Friday, March 7, 2008

Autism and Vaccines

I'm sure many of you are aware of the headline story today informing us that the government awarded a great deal of money to the family of a 9-year old girl whose underlying mitochondrial disorder was aggravated after receiving 5 shots containing 9 vaccines at the age of 18 months. Her disorder's reaction to those shots took on the appearance of autistic-like characteristics.

And so, because we seem to live with one foot in Sensationalist News Hell and the other foot in Short Attention Span Hell, the buzz is that the government has acknowledged all of a sudden that there is a link between vaccines and autism. This is not the case, folks. Honestly, much as I would like the answer to be that easy, it is not the case; probably not ever, but at least not in this situation.

Two very intelligent woman have written brilliant pieces on this topic today and so, rather than attempting to unravel it for you myself in a less-than-brilliant manner, I am going to suggest you take a moment today to read what Dr. Kristina Chew has to say with these three posts at Autism Vox and then hop on over to hear what my friend Dr. Emily Willingham has to say at A Life Less Ordinary because she has her own way of explaining the genetic piece of the puzzle to us so that we can understand it.

We need more intelligent people out there who are able to talk about this issue with some facts that are based in reality, so read on!


Life As I Know It said...

Thanks for the links. I'm off to check them out right now.

slouching mom said...

I have always understood there to be absolutely no scientific evidence of a link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

It is a specious correlation, based on the fact that the symptoms of autism tend to appear in children right around the time that they are vaccinated, at eighteen months.