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Vaccine's Stole My Son: Regressed into Autism

Updated on April 9, 2019

Rising Rates of Autism

Andrew right after his first MMR at 15-months-old.  He had reverted eye contact, stopped talking, back on formula, stopped eating solids, and started clenching his fists
Andrew right after his first MMR at 15-months-old. He had reverted eye contact, stopped talking, back on formula, stopped eating solids, and started clenching his fists

Challenge Your OWN Parenting

I used to take Christmas for granted before Andrew and Autism overtook our life. We were military with dual income and had little to no debt over ten years ago and spoiled our child beyond belief (regretting that now in pre-teen years of course). Holidays were hectic with either both sides invited to Lemoore; a four hour away drive for all. Some years we would brave Los Angeles traffic and split time between his family and mine. Shopping started in July and slowly packed away in a dark corner of a walk in storage closet until I finished on Black Friday. Anticipation building in our son through Thanksgiving and all the way up to the Eve of Christmas. Some years we would take in a church service or plan a last minute airplane trip to Wisconsin to spend with my father and brother; after my 15 year old sister died. Nothing was impossible, last minute was the norm and it packed a good photo album or two of memories.

Then Andrew came and after a few years it was difficult to just "up and go". Our festive demeanour was not as apparent. Last minute shopping was becoming more and more the habit as we juggled and argued of what we should do, who we should see, what we should bother buying since Andrew didn't appear to enjoy any of it or play with any of the toys we spent hundreds of dollars on and every nerve was shot with the tantrums and the fussy behavior and the clingy monkey that wouldn't unleash claws from mommy dearest. The "advice" and the disapproving remarks over our apparent lack of good parenting would hurt my feelings and make my husband grumpy and snap at me as he wouldn't stand up to his family. Church was not an event we even considered as there wasn't any way our child would sit through a service and has cleared crying rooms.

The hardest thing to try and tell your husband is that even though you have learned to try and not let his sister's judgemental remarks about our parenting ruin our moods; it did once Andrew was born. We were on our own and juggling babysitters, day care costs and we took care of the daily care of the kids. When you have someone living in her mom's house with her husband and child that is your oldest child's age and they ridicule you for your parenting but also for your husband's because he is too harsh. I would get so frustrated and angry even before my second came along because even though I don't have Autism I am very sensitive to my personal space because unmedicated back then; my OCD was a big issue. We would shower when we left and then when we got home because I have a huge problem being in someone else's dirt. I don't like to touch it, step on it, I have to try and wash all the clothes and when I couldn't wash the sheets the anxiety would build and build. No one understands and no one tries to understand. My husband got better and better at making me feel more and more isolated from comments that were thrown at me. Then when we saw her son spit on his grandmother I almost lost it. I know I held it together and only because I respected my husband and loved him way more then they ever respected me. But also because I didn't need to justify my parenting if my child wasn't behaving like that.

But to add the behavior issue; the attention Jay's mom would give our nephew was insanely more elaborate and loving and babying then any of them aside from his youngest sister; would do for my son. I know my husband didn't see it at first and for years I didn't say much about it. The boys were both treated differently and Danny is still a very sensitive child and he keeps things inside like I do. At first it may not bother him so much and as time goes by each time that he is treated worse then his cousin; he gets angrier and more hurt. After a time its like a bomb waiting to explode and nine times out of ten it was one myself. I do the same thing and with both of us letting these hurt feelings fester; exploding wasn't something we wanted to do at the same time.

Andrew didn't know any difference as an infant of course and through the first few years of his Autism he was too frustrated and angry throwing tantrums to get something out and for someone to try and reach him and he was ignored. We lived four hours away; only had to go down there when it was for a holiday but after awhile even my husband was getting worn out; he was getting sick of the way they talked to the boys. I think for at long time the reason we got better was because Jay wouldn't plan as many weekends down there with them and split them with my mom and stepfather. My feelings were frequently hurt as my mother refused to throw a baby shower for Danny; PJay had to keep asking for one with Andrew and barely anyone showed up for Cheyanne's. I watched his sister get a huge one and gloat and I think we pulled away around then. Its not like today; he was disgusted with their behavior to his family and he hated being talked to like he was a bad father and truthfully Andrew wasn't the problem yet; they just were being mean. But then you add in Andrew getting out of control and I was never included; never invited and I gave up trying to be a friend let a lone a sister to Selina. I guess I learned really quickly what hypocritical meant and that was around the time I refused to go back to church because they all sat in pews and they all preached to me; my ex does it now as well; but none of them live the word of God. I had to; otherwise I wouldn't have been able to stay strong for an autistic son.

