4. What can I do to PREVENT autism from occurring in subsequent children?
Autism is a complex disorder with many contributing factors. While we don't have all the answers yet, you can decrease the risk to younger siblings and future pregnancies by protecting your family from known dangers like environmental toxins. You may also want to speak with your doctor and dentist about amalgam safety, water filtering, fish consumption, etc.
Be sure and talk to your doctor about any vaccinations you've had in recent years and avoid vaccines containing heavy metals (mercury, aluminum, etc.) during pregnancy. You may not be informed in advance, ask to look at the manufacturer's insert for specifics about thimerosal, etc.
4. What do I need to do before delivery to assure our plans are respected at the hospital, etc.
Work with your OB and pediatrician in advance to assure they are supportive of your vaccination choices. They can help enforce it at the hospital. Be open and positive, but firm, about your decisions and make sure that no care is administered to your child without a parent present.
Know your state laws and your legal rights surrounding this issue and print out the information in advance to bring to the hospital in case you are questioned.