Brief Outline: For DTaP/IPV/Hib' Followed recommendations of health professionals for two eldest boys. For MMR' They followed recommendations of health professionals for two eldest boys. Reactions that their second son had to MMR, an extensive review of research papers in medical journals, and using the Internet to read about both pro and anti immunisation arguments helped them to make their decisions for their youngest son.
Background: At time of interview' married, three sons, aged 9 years, 7 years and 1 year. Parent's occupation' Both are full time carers for their 7-year-old son who is severely autistic. Ethnic background' White-British.
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Describe the changes in their son from the time that he had the MMR vaccine.
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Father: The point is as well
Mother: [our middle son], well if I can just finish the progression of what happened, so' he wasn't well. We noticed very quickly after that, that he wasn't eating properly. Now this is a child who'd eaten virtually everything we gave him, had a very good appetite and was actually quite forward because he was trying to feed himself. And even our unvaccinated baby hasn't quite got to that stage.
Father: [our middle son] was feeding himself at nine months, more or less.
Mother: Nine months, our second child was trying to spoon feed himself. That stopped and all, this child wanted was bottles, milk, milk, milk, want milk. We didn't worry initially because we thought well he's not been well. That's quite understandable that he's at the moment off his food. But the thing was he went off his food and stayed off his food. And from then on he never ate normally again. His diet became extremely restrictive, which is a very, very common feature of autism, very common indeed. And he would really hardly eat anything. But what he did want was milk by the gallon.
Within two weeks, we had noticed that he'd become very socially withdrawn and again that was a marked departure. This was a baby who had been extremely sociable and he had had very good eye contact. And responded when people walked into the room, he was looking to see where they were, very, very sociable baby. He, he was babbling. He'd got one or two words. Everything was there. Well, and the other noticeable thing was, how keen he was on his older brother, he'd sort of crawl after him and swarm all over him.
Well that stopped. And we started to notice that he was sort of removing himself and he'd be in a different part of the room and he'd have his back to everybody and he'd be sitting and looking at something. We noticed that within the fortnight, within a month we were starting to have worrying conversations with the nursery, he used to go to, suggesting the same thing. They were having real trouble giving him anything to eat and he was avoiding the other children. There were only young infants but he was avoiding them.
Father: It's documented in his books.
Mother: And he was never the same child again. Now that's something you often hear about autism is “Oh well, yes, but it, it sets in, in the second year of life”. And people link it, well I can’t answer for anybody else, but I do know that this set in within a very short space of time after him receiving the MMR vaccine. And I cannot believe that was a natural progression that just wallop happened at that time. I’m sure that vaccine triggered the onset of this autism, absolutely certain and you are as well, aren’t you?
Father: Hmhm, and again when we raised the, the point with the doctors concerned, they’re meant to raise a yellow card with a reaction to a vaccine because we went in and raised the point that he was not right since he’d had the vaccine. There was no yellow card registered and it seems to me and my wife, that reaction was sat on by the doctors.
Parents should have access to the vaccine product insert sheets listing the side effects and...
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Believed GPs cannot give unbiased information about immunisations because they need to follow the...
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Father' You wouldn't ask your doctor because'
Father' As far as we're concerned your doctors are paid by the pharmaceutical companies and they cannot give you an unbiased opinion or an unpolitical answer to any of the questions that you might raise, towards the safety of vaccination.
Mother' Yeah taking the decision not to vaccinate does require you to be very, very strong and I'd say to any parent who takes that decision, 'You're not going to get an easy ride from the medical profession'. And I also am aware that there are some practices in some parts of the country that won't register unvaccinated children. So that's another'
Father' And if you refuse, they strike them off their lists because it's bringing their vaccination levels down which affects their targets for money that's given to them by the pharmaceutical companies.
Mother' That's sad to say, it's not paranoia. We've talked to too many people and'
Father' It's documented.
Mother' There's an awful lot of, and unearthed a lot of information that does suggest that a lot of this is related to finance. And I find that a sin, that our children's health is being sacrificed on the altar of hard cash. I think that's just terrible. So I think that it needs a good wake up call. But my husband is right you won't get this sort of information from'
Father' Your doctor
Mother' Or you are unlikely to. There are one of two full star doctors out there, if you're lucky enough to find one. We did have a superb GP. Sadly we don't have him anymore.
But I think parents need to prioritise and look at it a bit more and question, question the medical profession. They're only going to listen if enough people question them and present them with reasonable questions and say, 'Well, why can't we do this', and 'We're not happy about this'. I think as long as everyone just trots off with this doctor knows best attitude, at the moment, it's not a good, I don't think it's a good attitude to have.
They believed MMR triggered autism in their older son and were concerned about the safety of the...
