Vaccines (Buddy visits his school)

I took Buddy to his school. We met his teacher, who is wonderful! She has been doing this for a decade, with this school. She loves doing it, and it shows. While we were talking, she would gently, subtly, suggest things to Buddy to modify his behavior. For example, one of his issues is that he never asks. He states that he wants something or is hungry. “I want chicken.” “I want to play.” By the end of the visit, he was asking her, “Can I take this toy home?” I couldn’t believe it. His classroom is completely special education this year to work out any issues before putting him in a mix classroom. He’ll be interacting with non-“sped” students on a regular basis. We formed an IEP, and I’ll be mailed a copy of his goals, which I’ll type up at a later date.

We’ve all been so excited… until I got a letter in the mail. The school system requires Buddy to be vaccinated by Monday. This is an issue for a few reasons: 1) We do not have insurance. 2) We cannot afford to vaccinate 3) I heard a lot of controversy regarding vaccinations.

If you know anything about Autism, you must know that many people believe that vaccines cause it. When Buddy was born, I decided not to vaccinate. I didn’t want to put all those chemicals into his brain, and a lot of those vaccines didn’t make sense to me anyway. Why vaccinate a baby for an STD when the vaccine only lasts for 10 years? How would my child get an STD before they can be sexually active?

Buddy is Autistic, and he wasn’t vaccinated. That eliminated a reason not to vaccinate. Studies show that a lot of the diseases we thought were gone are coming back, and it goes along with the rise of people who aren’t vaccinating. I can’t say, “My son wouldn’t get Polio.” Polio is coming back.

Pen and Teller made an excellent point in their video (Warning: language). Compared to all of the issues a child can have if not vaccinated, is Autism such a horrible thing?

Generally, I don’t listen to celebrities when they talk about things like medicine or science. They’re actors; I’d rather listen to the experts. While I disagree with Kristen Bell’s stance on Planned Parenthood, she put together an amazing article on whether or not to vaccinate your child. She linked scientific studies to back it all up. Between that and Buddy already having Autism, I decided to go ahead and vaccinate him.

It didn’t go well.

Because I don’t have insurance, I had to go to an “OMG, we need to vaccinate before school starts” clinic. It was a long wait at the end of an already long and difficult day. When we were finally seen, I had Buddy playing Angry Birds on my cell phone. The nurse was incredibly quick. Buddy didn’t know what happened until after he had been stuck. Unfortunately, because he was behind, he needed more than one shot. As soon as he realized he had been stuck, he screamed and arched his back. He had to be pinned down for the others. He’s so strong! I think he’s stronger than I am. He continued to scream and try to thrash. I had expected all of this. I didn’t expect the rest of the day.

Lily was in the room. Hearing her brother scream, she dove out of her chair to attack the nurse, something Buddy had done for her just a few years ago. They were inseparable for the rest of the day. He sobbed long after it was over. He would start to calm down, then burst out again. Sometimes he’d cry over something minor, like dropping a toy. He refused to eat, even though we got chicken nuggets and chocolate milk. I felt horrible.

School starts in two days. I hope it was worth all of this!

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