Autism, Aspergers, Rob Gorski,Special Needs Parenting, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fibromyalgia,

Tag Archive: vaccinate

Jul 23 2013

Vaccine Advice: 10 Things to help you decide whether or not to vaccinate your child


Why I decided to put this together

I decided to put this together because I’m constantly being asked about vaccines. Parents are understandably worried, confused and overwhelmed by all the information floating around. Will vaccines cause my child to be Autistic? The truth is that kids are diagnosed with Autism, regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated. So it’s not that simple.

Personally, I’m a believer in vaccines and I don’t think there is any denying that they save countless lives. However, not everyone feels the same way.

My goal with this article is to help parents to rely less on what celebrities like Jenny McCarthy have to say and more on their own personal research. I think that if we can take the power away from the people spreading the misinformation and propaganda, parents are in a better position to make a decision based on conversations between themselves and their child’s doctor.

There has been a recent surge of interest in this topic once again in light of the whole Jenny McCarthy joining ABC’s The View. When it comes to something like this, people are always throwing advice out and it’s hard to know who to trust and what is opinion and what is fact.

I’m not sure what ever happened to trusting our doctors but it seems that we don’t anymore. We are more willing to believe a celebrity with absolutely no medical background or scientific evidence to back up their claims and simply dismiss the medical community.

When my wife and I made the decision to vaccinate our kids, we didn’t make that decision lightly.

While I will never tell you what’s best for your child, I can provide some advice that may help you to make a responsible and informed decision when it comes to Autism, your child and vaccines.

I truly hope this helps…….

10 steps to making a responsible decision about vaccines

1)Do your own research and rely on reputable sources for your information. There is a great deal of paranoia and misinformation floating around, especially online. You have to be really careful what information you trust. Try to stick to the facts and avoid opinions.

2) If you have any concerns about vaccinating your child, make a special appointment to talk to your child‘s doctor. When you make the appointment, explain what it’s for so your doctor will be able to set aside the appropriate time. Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions and take lots of notes.

3) If for some reason your child’s doctor is unwilling to discuss your concerns or answer your questions, guess what? It might be time to find a new doctor. Any doctor worth a dime, should be willing to have this discussion with you and answer whatever questions they can. Just give them a heads up. After all, you both want what’s best for your child.

4) Remember that everyone’s experience has the potential to be different because everyone’s genetic makeup and body chemistry is different. In other words, just because one child has a bad reaction to a vaccine does not mean that your child will. The same holds true that just because one child does okay with a vaccine doesn’t necessarily mean yours will.wpid-10-Things.png

5) Ignore Hollywood. There are a great many people that will try and push their opinion on you. It’s important to remember that most of these people have absolutely no medical background and shouldn’t be advising you of what to do for your child. It’s okay to hear what they have to say, just remember that there is a world of difference between opinion and fact.

6) Remember that there is always a middle ground. You can always space or spread out the vaccines over time, if you’re that concerned. Just ask your doctor about adjusting your child’s vaccine schedule. Most doctors will be more than happy to work with you. Again, if you’re met with resistance or feel pressured, you can always find a new doctor.

7) Deciding whether or not to vaccinate your child is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ve had to make up to this point in your life. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly as there is potential risk in whatever you decide to do. Carefully weigh all the information you have collected and ask more questions if you need to.

8) Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead and take your time. This is a big decision and one that you shouldn’t rush into.

9) When you finally make your decision, stand by it. There are people out there that will criticize you no matter what you do. Remember that you are your child’s parent and the only one that can make decisions for your child.

10) No matter what the outcome, remember that you did what you felt was best for your child. You have no ability to predict the future and neither does anyone else. All you can do is rely on your instincts and deal with whatever life has in store for you and your family.

