First National Public Opinion Survey: Americans’ Knowledge and Understanding of Autism, 2008
School of Psychology
Florida Institute of Technology
The first national survey of the public’s knowledge and understanding of autism was conducted for the School of Psychology at Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida. The survey includes responses from 1000 men and women, 21 years old or older, randomly selected from throughout the nation. The poll has a plus or minus 3.1% confidence interval at a 95% level of confidence. The telephone interviews were conducted between August 1 and August 29 by GDA Education Research, Mount Pleasant, SC.
• With autism now the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States, more than 80% of survey respondents say every state should have an early intervention program for children from birth to age three. An even larger percentage (83%) thought that finding a cure for autism should be a national priority. This at a time when the Centers for Disease Control reports that autism affects one in 150 children born in the United States.
• Nearly one in four (24%) respondents said that because vaccines may cause autism it was safer not to have children vaccinated at all. Another 19% were not sure.
The Centers for Disease Control says “evidence from several studies examining trends in vaccine use and changes in autism frequency does not support such an association. Furthermore, a scientific review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that ‘the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.’ CDC supports the IOM conclusion.” [www.cdc.gov]
• About eight of ten (82%) respondents know that autistic people of all ages can benefit from treatment and 77% say behavioral therapists are key individuals in the treatment of people with autism. An additional 73% believe behavior therapies are the most effective way to get autistic individuals to maximize their capabilities.
• About four of ten (39%) survey respondents know a person with autism. They had a better understanding of the disorder, except for its cause, than those who do not know someone with autism. Those who know someone with autism are more likely (21% vs. 17%) to believe the disorder was caused by a preservative once found in childhood vaccines.
• Young parents feel better informed than older parents about autism and tended to be much more concerned that their children would be autistic. Nearly eight of 10 (77%) of all parents were either not concerned their children would be autistic or not aware of autism, For younger parents (ages 21-28), 63% were slightly, very or extremely concerned their children would be autistic. Only 10% of parents in their seventies and 14% of those in their sixties were slightly, very or extremely concerned their children would be autistic.
• Six of ten (61%) of respondents feel informed or very informed about health issues in general, but only 26% feel familiar or very familiar about autism. Those who described themselves as being very familiar with autism (9%) were more likely to consider it a high priority for funding (36%).
• Nearly six of ten (58%) respondents think the presidential candidates should have a plan for curing autism.
• About half of all respondents (48%) feel the national media do a good, very good or excellent job in keeping them up-to-date on health issues and research. Slightly more than half (52%) say the national media do an average or poor job. Nearly two of three (64%) respondents believe the media give less or much less attention to autism than it deserves.
• The 39% of respondents who said they knew a person with autism tended to be female (65%), white (75%), middle-aged (57% were between 29 and 58) and well-educated (54% had at least a bachelor’s degree).
• Respondents who were deemed to be knowledgeable about autism (as determined by those who responded correctly to 18 of 21 factual statements about the neurological disorder) tended to be women (62%), aged 29 to 58 (66%), married (75%), with children (86%) and well-educated with a baccalaureate and/or advanced degree (65%).
About Florida Tech
Florida Institute of Technology is a national, doctoral-granting research university with a special focus on undergraduate education within an enriched technological environment serving student scholars from all 50 states and 102 countries.
Comprised of six colleges -- Aeronautics, Business, Engineering, Psychology & Liberal Arts, Science and University College -- Florida Tech offers 172 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at its main campus in Melbourne, Fla., nine extended studies resident sites and through online and distance learning. All of its curricula combine rigorous, engaging coursework with dynamic laboratory and field experience.
Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary with a $50 million capital campaign, Florida Institute of Technology has recently broken ground on the innovative Scott Center for Autism Treatment, a multidisciplinary treatment, training and research center that will serve East-central Florida and beyond.
Florida Tech is among the top Southeastern colleges according to the Princeton Review Rating and was rated a top private university in Florida by the Washington Monthly College Ranking.
