(112 Posts)
LalyRawr Wed 09-Jan-13 19:26:38

I don't want to start an argument or be judges/seen as judging others, but I could really do with some advice.

My brother was Autistic. He had Fragile X syndrome and after being tested I also tested positive for it, but my 'symptoms' are much milder than his were due to the fact that I have a healthy X chromosome to balance out the 'bad' one.

Now my question is on the MMR. I know the study linking MMR to Autism has been discredited, but OH's Aunt is a Caffcas worker and has seen parents who swear blind their child was healthy and happy and literally changed over night after having the MMR.

I, like any parent, only want the best for my daughter. She is 10 months old so will need to have it in a couple of months and I am still unsure what would be best.

All NHS guidelines recommend the combined injection, but obviously they would do. But, once given, this isn't something that can be taken back if there is a problem.

But with the single vaccines, the NHS website states there is an ncteased risk of my daughter catching one of the diseases before she is immunised and they mentioned that all the clinics which offer the single vaccines are unlicensed, so obviously that has scared me!

I know this is long and I sound like a PFB mother (which I am!) but I just don't know what to do.

Help me please?

Livingintheburbmum Wed 09-Jan-13 19:29:02

What do you want to do OP? Ignore family members.

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 19:33:13

Have the MMR. If there was any link, it would be known by now, there has been more research into the mmr than any other vaccine. It's as safe as vaccines can be.
Risks of measles are real and documented and much higher than any risk of vaccine damage.

Put it simply, you've got 2 guns to shoot at your kid, one has a one in 5000 chance of harming them, one has a one in 1 million chance of harming them. Which do you pick?

LalyRawr Wed 09-Jan-13 19:34:18

I geninuely don't know what to do, which I think the problem is. If I knew what I wanted, I would stand my ground and go for it, but I really don't know what to do :/

RyleDup Wed 09-Jan-13 19:36:35

Thats hard. Has your dd been tested for fragile X?

Hi Laly you must be worried with a family history of Fragile X. It is a very difficult thing to deal with. You know that this syndrome is genetic and isn't caused by vaccination. Can you sit down with a trusted HCP and discuss this? Does your DB have a SW or HCP you could talk to who could reassure you?

CaptChaos Wed 09-Jan-13 19:39:01

Laly sit down and work out the pros and cons and make your own decision.

LalyRawr Wed 09-Jan-13 19:39:13

Kobay that is a very good point about research. I never thought of it like that before.

Ryle no we haven't had her tested yet. I'm not even sure how I would go about that? I was young when I was tested for it.

Sirzy Wed 09-Jan-13 19:39:23

I think you need to speak to health care professionals rather than post on AIBU where things are likely to get quite heated.

My understanding is there is no mumps injection available in this country and its only in the MMR?

Personally, especially given the rise in cases of measles I would get the vaccinations. But it is your choice (and your partners of course) to do what you feel is best.

Pickles101 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:40:07


You say that "obviously" the NHS would recommend the combined vaccine over the individual courses. Because they want to poison us all, presumably?
But the fact that having individual injections could leave your baby open to risk of catching of the other diseases MMR would also prevent has scared you!? Well that's why the NHS recommends the combined vaccine, isn't it!? hmm

StarvingBookworm Wed 09-Jan-13 19:40:49

Shortly after DS had his MMR he seemed to change - tantrums and all sorts of not-like-him behaviour. I was recommended the chapter from the Wonder Weeks (leap 9 I think) which is all about the developmental changes children go through at this age (ie MMR age). He was also grumpy and miserable from the MMR for a while, so combining those things I can see how a child may be seen to "change literally overnight".

There have been studies done with first birthday party videos in which children who developed signs of autism after the MMR are seen to be showing signs at a year, it's just that it's harder to spot in a baby.

Pickles101 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:41:19

Sorry for fulfilling Sirzy's predictions and getting a bit heated. Takes chill pill

Without any family history such as yours, I really worried and fretted over the MMR - like you, I didn't know what to do, so for a while I did nothing - my son (and later DD) had the MMR in the end but later than recommended. I had to feel okay with my decision so I waited until I was. Personally I wouldn't worry about the risk of catching any of the diseases prior to immunisation or in between single vaccinations as all children are unvaccinated before 13 months (or older) in any case... others might disagree but that particular point didn't put me off either the idea of singles/or just delaying the MMR.

So without any real advice I just wanted to say it is okay to wait until you feel sure either way.

LalyRawr Wed 09-Jan-13 19:44:20

MrsTP my brother died ten years ago, so I don't have any contact with his old health team.

I think I'm leaning towards having the MMR, but am just terrified with all these stories and the fact that she may already have Autism and the immunisation could exacerbate it, IYSWIM?

I know its a decision only my aoH and I can make, but thank you for listening and advising xx

What are the signs to look for in one so young?

Dd has been scheduoed for her MMR in a fortnight. I'll admit, I am wary, even though I know it has been scrupulously researched.

RyleDup Wed 09-Jan-13 19:45:07

I'd talk to your gp about it op, if you want dd to have a referral to be tested. I'd also talk to him/her about the pros and cons of the mmr versus the singles, plus your family history of fragile x, and see if you can reach a conclusion/ put your mind at rest, from that.

Vaccine damage is a very real (tiny) risk and is more likely in children who are less healthy than average.

Risks stats are based on populations not individuals and reporting is based on politics. OP, I would investigate and research and apply your knowledge on an individual basis. There is no risk-free option.

whois Wed 09-Jan-13 19:45:42

* I know the study linking MMR to Autism has been discredited*

but OH's Aunt is a Caffcas worker and has seen parents who swear blind their child was healthy and happy and literally changed over night after having the MMR.

You say it yourself. Study disproven, no other evidence has come to light.

