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(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?

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.

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