More Information: www.fit.edu
Ivy Chong, Ph.D. George Dehne
Program Director President
Scott Center for Autism Treatment GDA Education Research
Florida Institute of Technology Mount Pleasant, SC
Melbourne, FL 843-971-7759; 800-942-7427
Phone: 321-674-8104 [email protected]
"But just what percentage is acceptable collateral damage?"
Monica, are you referring to numbers or children? It's NEVER acceptable to expect children to be damaged for the sake of herd immunity.
"Some children SHOULD NOT have any vaccines! But children who are healthy, and can tolerate them, should."
So just how do we determine which children are the healthy ones? Do we just keep injecting them until they're no longer healthy? That's what we've been doing, and that's why we're in this mess.
Herd immunity is an extremely selfish and heartless concept.
Posted by: PhillyLisa | October 06, 2008 at 05:12 PM
As I sat down this morning to contact Ivy Chong, I pulled up the link- http://www.fit.edu/newsroom/brief.html?id=2396
It is interesting to note that the article HAS been corrected. The original version reads-
"The public’s concern over vaccines stems from a controversial 1998 British study linking autism and the MMR vaccine, which at the time contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal."
The updated version reads-
"The public’s concern over vaccines stems from a controversial 1998 British study linking autism and the MMR vaccine. Other childhood vaccines at the time contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal."
Guess others caught this serious discrepancy. Glad to know it was corrected. I don't want anyone to read it and think that the MMR is now somehow safer.
Posted by: Monica | October 06, 2008 at 10:56 AM
I would encourage everyone at the AoA to check out the website www.vaccinationnews.com/ (on a daily basis if you can). It has been eye-opening for me--a vast amount of up-to-the-minute information on "both sides of the controversy". Even though is shows both sides there is little question about where the reader will end up if you read it all!
Posted by: Rachel Ford | October 06, 2008 at 10:52 AM
"I used to think so, too, but the more I've come to realize that I don't want any more vaccines for myself, or for my children, the less I feel I should expect others to take risks that I won't"!
I agree. Since there are so many questions out there in regards to the safety of vaccinations... I would feel very hypocritical if I told others to vaccinate while not vaccinating my own children out of safety concerns. The idea that everyone else should and needs to while I won't ... seems wrong to me.
Having said that, I am very selective in what I say to people. If someone asks me about vaccinations... I give them my opinion and my beliefs but I also make sure that I point out that most children do fine. I typically just ask them to do their own research and use their own common sense. I have also given the advice to try to spread vaccines out as much as possible, not vaccinate when sick, watch for any reactions, etc. Just very basic advice. Also, I have on occasion taken different approaches to different families... One family that I know had a son with some developmental concerns, along with food allergies, bad excema, colicky as an infant, etc. and another child with type 1 diabetes. The mother asked me for my opinion in regards to vaccinating her baby. I gave her more warnings and more things to look at than I would to a family who I knew had 2 perfectly healthy, neurotypical children.
Posted by: Sue M. | October 05, 2008 at 03:00 PM
Dr. Preet and Carin Smit,
I read every word that you penned. It is obvious that you are very very aware of the struggles that we face as the community fighting for children with autism. It is with tears and heavy heart that I must respond only with prayers.
You see flying samples to Germany only gets you only known results. We must stop the forced vaccinations with mercury tainted formulas. Money will only get so far. Basics need to be in place such as clean water, sanitation, and other basic humanitarian aid. Although, we are worlds apart, we do have the same mission. No child should be subjected to these things in a so called modern society.
Until we get the establishment to recognize the damage we are doing through the environment and get our own children healed it is a reach to reach over the ocean. Your story does make us realize the privilege lives we lead and how far we have to go until the battle is won. Once again, my prayers are with you. In tears & Love Tanners Dad.
Posted by: Tanners Dad | October 05, 2008 at 01:30 PM
Baba Farid Center For Special Children
Harindra Nagar Faridkot (Punjab)
Some years ago I met a mother of a profoundly autistic boy, called Ankit Sharma in Gaberone, Botswana, where she and her husband lived and worked. At the time we provided a unique therapy intervention to Ankit, then 8 years old, called Auditory Integration Training. The treatment is an electronically modulated music intervention, which stimulated the entire auditory system, but also provides a strong impact on the brainstem, midbrain and cerebral cortices, providing overall sensory integration and it also changes the neuro-immunological status of the brain.
