Home > Science & Research, Vaccine Myths > Vaccines and Autism: Something Old, Something New

Vaccines and Autism: Something Old, Something New

April 8, 2014
Photo credit:  Emily Willingham

Photo credit: Emily Willingham

The following post is an adaptation of a previous article written by Shannon Des Roches Rosa for Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism entitled Keep Calm and Think Critically.  Shannon is a mother of three and an autism advocate extraordinaire.  She writes extensively about parenting and autism on the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and Squidalicious blogs, and serves as a contributing editor on BlogHer.  Shannon critically evaluates new autism data and explains that even though a few misguided people will attempt to use this data to try to put a new spin on an old myth, it won’t change the fact that vaccines don’t cause autism.

 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a recent media briefing to announce and discuss readjusted estimates for autism prevalence, with a new rate of 1 in 68 children. This announcement caused instant furor in anti-vaccine autism groups, which started claiming the 30% rate increase was proof of a vaccine-autism link, despite longstanding evidence (also from the CDC, along with many other resources) that no link between autism and vaccines has ever been established by legitimate research.

Shot@Life Champions with Walker Zorensky,  Legislative Research Assistant, Office of Senator Barbara Boxer

Shot@Life Champions with Walker Zorensky,
Legislative Research Assistant, Office of Senator Barbara Boxer

I found this information-twisting especially irksome, because it reinforced to me that the anti-vaccine autism community — as few in numbers as they are — would rather endanger children’s lives than admit they’re wrong. I feel horribly guilty about the harm such misplaced fears about autism have wreaked on immunization rates. And so I work very hard as an autism parent advocate, a writer, and now a UN Foundation Shot@Life Champion to educate people about vaccine-preventable disease, and the critical importance of immunizations.

I want people to remember that vaccines save lives. To acknowledge that while Americans get to bicker about whether or not to vaccinate their children, in other parts of the world children who don’t have access to vaccines are still dying from preventable disease — one child death every 20 seconds, in fact. I want them aware that even here in the United States, unvaccinated kids, and infants too young to be vaccinated are at risk from current measles outbreaks. And it makes the job of everyone who stands on the side of children’s health and legitimate science harder when vaccine denialists light their torches and do their damnedest to spread misinformation.

But what does that new 1 in 68 estimate actually mean? Well, that takes some critical analysis, digging, and sifting, which I’ll walk you through, starting with the CDC’s Dr. Colleen Boyle’s opening statement:

“CDC estimates that one in 68 children has been identified with autism. This estimate is based on information collected from health and special education records of children who are eight years old and living in 11 communities in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, north Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin in 2010. These data are from CDC-sponsored autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network. The new estimate exceeds previous overall estimates, roughly it’s 30 percent higher than our last estimate of one in 88 children. To better understand the why, there’s an urgent need to do more research. There’s also an urgent need to put these findings to work for children and families. More is understood about autism than ever before, but these numbers are an important reminder of the need for answers and to use CDC’s data to help children now.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the anti-vaccine contingent that missed the point. Many news outlets seemed to stop there as well, which is why you’ve probably seen sensationalistic headlines such as “Why Did Autism Surge 30%?” and “CDC Confirms Dramatic Increase in Autism Rates.” These proclamations completely ignore the CDC’s Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp’s comments, later in the briefing, that essentially autistic people have always been here — the CDC is just getting better at identifying them; plus the CDC’s understanding of just who qualifies as autistic has changed over time:

“I would just like to add that we recognize now that autism is a spectrum, so I think in the past we thought of children as being severely affected, meaning children with intellectual disability, children who were nonverbal, children with a host of co-occurring conditions, that was the picture of autism, I think, about ten years ago. Our understanding has evolved to the point that we understand now that there are children with higher IQs and children who perhaps are even not receiving special education services. So our understanding of autism has changed over time, and I think that our numbers may be reflective of some of that, as well.”

The 1 in 68 estimate is not surprising. The criteria for autism diagnoses have not just changed over time but changed to be more inclusive over time (Asperger’s, added to the DSM in 1994, was folded into Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2013). Anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker studied autism rates in Korea in 2011, and concluded that a more realistic autism prevalence was 1 in 38. This means that the CDC’s 2012 estimate of 1 in 88 was already a lowball. As are the new numbers, most likely. Which further undermines the position of those determined to blame vaccines.

But, again, what do the numbers mean? Ideally, better identification and better estimation of numbers means better identification and estimation of needs and supports. The CDC was also clear that they had identified disparities in exactly who gets identified, who gets overlooked, and why. From KQED’s California Report/State of Health writer Rachel Dornhelm:

“…the prevalence seems to vary in different communities and among children of different races. The CDC found white children are far more likely to be identified with autism, even though scientists don’t believe the rates are truly different between whites, Hispanics or blacks. That means that the discrepancy lies in the diagnosis and services available in different communities.”

TPGA science editor Emily Willingham elaborated on the racial and cultural factors affecting diagnoses, while reemphasizing the CDC’s awareness of under diagnosis, at About.com Pediatrics:

“From the data, it looks like a lot of sociocultural factors enter into the values. Given the huge variability from site to site and the ethnic differences, recognition and service availability are probably factors. Dr. Boyle referred repeatedly to the evolution of our understanding of autism and used the large percentage of children included in these values who have average to above-average intelligence as an example of that. Unlike numbers from a decade ago, these values include children who previously might not have been recognized as autistic.”

The under diagnosis is not just limited to racial and geographic factors. Julia Bascom of The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) noted the problematics of the CDC’s not including autistic people over age 21:

“The lack of any data on adults represents a serious gap in CDC’s efforts. When the United Kingdom conducted an adult prevalence study, it found the same rate of autism in adults as children, helping to debunk public hysteria over a so-called ‘autism epidemic’.”

In the same statement, ASAN’s Ari Ne’eman confirmed that the increased prevalence rate should reinforce evidence-based expectations rather than cause alarm. ASAN also asserted that “considerable efforts are still needed to make diagnosis and services available to all.”

