Monday, August 25, 2008


Well, Leah is 11 months old today!

One more month until a year!

This has gotten me thinking a lot about her 12 month vaccinations. I have always gotten all of vaccines for Leah and I'm not anti-vaccine, but I am really worrying about the MMR vaccine. I have done a bit of research on it and some of the things make me a little nervous. One thing is the obvious one, Autism. I know that people waiver on whether this vax really does cause Autism. There is a bit of information that it is linked and that's enough for me to be concerned. Leah already has one thing going on--do I really want to put her at risk for another? I wouldn't be as worried about this, but I did just hear a story about someone who my family knows personally. His son was very typical and on track developmentally, he got the 12 month vaccines and completely stopped babbling and would sit and stare into space. They eventually diagnosed him with Autism.

The second thing that freaks me out is that one of the side effects could be brain swelling. This is a VERY small percent, but it has happened. I worry mainly about this one, because we already know that Leah does not have a fully functioning brain. There is a part of it that was damaged by the stroke. So, what does this side effect mean for her? Would she be more at risk because of her stroke? What are the possibilities that she could have another stroke because of this?

The third thing that makes me nervous is the risk of seizures. There is a percentage of children who have a reaction the the MMR that have seizures--yes they are febrile seizures--which are often not harmful to the average child, but where does that put Leah? She is already at a higher risk for seizures, so if she reacted with febrile seizures would they be harmful to her? Could it lead to regular seizures?

I guess at the end of the day my question is...Is Leah at more of a risk then a typical 12 month old? If it is the same risks then I think it would be a risk we are willing to take. If her risk for any of these side effects is higher then I just don't know if we can knowingly do that. Then if we decide not to do the MMR, how will the schools be when she needs to go to school!

I'd love to hear what some others have done in the this situation. Did you choose to go through with the vax and why? Did you choose not to vax? Did any of you address your doctors with any concerns regarding this or any other vaccinations? Please share your thoughts with me.


Apple_Mark said...

I have a child with autism and believe his autism was caused or made more severe by MMR,
I would recommend a delayed or stretched schedule with single shots if possible.
go with you gut instincts and don't be bullied
"adventures in autism" have details of a different schedule


Kiera Beth said...

We really wavered on this one and ended up getting Ike on an extended schedule. We do not do any 2 live vaccines at one time. We also delayed until his 15 months so that I could get 2nd and 3rd opinions from other professionals that we trusted. Our physiatrist did tell us that there are risks, as you pointed out, but that there are also risks of not doing it. We recently had a couple of reported measles cases in our area.

It is something that you need to decide for yourself. Ike's was done 10 days ago and we did not see any type of reaction. He is still babbling away.

Our doctor was very open to spreading out vaccines and not giving him multiples on the same visit. She said that we still have plenty of time to get them done in an extended schedule.

Keep us posted.

Amanda said...

Thank You Mark--I appreciate your comment.

Thanks for sharing what your family has decided to do. My husband and I know that ultimatley it is our choice as to what we decide to do. I have not yet talked to Leah's doctor about this, I was just trying to get some other opionions. Can you tell me more about why you don't do 2 live vaccines at once? I like the idea of waiting a bit more to get other medical professionals opinions, I think this is something we are going to take into strong concideration. Thanks again!

North Dakota Ward's said...

We have always given our kids their shots right on schedule. A couple of my kids had FIVE shots at one time. I shutter to think of this now. They have all been fine. Like you said Sammy brain is different then the normal child, and we really worried about the shots. I particularily worried about the MMR shot as well. At his year appointment, I talked with his doctor and told her that I wasn't comfortable at this time with any LIVE shots. So we delayed the chicken pox shots and the MMR. At that time we got one prevnar shot and a Hep B. He already had those two and I felt comfortable with those. At 16 months we got the chicken pox shot and the MMR. Those are both two live shots, I felt comfortable doing those together(in doing research I feel like those two are compatible together, my doctor suggested giving two dead shots at one time and then two live shots). I asked my doctor why they give them so many shots at one time now a days, like the five I am talked about my other kids recieving AT ONE TIME. She said it is because most parents won't come in and give them one or two shots at one time. I guess now they even have one shot that is FIVE in one. I just don't feel comfortable with that for Sammy. Like you said his brain is different. Next week we have another check up and he will need to get the DTAP shot, we will just do that shot and come back in for the other ones. One at a time is what we feel most comfortable with. Though we are delaying the process, and I feel bad for Sammy having to get sticked every six weeks. Oh and we also wait 6-8 weeks in between shots as per my doctor recommendation.

If I had to do my other kids again even with their "normal" brains, I would still give no more then two shots at a time. When I really researched this subject, I found that it really does over load their immune systems, and it just isn't good. I am PRO PRO PRO vacination, 100% I think they do such a service to us. I just think that we all need to find the schedule that is appropriate for us.

Good Luck keep us posted on what you decide, I know how hard it is to make this one!

OH one more quick note, because Sammy is at risk for seizures they have us hang out for a half hour to make sure nothing happens. And Sammy was and is his same old talkitive self!!!


Erin said...

I would spread them out if I knew what I know now. If I had known at the time he suffered a stroke in utero, was having seizures, and has cp I WOULD HAVE SPREAD THEM OUT.

It was great meeting you on Sunday. We should get together again soon:)

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for your detailed response! I appreciate it so much! I love the idea of doing only one at a time, 5 shots is sooo many at once!

Erin--It was fantastic meeting you as well and your adorable little man Sean! I'm always around--let's make some plans soon!

I think after everything everyone has said here, talking to others in person and having a lengthy discussion with Leah's OT...I have decided that we are going to wait on the MMR. I still need to discuss with her Pedi and hopefully with her physiatrist as well, but I'm hoping everyone (mainly Avi and I) can come up with schedule that works for Leah. Thank you again for your responses, I knew I would get some great info! You ladies are the best!