Ankit was greatly helped at the time, but because no other metabolic interventions followed his first exposure to AIT (Auditory Integration Training), he again deteriorated and his autism became more and more entrenched.
Savita heard about Dr. Pritpal Singh in Faridkot, Punjab in G-News whilst she was still in Botswana. Her father lives in Himachal, one of the other states of India. She brought her now teenage son to Punjab for treatment. He attended therapy in Batinda and in Faridkot and it was during her stay here in Punjab that she wrote to me and told me that Ankit had improved greatly under the Neuro-Therapy treatment of Dr. Singh.
She asked me if I would be interested in sharing some of my work with this doctor and his staff and upon my positive reply I received a phone call early in January 2008 from Dr. Pritpal Singh to come over and visit his Center and assist with the special children they serve.
Many months of collaboration followed. Over the months I became more and more convinced that this community of therapists is very poor and that they serve families who are not able to provide for their children according to Western standards.
Eventually the day came when we arrived in Punjab. A colleague and friend, Mrs. Vera Dirr, an NCRT and NCM therapist as well as teacher of Cerebral Palsied and learning disabled children in South Africa, accompanied me to Faridkot.
Our arrival here was met with much excitement and from the outset I realized that the needs were much greater than we could ever have hoped to meet. The families who have children in the center are devastated by the degree of disability which afflicts their sons and daughters. Many of the families have seen miracles happen – sometimes within days to weeks of bringing their children to the Baba Farid Center for Special Children.
The Center’s director is a young man, called Dr. Pritpal Singh. He is energetic, a visionary and a deeply committed therapist of young children. Dr. Pritpal Singh is a Doctor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences. He started this work about 6 years ago and has worked for 12 hours per day for the past 6 years, 7 days a week training up young men who have since qualified as Neuro-therapists in 4 Centers in which there are currently more than 300 children receiving daily Neuro-Therapy.
In addition to the 300 + children served in this way, there are more than a 100 on a waiting list. This is by far not the number of children whose plight is dire in the state of Punjab, as many are currently turned away as there just aren't enough Neuro-Therapists to work with them at this time. Just this morning parents again arrived at the Center hoping to receive help for their children, but had to be turned away, as the waiting list needs to be supplied with therapists, before any new families can be enrolled – this means that there is an urgent need to train up more therapists, but limited resources prohibit training of a new intake of intern Neuro-Therapists. These young men aren’t trained up over-night – the full training to certification takes up to three years to complete.
I was in awe from day one about the constant stream of children who arrive here from early morning (7am) till late evening (some as late as 9pm), who come for help. The Center offers this unique kind of yogic intervention, based on a combination of neuro-stimulation which is the result of stimulation of internal body organs through direct and indirect pressure. The pressure provides better blood flow to organs, thus the metabolism of these organs increases and more hormones, enzymes, chemicals are secreted/produced, which supply the body with better nutrition. Better nutrition for the entire body, results in better nutrition for the brain. Direct stimulation of the spinal cord, peripheral and central nervous system, also brings about better enervation and yielding astounding results.
To date more than 62 children are fully recovered - the majority of these came to the center severely spastic, blind, deaf, with contracted limbs, crossed legs, unable to speak, feed themselves, with no bowel or bladder control and some profoundly autistic. Yet now, after a relatively short time in therapy (15 minutes every 2nd day), they have gained normal bodily functions, are able to walk, talk, can see, hear, feed themselves and are integrated in mainstream schooling!
It is scientifically unacceptable to hear someone make a statement that a happening has been a miracle in the making, but the recovery rates in these children bespeaks super-natural intervention. It is not the norm that severely disabled children, especially those damaged by severe hypoxia at birth or have sustained damage from neuro-toxins, show such recoveries. I have personally seen the MRI’s of the children and the damage is real. Occipital, parietal, deep white matter damage, mid-brain and cerebellar damage abound in these children. Yet, within a relatively short period of time, Dr. Pritpal Singh and his team of Neuro-Therapists apply their therapy and within days the parents start seeing a lessening of spasticity, normalization of squints, correction of severe bowel issues, and improvement in eye contact. Before long, the children start making their first struggling attempts at muscular movements with their hands and then attempts to sit and stand follow.
