As many of you know, I’m quite the rookie with being a dad, as my wife and I just had our first child almost 6 weeks ago. Before and after his arrival, my wife and I have been overwhelmed with the amount of information that’s out there for new parents. From sleeping, eating, general care, and in particular, health related decisions. At our son’s two-week appointment, my wife and I approached the topic of vaccinations with our son’s pediatrician.
Of course, my wife and I had heard/read all the stories about vaccines and how they could be linked to autism. Of course, if you go to do Google and do a search on it, Lord knows, the number of hits that my wife and I managed to see on this very topic. It was definitely a lot to go through, and a good majority of the sites, weren’t even medical in nature, a lot were parents advocating one position or the other, the most sites we saw were favoring the link to autism.
To tell you the truth, that was pretty discouraging for my wife and I to see. So we figured we’d go straight to the source, our son’s pediatrician. She told us there wasn’t any conclusive link with vaccinations causing autism. Granted, my wife and I really don’t think vaccines are directly responsible for causing autism, but the responsible people that we are, we had to ask. The doctor pointed us in the direction of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center, which we’ve also taking a look at. The doctor also recommended that we take a look at Paul Offit’s book, Autism’s False Prophets.
I went ahead and checked the book out from our local library, right after, ironically, I went and got my TDAP shot so I could be protected from pertussis. I was expecting Autism’s False Prophets to be written purely in medical terms, and that I wouldn’t be able to understand a word in it. I was really pleasantly surprised that the book was written very clearly without a lot of medical terms, or at least, so much in detail that a common schmo, like myself, would be able to understand.
Offit explained how the MMR vaccine and mercury preservatives contained in vaccines were not directly linked to causing autism by referencing various studies that had been conducted. He also spoke of how false prophets, such as those doctors and others, offering cures for autism, were just trying to take advantage of parents desperately seeking to cure their children of their autism. I was actually quite disgusted when I read of these treatments, such as Lupron and chelation were used in an attempt to help those children with their autism.
I found Autism’s False Prophets to be quite educational for me. I also took a look at some other websites that held the opposite opinion so I could see their argument as well. The amount of information out there is simply staggering, but we won’t let any of that deter us from making the right decision for our son. I’m sure Autism’s False Prophets will be one of many books I’ll read going forward to educate ourselves on health issues for our son.