Home > Science > Autism Speaks and Vaccines

Autism Speaks and Vaccines

Many studies have been conducted on large samples to determine if a link exists between vaccination – specifically the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and thimerosal-containing vaccines – and increases in the prevalence of autism. These studies have not supported a link between either the MMR vaccine or thimerosal and the increased prevalence of autism. Scientific evidence indicates that the proven benefits of vaccinating a child to protect them against serious diseases outweigh the hypothesized risk that vaccinations might cause autism. It is possible that, in rare cases, an immunization might trigger the onset of autism symptoms due to an underlying medical or genetic condition. Autism Speaks is conducting studies on the underlying biology of autism, including studies to better understand medical and genetic conditions that are associated with autism.

Autism Speaks is funding research to develop effective treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan. We support a wide range of studies that are exploring behavioral, biomedical and pharmacological treatments. Parents need and deserve research to answer questions regarding what treatments are effective for their child.

For more information please see our vaccine statement and an interview with Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., Autism Speaks’ Chief Science Officer, about vaccines and autism.

  1. April
    January 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I am a mother of an incredible 8 year old son with autism. With the MMR scare, after my son was diagnosed, I refused all immunizations for my daughter three years later. Since, with rationale and reason, have slowly allowed almost all immunizations over several years for her. She is not autistic.

    I do not account their spectrum differences on one specific immunization. Several factors occurred at my son’s birth, combined with multiple immunizations, treatments and procedures performed by the hospital staff; and a 90 minute block of time immediately following birth that I was not allowed to touch, and therefore, bond with my son. Any or all I believe have responsibility. I do think that many immunizations on a brand new body so little and unable fully protect itself can cause many issues that contribute to autism. But they cannot be held solely responsible and certainly not one specifically held responsible. Every situation is different, every child is unique…this one is mine :)

  2. January 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I never believed there was any connection to autism and vaccines. I believe it’s a combination of many things, rather than one thing. I think the take away should be to stop pointing fingers and focus on the children living with autism. There are limited schools and resources and services. Let’s address those issues before we tackle the cause.

    • Liz
      January 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      I agree with you Lisa. My son has Sensory Processing Disorder & I never thought his vaccinations were the cause of his disorder. The biggest challenge I am facing right now is getting the proper help he is going to need to start kindergarten. I firmly believe that with my son’s case he is a great example of many different things (hereditary, etc.) and my New Year’s resolution is to advocate for someone like my son & those that are autistic. I recently attained an AA in Elementary Ed & purposely postponed my Bachelor’s because I am in the process of the educational fight for my son. Recently I have decided that once my son goes to school, I may proceed with my Bachelors in Special Education – with my main focus on the broad spectrum of Autism.

    • Sarah
      January 7, 2011 at 12:50 am

      I agree that we need to focus on resources and services. I also think we need to continue searching for the cause to turn this tide. I don’t want to watch autism rates continue to rise at alarming rates only to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren get diagnosed. I want them to have better odds than my children did.

  3. Kelly
    January 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Having 3 sons, my oldest has Fragile X Syndrome and was once diagnosed with Autism, I never believed vaccines were the root cause of autism. I’m convinced now as I was 13 years ago the importance of vaccinations. Now, hopefully in light of the recent news our medical community will begin focusing on treatment for people effected by ASD. Let’s move forward and try not to get stuck in the quagmire that one ‘creep’ has caused our community to become bogged down.

    • Stacy
      January 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

      Thirteen years ago your sons’ were getting mercury in their vaccines. I have three children. One with autism, one with tetrasomy 18p and one with type 1 diabetes and I don’t believe it was some extremely rare coincidence that I would give birth to three kids with all different disorders. I believe mercury “triggered” it in my susceptible childern. Dr. Wakefield has our children’s best interest at heart in finding those answers.

      • Stacy
        January 10, 2011 at 12:47 am

        ….and I do believe in vaccines, but they are not for everyone!!

  4. Mary Lou
    January 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    As I do not have a medical degree I can only go by what I saw first hand with MY son and MY experience. My son was developing normally, hitting all his milestones. Then came the MMR vaccine, next thing I knew he wasn’t talking, singing or looking at me anymore. I am not talking weeks or months after, I am talking the next day. I doubt that the CDC or pharmacutical companies would admit to being at fault, the fallout would be astronomical. I feel that the vaccine may trigger a, as of yet unfound underlying condition. I just don’t understand why in 1989 they decided 10 childhood vaccines were not enough and went to 36 shots? Why at 2 months old was my 16lb infant given 6 shots at one time, and the dose the same as what would be given to an adult? Why is the schedule so dominated by multiple shots at one time and not spread out to give an infants body time to adjust to what is being injected? I am not anti-vaccine, they have done a lot of good, but I just don’t understand why the CDC insists we needed to triple the amount given to these tiny babies.
    As far as Dr. Wakefield, I don’t know. He has admitted to falsifying his research, there may be several reasons for that. Maybe he was under the gun to complete his research, or has just folded to constant hammering from the medical “experts” who had been trying for years to discredit him. I think more testing by independant and neutral parties needs to be done, not the pharmacutical companies or the CDC. Then there is Robert Kennedy Jr. and the Simpsonwood report, linking autism to vaccines. It may be something as simple as an allergy, not all people can take penicillian, why are all vaccines safe for everyone?
    I am just putting forth my own experience and research. I live autism 24/7/365

    • Beth Anne
      January 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      Well said. I live autism, as well, with a very similar story. When reading this article these words jumped out at me, “specific genetic or medical factors present in a small minority of the general population”. I don’t believe it to be such a small minority!

    • Sandra
      January 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

      I am the parent of a 21 year old son that has Autism. We were told when he was 20 months hold that he had autism. I do not care what studies have, are or will be done, my son was a normal child, he had no problems, was talking to us, singing songs with us and developing normally.
      And then it happened, I he had a needle, and in less than 48 hours the child life and our families was turned upside down. I have no doubt in my mind that the needle is what caused the problem.
      I do not believe what science says, I have lived it and I know what is true, the needle did it

      • Mike
        January 8, 2011 at 2:31 am

        Well, in 1992, when your son “got” autism, the Redskins won the Super Bowl. Does that mean the Redskins were the cause of your son’s autism?

        I honestly feel sorry for you, and I wish you the best, but just because your son was diagnosed with autism right after a vaccination, does not mean that was the cause. Come on, use your brain. 48 hours is not nearly enough time for a harmless vaccination to change a whole person’s neurological condition permanently in such a way.

      • adele
        January 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

        @ Mike…anaphallaxis only takes seconds to kill, so why couldn’t a reaction to a shot cause damage in 24 to 48 hours…in the scientific method we look at the constants and the variables…this link needs to be looked at and studied further by parties who have nothing to lose or nothing to gain by a particular outcome…there is something to the autism/vaccine link…perhaps it is just a catalytic trigger but we need to know…too many kids are getting this diagnosis…they have a right to know.

