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‘Anti-vaxxers think it's my fault my daughter has autism. Here's what I wish they knew.’

I’m not having a good day today.

Like many of you, the current state of the country has placed additional strain and anxiety on my family and I.

I have lost my job. My hormones have decided to behave in a most irresponsible way, leaving my poor body and mind in a tangled, neurotic mess.

And homeschooling. Enough said.

What life is like with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Post continues below.

Video via Autistica

The mere thought of it is enough to send me searching for a bottle opener.

I sat down with my first (of 11) coffees for the day for the ritual morning scroll through my beloved Instagram.

Recently a small group of NRL players have shared their thoughts on anti-vaccination, refusing to get a flu shot based on their beliefs.

Naturally, this has ignited, once again, the anti-vaccination movement, fanning the flames of ignorance and inviting commentary from all and sundry.

In that respect, I was utterly unsurprised to see Koby Abberton, a former professional surfer, lend his support to the Bryce Cartwright and his wife, both of whom are outspoken anti-vaxxer’s.

What did surprise me was this comment, said in a post that pontificated the supposed dangers of vaccinations:

“Autism is now through the roof and schools for autism are opening all around Australia.”

Are we really still stuck here? Are there really still individuals out there who genuinely believe that vaccinations cause autism spectrum disorder?

Despite the fact that all scientific evidence points to the contrary.

Despite the fact that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is likely due to a combination of developmental, genetic and environmental factors.

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Despite the fact that ASD is so complex, and presents so uniquely in each individual, that whole testing methods have been devised to obtain a diagnosis.

It makes me want to cry.

To flippantly make a comment linking ASD to vaccines is such a slap in the face to those of us dealing with it day in, day out.

To suggest that the vaccines that I consented to be administered to my child caused her ASD is tantamount to saying that I let this happen to her. That her condition might be my fault, because I decided to have her immunised against actual diseases.

That it’s my fault that she once nearly broke my arm.

That it’s my fault that she doesn’t sleep.

That it’s my fault when we have to lie down in the middle of the supermarket to recover from a meltdown.

That’s it’s my fault when she has her bad days and silently retreats into her own mind, leaving her father and I out of our minds with worry.

That it’s my fault we can’t do many things most families take for granted.

That it’s my fault.

Because I let her be vaccinated.

Perpetuating this myth is not only dangerous but so, so insulting to those living and dealing with autism.

Life is hard enough without having someone tell you “the vaccines did it.”

Or “the numbers are increasing.”

Or “the studies say… ”

As a daily witness to a small child with autism I can confidently tell you that it is heartbreaking, exhausting and scary.

But it’s also illuminating, and my beautiful daughter has taught me how to view the world through her unique kaleidoscope. I am more patient, more compassionate and infinitely grateful that she chose me.

So, to those who insist that vaccines cause autism, I say this:

I would rather live ten lifetimes with my vaccinated, autistic child than one life with her where she could die from an entirely preventable disease.

So please, PLEASE, keep your opinions on vaccines and autism to yourselves.

We don’t want to hear it.

Feature image: Getty.

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