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Parents Responsible for Ongoing Autism Increase?
Before you read on, and before I go further ...
I may be way off-base in what follows. I saw a show on Larry King Live - 2 mothers and a father (a doctor) dealing with autism. The main story: what may help most after diagnosis. A side issue: can autism be caused by vaccines? A question was asked: would these parents allow vaccinations, or anyway, as many vaccinations - 37 in the first years - if they had more children? The answer: no.
I did a tiny bit of resarch online, on mercola.com, a large alternative health site. It seems there is very likely a link between autism and vaccines containing a mercury-related compound.
In the heat of the moment, I wrote. I've heard since from 5 doctors that there is no link between autism and vaccines. I need to do more research. I still have my underlying question: how much responsibility do parents have when recognized experts give clear answers? Yet experts, it's also widely recognized, do make errors.
What follows is what I wrote. I'll start with a conclusion: before I came to a decision on what to do, I would do a lot more research.
Elsa, October 13, 2007
Childhood rates of autism have skyrocketed, are up over six-fold in less than 2 decades. There's no possibility that the increase is from an increase in reporting. It's just as, 2 decades ago, the rate of AIDS was going up and up. It had nothing to do with an increase in reporting. Something was going on.
At the same time as the rate of autism has skyrocketed – 1 in 94 boys is diagnosed with autism in some areas, according to figures given on Larry King Live on Sept 30, '07 – the rate of childhood vaccines has also skyrocketed. It was about 10 shots twenty years ago. Now, according to the same source, it's thirty-seven. A chemical in the vaccines is seen as the most likely triggering factor.
That the vaccines are responsible for at least some of the increase is almost totally certain: many of the children go from being normal to severely autistic – no eye contact, no more speaking, repetitive movements, withdrawing from social contact, screaming all night, and so on – within a week of receiving a vaccine.
I come to chains in the mind. Most parents care enormously about their children. One can see it especially in the care given to many autistic children by loving parents. Yet most allow masses of childhood vaccinations despite the potential dangers. No measles. Just autism. No mumps. Just autism.
An American pediatrician whose son, now 11, is autistic was told by his wife: you did this to him, you fix him (Larry King Live, Sept 30, '07). She clearly saw: he was guilty, he was responsible. They had had a healthy son. As her husband was a doctor, she held him accountable. He should have known better than to allow the many vaccinations. He has devoted his life since then to finding out how best to treat autism and even, at times, enable recovery.
But why should he be held accountable and not other parents? Loads of parents have access to the same information.
But what about the drug companies? They're the ones pushing the vaccines.
I'm not looking at the drug companies because, at present, the power to protect children lies in the hands of the parents. The drug companies manufacturing the vaccines claim there's no evidence of danger from the vaccines.
That's to be expected. They're making money from the vaccines.
Likewise the cigarette companies refuted all evidence of the link between smoking and lung cancer - making money was more important than lives.
That's why, when I come to chains in the mind, I'm not talking of those at the drug companies.
I'm talking about all the other people who haven't acted. There are millions - millions of parents - who have heard the reports on the possible dangers of vaccines from one source or another.
Chains in the mind. Here's what comes to mind.
Chain One. Fear. Fear of taking responsibility, of going against what a doctor says. What if something goes wrong?
Yet right now there's a much bigger risk of something going wrong if the child is given vaccines. Measles are unpleasant – but the long term consequences are not autism.
Even on the Larry King Live show I've mentioned, the 2 mothers interviewed were very low key about the vaccines. It almost had to be dragged out of them, that they wouldn't allow another child to be vaccinated. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why not do their best to help prevent what happened to their children from happening to others? (Of course all autism won't be prevented - just as one change won't prevent all cancer. But each prevention is wonderful.)
Back to chains in the mind. Mental chain two. Fear of other consequences. What does one do about school requirements, etc. if one doesn't allow the shots?
And then there's mental chain three. It will never happen to me. Denial that the danger is real. Autism – that happens to other people's children. Autism - a danger so far away that it isn't considered.
And yet the danger of abduction is much smaller – but many parents treat it as a huge threat, don't let children outside alone, don't let children go to school alone.
So what makes people just go along with the vaccines?
There are still other chains – like the comfort of staying on the beaten path. There's no visible chain keeping one on it. But the path is so easy.
Other chains in the mind – in all levels of government.
One 9/11 – and huge measures are taken. That cost over 3000 lives.
Autism – much bigger. One is talking of hundreds of thousands, millions worldwide.
What makes each and every official not react? I've been hearing of the increase in autism rates for over a decade. Where are the government officials, and why has there not been a massive response to something that endangers far more children than, say, the threat of HIV through contact with another child – where they was a huge panic reaction a couple of decades ago. Why are people seemingly numb, frozen, chained?
The more one is free of the frozen brain syndrome, the more one responds to what is going on.
But like rabbits that freeze when caught in headlights, most people freeze, given something out of the ordinary. It asks too much of them to respond. And anyhow, most likely it won't be their child. It will be someone else's. And what if the reports are wrong?
And so most people live – and children who might otherwise be healthy are condemned to autism. One could say that many adults show autistic tendencies – lack of contact with material, lack of responsiveness.
Time to unchain. A long process. But each person who frees themselves from some mental chains helps.
The spark for my thoughts. A few days ago, I saw an interview with a mother of an autistic child on Larry King Live. She'd done so much since her son's diagnosis, found every possible help for recovery. She had, before her son's illness, loved him just as much - but she'd gone along with the vaccination program. 37 shots.
An ounce of prevention, goes the old proverb, is worth a pound of cure. I'm all in favor of cure. But why, I asked myself, isn't there more done for prevention? Surely preventing autism is more important than preventing measles.
Note: I don't hold parents responsible - just as parents aren't responsible for the death of children at the hands of drunk drivers. But to stay silent is to acquiesce to the situation. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers started as a group of mothers (most of whom had lost a child to a drunk driver) who refused to stay silent. They became a powerful lobby for strong drunk driving penalties - which now save many children's lives, though more has to be done. My hope is that, likewise, parents will come together powerfully to protect their babies and toddlers as much as is possible against the threat of autism.
I pause. And the question keeps going through my mind: how much (or how little) responsibility do parents have? To care is more than to feel caring. We need knowledge, we need to have the courage to act on information, we need to have enough commitment to our children to do things that aren't easy - to address bullying, whatever. We need healthy priorities.
So I won't say parents have no responsibility to keep their children as safe from autism as possible. Far more children are struck by autism than struck by cars. Way more children are hurt by autism than are abducted by evil strangers. I would say that parents of healthy babies and toddlers should care enormously to do all to protect them from autism - get information, get together with other concerned parents, and act.
Your comments, ideas and experiences are very welcome. I wonder: how will you respond? Anger? Interest? Agreement? What are your thoughts?
A tiny bit of online research - several articles on mercola.com, a big alternative health site - indicates that, yes, one possible cause of autism may be a mercury-related substance used in vaccines.
There's a lot more on the site.
Some general information: part of the increase in autism diagnosis is a consequence of the change in definition of autism. However, not all.
For more on autism, and especially on successful treatment options,
For the full selection of idea pieces, click here.
an idea piece on good thinking, click here:
arguments against the opinion
Elsa's creativity blog,
comments, responses, further
Childhood rates of autism have skyrocketed.