    • melissa knecht
      January 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

      My son is 13 and after his MMR around 18 months old, he also quit talking, after speaking 2-3 word phrases by 14 months old. My son also can’t take penicillian. I have a hard time believing that there isn’t a connection somehow. I also live with Autism 24/7/365.

      • Anita
        January 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

        Mary Lou, my sister experienced the same thing with her son. Jacob was a normally functioning boy, happy, social and talkative, with a growing vocabulary. Then he had the MMR vaccine and he became a different boy overnight. He stopped talking and socializing, avoided eye contact, etc. I believe that the truth about vaccines will never be told because, as you so aptly stated it, the fallout would be astronomical. Money is more important to big pharma and the government. The children have been cast aside. Question: how can they say vaccines don’t cause autism when they can’t say what does. Nope, I don’t believe them, not one bit. We are living with the truth every single day.

    • Penny M
      January 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      I have to say your words jumped off the page at me to.My son was developing normally to and somethings he did at a very early age.Then after he turned 19 months old we got his shots and the next morning he was off in that world of his own.I did not want to believe it was the shots and I am not saying it causes all autisim I just know after years of researching it is what caused my sons..I think there should be alot more reseaching done before people close the book and say vaccines don’t at least contribute to its cause..It is my prayer this happens and soon because I have talked to a number of parents this has happened to..

  5. janice gilmore
    January 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I know the vaccines are cause my grandson was fine and the day he went for his shots his mom brought him home it was like a different child was in his little body,his eyes were different drs didnt diagnose autism for three years but I know the day this happened to my grandson and started collecting info on it

    • January 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      After I read this, I was compelled to share my story. I too am a grandmother of an 8yr old beautiful little girl. Her mother took her to the doctor for her shots when she was 9 months old. She brought her to my house to babysit shortly after. I have pictures that show a different child. It was a conincident that I was taking pictures of her that day. I didn’t suspect autism immediately, but now know that was the day of the change. It was 3 yrs later that I finally broke down and suggested to my son that I though little Isabel my be afflicted with autism. Like Janice Gilmore, the day she had the shots was the beginning of her difference. No one will ever convince me differently.
      I also agree with other comments on this site, let’s focus on the cure, but for heaven sake, let’s be sure no other family has to deal with this.

  6. laura
    January 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I have two children my daughter has epilepsy and my son has autism im not sure wether i believe that vaccines causes autism because my son was diagnosed aged 3 and had autistic characteristics way before he was diagnosed and before any vaccines i do think that more research and studies should be done as parents dont know whats best were vaccines are concerned it should be looked into and publised so every parent can make an informed decision our kids are precious but how can we do whats best if we dont have the relevant information?

  7. Ilene
    January 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I agree that we need to continue researching treatments and potential causes. But because of Dr. Wakefield’s FRAUD, valuable and limited time and resources have been wasted. Hopefully, now our limited resources can go to obtaining real and REPRODUCIBLE scientific data to provide the knowledge so desperately needed.

    • Sarad
      January 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      Wakefield’s work was replicated in 5 different countries.

  8. Alyssa
    January 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    My experience is simply this. I got preg for the first time in 1996, my blood type was a- my husband was a+, I had to have the gabulglobin shot (?), at the time thymerisol was used in that shot. Anyone who ever has been preg knows what goes in your body crosses the placenta. My first preg and child completely text book normal. A few months later I got preg again, had the same shots again. This time the baby was withdrawn, didn’t like to cuddle, content to watch the world go by and not have any attention, didn’t look at you, didn’t like breast feeding, didn’t start talking. Both girls had their shots. Then at 18 months old my second child was diagnosed with Autism and sever ADHD.

    Do I feel the vacine is the sole cause? NO, but I do believe it added insult to injury. It just compounded the problem. So I do believe there is a link to some degree. I am glad that they took thymerisol out of vacines, but I do feel to little to late for alot of children!

    • Beverly
      January 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      I had the exact experience with the gabulglobin shots….1st child extremtely gifted…second son had problems all along….not diagnosed until almost 15 years old when I started to put the pieces of the puzzle together….same systems though…didn’t want to be held, had to swaddle to hold him because of severe reflux problems, content to watch world go by as long as you left him alone, diagnosed with ADD and high anxiety at age 7 but above average intelligence…I wonder if any testing is being done about the effects of these gabulglobin shots! That is something that is being done that wasn’t done 30 or 40 years ago.

  9. sherry mullican
    January 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I am a firm believer that my son’s case of autism is result of the MMR shot, chase was born 8 weeks early, had rsv at the age of 1, multiple ear infections before he ended up having tubes put in his ears, because chase was premature he had to have evaluations every 6 months till he was 18 months old, was on time for everything, chase received the MMR shot as scheduled at the age that is required for all childern, in all reality it should have been given 2 months later than the required age. A few months later all my son could do was sit in the floor and shred paper for hours, he would refuse to go out in public, and was terrified of forks and spoons. I am so sure about chase’s case that i refused the second dose of the MMR shot( he had immunity test done which was required for him to stay in public schools) , he has had an MRI of his brain, the results were the same as a normal child with no disability, fragilx test was done, results came back normal on that to, chase has had all sorts of test done and all come back with normal results! He can no longer digest gluten. Chase will be 7 this month and is still up able to talk but he has made so much progress he understand almost everything and can do most things on his own.

  10. Matt
    January 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Will Autism Speaks comment on the BMJ article which discusses the fraud involved in the Wakefield MMR research?

  11. MommaHellica
    January 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I have a 3 yr old on the spectrum and a 5 yr old who is not. Both received their vaccinations on time as suggested and suffered no adverse reactions. I fully believe that there is a genetic factor at work or some other biological trigger. My 5 yr old has a congenital heart defect and has a sensory processing disorder amongst other things. My younger son also has sensory processing issues and I see a lot of parallels in the issues we stumble upon between the two of them. We knew very early on about my son’s heart issue, as my husband lost a sibling to a CHD and the other to another abnormality and his father to heart disease. Logically it makes sense to presume there is an underlying genetic link to both the heart defects and autism.

  12. charlie
    January 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    i agree with you mary lou,and janice what you wrote sounds like you were in my house.my beautiful 5 year old son was the same way,as soon as he got his shot he went from being typical to autistic in minutes i dont understand it either.i just wish more people gave a dam about or children and excepted the fact that autism is here and its serious

  13. Maggie
    January 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I am mom of a high functioning 12 year Aspergers child.

