Vaccines and Autism
For Sanders, seeing the 18-month-old son of a family friend react to his vaccines was what helped make up her mind to delay vaccinating her children. According to Sanders, the boy has autism and test results point towards his 18-month vaccinations.
"I saw that young boy every single week," she says of the boy who had functioned normally up until that round of immunizations at the age of 18 months. "That was the single largest impact to stand my ground."
Sanders has educated herself with books and has received support online. After much study, she decided to delay beginning the vaccination routine until after her children turned 3.
She admits that she originally thought not to vaccinate her children at all, but decided to research more and came up with the delayed vaccination schedule. She decided on age 3 because she didn't want to vaccinate the children as babies, but didn't want to give them all their vaccines at once; the delayed schedule will ensure they complete their vaccinations before school.
Weighing the Risks
Cassandra North of The Woodlands, Texas also follows a delayed vaccination schedule for her 1-year-old daughter, Nell.
North and her husband are delaying both the MMR and the DTap vaccines until Nell turns 18 months. She has decided to delay because she believes there is no harm in doing so and because of the limited research she has found linking autism and the MMR vaccine.
North cites her grandfather, a physician who was part of the distribution of the first wave of polio vaccinations, as a main influence on her decisions.
She said, "I weighed up the risks versus the off chance she were to contract something like pertussis, and the adverse effects an illness like that can have on a little body, and felt confident that I was making a prudent decision for Nell."