Archive for the ‘PDD-NOS’ Category


WARNING: To teen or adult autistic individuals, I’d like to take care in warning you that this blog entry could be triggering to you.  I personally will not discuss ABA in detail because due to how our doctor referred us and who we were referred to, we chose not to pursue ABA therapies for our daughter.  That means I can’t speak to this from personal experience from a parenting standpoint nor on behalf of my daughter.  However, the link titled “ABA” will be discussing ABA therapies in some detail, so if you feel it will trigger trauma for you, please consider refraining from clicking the “ABA – Unstrange Mind link.

This link I’m about to share from Unstrange Mind by Sparrow Rose is probably one of the best and most comprehensive laymen’s explanations of why ABA therapy in its original intended form is, at best, misguided and at worst terribly abusive.  It also explains the difference between “different types of ABA” considering that in order to get an appropriately non-abusive therapy covered it must be classified as ABA for insurance purposes.

Most importantly, it explains to every loving, caring parent who takes their child to ABA and might fear that they’re being accused of abusing their child by allowing abuse through ABA what to look for in the therapist and the therapy their child is attending.  It talks about intent in bringing their children to ABA.

“ABA” | Unstrange Mind (click here).

This blog entry is a gift and ought to be read by every self-proclaimed Autism specialist, advocate, pediatrician, ABA therapist, teacher, special educator, parent, Autism advocacy agency, and anyone else whose lives might ever be touched by Autism or ABA.

This is so important.  When adult autistics speak, please listen.

 

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geneThose of you who follow my blog and those of you who know me know that my Sweet Girl, my middle daughter, is Autistic.  You know that the sun rises and sets around her as it does with my other daughters.  I am not just her advocate, I am also her ally. I’ve written about raising her up to be proud of every part of herself. I’ve written about teaching her to be a self-advocate. I’ve written about experiences in public, and how various individuals have responded to her various behaviors and comments we’ve received. I’ve written about and shared news articles about Autistic teens and young adults who have had interactions with law enforcement that had no training or care about being in the presence of disabled individuals and the abuse and deaths that have occurred as a result. I’ve written about the high rates of abuse and bullying that occur among Autistic individuals and other individuals with disabilities, how it’s much higher among neuro-diverse individuals than among non-disabled and non-autistic peers. I’ve written about my disdain for Autism Speaks.

Now, I’m writing about Google and its collaboration with the project Aut10K created by Autism Speaks.  What is it, you ask?

Here.

Nature World News: Introducing The World’s Largest Autism Genome Database (click)

 

Autism Speaks announced a collaboration with data supergiant Google Cloud Platforms to make the world’s largest database of genomic sequence information on individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), creating an invaluable autism research tool that can be used anywhere in the world.

Book Wright, the co-founder of Autism Speaks, announced Tuesday that the organization would be collaborating with Google to launch the Autism Speaks Ten Thousand Genomes Program (AUT10K) – a project that intends to make the world’s largest private collection of DNA samples open to the public.

We already know through reputable research for the past couple of decades that Autism Spectrum Disorders are genetically based.  Yes, it’s suspected that in some instances environmental factors can trigger or exacerbate symptoms but there’s really very little doubt among legitimate scientists that ASD is genetic, is typically hereditary, blah blah blah.  Why this seems to be news to the world, I don’t know.  Why it’s news to Autism Speaks, I really don’t know.  Except instead of Autism Speaks embracing this news in order to embrace the community and start including Autistic individuals in making decisions about themselves, in making proclamations about themselves, AUT10K is happening.

Autism Speaks is still trying to portray themselves as Autism Advocates, as allies, but this project is going to do far more harm than good.  It’s because the goal of Autism Speaks is to continue to portray autism as a tragedy, something separate from the individual, something to be cured, and as an illness.  They continue to portray the belief that autism should be cured, eliminated, reduced because autistic individuals are too “expensive” in their medical care costs and education costs.  Michael Rosanoff, associate director of public health for Autism Speaks has been quoted as saying about a cost study,

“This study shows us what we’ve all known but never had the data to support — that autism is alarmingly expensive.”

They also have an info-graphic about it.I didn’t doctor this, I just took it directly from their site (I think it was Facebook).  It’s used to illustrate the idea that Autistic individuals are a burden on society, a COST to society.  Do we understand the implications of that language?  Let’s reduce the cost, is the implication.  How do we reduce the cost? Cure, eradicate, eliminate.  Sounds an awful lot like encouraging society to endorse eugenics.  COST TO SOCIETY via Autism SpeaksEugenics is scary, people.  It’s something many have applied to their belief systems in order to explain their despicable attitudes towards individuals that have various disabilities.  Click on this link to see:  Bad Cripple: A Reply to “What Should We Do About Severely Impaired Babies”.  People really believe this stuff.

Autism Speaks launched the AUT10K project in collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children’s Centre for Applied Genomics in Toronto.  This is a fact.  They view Autistic children, teens, and adults as sick individuals that need to be cured.  This is a repeated theme in their info-graphics and on their web site.

So, you want to know how this project will be harmful?  Check out these reliable links.  They’re not propaganda sites, they’re Autism Advocacy pages.  They’re pages run by Autistic individuals.  THEY are the people that you want to listen to.

Autism Women’s Advocacy: Dear Google, Do No Harm.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network: Community Concerns Regarding the Google-Autism Speaks Ten Thousand Genomes Program (AUT10K)

Google – Stop supporting Autism Speaks and AUT10K (with petition at Change.org)

As always, I could go on but today I’m not really feeling well.  I’m home sick and having trouble concentrating.

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If you know or you suspect that a child is in danger of being abused or worse, you have a duty to protect that child.  Abuse should never, never be considered a private family matter.  It should never be kept secret.  It is far better to report what you suspect and be wrong, than to be right and find out later that you should have made a report and didn’t but the child suffered for it.  If you feel that you may need the help for yourself and your own child, please know that THERE IS NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP.  THERE IS HELP OUT THERE FOR YOU.  You just have to know where to find it.

One resource I’d like you to check out is the American Humane Association (click here).  Here is some information from them below on how to report suspected child abuse, and I have highlighted the 24/7 hotline in red:

How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment

Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect. Reporting abuse or neglect can protect a child and get help for a family—it may even save a child’s life. In some States, any person who suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report. To see how your State addresses this issue, read the Information Gateway publication, Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Child Welfare Information Gateway is not a hotline for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, and it is not equipped to accept reports of this nature. Information Gateway is not equipped to offer crisis counseling. As a service of the Children’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Information Gateway does not have the authority to intervene or advise in personal situations.

Childhelp® is a national organization that provides crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotlineexternal link is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous. Contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

If you need help with personal or family situations, you may wish to visit our resources on Where to Find Help.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or if you are a child who is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so professionals can assess the situation. Many States have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse or neglect. To find out where to call, consult the Information Gateway publication, State Child Abuse Reporting Numbers.

If you’re not sure if you’re a mandated reporter for abuse, here is the clarifying list:

  • Social workers
  • Teachers, principals, and other school personnel
  • Physicians, nurses, and other health-care workers
  • Counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals
  • Child care providers
  • Medical examiners or coroners
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Some other professions frequently mandated across the States
    include commercial film or photograph processors (in 12 States,
    Guam, and Puerto Rico), substance abuse counselors (in 14
    States), and probation or parole officers (in 17 States).2
    Directors,
    employees, and volunteers at entities that provide organized
    activities for children, such as camps, day camps, youth centers,
    and recreation centers, are required to report in 11 States.3
    Seven States and the District of Columbia include domestic
    violence workers on the list of mandated reporters, while seven
    States and the District of Columbia include animal control
    or humane officers.4
    Court-appointed special advocates are mandatory reporters in 10 States.5Members of the clergy now
    are required to report in 27 States and Guam.6
    Four States now have designated as mandatory reporters
    faculty, administrators, athletics staff, and other employees and
    volunteers at institutions of higher learning, including public and
    private colleges and universities and vocational and technical
    schools.7In approximately 18 States and Puerto Rico, any person who
    suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report. Of
    these 18 States, 16 States and Puerto Rico specify certain
    professionals who must report but also require all persons to
    report suspected abuse or neglect, regardless of profession.8
    New Jersey and Wyoming require all persons to report without
    specifying any professions. In all other States, territories, and the
    District of Columbia, any person is permitted to report. These
    voluntary reporters of abuse are often referred to as “permissive
    reporters.”
  • To find statute information for a
    particular State, go to
    http://www.childwelfare.gov/
    systemwide/laws_policies/state/
    index.cfm 

SOURCE: https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.pdf#Page=2&view=Fit

Please click this link because it’s very informational.  It’s from childwelfare.gov:

Identification of Child Abuse & Neglect

Next, what do you actually “do” if you suspect abuse?