    I do not believe it is the vaccines, although that one story above makes me think that perhaps the vaccine for that child was some sort of catalyst…(could the vaccine could have been prepared improperly?-the dose was too high? or it was administered incorrectly?). I recently saw some research showing a connection to jaundice and billirubin which interested me as my son went thru phototherapy for jaundice as an infant where we had to leave him under the lights the first few days….but then I remember the long convoluted stories that his father used to tell us and hear those same long tales full of minutia in my son’s voice…and he has never met him.

    January 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I know my grandson was fine, until he got his MMR. His disposition changed drastically after that. He was then diagnosed Autistic, a short time after receiving the shot. They can debunk whatever they want too. They will do anything to save the Big Pharm’s from lawsuit. I never knew anyone when I was growing up that had autism. Now, I just talk to people, and they either have an autistic child in the family, or know of a neighbor or friend who has an autistic child. Something was done to create this situation. Done my Big Pharm, Government, or both. Just find out the truth, and solve this dilemma once and for all. Have they done medical background studies on the parents with autistic children against those of normal children? Have they does studies comparing lifestyles, locations of births? What hospitals, what Physicians had the most autistic children under their care? Have they done studies on children who get immunized on a schedule against those who don’t.? Have they tested all immunizations being made? Are the doses to much. Have they done studies on children getting a full series of shots, against those that have not. Are their more diagnosed children in countries that require immunizations, compared to those countries that do not? Is autism present in children who have not had any shots? (like in underdeveloped countries). Is autism more prevalent in industrial countries, than non industrial countries. Are more children with autism born and raised in cities, or outside of cities. What does a CAT scan reveal that is different from autistic child and one who is not. Should they take a CAT Scan of the brain prior to shots? and compare them afterwards if the child is diagnosed as autistic, against a child, who has the same shots and is normal. Is there really enough being done?

    • Sarah
      January 7, 2011 at 12:45 am

      Of course the sad and maddening truth is that the answer to most of your questions is NO. In particular, the immunizations are tested in isolation, NOT in groups of up to 8, which is the way they are administered.

      You ask about immunization rates vs. diagnosis rates in other countries. An example of that is in the Somali population in Minneapolis. Autism rates in Somalia are low. Autism rates in Somalis who come to the US are extremely high. They are required to be immunized to enter the US, even if they are pregnant.

      You ask “Is there really enough being done?” NO, NO, NO. Perhaps there isn’t enough evidence for the government and medical establishment to finally say that immunizations DO play a role, but there also is definitely not enough evidence to say that they DON’T play a role, either. The thousands of families who watch their children disappear into themselves within hours of receiving a shot apparently aren’t enough evidence.

  15. Karen
    January 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Please look into XMRV and it’s possible association to autism, ADHD, ME/CFS, and cancer. I believe that in an immune compromised individual vaccines can be an insult that triggers disease. For more information, go the the Whittemore Peterson Institute website.

    Patient with ME/CFS, son with ADHD
    Member of ME/CFS worldwide Patient Alliance

  16. Shannon
    January 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I have 2 sons. Matt age 6 & Colby age 4. Matt is the smartest kid in his class. Colby is on the Spectrum. On Colby’s 3rd birthday, he left and went in the front yard to be alone. Really wasn’t talking. He got upset in the car if we didn’t turn a specific direction. He is obsesed with trains. I went to the vitamin D council website and saw the effects that the lack of vitamin D can have on children.
    I got pregnant with Colby in Jan. I live in NJ, so I didn’t get much sun(which gives you vit d). I have to say that on my 2nd pregnancy I didn’t take my prenatal vitamins everyday. I stayed out of the sun during the summer because I was Hugh. Colby was born in Sept. We spent a long fall, winter, and spring with NO sun & no vitamin D. I nursed the while time and did not know to give the vitamin D supplement. A big mistake.
    For a year now, I have been giving Colby at least 1400 iu of vitamin D a day. Some days 2000 iu. He has come really far.

    Colby is now talking in 6 word sentenses and making eye contact and for the first time wants a playdate with other kids.

    Go to the vitamin D council website to read what I read. It is helping us. Check it out.

  17. Randy
    January 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Ok this report may be a fraud. But I am a firm believer about that toxin Thimerosal is a possible trigger. I give my son who was diagnoised sever autism his shots without thimerosal. I’ve read and seen to many other independent studies on Thimerosal which is Mercury plain and simple. And since then my son has progressed to High Functioning autism and leaning towards Asperges they think. there may be many factors that cause it. But Mercury is poison period.

  18. Tammy
    January 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Andrew Wakefield should face fraud and manslaughter charges for the criminal acts he he committed. Millions of people, not just children, have suffered and many have died, due to outbreaks of mumps and whooping cough that can be traced back to unprotected children in England and the panic about he created.

    • Laura
      January 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Murder, really? That is pretty strong!

  19. Tammy
    January 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Always knew something was wrong with KT from the minute she was born; we just couldn’t put our finger on what it was…

    My daughter’s autism is due to a neurotransmitter disorder; her body doesn’t create enough calcium folinate to transmit electrical impulses throughout her body. Since she was diagnosed and we started giving her calcium folinate, we’ve seen HUGE improvements. Yet her neurological system had developed for 3 years without enough calcium folinate; she’s been wired differently…current diagnosis: autism.

  20. Teri Baker
    January 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    My third child was born with autism. She was never received any vaccinations. When my first child was born (1982) the protocol was to start vaccinations at 4 months. I dutifully took my baby in and had the first series of shots. She ran a fever for 24 hours. Afterward, I went into research mode. Before the next appointment, which I canceled, I made the decision not to vaccinate my daughter anymore. My two subsequent children never received vaccines.
    Allow me to say that I am not against vaccines. My two older children have since been vaccinated without incident. Both were in their late teens when they received their vaccinations. I do take exception with vaccinating an infant though, and I still maintain that position (<24 years later).
    I cannot blame autism on vaccines and that circumstance has put me on the outside of this issue. What my research showed me (many years ago)was that autism is a neurobiological disorder. Of the 50 brains that had been autopsied (back then) every one of them revealed malformations of distinct areas. One of these areas, the brain stem, develops in the first trimester of gestation (day 40-44). My daughter, Ragan who was born with autism died six years ago from a co-morbid condition. She was 18 years old. I successfully arranged to have her brain donated to the ATP. Her brain, as I suspected was malformed in many ways associated with autism.

  21. Tabatha
    January 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Only the data can support either side. Separate the MMR and then evaluate how many children have the autism result and then people will start to listen. I have a child that was fine until all of those shots combined were administered. I can not discount the end result of my child being on the spectrum until someone does the research and explain why all of these children are coming along with autism at an alarming rate.

    We have all this money going towards studies that are not adding value to anyone or anything. It is about time for someone to pay closer attention and find the answer to this so we do not repeat this cycle again in a few years like we have for other living diseases.

