I was recently doing a 4 year old well-child check up. This little girl was the youngest in a family of 4 girls with the oldest daughter being 18.
Through the many years of taking care of this family of girls, I have come upon new issues and changes that have occurred in pediatrics. There have also been and will continue to be, different parental concerns.
When this child was born, there was still a lot of discussion about immunization safety and parental concerns surrounding vaccines and autism. Although all of her older siblings had been immunized on schedule, without any issues at all, when the “baby” was born her mother and I had many discussions about giving this little girl her vaccines.
The mother told me that she was now “hanging out with younger parents and they had made her concerned about vaccines, specifically as they related to autism.”
Well, after much discussion and hand wringing on the mother’s part, the little girl was vaccinated on schedule just as her siblings had been. In fact, the father brought the daughter for her 1 year old vaccines (which include the MMR) just because the mother was anxious. The dad and I had a bit of a chuckle about this, but nevertheless the child received her MMR without problems.
So, fast forward to the 4 year old check up. This little girl is quite precocious and worldly as well, being the youngest in the family. She has always been exceptionally verbal, and doesn’t mind telling you exactly what she has on her mind. (sometimes with words she may have picked up from her older siblings!). Birth order, a daily dose for a later date!
At the end of the check up, as it became time to discuss vaccines, I turned to the mother and said, “ Sally, is going to get her immunizations today including her MMR”. Are you still concerned about giving her vaccines as surely you don’t think that Sally is autistic?”
As the mother was getting ready to speak, little Sally quickly interrupted in her usual loud voice and said, “ Dr. Sue I am to artistic, I drew those pictures for you!”
Enough said, ice broken, subject over and vaccines all given on time and without a problem.