To summarize, primary takeaways from the CDC report are:

1. The CDC is getting better at identifying the autistic people who have always been here
2. Better estimates of autism prevalence will ideally lead to better supports and services
3. There is still much work to do, especially in under served communities and ethnic groups

The simplicity of these takeaways was, again, lost on too many, especially those anti-vaccine and “autism epidemic”-focused organizations, many of whom have been quoted in subsequent articles as legitimate autism resources. Which really needs to stop happening, because this sort of false balance has real consequences, in terms of sickness and deaths from vaccine-preventable disease.

But while it is distressing to read articles featuring opinions from groups bent on eradicating rather than supporting autistic people like my son, I realize that not all readers or reporters know how to evaluate autism resources for trustworthiness. So, with the CDC’s report in mind and April’s Autism Awareness stampede upon us, I recommend reading and sharing Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism’s guidelines on identifying autism pseudoscience, and the article from Ken Riebel of Autism News Beat to reporters on the eve of Autism Awareness Month. And heed Ken’s advice:

“Keep your stories simple and focused. Unless you are familiar with the autism news beat, the more you venture into the weeds, the more likely you are to leave your readers with the wrong impression.”

Any questions?

Shannon Des Roches Rosa

 

 

  1. reissd
    April 8, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Just a thank you for doing this.

  2. cycle3man
    April 9, 2014 at 2:56 am

    This article is BULL!!! We are not anti-vaccine groups we are SAFE VACCINE GROUPS!

    1.-It has been 20 or so years that we have been calling for a long term study comparing the health, into adulthood, of two cohorts one vaccinated and the other not vaccinated.
    2.- We question the efficacy of one size dose fits all. The failure to modulate the size of the dose accounting for the weight of the recipient is mind boggling!!!!
    3.- Contracting the effects of vaccines on recipients to countries with vaccine protocols different than that in the US may not yield results that reflect what we are experiencing in the US.
    4.- We BIMBOS have been asking for studies of possible synergism between vaccines that may affects the health of the recipient.
    5.- Our goal is any new vaccine that is approved to be brought to market has been tested to a standard of “DO NO HARM”

    My request: Please stop publishing articles describing how stupid we/I are/am because we believe vaccines are brought to market before they are thoroughly tested.
    We are not anti vaccine, we want vaccines tested to a standard of “DO NO HARM”

  3. April 9, 2014 at 3:16 am

    There is no evidence to support a vaccine-autism link, and irrefutable evidence supports vaccination as one of the best ways to protect the health and lives of children all over the world. Plus, in parts of the world where access to vaccines is limited and kids still die from vaccine-preventable disease (VPD), this “debate” just doesn’t happen — only privileged sorts who are either vaccinated or protected by herd immunity and so have no memory of deaths and illness from VPD have the chutzpah to lobby against vaccines. The current measles outbreaks in the US are a tragic reminder of just how harmful such anti-vaccine beliefs can be.

  4. Lawrence
    April 9, 2014 at 5:35 am

    After repeatedly challenging anti-vax individuals (that claim they are “pro-safe vaccine”) to name even a single vaccine they are in favor of, all I’ve ever received is a wall of silence….how can one claim to be “pro-anything” if they can’t even point to a single vaccine today that they would accept?

    And to the topic at hand – with these current numbers still being categorized under the much wider criteria of the DSM-IV & not the more restrictive DSM-V, I would expect that even though we may see an increase in new numbers, it may be just as likely that the numbers may reverse themselves as those who are now considered on the edge of the spectrum (where we have seen the largest growth) to lose that diagnosis all-together (as a large number do already over time, since autism is developmental delay, not developmental stasis).

  5. Zim
    April 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

    cycle3man – there was a huge long-term study done. It just so happens that the anti-vaccine movement don’t like the findings. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1124634/

  6. April 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

    It’s good to read an informed and well reasoned article on this issue. Isn’t is sad how few people in the USA are well enough educated to be able to think critically, let alone even understand the term.

  7. Chris
    April 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

    cycle3man: “It has been 20 or so years that we have been calling for a long term study comparing the health, into adulthood, of two cohorts one vaccinated and the other not vaccinated.”

    Then why have you not done that? In those twenty years you and your friends could have designed a study, made sure it conformed to the Belmont Report, had it approved by an independent review board, and financed through one of the many groups that you believe represent your point of view. But you guys have not done that.

    “5.- Our goal is any new vaccine that is approved to be brought to market has been tested to a standard of “DO NO HARM” ”

    Interesting. So going on the theme of “harm”, please answer the following honestly with scientific citations:

    What causes more harm to a baby: the DTaP vaccine or getting an infection from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis?

    What causes more harm to a child: the MMR vaccine or a measles infection?

  8. April 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

    There is not a single medicine on the market that “does no harm”. Not one. All medications have potential side effects. It’s a question of relative risk. Does the risk of using the medication outweigh the risk of not using it? That’s the *intelligent* question. My three children are fully vaxed, and have never had a negative side effect beyond a slight fever and sore arm. My oldest, however, had an anaphylactic reaction to tree nuts at age 8, an allergy of which we were completely unaware and which could very well have been fatal. We’ve also driven thousands upon thousands of miles in our car together, for everyday errands and long family trips. And to take the kids to the pediatrician for their checkups and shots. Any one of those outings could result in the death or disfigurement of one (or all) of my children. Statistically, it’s much more likely than a fatal or disfiguring reaction to a vaccine. And yet we happily strap our children in their car seats every day, and feed them foods with potential allergens in them, and (hopefully) let them climb trees and ride bicycles – and we do what we can to keep them safe and hope for the best. What I really wish people would do with regard to vaccines is look objectively at the scientific evidence, understand the concept of relative risk (as opposed to “zero risk”, a standard which would exclude getting out of bed in the morning), and act responsibly as parents and as citizens. Quit with the hysteria, read the studies comparing vaxed and unvaxed children (which have, in fact, been done – ad nauseum), and calm down. Your kid is more at risk every time he/she gets in a car, hops on a bike, puts something in his/her mouth, swims in a pool… The list goes on and on. There’s just no reasonable justification for allowing these vaccine-preventable illnesses to continue maiming and killing children by insisting on a level of absolute safety that Tylenol and Motrin don’t even meet. Let alone most (if not all) of the voluntary activities we engage in on a daily basis. It’s ridiculous.