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And as long as this situation stays in place, our youngest baby, our baby will not be vaccinated, at all, and we will regard all medicines with extreme circumspection. We're actually having another baby and that baby won't be vaccinated and the same will hold true. And we're looking at every other way we can to protect our two youngest children because this is not a decision we've taken lightly. And I would want to make that absolutely plain to anybody whose looking on this on website. It's not an easy decision and neither you nor I, [my husband] would say it's an easy'
Father' No, well due to the MMR, we took seven years to find out what we believe is the truth and that's based on what we're doing now, and that's no vaccinations whatsoever.
Believe the diseases can have unpleasant symptoms and dangerous complications but feel that the...
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And what are your views on the childhood diseases, like mumps and measles?
Father' Well, they're at the very worse end they are killers. But unfortunately the government that's in place at present, and for the next four years, takes figures from Asia, Japan and such like, and says that they're just as much a bad killer over here as they're over there, which anybody who looks into it in any depth, will realise that a lot of these nations are deficient in certain foods, which keep disease away, such as maybe carrots or whatever.
Mother' Well Vitamin A
Father' Vitamin A, specifically.
Mother' If I agree with [my husband] on that. We accept that these diseases potentially for some children can be very, very serious. But there is an awful lot that we're not told about these illnesses and then the scare tactics are really, really hyped up.
Has a personal belief that it is better to support their son's immune system through diet & a...
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This is our belief, the risk of far more adverse reaction from the vaccine is an awful lot greater. So you just support their immune system and we do believe profoundly in homeopathy as well. I would almost certainly, under the guidance of a professional highly qualified homeopathic, I'd probably try and treat the child homoeopathically, which is also supporting the immune system and that's actually aiding the immune system to fight off the disease, rather than artificially suppressing and dealing with the symptoms.
We try to make sure we're looking and I'm going to take further advice from our nutritionist as he gets older in terms of really, really good quality supplement agents to make sure that his immune system is supported as fully as it can be. But we're taking the approach to try not to be too afraid of letting him be ill. There really is a strain of thought that people shouldn't be ill at all and if you're not ill you're never going to build up an immune response. You're not actually going to build a healthy immune system. So we're trying to look at it that he's actually going to need to go through some illnesses to build up a healthy immune response and we're trying, we're trying to support his immune system so that he can fight off illness.
And making sure that he has adequate nutrition, adequate, and given the state of fruit and vegetables now you have got to supplement I'm afraid because even organic food the soil is seriously denatured and our uptake of a lot of stuff is, a lot of vitamins and minerals used to come through the soil and the soil is so denatured that you're not going to get that. So you do need to look at good quality, and I'm afraid you're looking at more expensive supplements because they are more bio-available. So we are taking advice from our nutritionist. I've already taken advice from him, I'll be reviewing things as the baby gets older.
Breast feeding is a very good way to confer immunity as well and this is a person who really has struggled with that one [laughs]. I didn't actually manage to feed the other two at all but I really, really, really tried hard and I managed with this baby.
They had a personal belief that MMR triggered autism in their older son and they decided not to...
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And as long as this situation stays in place, our youngest baby, our baby will not be vaccinated, at all, and we will regard all medicines with extreme circumspection. We're actually having another baby and that baby won't be vaccinated and the same will hold true. And we're looking at every other way we can to protect our two youngest children because we've, this is not a decision we've taken lightly. And I would want to make that absolutely plain to anybody whose looking on this on website. It's not an easy decision and neither you nor I, would say it's an easy'
Father' No, well due to the MMR, we, we took seven years to find out what we believe is the truth and that's based on what we're doing now, and that's no vaccinations whatsoever.
Explain why they believe the changes in their son's behaviour were triggered by the MMR vaccine.
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But that was the point at which he changed and if' I always say when people question this and they're right to question it. But if you did a graph of his development and talking about his, you know, his social development and, and his development in terms of his motor development and everything else, it was steadily going up. In fact a lot of his milestones, he was meeting his milestones. I've had comments that I've listed from the health visitors, 'Bright social baby - six months old,' 'meeting his milestones well - eight months old', 'normal healthy little boy - one year old'. So this is a child that was developing normally and it's been witnessed and attested to and signed up to by health visitors and other professionals who apparently know what they are doing. He's been seen by different health visitors, as well. So this wasn't just one person, there were two or three different health visitors who saw him, all of whom documented that his development was normal.
Now it reaches an apex and then it goes down, and the turning point for that was, that happened in his thirteenth month. To me that is more than coincidental, other people will just have to make their own minds up. And I do realise that there are some people who will say, 'This is coincidence', and 'poor sad parents, they're looking for a peg to hang this on'. But that was our experience and that's why we make that link, it was too coincidental. This isn't something blithely second year of life. Second year of life is a twelve month period. This happened or it started to happened and symptoms were apparent within a very, very small time frame, that's how we make the link.