    Anyone can say that doctor is wrong but fighting this fight in the media does not say the doctors claiming fraud is correct. All this does is create more confusion so we stay at the mercy of the medical field and continue to rely on the PRACTICING opinions of the MDs.

  22. Sarah
    January 7, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Wakefield may have made some missteps, but he was onto something. Look into the info the virologist on his team revealed. It points to the effect of some vaccines lingering way too long in the digestive tracts of some ASD kids. This does damage to the digestive system, which alters how food is broken down, processed, and enters the blood stream. In an already vulnerable body (we still don’t know how to identify those individuals before the damage is done) the unprocessed nutrients can have a significant effect on the brain. Using a biomedical approach you can frequently heal the gut and remove much of the ill-effects. READ “Gut And Psychology Syndrome”. In many patients and families, including mine, it just makes sense.

  23. Christy
    January 7, 2011 at 12:56 am

    There are questions as to why there are suddenly such an increase in not only in children with autism but also ADHD (& variations), Allergies (foods and others) and Asthma.

  24. Christy
    January 7, 2011 at 1:07 am

    There have also been other comments by parents (such as one above) who waited to have their child vaccinated until after 2 years of age and then gradually introduced each vaccine over time before the school years started. There are not reports, that I am aware of, of these children having higher counts of the above conditions.
    Has any one considered that possibly giving all these vaccines in so many doses at too young of a physically development (from day one for many – my daughter got her first within hours of birth!) may be causing their bodies to react in ways that are causing these conditions?
    Babies bodies go through so much trauma (at birth) and growing within the first 2 years. Perhaps the human body can not handle trying to go through all the natural development as well as fighting to develop defenses from these vaccines.
    Forget mercury, forget pinpointing any one vaccine (although this article does make one wonder about this specific vaccine) and research this question: Is the volume and timing of the vaccines harming the development of our children’s minds and bodies?

  25. Sarah
    January 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I believe everyone.

    ALL of our children are different – their underlying disease states are all radically different – and are giving them this specific “psychiatric” condition.

    Our kids behaviorally: some tank behaviorally (and continue to tank), some flat line, some have a huge trajectory for the better, some regressed, some had multiple regressions, some had no regressions.

    Some of our kids respond: hugely to X intervention, others to Y intervention, others to Z, others to no intervention.

    Our children have: explosive head circumference overgrowth, microcephaly, whatever cephalic disorder or normal head circumference patterns.

    Our children have: explosive yellow-froth-rice-pudding stools for life, others extreme constipation (weekly, painful giant grapefruits), others alternating constipation/diarrhea, others standard-daily-balled-lumped constipation, while still others have completely normal stools.

    Our children have: allergies, type-1 diabetes, asthma, inflammation, early-onset MS (even in males), T1/T2 problems, calcium signaling problems, protein digestion (and creation) problems, VCLAD, SCAD, MCAD, CPT, complex 1 mito, complex 3 mito, combo complex 1&2, Complex, 2, muscle dystrophy, no diagnosable FOD (but certainly obvious), seizures (of all different stripes), fragile-x, Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, while others have no discernible autoimmune/metabolic condition, etc., etc., etc. And of course, their are kids with the above autoimmune/metabolic conditions who do not have ASD.

    Our kids have: sensory processing disorders (visual, auditory, tactile, olfaction, gustatory, vestibular, proprioception), OT issues, gross motor issues, apraxia, or none of the above.

    Our kids have additional “psychiatric” conditions on top of their ASD psychiatric condition (whether it is legally diagnosed or not): ADHD, bi-polar, depression, OCD, borderline personality disorder, Tourette’s, schizophrenia, etc., etc.

    Our children only have commonalities with their subset (my kid has one or more of the above symptoms in each category – putting him in to a subset – check out http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/app/index.html). The other subsets (meaning NOT your child’s subset)… The only commonality is impairment in “joint attention” – the only shared condition (and different degrees of impairment at that). This is the ONLY single condition that all of our children share.

    THANK YOU AUTISM SPEAKS – I have learned so much through your scientific marvels, newsletters, website, grants, etc. I have understood that my child is MY CHILD’S AUTISM is ONLY MY CHILD’S SUBSET.

    Without you, I would believe: “because it is so for my child, it must be so for everyone’s child.”

    Why should our children’s path to this shared “psychiatric” condition be any different?

    I believe when people say their child was damaged by (XYZ/PDQ/ABC/LMNOP): X in pregnancy, Y in delivery, Z in this vaccination, P in that vaccination, D in all the vaccinations, Q in none of the vaccinations, A in this chemical, B in that pesticide, C in that daily dose of pollution, L in that water source, M in that genetic make up, N in that chromosome deletion/duplication, O in some of the above, P in only ONE of the above.

    I believe everyone.

    • Kerry
      January 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Wow, Sarah. That has to be the most profound commentary I have read in the three years I have dedicated all of my reading to this topic. Thank you for taking the time to write and share it here.

  26. Regina
    January 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

    There has been so much said and with so much love. I have a 16 year old son with autism. Jason is non-verbal but understands everything we say and do not say. He is happy. I am not sure if blaming will bring our children back but awareness, education and resources makes them accepted. It is hard to accept I’ve had 13 years to do it. Love your child and make your community aware of him especially children his age. Gina

  27. Katie Wright
    January 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I find this all terribly sad.
    I think we are talking about the form of autism most easily prevented.
    Parents like me drive no pleasure or satisfaction talking about how normal our kids were: I remember hearing “I love Mommy!” “that’s my baby brother!” “I want you Barney” as he tried to work the remote control.

    In the matter of a few months every word was gone and my 2 and half yr old son no longer recognized me. What precipitated all this were horrific reactions to multiple vaccine- febrile seizures- staph and strep. For my son so many viruses and adjuvants too soon was a set up for total disaster. It doesn’t have to be this way- all or nothing.

    Along w/ the autism came nightmarish GI problems – so severe they ruined his life. diarrhea 10x a day. Wakefield was the first doctor to listen to parents like me and help these kids. This insanity of him preying upon naive parents and forcibly scoping their healthy children is ludicrous. I BEGGED GIs to scope and help Christian – most believe autism is a “psychiatric” disease and don’t want to treat ASD kids.

    If your child was different from the start or is autism runs in your family, vaccines were not a factor for your child. But we all know there are MANY different of ASD- as emerging research has confirmed. None of the people judging Wakefield have any idea what life is like for my child or how much worse it would be without his work and shame on them for not caring. GI disease and regression is all to real, lets see something done to help these children.

    • brian kerwin
      January 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      My nephew’s consipation the last month was so extreme he would wake up in middle of night pulling his hair out(sib)rushed to emergency room twice to forcibly clear,given morphine for the pain. He spent hours running through his hallways screaming. However he was treated with respect and numerous doctors where readily available to work with him and the parents to find workable solutions.