If you're not going to get MMR then just pay privately for the separate vaccines if it will put your mind at rest (over a non exist any problem).

gordyslovesheep Wed 09-Jan-13 19:46:04

Vaccine CAN cause damage - this is well publicised by the NHS and given as side effects - it is RARE but I am sure your aunt HAS met the odd family with vaccine damaged children - and possibly ones with children damaged by the illnesses as well

MMR does not cause Autism though

The Gov does not want to harm children on mass - it wants to offer totally free of charge vaccines to prevent your child, and others, being damaged by disease and illness

in other countries people pay for this or their children die

be thankful you have the NHS and the luxury of wibbling about life saving options

LalyRawr Wed 09-Jan-13 19:47:05

Pickles I only meant that the NHS obviously recommend the combined vaccine as they say there is no harm in it. It they were to say there is no harm and then offer the single vaccines it would undermine their claims that there is nothing wrong with it, if that makes sense?

I didn't mean there was some conspiracy to kill us all via mass immunisation xx

Bubblegum78 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:48:54

Choosing my words carefully...

All vaccines are tested thoroughly before use on humans.

Autism and Fragile X are syndromes not diseases, you cannot "catch/develop" these things from vaccines, you are BORN with them but they do not become apparent until 16 months + that is why some swear blind their children were fine beforehand.

These diagnosis are extremly frightening and a huge shock, most peoples immediate reaction is to blame the first thing they can think of.

There is NO link.

How would you feel however if your child died from Measles, Mumps or Reubella?

There is currently a measels epidemic, also whooping cough and they are now telling women over 6+ months pregnant to have the combined flu vaccine due to the recent flu pandemic.

ALL of my children have had the MMR vaccine and are fine. I would make the same choice again, no question.

clicketyclick66 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:52:00

OP, I waited until each of my children were 4yo before I let them have the MMR. Like you, I was worried about Autism.
My dd1 was diagnosed with Aspergers but her symptoms were traced back to long before she had her first injection.
I fretted and worried all the time prior to them getting the vaccines - then immense relief each time once a few days had passed and they were fine.
Now I regret leaving them so long, I realise all along I left them open to getting these diseases.
My advice is to just go ahead and get your dd vaccinated then forget about it!

Pickles101 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:53:40

Laly what your saying makes sense, but I'm sorry to say that it just isn't true. I understand that your concerns aren't unfounded, but that doesn't mean your daughter will become sick because you vaccinate her.

3monkeys3 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:54:20

My ds1 has probable hfa - not diagnosed atm as he is extremely high functioning and coping very well, but we are discussing going down the diagnosis route before he starts school this September. My dd is showing signs now too - again, very high functioning. I have chosen to have ds2 vaccinated separately - I don't actually blame the MMR, but wanted to take it out of the equation for ds2 so if he turned out to be on the spectrum I would know, absolutely, that it was not the MMR that caused it.

Get the measles jab first, as soon as she is old enough - that is the riskiest illness by far - rubella and mumps are less of a risk, so it is less worrying to wait the 6 weeks inbetween jabs for them.

LalyRawr Wed 09-Jan-13 19:54:37

Thanks for all the opinions guys, I am leaning towards the MMR, I think I'm just being paranoid/precious and needed someone to tell me that.

Very sorry for your loss Laly.

There are people who swear blind that all sorts of things are true. If you are interested in why and how bad we are at assessing evidence, read Ben Goldacre's book.

I worked for SS and worked with people with LD. I have seen one person who was vaccine damaged. Lots more damaged by diseases. None where the MMR caused damage. IMO vaccines, anesthetics and antibiotics are the best things about living today medically. We should be very grateful for them.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 19:55:56

I really feel for anyone making this decision now, you have my sympathy Laly.

Personally, we went for single vaccines, but this was back in the day when you could get all three vaccines. They were licensed vaccines and the consultant paediatrician who administered them was licensed too.

I think the government have a lot to answer for for making the mumps vaccine unavailable.

manicbmc Wed 09-Jan-13 20:00:50

My ds is severely autistic. I firmly believe he was autistic before anyone went anywhere near him with an immunisation. It's just that those things that crop up in ASD kids (the differences and nuances) tend to present at the same time as the MMR is given.

Pickles101 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:01:11
MamaBear17 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:02:10

I could have written your post. My brothers are both on the spectrum. My mother insists the MMR is to blame and will not be told otherwise. My youngest brother was very poorly after having the jab, as was my cousin who had received the MMR on the same day as my brother and at the same surgery. My cousin is severely autistic and my brother has a diagnosis of Aspergers. An OT friend I have at work is convinced that the drug companies paid the government off in order to have the link to autism discredited. In France they offer children the immunisations separately because they do not believe the MMR is the best option (the NHS is very clever in its wording when discussing the MMR: "No country that offers the MMR recommends having the injections separately" - clever, because it makes you think that all countries support the MMR, when infact some simply do not offer it.)
Having said all of that, when I did my research into the separate injections I discovered that there is no injection for mumps. Hubby and I discussed it and he felt very strongly that he wanted dd vaccinated against all of the diseases and not just most of them. In the end, I waited until she was 15 months before allowing her to have the MMR. I did this on the advice of my OT friend who told me that it shouldn't be offered before 15 months (based on her medical background and personal opinion - but I trust and value her opinion so decided to follow her advice.) I have also decided not to allow my dd to have the second MMR injection before she starts school. I have done my research and feel that it is un-necessary for her to have it twice. All of the above is my personal opinion, and the choice I have made for my child based on what I think is best. My only advice to you is that you do your research and make your decision based on what you think. It isnt easy, especially when other people throw their opinions into the ring. Good luck!

YorkshireDeb Wed 09-Jan-13 20:04:01

YANBU for worrying your daughter may be autistic, but YABU if you let this stop you from getting the vaccine for her. Autism is far more prevalent in boys than girls so your daughter is very unlikely to have it anyway. It is a sliding scale; a spectrum. Some people think we're all on the spectrum somewhere - we all have traits - but few people have enough to get a diagnosis & even less are severe (in a rain man sense). Personally I agree with all the posters that it can't be caused by MMR - but I think you know this; I think you're just scared. X

catgirl1976 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:08:16

The guy whose (whose now discredited) paper which started the MMR scare had a patent for the single mumps vaccine

The paper itself didn't even mention a link between MMR and Autism - he just dropped this into a conference with journalists (wonder why)

The BMA ruled that what he had done was not just bad science but fraud

He has been struck off

A Danish study has since been conducted of over 500,000 children, 82% of whom had had the MMR. It found no link to autism

Japan has withdrawn the combined vaccine but has found autism has continued to rise in children who have not had the MMR but single vaccines

The USA has conducted an exhaustive review of all avalliable data and found no link between MMR and autism

But YANBU to worry. That's what we do smile

Nuttyprofessor Wed 09-Jan-13 20:18:38

I had to make that decision for my DS . A friend of DH has an autistic son, the parents are sure the MMR was the cause.

