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14 Studies Part 3: Ladies and Gentlemen, Take Your Positions

Fourteen By Julie Obradovic

Part 3 in the 14 Studies Series

Okay, we’re almost ready to begin.

As you know, there are very distinct positions regarding Autism; what it is, what causes it, and whether or not it is treatable. If you are reading this, chances are pretty good you know what your position is.

But just as it was important to define the true issue of the debate (Part 1) and the context in which it is taking place (Part 2), it is equally important to clearly define the positions of the parties involved (Part 3).  From there we will be able to analyze some of the research that has been done to support or discredit them.

Position 1: Autism is a Treatable, Medical Disease

People who take this position believe the first problem with Autism is its name. Autism by definition in one dictionary means “preference for fantasy over reality”, an inexplicable cluster of behaviors and symptoms that manifest for some unknown reason. (That particular definition makes it sound like it's even a choice.) It is categorized as a psychological disorder.

But for these people, Autism is hardly a mystery. They believe it is a treatable and preventable whole-body disease that occurs in a genetically susceptible group. Genetics is not the cause of the problem; it is simply a factor in developing it. So are toxins. So are vaccines.

While not precisely known, they believe Autism is a collapse of the immune, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems that eventually manifests itself physically and behaviorally, only appearing to be psychological in nature. Addressing medical issues in those areas can often reverse the disorder in its entirety or at a minimum relieve the intensity of its symptoms.

This position is hopeful; it does not believe Autism is a lifelong irreversible disorder for which there is only behavioral therapy. It embraces a whole gamut of possibilities for treatment, recognizing that while the root causes are similar, each child is unique and needs specialized treatment.

Finally, and what this series will primarily focus on, people who hold this position believe there has been a significant and tremendous increase in the prevalence and incidence of autism over the years, and that the increase corresponds precisely with the increase of childhood vaccines given to children.

Position 2: Autism is a Psychological Mystery, a Coincidence, and a Gift

Years ago, people with this position believed Autism was a lifelong disorder that started with an unloving and uncaring mother. In the years since, the belief about the mother’s outward role has been dismissed, and the theory that it is entirely genetic (something you are born with) has replaced it. (However, to what extent genetics play a role is now being debated. Some medical groups are beginning to acknowledge that the environment must be playing a role; investigations into what environmental factors those might be are underway.)

Still, this position regards Autism primarily as a genetic, psychological mystery coupled with unfortunate coincidences. Co-morbid medical conditions, the timing of the onset of symptoms, the eyewitness testimony of parents, the ratio of boys to girls, the alarming rise in prevalence and incidence rates, and the eerie similarity between the symptoms of poisoning and Autism are all considered coincidental.

These believers do not know what causes Autism, they simply know what doesn’t: vaccines. They believe Autism is simultaneously a lifelong disorder, a disorder you can slowly outgrow, and a disorder you can spontaneously improve from. They also believe the prevalence of Autism has remained constant throughout time.

Finally, a subset of people with this position believes Autism is a gift, a unique and inherent part of the personality that cannot and should not be treated. Attempting to do so is considered not only dangerous but insulting.

Well, those are very different positions to be sure.

Autism is either a treatable medical disease on the rise that has a genetic vulnerability, or it is a maybe purely genetic behavioral/psychological mystery not caused by vaccines that has remained constant throughout time for which little besides behavioral therapy can be done.

Of utmost importance in the debate is what the first position offers as the primary cause: vaccines. This is crucial because if true, those who typically claim otherwise will be the ones held accountable; the basis being that the medical community, the government, and the pharmaceutical industry caused it.

The science we will discuss is the response to that accusation. It is nothing more than the evaluation by the accused of those allegations in the manner they see fit. Quite simply, it is their defense, the evidence they have put forth to exonerate themselves from any culpability.

We will now begin to examine that evidence ourselves. Before we do, however, it may be helpful to get organized. For those of you that will be following this series, I encourage you to do a few things first in order to make the process of learning and referring to the information much easier.

Get a 2-3 inch 3 ring binder, a hole-punch, a bunch of dividers with pockets, and a highlighter.

Download all of the studies from the 14 Studies website HERE (there are actually 19 studies) and print them out.

Put them in the binder, categorizing them by Thimerosal and MMR in the order they appear on the website, starting with the Thimerosal studies first. (When I discuss the studies I will be referring to them as T1 or M5, which correlates to Thimerosal Study #1 or MMR Study #5.)

As we progress throughout the series I will encourage you to download additional material, such as email exchanges obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, post-publication criticism, and so forth.  These may also be placed in your binder.

