Friday, April 4, 2008

Autism, Quack theories, & My Son

For most of my life I have had the fear that my children would be born with the same defect I was born with, a cleft lip and pallet. What makes this scary is that it is mostly genetic, with nothing to prevent it. Now there is a new hot topic with regards to children, autism. Hollywood, Jenny McCarthy in particular, have been pushing a link between autism and vaccines. Vaccines containing thimerosal are said to increase the likelihood of autism greatly. However, scientists have long been discrediting any link between the two.

What we do know is that Autism is a debilitating disorder, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is suffered by 1 in 150 kids, making it more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. For me this is huge, because at any moment my wife will give birth to our second child, Coleman Britton. If there is a link between the two, is it not my obligation as a parent to protect him by not giving him the vaccines? Am I falling into the quack theories? Does it even matter?

I cannot say that I have the answers to any of these theories. However, I do know the FDA did acknowledge that there could be a connection (according to a quote read on Oprah), but they are not saying that is definite. With all these conspiracy theories, we are planning on significantly delaying the vaccines containing thimerosal, which are the MMR & seasonal influenza vaccine. We do not feel led to go without these two, simply to delay them. Not that anyone reads this blog, but if someone does please let me know your thoughts.

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