I decided to do the single jabs as I felt all I had to do loose was the money. My GP recommended a private DR that was a personal friend of his.

Seabright Wed 09-Jan-13 20:19:32

Please have the MMR. My DP is deaf and has eyesight so poor his lens have to be made specially in Japan. All because he had measles.

Please, don't risk it.

BaresarkBunny Wed 09-Jan-13 20:22:20

I was very concerned about ds having the mmr and the (at the time) link with autism. My dm said to me that you can only do your best with the current medical advice.

So I decided to let ds have the injection. 10 months later ds was diagnosed with hfa.

However all the points that supported his diagnosis were there before he had the mmr. I believe he was born with asd and there is no link with the mmr.

HecatePropolos Wed 09-Jan-13 20:25:18

My children both have autism. My eldest was clearly autistic from birth. No eye contact, rigid when you held him, etc. It was as clear as a bell.

My youngest, born when my eldest was 15 months old, was as different again. Cuddly, interactive, interested, eye contact, smiley... and then he regressed. It was time to have the MMR. Looking back, it was like someone swept in under cover of darkness and swapped my child. It was as sudden and dramatic as that.


He didn't have the MMR.

Neither of them did.

It was at the time that the MMR-autism thing had hit the headlines and so we paid for the single vaccines instead.

I tell you this - if he had had the MMR there is no power on this earth that would have been able to convince me that it wasn't the cause. I would have been shouting it from the rooftops, I know I would.

I don't know. That's just my experience. I'm not an expert and one experience means bog all in the grand scheme of things.

Look into it. Find out about different types of autism, I can't remember who it was but someone on here was talking about different types of autism and different causes/triggers. It was very interesting, but I've lost the thread.

Nuttyprofessor did your DS have all three singles - if so where did you get the mumps jab done as it is currently not available as a single?

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 09-Jan-13 20:27:04

I can tell you OP, having gone down the single jab route, there is no single vaccine globally for Mumps since the company in the US licenced to make it stopped.

Single jabs for rubella and measles are available, they cost about £250.

i didnt think all the singles were available at the moment.

My DS had singles but if that hadn't been an option then he would have had the MMR

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 09-Jan-13 20:33:37

DS had singles for measles and rubella in 2008/9. Mumps was already an issue at the time, but was then discontinued entirely. As a consequence DS had to have MMR at 4.5 before he went to school.

Fairyegg Wed 09-Jan-13 20:35:12

As I understand it the clinics are unlicensed because the government refuse to give them a licence. I'm pretty sure the single mumps vaccination is impossible to get in the uk now. Other options are delaying the mmr. Some parents don't give it until 2 years plus to ensure development is ok. Whatever you do, people will disagree with you and you May never be 100% happy with any decision you make, you can only go with whatever decision you are happiest with.

colleysmill Wed 09-Jan-13 20:56:41

There has been a confirmed case of mumps at ds's day nursery recently so it is still about (must admit I was surprised as hadn't heard of case for sometime)

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 21:01:21

I just had a look on the internet for the paediatrician that did our single vaccines, his website lists all three single vaccines as available. It might be out of date though.

I understand that people think delaying is an option. I don't agree with this, except with medical advice (and that wouldn't be an OT, sorry MamaBear or a chiropractor or anyone else who isn't actually an expert). I have been advised to hold off DD's last set because she reacted quite badly to her previous set. If I hadn't been advised to do that DD would be having them on schedule. The reason is that for every set of people who delay, some children will fall ill. A very small percentage will get extremely sick like Seabright's child or die. Another small percentage may pass on these diseases to another person who can't have vaccines or has low immunity. Statistically, there are reasons that we have the schedule we do. More people get sick with single vaccines and with delayed vaccination.

Rollmops Wed 09-Jan-13 21:41:47

Have single Measles and Rubella. When your DC turns 4-5 ie. before they start school, give the MMR unless single Mumps is back on the market.
By that age, you'll only have to give 1 dose of MMR, booster is not needed. Child is older and his/her immune system is stronger.
This was recommended by a professor at the leading University who specialises in vaccinations.

EugenesAxe Wed 09-Jan-13 21:42:41

I can't help wondering if all the people that 'swear blind' it was the MMR are somehow ashamed of their child's autism and seeking something to blame, to avoid looking inwards.

On the other hand, I know enough people that are ruled by hokum and distrust all things medical - I have heard a few hmm 'it was definitely this that caused XYZ' statements and thought I would like to hear a second opinion/ the alternate view. In short, I think all these 'convinced' people's testimonials should be taken with a pinch of salt. Not everyone will be as open minded to the truth (ie. the signs were there pre MMR) as many of the posters on this thread are.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 09-Jan-13 21:46:20

We went the single jabs route about 8 years ago, cost about £400 but worth it to us. The doctor was a regular GP who just held a private clinic once a fortnight to do purely these and chickenpox jabs.

Not planning anymore but would go this route again over the MMR but thats my personal choice and only you can decide for your child.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 09-Jan-13 21:49:58

Rollmops, that's incorrect. You still have to have the booster. We dd exactly what you suggested with DS.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 09-Jan-13 21:52:34

By booster I mean, he had the MMR then we had a follow up jab a few weeks later.

MamaBear17 Wed 09-Jan-13 21:53:40

I think the reason my mum insists the MMR was to blame for my brother is partly because he had a bad reaction, as did my cousin and they are both on the spectrum, and partly a need for there to be a reason for why my brother has Aspergers. I really feel for my mum, it has been a real struggle for her and my dad with both of my brothers. I think she feels very guilty. However, my mums opinion of the MMR didnt stop me from allowing my daughter to have it. I researched it and made the decision, along with my husband, based on what I felt comfortable with. It is hard to know what to think, especially when your child is your PFB. I think there is some good advice on here though and every mum has to make their own decision.

