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Q&A:
Can PDD-NOS be caused by a vaccination?

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Question


My son is 2 years old and has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS. I have vaccinated my son at all appropriate times. My question is: Should children in general be vaccinated when they are ill? I believe in vaccinations — they save many lives — but I'm wondering if any other parents had their children vaccinated while they were sick. I also wonder how many children are taking antibiotics and get vaccinated during that time. Are there any guidelines to vaccinating children? If so, are they being followed? Why do doctors press for vaccinations on time even if a child is sick with a cold?

Answer


Your question has two parts that I think must be linked in your mind. Let me address each of them. Your son has a developmental disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified. His behavior and developmental pattern falls into the spectrum of autism but he is not autistic. Although these disorders are usually not identified until a child is a toddler or even older, particularly if the condition is mild, they are associated with brain development differences that occur prior to birth and often have a genetic component. I'm sorry that you and your son have some special challenges. I hope you are getting all the medical and educational help that you need and deserve.For many years people have investigated the causes of these disorders. There is no known cause beyond genetic ones and, very rarely, infections that occur prior to birth, very early in the course of brain development. Vaccines have been extensively studied and no association has ever been found by anybody. There are waves of rumors of supposed causes of these groups of disorders that surface periodically but without any scientific evidence for any kind of link. It sounds as if you believe that a vaccination caused your child's difficulties. It didn't. Most parents of children with chronic illnesses or developmental difficulties long for somewhere to lay the blame and I can understand that need. Get your health care provider to do some of the tests that look at the rare but identifiable causes of PDD. Then get on with working on the special educational approaches that your child needs.There are guidelines for vaccination that are pretty well known by health care providers. The guidelines include giving vaccinations to children with mild illnesses and those on antibiotics, as this practice is both safe and effective in raising children's resistance to serious childhood illnesses. In fact, the recent directives have clearly said that not giving immunizations on time because of these minor concerns is bad practice. Your child's health care provider did the right thing, and the vaccination has nothing to do with your son's difficulties.  
 
 
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