  9. Chris
    April 9, 2014 at 11:15 am

    brw735: ” There’s just no reasonable justification for allowing these vaccine-preventable illnesses to continue maiming and killing children by insisting on a level of absolute safety that Tylenol and Motrin don’t even meet. Let alone most (if not all) of the voluntary activities we engage in on a daily basis. It’s ridiculous.”

    It is called the “Nirvana Fallacy”, a notion that something has to be 100% effective and 100% safe before it is considered useful. This has been explained over and over again to cycle3man and his friends. But they keep bringing it up, and refusing to answer Lawrence question on which vaccine is okay, and mine on the relative risks of the vaccine versus the disease.

  10. JGC56
    April 9, 2014 at 11:15 am

    “ We are not anti-vaccine groups we are SAFE VACCINE GROUPS!”
    If that’s the case, please tell me which vaccines on the routine childhood schedule you consider to be safe vaccines, which you consider to be unsafe, and what your basis is for making a distinction between the two groups.

    “It has been 20 or so years that we have been calling for a long term study comparing the health, into adulthood, of two cohorts one vaccinated and the other not vaccinated.”
    Such a prospective study cannot ethically be done, as it would leave the unvaccinated cohort vulnerable to infectious diseases. Fortunately it isn’t necessary to do such a prospective study to measure vaccine safety—retrospective studies can and have been done instead and find no evidence that the risks associated with being vaccinated exceed the risks associated with remaining vulnerable to infection.

    “We question the efficacy of one size dose fits all. The failure to modulate the size of the dose accounting for the weight of the recipient is mind boggling!!!!”
    What evidence indicates that the normal variability of the weight of children at the time they receive scheduled vaccinations is sufficient to engender risk? Be specific.

    “Contracting the effects of vaccines on recipients to countries with vaccine protocols different than that in the US may not yield results that reflect what we are experiencing in the US.”
    I’m not sure what argument you’re trying to make here—if it addresses the fact that clinical trials may be conducted in other nations be aware that the protocol will be defined in the design of the trial, and need not correspond to the routine schedule followed by the nation where it is performed.

    “We BIMBOS have been asking for studies of possible synergism between vaccines that may affects the health of the recipient.”
    Synergism –i.e. the too-many-too-soon premise—has in fact been examined.

    “Our goal is any new vaccine that is approved to be brought to market has been tested to a standard of “DO NO HARM”
    How exactly are you defining that standard? If it’s in such a way that currently approved vaccines do not meet it you’re falling prey to what’s commonly termed a ‘nirvana fallacy’, the idea that to be acceptable an medical intervention must be effective but cause zero instances of adverse effects, either minor or serious. That isn’t achievable with any biologically active entity.

    “Please stop publishing articles describing how stupid we/I are/am because we believe vaccines are brought to market before they are thoroughly tested.”
    What evidence demonstrates that vaccines are not sufficiently tested prior to receiving FDA or EMEA approval?

    “We are not anti vaccine, we want vaccines tested to a standard of “DO NO HARM”
    See above: how are you defining that standard? What approved medical products other than vaccines do you believe meet that standard today?

  11. novalox
    April 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    @cycle3man

    Simple, when you can bring actual verifiable scientific evidence for your assertions and views, which considering you previous posts, you have consistently failed to do, then maybe we would take you seriously.

    As of right now, you and your side are only worthy of the scorn and ridicule that you so richly deserve.

  12. April 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for this tremendously helpful blog post. Shannon Des Roches Rosa from Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism writes powerfully and clearly. There is an epidemic- but it’s not autism. It’s sensationalistic autistic news- and thanks to Shannon and this article parents can be on the look out for the pseudoscience and say something when they see it.

  13. Narad
    April 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Yes, I realize I’m responding to someone who apparently can’t figure out that leaving incoherent comments at annedachel-dot-com is not the same as commenting on the source articles.

    cycle3man :
    This article is BULL!!! We are not anti-vaccine groups we are SAFE VACCINE GROUPS!

    Hey, who am I?

    They just don’t give a f—! Betcha’. their children get Thimerosal-FREE Flu poison!!!

    Thimerosal, no thimerosal, whatever, it’s all poison.

    1.-It has been 20 or so years that we have been calling for a long term study comparing the health, into adulthood, of two cohorts one vaccinated and the other not vaccinated.

    Specify an endpoint and the confidence level, statistical power, and signal threshold, and you’ll have your sample size. I’ve been asking this for quite a while, and everyone yammering for such a study just runs right away. If you can’t answer this question, your understanding is so poor that the demand is meaningless.

    Oh, and you do understand that randomization means that antivaxxers would necessarily wind up in the vaccinated group, right?

  14. Chris
    April 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Narad, I am sure the person who posted this comment, has no time nor patience for parents whose children have been harmed by the actual diseases. Obviously, he feels insults are a valid substitute for a reasoned discussion that includes evidence.

    He has never attempted to answer this question:

    Now, what is more likely: harm from the disease or harm from a vaccine? Please provide PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that a vaccine on the present American schedules causes more harm than the disease.

  15. Malone
    April 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    “I want people to remember that vaccines save lives”

    Because you think vaccines save lives, that means they cannot also harm people at the same time? It’s either one or the other huh?

    It’s been 20 years since the criteria for autism diagnoses changed and even 20 years later the numbers rise year after year.

    “many of whom have been quoted in subsequent articles as legitimate autism resources. Which really needs to stop happening, because this sort of false balance has real consequences, in terms of sickness and deaths from vaccine-preventable disease.”

    Kind of like this article that says, “despite longstanding evidence (also from the CDC, along with many other resources) that no link between autism and vaccines has ever been established by legitimate research.” What’s the key word here “legitimate”? Any study showing a possible link between vaccines and autism is just considered bogus and not legitimate.