      • brian kerwin
        January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm

        not good at this so submitted before finished. my nephew is a verbel non autistic 10 year old. my 19 year old connor had the same symptoms and like Katie it took years to find a doctor that would treat the obvious symptoms, it was all a behavior. He still suffers. I agree with Sarah, I do not agree with anyone who says they know. I remember in real time hearing that was a GI treating children in England . How thrilling that was, the idea someone would treat my son’s symptoms after years of trying , that they would treat him as my verbel nephew was in hours. Connor’s regression occurred after his DPT so i knew it want mmr for him but back in the day there was no wide acceptence that a regression could happen. to mike and the 1992 superbowel, great year the last year my son could crap on a consistent basis, our last superbowl party. I remember the FIRST time this was debated on CNN,sometime in the mid 90’s a parent friend of mine and a rude doctor named Paul Offit first argued against a increase in rate of autism and said even if there is so is the rate of divorce. It was also the first time I went on AOL to watch the show feedback and saw a army of drug reps join the group, thier arguments so fearful that for the first time I felt there must be something there. I am still waiting for the fully staffed treatment networks that will concentrate on the medically sick symptoms but would like to thank his doctors the last decade. I am still waiting for the goverment to care. My oldest son just had a border line lyme test and the state is required to follow up that he took his script and what is the result. Yet since Connor was diagnosed 1/5000 to now, they don’t care. that is what can’t be explained to me.

    • Cyndi
      January 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Katie,

      Thank you so much for speaking out! I’ve been thinking about you ever since this story came out last week. I miss you guys and hope you are doing well.


    • jennifer
      February 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Katie, you just made me cry! my son only said momma once! he also had some febrile seizures once before when he was maybe 15 months old! after that his words were lost! he was always different though, but digestive problems were always an issue for us!!Good luck to you & your family! God bless you!!

  28. Katie Wright
    January 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I also find it tragic that AS is in hiding, terrified of commenting on the autism issues currently all over the media. One can support these issues and these children – publicly were it counts- or hide, terrified of what your peers might think. In doing nothing the largest autism organization in the world is ceding the floor to the vaccine lobbyists leaving our children with little to no representation on all the television shows.

    NAA, TACA and SafeMinds are doing what they can to stand up for these children while AS hides.

  29. Leah
    January 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Personally, I think that there a number of factors at play in this epidemic, and that epigenetic shifts caused by environmental toxins may have a lot to do with what is happening to our children. I think that vaccines may indeed play a pivotal role in some susceptible children, but that we don’t yet understand what makes some at risk while others are not. The answer may indeed lie with epigentetic changes due to things that we as parents were exposed to: things that did not product noticable changes in us but altered the epigenetics of our future children, and possibly our grandchildren.

    We have two children on the spectrum, both with different vaccine histories and levels of Autism. We also know now that our family is Celiac (gluten intolerant)and so has an underlying immune-related genetic issue. We didn’t know this when our eldest was vaccinated, but she did react badly to her vaccines, (screaming ferociously–like something I have never heard before or since in any child–and inconsolably for several hours after receiving the DTaP and then spiking inexplicable fevers) to the point that we wound up limiting them and I began to do a lot more reading.

    Our subsequent children have also been Celiac, and so far remain unvaccinated, including our youngest who is also Autistic. Clearly, vaccines did not cause Autism in our family, but I remain unconvinced that, had we continued to vaccinate on schedule, they would not be more severely effected than they are. Unlike the many Autistic children we now know, all of whom are vaccinated, we have never experienced a regression, have only mild sensory issues, and have had very few other health issues: no months or years spent on antibiotics, etc.

    We do, however, still struggle with gut issues, and I have to wonder if immune/gut abnormalities in certain children cause atypical vaccine reactions that can trigger or exacerbate autistic symptoms. While it is a wrenching decision for any parent to face (and we still wrestle with it), even our pediatrician agreed that she couldn’t in good conscience recommend further vaccination for our family given our history and challenges. Because as much as we want to protect them from illness, we don’t have confidence that the wrong shot might not trigger regression at this point. And yet, had they all been vaccinated on schedule they would have received 30+ vaccinations before we had any idea (other than the screaming and fevers) that we might be high-risk.

    There is still too much, in my opinion, that we don’t understand for us to feel confident and safe. And honestly, if they really wanted to take a step towards helping many families feel more comfortable they could begin by un-bundling vaccines so that parents could administer all those that they feel comfortable getting one-at-a-time. At the moment, I can’t even get a tetanus shot without also getting Diptheria and A-Cellular Pertussis at the same time. Just my two cents.

  30. Rob
    January 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Not to be a downer, but we cannot blame AS for not taking a stand on the whole vaccinations are evil debate. I think that vaccines may have played a part in my son’s autism like many people on this thread. But I will not crucify AS for not taking my side.

    If AS would come out and take a side, they would alienate too many people. They would lose funding for the critical research they are helping to coordinate and fund. The research community is very tight knit, and if you get known for doing the “wrong” research, you will find yourself never getting another grant for the work you want to do. Popular researchers will also stay away from anything you are trying to prove. I have heard this first hand from Autism researchers!

    Playing the middle of the road on this battle is hard, because just like all of us, people at AS have their opinions as well. But coming up with scientific solutions to why this is happening is the only way to curtail this explosion as quickly as possible.

  31. January 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I am the grandmother of an austistic 11 year old child (no speech at all, etc.) I believe the problem definitely is vaccines. It may not be an individual one but the administering of several in a short span of time-and to an infant-too much too soon. What is the common denominator in all the world? I can’t believe it is taking this long to come up with an answer to this problem. There are too many children afflicted with this problem to think that it is other than the vaccine issue. Again – WHAT IS THE COMMON DENOMINATOR?

    • Cindy
      January 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      I agree Roberta!!

  32. Karl
    January 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    My beautiful 18 month old son stopped talking, developed seizures, and lost his eye following the MMR. We live it 24/7/365.

    Sure autism has many causes but mercury is clearly one of them.

    I’m sorry to see AS succumb to the propoganda that 500 billion dollars/year can buy. Merck, Pfizer, and Glaxo have a lot at stake here and manipulating the medical community is old hat to them. You know the deal – free lunches for medical students, pretty drug reps, educational trips to Aspen, political contributions, glossy ads in The New England Journal…

    Let me know when you figure out the “Genetic Epidemic”, meanwhile we’ll stay away from Mercury.

  33. January 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you for asking for comments. My son with autism is 48 years old. Over the past 4 decades I have read everything I could get my hands on, and went back to school and got a PhD in biochemistry. I have tried to be heard, but I am not much of an activist or organizer.

    My son’s autism is the result of trauma and anoxia at birth. He had all his vaccinations without any reactions. He has always had good physical health and was very athletic in his younger days.

