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MMR for children with SN - would you?

(41 Posts)
Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 09:34:18

Branching off slightly from the current thread about MMR. Ds2 (as many of you SN peeps know) has global delay with no dx (but he has some autistic traits too). Although ds1 had the MMR without any ill effects - I have decided that I dont want ds2 to have it (scared of making the current situation worse iykwim).

DH went loopy last night - said that I was being irresponsible. I mentioned the oracle (Mumsnet!) and said that some of you ladies felt that it had contributed to your kids Autism and he immediately went quiet (he thinks Mumsnet is the best thing since slice bread since Tamum really helped us out!).

DH does think that we should consider the single jabs, as he is worried about Measles (which of course could be on the increase the more we dont vaccinate and all that...) I, personally, dont know what to think now.

How do the rest of you feel about it? This is probably an old chesnut, but would appreciate the particular experience/wisdom of you lovely lot from this board. Thankyou

beccaboo Fri 04-Feb-05 09:52:22

Hi Merlot. Our personal decision was to give the MMR a miss and ds had the single measles instead. We didn't know he had SN at the time, but I had read the info about MMR and felt that it wasn't worth the risk. We're not going to give single mumps or rubella, at this stage anyway. If I'd known he had ASD then I probably wouldn't have given the single measles either.

How old is your ds2?

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 09:55:41

17 months beccaboo. Do you think there could be probs with the single measles jab then?

onlyjoking Fri 04-Feb-05 09:56:18

i wouldn't give the mmr, we often look at our son and wish we had not given it to him as we think the mmr triggered his autism, it is heart breaking to lose a chatty responsive cuddly child and then to be replaced with a non verbal headbanging aloof child who you cant cuddle anymore, that is only my opinion of course. trouble is once you have had the mmr you cant take it back

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 09:57:27

mmmm....my thoughts exactly, onlyjoking.

beccaboo Fri 04-Feb-05 10:04:41

I don't know if there's any evidence of a problem with the single measles specifically. It's just that injecting anything into a little body whose immunity is a bit dodgy seems a scary thing to do. Did your ds have the usual DTP jabs etc?

onlyjoking Fri 04-Feb-05 10:08:36

i think you have to go with your thoughts on this one, i know so many people in the same situation as us and i so wish i had been advised againest mmr or given more info on it, my DS had the mmr but he hasnt had the booster we just cant risk losing him again

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 10:09:24

Yes he did beccaboo - but have to say I think his problems were there before those early jabs.

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 10:10:35

yes, its such a personal/difficult dilemma isn't it?

Would you have a single measles jab booster, only joking (is that even possible?)

onlyjoking Fri 04-Feb-05 10:14:37

my girls did have autism before they had there mmr jabs, but my son didnt have autism and believe me we were watching him very closely.

beccaboo Fri 04-Feb-05 10:17:21

Are you interested in homeopathy at all Merlot? My homeopath had loads of information about vaccines that she gave us. Homeopaths tend to be very anti the whole idea, but I found her information a good counter-balance to what's given out by the NHS, which imho is quite patronising.

I hate the whole idea of 'herd immunity' that the government talk about - as if sacrificing a few children's health is worth it for the good of the whole.

MeerkatsUnite Fri 04-Feb-05 10:21:22

DS was diagnosed with developmental delay at 2 1/2 but looking back the problems were apparant to me long before he had the MMR vaccine. I would therefore have to conclude that in my DS's case this all began prenatally.

eidsvold Fri 04-Feb-05 10:31:41

my dd1 has down syndrome and was born with a heart defect - we agonised over giving her the mmr... we decided to go ahead and for weeks after I watched her like a hawk for any reaction of any kind to the jab. She was fine.

We did it for a couple of reasons... measles vaccine was not available at the time, she was going off to nursery in a town that had a number of measles cases and could not jeopardise her that way( she managed to get a good dose of the chicken pox whilst at the nursery and so I felt so glad I had given her the MMR) , our paed told us he had given it to all of his children and informed us that measles can be very 'bad' ( my words) and that children with ds often suffer worse than 'normal' children.

She was about 13months old when she had it.

Now dd2 will be due it eventually and we will make a decision based on how we feel about that. She is NT and we will probably give her the MMR.... it is different here in Aus - some states do single vaccines and some do MMR and those that do the triple - it can be difficult to get single.

My dd had all the jabs including a prevenar one that they are now giving to all children - she had it cause she was in the high risk category. Prevenar is a pnuemmoccocal (sp?) vaccine.

Here in Australia they also give babies HepB and menengitis C(sp?) ( as well as the DTP and the polio etc) - which I think is over and above what other countries do.

coppertop Fri 04-Feb-05 10:34:47

Looking back I'm sure that ds1's autistic traits were there from birth. He had the MMR before we knew that he had ASD and tbh it didn't make a difference to him at all. He also had the MMR booster and again his ASD seemed unaffected by it. It's the DTP that we had more concerns about as ds1 had bad reactions to the pertussis element.

After a lot of careful thought and research we decided to go ahead with ds2's DTP injections and he was fine. He also had the MMR with no problems. I think there was perhaps some regression with ds2 but this happened a couple of months before the MMR.

We went ahead with the MMR with no problems but obviously each child is different. If we had a 3rd child it's possible that we might make a different decision.

heartinthecountry Fri 04-Feb-05 10:36:22

Merlot - I have decided not to give our dd the MMR or single vaccines. She does have the added complication of epilepsy which has helped my decision. But my feeling is, she is vulnerable anyway, if there is any chance that a vaccine could make her worse or give her added problems then sorry, I'm not taking that risk.

