much hatred, hostility and intolerance of other people’s points of view, especially on the subject of vaccines.

    You’re absolutely right on when you say that when autism occurs, it’ll occur whether a child is vaccinated or not. The British-born Dr. Andrew Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine due to the fact that he promoted the anti-vaccine movement, using deliberately falsified data in order to promote his point. He deserved to lose his career. That jenny McCarthy is an equally dangerous person, and she, too, needs to be stopped in her tracks.

  94. sarah
    March 27, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I never thought much of vaccines as a kid… not too in depth. But I never liked the idea of something going into my muscle. ..so when they had free flu vaccines at my work years and years later it made me think about it a little more… I felt like if this even did work wouldnt the toxic stuff inside vaccines just sit in my muscle for years? Or could it travel somewhere I wouldnt want it, like the lungs or brain? That made me think of autism straight away… because I know people with autisn generally have high amounts of metals in there body… clearly im not a health professional of any kind and I was 19 at the time. And I never got the vaccine!!
    Now that im 25 and pregnant with my first child. Vaccines crossed my mind.. so I did a bucket load of research and now that I know the FACTS (not just what the government and pharmaceutical companies tell us) I will not be vaccinating my child. And this is probably the first decision in my life ive ever been 100% confident in. My partner doesnt agree with me. But when I read him stats and journals etc he cries “conspiracy theory” without giving it a chance.
    Theres a study they did in new Zealand proving that unvaccinated children are healthier then their vaccinated peers (google it!)
    I have had one flu since I was 7 and it lasted two days… my friends get the flu shot every year and always seem to be sick.
    My mother did as the doctors said… she always told me she had bad feelings about flu shots. And I just recently found out that when my sister was young she nearly died after a flu shot granted she was already disabled and had a compromised immune system it does shock me that they gave her the shot… it disgusts me that they are giving sick people vaccines now!
    Do some research before its too late. I believe that the body can heal itself just fine, and im not some kind of pot smoking hippie, I just dont believe the answer is in monkey testicles, cow parts, eggs, formaldehyde, mercury or any of the other toxic crap they put in shots ..
    Oh yeah I had chickenpox shot…. still got chickenpox!

  95. sarah
    March 27, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Wow I know this is old. But cia parker… totally on your side on this. Dont listen to those other twitts…
    Hey sarcastic assholes… how about you GO AHEAD pump your kids full of TOXIC CRAP and we wont because we actually have factual evidence for reasons not too.
    And if anything bad happens then
    WE TOLD YOU SO :)

  96. novalox
    March 27, 2014 at 2:06 am

    @sarah

    [citation needed], necromancer.

  97. Narad
    March 27, 2014 at 3:25 am

    sarah :
    Theres a study they did in new Zealand proving that unvaccinated children are healthier then their vaccinated peers (google it!)

    Done. Anything else?

  98. mia
    April 6, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Philip Day is an excellent medical researcher – finds all the studies which the governments wont promote and deciphers the scientific jargon .. Worth reading his work

  99. Chris
    April 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Mia, why would we take medical advice from a film maker:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1637762/

  100. Narad
    April 7, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Chris :
    Mia, why would we take medical advice from a film maker

    I’m pretty sure Mia meant this Philip Day.

  101. Chris
    April 7, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Does it really matter? Neither are qualified medical researchers. Though perhaps next she tries shilling for some quack with a fairly common name, she should be a bit more specific.

  1. March 8, 2012 at 11:39 am
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