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2.01.2012
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I had so much response to my previous post on vaccines and naturopathy and so many of you had questions, and today I'm going to answer those. But first, let me make a few things clear. Plainly, I am not a doctor. This is my opinion. An opinion based on many what I consider to be facts but nonetheless, my opinion still. And to those of you that got all pissy on my last post about the "horrendous disservice" I am doing to people reading my blog by steering them the wrong way, I highly doubt that any mother is going to choose whether to vaccinate or not vaccinate their child based on this little ol' blog of mine.

Let's get real here people. The whole reason I am writing this is because a) I'm very passionate about this subject & it's my blog to write about whatever I choose and b) many, many people are interested in this topic. And getting as much knowledge as possible is always a good thing. Hopefully my discussions on this will help others who are curious to go out and do their own research, so they can make their own educated decisions.

Your questions.
(all links in...peach? I guess that's the color you would call it...)

Can non-immunized children attend school: YES, they can. There is a waiver form you can fill out that will allow your non-vaccinated kids to go to public school. You just state your personal/religious reasoning as to why you are doing so. They only ask that you temporarily remove your child from the school if there is any kind of outbreak, which seems pretty obvious to me. A lot of people don't know this is an option because of the misconception that kids HAVE to be up to date to attend public school. Because yes, most often the school system will say your children has to be immunized but if you ask them for a waiver form, they have to give it you and they have to accept your child. It was very hard for me to find an actual credible link on the internet concerning this subject, because the CDC does NOT want parents knowing this is an option. But it is, in ALL 50 states. You can see here and here.

Where do you find a naturopathic doctor? How does your husband feel about delaying vaccines and using a naturopath for your kids? I found my naturopathic doctor here in town, recommended to me by a friend who knew I was looking for someone who believed in a delayed vaccine schedule. That was my first and foremost reason for going to her, but as I learned more and more, it is also why I decided that for the first few years of my kids' life, I would give them homeopathic medicine when they needed it. As for my husband, this wasn't a big topic of concern for him personally, but he trusts me and was fine with it once I told him that by the time our kids reach Kindergarten age, they would be totally up-to-date with the recommended vaccine schedule. He has gone to quite a few doctors appointments with me and always discusses with her any concerns he has. 

As for finding a naturopathic doctor where you live, I would just research and see where the nearest one is (if you are interested, that is.) I live in a pretty small town (we don't even have a Nordstrom for crying out loud, nor a Chik-filet! The horror...) and we have at least two local naturopaths that I know of.

Since you practice naturopathy, if your kids get really really sick, will you hold out on giving them modern medicine? That depends, what is your idea of really really sick? My idea of really really sick would be if one of my children (God forbid) got cancer or the like. If that ever happened, I would absolutely run to the nearest hospital and get them all the help and treatment possible. But if my kids sport a fever or cough, I give them the natural remedy medicines that my naturopath provides. And I have been SO pleased with the results. I do this because of my own personal research where I have found the side-effects and the allergic outbreaks to be more of a risk than I want to take. And besides, when I truly believe (again, through my own research) that holistic medicines can heal my child without any harmful side-effects, why wouldn't I choose to do so? However, I am so! not! against! modern medicine! Which brings me to my next question...

Are you against modern medicine then? Again, I love modern medicine. How can you not? In a day and age where people are getting cured of diseases that wiped out hundreds of thousands of people in the past, it would be pretty silly to deny the amazing effects of the conventional medicine of today. I am a pain wussy and I demanded to be pumped full of meds while giving birth so I could be as pain-free as possible. I have a medicine cabinet full of tylenol and aspirin, and use it whenever I feel a headache coming on. If I start feeling really sick, I get my butt to the regular doctor's office and get my Rx immediately. I hate being sick and no, I don't deny myself or my children the wonderful effects of modern medicine. And in my original post, I wasn't talking about modern medicine whatsoever, I was talking about vaccines and why I choose a different route. Are we clear? Good.

You said that you don't follow a naturopathic lifestyle but your kids do, why is that? Because I believe that the first few years of a child's life when their brain is growing and developing, that that is the most important time to be very careful of what substances you put in their tiny little bodies. I believe that too many vaccines given at once too early can overload the system and "contribute greatly" to certain development disorders. When my kids are older, like school age, I will probably take them to a regular doctor for the most part.