    Asphyxia at birth leads to a characteristic pattern of ischemic damage in nuclei of the brainstem auditory pathway. Injury of midbrain auditory nuclei (the inferior colliculi) leads to loss of the ability to comprehend spoken language. How much more serious this should be for an infant.

    Brainstem damage can also lead to GI problems. This is well known in alcoholism. Auditory and other autonomic brainstem centers are also well known to be vulnerable to other drugs or any toxic substance in the circulation. See my website at conradsimon.org for more.

  34. Cindy
    January 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Did anyone here about giving Autistic kids oxytosin? I’m curious to find out about that!

  35. sarad
    January 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Since so many parents in the autism community have been calling for a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study why doesn’t Autism Speaks fund it?

  36. kristy
    January 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I am a mother of four…vaccinated my children but by my choice of shots and only one at a time. I am just wondering..any parents out there that have NOT vaccinated and still have autistic children??? or do you know anyone???

  37. Perla
    January 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    There are many different opinions about vaccines,but the reality lies on the fact that it is not in the best interest of the U.S.A. to affirm to the vaccines being the cause of Autism in children. Let’s face the fact that the Pharmacutical Industry is one of the major money makers for our country. Immagine if they would admitt to this beign the true cause of Autism, They would go bankrrupt in law suits. I have a six year old son who was a perfect pregnancy, delivery and a perfectly developing child. He too stopped talking two months followings the shots. We should definitely join forces to point the fingers and make those responsible for this hardship on our childrens lives and make them all accountable to provide all services needed for our children and a possible cure for this sad condition. Remember, they are not the ones rejected by society and suffering the ramifications of their malpractice…THINK ABOUT IT….IF IT DOES NOT HURT THEM, WHY SHOULD THEY CARE!!!

  38. Skycladlilith SaintMartha
    January 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “Retracted autism study an ‘elaborate fraud,’ British journal finds” by CNN Wire Staff

    Link: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/autism.vaccines/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

    Excerpt: “An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.

    “It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors,” Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor-in-chief, told CNN. “But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data.”

    Britain stripped Wakefield of his medical license in May. “Meanwhile, the damage to public health continues, fueled by unbalanced media reporting and an ineffective response from government, researchers, journals and the medical profession,” BMJ states in an editorial accompanying the work.”

    • January 18, 2011 at 8:02 am


      While I do not believe there is enough evidence (excluding anecdotal) to support the theory that vaccines cause autism, even if there is a correlation, I would rather risk having a living child with autism than a non-autistic child dead of rubella.

      Not to mention that the age at which spectrum symptoms are typically discovered is very close to the age at which the majority of children receive their vaccinations. Correlation does not equal causation.

      Though I can’t blame a suffering parent for wanting an answer or explanation. Every possible cause and link needs to be studied (in an objective and HONEST manner), just not at the expense of millions of children’s health.

  39. Matt
    January 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    It is very clear that Wakefield’s study was not only wrong, but that he acted improperly both as a scientist and as a doctor.

    This subject is obviously a hot-button topic for autism parents. Autism Speaks needs to comment on this. Clearly. This blog post is not enough. Geraldine Dawson’s comments are not enough. It’s time to put Wakefield in the past and look to the future.

    • AL
      January 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      The funny thing is Matt, I was able to connect my son’s autism to vaccines before I had ever heard of Wakefield, Rimland, or anyone else.

      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see a normal child on video one day, he gets MMR and Varivax a week later, and then a video two weeks after that shows him having mini-seizures and ignoring everyone else in the house while sitting by himself engaged in what I now know to be stimming.

      The tape doesn’t lie. However those in the medical and science community with a misguided sense of duty to protect the vaccine program have, and will continue to lie. At least they will until someone in power stands up and says “NO, the needs of the many do NOT outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Not when the few are forced to pay such a high price.” Because that is what is going on here, and everyone knows it. Unfortunately, with the current prevalence of 1 in 110, the odds are about 110 to 1 that something will be done about it at the executive level.

      Considering that the only things working on the side of vaccines are consensus, belief, and ignorance, I wouldn’t throw stones at Dr. Wakefield if I lived in that glass house. Because you certainly can’t produce scientific evidence that vaccines are not to blame for autism.

      However, you might want to take a look at the 2 Stony Brook University studies done on the HEP-B shot. In both 0-1 and 1-9 age groups, the hep-b vaccine produced a greater percentage of developmental delays over those who did not receive the shot. Although since the media is under the thumb of the CDC, so those types of stories never make it to the tube.

      It’s not about thimerosal, aluminum, or anything else at this point. Vaccines in general need to be called into question, period. The safety of the CDC recommended vaccine schedule has NEVER been proven, and worse yet, other than 2 studies looking at ONE ingredient, they’ve never been studied for adverse affects beyond those stated by the manufacturers. We all know how well we can trust them, don’t we? Vioxx anyone? Merck needs money. Maybe some HIV tainted Factor VIII from Bayer?

  40. DFC
    January 7, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    1) If the final 25% of a fetus’s development takes place in the last month of gestation, and if that child — for whatever reason — is delivered prematurely, how long does it take for the child to complete that final 25% ex-utero?
    2) And if immunizations are given during that time of ex-utero development, how is that different from giving them to a child in-utero (something no one would countenance)?
    Even if that combination of two factors only accounted for a modest percentage (say, less than 10%) of all autism spectrum cases, it might be an indication to delay the immunization schedule to more closely match the developmental pace for that child.

  41. Shelley
    January 8, 2011 at 12:17 am

    After a sinus infection, ear infection,and antibiotics, our 19 yr old son with Autism and TBI, became more agitated than ever. As a last resort, we tried the oxytocin and I think it made things worse. One day I was reading about a test they were giving as a diagnostic marker. The test indicated some kind of organism. I decided to give him large dose of probiotic, like 6-10 pills of Jarrow dopholus (sp). He calmed down almost immediately. As long as we keep up the high dose of enteric coated probiotics, he is calm. I guess that it is the probiotic that produces the GABA in the gut. This discovery has really increased our quality of life. I hope this helps someone.

  42. John
    January 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

    CUMULATIVE EFFECT. Are there any meaningful studies being done on the CUMULATIVE EFFECT of administering the MMR vaccine to children who may have a heightened level of mercury in their system due to drug administered at child birth?

    I am the father of a 20 year old with Aspergers Syndrome. His birth was difficult and my wife received several doses of PITOCIN during labor. He was given the MMR in the normal course at about 2 years.

    All of the focus on the MMR not being the sole trigger for autism is an irrelevant sideshow. The CDC and medical community have too much to protect to refute the MMR as the cause of autism, and obviously Dr. Wakefield was improperly motivated the other way.

    What will be lost in the dialogue is that the MMR being added at a vital point in a child’s brain development to a child that may already have trace mercury in its system due to drugs administered at child birth or other environmental factors can have the CUMULATIVE EFFECT of triggering autism. Many of the posts above point to a CUMULATIVE EFFECT.