    It really blows my mind how closed minded people are and once they pick a side they’re stuck and stop listening. You want to stop autism? Start listening.

  16. reissd
    April 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    “Any study showing a possible link between vaccines and autism is just considered bogus and not legitimate.” Well, none of the studies showing a link had good methodology, all suffered serious flaws. They were rejected not based on their results, but on their methodology and other problems. You are welcome to provide any credible studies you know of.

    “Because you think vaccines save lives, that means they cannot also harm people at the same time?” Nothing is 100% safe, but all the credible evidence is that the harms of vaccines are rare in absolute terms and much, much smaller than the harms of not vaccinating in relative terms.

  17. Lawrence
    April 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    @Malone – I suggest you read about Project Tycho…http://www.tycho.pitt.edu/

    And also these studies:

    http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    Serious vaccine reactions are extremely rare – serious side effects from disease, including death, are fairly common….including over 122,000 deaths from Measles alone each and every year….so it isn’t an either / or situation – we can say that vaccines are safe, effective and have far fewer side-effects or reactions than the diseases they prevent.

    And legitimate research (as is shown in my links above) is vetted and reproducible…the sources normally used by anti-vax individuals are conducted by individual who aren’t researchers or have any qualifications that would lend credence to their conclusions or outright frauds.

  18. Shannon Rosa
    April 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    @Malone, if you read the article you’d understand that my goal is to improve supports & resoruces & accommodations for autistic people like my son, autistic people of all abilities, since they’ve always been here — “Stopping Autism” makes as much sense “Stopping Women.” And by legitimate I mean “studies involving more than 1 million kids” versus “one retracted paper involving twelve kids.”

  19. Chris
    April 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Malone: “Because you think vaccines save lives, that means they cannot also harm people at the same time? It’s either one or the other huh?”

    What are the statistics? My son had seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease, and is permanently disabled. He has many of the same issues as those with autism, but he has never been diagnosed with autism, so he was not counted when he was eight years old over fifteen years ago.

    So what causes more seizures the vaccine or the diseases? Please support your answer with PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers.

  20. Malone
    April 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Again, if you admit that vaccines are not 100% safe then quit making statements like this.…. “I found this information-twisting especially irksome, because it reinforced to me that the anti-vaccine autism community — as few in numbers as they are — would rather endanger children’s lives than admit they’re wrong.” You can’t win with pro-vaxers. If you complain of vaccine injury you’re considered stupid and nuts, and then when you come back and say vaccines do injure people, you say, no kidding, we never said they were 100% safe. It’s really unbelievable.

    Shannon, I feel bad for you because you are completely wrong. The autism epidemic can be helped, people just need to wake up. It’s sad that you think nothing can be done to help your son and his health issues. Next time you have any health issues don’t try and help the issues, just live with them, Ok? That makes a lot of sense.

  21. Narad
    April 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Malone :
    Again, if you admit that vaccines are not 100% safe then quit making statements like this.…. “I found this information-twisting especially irksome, because it reinforced to me that the anti-vaccine autism community — as few in numbers as they are — would rather endanger children’s lives than admit they’re wrong.” You can’t win with pro-vaxers. If you complain of vaccine injury you’re considered stupid and nuts, and then when you come back and say vaccines do injure people, you say, no kidding, we never said they were 100% safe. It’s really unbelievable.

    Observing that vaccines, like any medical intervention, are not 100% safe does not in the least contradict the statement that they’re in no way responsible for increases in ASD disagnoses.

  22. Chris
    April 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Excuse me Malone, why are you telling Shannon what to say? Right now there are several outbreaks of measles, which were started by those who were not vaccinated. How about you admit that measles is not 100% safe?

    “Shannon, I feel bad for you because you are completely wrong.”

    How? Provide us the PubMed indexed studies showing that she is wrong.

    Also, provide me the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the diseases. My son suffered bitterly with a now vaccine preventable disease that gave him a horrifying seizure requiring hospital care. Now tell me what is worse with data: the vaccines or the diseases.

  23. Shannon Rosa
    April 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    @Malone your (and everyone else’s) feelings are irrelevant when it comes to the evidence. Please read Not Even Wrong or Unstrange Minds; autistic people have always been here. Our diagnostic criteria have changed dramatically, our awareness of who autistic people are has changed dramatically as well. So anyone who thinks there is an autism “epidemic” is not only misusing that word, but is misinterpreting history.

    And it’s interesting that you consider supporting & accommodating my son to be doing nothing or giving up — just because I’m not buying into the ethically bankrupt notion that I should be trying to do the impossible and make him non-autistic. He is a happy young man with fantastic supports (we’re lucky, he works hard) and a great quality of life. And his health is separate from his autism.

  24. Malone
    April 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Shannon, I have my own evidence as we healed my son from autism. It took 4 very long years and we don’t regret one minute of it.
    I am happy your son is happy and doing well. I wonder how much better off he could be? Health and autism, it’s all related.

  25. Shannon Rosa
    April 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    @malone, while I’m sure you believe all that, beliefs are as irrelevant as feelings when it comes to evidence. Autistic children do not become non-autistic. They can make fantastic strides — sometimes throughout adulthood. But if they are expected to “pass” as a non-autistic person because their parents want to consider them “healed” or “recovered” then their effort of compensating means their lives are going to be more stressful than necessary, and their anxiety will likely be severe.

  26. Shannon Rosa
    April 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Plus, @malone, this is the Internet. Anyone can claim to have evidence of anything, and tell any story they like. That is why we rely on legitimate, verified research and data.

  27. Malone
    April 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Shannon, that is your whole problem. Your child will only perform as much as you believe they can. Unfortunately in your son’s case you are not willing to help because you believe nothing can be done or you just don’t want to do the work. My son regressed at the age of 2 after massive vaccines all in one day. Now he is fully recovered according to us, Docs, teachers, etc. Unless your son was born with autism and it is all genetics, he can be helped. He can even be helped even if it is all genetics, but more so if he had regressive autism. In that case, it is all about the health. Heal the gut, heal the brain. Heal the Candida, the leaky gut, allergies, parasites, get rid of toxins, clostridium, etc. and you’ll amazing changes.

