Hudson Valley Parent

HVP July 2016

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Page 24 of 43 n Hudson Valley Parent 25 santamonica I N T R O D U C I N G Ask a designer or visit for details. Sale going on for a limited time. ©2016 Ethan Allen Global, Inc. S P E C I A L S A V I N G S G O I N G O N N O W NEWBURGH THE BELLS' AN AUTHORIZED ETHAN ALLEN RETAILER ROUTE 32 94 NORTH PLANK ROAD 845.565.6000 Opting out Still, there are parents who con- sider not vaccinating a good way to keep their children healthy. "At my son's 18 month checkup, he was given three vaccinations at once and then he stopped growing and stopped hugging me," says Me- lissa, a Red Hook mom of two. Over the next few years, she tried a variety of therapies to help her son improve - including occupational therapy and alternative medicines. "It took him a long time to get bet- ter," she said. But when her daughter was born and had her first MMR shot, she started to think that her kids were allergic to the vaccinations. "Her bowels changed - from nor- mal to loose and runny - and it was then that it clicked that it might be the vaccine," she says. Since the kids had the minimum number of vaccinations they needed to enroll into school, Melissa and her husband made the decision not to continue the immunizations. Both her children are healthy now, she adds. Anti-vaccination proponents have long argued a link between autism and vaccinations. While there has not been scientific proof that links the two, some parents of children with autism contend that their anec- dotal evidence strongly proves there is a connection. In New York state, according to the National Vaccination Immuni- zation Center, immunization re- quirements can be waved if parents hold "genuine and sincere religious beliefs" against having their child immunized. Medical exemptions are also allowed, although, according to the state Department of Health, chil- dren in day care, Head Start, nurs- ery school or prekindergarten must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, varicella, Hib, and pneumococcal disease. Melissa says that her decision not to continue vaccinating her children (Continued on Page 26)

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