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 22:03:44

Not sure who said it but they definitely do give the MMR in France. They have a low take up of all vaccines there though....and a very high rate of measles and mumps.

MMR is actually technically compulsory for pre-school attendance in France, but there are many ways around it and it is often ignored.

Muminwestlondon Wed 09-Jan-13 22:14:10

I would speak to health professionals about your particular circumstances. In the end the decision has to be yours.

I decided against the MMR. I objected to the rubella component which I believe was responsible for triggering an auto immune disease in me which devastated my life for more than 10 years.

I took the chance and both my children caught measles. They were ill for a few days, not pleasant but have been more ill with tonsillitus and the doctor wasn't concerned and apart from the worry on my part because of all the horror stories about encephalitis that was it. Yes, it is dangerous for some people but both me and DH had it as children as did our siblings, parents, friends etc.

One of my children is thinking about a medical career and will have to be vaccinated. I also worry about one of my children catching mumps or rubella during their exams and later on during pregnancy. Unfortunately I have transferred the future responsibility to them - not ideal but like most parents I based my decision on what I thought was best at the time.

The only other comment I would make is that a boy at my school when I was a teenager died from chicken pox which is not routinely vaccinated for.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 22:16:01

EnjoyResponsibly, you do not have to have the booster. It may have been recommended, but that's not the same.

If the vaccine worked the first time, like it does for the vast majority, the second injection is not needed. It is not a 'booster' in the sense that it makes the first one work better. It is given on the very small of chance that the first one didn't work.

You can choose (if you pay) to have the single vaccines or the MMR, and then have a blood test to see if they have worked before giving the vaccinations again. This is what we did, because I wasn't prepared to have the vaccines injected into my children if there was no point because they already had as much immunity as they were ever going to get.

WreckOfTheBeautiful Wed 09-Jan-13 22:23:41

Just a point regarding fragile X - as your DD is under 18 she will not be tested for fragile X unless she displays symptoms. If she wishes to have a test for her fragile X status once she is over 18 then she can. I hope I'm not speaking out of turn but have you had any genetic counselling about your status as a fragile X carrier OP? Just that if you are considering TTC again in the future you may wish to speak to a genetic counsellor about the risks of you having an affected child. If this is something that concerns you then you can access genetic counselling via a GP referral. Sorry if you already know all this and I'm teaching my granny to suck eggs!

SleepyLittleSunshineGirl Wed 09-Jan-13 23:53:19

I can only advise you on our experience. DS had single jabs. He was then dx with autism. Whilst some parents say their child regressed after MMR, looking back I can say hand in heart that I knew he had ASD when he was jus a few months old - we contact, behaviour etc. since being dx he had the combined MMR booster with no I'll effect/deterioration in his condition. You can only make a decision on what's best or your child based on the facts at hand and your own circumstances. The most important thing is to vaccinate your child though. measles is not mild and the effects of it can be devastating.

ouryve Thu 10-Jan-13 00:00:27

Put it this way - I've known 3 people who have had measles and all of those people have been deaf in one ear.

neverputasockinatoaster Thu 10-Jan-13 00:11:37

I have 2 children. DS is 8 and has an ASD. When he was born and the MMR was looming on the horizon I was very worried by the links and claims, especially as there is a history of ASD on both sides of the family. DS had single vaccines - rubella and measles. The advice we were given by the Dr was to wait until he was about 8 or 9 and then ask for the MMR for the mumps part. It cost us about £350 I think.
DD also had single vaccines.

I will hold my hand up and say that part of my decision was based on the disgusting way I was treated by both my GP and HV when I sought advice on the choice - my HV told me I was a hysterical woman jumping on a stupid band wagon.

If I had a 3rd child I doubt I would go down the single vaccines route - DS has an ASD anyway and DD has a huge range of sensory issues..... Plus Dr wotsisname has been well and truely discredited now!
However I made the choice I made and I will stand by it.

I had measles as a child - all I remember about it was the 2 weeks off school! I know I was lucky and I'm glad vaccines are available to us.

Ericaequites Thu 10-Jan-13 01:32:53

I was born in 1970, and I have Asperger's. I was vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella, but am not sure what sort of vaccine I received. I am rather high functioning, and was not diagnosed until last year. However, other distant maternal family members also have Asperger's. My father has some similar traits to mine.
My best friend's nephew has autism. His mother and aunt swear the MMR vaccine caused his autism. Multiple members on both sides of his family tree have quirky traits.
I would definitely vaccinate. I also know several people who had measles and had resultant hearing loss.

Cailleach Thu 10-Jan-13 02:23:33

This is going to be long, so please bear with.

I have posted about the strong genetic link to autism in my family before on MN, so I'll give a condensed version: both me, my sister, my brother, my mother, and my maternal grandmother, aunt and two uncles all have or had autistic traits of varying degrees of severity.

In my family, the link is clear; it runs through the maternal line. My grandmother's sister was the most severely affected by it: she spent most of her life in an institution, and was only diagnosed as being autistic in the 1990s, at the age of 79. (We have recently found this out by requesting access to her medical records, to provide some proof to the psychologist I am personally seeing for my own ASD diagnosis at the end of this month.)

Her sister, my grandmother, is a very odd person indeed; unable to form friendships, obsessive about routines and food, childlike and literal in her view of the world. Two of her brothers were decidedly strange too - neither married, both were typical "trainspotter" types who lived at home until their mother died, then moved into a shared flat until their deaths in the late 1980s.

Here is the thing: my Gran is Irish. She was born in a tiny village in the West of Ireland in the 1920s, as were all her brothers and sisters (all 11 of them in total!).

