I’ve been, I think, very good sometimes about weighing in with what I think about various issues facing the autism community. When I have decided to give my opinion on potential treatments/causes/etc, I’d like to think I’ve been fair about how I come at the matter.
I had another coworker today ask me if the baby’s not getting vaccinations since the Monster has autism.
The answer is – no, the baby’s being vaccinated, on schedule and as appropriate. The boys are actually both going to go in next week for their flu shots as well (I got mine in the office two weeks ago.)
I do get where there’s so much angst about vaccines amongst parents of children with autism. It’s so hard to figure out why our children are this way, and nothing at all is very clear to put a finger on as the cause. We all know about medical procedures in the past that turned out in retrospect to be Bad Ideas, and let’s be honest – a vaccine is shoving a needle full of viruses into your body and pushing the plunger. You’re purposely infecting yourself or your children with something.
(And yes, before anyone jumps down my throat about the description – I’m aware they’re ‘weakened’ forms of the viruses, pieces of the viruses, enough to get the immune system’s friend-or-foe system to recognize it and start formulating a response before you are exposed to the full-strength thing. Still infecting. 🙂 )
For starters, the Monster’s attending public school – barring a credible religious excuse, the public schools require children to be vaccinated. And Judaism doesn’t have an objection to vaccination.
Second, and more importantly… there is no credible published research that points to vaccination being a cause of autism.
As I’ve said before, I was trained as a scientist. And while I would admit that astrophysics is hardly medicine, I think I can apply the research methods that I learned while studying the stars to looking up papers on the body of medical research that exists and might apply to my situation. The major study that had sited vaccination as a cause has been discredited due to the investigator’s methods and sample selection. So, firmly, there is currently no credible evidence that vaccination is a cause of autism, or that avoiding such will prevent it if there’s a family history. Even recent studies through the CDC, and listed in their ISO Scientific Agenda, reject the link between vaccines and autism. (Check page 40, under ‘Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD)’).
Now, as I’ve said in places before – I’m not going to claim I know everything, or that current studies cover every possible grouping. If anyone has evidence to speak to the contrary… I’m open to listening.