Have you ever experienced a Bee or Wasp sting? One of the questions I get asked often is "If it is the vaccines causing Autism, how come all or more children don't get it?" This is a true story from my youth. I believe it puts into perspective graphically what I believe happens and may help you when you are answering questions like this. Some details may be a little fuzzy because this was close to 35 years ago, but I think you will realize how much an impact it had on my life to be as vivid and long.
During summer vacation as I was growing up I was given the opportunity to go away for camp. I was able to venture forth from just a couple of days to over a month. I had many varried experiences. Soccer camp in the UK. Liberal Religious Youth camp on the other side of San Francisco Bay. Boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada. YMCA, Boy Scouts and Even Girl Scouts Camp. My Mother was a troop leader and I got to tag along. I guess that is something I need to talk to my therapist about.
One year about Christmas time, I got in my head that I wanted to learn how to ride horses. After a few months of research we found a suitable camp about three hours from where we lived. The deposit paid. Long supply checklist received, anticipation and excitement mounted. Two whole weeks on a real western dude ranch! Trail rides, camp fires, Lake swimming, hiking, Singing, and Girls / Coed! Oh My! Heaven for a teen.
The time arrived to head out. I can remember it being one of the longest car rides ever. My Parents dropped me off and I quickly said my goodbyes. I could not push them back in the car fast enough, You know that stage in life when you are too cool to be seen with them.
That very first night we were scheduled to have a trail ride a dusk so there was a lot to do. After dumping my stuff at the bunk house, It was glorious picking out our own horses for the two weeks, brushing, saddling, placing the bridle. The smell of Fly spray and poop in the air. We were put into buddy groups of four. I was partnered with a cute girl all the way from the East coast, a blonde from California and another jock from Iowa.
Evening approached and we all practiced in the stable area ring before the ride. It was obvious that some lacked any horsemanship skills, others did not want to be there. There were Bullies, Jerks, and even delinquents. We managed to get all the horses pointed in the same direction and off we went.
The first half of the trail ride was Heaven. Chatting up my new buddies. Laughing about the various personalities of the horses. Through woods and over streams we went. Stopping on a large hill to admire the setting sun. The only downside was they made us all wear heavy canvas like long sleeve cowboy shirts. By about mid ride even the girls had stripped down to tanks and tees. I am not big on sweating.
After the sunset watching on the hill, we were circling back to camp. We went through a small forest back to an open plain that had poorly defined trail. I think some of the campers started showing off, Racing and blazing their own path. All of a sudden I saw a rider way ahead really veer off course. I heard the most horrifying screams. Confused our buddy team continued forward. Then it happened. A swarm of the largest green horsefly hornet looking bugs were all over us.
I recall being stung four times. My horse took off in a full uncontrolled gallup. Racking my groin a few times and flying past and over others thrown from their horses. It was the best ride ever, so I thought for the moment. We discovered some who had been thrown off broke arms, legs, had shoulder and head injuries. A few had immediate allergic reaction to the stings. Three helicopter life flights quickly were called in and victims whisked away. My Boy Scout first aid merit badge training was put to full use.
In my buddy group, the young man had no injuries, one girl sprained her wrist and one was life flighted out and never came back to camp. I was put in a shoulder sling and sent to bed. Shortly after lights out I broke out in massive sweat and hives. I was in bed for two days. I do not recall any medicine being given for my painful situation. I often wished I had been life flighted out.
I know this was a very long winded tale to get to a very simple point. I think there was about twenty of us on that ride including about 4 Counselors. The moral is think of the varied backgrounds of all the campers. How they converged at the point of insult by the stinging bugs. So many different results from strains, sprains, broken bones, immediate life threatening reactions to reactions that were milder but lasted days. Some were stung up to 10 times and yet some did not get hurt at all. How is that?
Well I believe this is very analogous to our current vaccine program. Our children get varying numbers of shots at different ages and with immune systems developing and in different states of health. We could not have predicted the outcomes for all twenty it just happened. Sure the wranglers should have known about the terrible bugs, the trail could have been more defined. When we heard the first screams I could have got my buddy group to turn and go the other way. I am sure there a ways the skeptics can pick this story apart but I will go to my grave shouting as your buddy be educated before you vaccinate.
Tim Welsh, is one of the most active and influential Parent Advocates for Autism. Avid Speaker, blogger, and Tweeter (@TannersDad). Tim works to build unity within the Autism community, Gain Insurance coverage reform, End Restraint & Seclusion, Advocate for services, prevent wandering and much more. Tim & his wife Cheri have one son Tanner (16).
“I have a son he has autism, but, I also have dream. I dare dream of a world where profound regressive autism is not only treatable, but is also preventable”