Autsim and Vaccines

Updated on April 02, 2012
M.T. asks from Bedford, TX
27 answers

Hello! I have a question about the MMR. I hear so many stories of parents who insist that their child was hitting every milestone, smiling, laughing, eye contact, etc, and the then within one week of getting the MMR, their child changed. I have a 13 mth old boy, and he is due for his MMR at 15mths. I am so scared to give it to him! I know that the scientist who found a link b/w the vaccine and autism was found to be a fraud, however, some parents are so convincing that the vaccines triggered the autism. Should I see if my dr. will let us wait a little longer on the MMR? (not to long, just a few months past). Also, my son has an egg allergy-what vaccines contain egg? Does MMR? When I expressed my concerns about autism to my dr, she told me that my son was to interactive and social to be autistic, and that children display subtle signs before 15mths, and then really begin to show signs, b/c this is usually the age when children become more social, so you do notice when they aren't. Really not sure what I should do. I do support vaccines---Not saying that I won't vaccinate. I have had my son vacinnated for everything on time, just a little worried about this one.Thank for your help!

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answers from Washington DC on

The age at which autism begins to manifest in young children happens to be the same age at which they are usually getting the MMR and other vaccines. So parents assume the vaccines cause the autism. Not true, but the timing can make it appear so to laypeople.

Please go with the science on this one, not the hysteria. The doctor who first started this myth has been stripped of his medical license in Britain but now practices in the US, which is a shame. Subsequent, large-scale studies have shown that vaccines do not cause autism.

Waiting a few months would give you a little peace of mind, but won't make any medical difference.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My step dtr is 16 and she had an IMMEDIATE reaction to her shot at 16mo that has left her permanently brain damaged. Mentally she is 5. Her diagnosis is moderately mentally retarded (MOMR). She has not had a shot since and is rarely sick. When I met my husband and heard this, I stopped all shots for my kids as well and they have not been sick since they were babies. I waive all shots the school say is "mandatory", they don't tell you they have a waiver you can sign. So do what you feel comfortable doing. Once something happens tho, its done for life. Good luck!

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

As a teacher I've worked with numerous children with autism, and vaccines did not cause it. This really opens a can of worms, but if you simply ask your doctor to delay, he should be fine with it. Our pediatrician is the medical director for our local Easter Seals, and he specializes in autism. He says there is research showing a genetic link, and scientists are currently working on isolating the genes. I've seen this to be true in my eight years as a teacher. I've worked with many students who have siblings with autism, and they themselves fall on the spectrum. Your concerns are valid,
however, no one was claiming that MMR caused autism until the study was released. I think parents are looking for a reason (I would be, too!), but vaccines are not to blame.

As for the egg, it is only in the flu vaccine. My son is also allergic to eggs, but we recently found out that his is mild enough that the amount of egg protein in the flu shot will not cause him a reaction.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