Are you constantly driving to the doctor's office since you give them a delayed vax schedule? Not really. They get one shot every two weeks, and after they are caught up on the first round, they don't start again 'til a few months later. When I do go, the doctor appointment is super short, no more than 15 minutes. And it's not demanded that I go every two weeks either. I can go once a month if I like to get my child a shot. Two weeks is just the shortest amount of time my doctor will go before giving them another shot. Oh, and btw, someone stated that you have to get the follow-up shots within a certain time frame or they are rendered ineffective. I asked my doctor this exact question the other day and she said that is absolutely not true. But you don't have to take my her word for it. 

Does your insurance cover your naturopathic doctor? Actually, we just moved over to a new insurance company, and I think they might cover some of the costs. However, up until now, our insurance did not cover it, but it is not that expensive. Our naturopath doesn't require any co-pays (obviously) and there is a $15 fee every time my kid gets a shot.

Do you think diseases like the mumps and measles are being re-introduced into society because people are not vaccinating their children? I agree that it is possible that mothers who completely don't vaccinate could possibly be putting other kids at risk for serious diseases. But the REASON these parents do so is because of the huge increase in other childhood developmental disorders that seem to directly correlate with the increasing vaccine schedule. In 1983, the CDC had a recommended guideline of ten vaccines to be given. Today, there are more than THIRTY SIX. When the vaccine schedule rose, so did the number of children being diagnosed with development disorders. At the same time. There is so much new information out there, and hundreds upon thousands of testimonies of actual mothers where they said their child was developing totally 100% normal, right up until they got a certain cocktail of shots, and almost immediately, their child was NEVER the same again. All we want is OPTIONS, and not to feel bad or pressured by doctors or go through the trouble of finding a naturopath just so we can get a damn alternative vaccine schedule.

Make sure your sources are sound, don't believe everything you read on the internet, etc. This is usually the  rebuttal I get back when it comes to this topic. Is there false information on the internet? Of course. There are websites that say the earth is flat, sites that swear Elvis is still alive and quite a few dedicated to "actual photos" of Bigfoot sightings. But there is also a wealth of accurate and helpful information on the web. If I visit weather.com and it tells me that the current temp outside is 72 degrees, should I assume it's false and scream "LIES! It's all LIES I tell ya!" Exactly. Would it make you feel better if I said I got my research from actual published hardcover books written by experts at the library? (which I also did) or if I talked to actual doctors with degrees? (which I also did). But to discount someone because of what they found on "Google U" is just ridiculous. The internet is a fabulous place to research and learn about things. And I am just giving my opinion from what I have researched. Guess what? You are more than welcome to do the same.

Do your kids go to a chiropractor? No. Just because I don't see a need for them to go. My dad goes frequently and swears by it.

But you know that mercury has been removed from vaccines, right? Absolutely false. Thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that is approx. 50% mercury by weight, is found in the DTaP vaccine and the flu vaccine, both of which are recommended to our infants/kids by the CDC. See here for all the ingredients found in vaccines. Until they fix this, my children will never get the flu vaccine. Same goes with the chickenpox.

In turn, my final thoughts are that vaccines are the largest growing division of the pharmaceutical industry, 13+ billion, and they control the medical schools where our doctors are being taught. The vaccine industry vehemently denies any connection between vaccines and developmental disorders but could you imagine if they did admit it? There would be a huge firestorm of angry parents and a probable boycott of vaccines altogether, which in turn would present our kids with the possibility of contracting a deadly disease and oh yeah, the vaccine industry would lose a lot to money. Like billions.

I'm not saying I am anti-vaccine. I'm not at all. Like I have stated many times here on this blog, my kids will have almost all the recommended vaccines (besides the ones stated above, and the flu shot isn't required) by the time they reach school age. We need them to stay safe and healthy. What I am saying is that until I feel comfortable enough with all the knowledge I have learned to turn my kids over to what mainstream medicine says should be "the norm," I will continue to have my kids vaccinated by a delayed, unconventional (for now) schedule.

My friend Michelle sent me the following video and it totally struck a cord with me.


Watch.




It's just about being informed. The funny thing is, I am not pushing my beliefs on this issue on anyone. I don't screech at people who go by the recommend vaccine schedule of the AAP. This is the route I have decided to take for my children based on the research that I have done. 