They grew up in a tiny cottage near to the sea, all fresh clean air and sunshine. They were very poor, but they ate the freshest foods, home cooked and indeed most of it was home grown: processed foods and additives did not exist back then. No one had a car, even the local doctor travelled around by horse (!), so there was no lead in the air, or indeed much atmospheric pollution to speak of at all, other than smoke from burning peat fires. You washed yourself and your clothing with a basic soap made from lime and animal fats, as people have done for centuries. No emollient oils, chemicals or other contaminants at all. They cleaned their homes with salt, lemon, bleach, borax. Air fresheners did not exist: that was achieved by opening the windows.

All in all, it was a remarkably non-toxic environment for a child to grow up in.

Vaccinations did not exist at all back then, so naturally, none of my grandmothers siblings received them. And yet: one of those siblings spent her life in an institution, mute apart from the odd squeak, arranging things in rows over and over again (magazines being her favourite) only getting up to spin in circles and flap her hands delightedly when music was played on the radio.

Tell me then: if vaccinations cause autism; what's the dealio with Granny and her family, here?

More to the point, what's the dealio with me, because here's the kicker: I didn't have vaccinations either. Not a one.

Mothers in the late in 1970's were told to avoid vaccinations for their babies if there was a family history of allergies, due to a perceived risk of anaphylaxsis. Seeing as my paternal grandmother holds the world record title for the number of things a person can be allergic to, Mum took the decision not to vaccinate me or my sister.

So by the time I was ten, both me and my sister had contracted rubella, mumps, measles...the lot. A fair proportion of my early childhood was spent feverish and in bed. Tending to her poorly kids for weeks on end wised my mother up damned fast, so when my brother was born, he was swiftly vaccinated against everything under the sun as soon as he was due for his jabs.

Did I mention I'm having an ASD assessment in two weeks time? Because I am, so that "avoiding vaccinations in case kiddywink gets autism" doesn't seem to have worked too well for me, huh? Didn't work out too well for Grannyo and siblings, either, did it? No, no it didn't.

Autism is genetic. End of. In my case, I suspect that it was the strong streak of austism from the maternal line coupled with the equally strong tendancy to severe epilepsy (a known risk factor for ASD) on my fathers side that caused my Aspergers.

Finally: my mother was born in 1950. She remembers all too well the kids at her school who were crippled by polio, the pictures on the news of people condemmed to a life in iron lungs (polio again), the stories of men rendered infertile by mumps, women miscarrying or having babies born blind because they'd contracted by rubella whilst pregnant.

When full vaccinations came in, people clamoured for them, and all the human misery caused by the MMR and polio diseases virtually vanished within one generation.

Absolutely final point - well done if you got this far without a cuppa - my sister is a biochemist. Phd, Genetics. First class in all her degrees, worked with some really top people in her field.

Her speciality is bowel cancers, so the study linking inflammation in the bowel "caused" by the MMR jab caught her eye. There is a correlation between GI issues and autism, and she was already aware of this. I remember at the time her describing Wakefield's study as "the biggest pile of nonsense I have ever read", only the words she used were not quite as polite as that.

This "study" is of course total rubbish and has been debunked by a number of in-depth scientific investigations.

The study is horseshiat, but the very real damage caused to children and adults alike by polio, mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox is not.

My advice? Vaccinate le sprog, and relax.



HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 06:18:14

Eugine - what do you mean when you say "looking for something to blame - avoid looking inwards" ?

EugenesAxe Thu 10-Jan-13 07:32:47

Really, what Mamabear said in her second post. That many people will feel somehow culpable for the condition and to avoid guilt and blaming themselves (what I meant by looking inwards) they search for something else to pin the blame on.

I don't believe this is necessary, personally; ie. that you should be blaming anything. In an ideal world nobody would focus on any disability and everyone would see the person for what they are in total.

I'm still not being that clear - what did you think I meant?

Crawling Thu 10-Jan-13 08:23:32

Eugene I have a fairly severe autistic dd and before I used to think it was laughable to think mmr causes autism but when I was first told of dd autism I wondered whether my giving the mmr had contributed but it wasn't about blaming something it was actually about blaming me you see I didn't look into the mmr and felt if it had contributed it was ny fault for not researching and choosing to give it. So not all people are avoiding inward blame to be honest I was just searching for a reason why it was my fault.
After researching I realise it wasn't the mmr and and dc3 will be fascinated next week. Op I really understand how hard this must be I personally would rather give the mmr as sometimes children can die from the illnesses it prevents. I hope you reach a decision you are happy with.

Crawling Thu 10-Jan-13 08:24:35

fascinated should be vaccinated

Dawndonna Thu 10-Jan-13 08:26:40

I have three children, all have been vaccinated, all have an ASD diagnosis. Dd3 had her mmr at four, in the main because she'd reacted badly to others. She showed signs of ASD long before this. Dh also has an ASD diagnosis. He\s 42, there was no MMR when he was young. Just as there was no MMR when my Aspie father was born in 1933.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 09:42:40

I wasn't clear what you meant by "Seeking something to blame to avoid looking inwards", so that's why i asked. I've made mistakes before by misunderstanding what people mean and I wanted to be clear.

AmberSocks Thu 10-Jan-13 09:45:44

none of mine are vaccinated,if you really want to look into it then please dont ask on mn,you wont get proper unbiased information,theres lots of info out there,dr sears has a good book on vaccines and the informed parent is a good website too.

AmberSocks Thu 10-Jan-13 09:48:29

i have to say though if autism is the only reason then i would have them,its not high on my list of reasons for not vaxing.

hackmum Thu 10-Jan-13 09:54:14

Personally, I wouldn't have the separate vaccines. Having them separately means your child has to have six injections over a period of time, which would be unpleasant for her. Also if there is a risk with vaccinations, you're increasing that risk, imho, by giving six jabs instead of two.

Large-scale studies have shown that MMR is safe. I think it's perfectly reasonable, however, to listen to parents who believe their kids have been damaged by MMR, and not dismiss them as morons who are incapable of understanding evidence. Knowing the evidence shows one thing isn't much help if you're the parent who's seen your child apparently change overnight. (Though of course, as others have pointed out, autistic children often develop normally for the first 12 or 18 months and then start to display symptoms at exactly the age when they receive the MMR jab.)