This site is managed almost exclusively via WordPress for Android. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. 😉

Follow @Lost_and_Tired

Visit the My Autism Help Forums

This site is managed almost exclusively via WordPress for Android. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. 😉

Follow @Lost_and_Tired

Visit the My Autism Help Forums

To reach me via email, please Contact Me

Permanent link to this article:

Mar 07 2012

Tough choices: When not to vaccinate


Let me start by saying that I am not antivaccine. I firmly believe in vaccinating my kids,  not only for their health and safety,  but for yours as well.

Having said that,  Elliott is due for his boosters.  Three boosters to be exact, chicken pox,  MMR and Polio.

This is where the problem or rather the concern comes into play.  Elliott was hospitalized after his first MMR vaccine.  He had a bad reaction and they thought he had actually developed measles. It was pretty scary. Did it cause his Autism?  No it didn’t. However,  that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned.

Maybe the first reaction was a fluke.  There’s no way to know. Maybe the reaction to the booster will be worse or maybe there won’t be a reaction at all. There’s no way to tell.

There is no way to see the future and my crystal ball is broken.  The only thing I can do is discuss our concerns with the doctor and maybe have his current immunity levels tested to see if the booster is even necessary.

There is clearly risk no matter what decision is made.  Is he more likely to contract measles, mumps or rubella than he is to have a bad reaction to the vaccine itself?  The truth is that because so many people are choosing not to vaccinate their kids,  the risk of contracting these diseases is much greater than it used to be. So there is a legitimate concern for his health if he doesn’t get the vaccine.

Like I said,  I’m not antivaccine.  I think vaccines are extremely important to maintaining the overall health and safety of society as a whole.  I’m totally aware that vaccines can injure some people and that is a tragic thing. My heart goes out to those injured by a vaccine as well as to their families.  I have spoken with a few families that have experienced a vaccine injury and what I learned was enough to raise my level of concern and cause me to exercise a greater level of caution.

Having said that,  I’m simply a concerned parent that has a legitimate reason to be concerned.  Based on the reaction he had to the MMR vaccine the first time around,  I have no idea what to do this time around.  Does that make sense?

This part of parenting really sucks because the decisions I make along with my wife about our kids health,  can dramatically impact them in an unexpected way.

I would love to discuss this issue without it turning into a flame war.  Please be respectful of others opinions.

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

Please join our Community Autism Support Forum Registered & Protected

Posted from WordPress for Android so please forgive the typos. Auto-correct and I don’t get along very well.

Permanent link to this article:

Aug 27 2011

A new journey begins


Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis

For those of you that have been following our story for a little while, you are already aware of the situation with Emmett and his recurring fevers. For those new to my blog, here is a snip-it of background. Basically, Emmett has there recurring bouts of high fever. They last about 7-10 days and usually have no cause.  After the first few days we always take him in to be seen….just to be on the safe side.

Emmett’s pediatrician has referred Emmett to immunology at Akron Children’s Hospital, where he sees Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO.   Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO sees Emmett and Gavin both. She’s a fantastic doctor and really takes the time to explain everything to us. She evens returns our calls herself.

Because of Gavin recent, diagnosis of Primary immunodeficiency (she said this is what we are calling it for now), she ran the same battery of tests on Emmett to make sure he was dealing with the same issues. As it turns out, thankfully Emmett’s immune system seems to be okay, at least for now. This week we had a follow up appointment with Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO, in order to form a plan of attack and discuss our options. One of the things we pointed out was Emmett’s enlarged lymph nodes in his neck. They have been that way for as long as we can remember.

We have had it checked out many times and no one ever thought it was anything to worry about. However, Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO said she thinks that they are actually the cause of the fevers, even though they never appeared to be connected. Based on the tests we have done to date and her physical examination she thinks that Emmett has something called Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis or periodic fever aphthous pharyngitis and cervical adenopathy. We’ll call it PFAPA for short.

According to Wikipedia, this is how this disorder is defined:

PFAPA syndrome is a medical condition, typically starting in young children, in which high fever occurs periodically at intervals of about 3–5 weeks, frequently accompanied by aphthous ulcers, pharyngitis and/or adenitis. The syndrome was described in 1987 and named two years later.