Children need us to be their voice.  We can’t be afraid to be wrong.  It’s all right to be wrong.  I would far rather call and be wrong and hurt the adult’s feelings than hold back and do nothing because “I don’t know what happened that day.”  And if you’re the one who needs help… if you’re afraid you might harm a child you love… please ask for help.  Beg for help until you get it.  Please.

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… Recovering in a manner that is nothing short of a miracle.  And SHE is the focus of this blog entry.  Issy is important.  Issy is special.  Issy is the one that needs support, along with her father.  Issy is the one that deserves prayers.

In a situation that could have already ended tragically, this sweet girl is showing strength and improvement day by day.  Her father, Matt Stapleton, posted on the Team Issy Facebook page on Sunday with this amazing, incredible update:

…On Friday, after three days in the ICU, she was still unresponsive and had confirmed brain damage. After not seeing any changes in her condition, it was decided Friday evening to remove Isabelle from the ventilator. She responded by breathing on her own for the rest of the evening. The following morning, she awoke from her four day “coma-like” state asking questions, making requests, and quite incredibly, showing signs of the amazing young woman she is. For three days, she was hooked up to machines and showed very little progress. Fast forward 24 hours and we are out of the critical unit, completely independent, and beginning discussions about the extent of her brain damage. She has smiled and is now walking and talking. It is nothing short of a miracle. While she still has several obstacles to overcome, we are extremely hopeful with this unbelievable turn of events. … [go to FB to see the full update]

If you’ve watched the news or are in the Autism Community then you’re likely aware of who Issy Stapleton and her father are.  Issy is a beautiful 14 year old autistic girl that was in a coma for several days when it was unclear if she would survive or come out of the coma.  The coma is due to carbon monoxide poisoning .  Issy has suffered brain damage due to the carbon monoxide poisoning which unfortunately was not an accident, but a murder-suicide attempt by her own mother.  Issy still has a long road ahead of her, but luckily she has a loving father and family who are there with her every step of the way.  A father who adores her.  Lissy is resilient.  She’s SMILING in spite of what she’s been through.  She’s responsive.  She has been able to make requests and show her personality when Friday, she was in an unresponsive coma.  She’s out of the critical care unit as of Monday, September 9th 2013.  This is joyous news and truly miraculous.

Lissy is alive and smiling.  She’s alive and her family is happy that she’s alive.

WARNING:  What I talk about next may be a trigger for some because it does involve discussing attempted child murder.

I also feel like I need to address the fact that the woman that gave birth to her recovered well enough from her own carbon monoxide poisoning to be in jail on charges of attempted murder, being held without bail.  It pains me to even admit that I occasionally used to read her blog.  I won’t share the link because I don’t believe she deserves any further attention, and there’s absolutely no excuse, explanation, understanding for what she did.  There’s no one to blame except for her.   Period, full stop, nothing anyone can say to get me to empathize with her.  This is one topic that I AM closed minded about.  If you believe differently, I honest to God don’t want to hear it.

There has been discussion around the internet about Safe Haven laws for situations such as Lissy’s except for the fact that only one of her parents to end both her daughter’s and her own life as a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  She did this on her own… Matt Stapleton by all reports was surprised at his wife’s actions, concerned by a message she had left him that prompted him to go search for them.  This is a woman whose husband is a school principal and knows the school system.  Do I even need to point out the implications of putting a special needs autistic child into the state foster system at 14 years old?

When you have two parents in the home and one is feeling “battle fatigued” and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (oh, have I been there) then communication with your spouse and others in your support network is imperative. SHE HAD THAT.  She didn’t call 911.  She didn’t call a suicide hotline.  She didn’t call her psychiatrist.  And rather than viewing this as the system failing her with a temporary setback, she stewed on the those issues for a couple of days and she deliberately chose her actions.  Actions which clearly stated,

“My way or no way at all.”

No, I can not identify with that at all.  I can not empathize with that at all.  Not when it comes to parenting, and not when it comes to parenting and advocating for an autistic child.

And so Issy deserves to be known for how amazing she is.  Not for the burden her mother had to carry in her advocacy.  Issy deserves to be known for her strength and her smiles and her love for her family.  She deserves to have it known that her father has been fighting for her since he found her, that he’s been by her side praying and asking for prayers from everyone he knows and those he doesn’t.  I wonder if he realizes just how many lives his daughter has touched.

I pray every day that she continues to improve and gain strength.  I pray that whatever brain damage she has, it’s minimal.  I pray that her community rallies around her and her father.  Amen.

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Severe Autism to the merest touch of Autism ie. Broad Autism Phenotype

Severe Autism to the merest touch of Autism ie. Broad Autism Phenotype

I’ve never kept it a secret from my daughter that she has Autism.  When she cried because “her brain doesn’t work the way she wants it to” sometimes; when she started to notice that some things are easier for her sisters and cousins and friends than for her; when she started to notice that her little sister was taking on a care-taking role with her very early on and was reaching many milestones at the same time or earlier; when she noticed that not all of the children in her classes required pull out time or a paraprofessional (she prefers the term teacher’s aid)… I didn’t hide the reason why.  Even from a young age she was begging me for answers; even when she had trouble formulating sentences, she needed to know why.

I have always presented it in a very positive way for her in spite of her difficulties.  I have explained why there are certain foods she shouldn’t have (it’s easier for her to think and concentrate and makes her feelings feel better).  I have explained that her Autism helps her think differently and creatively, and that there are very wonderful ways of thinking and very wonderful ideas that she has that I never would have imagined because my brain is “only typical” compared to hers.  I let her watch the movie Temple Grandin.  She connected with it.

We have more good days than bad, lately, but I think it’s because I don’t hyperfocus on what she can’t do anymore.  I fully accept her Autism, which means I accept HER.  She used to tell me that she hated her brain and her Autism and wanted to be just like her sisters and friends but now? She wants to be herself.  I saw her the night before school at the school picnic and a gaggle of her classmates came in.  This huge group of 5th grade girls saw Gracie and they all squealed, “GRACIE! YOU’RE HERE!”  She smiled and waved and said hi to them in her sweet, gentle way and I couldn’t help but get teary eyed.  The girls surrounded her and they all took turns asking her permission for a hug, telling her they missed her.  She actually gave them all permission for hugs.  She was in her glory.

Oh fluff, I’m crying right now retelling that story.

Don’t get wrong here.  We have some really bad moments.  Thankfully some of the “bad” times are just momentary and I’m thankful.  She’s having an easier time lately getting herself under control.  I think it scares her when she can’t control it.  We have bad half days.  We have bad days.  Weeks.  Months.  But my darling girl… she accepts herself and knowing what’s going on in her own brain helps her self-correct.  She knows to accept help when I offer… and I know to back off if she refuses.  She has learned to figure out her own warning signs and ask for help in holding them off.  She asks to help satisfy her sensory diet.  I was never sure she would get to that point.

She is accepting of herself, and realizes that her Autism is part of what makes her such a special young lady.  Being autistic is just like saying her hair is blonde, her eyes are blue, she loves strawberries, and she’s lactose intolerant.  If only others were so accepting and unafraid.  When the majority of autistics are not severe, when the spectrum is so wide that the majority isn’t even noticeable enough to require diagnosis, I wonder why so many are fearful and hateful and choose to remain uneducated.

