The debate continues…

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. Jenny McCarthy 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!

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One response to “The debate continues…

  1. lookingforlifeshumor

    A few things to consider…
    1 – Thimerisol is still found in vaccines sitting on the shelves in clinics and Dr offices around the country. Thimerisol was not removed according to schedule and while incidence is reduced, it can still be found, so parents need to check each vial before it is pumped into their kid. While Autism may not be caused by the thimerisol being pumped into our kids’ vaccines today there could be a link to the thimerisol that was pumped into the parents way back when… something to think about. Also the viruses themselves may be the culprit in the vaccines – not the thimerisol.
    2 – improved diagnostics CANNOT explain the significant increase – it can account for some of it – but in no way does it account for most of it.
    3 – totally agree
    4 – vaccines are good overall but we must rethink the schedule and requirements – it is not a one-size fits all – and we should invest in titers rather than just automatically repeating the MMR in order to catch the 10% where it may not have “taken” the first time.
    5 – True for some, but I know of cases where a child truly did change overnight or within 1 -2 days of getting the vaccine.

    The most frustrating thing about Autism are the inconsistencies paired with the blanket statements that people tend to give out.

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