At last, the first giddy attempts at walking emerge and then they start straightening out. As these processes emerge from deeply injured brains, the children start communicating. At first there are just glances that meet your eyes, then they fix their stare and soon they smile and attempt to babble or the first poorly formed words are uttered. For a parent who was told that his or her son or daughter would never sit, stand, walk, talk or be independent, no-one can dismiss the miracle of the first “Mama” or “Baba” and then the speech-mechanisms start stream-lining, to produce clearer and more complete sentences.
The autistic child who is hyperactive, aggressive to self and others, and the Down’s Syndrome boy or girl who cannot communicate because he or she has a tongue too large for his / her oral cavity or who has huge motor planning problems and who sits or lies locked away, begin to crack smiles and open themselves up to touch and communication; the frenetic behaviours that so often characterize autistics, start diminishing. We met a little girl here with Down Syndrome. She was said to be completely autistic and unable to communicate with people. The day we arrived she still clung to her granny in shy withdrawal, but as the days passed we saw this little girl as active, normal and communicative. Noor has become totally normal and she is well-able to mainstream with regards to schooling. Neuro-Therapy has changed her little life!
SOME CHILDREN DON’T RECOVER
We are desperate for this Center to obtain further help as their work is so deserving. Despite the success stories I have enumerated above, Dr. Pritpal Singh acknowledges that there is a small group of children whom they see with whom progress is less than satisfactory - these children still can't show the same recovery rates as the others I mentioned above. He called me in to investigate the causes for their slow or poor progress.
It is my humble opinion that heavy metal toxicity plays a key role in the non-recovery of these children. India, but more specifically, Punjab, where the Baba Farid Center for Special Children is located, is a toxic place. The streets are dusty and dirty. There appears to be no refuse removal. Cattle drift in and out of traffic and make their homes on the rubbish heaps, where they rummage for food and eat all manner of plastic and refuse articles. These ultimately kill them – it is a slow, agonizing and desperately cruel death! The majority of the side roads are mere dirt tracks, the poverty is tangible. The children of the poor are sold into a life condemned to slavery and children as young as 5 and 6 become servants and collectors of rubbish (garbage), as they have huge bags strapped to their heads, and they fill these bags with refuse, which is most likely
Semi-valuable for re-cycling. [Re-cycling is certainly NOT a priority in India!]. Children and their families live far below the breadline and mal-nutrition seems to be the norm rather than the exception. I have been shocked every time when I enquire about the age of a child and am told that the child is at least 3 – 5 years older than what I would have imagined. Their statures are small, their arms thin and wiry, their faces emaciated and their feet and legs bony and weak. The mal-nutrition is palpable and therefore the disease- and infection-ratio must, of necessity, be higher in this country.
In addition to this there is the horror of the intense vaccination schedule for Indian children, combined with the fact that the Indian Pharmacopoiea mandates that even single shot vaccines be laced with Thimerosal, which makes for very interesting and sad case histories. Other factors compound the ravaging effects of Mercury in young bodies: the majority of the children who attend the center are either Cerebral Palsied due to hypoxia at birth (local hospitals in towns and villages in India don't have ANY Pediatric ICU or incubation services and so brain injury due to Hypoxia is very high amongst Indian children - even in the cities).
Progressive brain injury is inevitable when one considers the hectic vaccine loading (28 - 32 vaccines by 9 months), for more than 15 diseases, which has left many devastated especially after the 9-month MMR. Those who haven't become autistic are more severely impacted and become brain injured, with resulting cerebral palsy, mental retardation or life-threatening epilepsy. One such boy at the Center is Nirmal, who currently has status-epilepticus and has not stopped having seizures since I came here 14 days ago. His little sister, aged 7 when she died, also passed away of a similar condition some time ago. Doctors across the state of Punjab and in Delhi have sent the mother home, saying that they can't do ANYTHING more for Nirmal and so she carries her racked and spastic son up and down daily to the Center. Here the men work on the boy, using water syringe therapy on his forehead and small parts of the Neuro-Therapy and these break the seizures for short periods daily, but inevitably the seizures return and contort his little body for hours on end.