    Are the CUMULATVE EFFECTS being studied? I believe that AUTISM SPEAKS needs to take a lead role in connecting these dots.

  43. adele
    January 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Mike :Well, in 1992, when your son “got” autism, the Redskins won the Super Bowl. Does that mean the Redskins were the cause of your son’s autism?
    I honestly feel sorry for you, and I wish you the best, but just because your son was diagnosed with autism right after a vaccination, does not mean that was the cause. Come on, use your brain. 48 hours is not nearly enough time for a harmless vaccination to change a whole person’s neurological condition permanently in such a way.

  44. Katie Wright
    January 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Britain has a VERY different legal system than the US.
    Just think about this. The National Health Service gave a journalist working for a vaccine company
    access to these families private medical records without their permission.
    It isn’t required in the UK!!!

    Not one of the families treated by Wakefield had a complaint. All wanted to testify on his behalf at the trail but none we allowed to do so.

    Now these families have to endure their child’s and their families private information be publicly manipulated by a industry journalist and they have NO legal recourse. The journalist would be in jail here and so would the doctors who shared the information. Much of the info was not even part of the trial.

    My son had terrible reflux before the MMR, and the MMR made it so much worse.The journalist is arguing that children like mine had ulcertative colitis before the MMR. I think the childrens parents know better than a vaccine company hack.

  45. Stacy
    January 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I have a 2 yr old son who has autism and showed sign very early. I am not 100% convinced that autism is or is not caused by vaccines. If it were just vaccines then how can you explain the ratio of boys vs girls that are affected by autism. Autism seems to afffect boys more often than girls. I think genetics need more research as well as vaccines. There are alot of things that could be the cause but both males and females are exposed to the same things yet it seems to affect more boys than girls. I once read an article that said a very large amount of children were misdiagnosed with ADHD when in fact they really had autism and that was many many years ago. I have also heard that the vaccines were once being made in the United States and now they are being made in China. So as a mother of a child with autism I would really like for research to be in many area and not just focus on one item. I have often thought that one of the parents could be a carrier of the gene and pass it on to the child. I know there are certian disorders that a mother carry and yet can only pass the gene on to a male child, so it seems to me that autism could be passed that way. Some genes lie dormant and pass up generations and rear there head at different times. I want to learn as much as I can so that I understand all I can about autism.

  46. Stacy
    January 10, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Their has been controversy on the vaccines issue for many years. I simply do not understand why parents are always questioned by what they see in the children. It is the key that should be heard. Now how do we unlock it? Not by dismissing a crutial key to what is going on. It is more than knowledge of autism by which numbers have increased and a whole generation of autistic individuals.
    I have three children. My first daughter, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four. My son, born 15 mos. later, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. He is 15 now and completely non-verbal. A full term healthy baby. When he was six years old, I decided to give him the flu vaccine, because I had not seen any red flags with his previous vaccines. What a mistake!! He ran a fever for a week, was lethargic and developed acid reflux within days. The months that followed he changed dramatically. His acid reflux turned into severe gerd, he was biting, hitting, having rage fits, rashes, hives all of which he had never done before. Last January, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He has spent over 100 days this past year in the hospital because he has got sepsis twice. He now has an ostomy from the result of sepsis. The chemo treatment has taken a huge toll on his body requiring a much lower dose. The doctors found an enzyme that he has that causes him not to metabolize the chemo properly which has it staying in his body longer than it should. He also has a younger sister who is ten years younger who was diagnosed with a very rare chromosome disorder, tetrasomy 18p. Dalton has had numerous tests, studies, and a complete chromosomal analysis, which have all came back normal! I am a parent who is totally convinced that their is a genetic component to vaccines given to the wrong children. We have been injecting mercury into generations of people and I believe it has had a lasting effect. No one in my family or in my husbands has any of these disorders. I hope we don’t turn our backs on the generations of children who got mercury in their vaccines.

    • Stacy
      January 10, 2011 at 12:20 am

      One might wonder, how many disorders are actually being influenced by vaccines. Type 1 diabetes is controversial as the cause as well.

      • Sarah
        January 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        Great posts Stacy.

        I wanted to add, I know a child who tumbled into a type-1 diabetes coma within 24 hours of her 18m DPT/Hib/Polio shot.

        Type-1 is going up 3% a year.

        No one can claim these children’s parents have Munchausen – or it’s just “better diagnosing.” If these children are denied a diagnosis – they die (as you know). So, the true acceleration of the disease is being documented.

        There is also a movement out there to rename the disorder to reflect the autoimmune issues and differentiate type-1 from type 2:


  47. Nick's mom
    January 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I too live autism. It can be soul crushing and uplifting at the same time – a cruel dichotomy. I want to blame someone or something too. Wakefield LIED and cheated. He played on the desperation of all of us to lift himself to fame. Shame on him. The CDC has tried to replicate his work. They can’t because he falsified his data. I do support efforts to research the cause of this horrific epidemic that steals our children, but we must not let ourselves be further duped. It is entirely possible that the timing of the vaccine schedule coincides with the onset of symptoms. Just please consider that possibility – don’t hang your hopes on a fraud. You and your children deserve better. My best wishes to all.

    • Stacy
      January 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      Timing of vaccines? Where was autism 75 yrs. ago?

    • concerned parent
      January 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Nick’s Mom,
      The drug companies would love you. You believe every word of their propaganda. There was no fraud. You’re just repeating what you’ve heard in the media – owned by pharma. Wakefield did not cheat and he did not lie. He certainly didn’t strive for the “fame” of having his medical license taken away for standing up for our kids. Read Callous Disregard before you spout pharma propaganda about Dr. Wakefield.

    • January 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Read his paper that was taken from The Lancet.

  48. January 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    There are so many potential factors that influence the brain of a child with autism. The Wakefield study is an example of a group wanting to find “the smoking gun” but failing to account for other possibilites. Dr. Melillo, founder of Brain Balance Centers, was interviewed in a national broadcast about this issue. Visit BrainBalanceCenters.com/Parent-Center to watch the interview!

    • concerned parent
      January 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      If you’re here representing Brain Balance Centers, then you just lost me as a potential customer. You should read Callous Disregard before calling the Wakefield study “an example of a group wanting to find ‘the smoking gun'” You have no clue what the Lancet study was all about.

  49. Laurie
    January 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Have there been studies of the combination of vaccinations. I got maybe 2 shots when I was a child, there are now 19 by the time the child is 2years old.