I see her and other children she’s grown up around in school that have Autism and I see little people.  Future artists and engineers and technicians and actors.  I see the gift that they are.  I don’t see brain injuries  nor a disease because they’re not injured or diseased.  They are gifts.  They are treasures.  They have a disorder because they think differently in a world where most people don’t think the same way they do.  Oh well.  We can’t make the world change for them, but we can’t expect them to change for the world either.  Instead, I choose to prepare my daughter to cope with that world without having to change who she is.

It took me a long, long time to view my daughter’s Classic Autism, high functioning as it may be for her (and let’s face it, our family unit), as a gift.  It was difficult to see an end to the days that were endless struggles over everything.  I mean… everything.  When she didn’t know what was wrong and I didn’t know how to fix it.  Then I stopped looking for “why” it happened and I stopped asking God.  His answer to me was, “Why not.”  I had to be the mother she needs, and not the mother I wanted to be.   I’m a control freak and I had to let go.  I had to accept that things can be untidy and still turn out all right.  I had to trust in “not knowing” and even though I still worry and control what I can, it’s getting a little easier to let go.

Let go and let God.  But also, let Gracie.

And then today, I stumbled on this and it made me cry.  A young woman attending college and happens to have Autism.

My name is Shaina Barnett. I am 22 years old and a student at a community college in my area with high-functioning autism. I was diagnosed when I was only a toddler, in 1994. The funny thing was, I wasn’t truly aware of being different until I started asking myself why I could not somehow click into the crowd of kids in my classes. I was about 8 years old or so when my mother gave me the talk of autism. She said it was a gift I was given from God and with it, if used correctly, I can do wonders, move mountains, maybe even change the world. Of course, at the time I did not believe her. I just wanted to be able to play with the other children and share their experiences without being ridiculed or told of my faults. Middle school was such a nightmare. Other students knew I was different, but they used it as a weapon to break me. They pulled cruel pranks on me and called me hurtful names. Being a teenager at the time is hard enough, even without having autism. My safe haven was drawing comics, writing stories and poetry, and singing. Years went by and I felt I began to grow and blossom into a young lady. But I could not have done it without my high school mentor who was also my beloved homeroom teacher. We still remain very close. Being in and out of social skills programs gave me tools to be able to talk among my peers, however, I advanced past the expected curriculum. When I attended a Jewish summer camp, it greatly build my self-esteem and helped me grow to be the adult I am. I’m proud to have such positive experiences. I thank my superhero of a mom for being my support and my rock. She was right all along. I don’t think of my autism as a curse; if anything, it is my superpower, a power that not even DC Comics or Stan Lee could come up with. I have been BLESSED.

Shaina Barnett
Van Nuys, CA

SOURCE:  Autism: The Unexpected Journey (click here)

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Major brain structures implicated in autism.

Major brain structures implicated in autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are probably hundreds of blog posts and articles and thousands upon thousands of Facebook posts regarding this specific article and reblogging it dragging it up as if it’s new and shiny and a huge blow to the medical community and Pro-Vaccination Supporters:  Courts quietly confirm MMR Vaccine causes Autism (source is “Whiteout”    click here).  It’s very misleading and the article ignores facts, as usual.  But this article and dozens like it are being spread around as gospel truth without fact checking.  I suppose what’s understandable is that most people that fall for what’s in that article is because they don’t really follow through and find out the facts.  People rely on those they trust to interpret these things for them.  They rely on assumptions that what they’re reading is true and correct and unbiased.  That it’s factual.  That it can be proven.  Scientifically, even.

The “court” that is referred to in the Whiteout article and ruled against vaccines for causing an injury was the Italian court.  Court rulings, especially from the Italian court, do not equal science.  No court ruling, if we’re being accurate, equals science especially if it’s not the specially set up Vaccine Court.  The judgment from the Italian court wasn’t based in scientific fact or forensics, but they’re not typically known for that.  Hell, they like to retry people who were already found innocent in their own court system if their prosecutor didn’t like the result so that he has another chance to try to prove them guilty (Amanda Knox).  They even found six scientists guilty and gave very severe sentences to all six of them for failing to predict an earthquake (2009 earthquake).  EVEN THOUGH it’s beyond the ability of ANY modern scientist to predict an earthquake.  An Italian court ordered a father to pay his 32 year old employed, professional daughter that still lived with him her allowance and since he had stopped paying her, and he was forced to pay over €12,000 in arrears plus reinstate a €350-a-month allowance.  My point is to take the original article for what it’s worth, which is less than nothing.

Additionally, the claim by the petitioner was  originally that Ryan Mojabi had Autism as a result of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, but the Secretary of Health and Human Services did believe that he had Encephalopathy as result of the MMR vaccine.  Also, they ruled only that compensation is appropriate under their rules.

Regarding whether the MMR actually causes Encephalopathy ie. Enchephalitis ie. disorder of the brain:

…In the section Post-Marketing Reports, encephalitis (infection of the brain) was added to reflect the receipt of reports following ProQuad vaccination. Previously, this adverse reaction was listed under adverse events seen after MMR or varicella vaccination. Encephalitis has been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of MMR vaccine. Post-marketing surveillance of more than 400 million doses distributed worldwide (1978 to 2003) indicates that encephalitis is rarely reported after MMR vaccination. In no case has it been shown conclusively that encephalitis was caused by a vaccine virus infection of the central nervous system. There was no proven causal relationship between ProQuad and any of the reported cases that prompted the change in the label…

SOURCE: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm070425.htm

It sounds scary but even in cases where someone contracted Encephalitis/Encephalopathy after receiving the MMR vaccine, it can’t be considered a causal link.  One huge reason why is because Autism and Encephalitis are not the same aka Encephalitis is not Autism.  It may share some similarities but it is not Autism.  Encephalitis does not lead to or cause Autism.  Secondly, someone contracting a disease after they receive the vaccination against it is not proof that the vaccination caused the disease.  Other contributing factors are ignored.  Thirdly, someone showing symptoms of a disorder after receiving a vaccination is not, again, not proof that the vaccination caused the disorder.  Many times the signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder NATURALLY do not begin to show persistently until the same time certain vaccines are routinely given.  In someone who already has ASD in their genetic code, it’s possible that vaccines could be one of the environmental triggers, sure.  That’s being researched by reputable scientists.  We saw a dramatic increase in symptoms and massive regressions when we moved house at the age of 18 months.  At the same time, we tried to take away the pacifier and and encourage moving out of the crib to a toddler bed.

There are many causes of Encephalitis.  The claimants ended up revising their claim to (paraphrasing) saying that the MMR caused Encephalopathy/Encephalitis that led to Autism.   However, in an U.S. court it’s very unlikely that they would have won.

Oh wait… more facts.  I love facts.

The The Encephalitis Society that’s based in the UK has a brilliant fact sheet about Encephalitis (go ahead, click here).  They clearly state their view on MMR vaccination:

Measles infection and encephalitis
Measles causes encephalitis in around 1 in 1,000 children. Measles encephalitis
caused the death of Roald Dahl’s daughter Olivia in 1962. He became an ardent
supporter of measles vaccination as a result of the tragic loss of his daughter. He wrote
a letter to parents encouraging them to get their children vaccinated (see copy of letter
attached). He dedicated James and the Giant Peach and the BFG to Olivia.
Other countries such as Italy and Ireland have had epidemics of measles in recent
years because not enough children have had the MMR vaccine. As a result, children
have developed encephalitis and children have died from measles in those countries.
Measles is also the cause of a disease called Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis
(SSPE). This is a rare condition that can develop some years after natural measles
infection. The average time between someone having measles to the fi rst symptoms of
SSPE is around 8 years. It is a degenerative neurological condition which progressively
destroys nerve cells in the brain almost always leading to mental deterioration and death.
Children are especially at risk of SSPE if they are very young when they catch measles. It
affects around 1 in 8,000 children who are infected when they are under 2 years old.
SSPE is not caused by the MMR vaccine. Measles vaccine and MMR vaccine directly
protect against SSPE.
Since the introduction of measles vaccine in the 1960s, the numbers of people
diagnosed with SSPE has decreased dramatically, and the death rate from SSPE is
expected to fall even further if measles remains under control.