At six-years-old, just starting talking within the last year, riverted eye contact often, just potty trained six months prior, excessively violent behaviors
At six-years-old, just starting talking within the last year, riverted eye contact often, just potty trained six months prior, excessively violent behaviors

Vaccines took him away

Mom was good with the boys when they were little; as well as Andrew. She adored and still does Danny. How bright he is always caught her off guard and she would stare at him. It started to hurt my feelings because here I had my husband's family convinced my nephew's antics were not a problem; its okay to hurt my son; and our kids were virtually treated like second class to him. Then on the opposite spectrum you had my mom who just clung to Danny Boy. He still goes and has sleepovers over there and plays with the dog and even his father and girlfriend visit ( that did bother me but its her house).

I found myself staring at Andrew with a knot in my throat. At this time not much really concerned us but he wasn't as active; at the edge of the lower normal range. He would only smile at certain people but you could tell how smart he is about knowing who is good and who isn't. If he doesn't like you he doesn't like you. He even took his first steps on his first birthday party we ended up doing down in So Cal. The boys traditional joint birthday party. My mother loved to go and shower those kids with gifts galore and so out of control we worried how to get them back. She did it because she was the first to notice them pulling from my kids.

Andrew became my baby. I think I was more attached to him then him to me at first. Danny never seemed to want to cuddle with me; always followed his father around like a stray cat or a puppy dog begging for food. I found out I was pregnant on Andrew's first birthday and I just curled into a ball and cried. I don't think it was long but I didn't want anymore children; Andrew was a handful and my sister and her kids I worried about. We were coming up on a discharge from the Corps due to a stop loss and to turn around and enlist again he would lose two ranks. After all his hard work my heart broke because when his terminal leave was coming up on the final days; his name came up for staff sgt. I think I wanted to cry more then he did but its because he let me share his career with me. I don't think anyone since then or before ever did that for me and maybe didn't even know it. I still have all his letters from boot camp too. Telling him we were pregnant scared the life out of me. My marriage was going so well and I was an Assistant Manager at my store. Jay and I weren't fighting and he wasn't going out all the time and was paying so much attention to us. Our life was quiet and we didn't go down every weekend anymore to see his family because he was getting hurt no one made the drive to see him.

I told him about being pregnant right away. He didn't talk to me for three days. Actually I don't think he actually talked to me much at all for the next nine months. Andrew wasn't getting off the formula bottle and he was horribly hungry all the time. He refused baby foods and table foods and we got to the point his weight was really bothering us and took him in. We were pushing Pediasure down his throat and for milk it had to be flavored ( now it can't be ). I was really sick this pregnancy and for the first time in a long time truly depressed. I wasn't used to my husband coming home and leaving to go watch movies with a friend. A friend I suspected of a nine month affair. One she seemed to want to flaunt in front of a pregnant women taking care of two kids. He moved me into a one bedroom apartment with no cable, air that wasn't working and I was throwing up all the time. I had to wear a heart monitor and I had to test my blood sugar all the time. He would just come home from graveyard and go to bed. I wanted to die at this point in my marriage because I tried confiding in his sister and she didn't seem to be surprised. His mother said "well I told you he was a dog". No one understood how good it had been going and for it to stop over night.

