My husband and I got into a heated debate about the possibility of vaccines causing autism. My stance on this issue is purely an emotional one. And as we all know, when it’s emotional, it might block out any logic. I put my kids into the same situation as Hannah Poling- a healthy child developing in a normal pattern until she gets five vaccinations at eighteen months old. Her health and development went downhill from there and within just three months after the vaccinations, she began to show signs autism.
The number of children being diagnosed with autism is certainly rising. There is evidence that 1 in 150 children have autism. Many studies suggest that the rising number is merely due to misdiagnosis. There are now broader ways of diagnosing autism whereas in the past, a child with behavioral issues would have been labeled as just being a difficult child. From The Economist:
The upshot, subject to larger studies confirming her observations, is that Dr Bishop seems to have confirmed the cause of the recent rise of autism as being a change in the diagnostic criteria. As a good researcher should be, she is cautious and points out that finding one cause is not proof that others are not operating. But it now looks unlikely that there are more autistic people around than there used to be. It is just that it is now fashionable to acknowledge their existence.
In the 1990’s and earlier, many believed that thimerosale, a preservative in vaccines containing mercury, was the culprit. Since 1999 it’s been removed from most vaccines but the cases of autism are still rising. Doesn’t that call for much more research? In my emotional mommy mind, I say yes. Lots more and soon, please.
Are the numbers increasing truly because we know how to diagnonse better or is there a link between vaccines and autism? What are your thoughts? Do you think enough research is being done on autism? If the government admitted that there was a link between the two, even a very slight risk of your child getting autism from a vaccination, would you take the chance for the obvious benefits?