Mumps infection and encephalitis
Mumps virus frequently infects the central nervous system. Before the MMR vaccine
was introduced mumps used to be the most common cause of admission to hospital
with meningitis or encephalitis, occurring in 1 in 200-5,000 children. It also causes
deafness. MMR vaccine has had a dramatic impact and hardly any children are
admitted to hospital with mumps these days. Outbreaks of mumps have occurred in
the last few years in older children and young adults who were too old to have received
the two doses of MMR vaccine recommended before going to school.

Rubella virus and encephalitis
Rubella virus causes severe brain injury in children if their mother is infected in early
pregnancy. The brain injury is caused by meningo-encephalitis, part of the “congenital
rubella syndrome”. Rubella virus can also cause a progressive “pan-encephalitis” later
in life in children who were infected in the womb and survived but remain chronically
infected. Before MMR was introduced cases of congenital rubella still occurred in the UK. We could not
control the infection when we only gave the vaccine to teenage girls because the rubella virus
continued to circulate in younger children, teenage boys and young men. The small percentage
of mothers who were not protected fully by rubella vaccine caught rubella, often from their own
children or their partner. The only way to be sure of protecting unborn babies is to stop the rubella
virus circulating in the whole community. Now this has happened, and it is one of the great
successes of MMR vaccine.
Few young mothers will have any personal experience of the effects of rubella today, which were
well known in the past. Agatha Christie illustrated it very well in her murder mystery story, The
Mirror Cracked from Side to Side. An actress murders the person she finds gave her rubella years
before when she was pregnant with her only child, who was born severely brain injured.
Charities such as Sense are campaigning to help restore MMR vaccination coverage to previous
levels (http://www.sense.org.uk/publications/allpubs/rubella/mmrmp.htm)

MMR vaccine
MMR vaccine is a very effective way to prevent measles, mumps and rubella. All three of these
infections are important causes of encephalitis, and before MMR vaccine was introduced all three
infections were common in the UK
There is a wide range of authoritative information available on the good safety record of MMR
vaccine (see http://www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk/). The vaccine is unequivocally safer than letting
children catch the diseases. 

Useful and reliable websites
http://www.sense.org.uk
http://www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk
http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/vaccination/mmr.htm
http://www.immunisation.org.uk/

The fact is that United States Vaccine Courts have not ruled in favor of claims that vaccines cause Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The reason is because there is no factual, scientific link.  There was no “black out” in U.S. media regarding the Italian court ruling because no one really takes the Italian court seriously except to ask, “What the ever-loving fuck were they thinking?”

Check this out:

After considering the record as a whole, I hold that petitioners have failed to
establish by preponderant evidence that Colten’s condition was caused or significantly
aggravated by a vaccine or any component thereof. The evidence presented was both
voluminous and extraordinarily complex. After careful consideration of all of the
evidence, it was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were
speculative and unpersuasive. Respondent’s experts were far more qualified, better
supported by the weight of scientific research and authority, and simply more
persuasive on nearly every point in contention. Because of pervasive quality control
problems at a now-defunct laboratory that tested a key piece of evidence, petitioners
could not reliably demonstrate the presence of a persistent measles virus in Colten’s
central nervous system. Petitioners failed to establish that measles virus can cause

autism or that it did so in Colten. They failed to demonstrate that amount of
ethylmercury in TCVs causes immune system suppression or dysregulation. They
failed to show that Colten’s immune system was dysregulated. Although Colten’s
condition markedly improved between his diagnosis and the hearing, the experimental
treatments he received cannot be logically or scientifically linked to the theories of
causation. Given the advice that petitioners received from a treating physician, Colten’s
parents brought this action in good faith and upon a reasonable basis. However, they
have failed to demonstrate vaccine causation of Colten’s condition by a preponderance
of the evidence. Therefore, I deny their petition for compensation.

SOURCE: 
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS
OFFICE OF SPECIAL MASTERS
No. 01-162V

The decision made on the above-quoted court case has in fact been upheld since the 2009 ruling when appeals were processed and heard.

Here are additional U.S. Court Federal Rulings: http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/node/5026:

  1. Court Rulingas Dont Confirm Autism-Vaccine Link – Forbes.
  2. The General Medical Council to Andrew Wakefield: “The panel is satisfied that your conduct was irresponsible and dishonest” « Science-Based Medicine.
  3. Washington Post Article Regarding U.S. Federal Rulings
  4. Washington Post Article Regarding the Debunking of Wakefield’s Hoax
  5. Neurologica: Summary of the Court Ruling That MMR Vaccine Doesn’t Cause Autism
  6. The worst of times for antivaccine believers: Yet another study fails to show any link between the MMR vaccine and autism « Science-Based Medicine.
  7. One Thing We Know About Autism: Vaccines Arent to Blame (via National Geographic).
  8. The Hannah Poling case and the rebranding of autism by antivaccinationists as a mitochondrial disorder (worth noting with this one: Hannah Poling’s mother SHARES THE SAME GENETIC MITOCHONDRIAL DISORDER THEY SUED FOR « Science-Based Medicine.
  9. ‘The MMR-autism theory? There’s nothing in it’ Michael Fitzpatrick talks to Stephen Bustin, whose devastating testimony in a US court demolished the last shred of evidence against vaccines.| Dr Michael Fitzpatrick | spiked.
  10. Statistics Reports Directly from the Health Resources and Services Administration
  11. The Health Resources and Services Administration Vaccine Table (every parent and person who receives vaccinations should have this) AND the revision here 

In each of the U.S. court cases and rulings above, when appeals were heard, they were still denied as being unfounded.  However, this is very interesting to note in the Cedillo case, and I think it’s wonderfully compassionate because of the decision by the Vaccine Court:

….. “After studying the extensive evidence in this case for many months, I am convinced that the reports and advice given to the Cedillos by Dr. Krigsman and some other physicians, advising the Cedillos that there is a causal connection between Michelle’s MMR vaccination and her chronic conditions, have been very wrong. Unfortunately, the Cedillos have been misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgmentNevertheless, I can understand why the Cedillos found such reports and advice to be believable under the circumstances. 
I conclude that the Cedillos filed this Program claim in good faith….

DECISION
HASTINGS, Special Master.

This is an action in which the petitioners, Michael and Theresa Cedillo, seek an award under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (see 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-10 et seq.2) on account of several conditions, including autism and chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, which afflict their1On October 30, 2008, petitioners filed a notice waiving their 14-day “waiting period” pursuant to Vaccine Rule 18(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-12(d)(4)(B). Accordingly, this document will be made available to the public immediately, as petitioners have requested.

2The applicable statutory provisions defining the Program are found at 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-10 et seq. (2000). Herein after, for ease of citation, all “§” references will be to 42 U.S.C. (2000). I will also sometimes refer to the act of Congress that created the Program as the “Vaccine Act.”  Daughter, Michelle Cedillo. I conclude that the petitioners have not demonstrated that they aren’t entitled to an award on Michelle’s behalf. I will set forth the reasons for that conclusion in detailbelow. However, at this point I will briefly summarize the reasons for my conclusion. The petitioners in this case have advanced a causation theory that has several parts, including
contentions (1) that thimerosal-containing vaccines can cause immune dysfunction, (2) that the MMR vaccine can cause autism, and (3) that the MMR vaccine can cause chronic gastrointestinal dysfunction. However, as to each of those issues, I concluded that the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the petitioners’ contentions. The expert witnesses presented by the respondent were far better qualified, far more experienced, and far more persuasive than the petitioners’ experts, concerning most of the key points. The numerous medical studies concerning these issues, performed by medical scientists worldwide, have come down strongly against the petitioners’ contentions. Considering all of the evidence, I found that the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that thimerosal-containing vaccines can contribute to causing immune dysfunction, or that the MMR vaccine can contribute to causing either autism or gastrointestinal dysfunction. I further conclude that while Michelle Cedillo has tragically suffered from autism and other severe conditions, the petitioners have also failed to demonstrate that her vaccinations played any role at all in causing those problems.” 

