What knowledgeable friends I have!!! My friend, Allison, who works in public health, weighs in on the hot topic…
1. Thermisol, which is the ingredient that people think is the trigger in vaccines that causes autism, is no longer used in vaccines. If it actually triggered autism, the incidence of autism would have decreased since it stopped being used. In fact, the incidence is rising.
2. 50 year ago, kids with autism were thought to be weird, dysfunctional or mislabed as having mental retardation. They often were sent to live in boarding type schools or orphanages. Today, there are screening tests at age 2 and 5, so these kids are diagnosed earlier. It would appear as if the incidence is rising, but it seems like this is a function of increased diagnosis.
3. is right in that diet could improve a child’s behavior. Duh! That is true even for kids without autism. I seriously doubt that her child is recovered. Hard to know without actually observing him prior to and after his so called change in diet, etc. Her suggestions do not work for all kids with autism though. I think she even says that too. I think he probably still falls on the spectrum of autistic disorders. Great for her that her child can now function better but that does not make her an expert on the topic.
4. Vaccines are an important part of protecting the public’s health. Thanks to vaccines, we no longer have to think about polio, measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella, TB, meningitis, hepatitis. Vaccine preventable disease is still a major killer of children under the age of 5 in less developed countries. There are good reasons why vaccines are provided at certain ages, if we stop providing them, we could see outbreaks of diseases like polio that crippled this country 60-70 years ago.
5. I think most experts would agree that autistic children don’t change overnight the day after they get a vaccine. In actuality, the kids displayed autistic characteristics prior to that but parents thought it was some cute quirky thing they did. Things like rocking, waving arms, lining up toys.
Thank you, Allison!