I believe Nirmal has Hallervorden-Spatz Syndrome as he has an “eye of the tiger” ring of marked hypointensity involving his globus pallidus on a T2-weighted MR image. His situation is truly one of a life and death struggle, as the condition is said to be neuro-degenerative and his sister died with the same disease at age 7 some time ago. The problem with this syndrome is the deposition of iron as ferritin in the globus pallidus with the eventual destruction of the substantia nigra of the basal ganglia. I feel that chelation with chelators which cross the blood-brain-barrier might be helpful and wondered if this child’s life could not be saved if a strict chelation protocol were designed and applied. At the present time, his seizures are near life-threatening with extreme postural reflexes and rigidity. I tried to use supplements on Nirmal when I came here – not initially knowing what caused the extreme rigidity and seizure-like stiffening of his body. I started giving him Taurine (I didn’t have any GABA to give as this would have been another supplement of choice) and dispensed all the Foodscience sub-lingual DMG's I had access to. In addition to this I gave him Magnesium in mega-doses as he was extremely constipated. The first few days yielded few results, but by the end of meting out little amounts of Idebenone, DMG, Taurine, Omega 3 and Magnesium, he seemed to start stabilizing again and the seizure-like rigidity lessened. There are now days when he only fits 2 - 3 times per day. What his quality of life will be after this no-one can guess, but I feel giving him the little I had, had brought some change and trying to implement a chelation protocol which will cross the blood-brain-barrier might actually save his life from the life-threatening gliosis.
In desperation, before seeing his MRI results, I went ahead and ordered a set of supplements from Marion Ellison in SA for him, but the cost of sending these here plus the purchase costs came to R6000.00 (almost $1000!/ Euros 500!) and for this Center, and the family, whose monthly income is a mere Rs8000 ($200), this was a devastating amount!
The situation on the ground here is dire due to poverty with resulting mal-nutrition. The average parental income is less than $150.00 per month and the very poor ones may earn as little as $15 per month, which is hardly enough to keep body and soul together, not to speak of keeping these little ones healthy and kept in a live-changing therapy service!
The net result is that many die or will die. I can’t believe that there is an affluent “West” out there where people have cars, homes and comforts, fast-food outlets and ample medicine, opulence and high quality medical services, and here in India, in places like Punjab, the children have to die, because parents can’t even access incubators for the prematurely born babies or where talking about nutritional supplementation is like talking about life on Mars! For these families such help is “out of this world”, out of reach and beyond hope. Just today we struggled for over 5 hours just to find a courier company which would transport two serum and a few hair samples to Germany for analysis. The outcome was, after contacting the Post Office, several local courier companies and even DHL India’s National Customer Care services, that sending the biological samples internationally is an IMPOSSIBILITY! When I told the operators of the DHL service that it was a life-and-death matter for these children, I was told it would take up to 21 days just to open an international export account for biological samples and the cost of sending these samples will then be so astronomical, that it will put the entire project in jeopardy.
The ones who are fortunate enough to have heard about the Baba Farid Center for Special Children, and can manage to find transport to come over the miles to obtain help, may need ongoing financial support from Dr. Singh to pay for ricksaw and taxi services (nothing like what we know in the West!), to commute over the many miles to and from their towns and villages for the 15 minute treatment session per day. And yet, remarkably, these children, when treated, become better and better and the spasticity leaves their little wracked bodies and they manage to start healing up.
For the 20% of the children whom he has not been able to give hope and help due to toxicity issues beyond the scope of their therapy, he called for my help. I managed to procure free lab testing for all 300 children with Micro Trace Minerals (Dr. Eleanore Blaurock Busch) in Germany and she has kindly offered to set up a research project for this Center under my supervision to ensure that we carefully document our findings as I believe we might be observing a breakthrough in medical and natural sciences in this Center!
However, offering free lab services to us means nothing if we can’t get the samples to the lab in Germany and even if we could get someone willing to transport the urine for us, the project will still not be viable if the cost of sending these samples becomes exorbitant.