  28. Lawrence
    April 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    @Malone – you only see what you want to see….I feel horrible for your son that you’ve subjected him to nothing more than medical experimentation, with no evidence that any of your “interventions” did a darn thing…..autism is about developmental delay – many children diagnosed with autism at a very young age will ultimately lose that diagnosis as they get older – and they aren’t subjected to the quack treatments that you likely utilized (and tortured your son with).

    Sorry to sound so harsh, but we deal with reality – you obviously don’t – and your son has and will suffer for it.

  29. Lawrence
    April 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    @Malone – actually, you only saw what those DAN doctors wanted you to….

  30. Shannon Rosa
    April 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    @malone, this is not a biomedical revival meeting. It is a science-oriented forum. So your anecdotes and assumptions are about as much use as tits on a bull, to quote my mother.

  31. Chris
    April 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Malone: “My son regressed at the age of 2 after massive vaccines all in one day.”

    My son regressed after a massive seizure from a now vaccine preventable disease. I still have the records on the hospital and medical appointments, including neurologists.

    I also have the very long report dated 1992 from the pediatric neurologist that he did not have autism, that he should be checked for Landau Kleffner Syndrome. Yet, several years later the high psychologist told us at an IEP meeting that he seemed very autistic. So he is one of those that were never given the “autism” label. Why do you think is the reason for that?

    Where is the scientific evidence that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease?

  32. Mercuriyisbad
    April 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Ridiculous piece of drivel.

    Talk to any teacher about how many children are mentally screwed up these days. More and more kids have some sort of mental issue and are on all kinds of anxiety meds/adhd meds etc….

  33. Lawrence
    April 10, 2014 at 10:05 am

    @MIB – no, how about posting up actual evidence of what you say?

  34. Mercuriyisbad
    April 10, 2014 at 10:54 am

    because first hand accounts from veteran teachers noticing how screwed up children are these days trumps your govt backed/big pharma backed shit evidence.

  35. Lawrence
    April 10, 2014 at 10:56 am

    #1 – I don’t use foul language, yet you feel it is necessary

    #2 – please post up where to find these “stories”

    #3 – how about trying to be coherent, because it is nearly impossible to determine what you are trying to say through the babble?

  36. Chris
    April 10, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Why do you think insults are a valid form of evidence? And what evidence is there that the total number of special ed. students has risen?

    And please go to the read the comments policy, and note that you may be violating at least one:

    http://shotofprevention.com/about/comment-policy/

  37. Chris
    April 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

    “because first hand accounts from veteran teachers noticing how screwed up children ”

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    By the way, the data show no great increase in disabled students in schools, but there are difference between states.

    Now, where is the actual scientific evidence that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more seizures than the disease?

  38. April 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I taught in a public elementary school from 1993-2004. My oldest now attends a public elementary school, and I have opportunities to volunteer in his classroom on a fairly regular basis. Things are in a constant state of change in the public schools, and the process for identifying children for special services is driven by multiple factors – more awareness, a sincere desire on the part of educators to help children and families, “No Child Left Behind” and other legislation, parent advocacy, litigation, state and federal funding formulae, changing diagnostic criteria for learning challenges and developmental issues.. When I was teaching, which happened to be in a very affluent area, I never had a child in my class who was diagnosed with a “sensory processing disorder”. Now I hear it frequently from fellow parents (also in an affluent area) regarding their children who struggle somewhat in school. In more than 10 years of teaching, I taught only a handful of children with a formal diagnosis of dyslexia. Now I read the incidence is 10-15 percent (though a much smaller percentage receive services). I taught *one* child who was formally on the autism spectrum – he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which I’m not even sure was “on the spectrum” at the time, but it is now. The most prevalent diagnosis among my students was ADD/ADHD. Interestingly, over the years I had several children with ADD/ADHD whose parents decided to try them without medication. I usually liked them better off the meds :) , and often they did just fine. Maybe a little added maturity, maybe a different classroom setting – maybe just a little more tolerance for behavior that one typically associates with that very common “disease” called boy-itis?

    The children I taught would have been born from around 1983 to 1995. I believe thimerosal was still used in vaccines during much of this time. And, as far as I can tell, the routine vaccination schedule hasn’t changed much since I began teaching (though a rotavirus vaccine was added in 1998, withdrawn in 1999 due to a rare complication, intussusception, then a new version added to the schedule in 2006). So if we’ve got a bunch of “screwed-up” kids because of vaccination, just when did this alleged “screwing up” begin? There are things that kids are being diagnosed with today, with a very similar vaccination schedule, that I hardly heard of as a teacher – in a school in which the parents were educated enough and wealthy enough to advocate for their children “by any means necessary”. And smart enough to have their children vaccinated. So I question – more than just a little – this vaccine hysteria supposedly being fueled, at least in part, by teachers saying how “screwed up” kids are these days. If they are more “screwed up” than when I taught, I don’t see how vaccines could be the culprit.

  39. Shannon Rosa
    April 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    “Autism wasn’t even a legitimate code for the U.S. Department of Education until the 1991-1992 school year, so there were rarely any children reported in the national special education child counts with “autism” before that time (instead they were classified under terms like “mental retardation” or “multiple disabilities”). But this doesn’t mean that there were fewer children with autism before 1991.” -Anthropologist, researcher, and autism parent Roy Richard Grinker, from his book Unstrange Minds.

  40. lilady
    April 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    My child, born in 1976, with a rare genetic disorder, which caused multiple and profound intellectual, physical and medical impairments, displayed “autistic-like behaviors” (not autism), was classified under the DSM II Diagnostic Criteria:

    http://www.unstrange.com/dsm1.html

    My son’s IEP classified him as:

    – Mental Retardation (Profound Range)

    – Physically Impaired (Cerebral Palsy-Spastic Quadriplegia)

    – Other Health Impaired

  41. novalox
    April 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Mercuriyisbad :
    because first hand accounts from veteran teachers noticing how screwed up children are these days trumps your govt backed/big pharma backed shit evidence.