Around the time I get an almost two grand phone bill from endless text messages that weren't too me and I see "I love you" directed at my husband I take Andrew into a well child checkup and he gets his DTaP. I didn't ever read the vaccination forms. But after he gets it he starts to stand there and just fall backwards. Head to floor. Stiff as a Board. His speech starts to go away and he isn't talking anymore. You can see the fear and confusion in his eyes and the screaming started. In three weeks his father is out on a detachment in Key West Florida and his "friend" is there with him riding in a convertible to see her parents while I am laying for seven days next to a child so hot I felt like I burned my hand touching him. He stared at me blankly and his eyes were glassy. Its almost like the life just disappeared and I rushed him to the ER. Sending him home three times in one week burning up; wouldn't eat; wouldn't take any fluids. He just slept for seven days with me holding him next to me praying his brain wasn't going to fry itself.

It happened again when he got his MMR. Three weeks later he got even sicker for seven days with him so dehydrated I was almost begging the hospital to admit him. "It has to run its course". Seven more days, four ER visits, his father not calling one time like he used to everyday; not even a text message and on the detachment he said that he didn't care if we were there when he got back but if I went to my dad's to let him know his kids were safe. I was seven months pregnant and crying; how could he leave me with two kids and one is seriously not right and a baby about to come and you don't know what you want? Oh, I thought about leaving but looking at Andrew I couldn't do it. Andrew was hard work but a newborn and Danny? I was so used to our marriage being fifty fifty I couldn't imagine doing it on my own. He was if anything; my best friend. When Andrew started becoming dangerously violent we knew something was wrong. But the day he tried to suffocate his baby sister and dump her over in a bassinet was it for me; I was finding out what the heck was wrong with my son.

Vaccination Update

Throughout the last three years I spoke up loud that vaccines are a causal agent for Autism. I spoke up saying that the CDC was wrong and I researched through my library on campus of my college where my professor who is a developmental psychologist supported my opinion. Vaccines have more recently been acknowledged to be a possible link to ASD. Safer schedules are being more encouraged by doctors, accepted by schools, and some doctors like my son's allows you to refuse them if your child has ASD. None of the other three children I have will have to get a vaccine I feel would be a risk simply because my son is Autistic and it helps I can show data that supports my views. I do believe as well, that a non profit Autism organization that is national became concerned and also has joined the fight for more research on Autism causation due to vaccinations.

If I went back and can do it again I would still vaccinate my child but I would be more informed about what I was putting in his body. I would be more aware that his illness directly after the first round of vaccines was something they should have said to report to the vaccine injury program and was a result of the vaccine. Maybe the vaccine just caused that illness and bad reaction and that illness resulted in giving him Autism. I should have been more informed. I never read the papers they gave me and no one ever talked to me about what could happen.

I have to say that someone should listen when a mother speaks up and cries and screams at you that they are wrong, there is something wrong with their child, that the mother knows...I knew something was wrong but no one listened to me until he was 3. Than no one believed he was Autistic because he was too social and they blew me off and didn't put him in any testing or given any psychologist and he had to go through a screening process at 6 years old to go with us to Germany and that's how it was caught...the Army spoke up and said that someone dropped the ball and they threw at me services left and right....but it was just picking up that their was a problem and more were now autistic and we learned together. The school and I relied on each other and my self education and my insistence we try everything and I am grateful that the military spoke up for us because he was already four years behind in intervention services and we are lucky he is where he is today.

© 2011 Abigayle Korinne


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  • abbykorinnelee profile imageAUTHOR

    Abigayle Korinne 

    4 years ago from Plymouth WI

    I have endured more pain and difficulty than anyone should have to and thank you for your comment. It always reminds me that I haven't failed my son. I always say no one should play a victim, we need to be survivors. I have gone and hit rock bottom a few times but yes, I feel I come out stronger but my ending isn't sad. My son is now 11 years old living with his father the last year for the first time because he finally accepted the diagnosis. His wife works in Autism. California has given him ABA that we didn't have before, he is in a classroom that is ASD children and geared towards their needs individually and he has gotten off medications and has recently gone 2 months without a tantrum. He has lived successfully without me for a year (though I can't handle being so far and am moving back to him). He is now reading at a 3rd grade level. He is doing homework, has patience, does chores. Easter Seals now sends a women everyday, five days a week for three hours a day after school to assist in what I had to do on my own. She teaches homework, transitions, chores, listening, even a dietary plan to help get him eating other textures, colors, and mixed foods.