Something else I found interesting (and maddening unbelievable) that really put the nail in the coffin for me on this issue? An episode of Larry King Live where he interviewed Jenny McCarthy. And please, no "her?! She's a former Playboy bunny, why in God's name would you take anything she has to say seriously?" Since her son was diagnosed with autism in 2005, she has dedicated her life to the cause and has relentlessly researched the issues with a slew of experts and doctors. I find her incredibly inspiring when it comes to making vaccines safer for our kids, my kids, and if it's a topic you want to learn more on, I would highly recommend you watch this video right here. There are five parts to the video, and they play continuously when you start the first one. She is joined by medical doctors who are on both sides of the issue. VERY interesting.

I would also like to say that I am not trying to be a "speaker" or "knowledgeable person" when it comes to autism in our children. I don't have a child with autism and I know it is a very sensitive subject, and I would never want someone to think I was taking on that platform. I'll leave that to someone like Mrs. McCarthy, and all the hundreds of other mothers who have testimonies just like hers. 

ps. here is a really good online resource I found about questions to ask yourself before you decide what vaccination route you want to take.


41 comments:

  1. Great post, Raven. I appreciate that you aren't trying persuade anyone to agree with you, just encouraging people to consider their options and do their own research.

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  2. I really respect that you are doing what you think is right for your family. No one else can tell you how to raise your kids, no matter if they agree or not! Good for you!

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  3. I love these posts! It makes me feel uninformed but I wanna learn more. I won't have kids for a couple years but this still intrigues me do thank you for discussing it.

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  4. I love your answer to this one: You said that you don't follow a naturopathic lifestyle but your kids do, why is that? Like you said, you are giving your kids vaccines just on a different schedule and it is important to nurture kids when they are developing so much at such a young age. The people that argue against you and say nasty things jut get defensive and don't read everything you write, just what they want to see and have a rebuttal for. And I really loved the girl who commented last time that one luxury of being a SAHM is that you can take the time to make extra trips and have a delayed schedule.

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  5. my uncle is a chiropractor and they sort of follow the same thing, which, in turn, has caused my mom to rethink how she does vaccines with my younger brothers. they are very healthy little guys and i totally support everything you're saying!

    there's always going to be someone who thinks you're out of your mind, right? if you got every vaccine someone would be bitching about that. gotta love it!

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  6. I am 21 this year and I have only had ONE shot in my entire life- one for measles or something similar when I was 3 (I have it written down, just can't find it right now). Neither myself nor anyone I know has ever had one of these diseases that vaccines are so crucial in preventing. Also, I have always attended public school, my mom just signed a waiver saying we did not vaccinate for religious reasons :)

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  7. i watched that documentary a few months ago and found it incredibly informative and unbiased.

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  8. Oh goodness. I constantly get harassed by people for choosing to not vaccinate my son. And 9.5 times out of 10, it's people who haven't done their homework. I'm with you, though--I'm not anti vaccination. I'm just against FORCING people to get them. I think it is unconstitutional to force me to vaccinate my child (which is where a lot of states are headed--eep!) in order to attend a PUBLIC SCHOOL that I PAY TAXES for!

    Anyway, here is another great resource you should check out if you haven't yet!!

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/Expert-Pediatrician-Exposes-Vaccine-Myths.aspx

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  9. Thank you for this info. I've been using a delayed schedule as well for vaccines. I wish they were safer and parents didn't have to worry about it so much!

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  10. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your views. I understand your point of view.

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  11. Now that we are about to have our first child this is a frequent discussion between my husband and I. We have the same views you do and plan on taking our children to a Naturopath as well as ourselves. I think sometimes we just do what we think is the norm. It is important to be informed.

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  12. What a great post! I am always surprised by the people who make broad statements about not vaccinating and don't really know anything about it. Like how you can't send your kids to school, or there isn't any mercury in vaccines. Or how everyone needs to get vaccinated because of "herd immunity". The minute someone tells me my kid can't go to school because she isn't vaccinated I stop listening becasue they obviously haven't done any research about vaccines. I think it's great people are starting to question all the shots/meds that the gov deems "safe". As we all now the gov does NOT have our best interest at heart.

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  13. I'm not reading this because I don't have kids and will not for a long time so frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. But I lurrrveeee you.

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  14. While I'm all for people following their own convictions, and I think you're SIGNIFICANTLY more well-researched than most people who preach this -- I can't help but address one point another commenter made- it is NOT "Unconstitutional" to require vaccines, or promote them as heavily as the CDC does. (because as you've pointed out- they're NOT mandatory). It irks me when people cry "Unconstitutional" with little to no knowledge of what it means. Actually, the ironic part is, the more a school receives government funding, the MORE they submit to control.