PFAPA is frequently discussed together with other periodic fever syndromes, but it is unknown whether the cause is primarily genetic or due to an initial infection.

So what do we do next?

Well, for starters, the next time he spikes a fever we have to give him Prednisone. The first day he spikes his fever, we give him one dose of Prednisone in the morning and one dose of Prednisone at night. This should break the fever in a few hours. Not entirely sure why this works so I’ll have to do some more research to find out. Basically, if the Prednisone breaks the fever then that confirms the diagnosis….at least as I understand it.

However, she said that if the Prednisone doesn’t break the fever then we are dealing with something else entirely. She said that there are other possibilities but they are far more unpleasant and we just aren’t going to go there just yet.

I’m not really sure what to even say anymore. As far as these fevers go, they typically happen at least once a month. The problem, aside from the obvious, is that Emmett misses way to much school. He can’t go to school with a fever…right? He also misses therapies and other important appointments. In fact, part of his vaccine schedule is off simply because he’s running fevers all the time and they don’t vaccinate when he’s running a fever. The fevers can be managed with Advil or something like that but that treats the symptom and not the problem, if that makes sense.

The addition of a new doctor

Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO has referred Emmett to an ear, nose and throat doctor or ENT for short. Our first appointment is at Akron Children’s Hospital, on September 1st. Actually, this is more of a return of a doctor as apposed to the adding of a new one. Emmett has already been to the ENT several times and even had tubes put into his ears for the chronic ear infections. Now that I think about it, we are actually changing ENT’s, so I guess we are adding a new doctor. The ENT will evaluate Emmett’s condition and help us to plan the next step.

Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO said that because of the frequency of the fevers and the length of time they have been occurring the ENT may opt to remove Emmett’s tonsils and adenoids. The thought of Emmett having surgery makes me feel sick to my stomach. I know it could always be worse but any time your child may have to go under the knife, it’s hard to image it being any worse. Either way we have a much better idea of what’s going on September 1st. According to Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO and the research I’ve done already, most kids will out grow this. The problem is that this often gets worse before it gets better. Dr. Nancy Wasserbauer, DO said that because Emmett’s fevers last for so long already they will likely increase in frequency or duration to the point where they are happening every other week.

So for now, we are once again left in the dark. Hopefully, this will turn out to not get anymore complicated and we can get Emmett back up any running, so to speak, ASAP. He needs to be in school and he shouldn’t have to be sick all the time.

Permanent link to this article:

Aug 11 2011

Autism, Vaccines and Immune Deficiency


Autism, Vaccines and Immune Deficiency

First of all, let me go on the record as stating that I am NOT anti-vaccine…at all. However, something occurred to me this morning and has got me concerned. I’m concerned for a very specific reasons. Emmett and Elliott are both scheduled for vaccines on Thursday afternoon….well…they were scheduled for vaccines this Thursday but not now.

My goal here is not to turn this into a heated debate but rather share my concerns as they relate to my, personal family situation. I’m hoping to gain some insight from the community here.

Something occurred to me this morning. Gavin has most likely been Immunol deficient his entire life. Without knowing this, we vaccinated him as recommended by his pediatrician. No one had any idea that Gavin’s immune system was compromised until last Wednesday.

As a rule of thumb, our pediatrician will not vaccinate any of his patients when they are sick or may be getting sick because their immune system may be compromised. So my question is, what happens when a child with an immune deficiency receives a vaccine…especially a live vaccine? We would never knowingly do this but if it accidentally occurred what could happen? In the case of a live vaccine, I would think that the child would be at a much greater risk of becoming infected by the virus or viruses in the vaccine itself. I’m not an expert and that’s why I’m posing the question.

Vaccinating a child with an Immunol deficiency

As horrible as it sounds, we can’t undo whatever, if anything, that happened to Gavin as a result of vaccinating him while his immune system was compromised. However, now that we are aware of the problem and there is a very real potential that Emmett and Elliott both may have the same or similar Immunol deficiencies, we have to look at everything differently.