  50. January 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Nobody knows what it’s like to see your child regress into silence (he’s one of triplets). He’s the only one with autism. We don’t know what triggers autism. Dr. Wakefield is saying that sometimes the mmr vaccine creates gastro-intestinal issues. When you have a child with autism and non-verbal, the GI symptoms usually come out with aggression. I told our dr. time and time again about his “tummy problems”. No dr. ever did anything for him until he was 8 years old. Dr. Wakefield actually spoke with families of autistic kids and took that information and wrote it into his research. He NEVER recommended for any family to not vaccinate. Instead he developed a new schedule. Our kids don’t need to get 6 or even 3 vaccinations on the same visit, and doctors need to talk to parents about what is actually NEEDED. Give Dr. Wakefield some credit… the British reporter did not get all his information right. Read his paper.

  51. jennifer
    February 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I’m not convinced that vaccines cause autism, my son Ryan is 6 & he was different from birth! I also had an AFP screen when I was pregnant & it came back abnormal but they couldnt find anything wrong with him physically! He’s brilliant, but nonverbal! He showed many signs of autism, but I was in denial & had no idea what autism really was! Ryan also had digestive problems from birth, I was exclusively nursing him, no formula ever & he would just vomit everything back up & sleeping was nonexistent unless he was held, the minute you would lay him down, he would scream, not cry, literally scream!!He doesnt have so many digestive problems now but certain kinds of foods he just can’t have! We’re all on the same team no matter what our views are on the matter & autism is so different in every situation, how can we even fathom that it could only be coming from one source??We just have to focus on awareness & the warning signs so we can get new babies diagnosed so that they can get therapy sooner & lead successful lives! Thanks so much for just letting me vent!!!

  52. Mary
    April 2, 2011 at 6:50 am

    The cummulative impact of many vaccines given at one time will impact one immune system. For those of you who believe that vaccines do not cause autism are still in the dark. A newborn who receives the hep B shot would have to be 275 pounds to safely absorb the shot. THis is according to the FDA and EPA guidelines.
    Pediatricians who give more than one shot at a time should be sued for malpractice.

  53. pat o
    December 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Hello. I have been blessed with a healthy, autistic free, seven year old. I, like many other parents, have been attentive to research and media about the prevalence and possible relation between autism and vaccination. Recently, for my English class, I had the opportunity to explore a controversial position and write about my findings. I chose this topic. I was curious and I wanted to be informed, both as a parent and a medical provider in the emergency medical services field. I wanted to educate myself, instead of being influenced blindly by the media. Educated healthcare decisions do not come from blind submission to mainstream media.
    My conclusion, after completing the essay, is that there is a lot of information out there to digest. One essay was not sufficient to gather all the data. However, my point of view at this point is to continue to follow the recommendations of the medical experts and continue to vaccinate. Here are a few points that stood out during my research that I would like to share that helped me form my opinion.

    Thimerosal is the preservative that is believe to be the link between autism and vaccinations. Thimerosol contains a form of mercury called ethylmercury.

    Ethylmercury (vs methylmercury-found in the environment, food chain, fish, etc) is not as toxic and is broken down in the body rapidly, not believed to cause harm.

    Since 2001, Thimerosal has been eliminated in vaccines, with the exception of some flu vaccines. However, the number of autistic diagnosed children has increased, despite the removal of thimerosal.
    If the number of diagnosed has increased, but the variable believed to be the cause has been reduced and/or eliminated, that leads me to believe there is another cause.

    To date, the exact cause of autism has not yet been confirmed.

    By not vaccinating our children, we are opening up our population to a grave public health risk. We are opening our kids up to the potential of measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis and tuberculosis. I am of the generation that does not remember directly these awful diseases. I do not need to live again in that era to appreciate the danger.

    Let me disclose again that I am not an autism expert. I am completely empathetic towards the families with autistic children. I cannot ever begin to understand their situation or the challenges they face each day. These are only my personal opinions from my own personal research, nothing more. I believe all parents have an obligation to do their own research on this, and every medical decision they make for their children. I will continue to follow the research as it develops, and will be open to new science, and potentially, a new decision path.

  54. mary fair
    January 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

    You are all foolish if you do not think there is a link between the excessive vaccinations and autism. Why is this disorder suddenly so pervasive in society? You can look to the few vaccinations received by the past 2 generations vs. the tripling of vaccines given to the current generation. The food supply is also a contributing factor with genetically modified food. Our basic DNA structure is being changed by the genetics of what we are eating.

    • Teri
      January 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      I didn’t vaccinate my children and yet, my third child was born with autism. Twenty five years since her birth and I’m still looking for a cause. The latest rabbit-hole I went down was Celiac Disease.
      Autopsies of autistic brains show that the autistic brain is morphed from birth, ie. the brain stem. The brain stem is formed in gestation day 40 – 44. Whatever is causing autism is happening very early in fetus development.

      • January 22, 2012 at 6:28 am

        I notice I responded to to the original post on vaccines on Jan 7, 2011. I have tried, and will keep trying, to communicate what I have learned from having spent most of my sad life dealing with autism. My son, who suffered trauma and anoxia at birth is now 49 years old. Oxygen insufficiency at birth affects the brainstem in a very characteristic way. Most severe is injury of nuclei in the auditory pathway. I first learned this from reading an article by William Windle on asphyxia at birth in the Scientific American in October 1969.

        Windle and colleagues were trying to create an animal model of cerebral palsy by clamping the umbilical cord and preventing newborn monkeys from breathing (suffocation). Cerebral palsy was not the result, and the conclusion was that brainstem injury might be the cause of what was then known as “minimal cerebral dysfunction” or developmental delay.

        My son was 8 lbs, 11 oz at birth, and physically perfect. His autism (and developmental delay) was not the result of early fetal malformation. He clearly had and still has auditory processing problems, though he is high functioning and we recently published a memoir together (a Barnes & Noble’s Nook book).

        Meanwhile, lookup Kulesza R in PubMed for a report last January on malformation of the superior olive (a brainstem auditory nucleus) in autism, then a second report (1st author Lukose) in Jun on the same malformation in rats given valproic acid (Depakote) during gestation. Also in PubMed you can find many articles on autism in children whose mothers took Depakote during pregnancy. In this case the injury was prenatal, and you can find autism associated with other prenatal exposures. Some children with fetal alcohol syndrome exhibit traits of autism. Neonatal hep-B vaccination may likewise affect brainstem auditory nuclei, especially if any anoxia occurred during birth. Hep-B at birth should be stopped.

        Maybe the Autism Speaks Science Team could discuss the evidence of auditory system injury during gestation and at birth? Postnatal maturation of the cerebral cortex depends upon trophic neurotransmitters produced in intact brainstem structures. The language areas of the cortex are targets of neurotransmission from nuclei in the brainstem auditory pathway.

        Autism is a life-long catastrophe, and we need a strong focus on prevention, not awareness or acceptance. The puzzle of autism could have been understood decades ago, and it is high time to stop stalling around.

  1. September 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm

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