Opinion about autism - page 4

Is it possible that autism and vaccines are linked?... Read More

  1. by   judyblueeyes
    I don't believe there is a link between autism and vaccines for several reasons.

    One is that the "Wakefield Study" that started the idea of the link was fraudulent. The study was funded by some lawyers hired by the parents of a few autistic kids to prove the link so the parents could sue someone. As with most of these kinds of suits, the people with the deepest pocket were the target- in this case it was the vaccine manufacturers. Wakefield published the study, but when the study was peer reviewed (and roundly criticized for many flaws) all of his co authors dropped their names from the study. I think the whole "study" included 6-8 kids, and having lawyers as the study sponsors ($) is highly irregular.

    Another is that the supposed causative agent (thimerisol) has been removed from vaccines for years now, yet diagnosis numbers are still rising. If thimerisol was the cause, numbers should be dropping dramatically.

    Another is that autism (and Aspergers) is a fairly new DSM diagnosis, so technically there was a time recently when there was no diagnosis of autism available as it was not even an official diagnosis. This certainly has something to do with the supposed "explosion" in new cases diagnosed.

    Next, I see it as kind of a "band wagon" disorder right now- kind like ADD was a while back. I find it very difficult to see why some of the kids in his school are diagnosed other than it's a win-win situation for our schools, kids, and parents. The school gets extra funding, the kids get extra attention and the parents have special entre' into the classroom.

    Another reason is that I feel if parents are honest, they will admit that their kids were 'different' early on. I know my DS was. While I realize my experience is not a universal truth, all of the moms I know through my groups will tell stories of how their babies were 'different' (such as poor feeders, sleepers, or eye contact makers as infants) even if they also report their kids were normally deveolping. Some of these ladies have a lot of cognitive dissonance regarding these two competeing facts.

    OK- I could come up with a few more, but one of the kids wants the computer.....
  2. by   prmenrs
    "... ''autism is a developmental disorder'' and ''syndromes can have known etiologies''? "

    I very much agree w/that.

    Down's Syndrome has a know cause, it's a gene mutation. What's not known is what causes the gene mutation.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Apr 8, '07
  3. by   pat8585
    My 2 cents....there are too many parents that have noticed that their child got symptoms of autism shortly after receiving vaccinations.
    I dont think their concerns should be trivialized.
  4. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from judyblueeyes
    I don't believe there is a link between autism and vaccines for several reasons.

    One is that the "Wakefield Study" that started the idea of the link was fraudulent. The study was funded by some lawyers hired by the parents of a few autistic kids to prove the link so the parents could sue someone. As with most of these kinds of suits, the people with the deepest pocket were the target- in this case it was the vaccine manufacturers. Wakefield published the study, but when the study was peer reviewed (and roundly criticized for many flaws) all of his co authors dropped their names from the study. I think the whole "study" included 6-8 kids, and having lawyers as the study sponsors ($) is highly irregular.

    Another is that the supposed causative agent (thimerisol) has been removed from vaccines for years now, yet diagnosis numbers are still rising. If thimerisol was the cause, numbers should be dropping dramatically.

    Another is that autism (and Aspergers) is a fairly new DSM diagnosis, so technically there was a time recently when there was no diagnosis of autism available as it was not even an official diagnosis. This certainly has something to do with the supposed "explosion" in new cases diagnosed.

    Next, I see it as kind of a "band wagon" disorder right now- kind like ADD was a while back. I find it very difficult to see why some of the kids in his school are diagnosed other than it's a win-win situation for our schools, kids, and parents. The school gets extra funding, the kids get extra attention and the parents have special entre' into the classroom.

    Another reason is that I feel if parents are honest, they will admit that their kids were 'different' early on. I know my DS was. While I realize my experience is not a universal truth, all of the moms I know through my groups will tell stories of how their babies were 'different' (such as poor feeders, sleepers, or eye contact makers as infants) even if they also report their kids were normally deveolping. Some of these ladies have a lot of cognitive dissonance regarding these two competeing facts.

    OK- I could come up with a few more, but one of the kids wants the computer.....
    Sorry, but not all children with autism are different early on. If a child has the type of autism where they develop typically and then start losing previously acquired skills, there is nothing to be ''honest'' about. And I don't think it is ever a good idea to suggest that parents of children with special needs are somehow in denial... we've got plenty of professionals to do that for us, haven't we?
  5. by   PeachPie
    I keep hearing about high rates or Autism in places like Silicon Valley. A theory is that there's so many people with similar brains that their kids get bred into having superconcentrated brain areas.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I wish those living with autism peace and some definitive answers to the questions plaguing them. I wish we get those answers, very soon. This is a very real concern that affects everyone, but no one more than those living with loved ones affected personally by autism.
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from PeachPie
    Dear Lord, while we're on the subject, I'm listening to the neighbor's autistic kid scream at the top of his lungs. He does this for hours on end, mostly because he doesn't like the fence that keeps him from running out into the street and getting himself killed. The first time I heard his screams, I honestly thought someone was being brutally murdered and I was about to call the cops, but then I saw his mom struggling to keep him from bashing his head on the fence. Man, someday, someone's really going to be screaming for help, and the whole neighborhood will assume that it's one of the kid's temper tantrums and just go about their business. I'm concerned for the kid, and it's a tragedy for the kid and the family. I do hope that this can be prevented in the future.
    I would call child protection not because of suspected abuse but to make sure that the child is receiving special ed services.
  8. by   Baby Catcher, CNM
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I hope that was a repeat. I wouldn't typically feel compelled to correct a figure like that, but Barbara Walters gets on my nerves. Iin Feb. the CDC issued prevalence figures in 8 year olds as 1 in 150. There are areas of the country where it is even higher.
    It was not a re-run. Rosie was the queen bee not Barbara. Every source I looked at uses different figures but the one thing that is consistent is the increase of cases in the past 20 years. Mandatory reporting did not begin until 1993 but it just makes me wonder what is happening to cause this.

