Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? And that there are many Christian authors who have children on the Autism Spectrum? Believe it or not, my son’s issues in his journey of overcoming autism (an ongoing process and he is doing great, PTL!) actually started me on the road to writing again. Early in life God called me to write. Then I went off in my own direction and I became a psychologist.
When my son was 13 months old he was given a MMR shot (I didn’t even know what shot it was he was given that day that was “different” from the others because he had gotten all of his shots and I didn’t pay any attention to what exactly was given. ) He quickly developed horrible diarrhea that would not clear up. This was right before our vacation and during the trip he was completely different than he was normally—not wanting music for instance whereas he loved lullabies and music prior to that time. He also had been a happy interactive child but became fussy and inconsolable. I had to keep him separated and quiet to have him soothed. Needless to say that was nightmare vacation. His pediatrician thought he’d picked up a virus on the trip but he’d had the symptoms before we left.
He was nursing still so we determined it wasn’t from formula (later, however, we did discover his allergy/sensitivity to milk.) We took him to a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist who ran a bunch of tests, threw up his hands, and told us there was nothing he could do to stop Clark’s persistent diarrhea. So now we are two months out with a child who is now fussy, avoiding eye contact, and behaving differently than he ever had before and with a chronic issue with his tummy. His fine motor skills stopped developing. I took him to a naturepathic medicine doctor who diagnosed his issue as likely caused by his last vaccination. She gave him drops to take that had his diarrhea stopped within twenty-four hours! And recommended he not have any more. We had improvement with his tummy . Still some issues, particularly with fine motor. As a psychologist and someone who’d worked in a hospital with neonates for several years, I was a little skeptical and worried about missing any more vaccines but we waited. I was working, had a teenager, was coping with my own rheumatoid arthritis, which had worsened, and coming home to a child who was having some continuing problems.
At two years old, at a sick child appointment, I allowed them to give my son another vaccination. Bad move. After that shot, he spiraled down into screaming fits, had staring spells, ended up doing so many bizarre things I’d rather not include them here, but needless to say, I did, then, research what did he have given at 13 months and 24 months and it was MMR vaccination. I know there is conflicting research on this but I can only say from our experience what happened. I believe there are a combination of factors that make the MMR result in a child going into autism and one of these days we might know what the exact mix is. But what some professionals say is that a genetic predisposition combined with illness (kids are not supposed to get shots when they are sick) and specific vaccines can bring on the onset of autism symptoms.
Question: Do you have a friend who has a child with autism? If so, have you been able to do anything to help your friend, such as babysit and if so, how did that work out?
Posted by Jillian Kent at 12:00 AM