    Because I went through this when no one really knew much and couldn't help, didn't understood, judged, therapy wasn't available, IEPs were a joke, and I was alone...made me vow someone shouldn't go through it alone and I for years advocated for parents at an elementary school in Georgia for the Department of Defense and helped fix and change their special education and IEP system so all kids got what mine had been getting. I helped get kids to the right doctors for more accurate diagnosis. I helped get parents educated on the dangers and when to medicate or not in children. I taught them the differences between medicating a child with Autism that acts ADD versus medicating one with just ADD. Helped them understand the testing needed, how to read an IEP, to fight for their rights, I advocated online for three years for free worldwide and I have helped hundreds of families because they needed it.

    My ex's new wife looked at me during one of his days with his therapist from easter seals and said the same in his IEP meeting...that she didn't know how in the world I did what I did with no assistance and how I got him to where he was on my own. She is the one that defends me to the family members saying I am a bad mother. She helped my ex accept the Autism and change his parenting and views for his son I never could do. I looked at her and said he only had me....I would go to bed saying no way I can't do more or I will kill myself and the next day wake up to do it all over again. When your son looks at you and is locked in a bear hug for six hours so he doesn't hurt himself and is non verbal and you are begging him to tell him how to fix get a connection with the become their world. And I am my son's world.

    But Autism made me a better person. It made me see God in imperfection. Saw that Autism doesn't need to be cured...its son is the most empathatic child you would know. He is an loving child in the way God wants us as human beings to be. We don't need to fix Autism. We need to fix embrace Autism and be given the necessary support to become amazing mothers to amazing children.

    It means more than you know that I inspired you and that you appreciate me sharing my life. Its a personal journey I was told to not share so openly...I share a lot of different things now because of me sharing Autism...because I make others know they aren't alone. They can identify with another person. I share so that I can help someone else.

    I wanted to die knowing I helped one person have a better life. Save maybe one person.

    If I die today, I helped thousands or more and changed many lives I had the joy to see firsthand.

    The day I knew my journey was worth it and the ending not sad...when his teacher in GA said to another mom...this is Abby, Andrew's mom and I want you to accept her as your advocate and she will do it for free and whatever you need at any time you go to her because "she speaks Autism" and "she has reached in to their world and pulled them out when no one could"....that makes it worth it...because every child with Autism no matter how bad it was....I have connected with and sometimes was the only person ever they had or even tried to....I learned to reach in to their world and make them see me and let me bring them to our world...sometimes only for a minute but its a beautiful minute when their eyes focus and their is acknowledgment and understanding and especially if they make eye contact with you for the first time while they do it.

    For those that live this journey, its worth it....make it matter....because sometimes the mom is all that child has and fighting for that child is a blessing. You will become a person you never thought you were.

  • grand old lady profile image

    Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

    5 years ago from Philippines

    You have gone through so much pain and difficulty. I think you are a wonderful mother and a survivor. Very few women could have endured what you went through and come out better for it. Your ending is very sad, but the fact that you are writing on Hub Pages and sharing your life like this inspires me and I deeply appreciate your sharing this part of your life.

  • profile image

    Giorgio Tremante 

    8 years ago

    I returned from Spain where I attended the "SEMANA INTERNACIONAL DE LAS VI'CTIMAS VACUNAS" that took place in Girona 4 to 9 October 2010 - The International Week of Victims of vaccines is celebrated every year as a tribute and remembrance of the victims of vaccines. The event is made during the week of October 11 of each year (the anniversary of the death of Marco Tremante) which has been dedicated to the International Day of Victims of vaccines. Throughout the week there is an exhibition touring caravan on the victims of vaccines, conferences, activities, concerts, theater, cinema and delivery of the “PrizeTremante" (survey on injuries from the vaccine). This year the prize was awarded to the journalist for his work JANINE ROBERTS "FEAR OF THE INVISIBLE"


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