I trust this little vignette of the work and scope of the Baba Farid Center for Special Children will aid potential donors or individuals in power to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of children who can't speak for themselves and for parents who are not able to advocate for their children because their station in life discriminates against them.
With kind regards
Carin Smit – C/CMT
SYNAPSE AFRICA NEURO-NUTRITIONAL CLINIC
Posted by: Dr. Preet | October 05, 2008 at 11:11 AM
Thanks for your comments.
I hope I have (re)opened that can of worms, because we all need to look inside and see what's there!
Posted by: Terri Lewis | October 05, 2008 at 10:59 AM
Terry, while I agree that our children, for whatever reason, are susceptible to vaccine injury, I still believe we need vaccination.
Do I agree with the schedule? I don't know how anyone CAN!
Do I agree with everyone having them? Hell NO! Some children SHOULD NOT have any vaccines!
But children who are healthy, and can tolerate them, should.
We strive for that Holy Grail of herd immunity. What happened to my daughter is collateral damage for the sake of the herd.
But just what percentage is acceptable collateral damage?
And no one wants to find out the difference in these children.
That is the problem.
Sorry, don't care who I offend here, Sure we won't see epidemics if VPDs if we stop vaxxing all together, but we will see great increases, and even deaths.
The reason the vaccine measles (or varicella- she got lucky with 4 live viruses!) replicated in my daughter is because her immune system cannot produce the correct response. Natural infections of Polio, whooping cough, measles, diptheria could kill her.
There is a reason we began vaccinating against these diseases.
It is time we did so wisely.
Posted by: Monica | October 05, 2008 at 10:47 AM
for Monica and Terri,
insidevaccines has been investigating the disease rates claimed by the CDC and found some interesting discrepancies. Here is Part I in the series with links to the other 3 entries: http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/06/16/where-do-they-find-these-scary-statistics/
Childhood illnesses can be dangerous, but they aren't nearly as dangerous as claimed.
Posted by: MinorityView | October 05, 2008 at 10:05 AM
Boy Terri did you open a can of worms. I just watched a new scare video from the cdc on why we all must get the flu vaccine. More than 20,000 go to the hospital and 100 die each year. In the video they use our arguement the every child is worth saving.
I think we do not believe that the risk is worth the agony of damaging your child. In a world of negotiation we have decided to give them just a little so they will at least run some of our news stories and not throw us in jail. The world is a brutal place as Jenny found out with Barbara Walters and we find out everyday as we have conversations with other moms and dads. We are already being called parasites... I can just think of the words they will call us.
I guess you are right though...rally Call ... No (Disease Free) Guts....No Glory.
Thanks Terri for fighting for our children.
Posted by: Tanners Dad | October 05, 2008 at 07:12 AM
whew, I thought you were beyond needing "schooled" Tanner's Dad. ;)
I hate when people mistakingly claim the MMR is now safer, as it no longer contains thimerosal.
The MMR is just as dangerous now, if not more dangerous than it was 10 years ago, because it is given younger!
Looks like Ivy Chong will be getting a call on Monday, along with an email, and have some schoolin' about immune deficiencies, and the MMR...
Posted by: Monica | October 04, 2008 at 10:51 PM
You say, "I am deeply afraid, though, that 1/4 of our population is flat out refusing ALL vaccines. That can become a very scary place."
I used to think so, too, but the more I've come to realize that I don't want any more vaccines for myself, or for my children, the less I feel I should expect others to take risks that I won't!
I mean, what are we really saying here--I'm not doing this, because I know it's likely to hurt me, but you still need to?
It's true that you and I *know* the susceptibilities that our own children face--it is certainly wrong to force, or encourage, vaccines upon those who are more likely to be hurt.
But the more I study the real effectiveness and the real risks of the various vaccines, the more I realize that most (if not ALL) vaccines are a poor risk in general, with the possible exception being "during a genuine outbreak."
And I'm no longer sure that vaccines are our best choice even then.
There are homeopathic alternatives that are actually more effective and less risky than vaccines, and beyond that, the most important factors in eliminating disease-- and especially eliminating complications from disease--have been decent sanitation, good nutrition, access to pure water, and simple hygiene.
