FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – At the Fowler home in Forth Worth, 5-year-old William and his little sister Margaret are getting ready for snack time.
It’s part of their daily routine in the late afternoons.
William, who sits at the kitchen counter has trouble sitting still at first. He looks like your typical little boy, but from an early age his parents say they knew something was different.
“We were seeing symptoms even as early as 3 months of age, he was flapping his hands,” explains Melanie Fowler “His speech was delayed.”
William is autistic. His mom Melanie decided when he was born that he would get all of his vaccinations. “He was born with this, so I do not feel like anything as far as vaccines have caused this.”
A 1998 study linked childhood autism to the mumps, measles and rubella childhood vaccine. It steered many cautious parents away from the vaccines. But now a new report finds the study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield was based on doctored information.
“There is no link to autism from vaccination,” says Dr. Joyce Mauk who is the Medical Director of The Child Study Center in Fort Worth. The center helps diagnose and treat children with autism.
Dr. Mauk says the report solidifies what she has known for years and she urges parents to get their kids vaccinated. “There is a reason we immunize and that’s because some of those diseases cause devasting illness in children.”
Dr. Mauk says the true link to Autism is genetics. She says the best thing to do is follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation which says get your kids vaccinated.
As for the Fowlers, they are trying to learn as much as possible about ways to help their son. “When your child is diagnosed you want to know what caused it,” says Melanie.
Melanie is working on a book called “Look At My Eyes,” expected to be out in March. It’s about early intervention and what she’s learned through her family’s experience.