Tag Archives: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Vaccine Caused My Son’s Autism But That’s Just Me

Vaccine Caused My Son’s Autism But That’s Just Me
Photo Credits: Your Presence Heals

Someone asked me if vaccines can cause autism and I said yes. But that’s just my personal observation as a mother to a child with autism. After John received his MMR shots, the once vivacious boy almost immediately became prone to tantrums. We could not call it a meltdown then, thinking that it could just be because he’s a toddler and prone to that. Then, the banging of the head began and the hair pulling and rocking back and forth. Until one day, all the light that used to shine in his eyes was gone, extinguished to oblivion— as well as all his verbal communications completely disappeared.

Having been gone through a string of difficulties with my eldest son’s Tourette’s, I really thought I could not make it through with John’s diagnosis. There came a time that amid all the signs, I would tell myself that perhaps, the vaccine will be flushed from his system and he will be back to being a precocious little lad who always sports a smile. But two, three weeks passed then, a month, two, and then, the head-banging, constant body rocking and aloofness set in.

That’s when I realized that something is terribly wrong. At that time, I felt that the vaccine triggered John’s autism, that he had a negative response, just like he was “rewired” by the vaccine. I strongly believe this still. As a Mom, it was the most painful thing to see our son being transformed into something he had no say in. I castigated myself for having him take that shot. But that was 15 years ago. Who would have thought that such a routine vaccination could change our lives, forever.

When John was diagnosed with autism, the doctor’s cannot answer what caused it. There were already a lot of speculations about the health risk of MMR to young kids years ago but, it was (as always) debunked by the medical community as a farce. Vaccine means safety. No vaccine can cause an outbreak, a breach in the economy, an imbalance.

Truly, there are a lot of findings, observations, researches, and what-have-you debunking the link on vaccines and autism—and I totally understand it. There are also countless autism families who also believe that vaccines DO NOT cause autism—and I totally understand it, too. But as a Mom to a son with autism, I am firmly resolved that that vaccine played a significant role in my son’s autism—and I know this may cause a lot of opposing reactions but..

I am not asking anyone to follow my convictions. Your life story, as it seems, is definitely not the same as mine, in the same way as every autism case is unique.

I am not asking anyone not to get a vaccine. You should know what is right for your child. My only obligation is to my own.

I am not asking anyone to believe me. I just felt that I needed to take a stand as I have grown tired hearing and reading this endless debate on the vaccine-autism link.

Again, I am firm in my resolve that my son’s autism is caused— triggered or what you may call it— by a vaccine but, that’s just me. I am not asking you to believe me nor am I fetching your opinion on my personal issues.

This is what I believed in so, I hope you can stop debunking my belief. I respect the expertise on both sides of this argument and I do hope you can also respect my belief as a mother who carried her child with all the love in the world.

Autism Needs To Be Studied, Heard, Accepted – Epidemic or Not!

Autism Needs To Be Studied, Heard, Accepted - Epidemic or Not!
Photo Credits: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201310/the-left-hemisphere-hypothesis-autism

I have noticed recently that my inbox is flooded with reports, studies, research and what-have-you concerning the growing rate of autism. Most of these studies are out to debunk the idea that this pervasive developmental disorder is not an “epidemic”. It just so happens that diagnoses nowadays are more reliable and efficient to the point of being advanced. Children as young as a few months can even be diagnosed using tech-savvy systems never before imagined.

But what do these reports and studies are really trying to expose? Are these people helping the autism communities who are struggling to meet their autistic kids’ needs for better services? Let’s say there is some truth to autism not an epidemic, now what? Can they show us the underlying cause of the disorder? Do they have foolproof treatment that can completely cure these children and adults who, in their daily lives, are struggling to be accepted in a society that is so easy to shun away from the not-so-ordinary?

I have nothing against reports and studies like this but when it offers nothing but yet, another dead-end, that’s when I get really disappointed. We need more experts and professionals who can clearly draw the line on what causes the disorder and how it can be either prevented or cured. If there is no cure, present us with new alternative treatment then. When one presents a problem, a solution is always necessary. Saying that it is not an epidemic amid the increasing rate of children being diagnosed and, offering no clue whatsoever on how it came to be is truly disturbing.

There are so many things going on with autism. From vaccines to diabetes to environmental concerns, the list of possible causes can make one’s head spin. Add to the pile the seemingly worsening state of accepting such disorder as something commonplace in the society. Yesterday, I was reading this news about a man who was targeted just because he has autism and, it broke my heart into tiny little pieces. I cannot fathom what the family must have felt to hear such horrible findings from the police. I have no strength to grasp such an idea if it happens to my son.

We are at a crossroads where autism is indeed increasing at a steady and alarming rate. Many nations have also opened its doors in recognizing that such a disorder has become a rampant issue and with these individuals safety at stake, a collective effort must be done to guarantee that they be studied, understood, and embraced.

Saying that it should not be a cause of worry because it is not considered an epidemic is akin to telling people that “It’s okay to swim as there is only a single shark in the water.” Epidemic or not, experts should double their efforts in finding answers instead of throwing more questions. Instead of sending us mixed signals, perhaps, it is high time for them to gather their heads together and help solve this baffling disorder. Enlighten us, pretty please. This cloak of mystery can sometimes feel suffocating.

Awareness and Acceptance – Why These Two Go Hand in Hand

There are quite aplenty of feedback that can be gathered nowadays pertaining to the recent World Autism Awareness Day.