Regarding the Hazelhurst decision:

Hazlehurst decision:

The published articles on which petitioners rely most particularly are the Wakefield series of articles and the 2002 Uhlmann article (the judge here is referring to Wakefield’s hoaxed article in the Lancet). These articles were addressed in Section III.C.1 and Section III.C.4.e, above, and were determined to be scientifically unreliable. Dr. MacDonald testified about the problems identified by the scientific community with
each of the articles in the series of publications by Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues. See Hazlehurst Tr. at 629A-638. Dr. Bustin, Dr. Chadwick, Dr. Griffin, and Dr. Ward also testified about the published findings and the practices at the Unigenetics lab where similar findings were made; they addressed in detail the questionable test results reported,
the irregularities in laboratory test procedures, and the inability of accredited laboratories to replicate the positive measles findings. See Section III.C.4.g and Section III.C.4.e, above.

Dr. Corbier’s opinion regarding the role that vaccines play in causing autism is premised, in part, on studies that have reported a finding of measles virus in the tissues taken from the gut of autistic children. See id. at 327A. Dr. Corbier admitted during his testimony that if there were no evidence of persistent measles virus, his current position of vaccine-related causation would be “lessen[ed].” Id. at 416A

Because the linchpin of petitioners’ theory, the finding of persistent measles virus in the biopsied tissue taken from the gastrointestinal lining of autistic children, is glaringly unreliable, the basis for Dr. Corbier’s opinion that the MMR vaccine was causally related to Yates’ autism and his gastrointestinal symptoms is critically flawed and scientifically
untenable. Petitioners have failed to prove that their theory of vaccine-related causation is biologically plausible as required by the first prong of Althen. Nor have petitioners demonstrated that the unsupported links of their proposed causal chain cohere to establish a logical sequence of cause and effect as required by the second prong of Althen. Having failed to satisfy their evidentiary burden, petitioners cannot prevail on their vaccine claim.

Accordingly, the undersigned need not reach or consider any alternative theories of causation.

V. Conclusion
The Hazlehursts’ experience as parents of an autistic child, as described during the evidentiary hearing in this case, has been a very difficult one. The undersigned is moved as a person and as a parent by the Hazlehursts’ account and again extends to the Hazlehursts very sincere sympathy for the challenges they face with Yates. The undersigned’s charge, however, does not permit decision making on the basis of sentiment but rather requires a careful legal analysis of the evidence.

The parties have submitted a wealth of evidence and have presented the testimony of a number of experts who have extensive clinical and research experience in the particular areas of interest in this case. Having carefully and fully considered the evidence, the undersigned concludes that the combination of the thimerosal-containing vaccines and the MMR vaccine are not causal factors in the development of autism and
therefore, could not have contributed to the development of Yates’ autism. The weight of the presented evidence that is scientifically reliable and methodologically sound does not
support petitioners’ claim. Petitioners have failed to establish entitlement to compensation under the Vaccine Act. Absent the filing of a timely motion for review, the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment accordingly.

So.  You’ll also hear that bowel disorders, which are statistically high in people that have Autism and other neurological disorder, are “linked to vaccines.”  Remember that this claim comes from Andrew Wakefield.  When he first claimed this his peers worldwide rejected his hypothesis and his findings as fraudulent immediately.  Do you want to know why it’s common for there to be bowel disorders in autistics? Because when the baby is still developing and the cells are forming, the cells that will become the brain and the cells that will become the bowels ARE RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER and there’s a possibility that some of those cells were initially shared.  That also explains food sensitivities and allergies that are common in autistics.  The biological basis for this is factual, not supposed or guessed at.  I think I’ve written about this before.  And because I love to point out how Wakefield is a jackass that can’t be trusted:

The General Medical Council stated this in their actual report against Wakefield:

In reaching its decision, the Panel notes that the project reported in the Lancet paper was established with the purpose to investigate a postulated new syndrome and yet the Lancet paper did not describe this fact at all. Because you drafted and wrote the final version of the paper, and omitted correct information about the purpose of the study or the patient population, the Panel is satisfied that your conduct was irresponsible and dishonest.

The Panel is satisfied that your conduct at paragraph 32.a would be considered by ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people to be dishonest.

The General Medical Council found Andrew Wakefield UNFIT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE due to his fraudulent claims.  He was stripped of his license to practice.  It only took 20 years but it happened in 2010  and it was a glorious day for Autism Advocacy.  Why? It was acknowledged in the scientific community publicly that he intentionally produced fraudulent results.  There is actual proof of this.

Hmmm… how do I know this?  I don’t know…. maybe I have more proof such as this:  The General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Panel Hearing 28 January 2010: Andrew Jeremy Wakefield: It lays out very clearly the fraudulence and how it was determined.  It’s very, very thorough.  He is called dishonest, misleading, and irresponsible by a council of his peers.  It was found that he lied to an Ethics Committee about his findings and how he obtained them.  He even gave the few “clinical” subjects he had experimental drugs of his own that weren’t approved for trial.  The General Medical Council applies the standards of the Criminal Justice System.  That means that they rely on proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  They can not apply the standards of the Civil Justice System.  Remember…. these are medical professionals in a medical hearing poring over every single shred of Wakefield’s recorded actions, words, “studies,” and anything else he provided himself.

All of that said, I do not deny that vaccines can cause injuries.  I know it happens.  There is a VERY GOOD REASON FOR VACCINE COURT TO EXIST.  There is a VERY GOOD REASON AND RESOURCE IN THE VACCINE TABLE.  I know that vaccines can affect the nervous system.  Most sensitivity reactions and allergic reactions are temporary, thank God.  When those reactions do happen, it makes perfect sense to never give that person the same vaccine as a booster later on and question the safety of vaccines and their specific ingredients as triggers for that specific person and their family members.  My own mother can’t have the egg-based vaccines due to a serious egg allergy.   She can’t have the annual shot in the arm for influenza.  I have friends that are so immune compromised that they can’t have the vaccines at all due to the risks of their disorders.  So I weigh the risks.  I weigh statistics.

My efforts here are about debunking the harmful beliefs and harmful spreading of lies that vaccines cause Autism.  It perpetuates the idea that Autism is an injury, and therefore horrible something to discriminate against.  Let me state this clearly.  Autism is not brain damage.  AUTISM IS NOT BRAIN DAMAGE.  Ask some adult autistics and see how they feel about that.  You might be shocked at their opinion of the Vaccine Denialism movement.

I know I’ve said this before: As secure as I am in my choice to vaccinate my family as a very safe and very sound judgment call FOR US… I do have moments of doubt.  They’re fleeting and maybe once every couple of years.  Sort of like any other parenting decision my husband and I make.  It’s hard to feel like an adequate parent when you have a child with Autism.  I do often wonder if I’m the mother she needs.  But I see so much improvement in her with each passing year.  I remember the complications in my pregnancy and delivery.  I remember how my doctor was hesitant to intervene so that we could see if the delivery complications would resolve themselves.  I remember hearing she had a murmur and tiny hole in her heart that resolved itself, but we still have to check it every well child visit.  We still made sure that all of our children, even before having an autistic child, were on the delayed vaccination schedule because that’s just how we roll and we found a pediatrician who automatically followed the recommended delayed schedule.  From birth she NEVER hit any of her physical milestones and at birth (in fact in utero) showed immediate signs of Sensory Processing Disorder.  The nurses and pediatrician noticed, as did I.  But I didn’t realize what the SPD would mean.  Throughout her babyhood, she was always in the extremely late end of typical in achieving milestones.  We did have her neurologically tested but it was inconclusive.  She didn’t walk until she was a week or two away from turning 2 years old.  And yet when we had her evaluated then…. it was within normal limits.