I will attempt to present a minimum of one part of the series per week with recommended reading interspersed. For next week’s article, the only homework is to get organized if you wish.

The following is a general outline of the upcoming series:

An Overview of the Studies

An Overview of Thimerosal

The Thimerosal Studies

An Overview of MMR

The MMR Studies

A Recap

Where We Go from Here

I look forward to getting our analysis under way and hope you will join in the discussion as we begin later this week.

Julie Obradovic is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.


  

Comments

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Autism Grandma

"Years ago, people with this position believed Autism was a lifelong disorder that started with an unloving and uncaring mother. In the years since, the belief about the mother’s outward role has been dismissed, and the theory that it is entirely genetic (something you are born with) has replaced it."

From the SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE it is pretty obvious that the latest "genetic" theory is just as idiotic as the first "refrigerator moms" theory.

On the other hand, Vaccine Induced Autism is a FACT and NOT a "theory".

Those who are deceived by the medical propaganda theories need to do their homework, and 14 Studies is a great place to start learning the truth.

Benedetta Stilwell

Thank you Roger for taking time to explain all this to me. I have sort of got the drift(but hardly any real understanding) of these things from reading Age of Autism and the NVIC site. It weighs heavy on my heart.

AnnaB

Last night in a restaurant while visiting my parents in another state my seven year old autistic son ran around the restaurant OCDing on looking in the bathroom while making loud sounds and bit me in front of everyone. I suppose neurodiversity would call that co-morbid behavior that has nothing to do with autism. I wonder then, to Neurodiversity, who the real autistic are? To them would the real autistics be people with Asperger's with few sensory issues by any chance?

Twyla

Thanks very much, Julie, for the three very excellent appetizers. We are looking forward tremendously to the 14 entrees.

P.S. Will there be any pop quizzes?

ShelleyTzorfas

1 out of 150 kids on the autistic Spectrum statistically converfs to 1 out of 38 boys. That is still a violation of the real number because that information was compiled years ago. In the past 10 years it has skyrocketed and not because of better diagnosis. Please refer to my nationally published article, April 09, "Autism is Cureable With Early Intervention" which can be googled. Please have the TV commercial changed to reflect the more truthful statstic of one out of 10 kids has an ASD globally, and in NJ and Ca. it is higher but different names are used to keep people uninformed.

Roger Kulp

Benedetta,I don't know how much time you spend at left brain/right brain,or any of the neurodiversity blogs,or at message boards like Aspies For Freedom and Wrong Planet.I suspect like a lot of parents of autistic children,you don't have hours on end to sit in front of the computer to read the garbage these people post,let alone go to YouTube,and search out videos of the pathetic souls who are involved in Autism Pride Day.

If you don't want to do that,I suggest you go to Johnathan Mitchell's outstanding blog "Autism's Gadfly",and read what he has written about them.This page

http://autismgadfly.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-mythology-from-neurodiversity.html

might be the best place to start.

The neurodiversity movement gets away with what they do,because,like a large per centage of the mental health profession,they have a very limited picture of just what autism is. Forget bowel disease or seizures,in their eyes,even self mutilation,and elopment are considered "comorbid conditions" unrelated to the autism itself.

Those who see autism as a biomedical disease can learn a lesson from neurodiversity in how NOT to do things.Just as they ignore a lot of what makes up autism,many who believe autism is a biomedical condition can spend far too much time picking over the minutae about thimerosol,while overlooking other possible causes.

And autism has no one single cause.

Benedetta Stilwell

I snorted my coffee up my nose this morning when I read the part of - some thinks it is a gift!

But yeah, that is a good short description of what a very lucky few feel like.

Teresa Conrick

Nice job, Julie - and like a good teacher, you are getting everyone primed for some important lessons - way to go!

curt linderman sr

Julie has been helping out with the 14 studies series on Linderman Live! as well and she is really amazing! we're going over one study each week on wednesdays and so far she has really helped put the studies into perspective!

Tanners Dad

Thank you for keeping the homework simple and going slow. You know what they say. Simple parents do not even do their research. The web revolution has started. Our billboards are going up. Rising Autism Pandemic Evolution to follow on twitter is #ape I had to leave the R off to be politically correct. Our first mission is study w Julie and get Angela Warner a audience with Michelle Obama in October. There is hope. Autism is treatable. We need the government, pharmaceutical companies, Industry, Medical establishment, Education system, and Insurance to do a 180 and support our children rather than hurt. Thank you again. Julie for building a foundation of our soldiers.

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