I’ve been in the writing game a long, long time. I get sensationalist media. I get controversial statements.
And sure, I raise an eyebrow every now and then, maybe even chuckle while shaking my head at something based on fluff or that’s completely misguided.
But rarely do I get pissed off.
This quote by J.J. Keith in the Huffington Post did it:
“Remember that third camp of anti-vaccine advocates that I mentioned? Many of them are parents of children with autism who badly want an explanation for why their child is atypical. Science doesn’t know why, except that the link between autism and vaccines has been repeatedly disproven. All parents – myself included – want to believe we can protect our children from everything, but we can’t. We just friggin’ can’t.”
Gee. Thanks for slapping a label on my forehead and waving me away into a group of people you obviously know nothing about. Parents of children on the spectrum are not all anti-vaccine.
When you don’t have a special needs child it’s really easy to say, “Aw, that’s too bad, but oh well” and leave it at that.
YOU DON’T LIVE IT. YOU DON’T BREATHE IT. IT DOESN’T KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT. AND YOU SURE AS FUCK DON’T GET IT.
And, yes I went to J.J.’s site to see what she’s all about. She sounds accomplished and witty and even has a book coming out, but she will never know what its like to worry about the things you’re injecting into your children based on the reactions they’ve had in the past, because her children? Fine. Not atypical. Not autistic. Not special needs. I’m glad for her. Truly. I would never wish a mainstream child ill will just because mine is not. But I would never dare to make assumptions either.
All blanket statements do is make you look a lot less smart than you think you are.
And, as much as Jenny McCarthy is maligned among mainstream parents, I LIKE HER ANYWAY.
Yep. Cue the bosom clutching and loud gasping.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything she says, but I do think the open dialogue she creates is critical to raising awareness around special needs and neurological conditions that may be accelerated by vaccines.
And hey, maybe I am one of her Mother Warriors, because when she said this, I sure as hell identified with it:
“A Mother who hears there is no hope for her child and, instead of retreating and mourning, breaks down walls, weaves her way through Obstacles, follows her intuition even when people tell her she is crazy. She is a mother who believes in hope. A mother who believes in miracles and is able to carry on with strength and determination, even when her partner doubts her and offers no support. A mother who never gives up when she keeps hitting dead ends. These are the women who will continue to open the door so future generation of children don’t have to suffer. These are the mothers with hears [sic] of gold and shields made of the strongest armor.”
Because I’m a mother. And I would think all mothers can find truth in a statement about being their child’s best advocate.
Call me crazytown if you want. It still doesn’t make me anti-vaccine.
What’s more, a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism WAS confirmed ever so quietly, solidifying what was made obvious to me when my son got it as a baby. Do I think the vaccine alone caused all of his challenges? No. The physical ones were related to a stroke he suffered in utero. But he was also just fine from a neurological standpoint until he got the shot. I believe the MMR vaccine can “activate” a dormant and yet unknown neurological genetic mutation in children, and nothing will ever convince me otherwise. Sorry.
I’ve seen up front and personal what vaccines can do. So if you want to be pro-vaccine, go ahead. But don’t marginalize me for ALSO being pro-vaccine but implementing an alternate vaccine timetable for my children. And don’t get all high-and-mighty and threaten to sue those who don’t do as you do, as this laughable Babble post by Monica Bielanko suggests.
The bottom line is this: Unless your child has been hurt by vaccines, you can only pretend to get it. Reading blogs about children facing unthinkable illnesses or living with disabilities – however gut-wrenchingly sad – does not make it your reality.