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Can the booster MMR be detrimental to an autistic child?

(55 Posts)
TartWithAHeart Thu 20-Sep-07 13:29:10

My friend's son has been diagnosed with autism. He is non verbal at 3.5, alongside showing other autistic traits.

She is thinking of not giving him the booster MMR because she says it might make him "more autistic".

I think she is wrong - but I am no expert. Any ideas anyone?

I have my own DS aged 3.11 with me at present demanding to be played with so forgive me if I don't respond to posts straight away.

Niecie Thu 20-Sep-07 13:35:32

I don't think you can make a child 'more autistic' to be honest. My son has AS and I asked when he got his dx whether he would get worse and I was told he won't get better or worse. How he behaves change as he grows up but the underlying problem won't change.

If it is any help, my son had his MMR booster and it didn't make the blindest bit of difference.

Not only that but there are still serious doubts about the initial claims that autism and MMR are linked to such an extent that the doctor who did the research up is being charged with professional misconduct by the BMA or whoever it is.

This is just my opinion though and I am sure that there is going to be somebody who disagrees!

MrsMarvel Thu 20-Sep-07 13:41:34

I've heard many people say that their child "changed" soon after they had the MMR, but if there is anything in the autism/mmr connection at all, the damage would have been done already. I think she could do her son more harm by not having the booster.

TartWithAHeart Thu 20-Sep-07 14:13:18

I thought as much. Very interesting to hear about the researcher being charged with professional misconduct - I must google that.

RnB Thu 20-Sep-07 15:04:26

Message withdrawn

pinkcandyfloss Thu 20-Sep-07 15:44:32

My son is 4.1 and has autism. He won't be having the booster. I don't want to take the risk

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 16:09:57

Research has shown a double whammy effect. Those who had 2 MMR's (who had a bad effect after the first) had a worsening of symptoms after the second compared to those who only had the one MMR. This is actually very good evidence that MMR does play a role in the development of autism for some autistic children. Not all. Some.

If you want to read up on the Wakefiled GMC case then google CryShame. Give yourself 4 hours and read the reports from the journalist who has been attending. The prosecution witnesses appear to be providing good evidence for the defence (it's a bizarre case with no 'victims' because all the families of the supposed victims think that Wakefiled provided good treatment for their child. The prosecution witnesses have been unable to stick the knife into Wakefield because he wasn't acting alone at all, correct procedures were followed, ethics committees met. The sole complainant was Brian Deer as far as I can work out which explains a lot). Recently a GP was charged with misconduct by the GMC for providing evidence in court to support mothers who did not want their children vaccinated with the MMR. (The fathers wanted them vaccinated). She was found not guilty (or whatever the GMC equivalent is) on all charges.

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 16:11:58

My autistic son won't be given any further vaccinations at all (well until he goes into care as an adult and then I guess I'll have no choice- SS will be in there with the needle). Never mind the vaccination itself lots of autistic children have difficulties detoxifying metals/toxins etc. I don't want him having the aluminium let alone anything else.

jenk1 Thu 20-Sep-07 16:12:04

i wont be giving it to my dd who is ASD as she already has immune problems.

re the researcher, his name is Dr Andrew Wakefield, there are many posts on here about MMR and him, Gess is the expert on this matter, the way i understand it is that there is a small percentage of children with ASD,s for whoom the MMR could make symptoms worse, as my DD already has immune defiency problems and bowel problems i wont be giving the MMR to her, my personal view is that i agree with Dr Andrew Wakefield and ive spoke to medical people who "off the record" have told me the astounding difference in some children who have had the MMR, their symptoms worsening but there are few who will speak up and say this.

jenk1 Thu 20-Sep-07 16:12:31

crossed posts with Gess!!!

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 16:36:00

yes I know people who will happily talk off record as well jenk. Wish they felt able to talk 'on-record' although I understand fully why they don't.

Pixel Thu 20-Sep-07 16:36:09

Ds hasn't had the booster (well he had singles but we haven't repeated them). About the time he was due for it I saw a documentary about a young boy with autism who suffered a further regression immediately after his booster. The parents had video of him before and after the jab and the difference in him was heartbreaking. I just couldn't take the chance I'm afraid. I also remember reading 'George and Sam' and being quite frightened by the fact that Sam lost a lot of his abilities at the age of six (iirc)or at any rate an age when you would expect him to continue on the same development path. I don't think they knew what triggered it though. I was very relieved when ds passed 6, perhaps I shouldn't read these books!

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 16:38:34

Yes Sam did regress very late didn't he. Wasn't he talking well beforehand. Well he must have been given his age. Perhaps I'd better not re-read whilst ds3 is only 2!

Niecie Thu 20-Sep-07 17:03:10

TartwithaHeart -See, I told you others would disagree. I would leave your friend to make her own decision. If something did happen to her child, you wouldn't want to be held responsible.