In your position, I would grit my teeth and give the MMR, on the basis that the risks associated with not giving it are probably greater than the risks of giving it. I perfectly understand the dilemma, however - a sin of commission feels worse than a sin of omission. If you don't give it, you know that you can always give it at a later date, whereas once you've done it, it's irreversible.

Dawndonna Thu 10-Jan-13 09:59:41

Cailleach well said!

Oh, I too have AS and was born in 1958. Didn't have vaccines then. Both my Father and his brother, as well as their father had what we now know to be AS.

Smellslikecatspee Thu 10-Jan-13 10:01:43

'but OH's Aunt is a Caffcas worker and has seen parents who swear blind their child was healthy and happy and literally changed overnight after having the MMR.'

I've meet people like this and seen their child before and after they had the MMR. In the main these children, they were displaying traits/ behaviours that were for want of a better way to say it were not right, however no one wants to label a baby who could be having an off day etc, and most of them when asked if they had any concerns didn't see anything wrong. And diagnosing takes more than one visit

I've often wondered if with the Hoo-Ha about the MMR parents were watching their child closer and suddenly realised that some of the behaviours were unusual? Or felt that they could express their concerns?

The other 10% they were the parents who when asked gave a huge sigh of relief and agreed that something was wrong.

The facts are autism becomes more obvious in children after the age of 2, correlation is not causation.

No one has been able to reproduce Andrew Wakefields findings.
He was a surgeon who also worked in experimental gastroenterology not a paediatrician and had no proven experience in working with Autism.
None of this is to say that he couldn’t have stumbled on a link, but in research you have to be able to duplicate the findings, and no one has been able to do so. And later study results went totally the other way.
His behaviour was found to be dishonestly and irresponsibly by the GMC, (please bear in mind that the medical profession is an old boys club and for them to take this step means he really fucked up)

Yes some children react badly to the vaccine but the may also react to the single jabs, we are all the same while being uniquely different, where a medication might work for one person it may do nothing for another and harm a third.

At the end of it you have to weigh up the risks and benefits to your child.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 10-Jan-13 16:31:59

Having them separately means your child has to have six injections over a period of time

This isn't true. They have to have three injections instead of one. The second set of injections is only needed if they have not worked the first time, and in the vast majority of children, they do work the first time. It's the same when you have the combined vaccine. The second MMR is only given on the very minute chance that the first one didn't work, so in the majority of cases, children are given the 'booster' for no good reason except that its cheaper to give it to them a second time rather than test whether it worked the first time.

The fact that people aren't given this information by the NHS immunisation leaflets is why I don't trust them.

stickyg Thu 10-Jan-13 16:54:07

I have a little girl who is 4 and she is waiting to be diagnosed for autism. She had the MMR and went downhill about 2 months after it. Now it may or may not be anything to do having the MMR but if i had another child ( i wont ) then i wouldnt give them the MMR, i would 100% pay to have the jabs seperately. I just wouldnt risk it xx

AmberSocks Thu 10-Jan-13 17:42:32

i had mumps,measles and rubella,plus whooping cough,and chicken pox.

the death rate for healthy children from those diseases are very rare.

Booboostoo Thu 10-Jan-13 17:51:35

MamaBear17 I am sorry but that is simply not true about France. I live in France, DD was offered the MMR, in fact it was offered a lot earlier than in the UK. My doc offered it at 9 months for children who are looked after with other children, or at 12 months for children who are looked after at home. Nor was this a one off as the child's health card has a specific space for the MMR which must be signed by the doc when the vaccinations are done. The health card is inspected if you want to put your child into nursery, go to a public swimming pool, take them to school, etc. (DD did the MMR at 9 months because we travel a lot and I am weary of meeting unvaccinated children).

OP vaccinate, it saves lives. If you want an example of piss poor research just look up the original claims of the Wakefield paper. It's not just bad research, it is appalingly bad research. It is miscariage of reason that his piece of rubbish research has affected the decisions of so many parents.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 17:51:42

Hecate's post of Wed 09-Jan-13 20:25:18


People say "I know that X caused Y"

When all they know is that they only noticed Y after X happened.

Andro Thu 10-Jan-13 17:55:29

At the risk of receiving a barrage of abuse:

Stand firm OP until you have done all the reading you feel you need to and obtained any professional advice you feel you need (with emphasis on your reasons). Whilst vaccines have been shown not to 'cause' these problems, some issues can be exacerbated. When I was small it was recommended that the whooping cough vaccine was not given to anyone who had a family history of neurological problems, the recommendation was was clearly stated and was there because it was known that the vaccine could make an underlying problem worse. These are the kinds of warnings you need to make yourself aware of so that you make an informed choice for your child, it's not being precious to ask questions/request the list of possible adverse reactions, it's being responsible (especially with the possibility of an underlying issue).

CaptChaos Thu 10-Jan-13 18:14:39

As a complete aside.

My DH has recently had Whooping Cough. He has had all his imms from birth and, as a soldier who has done a fair number of operational tours, has had more immunisations than most people do. He still got it, the symptoms were just as bad for him as they would have been if he had not been immunised. He still (6 months on) has periods when it is difficult for him to breathe due to coughing.

When he was diagnosed we were told that:
a) he was lucky that we live where we do, because there is a large community of people here who haven't been immunised against it, who bring it with them when they immigrate. Otherwise the doctor wouldn't have considered it as a dx. This has also been true of a friend of mine's DD who had been immunised against rubella, but caught it anyway and had some complications from it, GP refused to consider Rubella, hospital did blood tests to confirm that this was the actual dx.
b) the jab only gives immunity for an average of 10 years anyway, and often for only 6 months (can't provide evidence of this, but MO has done the research)

Not only should children be having imms, but adults should be offered boosters every 10 years in the same way as tetanus boosters used to be.

