Information for parents of disabled children

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My One and ONLY Reply

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 Hitler didn't do it, Autism did!:
The things we'll say online and how none of themwill find a cure.

The internet is a wonderful thing. Ten seconds of pushing buttons and the whole world is connected. Lately, I've looked up a few things, maybe out of morbid curiosity, on the argument to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. OMG! In internet speak, that means "What was I thinking?"

There are camps on both side of the river, and the battles rage fiercely on. There's Generation Rescue and Age of Autism, and there are skeptics found on sites like Scienceblog. There's Jenny McCarthy beating the drum, and there is the NIH and CDC waving the flag. In between, you have serious vitriol and hyperbole. Oh, Sweet Lord, the hyperbole!

On the above mentioned Science blog, I stopped to share our story. Don't ask me why. Temporarily out of my mind, I assume. Much later, I followed a link back and found the replies. For several posts, it appeared to have degenerated into actual conversation instead of the acidic shouting of words like "strawman", "Hitler" and "Babykillers". Having come to my senses,  I've decided something. Nothing about any of this really matters, and I wanted to post my response here because some of what I said bears repeating often for both camps in this little forum war to nowhere.
I actually hadn't checked on this site in some time. There isn't enough time in the day to "lurk" on a forum. My mind reels.
" Why are the trials, tribulations and questions from those of us who had our children injured by the actual diseases more trivial than those who claimed it came from the vaccine?
What makes having the disease and suffering very real consequences not as dire as yours?"
Holy crap! When did I even suggest such a thing? That is an assumption drawn from your emotional state. This is what I mean. Having reviewed this entire thread, there is no value in any of this, and those of you having petty discussion on Dachau and Hitler and whether Jenny McCarthy is a slut or D-list actress, whichever side of the argument you rally to Vac or Non-vac, are wasting time and energy. This is a personal decision made within a family.
In free societies, it should stay that way. Removing mercury from vaccines was easy. It's done for the most part. What did it hurt? Removing Pthalates and other such chemicals? What could it hurt? Are they necessary in the product? Usually not. Does any of this matter? Not a bit. It may help and it may not. Like recycling, should we do it? Again, probably.
My family, like many others, still gets up in the morning struggling with our personal choices and circumstances. Nothing said here changes any of that. Remove morality and emotion from the equation for a second, all of you. Is there a problem and is it growing?
My suspicion is that we have a genetic propensity meeting modern day diet, chemicals, etc. Does that change my son's life? Not one bit. What changes his life? Hard work, education and repetition of tasks, research (lots of it), and keeping things as simple as possible. Our bottom line is that parents have the right to parent their children and decide their medical care. Period.
We can spread balanced information. That helps. We can educate parents on the issues facing their child now. That helps. We can work to fund research into every aspect of autism and developmental disorder. That helps. But the stuff above, that doesn't help. It only hurts the hurting and frustrates the already frustrated. I'm speaking to all of you. Age of Autism included. Put your energies into the things that help, and put comments and ugliness like all this in the garbage where it truly belongs.
My experience is that there is a middle ground between name calling and silence. It's called discourse. As a society, we should all take a look at the mark we leave on the world. When we want to solve the problem, it will get solved. In the meantime, let's stop alienating everyone around us. To Quote last night's episode of Stargate Universe, Divided, "Remember, we have to live with these people tomorrow".  This is my one and only reply. Acting like children won't help our children.
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