To the others - why the conspiracy of silence amongst the medical profession? If they really do have all this evidence that MMR causes autism then why not say? Surely it isn't to do with money, is it?

pagwatch Thu 20-Sep-07 17:24:59

My son was developing normally and regressed spectacularly after his MMR losing all emergent skills and developing bowel and food issues. He has obviously not had the booster and none of my kids have had further jabs.
But the decision is of course that of your friend ( and presumeably the childs father). I have never told anyone what I think re vaccines for their children simply because my childs reaction was HIS reaction and most children obviously do not react.

I am not sure if i am one of the 'others' but I have had enough paeds and Doctors suggest their belief in a link to really wonder myself why they won't speak publicly. Perhaps Dr Wakefield being up before the GMC is one.
Mine and hubbys best friend is a GP and he has strong doubts but also believe that the MMR only damages a few whilst the benefit in apparent reduction of those childhood illnesses is, in his opinion, significant.
but really i don't know and i'm not sure i care if i'm honest although I know i sound terrible.
We all just have to make informed choices for our own kids and that is bloody hard.

Niecie Thu 20-Sep-07 17:52:37

Pagworth - I don't think you are terrible for not caring. We can't all care about everything and everybody esle or we would tie ourselves up in knots and spend our lives worrying. You are right - you do what you believe is right for your own child, which is why I don't think TartwithAHeart can really persuade her friend. Her friend has to make her own choices.

There was another thread the other day about whether a difficult birth can cause AS and a a lot of mothers came forward and told the same story of forceps and ventuouse(sp) deliveries. You could argue that forceps and ventuouse are banned but they work for a large number of women and many babies would have died without them. The fact that some of our children were born with AS is a horrible but you have to weigh up the risks. Maybe it wasn't the forceps but the diffcult birth that lead to the forceps delivery that did the damage, who knows.

The point I am making is that we have to decide what risks we are comfortable with and what consequences we can live with. OP's friend has to do that for herself too.

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 18:00:44

I agree pagwatch - it's about understanding susceptibilities & family histories. With a family history of zero autism but lots of autoimmunity I don't mess with the immune system anymore than I have to now.

I doubt the silence is about money. Doctors are quite happy to talk one to one to their patients and share their views. That's very different from standing up in public and proclaiming that the MMR is unsafe. The numbers are small enough to be ignored. The risk seems remote if it doesn't affect you directly anyway. I used to be very pro vaccination. Very pro. I always knew that some children were vaccine damaged, I never thought it could happen to my child.

Richard Halvorsen (a GP) has publically given his views on vaccination in a very recent book. He talked quite a bit in it about doctors off record fears for the MMR and their reluctance and fear of aknowledging it publically.

Very few medics get all that involved with autism treatment. Wakefield did which is perhaps why he was keener than most to state his fear publically- he worked with numerous families of severely autistic children with severe bowel disease, presumably for him it was less remote.

TartWithAHeart Thu 20-Sep-07 18:22:05

OK, so I can see now that she is not alone with these fears.

I will have google cryshame later on and have a look at it.

Can you help me with something else? Would mums with and AS child feel offended if they were not invited to a birthday party by someone they knew?

Niecie Thu 20-Sep-07 18:33:15

Depends why you aren't inviting them. If you aren't inviting solely because they have AS then yes they would probably be upset as anybody would they thought they were a friend and if you didn't ask them to a party.

If it is because you think the AS child won't like the party because there is some sort of theme or activity involved then you should invite them and leave it to the child to say whether or not they want to come. Having AS doesn't stop a child having feelings or from knowing their own mind.

Sorry Pagwatch, for getting your name wrong earlier.blush

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 19:04:11

Agree with Niecie about the party.

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 19:06:47

here's the cryshame report about the hearings. It's long, but quite fascinating.

TartWithAHeart Thu 20-Sep-07 19:13:43

Sorry - I have started another thread asking this question.

AS child in question does not interact socially, is too distructive and has no speech at 3.5 yo. His mum is tense all the time and seems scared to say no to him.

Personally, because it is a themed party with specific activities which involve communication and interaction I don't feel it is inappropriate not to invite him. At a recent gathering the other children were wary of him and visibly relaxed after he had left.

But then I am not sure his mother would quite see it that way.

essbeehindyou Thu 20-Sep-07 19:15:16

Message withdrawn

gess Thu 20-Sep-07 19:22:46

I would be very upset in the situation you describe especially if it was the early days and I was struggling. If he doesn't speak it's not really a case of saying 'no' to him.

DS1 attended his brother's 5th party. Aged almost 8 he was bigger than the other children, he can't talk, makes funny noises, shrieks a lot- they didn't seem that concerned by him.


ON the other hand from your description it doesn;t sound as if the friendhsip is going to survive the autism so I doubt it makes that much difference what you do.

twocutedarlings Thu 20-Sep-07 19:36:37

Tbh, i find it very odd that the other children were wary as you say, i have a daughter age 5 who has AS, and its very rare that other children find her a problem !! most kids are very understanding.

Are you sure it wasnt the adults that found it more settled once this young child had gone hmm.

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