CockyPants Thu 10-Jan-13 19:26:17

I post as a daughter of medic parents. No history of autism or any other SN in either my or DP family. Am educated to degree level and pro science ie not wacky theories...
And yet...
When it came to MMR jab on my DD I was really wary. I consider the usual MMR age too young to give 3 live vaccines.
So I waited til DD was 5 and she had initial and top up within 3 months as per NHS guidelines for her age.
I have to admit to holding my breath for 3 months...
Now I'm relieved that she has had the full jab as measles has had a surge locally. Not all children are immune after the first dose. That's why the top up is given.
It's up to you OP. I wouldn't blame you if you chose not to go ahead. But disease side effects can be severe and life altering for your DC.
Damned if you do etc etc

Pigsmummy Thu 10-Jan-13 19:31:47

Go single vaccine, if, and that's a big IF your dc develops anything austic like you will always wonder......

Dd is due her MMR. I might have to hide this thread as it is making me even more panicked.

KobayashiMaru Thu 10-Jan-13 19:58:00

Did you not read it? Its full of sense, unlike most of these threads, detailing why you should do it and not worry.

pointythings Thu 10-Jan-13 20:11:03

I do not dispute that there is a risk of vaccine damage to some vulnerable children and that it is usually impossible to tell in advance whether or not your child will be vulnerable.

However, the risk of complications from measles as a % of cases is considerably higher than the risk of damage from a vaccine. Parents need to know this and make a judgement about which risk they would prefer.

In addition they also need to think about the risk that rubella presents to women in the first trimester of pregnancy, and ask whether they could live with the consequences of their decision not to vaccinate should the worst happen.

Apart from that it is totally everyone's individual choice.

Trills Fri 11-Jan-13 09:30:39

There was an Agatha Christie book where someone committed murder because the victim had given her German measles (rubella) while she (the victim) was pregnant and she had lost the baby.

'However, the risk of complications from measles as a % of cases is considerably higher than the risk of damage from a vaccine. Parents need to know this and make a judgement about which risk they would prefer.'

At a population level, but not an individual level.

Vaccinations are not 100% effective. I would rather know i was not vaccinated and stay away from pg women, than assume i was and infect someone, and i also believe that it is the pg mothers own responsibility to ensure the conditions are right for falling pg/having a baby.

shesariver Fri 11-Jan-13 10:01:35

Starlight I would rather know i was not vaccinated and stay away from pg women

And how would you propose to do that since the danger period is the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, not only do a lot of women not know they are pregnant but dont tell anyone, and also they are no visible signs.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 10:06:00

You can't expect people to base their decision on what they allow to be injected into their child on hypothetical pregnant women that they may not even come into contact with.

KobayashiMaru Fri 11-Jan-13 11:15:15

why not?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 11:19:36

Because to most parents, their child take priority over other people's. of course, many parents will think of the risk to pregnant women and unborn babies of they are planning a pregnancy, or if they have close family members who are pregnant.

But at the end of the day, each parent has to make the decision that they think is best for their own child. I don't think it's fair to guilt parents into making a parental decision they are not comfortable with because of possible pregnant women that they might never see.

Because hypothetical pregnant women are rarely going to be worth risking your own child for.

Muminwestlondon Fri 11-Jan-13 11:32:12

I am quite surprised that posters have mentioned measles and hearing loss. I have had measles, so has DH, so did our siblings, our parents and nearly all our friends as children. My children have also had measles and are fine. I know of no-one personally who has suffered hearing loss. I wonder how common it is?

My DS had the singles....he did not have the booster. The local GP surgery tried to make me agree for DS to have it but I checked with my specialist and he confirmed the booster was not needed.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 11:46:11

The same thing happened to us when we had singles Betty, although our paediatrician offered the blood test to check immunity. We took him up on that, and it turned out that the rubella one hadn't worked with one of our ds's. We gave him a second rubella, but didn't test again after that thinking that if it hadn't worked, he either had some natural immunity, and there was no guarantee that a third one would work if we had been prepared to inject him again anyway.

If the second rubella injection did work, ds was immune much earlier than he would have been if he'd had MMR.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 11:48:11

It also annoyed me greatly that despite my GP surgery being sent records to show that my ds's had been immunised, and the records to prove that they were (mostly) immune, they still questioned me at every appointment and sent countless letters telling me that I had to give MMR.

LalyRawr Fri 11-Jan-13 11:49:48

Thanks for all the advice and opinions (sorry for taking so long, my daughter appears to have decided that sleep is now optional).

Just to make clear, never once was I considering not vaccinating her. I was deciding between the MMR and the Single jabs. But seeing as you are now unable to get the Mumps as a single vaccine I think I will probably go for the MMR.

Dawndonna Fri 11-Jan-13 11:58:18

My sister is severely myopic due to measles. My brother has some hearing loss. This was back in the sixties and seventies when it was common to lose a child to measles.

Tiiiny Fri 11-Jan-13 12:16:40

The study has been discredited, the fear is irrational, get the MMR and protect your baby as the NHS recommends.

Amytheflag Fri 11-Jan-13 12:48:43

The thing that worries me about it all is what if the MMR doesn't "cause autism" (as there's obviously a lot of people who didn't have it who are diagnosed with autism) but what if it causes some autism. That's the part I can't let go of and weighs on my mind a lot. What if some people are genetically predisposed (is tht the right word?) to having it and it takes a trigger to set it in motion? Maybe in some kids the trigger is the high temperature after the MMR or in some kids its something else that happens earlier in life. That's the part that worries me a lot. What if its dormant in my dd and the MMR is enough to trigger it?

I know that could be a load of rubbish but I still can't stop worrying about it sad

Booboostoo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:54:26

It is not possible for anyone to make vaccination decisions without taking the welfare of other people into account.

Yes, for my child it would be best not to be vaccinated for anything AS LONG AS everyone else was vaccinated, some of those people were exposed to the side-effects of the vaccines but the diseases were eradicated. So my child would benefit 100% with no risk, others would take 100% of the risk and the benefit of the vaccines and a minority would suffer the harm of side-effects for all our benefit.

However, that only works on a purely individualistic level. As soon as everyone reasons this way, not enough people vaccinate and herd immunity is lost, the diseases re-emerge and unvaccinated people stand to lose the most (they avoid the risk of side-effects but take on the risk of the diseases).