Not everything is positive though as there are those who remains to be passive and nonchalant about the whole concept of Autism Spectrum Disorders, a range of complex neuro-developmental disorders characterized by communication difficulties, social impairments, and often restricted, stereotyped, and repetitive behavioral patterns. It is a joy to note though that public awareness is rising via this annual event.

Importance of Autism Awareness

But why raise awareness? You see, heightening the public’s level of understanding on the background and implications of Autism is the very gateway for people to understand what it is like to be living in the spectrum. It is not about telling people what to do but simply, in explaining to them the issues involving ASD and in disseminating useful information to guide them when interacting with an individual who has autism. Awareness, however, should be two-way—public awareness and self-awareness. Self-awareness occurs to both the individual with autism and to the individual’s understanding on how his/her actions or inactions affect another individual who is living autism day by day. General public awareness, on the other hand, tackles widespread acknowledgement and understanding of the issues revolving around autism on a societal level. Both levels of awareness are of utmost importance. By having a common understanding on what ASD is all about can lead to how individuals relate to it in their respective communities. Through autism awareness campaigns, a shared belief and values can become important issues in the community hence, ushering to a wider acceptance level.

Learn how to teach your community about Autism the positive way.

The Road to Autism Acceptance

In human psychology, acceptance is an individual’s assent to reality. It is the very recognition of autism in all its glory and flaws without protesting. It is important to note that up to this day, the road to autism acceptance is bumpy. A lot of controversies continually hound the realm of autism, from vaccines to therapies, treatments, researches, and what-have-you – and this virtually creates a tug-of-war from within hindering the very acceptance it hopes to pursue.

If only we can find that common ground about autism as it is, the level of awareness raised year after year could have pushed a higher level of public acceptance. Not only will this open huge opportunities on autism care, safety, and research but, also in encouraging individuals who are still in the dark to come forward and be heard. Without raising awareness, the drive for autism acceptance will prove to be futile – and vice-versa.

How Temple Grandin Inspired Me to Move Forward

There comes a point in our lives where we felt so much is happening at the same time. Publishing my own book, for instance, is one rollercoaster ride.  Apart from the excitement and chaotic schedule to keep up with, there is nothing more thrilling than receiving that one phone call that says it all—a call from Temple Grandin.  Yes! Dr. Grandin!

Dr. Grandin is a renowned name in the realm of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  She is a professor, inventor, best-selling author, and rock star rolled-into-one in the seemingly divergent fields of animal science and Autism education.  She was also featured in the award-winning 2010 biographical film, and was listed in the Time 100 Most InfluentialDr. Grandin is a renowned name in the realm of Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a professor, inventor, best-selling author, and rock star rolled-into-one in the seemingly divergent fields of animal science and Autism education. People in the World in its Heroes Category.  A world-renown expert and resource person for ASDs, and a famous author of various books including The Autistic Brain, a personal call from her in my own home left me panting for breath (literally!) due to too much excitement and glee.  Add her personal endorsement on my book, which states– “Living autism day.by.day will help parents to persevere and meet the challenges of raising a child with severe autism” — and I was literally swept off my feet!  It was a defining moment for me, one that I’ll surely cherish for a lifetime.

As a parent advocate and go-to Autism mom, I know how my wise advice, knowledge, expertise and hands-on experience on raising a child with autism can reach a wide number of families out there in times when they are struggling on what needs to be done and how to do it to keep their minds and emotions on the level just as the struggle seem to engulf them in a deep abyss. With two of my children having special needs (John, my youngest son, has Autism), I know what it feels to be alone in a room full of people and you felt like screaming so they will understand what you’re going through.  I know what it feels like to find yourself immersed in strings upon strings of questions with no ready answer at hand.  I know how it feels to be lost and hoping to be found. My book deals mostly on:

  • what is offered in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders for services and professionals…
  • what everything means that you will hear about in the world of autism…
  • what types of feelings, emotions and issues you will deal with on a personal level as a parent or caregiver…

I was often told that I have the gift of story-telling and a deep sense of compassion and understanding, and that is precisely where my book got its inspiration.  It is meant to provide answers.  It is designed to give a reader hope and deep sense of understanding, on a personal level, from someone who is just like you, undergoing the same woes, joys, grief, delight, and mixed euphoria on the often-isolated and often-misunderstood life with autism.

Like everyone else, I too lived through the same fears, agony, and joys that this wonder-rific world of Autism brings.  I am neither a doctor nor a therapist, but as a parent to a child with Autism, I know that often, the most insights your family needs can come from another parent’s heart.  Yes, my book is written from the bottom of my heart and crafted out of my sincere intention to reach out to parents, mothers and fathers alike, caregivers, family, and close friends who find themselves engulfed in a new set of emotional roller coaster ride with Autism.

With the encouragement from Dr. Temple Grandin, the support of my dear family and friends, and the help of my publisher, Freedom Abound Press, “Living Autism Day By Day” has become quite an indispensable reference on all things one wants to know about autism.  Concisely formatted on a daily basis, it is meant to fit to your hectic life and increase your level of awareness, emotional sensitivity, practical mindset, and yes, good humor.

Do feel free to check out snippets from my book via my website– http://livingautismnow.com/book/.  You may also buy it here: http://livingautismnow.com/buy-now/.  For discounted BULK orders, simply call Freedom Abound Press at 506.471.7440 or send us a note at info@LivingAutismNow.com.

Writing this book and knowing that I am able to help a lot of parents, caregivers, families and friends out there deal with Autism truly put me in high spirits.  It is one thing to experience it all, and another to be able to let somebody in on how I was able to get through it all, and still come out ecstatic, jovial and whole.