Thank you for this article. I just learned a few days ago that my son has the
Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am completely convinced that it is from the MMR
vaccine he got when he was 18 months old. Someone commented about the Amish
community too?? Did you know that Amish children don't have any cases of
Autism? None! And do you know that they don't vaccinate their children?My son's behavior did change after he had his vaccine. He also contracted
Lyme disease around that time and may have problems from that as well. Luckily
he seems to have a mild type. The actual Diagnosis was PDD NOS or Pervasive
developmental Disorder Not otherwise specified. I agree that vaccinating later
is better. My child who is 5years old was vaccinated at age 3 and 5. He is
I don't agree that we should be taking medical / scientific advice from
parents of children with autism. Unless they have a degree in Immunology, and
years of on the job experience, they're not experts in the cause of autism.
They, like the rest of us, are just making assumptions based on their own
situation and their own bias. The increase in autism in children is alarming,
but it's counterproductive to close our minds to the many things that may
cause it. To blame vaccination ignores the many other factors, including the
genetic factors. Vaccination simply does not cause autism, and no matter how
many times it is repeated by people who believe they know more than they
actually do, it won't make it true. The only way to prove a scientific
fact is scientifically, and we know that there have been many who have tried
since Wakefield made his dishonest statements, and not a single one has managed
to prove a link. Sorry, but facts are facts.
It seems to me one in five have some autism. Perhaps in the typical bell shaped
curve there may be a rare instance like this mother mentions.
The author of this opinion isn't asking people to not immunize their
children, but rather she is questioning the timing of a particular immunization.
Please read thoroughly and understand the main ideas before you make comments.
I am going to propose something really wacky.Perhaps immunizations
have led to more cases of autism. It is possible.However, I think
immunizations are a valuable way to combat disease.Sometimes with
medicines we have side effects. It is sometimes the cost of things.
@Zaruski – “I don't think they wake up in the morning and rub
their hands together gleefully thinking about what … will ruin their
patient's lives.”No one except paranoid conspiracy folks
are claiming this.@Hemlock – “In the past autism was
rarely DIAGNOSED, but was not necessarily rare.”This may
account for some portion but it’s doubtful it explains the 100 fold
increase, nor does it account for the relatively modern phenomenon of toddlers
appearing to be perfectly normal until right after receiving a vaccine
series.And there seems to be some confusion about the nature and
limits of science. It’s worth noting that anecdotal evidence often
precedes scientific confirmation. Also, science is only as good as the studies
constructed (control groups, ability to isolate & measure variables,
etc…).As previously mentioned, we were not impressed with the
scale and rigor of the studies (what little there were) done by the mid
2000’s and are hoping more and better ones will be done in the future.In the mean, please stop trying to label those who question as
irrational or worse…
Have studies been done on "closed" populations, i.e., the Amish,
Mennonites, fundamentalist LDS groups, to measure their rates of autism against
the general population's?
The scary thing about vaccinations and autism is that those who suffer from
autism are at the same ratio to those that don't suffer.Autism
used to be broken down into many multiple categories, these were all combined to
make classification easier.The rate of vaccinations have increased
in many parts of the world, yet, their rates of autism is the same as those that
receive vaccinations and those that don't receive them.You
would think that the developing world would see a large increase in autistic
children yet they aren't.But, with so many parents refusing to
vaccinate their children, many diseases that were on the verge of being wiped
out are now coming back and they are affecting more and more people.I am personally fine if you don't want to vaccinate your children but to
use false studies and false statistics to support your decision is wrong. Do or
don't, just don't blame others when the child is diagnosed as autistic
when they aren't vaccinated (New and climbing trend, so it must be
something else) or when the child dies of a disease that a vaccine would have
Nothing is better than to use anecdotal evidence when scientific research
doesn't agree with your opinions. It's okay, you folks
aren't the first or last to do this. For centuries people argued that the
earth was square and that the sun revolved around the earth.
In the past autism was rarely DIAGNOSED, but was not necessarily rare. Everyone
has sympathy for your child, but your angst should not drive scientific
decisions. Autism remains enigmatic and research continues, but blaming
immunizations is not the answer. The emotional lynching of vaccines will only
bring further sorrow.
Doctors are people just like every one of us. I don't think they wake up in
the morning and rub their hands together gleefully thinking about what
misinformation they can spread that will ruin their patient's lives.(@TylerD)Same thing with scientists. For example, pharmaceutical
companies outspend in marketing to R&D 3 to 1. So while they spend millions
in trying to figure out how to make their TV ads convince people that their drug
will help men everywhere recover their manhood, most real medical breakthroughs
happen at public universities where, indeed, researchers don't have much of
a financial stake, other than having to beg for their next grant.
Thank you for your courageous letter. The countless other testimonies similar to
yours are too compelling to ignore, and from the research we did on when our
kids when they were little, the scientific studies done (at least at that time)
were small and poorly designed and simply unable to account for a genetic
predisposition.The fact that autism, which used to be extremely rare
(perhaps 1 in 10,000), has risen so dramatically (now around 1 in 100) and that
science is so far clueless on the cause of this rise, should make us all very
cautious.We need more and better research done by scientists without
a financial stake in the outcome, period!
Cindy, the objective evidence simply does not support your conclusions.
Personal anecdotes are not science, and correlation is not the same thing as
causation.What would the state of modern medicine be like if
personal anecdotes trumped objective, peer-reviewed research? We'd still be exorcising demons to cure colds.
By your reasoning, autism should have reached epidemic status before the vaccine
was available. German measles was rampant for centuries.
Agreed Cindy.But don't expect Corporations to admit their
mistakes -- that would mean lawsuits, and lawsuit mean money.But
isn't it YOUR family who pays the REAL costs -- financially and with the
handicap your son will have the rest of his life -- all for sake of Corporate