So I guess the purpose of this post is to ACTUALLY educate people.  Fear tactics only use partial truths to try to boost their arguments, and that’s simply not right.  It’s downright dangerous.  Make decisions, even if you’re still uncomfortable vaccinating in the end, having read fact instead of fear-based propaganda.  Weigh the risks… because there ARE risks.  In other words if your instincts tell you not to do something? If your gut says, “We shouldn’t vaccinate.” then that’s splendid reason enough not to do it if you have support from your pediatrician and your own primary care physician.  You don’t need my approval.  I won’t pass judgment.  Truly I won’t.  I might judge if your decision was based on advice from Jenny McCarthy, though.  😉  I don’t really care one way or the other because my family IS vaccinated.   That means I’ve given my family the protection that I felt was safe.

What I care about is being truly informed and educated rather than relying on partial truths and twisting them around to fit an agenda.  But the suggestion that Autism and other neurological disorders are caused by vaccines doesn’t make sense.  There has never been evidence supporting the claim that vaccines cause Mitochondrial Disease or Autistic Disorders or Encephalopathy.  Autism is mitochondrial ie. genetic and there is more and more overwhelming proof of this coming out year after year, day after day.  It’s so easy to find.  So, so so easy.  It’s not hard to understand the information when you find it.

Relating to fear-mongeringand the dangers :

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English: Preparation of measles vaccine at the...

English: Preparation of measles vaccine at the Tirana (Albania) Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology. Two technicians, wearing surgical gowns, are making small openings in eggs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, who knows what a Trace Amount of Thimerosal is? Who knows what Thimerosal is? It’s the mercury-containing organic compound used since the 30’s as a preservative in vaccines. It’s been mostly phased out in the United States. Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine although that is actually changing.

What is a trace amount? Do you know? In scientific terms? It’s an amount that is detectable but not able to be quantified.  You can’t even measure a trace amount, that’s how insignificant it is.  Even if you added up all of the possible vaccinations someone could receive in their lifetime and took the trace amounts of whatever ingredients there are trace amounts of, guess what they’d add up to? They’d still be detectable but unable to be quantified or, you know, trace amounts.

But hey, let’s get nitty gritty on Thimerosal and vaccines.  Let’s use actual science and resources and debunk some chizz in the chizzle.

Thimerosal is still used in the early stages of the manufacturing process of a few vaccines to ensure the production line is sterile.  It is removed through a purification process, with only trace remaining (about 1/100th of the amount found in older vaccines).

Vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal are labeled “preservative-free.” Vaccines that do not contain any thimerosal are labeled “thimerosal-free.” Manufacturers are working to remove this trace amount found in a few vaccines.

You need to know this.  The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines do not and never did contain thimerosal. Varicella (chickenpox), inactivated polio (IPV), and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have also never contained thimerosal.  

I do realize that a rabid anti-vacc’er will likely respond that they’d just rather be safe than sorry and avoid the other “poisons” in the vaccines.  But here’s something they don’t think about at all.  Because vaccines WORK they have the luxury of thinking this way.  Because their children don’t suffer from polio, they can afford to think this way.  Because it’s 2013 and not 1913 they can afford to think this way.  They have the luxury of panicking over things that won’t happen and worrying over what will happen if they DO GET the vaccination rather than what will occur if they don’t get it.   Or, you know, they would rather assume that they’re saving their children from a vaccine “injury” that they’ve decided to believe Autism is.  This is actually to be expected since in the current generation raising small children and teens ie. my generation and those parents who are much younger than myself, most of the diseases I’m talking about in this post have not been seen by anti-vacc’ers.  They use terms like “people are starting to wake up to the truth about vaccines and soon the laws will work in our favor so that no one will have to get vaccinated before attending school because we’re the educated ones! We’re the ones who love our children enough to keep that poison out of them! We love our kids enough to go that extra mile in research! WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN MORE THAN VACCINATING PARENTS!”  It becomes so mommier-than-thou and competitive that it’s sickening.  I can reverse it and say that I love my kids SO MUCH that I made certain they received their vaccinations.  How’s that? But I’m not like that because I do believe that people deserve to make their own medical decisions.

What I don’t believe is right is pushing harmful falsehoods and presenting them as facts.  I don’t believe putting up certain individuals as experts when they’ve done incredible damage to the Autism community as a whole and to vaccinations worldwide is responsible.  I believe pushing agendas in order to try to sell your own herbal supplements and claim they’re “all natural” and “better than medicine and will cure you of your ills” is irresponsible, criminal and downright dangerous.  I believe touting homeopathic remedies as the only way to go and telling others that modern medicine is intentionally out to harm them is stupidity.

It makes as much sense as some people avoiding vaccines for the microchips that they think President Obama is forcing the pharmaceutical companies to inject in people in order to keep track of them and find out everything about them.

What else do you need to know?  Let’s see… I think I saw someone whose opinion on this sort of thing I used to trust say that “even the AAP doesn’t support vaccines” or paraphrased as such.  If you go directly to the AAP web site you’ll find:

“thimerosal-containing vaccines do not increase the risk of autism.”

Immunizations protect children. Vaccine-preventable diseases can have dangerous consequences, including

seizures, brain damage, blindness and even death. Because of the success of the national immunization program,
many young parents today have never seen a case of one of these illnesses, but measles, meningitis, chickenpox,
pertussis and other diseases exist in the world and would re-emerge here if immunization rates fell. For example,
recent outbreaks of measles in the U.S. were traced to unvaccinated children who became infected while
traveling in Europe… “

In other words, the AAP finds childrens’ vaccines to be safe and certainly far safer statistically than the alternative.

Now, I’m not talking about people that have a proven, known allergy or sensitivity to certain ingredients in vaccinations.  Some people are allergic to egg whites and can’t have vaccines in injection form.  Some people are allergic to other ingredients in vaccines and have reactions or injuries to them.  I’m also not stating that people don’t ever have vaccine injury or that vaccines don’t ever contribute to triggering Autism from coming out in someone that is already predisposed to Autism.

The vaccines that do contain thimerosal ARE NOT routinely recommended for young children and are not routinely given to older persons.   Another worry eliminated for those on the paranoid end of the vaccination debate.

Oh, I have to laugh at this one.  I saw just today someone argue against vaccines for the reason that they contain deactivated viruses and bacteria that we’re trying to innoculate ourselves against and therefore, the vaccination is poisonous and shouldn’t be injected into anyone let alone poor helpless children.  Proof that some people just don’t understand science.  Or, you know, the human body and how antibodies and chizz like that works.

More science!  Like, actual real science! Thimerosal does not stay in the body a long time so it does not build up and reach harmful levels. When thimerosal enters the body, it breaks down, to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate, which are easily eliminated by the body.   We’re naturally exposed to much, much higher doses of mercury in our environment and food supply daily (yes, even organic food) so yes the government’s goal is to try to remove as much exposure to various forms of mercury as possible.  Wait… what? Well let me explain.  That’s why we have TRACE AMOUNTS.  Trace amounts that even an infant can handle.

Know why? Because the human body is amazing.  On the one hand, anti-vacc’ers with an agenda will try to convince you that these horrible toxins will destroy the brains of our children and teens and yet in the next breath when they introduce their agenda as innocently as possible they tell you how amazing the recuperative powers of our body are and how our bodies can handle anything.  Which one is it? Our bodies are amazing and deal with toxins much, much more efficiently than they would have you believe considering when trying to convince you to shun modern medicine and its marvels, shun science, and shun the miracle that is vaccinations.

I’ll tell you a real truth that even Google will tell you.  There’s far more mercury in the fish and shellfish that you feed your child or that you eat and then breastfeed to your baby.  Oh, it gets better though.  Listen up.  Independent scientists have determined that the form of ethyl mercury in thimerosal is far less dangerous than methyl mercury, the form found in seafood.  I can repeat that because I didn’t stutter that time.  The mercury found in seafood like tuna and salmon and other fish plus shellfish is found in far higher quantities in one meal than in all of the doses of any possible vaccine you’ll ever receive in a lifetime AND the mercury found in seafood in MORE DANGEROUS to pregnant women and infants they nurse and to children than that the type of mercury in Thimerosal.  This is an indisputable scientific fact verified by independent scientists who have no ties to pharmaceuticals.

