Friday, March 13, 2009

Flu Time

I have been quieter for the past week or so because it has been family fun with with the flu.  It started last Tuesday with twin A coming down with a fever.  Thursday night it was Twin B's turn to start.  On Sunday I got it and on Wed my wife finally caught it.  The last one standing so far is my youngest daughter but it looks like she is getting it today.

If you ever want to have a good time try twins who are both sick and have autism.  They are normally very good natured and happy little girls but when they don't feel well watch out.

There would be those who would say that there is a shot to help prevent this sort of thing.  They would be right, there is a shot.  And that is what I wanted to write about.

So let me start back when my twins were not yet one year old.  They were developing normally - there were few signs of the disorder that they would go onto develop (although to be fair there were some things).    

I very clearly remember how one time they both crawled over to a piece of furniture that was blocking their access to something.  They both went to the same side, stood up, looked at each other, and together pushed it out of the way.  A good example of what twins can do when they put their minds to it.

Shortly after this episode at a pediatricians visit the doctor brought up the subject of a flu vaccine.  Being new parents who wanted to do everything to protect our children from any sort of illness we agreed.  The shot was administered without any problems and we brought them home.  Shortly afterwards they both developed a fever and came down with what was likely the flu.

That sickness lasted a little over a month until just past their first birthday.  At the tail end of this sickness they received the MMR as part of another routine vaccination.  They have never been the same since. 

Going into this month they were happy little girls who looked  when you called their names, who made good eye contact, and who occasionally worked together.   

By the end of the they were still happy but now withdrawn little girls who would no longer look when you called their names, who would no longer look at you, and who for the next 10 months we thought were deaf.  

This was the when we believe that they regressed into autism.

Let me be clear.  I don't think that the shots "caused" their autism.  But I do think they they might have provided the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.  Maybe it was getting sick at a crucial point in time or being exposed to something like the shots that caused more stress than their bodies could deal with.  I don't really know and I am not sure it is possible to know.

One thing is very clear to me though.  Comparing how they were this week with the actual flu versus how they were over three years ago in the wake of the flu shot - I would take what they had this week over that any day of the week.

At any rate we are all starting to feel better  so the jabberwocky will resume shortly.

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