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MMR shots and Autism
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MMR shots and Autism

Hello :)  I am the mother of three boys, Jacob is three and the twins Nathan and Michael are eleven months old.  I have been hearing alot latley about the MMR shots having something  to do with Autism.  I am very concerned about this because our twins year checkup is around the corner and I am not sure how to handle this?  We have a few friends that claim that after their child received the MMR shot a few days later everything changed.  Their child was unresponsive and would just sit for hours on end lining things up or turning their matchbox cars over and spinning the wheels.  Then they where diagnosed with having Autism.  Our oldest son had all of his shots and he is fine.  But I didn't hear anything about this back then.  Now I don't beleive it is the sole cause of Autism.  But could this all be a coincidence?  I have also read a article, in a recent issue of Parade magizine, titled "Is there Hope fo Autism" That there could be a link between Autism and Auto- Immune diseases like Lupus.  My sister died of Systemic Lupus at the age of 15.  

What is your opinion?
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367831_tn?1284262544
In think the CDC is doing a study to see if there is an MMR-autism link.   Some say it's the mercury compound that carries the vaccine and not the vaccine itself.  I think you can ask for the  mercury-free flavor.

In the scientific method, we should never confuse correlation with cause.  There may be other common factors involved.  I get blitzed with whiskey and club soda.  I get blitzed with vodka and club soda.  I get blitzed with Southern Comfort and club soda. I get blitzed with gin and club soda.  Is there a club-soda/intoxication link?  More research is needed.

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367831_tn?1284262544
You got me thinking about how the USA is more concious of autism.  Some say it's an "epidemic."   I'd like to examine what we have here.  Is there an epedemic or is it the product sof broader definition scope and broader awareness?
The word "epidemic" is certainly useful in getting funding for research and treatment options. Remember the polio epidemic in the USA?  That got a lot of action going!

Before 1990 the INCIDENCE of autism was reported to be 4.7 out of every 10,000 American children and now we have about 60 per 10,000. So, the INCIDENCE of autism diagnoses has increased in the last ten years.  That's a fact.  But, let's look at context.

First, let's see how the definition of "autism" has changed over these years 1990 to the present:

What was considered a medical definition has also become a definition in the educational system nomenclature which didn't exist prior to 1990.   So, we had only the medical community reporting autism cases back then.  In 1990, autism was added as an IDEA category, so we have the educational system reporting cases after 1990.

Each successive edition of the DSM (the bible of the mental health profession)  has revised the criteria for identifying autism in ways that tend to include more people. Asperger's syndrome was added in 1994 and PDD-NOS in 1987.

Schools in the USA  are required to report data on kids who receive special-education services, but autism was just added as an IDEA category in the 1991-92 school year.

I also believe professionals are more aware of autism.  As such, it's not the mystery it was.  Decades ago, "autism" was used synonomous with "childhood schitzophrenia."   If you don't believe me, look at older mental health journals in the 50's and '60's Let us remember that both autism and Aspbergers syndrome was first identified in 1943. Prior to that, centuries ago, the Irish culture believed that fairies stole their "normal' child and replaced them with "fairy children".  Prior to that, the diagnosis of demon posession or witchcraft was prevelant.

I am not yet convinced that "it's in the water" or "in the vaccines" or whatever.  


One final example to make a point:

Where are all the adults with fetal alcohol syndrome?  No one over 40 has the condition.     It affects up to 1 in 500 children today.  Well, it wasn't recognized until the mid-'70s. But no one would say alcoholism among pregnant women never existed prior to 1970.
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325405_tn?1262293778
I'm sorry about your sister dying from lupus.  That is very young.  

Do remember more about the article about the link between autism and autoimmune diseases?  I have mixed connective tissue disease (a combination of lupus, schleroderma, and a third one I can't remember the name of), which they originally thought was lupus and then fibromyalgia.  Anyways, do you remember how recent the article from Parade magazine is?  I'm very curious to read it, since autoimmune diseases are quite prevalent in my extended family (mother, grandmother, an aunt, and several cousins).  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there....  I have a 5 yr old son with Autism.  The MMR shot used to contain mercury.  There was a link between too much mercury and autism.  Same reason you are not supposed to eat certain fish while pregnant.  The mercury was removed from the MMR vaccine in 1998.  My son was born 2003, so he didn't receive the shot with MMR and Mercury.  So, it my mind there is no current data to support a connection.  My son was a little different from birth.  He loved to be alone and in his bouncer just staring at the blinds on the window.  He didn't need to be held and cuddled and was able to self soothe from an early age.  He started saying mama and dada at 11 months, walked at 11 months, and the day after his 1st bday he came down with Rotovirus.  He ran 108* temp for 2 weeks, was in hospital for weeks, lost weight, and when he was better, he had forgotten how to speak and walk.  6 weeks later he walked again.  However, he didn't speak, didn't want to be touched, put puzzles together that were above his age, was very hyperfocused on anything that spinned, organized his mixed veggies, and lined up his french fries.  At 15 months old he failed all the normal milestones and at 18 months old he went to specialists.  He had hearing tests, speech tests, cat scans, mri's, blood work, urine work, PET scans, etc.  I was told his understood language was that of a 3 month old.  I was told he would be probably diagnosed with mental retardation as well as autism.  A few months later he started a special school for disabled children.  He went to speech and occupational therapy 2 times a week for 2 years.  At 2 yrs old he went to a psycologist and was diagnosed with autism.  He even had to wear a padded helmet because he would get so frustrated that he would bang his head and hurt himself.  We learned sign language instead of doing ABA or picture exchange.  At 3 he started county schools with an autistic class, at 3 1/2 he was able to mimic an entire spongebob cartoon word for word but not able to have spontaneious speech.  By the time he was 4 he was able to tell me 1 word orders, like chicken, milk, juice, eat..  Now he is 5, and in a blended VE prek class and speaks in 4-5 word sentices and has completely caught up accademically with others in his age group.  He still has some quirks and some sensory issues, but talks non stop.  There is a 85% chance he will get to go to normal kindergarten next year with support services like speech and ot to make sure he continues on task.  Having a child with Autism has been trying at times, but I wouldn't change a thing about him.  I have a 7 yr old son and a 6 yr old daughter who play with him constantly.  Anyway, just remember, if it is meant to be, it will be.  My son was meant to have autism, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  He is always a class favorite and a real adorable boy with blonde hair and bright blue eyes that always makes everyone around him smile.  So anyway, just don't worry too much about the MMR, it is better to have it than not.  Good luck.
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401219_tn?1205883081
The thimerisol was taken out of the MMR shots by 1999.  The Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics both have taken the stance that there is NO link between the shots and autism.  The mercury agent is out of the shots, and there is still an increase in the diagnosis of autism.  These are 2 reputable agencies in our country and both have come to the same conclusion.  
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