I spoke with the pediatrician’s office this morning at length about this concern. The nurse I spoke to shared our concerns with the doctor.

While I was waiting for the immunologist to call back, I heard back from the pediatrician. He said that if there is a chance that they have compromised immune systems, he does not want them to have any live vaccines. That put the brakes on tomorrow’s scheduled appointment for vaccination’s.

We are waiting for Elliott to be seen by the immunologist as well as awaiting the results of Emmett’s blood panel.

So how do you handle a situation such as this? I don’t believe vaccines cause Autism. However, how much of what Gavin is going through could be related to receiving vaccines with a compromised immune system? I haven’t been able to speak to the doctor about this yet but I thought I would pose the question.

Does anyone out there have any experience in this area? Immunol deficiency is a completely new area for me and so I feel like I’m starting from scratch. Any suggestions, advice or experience would be greatly appreciated.

Permanent link to this article:

Jul 08 2011

Please “study” something else for a change


I have been reading my friend Stuart Duncan’s posts lately about theautism “studies”. I have to once again, agree with Stuart on this. I have many concerns about SOME of these “studies” and their, perhaps, unintended impact. In my opinion these “studies” are more then just annoying and misleading, they can also be dangerous. Anyone remember a certain ex-medical doctors “study” finding a link between the MMR vaccine and Autism? Look at how profoundly that fraudulent ”study” affected the world as a whole. Even after the study was COMPLETELY debunked and he was PROVEN to be a fraud people still believe it and blindly follow him. Just look at how many people don’t vaccinate their children now because of this. Now we have kids dying from preventable disease, all because of a “study”.

autism is not only a hot topic but a popular focus for “research studies” lately. The problem I have with these “studies” is that they bring nothing relevant to the table. The last time I checked, the only KNOWN cause for Autism is Fragile X (please correct me if I’m wrong). I realize that it’s human nature to want to understand the mysteries of Autism, especially when the cause or causes are so elusive. However, we have to be responsible about this. There is already enough…..misinformation floating around out there. Do we really need any more? Look, the reality is that if you stare at something long enough your bound to see things that aren’t really there. I mean, honestly, it’s like these researches get together and place random ideas on a dart board. Then they trow the darts to see what the next “link” toautism will be and set forth to find some way to connect the dots. This is bad for all of us. It reminds me of the episode of South Park, Cartoon Wars. In a nutshell, they are poking fun at the show Family Guy. Basically, they portray the writers on the show Family Guy as a bunch on manatee’s in a giant tank filled with “idea balls”. The manatee’s select the “idea balls” at random and those ideas become the topic of the next episode of Family Guy. Perhaps I’m reaching a bit here but honestly, some of these studies are just as ridiculous.

Why are we focusing ALL our efforts on these often times, bizarre and honestly, pointless studies? The money and questionable brain power behind them could be put to much better use. Here’s a novel idea, how about helping the families out there ALREADY affected byautism. The families in the trenches right now are many times forgotten. How about diverting some of the processing power behind these “studies” and redirecting it in a way that will actually benefit the autism community not cause more confusion. Don’t get me wrong, we desperately NEED research but we need QUALITY research and not people just grasping at straws. We don’t know right now what causes Autism and I know that’s frustrating, trust me, my family has been affected more then most. Sometimes the answers don’t present themselves right away but I’m confident that, one day, we will have the answers we are looking for. Until that time comes, there are families out there right now that are struggling. Maybe the brain trusts behind these studies can figure out ways to help the children and families ALREADY affected by Autism. In my opinion, that seems like a much better use of the money and resources.

Again, we need research but we need quality research. We need answers, not more questions. We don’t need studies trying to link your proximity to a highway to increased risks ofautism. Besides, how many people would that actually apply to in real life, compared to the number of kids actually being diagnosed. I mean, autism is a worldwide problem, what percentage of those people live next to a highway or took Anti-depressants during pregnancy? If you can’t find a link that explains the vast majority of cases then really, whats the point. But hey…this is just my opinion. I’m not a fancy researcher, I’m just a father to 3 kids on the spectrum…what do I know…right.

