Of course it was bound to happen and I should learn not to react (did I mention that problem I have with being indignant?), it took a lot longer to happen than I thought it would which should be a good sign of diminishing levels of ignorance but it still really PISSED me OFF.
Welcome to a day in the life of a high functioning ASD kid’s Mum, part two. This is generally preceded by part one: dealing with the “but she doesn’t look like she has autism” comments. Part two: dealing with the “do you think the MMR vaccine caused the bad dirty Autism?” comments.
I hope you don’t mind me writing to you and please please forgive me if this is a callous question but I’m wondering if you see a link between your daughter’s autism and vaccination?
Yeah, it’s a pretty callous question. Why should I forgive you? It’s also pretty ignorant. Why ask me?
I only ask because I’m in a complete dilemna about whether or not to vaccinate my twins. I know they say that the link between Autism and vaccination has been discredited but then I watched this talk last night and I’m wondering if this is really true…
Well, if “they” say the link is discredited (I assume by “they” you mean those with knowledge, in authority, those you had the free, unimpeded right to vote into power, etc), you know what – you’ve made the right move – why not ask a woman with no relevant qualifications, who so far has expressed no interest or opinion on the subject, who has a tendency to swear and is worryingly wistful about her boozing days… she definitely knows the answer.
I am searching for answers and trying to reach a decision. I didn’t vaccinate my first child – he was healthy and full term, but I have a cousin with Aspergers and I didn’t want to put my little boy at risk. But with premature babies, my twins are entrenched in a medical system – they owe their lives to advances in medical science and they are monitored regularly and closely by the staff who oversaw their 3 month in hospital. If I was not to continue to vaccinate them, I would be viewed as criminal by the hospital staff.
So, you are not really searching for answers. The fact you failed to vaccinate your first child – yes, I said failed, you wanted my opinion – shows me quite clearly that you are capable of making up your own mind.
I don’t know the precise law in your country, but where you say “viewed as criminal” I think you mean this as a turn of phrase rather than that they will call the police and ensure you are prosecuted and put in jail and separated from your children…
…because I would imagine the risk of permanent (emotional) damage to your children from a sudden harsh separation from their mother (and goodness knows what knock-on effects involving welfare and society at large) would be a far more realistic and likely possibility in that case.
Surely you wouldn’t risk that?
I wondered if you have any thoughts on the matter as a mother of a child with Autism?
How astonishingly glib. Yes of course I do.
My first thought is that your question is quite pathetic. You will be shocked and upset to hear that. Maybe I shouldn’t say shit like that to people I don’t know and who mean me no harm, but maybe you should get up off your weepy arse and get some backbone and make your own decision, like all other parents have to do.
My opinion is of no true worth here… I can quickly find someone with the opposite opinion to also present their case to you and cancel me out.
Perhaps you should try to imagine you are making the decision in a world where all the kids of your friends and family are contracting measles. Some scrape through OK, others die. YES DIE. Or where your son comes to you as a deaf adult asking you again why you let him get mumps. Are you so worried about Autism now?
You are? Well how nice it is to have that luxury simply because the majority of mothers put their fears to one side and got their kids vaccinated.
My kid has ASD. I don’t know exactly why as NO ONE knows exactly why some people are autistic and others are not. But we are fairly sure it is not a modern epidemic. The increasing rate of autism diagnosis has been shown to correlate with the decline in other more generic diagnoses of mental retardation and the like. If you read more widely, you would know that.
If you read more widely you would also know that the odds of your kids DYING in a vehicle-related accident are roughly the same as your kids LIVING with ASD – are you also planning to lock them in the house forever?
I am not going to share my complex and long-considered opinion on MMR and autism. It would not answer your question about whether you should jab your kids anyway.
I am going to share my opinion that if governments and health authorities weren’t wasting money on advertising and awareness programmes to halt the decline in vaccination uptake by women like you then they might have more money to spend on frankly life-changing resources like regular occupational therapy for my daughter.
I appreciate I have put myself in the public domain by sharing my poem about my daughter to try and raise autism awareness in a positive way. OK, the words are hard to read and make people cry, but how you feel that justifies you asking me how to stop your kids becoming like my kid?
Frankly you could do a lot worse. She fecking ROCKS. You should be thankful to have a kid with half the intelligence, thoughtfulness, kindness and world-changing potential that she has.
I thought about replying to your email privately rather than writing this blog post. I have thought long and hard about it, about how upset you might be. About how I am just lashing out maybe…
In conclusion, I feel I’m being no more selfish or ignorant than you.
(Bring on the trolls!!!!)