First let me assure you Dr.Wakefield IS NOT A FRAUD. He was railroaded and it was a true witch hunt. If you would like to read about the truth and Dr, Wakefield here is a
I am appalled that your doctor said that to you! My son was PERFECTLY healthy and talking and smiling and laughing and engaged until THE DAY he had those shots. By the time we got home he had 103 fever, lump at injection site, lost his language, could console him for days! I have been on the autism roller coaster since. That was 11 years ago. PLEASE PLEASE read and ask moms like me for more info. ESPECIALLY if you son is allergic to eggs. You can look on the CDC website for ingredients. Or you can email me and I can send you information. BTW Dr. Wakefield NEVER said the MMR caused autism. He was concerned there MAY be a connection and suggested people seperate the MMR until further reseach was done. The Pharm companies got furious and scared and the witch hunt began. This man is a personal friend and you can't find a more passionate doctor or a more compassionate human being. What they have done to his family is criminal and a sin. We all have to stop believing mainstream media! Ask your doctor why they "say" they took the Thimerosal (mercury) out of the vaccines (which is half true) and then put a lot of it in the flu shots and target women and children. They said it was a neurotoxin and removed it. Well then why put it in a flu shot and give it to kids and preg. moms???? Makes no sense and they are harming our children. Believe me, I have been researching, traveled this country talking to experts, and trying to recover my child for over 10 years. Its a disgrace what I have discovered. My son is a study enough to show what can happen. You have the say....NOT YOUR DOCTOR on whether you want to vaccinate. You are a good smart mommy asking the right questions. PLEASE contact me if you would like FACTUAL information. There are MANY MANY studies that show a correlation between autism and vaccines. They just aren't reported. There was one recently out of Harvard and Wake Forest College. The Amish have no AUTISM in their non vaccinated communities. You will be surprised to see the ingredients in the vaccines. Aluminum is another harmful one and has the elderly population soaring with alzhiemers as they have tripled the vaccines in that generation. We are so trained to listen to the doc and he/she is always right. That can be a detriment to our children. Listen to YOUR GUT! If I did I wouldn't be writing this right now. I can tell you autism is the cruelest of the cruelest. There were no kids like mine back in the day. This is a NEW disorder from environmental insults. I am sure you heard in the news this week its 1 in 88. THAT IS A EPIDEMIC ! I know what happened to my child and saw it with my own eyes as a million other moms. I hope this email was able to help you and your sweet baby. You can email me anytime. [email protected]

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

there are risks either way. you either risk the diseases that the vaccines may help prevent, or you risk vaccine damage (which goes beyond autism) which is still being researched and under-reported.
you just have to look at your family history, do your own research and make your best decision. unfortunately (like most things) there are just no guarantees.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

It's mostly anti-vaccine but there's a lot of good information about each vaccine and disease at! It's been said there can be a genetic predisposition to autism that is triggered by a reaction to the vaccine. I would at least delay or get them separately if I were you.

ETA: Most daycares and all public schools have exemption forms, which kind you can do depends on which state you're in. So it's not true they can't go to daycare or school if they're not up to date!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

M., I totally understand your fears, because I shared them too. I bought at least 3 vaccine books while pregnant, swore I would not vaccinate, or at least delay, etc. I feared the MMR like it was the boogieman. Lucky for me, in my sleep-deprived state, I thought it was to be administered at the 2 year checkup, so when they gave it to her at an earlier, I didn't even pay attention. And nothing happened. My daughter speaks two languages fluently, is extremely bright, etc. etc. On the other hand, I met an elderly man at the Comcast office the other day who developed a neurological disorder in response to the flu vaccine. So my conclusion is that yes, vaccines can cause problems for some (a very very tiny minority) of people. Whether they are already susceptible, or it's just an unfortunate stroke of bad luck, I do not know. But the federal government maintains its vaccine database and compensation fund because in *some* cases things do go wrong. But you know what, some people also get into car accidents. You take all the precautions you can, and at some point just pray. The odds are incredibly on your side that your son will be JUST FINE!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It was proven that the "doctor" who made the claims linking vaccines to autism falsified records and made things up.

He created a fictitious lie that, unfortunately, some people will probably always believe out of sheer fear.

It is not true.
There is NO medical proof of a link between autism and vaccines.

Some kids CAN have an allergic reaction, even death.
BUT, that is a risk with ANY medicine or medical procedure.

The truth is, no one knows the real reason or cause of autism.
It is a heartbreaking and horrible thing to have happen, especially to a child you love so dearly.

And I totally get wanting to find the cause and point the finger of blame.
But more links have been found to diet than vaccines.

Good luck! :)

ETA: My daughter is fully vaccinated, every shot on time, never a single issue.
I was in the Navy and got 25 different vaccines all in the same day, never had a single issue.
Vaccines are meant to help us.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Okay... I do have a daughter with Autism and she showed signs of Autism and Sensory Integration Disorder from birth. We knew early on that there was something different although at the time we didn't know that it was ASD. This was way before she ever had a single vaccination. This has been the case in every instance of ASD that I've personally come across.

I believe ASD's are entirely genetically based although I do think that they can be environmentally triggered.

