Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer on Lancet Retraction
Feb 03, 2010
By Amy Pisani
Alison Singer, co-founder and president of the Autism Science Foundation, has written an opinion piece for CNN describing how the Wakefield study, and later the disrepute of the study, has impacted her life as a mother of a child with autism and as an advocate for autistic children. Singer explains that when her daughter Jodie was diagnosed with autism, she, like many other scared parents at the time, decided to break up her second daughter’s vaccinations. After reading the study carefully and realizing Dr. Wakefield’s many conflicts of interest, Singer re-evaluated her stance. She realized that not only did her decision leave her daughter vulnerable to disease, but also that the discredited vaccine issue was taking much needed research funding and attention away from finding the true causes of autism. Singer now runs the Autism Science Foundation, a group whose mission it is to support legitimate autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating scientifically sound autism research. As you can imagine, Singer is glad that Wakefield’s research has been formally discredited. However, the consequences of this ordeal have yielded devastating results. Singer wrote on CNN.com, “Once you put a scary idea in someone’s head, it is very hard to reassure them, even in the presence of compelling science. Anti-vaccine autism activists continue to view Wakefield as a hero willing to take on the establishment and fight for their children. In the meantime, his research has had a lasting negative effect on children’s health in that some people are still afraid of immunizations. In some cases, the younger siblings of children with autism are being denied lifesaving vaccines, despite mountains of scientific evidence indicating no link between vaccines and autism. This is the Wakefield legacy.” Please click here to read Alison’s full piece on CNN.com, which also includes very promising findings in the field of autism research.
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