Joshua was developing and thriving normally until I gave him his MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. You see, as a pediatrician, I felt it was very important to vaccinate children against diseases. I made sure that Joshua received, in a timely manner, all of his vaccines starting right after birth with the hepatitis B vaccine. He was around four months of age when he started getting ear infections, rashes, and even required a spinal tap to make sure he did not have spinal meningitis (he was really sick!) -- and all of this followed his four-month vaccines. I was still clueless that his immune system was slowly breaking down. His ear infections continued to come and go. Then, at fourteen months of age, while he was coming off of an antibiotic, I gave him his MMR. Over the next two weeks he lost everything. My wife was the one who saw the change. She said, "You know, he's not been the same since you gave him the MMR." I gave the typical male response: "What?" And then I started to think about it and realized that she was right. This was 1997. I had no clue this was autism. Pediatrics in general had no clue. Very little was written about these kids in the early 90s and certainly nothing had been written in the 80s.
Josh developed some serious medical consequences following the MMR. He had large amounts of foul-smelling diarrhea going up his back and down his the leg, he lost eye contact, he no longer listened and, and his nights became sleepless. He also didn't respond to behavioral correction. You could not keep him out of the dog's water. There was no connection with us or with anything that mattered. He was cranky and nothing pleased him. Transitions became difficult…even transitioning from sleep to wakefulness! Over the course of eight weeks, he lost all of his language.
He developed obsessive-compulsive behavior, which was primarily the urge to look into other people's garages. So he would figure out a way to escape the house, but he would run only as far as the next open garage, not into traffic, thank God. He would just sit there rocking, looking at the garage's contents until we realized he was missing.
Two months after the MMR shot I had a clue it was autism. I didn't want to share it with my wife at that point because I was trying to figure out if it was a late manifestation of the drug exposures that he'd had in utero from his birth mom. But I knew what was going on and then I finally shared it with my wife.
She said, "That's very interesting. What are you going to do about it? Obviously, it was from the vaccine because prior to the MMR, he was doing just fine." And then, she landed the bomb: "You broke him, you fix him!" I replied, "Well, dear, we really don't know how to fix this." And she said, "Well, you'll figure it out. Go for it." Now realize, she said a whole lot more, and there were some significant emotions shared at that time... Need I say more?