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  15. I don't have kids, and I don't know anything about vaccines... so I really don't have much to say on this subject. Well why am I writing, right?
    I do have a question, just how long did it take you to write this post because I know you had to have written it more than once, deleting and adding steam & kindness.
    When trying to explain yourself, I'm sure it's tough without coming off... rude. Especially when someone puts there input in & questions your thoughts and actions!

    Good for you for researching everything + some. You are a wonderful mother & I don't even know you but what you share on this blog.
    I'd love for you to keep us updated as much as possible on this matter - for those who DON'T have children yet. I can get a head start & learn alot.

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  16. All of us moms have to do what is right for our own children. It sounds like you have done your research and are doing what is best for your little guys. Good for you!

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  17. Great post! I'm so glad you post what you want on your blog. No one should judge another person for the way they live their live.

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  18. I think you ROCK! No kids here (remember, I'm the creepy one who will name their first child after you ;)) but I think too many parents just hear one "fact" and run with it. They don't bother doing their own investigating... good for you, woman!!

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  19. Good post & very informative!! Thanks for elaborating on the subject a bit more.

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  20. Would you be willing to share your vaccination schedule that you have your kids on?

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  21. Great post mama! Thanks for all the links and info.

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  22. Great post! YOU are their mother. no one else has the right to make these decisions, but YOU!
    I think this is wonderfully written and researched on your part!
    i would also love to know exactly what schedule you have them on.
    What prompted you to choose this lifestyle? Anything in particular or were you always passionate about this?

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  23. I really enjoyed reading this! I think as a mother {or what I would imagine}, you have to do what you feel is right for your kids. Some people are just afraid of going against the grain sometimes, especially when it comes to medicine. I side with you on this topic though:)

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  24. omgosh raven. you are putting SO MANY FREAKIN KIDS AT RISK RIGHT NOW! everyone will get chickenpox just because you posted this. you're such a horrible mother! I am just SOOOO glad I live on this side of the country so that when your boys spread the black plague across the world I can protect my children here in kansas. you are just so stupid and blah blah blah and ugly and blah blah blah and if i could make this an anon comment i would but i don't know how and blah blah blah. YOURE GOING TO HELL!

    oh and blah blah blahdy fucking blah.

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  25. Thank you, you've helped me start my own research. And I'm feeling that I will also have my child follow an alternative schedule

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  26. Hi mama!!!!! Just checking in to say hello :) xoxo

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  27. Love your blog! Just some updated info..according to the CDC, no recommended childhood vaccines contain thimerosal any longer other than some flu vaccines in multi-dose vials,single dose vials are available without it..and a new DTaP has been formulated without thimerosal

    For those interested, a link to the CDC..

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/hcp/downloads/vacsafe-thimerosal-bw-office.pdf

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  28. awesome post Raven! Loved the info! Thank you!

    Today in class we are studying Pedatrics and actually were speaking about vaccines and what not. I have homework to do on them. Crazy that kids up until 5 get thirty of them. My mouth dropped. I need to start looking into them more as well!

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. i am a vaccinator, but i've always worried a little that i may not be doing the right thing. in my situation, i couldn't find childcare that would accept my child without them. we couldn't afford for me to stay home and we have no family that lives close. so that was pretty much the deciding factor for us. but about a year ago, my daughter contracted pertussis (she has been vaccinated for it)and the ER doctor said that had she not been vaccinated, she could have been hospitalized or worse (she also has asthma). we had to keep her home for a week with antibiotics, steroids, and nebulizer treatments every three hours 24 hours a day. since then, i have felt that vaccination was the right decision. i think there is more of a chance of my child being harmed from what she could contract from not being vaccinated than from the vaccinations themselves. and the more people that don't vaccinate, the more serious the risk is. my uncle is a dr. and i don't feel that he would lead me astray on this. he is open to homeopathic treatment, but feels that not vaccinating is the most irresponsible decision that a parent can make. although, it is a hot issue and and i would worry no matter which side i chose (a mother always does), i could never live with myself if i lost my child due to not following my pediatrician's recommendations to vaccinate.

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  31. I say good for you for taking the time and standing behind what you believe. I vaccinate, but I totally respect where you are coming from. As moms it's important that we do what WE feel is right four our kids. It's really nobody else's business what we do with OUR children. Kudos for taking a stand.

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  32. I've never even heard of a delayed vaccine schedule but find it very interesting so thanks for sharing your views! Definitely something I will have to research when the time comes that I am responsible for little ones.

