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Vaccines and Autism

I'm of a scientific mind, and I've never seen a good study that says vaccines cause autism. I've seen countless studies that say they do not, so I'm inclined to believe that vaccines do not cause autism.

But those who say autism is caused by vaccines say that big pharmaceutical companies are behind it all, and I like a good conspiracy theory as well, so while I lean one way I still think the idea is open for debate.

The indisputable facts are that autism is one the rise, and I'm curious to know what that reason is. 1 in 150 (or 100!) are simply unacceptable numbers, and the U.S. taxpayer is going to be under a significant burden if we reach a point of having millions of low-functioning autistic adults.

Update: On the heels of this study being deemed a fraud comes this video, in which the guest says no studies have been done on 34 of the 36 vaccines given to kids:

5 Responses to "Vaccines and Autism"

  1. "The indisputable facts are that autism is one the rise"

    "Number of diagnosed cases" is not necessarily the same thing as "number of people with autism." It could just be that it's more frequently recognized now, for example.

  2. That 1 in 100 number also doesn't mean all these diagnosed cases have severe autism that prevents them from having mostly normal lives. Temple Grandin has autism, but she has been very successful and has an extremely unique view of how autism traits can help society. Watch her TED talk at ted.com.

    I've also wondered if concerns about this supposed connection between vaccines and autism could be prevented by just postponing most vaccinations slightly. I'm not sure what the risks are to say delay vaccination until 4 or 5, but I believe autism would be diagnosed in most cases by then. If you start having cases of autism developing after vaccination at 4-5 then perhaps a link could be determined. I think it's at least a decent compromise between parents who fear vaccines may be causing development issues at early stages of development and the public good of vaccination. I'm not sure it would work, but I think it's better idea then all the people who say they are never going to vaccinate their kids.

  3. I think it's been established that autism is on the rise and not that it's simply gone undiagnosed before. Perhaps I'm wrong and doctors are quick to give an autism diagnosis these days. It is a "newish" thing. I'm done having kids and don't have autism or a kid or a wife or anyone with autism, so the amount of research I've done on it is small.

    Whether the number is rising or not, 1 in 100 (even with mild autism) is a shocking number and I'd like to see more research into what actually causes it. I don't think it's vaccines at all, but it'll be interesting to see the results of more studies.

  4. I would like to hear a scientific justification as to why the other 34 vaccines. If the data overwhelmingly debunks a causation or correlation between autism in children and the various vaccinations, then why do we need the additional studies?

    The people who are complaining that we need to have studies conducted on the other 34 vaccines are people that believe anecdotal evidence, no the hard science that is being conducted in this arena.

  5. It isn't just autism that's on the rise. There are lots of weird health issues that are on the rise, with another notable one being allergies.

    If we look back to when I was a kid, 30+ years ago, we see a some differences between then and now: First, the number of vaccines given was MUCH less than it is today. Second, parents are using much more in the way of antibacterial soap today than they did.

    My wife and I personally subscribe to the superbug theory, so we generally do not use antibiotics (unless other things have been tried and failed first), and we don't use antibacterial soaps at all. (Consumer antibacterial soaps are not as strong as hospital-grade soaps, and do not hold the benefits that hospital soaps do.)

    I wonder if these odd health issues (autism, allergies) are a result of a combination of these things - that is, a heavier vaccination schedule (resulting in more mercury and other things getting into our children) and greater use of antibacterial soaps (which means that our children's immune systems are not developing like they should).

    Oh, couple all this with a generation or two of people who eat and have eaten food-like products instead of real food. By "food-like products," I mean "grocery store items filled with HFCS, PHO, and other man-made (as opposed to natural) substances." Incidentally, this is why we prefer to shop at Trader Joe's: you get real food there, not food-like products, even if you are buying their convenience foods. You simply don't need to read the labels there.

    A single vaccine (e.g., MMR) might not be responsible for autism, as was claimed in that study, but I truly suspect that the heavier vaccination schedules; excessive use of weak, consumer-grade antibacterial soaps and washes; and overconsumption of food-like products is to blame.


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