Vaccinate or not?

Posted by Rebecca Black on Tuesday, February 3, 2015
The controversy over vaccinations is heating up again. Like many controversies affecting the Autism community, people are polarized, and find themselves pushed into positions easy to ridicule. The issues are always more nuanced than the media makes them. The feelings, hopes and opinions of parents are strongly held, and quoting scientific studies or public opinion are probably not going to change them.

In my opinion, what we need to avoid is demonizing other parents. How we cope with the issues facing us as parents, the decisions we make, most often come down to a single defining question -- what is best for my child?

On this issue, a parent recently posted this question -- is my child to be sacrificed for the greater good?

Remember the ending of the TV show, M.A.S.H.? In it, a mother smothers her baby in order to save a truckload of people from detection and death. Get past the racism in it and the situation begs the question. For some parents, particularly those who have an autistic child, the demand to vaccinate seems akin to sacrificing their child for the good of every other child.

Everyone's personal beliefs are on display in issues like these. My children are both vaccinated. In the face of any hard tested evidence to the contrary, I would advise them both to vaccinate their children someday. Not because I think necessarily of the greater good, I'll be honest. But because I am far more worried about them contracting measles, and mums, and TB, and all the other diseases.

I realize there are those who will point to the varying abilities of those on the Spectrum and rebuke me as if I were speaking for others. My child is high-functioning, and can appear more neurotypical than other children on the Spectrum.

I would not presume to advise any other parent. I would not presume that my answer is the only answer. What I do presume is that other parents will make that decision wanting only the best for their child.

I presume this because i have the example of a God who is always trying to draw the best form us. Because I believe in a God who does not punish, but who wants truly what is best for us.