I have many interests, but I tend to gravitate and read conversations about autism and vaccines when I sit down to read. With all the social media opportunities available these days, it’s quite easy to respond to what I’ve just read. I can chime in, leave a comment and get involved in a variety of online conversations. Unbelievers, trolls and those adamantly opposed to parental choice can chime in too, but for the most part, lots of the other readers and commenters on the pages I’ve bookmarked are on the same page that I am – we believe that vaccines resulted in our child’s autism.
The kind of autism my child has isn’t easy. Having started out life typically developing, it was shocking to see my child tumble onto the spectrum as hard as he did. Now at 13 years old, Ronan’s unable to speak and toilet on his own. He’s prone to wander. Despite being on anti-epileptic medication, he still has seizures. Despite years of therapy, he’s still very delayed. Despite all the hardships, I hang onto hope that some good will come from our family’s autism and vaccine experience.
Vaccines aren’t the only cause of autism, but it’s one that can’t be ignored. Learning that vaccines can result in autism shocks a lot of people. But it isn’t just autism that shocks and concerns parents like me. It’s the vaccine ingredients, the vaccine schedule, the mainstream vaccine rhetoric and also the downplaying of how serious an autism diagnosis is that concerns me. I don’t add my two cents on every autism and vaccine thread or convo pops up on my screen, but I do chime in when I have the time and the energy to participate.
Things I want another parent to know is that I, like so many other parents of children who are vaccine injured, speak from experience. We’re not talking just to hear our own voices, and we’re not volunteering our input of some random topic we’ve never heard of. Vaccines have severely altered many family’s lives. They destroyed my own child’s potential. I speak up about that because I don’t ever want another child or family to go through the negatives that Ronan and my family have.
Sometimes my input is greeted with thanks.
Other times, it’s with angst.
Who does she think she is? Who is she to tell me what to do or not do with my kid? She has no right to butt in my health care choices.
And they’re right. I can’t stop another parent from vaccinating. I can warn them of what can happen if the vaccine fails or if adverse events present themselves though. If given the opportunity, I do that. I offer my insight in the hopes of educating a parent and will do so right up until the moment the needle goes in. But I can’t stop them. That’s why up until that needle could go in, I’ll continue to encourage every parent to…
Know the risks.
Know the facts.
Know their rights.
Somedays I get over zealous and think I need to share those points all day long and with everyone I know. I’m sure some family and friends get a little tired of me stepping on my soapbox. They probably say to themselves, Oh, geez. Here she goes again!
No one’s ever said to pipe down or to keep my comments to myself, but I can tell when I become too much. On those days, I transfer my efforts to a different audience. That’s when I find myself leaving little love notes in waiting room magazines:
I’ve left other websites for the next reader to check out: TMR’s, VaxTruth’s, the HHS website. I’ve even jotted down the CDC’s website asking them to look up this little ditty with their own eyes:
My daughter, Fiona, got tired of what her science textbook offered when topics like live viruses, disease, and vaccines were mentioned. She found the information to be inaccurate and very one-sided. This was her response to an assignment she had back in 7th grade. I shared it on our AofA Facebook page with this description:
This is Cat Jameson's daughter's science homework. It is her answer to 'Explain how vaccines are beneficial'. She could've written an entire report on how they are not. The sibs know. They KNOW.
Of course they know. My daughter was challenged for adding in her two cents then. She was challenged again in 9th grade when vaccine misinformation appeared in another school textbook. Thanks to Fiona’s bravery, my younger children are preparing themselves for when they’ll need to speak up in their Science and Health classes when those topics come up.
Other kids we know and quite a few parents we don’t know speak up every day. Take a look at these images I saw just last week. Parents are having none of the vaccine bullying that’s becoming more and more common in schools in America. The school system must have thought they could get away with trampling on parents’ rights by asking for this form to be completed and returned. Thank God more than a few parents in Texas reminded the school to never mess with their kids’ health or their parental rights ever again.
(both images seen on Texans for Vaccine Choice FB page)
If other folks in Texas find that form sent home and are as outraged as others have been, Texans for Vaccine Choice has a great write up on what steps parents and guardians can take next.
It’s wonderful to see groups of people standing up and speaking out. It wasn’t that long ago that I felt like I had nowhere to turn and had no one to ask for help, so thank you to those who are stepping up publicly and fighting the good fight.
It’s unfortunate that some of what is happening lately does come with a fight – for our rights, for our concerns to be heard, for our children to be educated. Until all the wrong information is corrected, fight we must and write we must! We’ll right the wrongs of the ever-present pharmaceutical advertising found in all sorts of publications and on the internet, and in response to the No Shots? No School! myth being perpetuated around this time each year so that people can get the real story and the full story.
It’s a shame that fighting is part of this because something as simple as sharing the truth, the whole truth, is the right thing to do. But that just isn’t being done by all of the schools or those administering the shots. How easy it would be to mention the state exemption in any back-to-school health notices, and disclosing that some vaccine ingredients can be considered toxic, and admitting that some cases of autism yes indeed did result from vaccines. Unfortunately, that information is either quickly dismissed or never brought to light. It’s too bad because helping parents be fully informed could quickly ease the confusion that many parents face when it comes to vaccines and autism, vaccines and school, and vaccines in general. That’s why whenever I get the chance – be it online, or on a page in a magazine, or in a quick response to a pushy public school nurse, I’ll continue to write about what’s wrong with vaccines.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.