Sometimes a picture can tell 1,000 words.
"I was very amazed," says Tammy Knott.
Knott was amazed that her seven-year old son, Bubby, was smiling in his most recent portrait.
Bubby has autism.
"I knew something had to be wrong. I didn't want to accept the autism diagnosis at first, because he is such a lovable child," says Knott.
Knott says after her son received his mumps, measles and rubella vaccine at 18-months, things changed.
She says, "I feel like the MMR shot is the reason why he got autism."
However, doctors disagree.
"Study after study, in country after country has shown that vaccines are not the cause," says Dr. Doug Larsen, with the Central Shenandoah Health District.
He says his heart goes out to parents who feel that vaccines cause certain illnesses.
"There's really very little downsides to vaccines. Are there downsides? Like any medication, there are always risks," adds Larsen.
Risks include fever, headache or maybe even a sore arm.
"If only I had known the risks before I gave [the vaccine] to him, because it's not fair to children who have autism. They can't speak and tell you what's wrong," explains Knott.
Larsen says he just wants to keep the community safe.
"Would I take something for myself if I was concerned that it would be harmful? Would I recommend it for my children? W ould I recommend it for my grandchildren? And I do, I recommend all these vaccines for my family," says Larsen.
Knott, who has three other children who have been vaccinated, says she is keeping her family safe.
"My first two were only 12 months apart, so at the time, when I was vaccinating my second one, I didn't know the first one had autism," explains Knott.
Her pediatrician told her, with her third child, she could space out her vaccines.
Knott says she doesn't want what happened to Bubby to happen to anyone else.
"When he's sick, he can't talk to explain what's wrong. When he's getting ready to have a seizure, he can't tell you he has a headache. He can't explain what his needs or wants are," comments Knotts.
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