If you feel you need to do more research you could look at the informed parent website but I think you have to join to access all the material. You do have to bear in mind that they are essentially anti-vaccination but it does help give a different view.

Jimjams is a good person to talk to about this as she seems to know lots about all the implications. AFAIK the concerns are not just about the MMR but any vaccines... but don't really know enough.

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 11:00:49

Thanks for all your views - much appreciated

Beccaboo - I have a good friend who is really into homeopathy and I know that she is really anti immunisation. I dont know that I agree with her on every point, but I do feel particularly protective towards ds2 and just dont want to take the chance of making his life worse

HITC - My gut reaction is very much like yours. Ds2 could also be having mild absences, so feel ultra cautious too.

Jimjams - have seen your other post, so presume you are anti MMR, but are you pro single jabs and would you have tiny jimjams immunised when the time comes?

dinosaur Fri 04-Feb-05 11:12:35

Like Coppertop's, my DS1 had the MMR and had no obvious reaction to it, but I was already worried about his lack of communication, social imagination etc by that stage. If I had my time over again, I would not have let him have the triple jabs containing thimerosil. DS1 has also had the MMR booster again with no discernible adverse effects.

With DS2 (nt) I waited until he was nearly 2.5 before he had the MMR, until I was absolutely sure he was not even slightly on the spectrum.

Jimjams Fri 04-Feb-05 12:52:28

Merlot Ds2 hasn't had any jabs, (not baby ones either) ds3 is having nothing. WOuldlike them to have single tetanus at pre-school age but that option no longer exists(and tbh I probably wouldn't have given it whilst it contained thimerosal anyway)
However i am training to be a homeopath and so my decision isn't that unusual in that particular community (have a slightly different idea of health).

For a balanced read that really summarises pros and cons I always recommend randall Neudstadter's book "the vaccine guide". it identifies the risk/benefit ratio pretty well imo which helps make the decision.

milge Fri 04-Feb-05 13:01:38

Merlot, after much prevaricating, i finally gave my twins the mmr at 19/20m. It was apparant long before then that dd was a little odd, so wasn't worried about triggering anything for her, as she had many many autistic tendancies. I did have my heart in my mouth over ds having a reaction to it, and possibly regressing so waited until he was over 18m, it was summer time, so less infections around so his immune system was in better shape. If all 3 single vaccines had been available from a reputable supplier and could be given at appropriate times, i would have used that route. Dh's brother had mumps at age 13 and they have no kids, which is a cause of a big family rift, so didn't want to expose DS to that possibility.
i think immun's are a very emotive subject, no one is absolutely right or absolutely wrong. you have to go with your gut instinct. hth good luck.

MandM Fri 04-Feb-05 13:45:35

This is my first post on Mumsnet although I have been "hovering" and reading all of your posts on the SN threads for quite a while now. I have a dd (now 3 3/4) who has CP and Williams' Syndrome. After everything we (and she) had already been through in a very short time span ie, horrendously traumatic birth, touch and go period in NICU, diagnosis of CP swiftly followed by diagnosis of Williams' syndrome, we took the difficult decision not to let her have the combined MMR. As others have already said, we just felt that we couldn't put any more risk her way. The HV was disgusted at our decision to say the least and the single jabs were not made available to us, however we were confident we had done the right thing. BUT, last June (3 weeks before being a bridesmaid!!!!) dd developed a terrible rash which turned out to be measles - I could practically hear the HV saying "I told you so". Thankfully she appears to have suffered no adverse effects from her bout of measles - but it could have been much worse. This probably doesn't help you much Merlot (sorry!) although I would say that you need to go with your gut feeling, because despite everything I still wouldn't have given her the MMR if I could go back two years, but would definitely have pushed more for the singles.

Jimjams Fri 04-Feb-05 13:53:44

welcome to mumsnet (especially SN) mand- and shame about your HV's attitude- mine has been supportive of our decision luckily. She gave a very half hearted attempt to persuade me to vaccinate ds2 last time I saw her- but soon gave up and said that she knew I wouldn't vaccinate the baby. At least you know she has measles protection for life now- and you don;t have to worry about boosters etc.

i suppose at the end of the day I've made the same sort of decision as others on this thread. I know that my boys have more than likely been born with a genetic predisposition to autism and other autoimmune conditions and so I don't want to increase their risk.

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 14:10:15

Hmmm - so much food for thought. Thank you all


Welcome to Mumsnet MandM, hope to hear more from you now that you've taken the first step

Caroline5 Fri 04-Feb-05 14:41:01

Hi merlot, my dd2 sounds quite similar to your ds2, she has global delay with no diagnosis age now 3.5 and she also occasionally has small absences. She had the single jabs at around 18 months. I do think she reacted badly to the measles one, it seemed to increase her absences and she was holding her breath and shaking. This started from the evening of the single measles jab. This gradually wore off over several months and I don't think had any lasting effects, but I'm not keen on her having the booster (you can have boosters of the single jabs).

It is a minefield isn't it??

coppertop Fri 04-Feb-05 14:43:48

Welcome to mumsnet and the SN board, MandM.

Merlot Fri 04-Feb-05 14:48:38

Thanks Caroline. This is going to be VERY difficult isn't it? Got a feeling that Dh and I are going to lock horns over this


How's your little lady doing now Caroline?

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