    As a health care provider (CNM), I'm concerned that something I do in my practice may be harmful to babies. Something is causing this increase.
  9. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from almost a cnm
    It was not a re-run. Rosie was the queen bee not Barbara. Every source I looked at uses different figures but the one thing that is consistent is the increase of cases in the past 20 years. Mandatory reporting did not begin until 1993 but it just makes me wonder what is happening to cause this.

    As a health care provider (CNM), I'm concerned that something I do in my practice may be harmful to babies. Something is causing this increase.
    Oh well, Rosie gets on my nerves, too, lol! Really, the 1 in 166 figure is barely out of date, so the only reason it bothers me that these 2 would use it is because they both like to speak so authoritatively about....well, just about everything.

    Yes, the increase is alarming. I don't really understand why there isn't more of a sense of urgency to find out why. Everytime some Congressman's child or grandchild gets dxed, there's new and helpful legislation introduced. I'm not complaining because we need the help and will take it any way it comes, but you do sometimes have to wonder why it isn't important to them unless it's in their family.
  10. by   PeachPie
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Yes, the increase is alarming. I don't really understand why there isn't more of a sense of urgency to find out why. Everytime some Congressman's child or grandchild gets dxed, there's new and helpful legislation introduced. I'm not complaining because we need the help and will take it any way it comes, but you do sometimes have to wonder why it isn't important to them unless it's in their family.
    Yep, it's sad, but we're going to need another Rosemary Kennedy (lobotomy) or Bart Stupak Jr. (commited suicide while taking Accutane) before the autism research and movements. I wouldn't wish it on anybody, but nothing like a public shock with lots of connections will get such actions taken.
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    I can't remember where I saw an article talking about apathy and autism. This article compared the climate in the US with the polio epidemic and autism now. Turns out - a child's chances of becoming autistic are many, many times higher than the chances of serious consequences from polio ever was. But the polio epidemic was a national frenzy and race to a cure or vaccine.

    There just seems to be apathy about autism. And plenty of famous and powerful people have affected children.
  12. by   vickynurse
    [QUOTE=almost a cnm;2147615]
    It makes me wonder what has changed in obstetrics and peds in the last 20 years. I don't work in peds but here are some things that have changed in OB just off the top of my head:
    1. Increased use of continuous EFM.
    2. Increased rate of inductions.
    3. Increased rate of epidurals.
    4. Incresed rate of c/s.
    5. Almost every pregnant women gets an ultrasound now. Before it was just if a problem was suspected.
    6. I'm not sure but I think the breastfeeding rate has increased in the last 20 years.

    That's all I can think of. Anyone else?[/QUOTE

    What about nutrition, lifestyle factors during and before pregnancy? A LOT has changed there. Not pointing fingers, remember we've only known about the importance of folic acid in recent years. There may be something else in the foodchain that is a factor. It may even be an exposure to something at an early age to the mother's eggs / DNA.
  13. by   carolinapooh
    Has anyone considered that autism has been around for YEARS, and only NOW do we have a definitive, effective, specific set of diagnostic criteria by which to determine who has it and who doesn't? And that for someone to hear their kid is autistic doesn't cause the disaster that such a diagnosis would have brought about fifty years ago, when the stigma of mental illness and disorder was MUCH greater than it is now (not that it's really perfect now either, but hey - we're getting there)? Anyone considered how many folks that were institutionalized way back when (and NOT so way back when) were probably autistic and not "crazy", per se?

    Autism is not a new disorder; it's been around for ages. Even AIDS has been found to have been around since the 1950s - it's just we didn't know what it was and it wasn't prevalent like it is now.

    You know, it wasn't too long ago that Down syndrome was thought to be a reason for institutionalization....

    And if you do some research, which is what my Pharmacology instructor passed on to us, you'll find that thimoseral, the additive with the rightly deserved bad press, had been taken out of vaccinations years before the whole autism thing became big news. No, I didn't believe it either, until she cited information from both the FDA AND the CDC AND the EPA stating it.

    I wish I still had the email she sent out.

    I don't think combo vaccines are a good idea, because I don't think tiny immune systems are ready for them. I think it's like overloading a circuit - the body is trying to mount an immune response to A, and then there's B floating around in the system, and then....well, now they're finding out that some of these vaccines are ineffective/wear off/don't last as long as they used to - who's to say there's not something to all this?

    I also have a distinct problem with someone who's two hours old getting a Hep B vaccine (!!!!!), but that's another story.

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