Above: Brandon, 4 months old
When my daughter was a baby (1996), I was watching on Cspan or one of those channels a hearing about vaccines and autism. It really clicked with me. I felt there was a connection. I continued to vaccinate. My daughter didn’t speak or potty train until she was 5. We took her to a Child developmental specialist and was told she had Asperger’s and Adhd. We got another opinion and he said she just had ADHD and speech problems. We took her to Univ. of Wash and had her tested and they said she just had speech delays. We got her into speech and occupational therapy and today she is pretty normal. She was hitting her milestones until she about 16 months. I don’t know if it was vaccinations or the RSV virus that she got at that time.
My son came along and he was hitting his milestones. He was normal, engaged, a rambunctious boy. Then at 15 months we got vaccinations (Year 2000. He received Tetanus, Oral Trivalent Polio, Hib Type B, MMR). It took a few months for the change. And it was so subtle. I didn’t even catch it. First his eyes started to cross. Of course they told us it was muscle problem. I have since learned that it is a nerve problem sometimes caused by vaccinations. As I remembered back, I didn’t even really catch all the changes. But now when I look back at pictures, it is glaringly obvious. He got this remote look in his eyes. He went from being a clown in photos, to just looking out in space. In preschool he wouldn’t participate, he would just sit there in his own world. In kindergarten, he showed no sense of personal space. He would get under the desk and bark like a dog. He would use the other kids heads as braces when standing up.
In 1st-3rd grade, he was bullied by his schoolmates. The teachers would tell him to just go somewhere else, he would and they would follow. They knew how to get him and then he’d react and get into trouble. There was one kids who went around stealing things off others desks. The teachers solution was to just let him do it and then she’d go back into his desk and get the item. He would steal something from my son, and my son would scream and throw a fit. And then when the teacher talked to us, it would be about my sons reaction to the other kid. He started reacting to the bullying by hitting. At one point I talked to the doctor and he put him on Concerta for adhd. For months he had hallucinations. I didn’t figure out that is what was going on until it became unbearable for him. I started researching the medication and immediately stopped it. I took him to a psychiatrist thinking he’d talk and help him with the emotions etc. I didn’t know the difference between a therapist and a psychiatrist. He just diagnosed him as having bipoler disorder, anxiety and adhd. He prescribed him Abilify (which isn’t even approved of for children), sertraline (zoloft) and strattera. He became combative, angry, agressive, more emotional, started soiling his pants at school, obsessively licking his lips and then got whole body shakes/tremors. He couldn’t sit still at all. The other kids in his class became afraid of him. The answer to the soiling of the pants (from the psych.) was to give him Metemucil at night so he’d go in the morning. To me that wasn’t finding the answer. I didn’t do it. With each new symptom, the doc wanted to up the dosages. I took him off all meds and removed him from the doctors care. I researched the meds and found that abilify cause most of his symptoms, and causes Tardive Dyskenesia (whole body tremors/shakes) which can be permanent. Luckily it wasn’t in his case. It also causes tic disorders, which his lip licking has since been diagnosed as a tic disorder. The other two medicines had their own set of bad reactions. One of them being mania in patient who are also taking Abilify and who are bipoler. I wondered why he was prescribed these two meds together when he supposedly was bipoler. I finally got him into see a neuro psych. doctor who did intensive testing and found he is high functioning autistic, has a tick disorder (lip licking) caused by the medications and a type of anxiety that is not fixed by medications but is fixed by positive reinforcement. He doesn’t have bipoler disorder, anxiety or adhd. After getting his diagnosis, I put him on a regimine of vitamins and minerals and he has improved alot.
He is twelve now. We still have to tell him everyday how to get ready for school. We have to follow him around and keep him on track. We can’t just give him an order to go clean up or whatever, we have to go with him and tell him every little thing that needs done. His memory is about 3 seconds. If he has something to say, and we are trying to get his attention for something else or it isn’t the right time, he will practically burst trying to hold his thoughts in. He says everything he is thinking whenever he is thinking it. His topic of conversation is the only topic according to him. According to him “we are wasting his time” when we have something for him to do whether it is chores or homework. He has a few friends, mostly younger than him. A has a couple of friends who have stood by him throughout all of his trials. He is able to get on his bike and go to his friends house or school, but I do not let him go around alot of traffic. Eventhough he has alot of problems, he is so much better now than he used to be. We see small improvements every day.
Throughout all these years not one doctor ever said I should have him tested. From pre-school to 4th grade not one teacher said I should have him tested. We even lived with my cousin, who is a therapist, for 6 months and she never said I should have him tested. It wasn’t until 4th grade when he was going through all the medication symptoms that a teacher said she thought he might have Tourettes. Another special ed teacher said that he might have a processing disorder and that is what prompted me to have him tested. After going through his life in my head and looking at the before and after pictures, I am convinced it was caused by his vaccinations.