Monday, 18 November 2019

Did your child get autism after vaccination?

A question I get sometimes. I first posted this reply on Quora and reposting it here with a few edits.

My answer is I still don’t know.

Unlike a lot of other answers here - our son was not autistic when he was a baby. He was healthy, had good eye contact, and generally very sociable. He was even singing songs and playing with his sister when he gradually went into a shell - he went silent, no eye contact, rocking and spinning wheels on the toy cars. Later on, we learned that this is known as regressive autism.

This happened around when he was 1 year old in the UK. It remained in our memories because of the adverse reaction he had after the shots.

I took him to our local surgery. He was supposed to receive 2 shots but also received an additional third (a booster which we had missed). He then had a fever for more than a week and when we went to the surgery again, the doctor said that it was normal and prescribed Calpol. He recovered but was clearly not the same after that.

He gradually withdrew into a shell and it took us years of various therapies to finally get him to talk and look into our eyes.

Was vaccines the cause?

I don’t know as I have no evidence and he was only diagnosed when he was around 2 years old.

However, I would like to point out a few issues with answers from some parents here who claimed that their kids were born with autism and before their kids were vaccinated.

I am not sure about the countries they reside in, but my kids were vaccinated right after birth starting with Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) and the first dose of Hepatitis B (HepB).

This is followed by another dose of (HepB) at one month. Then at 2 months, they get shots for
– Diptheria, Tetanus, accellular Pertussis (DTaP)
– Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib)
– Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV)

At 3 months, 2nd doses of

– DTaP
– Hib
– IPV

They receive the 3rd dose of all the above, at 5 months.

At 6 months, the 3rd dose of Hepatitis B.

At around 12 months, they are then given the first dose of Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

So by the time they are around 1, which is around the time people generally realise that their kid is different, they have already received a minimum of 22 different vaccines.

I say minimum because other states here in Malaysia also recommend giving measles vaccine (single) at 6 months and doses of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) as well.

Our Paediatrician recommended Pneumococcal vaccine and we gave it to our son. After all, we thought he knew best and wanted to protect our child as best as we could. This was the only extra vaccine as compared with my daughter who is neuro-typical.

So unless these parents were anti-vaxxers, I am sure all the parents did vaccinate their kids before they were diagnosed with autism.

So does vaccines cause autism?

My personal opinion is that the verdict is still out there and we need more research.

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