Each week now for a few months I have been sharing about a topic surrounding autism. Both of my nephews are autistic so this topic is near and dear to my heart.

Last week I tackled the vaccine debate. I appreciate that this is a controversial topic and I thank those of you who contributed to the discussion in the comments. This week, as promised, I am going to share some recommendations for approaching the decisions about vaccines that you face as parents. Before I do that though, one of my blog readers sent me a link today to an article about a brand new study that came out just last week that shows that vaccines cause brain changes that are consistent with those found in autism. Click here to read the article. I'm so thankful that research is being done and am hopeful that we will soon have more answers to this baffling disorder that has reached epidemic proportions.

The content I am going to be sharing today comes from reliable sources found on the Autism Research Institute website as well as Dr. Sears' website. Dr. Sears is a leading authority on alternative vaccine schedules. Here are some things to consider when facing vaccines:

-If your child is premature, has recurrent ear infections or if you as parents have a history of autoimmune disorders or allergies, these are indications that your child may not respond well to vaccines. Each child is unique and some are born with weaker immune systems. The current vaccine schedule is a one-size-fits-all approach that assumes that all children are born with strong immune systems. This just isn't the case.

-Make sure your child is not or has not been ill recently or is not coming down with something at the time a vaccine is administered.

-Do not vaccinate at a time when your child has been on antibiotics or if they have recently come off antibiotics.

-Spread out the vaccines. Make numerous appointments so that only one vaccine per appointment is given to your child.

-Don't give the hepatitis B vaccine to newborns. Delay it until 2 months old or bypass it altogether. Today there are more reports of adverse reactions from the vaccine than there are reported cases of the disease in children. The acknowledged toxic dose of aluminum for babies is 20 micrograms and the amount found in the hepatitis B vaccine is 250 micrograms!!

-Prime your child's immune system with immune protective nutrients prior to vaccinating. Give 250mg of vitamin C, 2 or 3 echinacea drops and 1/2 tsp cod liver oil for a few days before and after the vaccine.

-Consider checking "titers" (blood immunity levels) for various shots before doing boosters. Some kids don't need some of the booster shots at age 5 because their original infant series may still be working fine. While this is a costly and time-consuming approach, some parents prefer it instead of automatically getting all the boosters.

-Limit large combination shots like the MMR. Ask your doctor to split up the shots into separate components to decrease the chance of a reaction.

-Consider delaying vaccinations until 4 or 5 years of age when your child's brain is more fully developed.

-If you choose not to vaccinate your child at all, know that despite what you might feel or hear, you are not alone. A growing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Of the ones that I know personally, their children are nearly full grown and rarely even succumb to the common cold. They are extremely healthy. And know that no school can turn your child away as a result of your decision. Even though they may say that certain vaccines are "required" they can not force you to vaccinate nor can they turn you away.

Next week I'll share about how to best approach your pediatrician with your concerns about vaccines as well as a list of "vaccine-friendly" pediatricians who will be open to alternative schedules.
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