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  33. I was appalled that kids now get a chicken pox vaccine. I never did, I got the pox and I turned out fine. Thank you for this, I've tried three times to get a (nurse) friend to talk to me about this, but she never gets back to me, I'm going to read some of your links and try to make more sense of everything I've read.

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  34. We do get thimerosal free vax at our pedis office. It is the only kind she allows. I don't care if people don't vax their kids and I don't get why people worry about that. If you vaccinate your kid isn't the point tp prevent disease? So if some " terrible " non vaccinating parents kid gets the measles, shouldn't your kid be protected so it shouldn't be a problem? People don't think. Good for you for standing up for yourself.

    BTW, just read your last post and I must admit I absolutely love Michael Moore. The way our healthcare system works is so inefficient and inferior compared to industrialized nations it's truly embarrassing and I love that he brings it to attention.

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  35. You may remember where I stand on this. Emma had one round of shots at 2 months old and that's been it. We did some research too. We have a few that we will give her but we will NOT be giving her the newer vaccines. NO WAY.
    I don't want her to be treated any differently at school for not having all of the required shots but I will give her the ones I WANT when I WANT. Period.

    I'm checking out your sites.Great post!

    Have you had any hate mail over blogging this topic?

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  36. I found the part about the vaccines recommended in 1983 (10) versus now (36) to be very interesting.

    1) Are you going to have your kids get all 36 by school age? 2) is there a link where the 1983 list can be found (was born that year ... and I teach ... so autism interests me) .... and
    3) I will google on my own ... but wondered, what remedies do you use for children's fevers?

    Thanks!

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  37. Ver informative! I will def be talking to you more whenever I have kids someday. This stuff is very fascinatning to me!

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  38. So I found your blog today b/c my friend sent me the blog snob link. I loved that post and then the vaccine link caught my eye and I clicked. See, I blog, I don't vax, {at all} but I don't do both together. I just don't talk about it on my blog b/c I don't want to take the heat from people. so I give you credit for having the balls to talk about it. You go girl!
    www.pineapplelilyblog.com

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  39. I had never heard about delayed vaccination before, but will definitely be checking it out when the time comes. I have a degree is special education and the amount of stories I've heard about vaccinations and their links to disabilities always had me questioning it. On the other hand, I wasn't completely comfortable with the idea of not vaccinating at all. Thanks for an amazing post and information.

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  40. I have also never heard of delayed vaccination and I am happy to hear that you can get a waiver for kids to not need vaccines to go to public schools! I mean, I eventually want my kids vaccinated for serious stuff but flu shot and chicken pox? Come on, not necessary. And as for the mercury, my brother is Autistic so I have serious feelings about this topic and you are right, they certainly have not removed mercury from vaccines. Also, I agree with the delayed vaccines not meaning that you disagree with modern medicine. Now, I will say that I learned a few things about the immune system when I took A&P in college and I do know that people way over abuse medicines ect. I have not used headache medicine in years because generally, the body takes care of itself, however, I wouldn't hesitate to see a Doctor if I got seriously sick. Anyways, no more rambling but I really liked reading this post!!

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  41. Hey Raven, I've been following you through Bloglovin' for a few weeks now, and I love it; you're like the vocal version of the things I can't bring myself to say!

    I'm commenting on this post in particular because I completely agree with everything you said. I live in CT and work at a program for kids with autism. We have a school & 2 group homes- 1 for boys age 14-18, and one for boys 18-25yrs old (the boys are also in state custody because of abuse & problems from home, so there's a whole slew of other problems besides the autism).
    Anyway, I can't believe how many people who work here don't think that vaccines have anything to do with autism! No one knows for a fact what it is-- vaccines, chemicals in food, age of the parents. I agree with what you said, maybe the vaccines make the problem worse. The latest statistic is that 1 in 50 children have autism. Last year the statistic was 1 in 88. The number of vaccines given to children is rising, and autism rates have skyrocketed. How can people claim there is no link!
    I'm only 24 and won't be having children of my own for a few years yet, but the more I read on the subject, the more I am convinced. How could it possibly be healthy to pump babies full of chemical cocktails? The idea of spreading the vaccines out makes so much more sense. Your posts have given me so many new sources to look into over the next few years. I'd never even heard of a homeopathic doctor before today!
    Sorry for the crazy long comment, but I 100% believe you are doing the best thing for your boys =)

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Please, tell me what you think! I love reading your thoughts and opinions, and I find some of my favorite blogs through my comments!