Age of Autism Myths Part 1
In my opinion organizations such as Age of Autism, Safe Minds, and Generation Rescue should be monitored and fined for every myth they knowingly post to terrify us parents. They are conspiracy theorists who attempt to lead parents of children with autism into 'treating' their child(ren) with unsafe pseudo medical practises.
Being a parent is already frightening with the news bombarding us with kidnappings, child slayings, molestations, bullying on the playground, child drug use etc etc etc. As a parent of a child with autism, (Something I knew next to nothing about before he was diagnosed) I was seeking answers and explanations.
Imagine my shock as I came across websites claiming a vaccinations cause autism! That it is all a great big conspiracy between the gov't, the FDA, the CDC, big pharma etc. So let's look at some of their sensational claims, shall we?
The Myth that vaccines cause autism:
Many of these websites and followers of such are claiming a direct relationship between vaccines and autism. They quite often share anecdotes of how their children were jabbed with MMR and instantly became autistic. This has been scientifically proven as FALSE.
Mercury Poisoning is often quoted as being the reason why vaccines are dangerous.
Signs and symptoms
Common symptoms include peripheral neuropathy (presenting as paresthesia or itching, burning or pain), skin discoloration (pink cheeks, fingertips and toes), edema (swelling), and desquamation (dead skin peels off in layers).
Because mercury blocks the degradation pathway of catecholamines, epinephrine excess causes hyperhidrosis (profuse sweating), tachycardia (persistently faster-than-normal heart beat), mercurial ptyalism (hypersalivation) and hypertension (high blood pressure). Mercury is thought to inactivate S-adenosyl-methionine, which is necessary for catecholamine catabolism by catechol-o-methyl transferase.
Affected children may show red cheeks and nose, erythematous lips (red lips), loss of hair, teeth, and nails, transient rashes, hypotonia (muscle weakness), and photophobia. Other symptoms may include kidney disfunction (e.g. Fanconi syndrome) or neuropsychiatric symptoms (emotional lability, memory impairment, insomnia).
Thus, the clinical presentation may resemble pheochromocytoma or Kawasaki disease.
First, let's compare this to the signs of autism in a child:
- Lack of interest in toys
- Spinning objects
- Placing objects in lines
- Content with being alone
- Flapping hands
- Excitement in unusual situations or with different objects
- Lack of affection
- Appear not to be aware of surroundings
- Does not respond to their name
- Unusual sleeping patterns
- Show distress for unexplained reasons
- If verbal, repetitive language (echolalia)
- Resisting change in routine (driving a different way home)
- Displaying outbursts
- Sensitive to textures (clothing, food, etc.)
- Show prolonged interest in one object
Now, the clincher: Most Vaccines have not contained any form of mercury since 2007.
You can go here to see the chart. That link also explains the difference between mercury, ethylmercury and methlymercury. If you are concerned about vaccines, PLEASE read it.
Studies that show vaccines are NOT linked to autism:
These psuedo-scientists claim that we are having an autism epidemic.
An epidemic is:
In epidemiology, an epidemic (from Greek epi- upon + demos people) occurs when new cases of a certain disease occur in a given human population, during a given period, substantially exceed what is "expected," based on recent experience (the number of new cases in the population during a specified period of time is called the "incidence rate"). (An epizootic is the analogous circumstance within an animal population.) In recent usages, the disease is not required to be communicable; examples include cancer or heart disease.
Yes the numbers of persons being diagnosed with autism has risen.
As per WIki:
The epidemiology of autism is the study of factors affecting autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Most recent reviews of epidemiology estimate a prevalence of one to two cases per 1,000 people for autism, and about six per 1,000 for ASD; because of inadequate data, these numbers may underestimate ASD's true prevalence. ASD averages a 4.3:1 male-to-female ratio. The number of children known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, at least partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved, and as-yet-unidentified contributing environmental risk factors cannot be ruled out. The risk of autism is associated with several prenatal and perinatal factors, including advanced parental age and low birth weight. ASD is associated with several genetic disorders and with epilepsy, and autism is associated with mental retardation.
See Full page HERE
Age of Autism and Generation Rescue followers counter this information with comments such as:
"Then where are all the autistic adults?" and "When I was in school there were no children with autism!"
Lets look at these comments and pretend they are reasonable.
Many autistic adults are not independent. They live with family, or in group homes for the disabled, or in institutions etc. Of the autistic adults that are high functioning and independent, they are integrated successfully into society. Some are famous, some are not. Many of the autistic adults that are independent have become somewhat asymptomatic. That is to say, they have learned what behaviors are unnexpected, they have learned to make small talk, conversational turn taking. They 'stim' less than they did as children. I encourage you to research this! The wiki has numerous pages explaining autism, you can search amazon and see the autistic authors, search news and court cases for mention of autistic adults, and search your phone book for outreach and support programs for adults with autism.
As to the lack of children in school with autism 20 + years ago...
Children with disabilities, particularly developmental disabilities were not, as a general rule, in the public schools.
The laws have changed. In North America schools are required by law to provide an education to those with special needs.
Previously, these children, if they attended public school, were in the 'special' classroom. More likely, they were in private schools for children with disabilities, or at home and/or institutionalized.