Studies done to date show no association between neuro-developmental disorders, such as Autism, and thimerosal.  I’m saying that again because it needs to be repeated.  The AAP stated it.  The CDC has said it.  The FDA has said it.  Independent scientists are saying it.  Scientists in Europe are saying it.  Scientists who were offended at the hoax perpetuated by Andrew Wakefield and tarnished the reputation of The Lancet and the scientific community.  Real, actual scientists who have nothing to gain unlike Wakefield, who was trying to gain notoriety, fame, and money.  I’ve blogged extensively about his horrific hoax so I’m not going to repeat it here.  Suffice it to say, he’s a raging lunatic and shouldn’t be considered a sympathetic figure by anyone.  He makes a lovely companion for Jenny Whackadoodle McCarthy and her Whackadoodle Brigade.

Ahem.

A recent study (Sept. 2010) published in the Journal of Pediatrics looked at over 1,008 children and their exposure to thimerosal during pregnancy and early childhood and found that thimerosal-containing vaccines did not increase a child’s risk of getting autism.

A study (Jan. 2009) published in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at over 1,400 children and found no association between thimerosal exposure in vaccines and developmental problems.

In December 2007 the Archives of General Psychiatry published findings that autism cases in California continued to increase even after thimerosal was removed as a preservative from routine childhood shots in 2001.

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (Sept. 2007) analyzed data on over 1000 children and assessed 42 neuro-psychological outcomes. They did not find an association between early exposure to mercury from thimerosal and neuropsychological disorders. The authors consulted with a wide variety of outside experts and advocates including experts in toxicology, epidemiology, biostatistics, psychology, vaccine safety and a representative from the autism advocacy community. (This study did not assess autism; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting a separate autism study.)

A Canadian study (July 2006) found that thimerosal exposure from vaccines was unrelated to the increasing trend in pervasive developmental disorder prevalence.
In a 2004 report, a panel of medical experts at the Institutes of Medicine reviewed dozens of studies and found no evidence that thimerosal in vaccines cause autism.
The CDC examined the incidence of autism and other neurological disorders in relation to the amount of thimerosal in vaccines. Their report (Nov. 2003) found no change in autism rates relative to the amount of thimerosal a child received from vaccines in the first six months of life. In other words, a child who received more thimerosal was not more likely to be autistic.

If you want to be sure that there isn’t any mercury or preservatives in vaccinations for your children ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK YOUR PEDIATRICIAN TO ORDER THEM PRESERVATIVE FREE.   Who would have thought? Sanofi Pasteur has a flu shot for children age 6 months to 3 years that is thimerosal-free and limited amounts of thimerosal-free flu vaccine for older ages.  Novartis produces a limited amount of preservative-free (only a trace) flu shots for people that are 4 years of age and older.   Two additional flu vaccines are also available for persons age 18 years and older; thimerosal-free, single dose Afluria and preservative-free single dose Fluarix.  There’s also a nasal-spray flu vaccine, made from a weakened live virus, which does not contain egg whites or thimerosal. Healthy people that are aged 2 through 49 years of age can receive this vaccine.

What else anti-vacc’ers won’t tell you? Autism rates have not decreased since removing Thimerosal from vaccines.   Fact.

I think that what bothers me most about this debate regarding vaccines is that the people who have no problem spreading dangerous propaganda (Hello Jenny McCarthy, looking at you and your Whackadoodle Brigade) against vaccinations always, always have an ulterior motive and agenda.  Think about that.  They try to convince you that medicine is bad, but good doctors don’t push med after med after med.  Every doctor I’ve had for myself and my children has ALWAYS touted the benefits of natural remedies in conjunction with modern medicine.  They take their cues from holistics that make sense.  Drug pushing doctors aren’t doctors at all, and I wouldn’t go anywhere near them or trust them.  But I don’t trust anyone who would tell you not to trust any type of medicine either.  They will always have their own agenda, and are likely trying to sell you something to line their own pockets.  They’ll talk to you about “literature” and “research” and “articles.”  What they show you will be opinion pieces, propaganda sites, and they will always sound reasonable.  But nothing they show is actually scientific.  In fact they try to convince you that even independent scientists have a nefarious agenda where the government and big pharma are trying to line their pockets and can’t be trusted.  Don’t trust science! Don’t trust scientific proof! Trust ME! Trust ME WITH THE homeopathic remedies from my homeopathic company instead of giving your money to your doctor and trusted science! With the logic they use, they have to also believe that the Earth is flat and the moon landing was a hoax.

I love science.  I just love it.  Why? Because I can find things like this:

MMR: Measles, Mumps, Rubella.

  • September 2008 case-control studyExternal Web Site Icon published in Public Library of Science (PLoS) was conducted in 2004-2008 to determine whether results from an earlier study that claimed to find measles virus RNA in the intestinal tissue of a specific group of autistic children could be confirmed. The results could not be confirmed, and no link between MMR and autism was found.

  • An April 2006 study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of NIH and the CDC assessed data from 351 children with autism spectrum disorders and 31 typically-developing children. The study did not find a link between MMR vaccination and autism. The results were published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

  • February 2004 case-control studyExternal Web Site Icon examined the possible relationship between exposure to the MMR vaccine and autism in Atlanta, Georgia. The results were published in Pediatrics.

  • A November 2002 study by CDC and the Danish Medical Research Council that followed more than 500,000 children over 7 years and found no association between MMR vaccination and autism. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control has a system in place to rigorously track what it calls “adverse events” associated with vaccinations? Chyeah!  They study very closely and carefully what adverse events occur, when they happen, who they happen to, and when.  They study the patterns in intense detail and everyone from infant to adult is encouraged to report ANY reactions of any kind to their doctor or family practitioner or nurse practitioner.  Your medical provider will report it for you.

Do you know what to look for as a “severe adverse reaction?”  It’s easy.  Coma, brain damage, or death.  Guess how often severe adverse reactions are reported? Less than one in a million children, according to the CDC (unless you’re so rabid of an anti-vacc’er that you don’t trust the CDC or FDA or AAP)  Do you know how rare that is?  It’s so rare that those particular injuries may not even be because of the vaccinations that were given around the time of the injury.  It could be .due to any number of things that parents don’t take into account.

Do you know what to look for as an allergic reaction that should be reported? The most common side-effects are minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.  It’s typical for there to be some swelling, warmth, a body temp increase up to 100.5*F but no higher, slight nausea, decrease in appetite, crankiness, soreness at the site, and slight headache.  Those symptoms go away.  Some people actually are allergic to thimerosal and an allergic reaction will be more serious and remarkable enough to call the doctor.  If you describe the reaction and the doctor is concerned, or if you go in for a visit and the doctor is concerned, then be concerned.  That said:  Research (check the CDC, but there are multiple unbiased sources as well) shows that most people who are allergic to thimerosal will not have a reaction when thimerosal is injected under the skin.

Next you have to consider the risks of the actual diseases that vaccinations attempt to reduce the risk of occurring.

The HIB (Haemophilius influenzae) vaccine prevents bacterial meningitis.   Before that vaccine’s introduction in 1987, about one in 200 children under five in the United States got Hib meningitis every year, and 600 died of it, while others were left mentally retarded or deaf.  Now that people are immunized, incidence of Hib has declined by 98%.

When is the last time anyone saw polio? Maybe with our parents, most certainly our grandparents.  With our grandparents it was common to see children, teens, and adults using wheelchairs or iron lungs because they had survived polio.  Many, many, many others did not survive polio because polio kills.  13,000-20,000 cases of paralytic polio were reported each year before the shot was introduced in 1955.  With the introduction of continued use of the polio vaccine it has been virtually eliminated in the United States and the western hemisphere.  I say “virtually” because guess what?  Poliovirus is incurable.  Incurable.  It’s contagious during the ten days before the person infected shows any signs of infection.  Due to the Anti-Vaccination Movement, polio has in fact been found again in the U.S.