I do think that in some cases if a child has allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients/foods that can exacerbate symptoms or mimic symptoms of ASD. Lactose intolerance, HFCS, and artificial food dyes make my daughter's ASD and ADD and ODD much worse and make her physically ill to boot.

That all said, you stated that your son has an egg allergy so you need to talk to the pediatrician about a substitute. And you have the option of splitting up the MMR into three different vaccinations so that he takes them at different times rather than all at once in an adjusted, altered schedule. There's nothing at all wrong with that and it addresses parental concerns about the MMR that people have about it affecting a child's system too harshly.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't vaccinate my son, and it has nothing to do with autism!! I don't really believe autism is caused by vaccines. (Although, I do think chemicals in our body don't help children who are already autistic from what I've read. Not that I'm saying that's definite, or fact. I've just seen reports here and there. I don't think vaccines are a cause. There has been nothing linking vaccines to autism. Nothing I believe, anyway.) You can get the MMR vaccine separate, and that is actually recommended by many pediatricians. My pediatrician offers the MMR separate only. Many doctors won't allow it also, but it has more to do with convenience. You can just order one separate vaccine. So, if you and only you want it, they won't order it. If many wanted it, then they could order a small order of 10 or so. (I don't think 10 people at the same time will want that, though!)You CAN get the Dr. to write a prescription for the separate vaccines,have it filled through the pharmacy, and bring the unopened vaccine to the office. You have to ask a Dr. to do that, though. Many, many parents get all the vaccines on schedule, but wait for the MMR, so they can get it done at three different times, rather then one. It's not uncommon.

About the eggs. You'll have to ask your pediatrician if it causes an allergic reaction. The MMR vaccine does incubate in DNA from chicken cells that are collected from eggs. I don't know what that means for an egg allergy. That's really something your Dr. would have to consider.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

you can delay the shot as long as you want. you are the parent and you decide. I have gotten most shots.. but I did not get hepatitis A, or Varicella (chickenpox), I delay all shots.. I would have refused hep B but it was included in a single shot with polio and something else.

So if you want to delay it .. delay it. The study that linked vaccines to autism has been totally discredited. And yes.. they now know that if you look back at videos of autistic kids.. even as very young babies they had symptoms of autism.. no eye contact.. not smiling..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

At this point your main worry needs to be the egg allergy connection and it is a BIG concern. You need to make sure your pediatrician doesn't brush this off and gives you the straight information regarding allergies and the vaccines and plan based on this factor for your son. Many of the posts below focus on the politicized issue of whether or not vaccines cause autism. You have a real issue with the egg allergy and need to make sure that is seriously taken into consideration EVERY TIME the issue of vaccines comes up for him.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I would discuss the egg allergy with your doctor and together read the package inserts. That will give you a list of the ingredients, side effects etc. There are pros and cons to everything so your doctor should help you with this and not put you down for asking questions and wanting more information. As for the Dr. you mentioned check out this article.
Talk to your doctor about holding off until you have made your decision, you can also request getting them in seperate shots.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think every parent has to make their own choices with vaccines. My kids have received them all on niece has not. But they are all healthy and happy kids.

My 6 year old actually asked for his second Hep A shot when I had him at the doctor on Tuesday for pink eye. Go figure!!

My old landlord who lived next door used to berate me everytime she found out my kids got shots. She told me how stupid it was and her son was autisitc because of shots. I think to each their own. My husband worked as a Navy Corpsman for 21 years and I trust his experience over a mom who is reeling from an autism diagnosis any day. I trust my doctors, but while they recommend the flu shot, we do not get it. My husband does, but the kids and I don't.

We did the flu shots when my oldest two (now almost 9 and 7) were 2 and 9 months...they have NEVER been so sick in their lives as they were that winter...and it started when they got the flu vaccine. Maybe it wasn't related, but I know my kids will never again get flu shots for that reason.

Just use your mom gut on this one and do what's right for your family :).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The question has been asked and answered scientifically. Nothing we say here changes the facts. And being convincing is unrelated to being right.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My younger son has autism spectrum. Dum dum dum.... With my older daughter's soccer schedule I was three months late for the MMR yet at 14 months he started showing signs. Not so much as the verbal regression people speak of but just no more progress. I can assure you it had nothing to do with the shot.