    Considering that there has been individuals who have been described with the symptoms of autism since at least the 1800s, your argument falls flat in that area.

    Also noted is your continuing refusal to post any sort of actual evidence to back up your views.

    Finally, your use of language and inuslts tells a lot about the utter weakness of your viewpoints.

    But please, keep on posting, so you can show the world how out of touch the typical anti-vaxxer truly is. I do appreciate the laugh at your expense.

  42. Malone
    April 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Lawrence,
    Really, please don’t make me laugh out loud. Please let me know what quack treatments we have done and have made my son suffer. We didn’t do any quack treatments and my son did no suffering. As a matter of fact you can ask him how he feels today and how he used to feel and how happy he is now. And BTW we didn’t use any Dan Docs. They are too expensive and want to do things in a certain order without taking into account the individual person.

    Shannon,
    This isn’t a biomedical review – agreed. The treatments we have done for my son are all scientifically proven. No assumptions were made about anything.

    Chris,
    I’m not sure what your point is about your son. I believe you if you say he was injured from a disease. That is separate from my son being injured by a vaccine. So both scenarios are true, what exactly is your point? That it is more likely for a person to be injured from a disease than a vaccine? So what, this may or may not be true but it doesn’t change the fact that vaccines inure people and something needs to be done about it. BTW, you said, “from a now vaccine preventable disease”. I thought you said before that we can’t expect vaccines to work as well as natural immunity yadda yadda. I guess the disease aren’t necessarily preventable by vaccination standards, if the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, you can still catch the disease. So now I am risking vaccine injury for a vaccine that may or may not work. Nice.

  43. Chris
    April 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Malone: “So both scenarios are true, what exactly is your point?”

    What is more likely, injury from the vaccine or from the disease? So just give us the PubMed indexed study showing that a vaccine causes more seizures than the disease? What is so difficult to understand about that?

    “BTW, you said, “from a now vaccine preventable disease”.”

    He got the disease before the vaccine was available. This was back in the days when there were fewer vaccines, and lots of kids got seizures from a few diseases that we now vaccinated for. What is so difficult to understand about that?

    “So now I am risking vaccine injury for a vaccine that may or may not work. Nice.”

    What is the risk of that vaccine injury? And even though the vaccine is not 100% effective, 95% or even 80% effectiveness is much better than 0%. What is so difficult to understand about that?

    And with you going on telling everyone that vaccines are dangerous, you are reducing the community immunity and raising the chance of getting a vaccine preventable disease. So your campaign of exaggerating the risk of injury from vaccines without taking into consideration the actual harms from the diseases will cause more kids to suffer like mine did.

    What is so difficult to understand about that?

    This is the fourth time I have asked you this question, now please answer it:

    So what causes more seizures the vaccine or the diseases? Please support your answer with PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers.

  44. Malone
    April 10, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Chris, I love how you blow off all of my solid logic to you. In one ear and out the other.

  45. Chris
    April 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    What solid logic? You do not seem to understand some simple concepts.

    First you don’t seem to understand that kids were injured by the actual diseases before there were vaccines in much greater numbers than from any vaccine. This is why hundreds of children died from measles prior to 1963 and thousands more were permanently disabled. Here is some reading: Impact of Vaccines Universally Recommended for Children—United States, 1900-1998.

    Then you do not seem to understand that if you make a claim, you need to support that claim with actual scientific evidence, not blatant assertions based on your own anecdotes.

    Then you do not seem to understand the concept that even if a vaccine is not 100%, it is still useful in increasing the immunity of a community. Here is some more reading comparing what happens when anti-vaccine groups get their way in some countries: Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story. Take note of what happened in Japan when they stopped vaccinating babies for pertussis, over forty babies died.

    Then you do not seem to understand the concept of relative risk. Yes, the vaccines can cause harm… but what is it compared to the actual diseases? Measles causes pneumonia in about one out of five cases, and encephalitis out about one in a thousand. What is the harm from the MMR vaccine?

    Nor do you seem to understand that while you and your friends are making baseless assertions, you are creating pockets of children vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases. Which is why there are now outbreaks of measles in British Columbia, New York, and elsewhere. See:
    Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 15;168(12):1389-96. Epub 2008 Oct 15.
    Geographic clustering of nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements and associations with geographic clustering of pertussis.

    Now for the fifth time: What causes more seizures, any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule or the actual diseases? Provide PubMed indexed study by a reputable qualified researchers to support your answer.

  46. novalox
    April 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    @malone

    Let’s see if you can answer Chris’ question within 3 posts. If not, we can assume that you have been lying to us the entire time and that you admit your position is without merit,

  47. Shannon Rosa
    April 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    @Malone, again, testimonials are not proof, no matter how sincerely you believe what you’re writing. But since many people can’t tell the difference between legitimate approaches to helping autistic people and the dangerous, expensive pseudoscience you’re preaching about, and since the autism “treatment” sales forces are persistent and pervasive in their proselytizing attempts, our Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism science editor Emily Willingham came up with some guidelines for identifying autism pseudoscience. Hopefully other readers will understand why all the “my child recovered!!” anecdotes in the world don’t matter if the science is junk. http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/p/mission-statement.html

  48. Malone
    April 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Chris,

    I can play your game. What is so hard to understand?

    “What is more likely, injury from the vaccine or from the disease? So just give us the PubMed indexed study showing that a vaccine causes more seizures than the disease? What is so difficult to understand about that?”

    Can’t answer the question. I don’t know if anybody can. Again there is no point to it. The point is people are injured by both vaccines and diseases.

    “He got the disease before the vaccine was available. This was back in the days when there were fewer vaccines, and lots of kids got seizures from a few diseases that we now vaccinated for. What is so difficult to understand about that?”