Just as the risks of vaccines have been grossly understated--something many of us here learned the hard way--the effectiveness of vaccines has been grossly overstated.
Even here at Age of Autism, this is a radical viewpoint!
Even here, there's still a clinging to the very "medicine" that has so thoroughly harmed so many of us, and worse--our children!
But we need to continue to look at facts, and we should not become motivated by fear, either fear of vaccines or fear of disease.
I know there are many people here who will continue to push for "a safer schedule" and "safer vaccines." I'm one of them!
But I can't keep believing that it's enough.
Looking at vaccines objectively has led me to lose faith in them more and more, and that means you give up on this magical, disease-free world in which you can have tremendous benefits for *almost* everyone with only "moderate" risks for just a few.
What a dream!
And yet this childish belief is at the very heart of our infant immunization program.
The idea of herd immunity is false, but comforting.
We've been led to believe that if only "most of us" (and the percentage "required" for herd immunity is arbitrary and keeps changing)--if only "most" of us will accept some ill-defined "moderate" risks (remember those little vaccine risk hand-outs? risks of 1 in 1,000; or was it 1 in 10,000 and no one ever died, at least nobody ever told *me* that was a risk)--then all of our children could be free of disease forever!
But vaccines fail, children die and become brain dead, and we will never really know how many--we have been lied to for so long.
We talk here all the time about how calloused some of our pediatricians are, and how they consistently refuse to acknowledge vaccine damage, and truly--even if they are deeply in denial, and somehow think it's all for the greater good--turning their backs on us has been an evil thing to do, and if we turn our backs on others, then we commit an evil just as great!
And yet, if we continue to believe that a certain percentage "must" continue to choose vaccination or diseases will come rushing back at us with the force they held in the ancient, pre-sewage treatment past--then we continue to live in a nightmare of control, in which it really is okay to sacrifice some children for the benefit of others.
How can that be okay?
Certainly, if 95%, or 75%, or 50% look at vaccination carefully and choose to accept some or even ALL vaccines (and remember, the number of "ALL" keeps going up) then I don't want to stop them. If others calculate the potential benefits and risks differently than I do, then may God go with them, too.
But if it reaches a point where 50%, or 75%, or 95% decide that the risks of ALL vaccination exceed ALL potential benefits for themselves or for their children, then they have a right to refuse vaccination.
If they don't have this right, then we remain always in a primitive culture that includes human sacrifice--literal death of the innocents--in order that others may live (supposedly) without risk.
Three resources for anyone interested: www.vaccinationnews.org, www.thinktwice.com and www.nvic.org (National Vaccine Information Center).
Facts are more important than fear.
Posted by: Terri Lewis | October 04, 2008 at 10:29 PM
Good catch Monica. That paragraph was cut and pasted from the original on the Florida Institute of Technology's website...
I think that is interesting that such a mistake was made.... Once again good catch!
Posted by: Tanners Dad | October 04, 2008 at 08:44 PM
I am excited about the reporting of this study, as it has opened up communication regarding autism and vaccines in Florida.
Wonder if my Governor, Charlie Crist had knowledge of this study before his staff attended Maloney's meeting. Nice to see our Governor is concerned about it! (my congressman, and our senators did not attend, but Crist's staff did!)
btw, I hope, I am reading this wrong Tanner's Dad-
"The public’s concern over vaccines stems from a controversial 1998 British study linking autism and the MMR vaccine, which at the time contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal."
The MMR never contained any preservative, as the preservative would kill those three nasty live viruses that can cause encephalitis.
I am deeply afraid, though, that 1/4 of our population is flat out refusing ALL vaccines. That can become a very scary place.
However, had the CDC, and NIH listened to us long ago, and done something about it, I doubt our herd immunity would be slipping down that slippery slope.
My daughter has little- no antibodies to vaccine preventable diseases, and a permanent medical exemption against all vaccines. Herd immunity is something she must rely on.
Posted by: Monica | October 04, 2008 at 05:43 PM
Letter to the survey designer:
Dear Dr. Chong
I am surprised by the non-science based preface to your survey about autism. The preface states that the fears and concerns are based on the British 1998 MMR Study....