Honestly if I had to put it on anything other than the gene pool I would go with the antibiotics I was given during labor and not told about that caused him to have three months of thrush. Leaky bowl disease has been known to cause autism like symptoms. More likely though it was his father who is exactly like him except Andy actually tries to control himself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

Hey -
I know you have a lot of answers and I am just adding my two cents:
1. You can control the vaccine schedule by taking your child in later than 15 months, if you want to.
2. Definitely find out more about the egg allergy and vaccines.
3. There is a fiction book called "House Rules" by Jodi Piccoult that is about an autistic boy and it has an EXCELLENT explanation of how/why vaccines might be related to Autism.
4. My son is not autistic, but he did have sensory integration disorder - which a lot of autistic children have and he exhibited symptoms WELL before he ever had any shots. Just FYI, I had to push the doctors like you would not believe to get him evaluated. Everyone really blew me off on it. I knew he was "different", but everyone just kept saying to wait and see. Finally, at age 2, he got some evaluations for speech and it was the speech therapist who picked up on all the "strange" things and finally we got an occupational therapist eval. So, anyone, my point is, YOU are your son's best advocate. Do your research and do what is best for your child.
5. If your child is in daycare at all, they will require up to date vaccinations.

Good luck,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

A close friend of mine is a child psychologist who specializes in diagnosing and helping families deal with autism. She says the research shows there is no connection between autism and vaccinations. The developmental signs are there in children with autism, but parents are usually not cued into them and do not start thinking something is wrong until around the age when those vaccinations are given. Talk to your doctor, express your concerns and ask her to direct you to the latest research. Read for yourself that the "connection" doesn't exist. After doing my own research, I was much more concerned about not vaccinating my children, than I was about this theory. However, don't take my word. Educate yourself with the facts and draw your own conclusions.

Happy reading!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Your son does not need the MMR right at the 15m. My daughter received it at 15m and about 2 weeks later broke out into a 102 fever and rash that ran a few days. I relate it to the MMR. When I asked the doc. about it she just said that they find that there is a set of kids that have that type of reaction.

Set? What set? Autistic prone? (She had been showing a few signs, walking on toes, didn't like change)No. Just because your child has a reaction to the MMR, it does not mean that they will be Autistic. It just means that their body didn't like those 3 shots at the same time.

My daughter is a bright, artistic, 5 1/2y spitfire! Where there times that I worried she was showing Autistic tendacies? Yes. Do I think she is Autistic? No.

If you are worried about the MMR, ask your doctor to give them individually about a month apart.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I understand why you hesitate, my grandson is very allergic to eggs. His reaction was so bad the allergist wrote a script for an eppie pen before his Mom could take him home after the testing.
I don't know the numbers now but I know back in the mid to late '80s the childhood illness of measels mumps ect were at near epidemic porportions in the states that bordered Mexico. The reason so many of the Moms of my generation (baby boomers) are so thankful of vacines is because of the brain damage from the high fevers. Most kids came out of the childhood diseases just find but many became deaf, blind, retarded, ect. The Little House TV seris is based on a real family the oldest daughter lost her vision because of scarlet fever.


I understand why you hesitate, my grandson is very allergic to eggs. His reaction was so bad the allergist wrote a script for an eppie pen before his Mom could take him home after the testing.
I don't know the numbers now but I know back in the mid to late '80s the childhood illness of measels mumps ect were at near epidemic porportions in the states that bordered Mexico. The reason so many of the Moms of my generation (baby boomers) are so thankful of vacines is because of the brain damage from the high fevers. Most kids came out of the childhood diseases just find but many became deaf, blind, retarded, ect. The Little House TV seris is based on a real family the oldest daughter lost her vision because of scarlet fever.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

3 things

1) I had my son at the beginning of this mess, before I started school (key point). I came to the decision that the choice was really: Would I rather my son be dead than be autistic? Hail no.