So is measles on a greater scale, another killer when it’s not identified and treated.  If it doesn’t kill, it has serious complications.  You can look them up if you don’t believe me.

Whooping cough ie Rubella.  That’s a really scary one.  That one can pass directly from mother to child without Mom ever being the wiser because she thinks she’s the safest person to be around her child and hey, maybe she’s even breastfeeding.  But whooping cough can break ribs from coughing so hard.  The hard, hacking, whooping cough can last for months.

Chicken pox is dangerous.  Look it up… varicella.  The one that comes back in adulthood as Shingles and is a motherfucking bitch, especially for someone with Fibromyalgia (can you tell I speak from experience here?).   Chicken pox causes:  dehydration; pneumonia; bleeding problems; infection or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia); bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including Group A streptococcal infections; blood stream infections (sepsis); toxic shock syndrome; bone infections; joint infections.  It is also proven that people with serious complications from chickenpox can become so sick that they need to be hospitalized. Chickenpox can also cause death.  Death.  From what you might consider “just some silly childhood disease I had once.”  Consider this.  While our parents were easing our sores as children from chicken pox and maybe even took us to their friends’ houses because their friends’ children had chicken pox and they wanted us to catch it in order to “get it over with” there were deaths occurring all over the United States and thousands and thousands more deaths around the world.  Before modern medicine, it was even more dangerous.  And yet still in this day and age deaths still occur from chickenpox in the U.S. in healthy, unvaccinated children and adults. Many of the healthy adults who die from chickenpox contracted the disease from their unvaccinated children.  Children who would have been vaccinated at 12-18 months old.

Deadly diseases are making a comeback because we are a global community.  People travel all the time from countries where these diseases are still common and they bring them back here to the United States where we think of them as “eradicated.”  But guess what? Travelers are carriers.  Travelers from those countries visiting here may have those illnesses and not be showing signs of them.  They can pass them to your un-vaccinated children.  And because you think that these diseases are no big deal or you can rely on herd immunity or the diseases don’t exist any more you’ll be in for a rude awakening when your child ends up in the emergency room and the residents don’t know what they’re looking at.

What I’m saying is that you need to weigh the REAL risk of the illnesses being vaccinated against and the risk of the improbable mild to severe reaction to a vaccination unless there has already been a proven allergic reaction in that same person or their parent or a sibling.

What anti-vacc’ers don’t tell you is that there is a very high population of non-vacc’d children that are autistic. There are adults who were never vacc’d that are autistic. People simply don’t account for better diagnostic criteria, wider diagnostic criteria, parents pushing for diagnoses due to better education about Autism, better there wereducation in specialists about Autism, etc for higher “rates.” Another reason for the higher “rates” is that children are being diagnosed much younger than ever before… children can be accurately diagnosed as early as 2 years old and in many cases, 18 months old although it’s usually older for individuals that have Asperger’s Disorder (usually around 6 years old).   Earlier diagnosis means earlier intervention and that means more frequent diagnoses.  Another reason for higher rates is that doctors are now recognizing that people that have neurological disorders such as ADHD, Bi-Polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Autism, and other neurological disorders can have comorbid diagnoses ie. they may have more than one disorder.  Someone who was previously thought to have only Bi-Polar Disorder can also have Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder.  Several overlapping diagnoses commonly overlap, but very often something is either misdiagnosed as Autism or Autism is missed at first due to another diagnosis.

Another thing rabid anti-vacc’ers won’t tell you are the alternatives to vaccines that have preservatives if you’re on the fence about trusting doctors and pharmaceuticals… but hey, if you’re anti-vaccinating then you probably don’t even think that any vaccines are preservative free at all,  do you?

What anti-vacc’ers claiming that vaccines cause Autism injuries won’t tell you is that many of the signs and symptoms of ASD don’t show up or get bad enough for there to be concern until the time that the child would be receiving their 18 month round of vaccinations.  In our instance, there were already major signs that we just didn’t even know were signs of ASD but several environmental factors that triggered them to get worse: diet, a major move, a new sibling, changes in routine, and more.  I blogged about it actually.

Think about this as well.  Those elderly aunts and uncles and grandparents that everyone refers to as “eccentric?” They very well may be autistic.   The traits of Autism seen in your child are likely in other family members that “weren’t autistic enough” to be diagnosed as autistic.  Or perhaps your child has several traits from several family members that merge together in them, and blend in a melting pot of sorts showing up as Autism.  If you have other family members that have neurological disorders such as Seizure Disorder, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, Learning Disorders such as Dyslexia, Nonverbal Learning Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Behavioral Disorders, Mathematics Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, Apraxia, Aphasia, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Personality Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorders, Auto-immune disorders, Chronic Pain Disorders, Connective Tissue Disorders, and many more… then there is an increased likelihood of one of those disorders and/or Autism occurring within the family.

You may be wondering why I posted this when I did.  The fact is that I’ve been putting this together for a while because I’ve been collecting this stuff for a very long time.  I have a lot more that I didn’t include.  I’m posting it because I have an autistic daughter.  She was born with Autism.  She had signs of ASD before a single vaccine.  She didn’t have any vaccines in the hospital because she had a heart murmur at birth but also because it was the practice of our pediatrician to wait on vaccines in a delayed schedule.  We knew AT BIRTH that there were issues.  I had a pregnancy with complications and a labor and delivery with complications.  There were no interventions other than monitoring and giving me oxygen.  During my pregnancy, she showed signs that there would be sensory issues and my OB/GYN commented on her in-utero behavior numerous times.  Her autistic symptoms became most enhanced and triggered when we made changes to her diet that removed her from soy and put her on cow’s milk (she’s lactose intolerant).  We had a big move to a new home and welcomed a baby sibling.  We had enormous changes in the household routine and her routine.  Signs of Autism that she had always had became much more pronounced and the language skills she had regressed, as did her toileting.  She had global delays in her motor skills except her fine motor skills.  She has seizure disorder.  Other members in the family also have/had seizure disorder and other neurological disorders.  I myself have Fibromyalgia, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder all of which run on my side of the family.  We also suspect heavily that there’s undiagnosed Autism on my side of the family.  Her symptoms became much, much worse BEFORE the vaccines that are routinely touted as being associated with ASD.  She was late getting those vaccines.

But that’s not why I’m posting.  I’ve written about my lovely and amazing and smart daughter constantly.

I’m posting this because someone whose opinion I used to value regarding health and nutrition and vaccinations essentially accused me of causing my child’s Autism.  So if you’ll please, try to ignore any hostile tone in my post.  I was thinking about this person all throughout this post.  I kept imagining I was directly speaking to this person.  It wasn’t easy maintaining a polite tone, and if I missed the mark and sound hostile I do apologize.  Above all else I really and truly believe that every single parent needs to do their own research and come to their own conclusion even if it wouldn’t be the same conclusion I would make.  What I would hope is that the resources are actually reliable and not from propaganda sites and opinion pieces, but from scientific studies (even if those scientific studies might contradict what I’ve found).  Hell, even if you (general you) looked at all of the exact same research and scientific studies on both sides that I’ve looked at throughout the past 14 years (my eldest daughter is almost 13) and came to a different conclusion I don’t hold that against you.  It’s when you sink to the level of Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy and you resort to pseudo-science to back your own claims and then have the nerve to not just imply, but tell me that I CAUSED my child’s Autism on top of implying that you must love your children more than I love my own… that’s crossing a line.  And I might get a little hostile.

Oh, and to throw a wrench in things because I can be a bitch like that.  Denmark removed all Thimerosal from their vaccines.  Can you guess what happened after that? No, really… guess.  Their Autism rates increased.  Whaaaaat?

Let me close by saying this.

Autism is a person.  It is not an injury.

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