Therefore vaccination reasoning has to take the welfare of others into account.

I am sure someone more familiar with game theory would make the point better.

Amy there are lots of conditions where a genetic predisposition is triggered by an event or life circumstance. However, autism really is very heritable. More than lots of other conditions. I firmly believe that people are born with it and that is all. People have had plenty of ideas about autism in the past (Google Refrigerator Mother) and they have been discredited.

thegreylady Fri 11-Jan-13 17:28:19

I have been partially deaf as a result of having measles when I was 6,[1950]
My ds had febrile convulsions after his first MMR jab so our GP recommended that dd had reduced amounts of the vaccine-if she had no reaction to the first shot she could have the second.This was in 1975.Both my dc were fine eventually and both have had their dc vaccinated on schedule.

Footface Fri 11-Jan-13 18:18:18

I was so worried about my ds having the mmr, although it has been disproven that there is a link to autism I don't believe a word the government say, and it really pisses me off that I'm unable to chose to singularly vaccinate my child.

I ummed and erred until I saw a video link on you tube by Penn and teller, and made me feel more comfortable getting the mmr. Ds 2 is due his soon and he will get the mmr but at 13 months rather than 12onths as five injections in one go us too much

Please watch this vid it might help . Sorry phone won't link

But go on YouTube search penn and teller vaccinations, it's the 1min 31s

Footface Fri 11-Jan-13 18:20:29

Unfortunatly the company no linger supply the mumps vaccination to the uk and have no intention to in the near future, so mumps singles are not an option anymore

pointythings Fri 11-Jan-13 18:57:46

To all those who are saying you can't take decisions about vaccination while thinking about other people besides yourself and your DC - whyever not? It's part of being a responsible member of the whole of society. I'm really shock by this attitude.

'It's part of being a responsible member of the whole of society.


Well I happen to think that a responsible society would take care of their individual members who DO suffer from vaccine damage, rather than make them battle YEARS of denial whilst every aspect of their family life is critically examined, and their home sold to pay for legal fees before accessing the paltry compensation.

pointythings Fri 11-Jan-13 20:38:48

This isn't a zero sum game, starlight. If vaccine damage can be proved then of course generous compensation should be paid. We need more research into vaccine damage so that we can find out and hopefully anticipate which children might be vulnerable, as well as finding methods of proving vaccine damage. Then we need a statutory compensation scheme which takes into account the cost of raising a child with disabilities.

However, that does not excuse us from thinking about people other than ourselves and our DCs as well when we are trying to make a decision about vaccinating or not. The decisions we take nearly always involve other people, and I'm not just talking about vaccination here - and I stand by my point that thinking only about yourself when making major life decisions is morally dubious. The 'I'm all right Jack' attitudes that have led to an increase in disability hatred are part of that mindset - if you can't be bothered to think about the potential impact of what you decide on the world around you then yes, I have a real problem with that. Hard thought needs to go into hard decisions, whichever way they turn out.

Personally I have vaccinated my children - I actually respect the right of other people not to do so, even though I vehemently disagree with them. But I would expect them to have arrived at their decision by thinking not just about themselves and their families, but about the wider ramifications as well. I'd expect the same of anyone who did decide to vaccinate. We are thinking beings, we have an obligation to use our intelligence.

Booboostoo Fri 11-Jan-13 21:30:53

Starlight I don't know your story but I assume you or a member of your family were unlucky enough to suffer from the rare vaccine side-effects - you have my sympathy. I also think it's tragic that you had to fight for support and compensation, that is not right.

However, this does not justify you passing on the same harm to another, innocent third party. Inflicting a further injustice cannot be the way forward. Just because you have suffered a grave injustice does not absolve you of any moral responsibility towards anyone else.

'If vaccine damage can be proved then of course generous compensation should be paid.'

Yes. But it isn't. Instead families are vilified and tortured for years and barely get enough compensation to cover the costs of expert opinion and legal fees.

You don't just get a disabled or dead child, your whole family plummets into poverty and your other children get neglected and often abused.

If this were not the case, I woukd be more supportive of the vaccination programme.

Boob. Would YOU pay more tax to fund the research and compensation programme?

Booboostoo Sat 12-Jan-13 13:47:16

Starlight I am sorry but I don't understand your argument. I will accept that the compensation system is not working (I don't know much about it to be honest, but happy to take your word for it), but how will spreading lethal/dangeorous diseases through non-vaccination ever help with that? The problems with compensation are not a fault of the vaccine, vaccines have known side-effects, it's the price we pay for protection from the disease. It's terrible that only some, random people pay this price, which is why compenstion exists, but I don't see why penalising a different but much greater set of other random people through non-vaccination would right the wrongs of delayed/inadequate compensation.

I don't get your point about tax either. Would YOU pay more tax for more research on the rare genetic condition my DD may have? There are many deserving causes that will not be adequately funded because no one gives up 100% of their income for tax/charities.

Booboostoo Sat 12-Jan-13 13:48:19

I just re-read your message, who abuses the siblings of children affected by side-effects of vaccination?

Often the vaccine-damaged child abuses their siblings. Unreported because parents know that the unaffected children will be removed for their safety as it is cheaper than properly supporting the family or placing the child with damage.

Would YOU pay more tax to a)ensure decent compensation to the family, b)appropriate services for the family, c)enable the parents to continue to work, d)provide counselling d)ensure the damaged child has access to appropriate equipment for free.

Because if you wouldn't, then you are no better than anyone else with an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude as none of the above happens, and even a legal battle of a life time gets little more than a note saying 'sorry' once legal fees have been paid off.

Booboostoo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:57:26

I think I might bow out of this discussion as I don't really think you are addressing the issue. I am not saying "I am alright, your damaged child is your problem", I am saying "Your damaged child is neither a reason not an excuse to damage other children".

I still don't get your point about tax. Would you may more tax for research into my DD's very rare genetic condition? And to reduce extremely lengthy waiting times for seeing specialists (there are so few of them)? And for the many home adjustments she may need if she has the condition? And for the inovative orthopaedics that may improve her quality of life?

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