Permanent link to this article:

Jun 27 2011

Emmett has his 3 year checkup today


Emmett has his 3 year appoint today with Dr. H. He’ll check all the usuals and let us know where he is at as far as weight and height. We will discuss vaccines and what he needs and doesn’t need. I’m not sure if he’s due for any or not but we always like to talk to Dr. H about any and all vaccines prior to blindly vaccinating any of our kids. We do our best to responsibly vaccinate our children. As I have made very clear in the past we are pro vaccines but we still do our research and seek the advice of our trusted Dr. H before we decide to give one of our children a vaccination.
It will be interesting to see where Emmett is compared to other kids his age.   

– Lost and Tired

Please Vote for Lost and Tired (just click the link) and help me spread Autism Awareness. Everyone can Vote once a day 🙂 Registered & Protected

Permanent link to this article:

Mar 30 2010

The topic of vaccines has come up….


Vaccine, it seems to be like the grand canyon of the autism community. You find yourself on one side or the other and there is no middle ground. I will start by saying that I don’t subscribe to the vaccine theory nor does my wife for that matter. The reason I bring this up is because Gavin’s psychiatrist has suggested we consider withholding Emmett John’s MMR vaccine. Now before you grab your torch and pitch fork hear me out. He is one of the best in his field. We are very lucky to have him here.

What he said was that vaccines as a whole are absolutely a good thing. There is no research to show otherwise. Majority of kids handle vaccines without any problems (which is why you should have your kids vaccinated). He said that there is a  subset of children that don’t handle the vaccines well. He has had patients that where high functioning autism, received an MMR vaccine, ran a high fever and then became non verbal. He said there is no proof one way or the other with these cases.  Again he is not saying don’t vaccinate your kids but in Emmett John’s case for example there is a family history and pending diagnosis of autism. Also Elliott Richard was admitted to the hospital after his MMR.  He said that we should weigh the risks and benefits of further vaccinating Emmett John and have a serious discussion with his pediatrician. That’s all.

I had never put any weight into this theory before but having someone like him say this (even if it’s for a different reason)  to us makes you stand up and listen. Again he is not preaching don’t vaccinate your kids. I want to be very clear about that.  In fact his kids are all vaccinated. He is saying that there is a subset of kids that are much more vulnerable for some reason maybe genetic defects that make them predisposed.  Knowing that Emmett John is a high risk child and there is a family history of autism the vaccines (in combination with a potential genetic defect) may be enough to push him over the edge or flip the switch.

Does any of this make sense? I honestly never thought I would ever give this consideration. But faced with the choice what are you supposed to do? We completely trust our doctor. He is a big reason Gavin is doing as well as he is. He is simply sharing his personal experience. He recommended we talk to our pediatrician and decide what we want to do. As it stands anyway, our pediatrician wanted to hold off on the MMR until we figured out what was going on with Emmett John anyway because he didn’t want the vaccine to complicate things. Elliott Richard had a reaction when he was little. So there is a history.

How do you even begin to make that decision? You vaccinate most likely he handles it ok. On the other hand you could vaccinate and make things worse. How could we ever forgive ourselves?  I wish I could look at Gavin’s psychiatrist and say “well he must be a quack” but I can’t.  Again we aren’t talking about someone who is anti-vaccine because he isn’t. As a medical doctor he believes in them. We are talking about someone who has seen cases where this has happened. He said there is no proof but it’s hard to deny the connection.

We have time to decide right now but since yesterday all these things have been swirling around in my head.  These are really BIG decisions to make in already bad situation.

I know the vaccine topic is touchy and I am not looking to start a heated debate but this is what we are faced with. My wife and I are pro-vaccine but in light of the information given to us we are at a loss as what to do.


Permanent link to this article:

Switch to our mobile site