Saturday, March 08, 2008

One small voice

And here I take my own small stand in the Poling "debate."

In the Poling case, it was determined that vaccines exacerbated a mitochondrial condition in one child. That catalyst resulted in problems for that child that looked like autism. Is the child autistic? I'm wondering if that is more of a political question than a medical one. So here my politics: yes, the child should be considered autistic. I'm not convinced that what we term "autism" is any one condition- it appears to be a group of behaviors, sensory problems, and communication issues that we group under the umbrella of "autism" just as all the religious traditions of India are umbrella-ed under "Hinduism."

Does this mean vaccines cause autism? Well, no. It means that a child with a mitochondrial condition may have been negatively impacted by vaccines... which has not actually been proven, by the way. What we have is circumstantial appearance, which is enough to get money for her treatment from the government. That is what this vaccine fund was set up for, and so yes, I think they are entitled to the money, and good luck to them. May they come through this with acceptance of their daughter- a beautiful girl- just as she is, and get her the support she needs.

This decision changes no facts about my own child, though I may do some research on mitochondrial disorders, to make sure he doesn't have one. If I found he had something like that, and there were other (legitimate) treatments, that would be important. I have already emailed Joey's doctors about it. I'm not the kind of mom that dismisses things out of hand- I check it out. After all, I suspect this mitochondrial thing would have "autism-like symptoms" even without the dreaded vaccines, right? Because it just "aggravated" the condition? So I'll let you all know what the doctors say. Gotta love email.

So there it is. Good luck to the Polings. Sorry this didn't prove anything. Sorry this whipped up the anti-vaccine crowd as if it had proven something. Ultimately, I suspect that this will only lead to more folks not vaccinating, increasingly the chances of my own kids getting these dangerous diseases. This should have been a quiet case, settled and moved on, nothing more to see here.

>>UPDATE: The email our developmental pediatrician sent back: "No." So there it is.<<


Club 166 said...

...This should have been a quiet case, settled and moved on, nothing more to see here.

I suspect that there were a lot of people in the government that were surprised by the magnitude of the response to this.

And yes, there will undoubtedly be a lot more people that will wrongly decide to not vaccinate based on this.


Casdok said...

Every small voice counts. :)