2) When I started school I learned that this was a made up hysteria. It was STARTED by a bad study. It was so bad it didn't pass the peer review process. It was laughed out of the field. Why? First: Because the original study included a school for autistic children in it. If it had include a school for gifted kids the 'results' would be that vaxs cause giftedness. Second : the way the study was conducted failed to meet every other minimum standard. It would be like a study conducted in ONE catholic church to find out the religious preferences of America. WOW! Did you know everyone in America is catholic??? And they're all born in 3 hospitals! Following 'studies' used some of that bad data. No good study was able to replicate the results. For very good reason.

It's been known in the scientific community for over a decade that there is no correlation much less causal link between autism and vaccines. Thank GOD that's finally 'out'!

3) this is biased, however, I have yet to personally meet (that's the bias) any autistic family where EVERYONE in the child's life would agree there were no signs. In my experience it's usually only one or two people who don't see the signs. My cousin is a good example. He didn't cry. He mewed. Which is a classic sign. Her had dozens of other subtle signs from birth onward. But if you talk to my aunt, he 'suddenly' started showing signs. He didnt. What happened is that they became overwhelming in the total. The same has been true for everyone I personally know. The signs were there. They just weren't seen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

if that was the case wouldnt every child be autistic? but a year old autistic child will not turn their head when you call their name and a normal child will. my daughter and all my friends kids got the 2 mmr shots and are just fine.

autism is a gene we all carry. just in some people the gene is switched on (so your autistic) and others its off (not autistic). its also spikes up in noticability around 2 which is probably why parents relate it to the mmr. i think parents now a days are soo worried that their child got the genes from them that they want to blame anything and everything instead of looking at hows the genetic line played out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that there are so many other environmental issues that show effect children too.

It is also possible that the shots and the age of the child is irrelevent. Think about it this way. What if that next stage, the one right after the shot, is something they would have not make anyway. What if they had never had the shot and the same outcome happened. It would prove the shot had nothing to do with the change. What if, what if, what have to weigh the risks and the possible outcomes. It is not likely your child will have an adverse reaction. It is possible they will be fine.



answers from Dallas on

I would be more worried about the egg allergy than autism. My autistic niece was different in her interactions very early on. She would shriek and shriek at certain noises like the blender operating in another room, but otherwise seemed to tune out the world around her and sleep and be peaceful with regular everyday sounds. It was obvious to my mom very early on that the baby was "different," but we didn't know about autism back then (early 80s).

I hope you can find a doctor who will work with you on your preferred vaccination schedule. I would imagine that as long as you get your sweet boy vaccinated at some point before school starts, he will be okay, as will the other children around him.



answers from Dallas on

My son is on the spectrum and honestly he showed signs MUCH before he got his MMR. I noticed some things at the time, but looking back there were even more signs. And he is on the mild side, Asperger's.

It is a personal decision on what to do with your own child, but like many of the other mothers have pointed out (and have directed you to great sites), the most recent studies show that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism.

Honestly, I believe that all the other environmental factors that they are exposed to both before and after birth (coupled with a genetic tendency) are more of a risk than vaccines.

Good luck!


answers from Houston on

Well my first two are perfectly healthy rough and tumble little boys and have had all their vaccines on time. I agree with the doc on this one, I think maybe some signs were there but came on stronger around the same age. I say this bc my sister had a genetic disorder and she seemed totally fine at birth but then starting having different issues at various ages in her life. My mom said at 8 months she first noticed, then as my sister got older she lost abilities she had previously bc as that genetic marker was needed, it did not activate properly and this caused problems all her life. Vaccines were not all the rage back then and we do know that no vaccine cause her to have Rett syndrome, it was genetic. So it is possible for a child to seem ok at first and then show some things later in life. Not saying that in a freaky way, I think your son will do just fine! But yes, the Rubella in the MMR is from eggs, so you may want to double check that before he gets that shot, an allergic reaction would not be good. I would even do my own research before I allowed that one if I knew about an egg allergy. Good luck!

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