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Today Show Poll: People Don’t Believe Vaccines Are Related to Autism

Today Show Poll: People Don’t Believe Vaccines Are Related to Autism

In-ter-est-ing.

83 percent of people who voted in a Today Show poll believe “there is no scientific evidence” linking vaccines to autism. As of this posting, 26,650 people have voted — some 22,142 of whom have made it known they do not think there is a vaccine – autism link.

This is a good thing, because more and more studies refute a link.

Now-delicensed physician Andrew Wakefield was on the Today Show this Monday, 24th May, making his case for why he is ‘unrepentant‘ about spreading word about his book on vaccines and autism. The book is selling well, which is — despite the above-quoted results from the Today Show poll – not surprising. Various advocates who believe vaccines, or something in vaccines, can be connected to autism have been encouraging people to buy the book.

But, apparently, while people are buying the book, many more are seeing “Wakefield’s follies“ and are not (pardon the pun) buying the claims of the now-delicensed physician Wakefield, or of those who persist in proclaiming that vaccines “cause” or “contribute to” autism.

This is a very, very good thing because, as I blogged earlier this week, there are plenty of real and pressing issues facing individuals on the autism spectrum. 

The real shame is that Wakefield and some others continue to draw attention to their claims and to themselves. It is of course their right to express their beliefs. 

However…

As the mother of an autistic teenager (and a very lovely one at that) who is fast growing up into an autistic adult, I just really wish that Wakefield & Co. would make haste to step aside a little faster and stop hogging the limelight. If they really understood something about autism and the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum, they would see the extent of the damage they have wrought.

 

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Photo by Andrew Rueda.

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87 comments

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1:58AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

We're always hearing of studies that find vaccines are not related to autism. I'd like to read up on ones that DO. My younger brother was born a healthy baby, and only after his vaccination shots did the signs of autism come to surface. That doesn't just happen over night.

4:30AM PST on Feb 5, 2011

To Julie P: Excellent "article" that you written. You provide some real information. I would like to add that the foods we give kids should also be organic and free of HFCS and other sugars. That further eliminates toxins that can interfere with healthy functioning of a damaged, or undamaged, body and brain. Good luck to you and your family!

11:31PM PDT on Jun 18, 2010

I believe there is a link, primarily because there *is* mercury (in the form of thymerisol) in vaccines, and mercury poisoning has *all* the symptoms of autism in common.

1:10AM PDT on Jun 4, 2010

thanks for sharing

3:54PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

If you accept autism into your life, you will find out that you are a stronger person than you ever suspected and are a better, more compassionate person than you would have been without.

Hope this helps.

3:53PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

The DAN program (Defeat Autism Now) is a conference of traditional physicians, alternative therapists and researchers who meet and discuss all aspects of autism and provide guidelines for treatment. When you visit their website, they are quite clear that they are not offering a cure, but that they may be able to help your child live a better life. Here is their link: http://www.defeatautismnow.com/

I do agree that Intensive Behavioral Intervention is essential, but I believe for your child to maximize learning, they must feel well. If I had one wish, it would be that naturopathic evaluations, treatments and supplements were seriously studied and funding was available for parents who can not afford the costs on their own.

Let me finish by saying this. Autism is not the end of the world. We must all accept the hand we are dealt, and play it to the best of our ability. I have not placed a ceiling on what my child can achieve, nor should you, but plan for every contingency.

Accept that autism is only a part of who your child is and celebrate their strengths.

You will discover joy in the smallest steps that other parents take for granted. A child asking for juice at 4 A.M. for most parents is a reason to grumble, for the parents of an essentially non-verbal child, it is cause to sing and dance around the kitchen in unrestrained joy.

continued

3:52PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

So I do not have the answers, but I think it is possible that we may one day determine that the amount of vaccinations and the timing are a factor, which act in conjunction with the innumerable substances we put into our children's bodies.

In a previous article, the author indicated she had tried the gluten free diet and it did not help her son. I wish she had elaborated on this topic, as the gluten and casein free diet has helped many children. In a recent study, ingestion of same was compared to the effects of giving morphine to a person without autism. My son has autism and I have been gradually removing gluten, casein and all the toxins I listed above from his diet. I can now tell if someone who thinks 'a little bit won't hurt' has given him any of these items, as he will incessantly try to bang his head and cry. I also take him to a
naturopath and an osteopath, both which dramatically altered his behavior within a day or two.

The gluten and casein diet does not help every child, it may not be a 'cure' but there is proof that it has been a god send for many and can make the difference between an unhappy, self injuring child and a happy one. The DAN program (Defeat Autism Now) is a conference of traditional physicians, alternative therapists and researchers who meet and discuss all aspects of autism and provide guidelines for treatment. When you visit their website, they are quite clear that they are not offering a cure, but that they may be able to help your chi

3:50PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

I am not against vaccinations, as there are a number of serious diseases which have been controlled by same. That being said, if I could turn back the clock, I would do things differently. There are many articles which have been written which make an excellent case for a more gradual vaccination schedule, starting at a later age. For we are constantly increasing the number of vaccinations our children receive and I believe there is a good case to be made that some diseases, like chicken pox, contribute to a healthy immune system.

So, in reference to the discrediting of the Wakefield study, I would ask the following questions:

- Where are the studies that compare the rates of autism in populations that have not received the MMR vaccination?

- Why are so many in the alternative medical fields, such as naturopaths, homeopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors etc., those who have spent their lives studying maximizing the body's ability to heal itself through natural means, against vaccinations? Would this group base their stance on a study involving a few children?

- How do you account for the innumerable parents who swear their children suddenly and dramatically regressed after receiving their MMR vaccine?

- Do those in the know, who advise that the schedule is safe, follow the same multiple dose schedules with their own children?

continued

3:48PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

Let me begin by saying that we do not know what causes autism. Let me also be very clear that I am sharing my experiences and thoughts, and I am not an expert, but a parent who is also seeking answers. And perhaps my thoughts will help others in their quest to help their child.

I wish anyone stating that they have answers would consider the following: Parents who have just received a diagnosis of autism are extremely stressed, despairing over their child's future and desperately seeking answers. There are purported cures everywhere that say for a certain amount of money, their child will be 'cured'. They may also quickly reject an alternative, if one person says it does not work, an alternative that could help their child.

Consider this; each successive generation is exposed to more toxins. Environmental toxins, pesticides in produce, genetically modified food, low dose antibiotics and growth hormones in meat, nitrates, sulfates, dyes, preservatives and flavor enhancers. All of which our bodies are not designed to consume.

continued

7:39PM PDT on May 31, 2010

Wake Up people or just keep giving into it. Mercury Hello!!!!

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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