    Nothing. The point is that diseases are not preventable. Preventable to me means 100% preventable. Vaccines do not offer that protection and there is no guarantee

    “What is the risk of that vaccine injury? And even though the vaccine is not 100% effective, 95% or even 80% effectiveness is much better than 0%. What is so difficult to understand about that?.”

    Again the point is, you are risking vaccine injury for something that is not 100% effective.

    “And with you going on telling everyone that vaccines are dangerous, you are reducing the community immunity and raising the chance of getting a vaccine preventable disease. So your campaign of exaggerating the risk of injury from vaccines without taking into consideration the actual harms from the diseases will cause more kids to suffer like mine did.”

    I have every right to tell people vaccines are dangerous because they are. They injured my son.

    “So what causes more seizures the vaccine or the diseases? Please support your answer with PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers.”

    I already answered this question above.

  49. Malone
    April 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Shannon,

    “again, testimonials are not proof, no matter how sincerely you believe what you’re writing.”

    Well my kids Doc and other professionals would disagree with you. They have been a long for the journey and they would be happy to tell you all about it. Oh, but that would just be a testimonial.

    “But since many people can’t tell the difference between legitimate approaches to helping autistic people and the dangerous, expensive pseudoscience you’re preaching about…””

    Please tell me specifically what non legitimate, dangerous, expensive, pseudoscience treatments were used on my kid. Please name one.

    “Emily Willingham came up with some guidelines for identifying autism pseudoscience”

    Wonderful let’s take a look.

    “Does this practitioner or vendor promise miracles that no one else seems to achieve?”

    No

    “Is the person promising the outcome also asking me for money?”

    What service is provided without charge…please. Doctor’s don’t work for free.

    “Do I find any scientific research supporting their claims, or are there only individual (often emotional) testimonials of effects?”

    Yes, treatments based on science and training from an MD.

    “Does the practitioner or vendor promise a blanket “cure” for unrelated disorders, such as grouping together allergies and autism; or autism and ADHD; or autism, diabetes, cancer, and allergies?”

    I have never talked to any professional promising a blanket cure. Those unrelated disorders you mention can be related.

    “Does the practitioner or vendor have strong credentials as an expert in the therapies they’re promising, or in the field of autism?”

    Yes, yes, and yes.

    “Thinking critically is one of the most important actions we can take for those we love, and for ourselves. Thinking critically starts with listening critically:”

    I agree, thinking critically is what saved my son.

  50. Shannon Rosa
    April 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    @Malone, once again, I know you believe what you’re writing. I also know there’s no point in trying to get you to change those beliefs — you are caught in an all-too-familiar confirmation bias feedback loop. So while I’m addressing your statements, I’m doing so because testimonial-based autism pseudoscience needs countering, and for the benefit of readers — not to convince you, personally.

    More on confirmation bias & anti-vaccine mindsets here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

  51. Chris
    April 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    “Can’t answer the question. I don’t know if anybody can. Again there is no point to it. The point is people are injured by both vaccines and diseases.”

    I can. The literature is full of how the diseases cause more seizures and injuries, much more than the vaccines. Along with the papers I listed there is also The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review, and:
    Am J Public Health. 1985 Jul;75(7):739-44.
    Benefits, risks and costs of immunization for measles, mumps and rubella.

    JAMA. 2007 Nov 14;298(18):2155-63.
    Historical comparisons of morbidity and mortality for vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.

    “Preventable to me means 100% preventable. Vaccines do not offer that protection and there is no guarantee”

    That so unrealistic it has a name: the Nirvana Fallacy (discussed earlier in this thread). What you have actually done is increased the risk of harm to your child. Unfortunately you are so close minded that you may only find out by actually experiencing it. Though fortunately for you, there are those who are protecting your family by vaccinating. You are leeching off of them. I can guarantee you that diseases are not 100% safe.

    “Again the point is, you are risking vaccine injury for something that is not 100% effective.”

    And you are risking disease injury because not getting a vaccine is 0% effective. The sad thing is that you just can’t figure out that there are very real injuries from the very real diseases. I doubt you even clicked on the papers I listed, but here is another: Successful Control of Epidemic Diphtheria in the States of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Lessons Learned.

    “I have every right to tell people vaccines are dangerous because they are. They injured my son”

    And why should we believe you? You obviously have very little understanding of relative risk, what is real data and what happens to a population when a vaccine preventable disease is allowed to come back. For all we know is that you are not quite remembering the events as they happened.

    I am out of links, but this is another thing that happened to Japan. From:
    BMC Public Health. 2005 Jun 4;5:59.
    Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan.

    The relevant text:

    In Japan, measles vaccine coverage has remained low, and either small or moderate outbreaks have occurred repeatedly in communities. According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.

    Yeah, sure, ya betcha, Malone. Next question: what is your method to prevent measles in children? Other than leeching off of your community’s immunity because others don’t buy into fairy tales of “vaccine injury is worse than disease injury.”

  52. novalox
    April 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    @malone

    At least you attempted to answer Chris’ questions. Unfortunately, your answers show that you have no actual understanding of risk or statistics.

    Nothing in this world is 100% safe. Driving in a car always presents a risk for crashing, eating food always presents a risk for choking. Yet, you see people doing those things all the time, you don’t see people refusing to eat or drive due to the small risks of adverse affects.

    Chris’ references show that any adverse effects from vaccines are many times lower than either of those examples that I listed above. Your examples, as posted above, are a perfect example of the Nirvana fallacy.

    I guess that since you want everything to be 100% safe, that means you won’t be typing and posting here anymore, since there is always a small risk that you will be electrocuted by your computer.

  53. Narad
    April 11, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Malone :
    The point is that diseases are not preventable. Preventable to me means 100% preventable. Vaccines do not offer that protection and there is no guarantee

    Note that the hundreds of thousands of reported cases are from the era when measles wasn’t notifiable; the actual average incidence was the size of an entire birth cohort. Mexico had exactly three cases of measles from 2008 through 2012. Where’s diphtheria? Do you know what the Iditarod is all about?

    In any event, you might note that smallpox and rinderpest proved to very much be 100% preventable, so that game’s out the window.