The public’s concern over vaccines stems from a controversial 1998 British study linking autism and the MMR vaccine, which at the time contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. The study was later retracted by most of its authors and thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in 2001, but responses to the just-completed survey show the public is still confused.
I was wondering as a researcher if you actually penned the preface or if government oversight add those words to your great work? As a parent of a child with autism that feels it was caused by vaccination. He regressed before my eyes and is in recovery before my eyes. My opinion and those around me have nothing to do with research in Britain in 1998.
If "cause of concern" was truly an outcome you were looking for why wasn't the question asked? Don't you think that this preface and how the media is spinning it saying a small percentage have questions is misrepresentation?
Posted by: Tanners Dad | October 04, 2008 at 06:43 AM
Since WHEN is 43% Small but (in)significant??The headline is written perfectly...
The first national survey of attitudes toward autism reveals that a small but significant percentage of people still believe the disease is caused by childhood vaccines.
Nobody ever says small but significant. They were trying to play down the fact that 43% of the surveyed people understand that there are questions about vaccine safety.
They headline should read...
Vaccine confidence questioned by almost half the American population. Don't you think the government should respond?
Posted by: Tanners Dad | October 04, 2008 at 06:21 AM
The second bullet point down-- the question about whether people believed vaccines contribute to autism, had an interesting disclaimer attached:
"The Centers for Disease Control says “evidence from several studies examining trends in vaccine use and changes in autism frequency does not support such an association. Furthermore, a scientific review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that ‘the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.’ CDC supports the IOM conclusion.” [www.cdc.gov]"
Was this disclaimer provided to the subjects of the poll or simply stuck in afterwards? What is the scientific reason for putting this claim in?
I'd also love to see the list of 20 questions that were asked of those polled to see if they had knowledge of autism.
Posted by: Gatogorra | October 03, 2008 at 06:55 PM
These are the pertinent points I pulled out and sent to Sarah Palin's sister -- she has a son with autism -- because the last two points are ASTOUNDING:
Nearly 1 in 4 Americans believes vaccines cause autism, even though no scientific evidence supports such a link, a new national survey suggests.
Another 19 percent said they were unsure about vaccines' role.
***Also, 83 percent said understanding the cause -- not now known -- and finding a cure for autism should be a national priority.***
***And 6 in 10 of those polled said the presidential candidates should include a plan for curing autism in their platforms.***
Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis | October 03, 2008 at 05:49 PM
CDC did you hear this!!!! 24%, almost 1 in 4, said that it was safer not to vaccinate. It is time to come clean-too many people no longer trust the system. All of your denials and lies are not working any more. Those of you who have known about this from the start-I cannot imagine how you can look in the mirror. Do you have any idea how many chidren and families are suffering because of you. More and more people are learning the truth and one day soon you will all be uncovered as the money grubbing lying hypocrites you are.
Posted by: Sue | October 03, 2008 at 03:09 PM
It said "Only 10% of parents in their seventies and 14% of those in their sixties were slightly, very or extremely concerned their children would be autistic." A very odd question because most people in their 60's and 70's would know if their children had autism or not. I don't know even one 60 year old with a newborn. (I guess I don't get out much!)
Posted by: L Land | October 03, 2008 at 11:00 AM
Florida Institute of Technology also has ABA courses leading to certification as a BCBA or BCABA. (applied behavior analysis therapist). I am excited to share that I will be taking their classes starting this month!
Posted by: Elizabeth | October 03, 2008 at 09:59 AM
"Those who know someone with autism are more likely (21% vs. 17%) to believe the disorder was caused by a preservative once found in childhood vaccines"
Shouldn't that say "by a preservative that is still in childhood vaccines, though everyone does their damndest to say that it isn't even though it is?"
I also find it curious that older people aren't as concerned with autism as younger people are. Admitedly, this could be because of our current culture, but I find it odd that older people are not as concerned about neurological disorders. Could it be that they didn't see as many when they were younger?
Posted by: Craig Willoughby | October 03, 2008 at 09:23 AM