  54. Chemmomo
    April 11, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Malone,
    “Nothing. The point is that diseases are not preventable. Preventable to me means 100% preventable.”

    When was the last case of smallpox reported? Would you consider smallpox “100% preventable” during the 21st century?

  55. Chemmomo
    April 11, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Malone #27: “Shannon, that is your whole problem. Your child will only perform as much as you believe they can.”

    Wrong, Malone. Your child will perform according to your child’s abilities, not according to your belief.

    Your child has abilities, whether you believe in them or not.

    Your child’s performance is not about you.

  56. Shannon Rosa
    April 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    @Malone’s statements are pure biomed zealotry. A parent who truly believes in their autistic child does not do so with the caveat that the child must also be “recovered.” Understanding means accepting that our autistic children are who they are — whether they have intellectual disability, sensory issues, communicate best through AAC, don’t speak until their teens, never speak at all, or even if they get to a stage where they can “pass” as neurotypical. This is not giving up. This is opening our eyes, and doing so with compassion and the full belief that our kids’ potential is right there in front of us; we just need to learn to see it. If we are not autistic ourselves, and even if we are, we must put our energies into understanding what our kids need, and be the parent they need, so they have a framework for person-specific success. @Chemmomo is absolutely correct.

  57. JGC56
    April 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    malone:

    “Shannon, I have my own evidence as we healed my son from autism.”

    Given that autism spectrum disorders are typified by developmental delay, not developmental stasis, how have you dfactually established that your son would not have improved in the absence of the interventions you beleive healed him, simply as a function of the passage of 4 years time? it is on some basis other than a ‘post hoc ergo procter hoc’ logical fallacy–isn’t it?

    MIB:

    “Talk to any teacher about how many children are mentally screwed up these days.”

    Just for the sake of argument let’s assume this is true. The obvious next question becomes “What evidence demonstrates a causal association between that increased number of ‘mentally screwed up” children and routine childhood vaccinations?” Be specific.

    Malone again:

    “The treatments we have done for my son are all scientifically proven.”

    Which treatments are these and where can I find the published studies demonstrating the claimed efficacy at treating autism spectrum disorders? Again: be specific.

    “Again the point is, you are risking vaccine injury for something that is not 100% effective.”

    Which is why it’s necessarily to evaluate relative risks: do the risks associated with vaccination exceed the risks associated with remaining vulnerable to infection? relative risk argues overwhelming in favor of vaccination.

    “Preventable to me means 100% preventable.”

    Do you also believe that the use of seat belts does not prevent fatalities occurring as the result of automobile accidents or do you apply your idiosyncratic definition for the word ‘preventable’ selectively at whim?

  58. Malone
    April 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Shannon,

    “I know you believe what you’re writing. I also know there’s no point in trying to get you to change those beliefs — you are caught in an all-too-familiar confirmation bias feedback loop.”

    Any you my friend are caught in the “I know everything and am unwilling to learn and try new things even though it may benefit my son” feedback loop.

    “@Malone’s statements are pure biomed zealotry. A parent who truly believes in their autistic child does not do so with the caveat that the child must also be “recovered.”

    You make no sense here Shannon. If you have an over growth of Candida you heal it, if you have brain swelling, you do things to bring it down. If your body needs more gaba and less glutamates, you do it. If you have allergies, you heal them. You would be an awful parent and human being if you did not take care of the health of your child. All of this healing is just so awful isn’t it? Making my son feel better is just horrible. It’s biomed zealotry.

    Chris,
    Your brain is stuck on one thing and one thing only. The which is worse scenario? Guess what even if you can prove that there are more injuries caused from diseases than vaccines (highly doubtful) that is not the point. If that is all you can go on and on about then you just don’t get it.

    Chemmo,

    “Wrong, Malone. Your child will perform according to your child’s abilities, not according to your belief.
    Your child has abilities, whether you believe in them or not. Your child’s performance is not about you.”

    You are absolutely wrong Chemmo. You must not ever limit what you think your child can do. They will go as far your limits will allow them. Think about that for one minute. If you need to read more about it, these guys have it down http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/

  59. Chris
    April 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Malone, I am quite willing to concede my point if you actually produced some evidence that the vaccines cause more injury than the diseases.

    But you have a closed mind. I can tell that even though I have posted several studies showing that the diseases are more dangerous than the vaccines, you have neither bothered to click on them, or you just want to live in your own fantasy land.

  60. Chris
    April 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Noting my bad English, the last sentence should be: you have neither bothered to click on them, nor bothered to understand them…you just want to live in your own fantasy land.

    Malone, come back when you can come up with the evidence that measles, pertussis, hepatitis, tetanus, rotavirus, and other vaccine preventable diseases are 100% safe. Though I doubt that will happen, because I posted several studies that show just the opposite.

  61. Narad
    April 11, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Malone :
    If your body needs more gaba and less glutamates, you do it.

    Uh-huh. How do you imagine that you addressed the issue of “your body needs more gaba”? You can agonize the receptors (e.g., ethanol, benzodiazepines), you can inhibit reuptake (e.g., Gabatril), and you can protect it from enzymatic attack (e.g., Depakote), but you sure can’t do anything by eating it.

    If you have allergies, you heal them.

    Your lone option here is desensitization, the likes of Kenneth Bock notwithstanding.

  62. Shannon Rosa
    April 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    @Malone, you are once again misreading. That is what I mean by a confirmation bias feedback loop — when we explain why you are misinformed and misguided, it just makes you dig in harder. That’s why I counter you rather than try to convince you.

    When I refer to what we know, I am referring to legitimate evidence. When you refer to what you know, you refer to your anecdotes and debunked pseudoscience. (Circa 2003 pseudoscience, I might point out.) Not the same thing at all.

    If your child has medical conditions, you treat them. No one is debating that. What we are pointing out is that autism is neurology, not illness. So if medical conditions like allergies are treated and behavior changes, it is because the person is feeling better, not because they are less autistic than they were before.

  63. April 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm
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