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New Clues to Who Is Susceptible to Autism Via Vaccine Injury

Russian roulette (Editor's Note: This post and the following one by Dr. Bob Sears should give parents, and prospective parents, of young children the tools they need to make smarter choices about vaccines. We appreciate Scott Laster's original and important analysis of the risk of autism from vaccines based on family history, and Dr. Sears' suggestions about vaccinating a child with autism and their siblings, as well as an alternative vaccine schedule for every family to consider. We hope our readers will share this potentially life-altering information far and wide. If you want to give prospective parents or those with infants a holiday present, send them this important new analysis. It could prevent new cases of autism NOW, not in 20 years when the medical establishment gets around to acknowledging the evidence Scott lays out so clearly here.-- Dan Olmsted.)

By Scott Laster 

A study titled "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" by Brimacombe et al was published in 2007 in the Journal of Child Neurology.  The results of this study may have implications on the current debate over philosophical exemptions in New Jersey, and may yield important clues on how future public health policy might identify sub-groups that are susceptible to vaccine injury.

In this study, family histories were examined in a cohort of 164 autistic children referred to The Autism Center at New Jersey Medical School-University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark over a 2-year period (2001-2003).  The study found that a family medical history of certain illnesses was prevalent at significantly higher rates in the autism cohort versus the general population, such as thyroid disorders (20.8% in autism cohort vs 1.6% in general population), rheumatoid arthritis (10.4% vs < 1%), epilepsy (5.6% vs < 1%), and diabetes (23.2% vs 6.3%).   The average age of the autism cohort studied during this 2001-2003 period was 6.6 years.

This study did not define autism prevalence rates in New Jersey for sub-populations with each specific family medical history.  However with the autism prevalence data from the CDC for the state of New Jersey for the 1994 birth cohort (MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries February 9, 2007), calculations can be performed on this data to approximate the "risk of autism" for children in New Jersey born with certain family medical histories.

Disclaimer: the following calculations are mine only, and have not been vetted with the authors of the "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" study.  As a further disclaimer, there is nothing in the "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" study which refers to vaccines or indicates in any manner that the authors think that vaccines might be a causal factor in autism (on the contrary, the authors write that "… This work supports the underlying presence of genetic factors in the etiology of autism.")

Per the CDC autism prevalence data, the 1994 birth cohort in New Jersey had a 1 in 94 risk of developing autism.  In the following table, I calculated the risk of a child developing autism if born in that 1994 New Jersey cohort with certain family medical histories.  A child born to family with a history of thyroid disorders had a 1 in 7 risk of autism (over 13 times higher than the risk of autism in the general population).  For rheumatoid arthritis, the autism risk was at least 1 in 8 and potentially higher (as with some illnesses as noted in the table, the data on general population prevalence in the "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" was insufficient to determine if autism risk was higher than 1 in 8).  For epilepsy the risk was at least 1 in 15 (or higher); for diabetes, the autism risk was 1 in 26.  (Click on the graphic to enlarge it please.)

Laster file

Notes on these calculations:  Although it is plausible that a child whose family medical history included multiple of these illnesses would have an autism risk higher than the autism risk from each individual illness, the "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" study did not evaluate such combinations.  Similarly although it is plausible that a boy with family medical history of thyroid disorders would have an autism risk even higher than the 1 in 7 shown in the table, the "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" study did not evaluate the risk of family medical history for boys versus girls.  Thus to be conservative, I've not included any analysis of autism risk for boys versus girls or for family medical history with multiple illnesses in this table.

What are the potential lessons from this analytical exercise?

1.    If vaccines contribute to autism in a susceptible sub-population, the public health challenge will be to determine how to identify the sub-groups that should utilize an alternative vaccination schedule or go without vaccines altogether (and thus rely upon the overall 'herd immunity' to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases, as is already the policy for certain susceptible sub-populations).  The absence of an answer on how to identify the susceptible sub-groups could be a major factor in the reluctance of the CDC to formally concede that vaccines may be linked to autism in a susceptible group of children.  However, the "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" study provides clues as to the identity of the susceptible sub-groups, and further provides a method (clinical analysis of family medical history) to determine whether an individual child belongs to a susceptible sub-group. 

2.    The "Familial Risk Factors in Autism" did not study vaccines and does not provide any evidence (one way or the other) as to whether vaccines cause autism.  However, it does provide evidence that New Jersey families with certain family medical histories have a far higher risk of a child developing autism.  This research was recently published in 2007, and has not yet had time to be incorporated into public health policy such that susceptible New Jersey families could obtain a medical exemption based upon family medical history.  Many New Jersey families, after much personal research, have concluded that there is a significant possibility that vaccines contribute to autism.  Suppose that a New Jersey family with a family medical history of thyroid disorders knows that their child has a 1 in 7 chance of developing autism (based upon the above analysis of the "Familial Risk of Autism" study), and also has concluded that vaccines will further increase their child's risk of autism.  Shouldn't such a family be allowed to have a philosophical exemption from vaccines?

Scott Laster is an engineer and autism advocate.  Scott lives in Atlanta with his wife and two sons.




This is useless information. We already know “autism, thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, and diabetes” correlate with roundup herbicide usage on corn and soy.

Hans Litten

I think this is very interesting , given Parvo appeared out of nowhere in 1976 , and when it did it appeared globally .
And I know Robert Gallo was looking at cat leukemia around this time as part of the SVCP

"feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)" . they are saying Parvo occured because this cat virus jumped species .

Has anyone seen anything regarding this ? pls


I myself avoided taking any medication of any kind during pregnancy and do not personally have a diagnosis for anything. I have always been quite healthy, rarely getting sick. My oldest has moderate/severe autism. In my son's case his autism definetly did not come from medication exposure. In my entire life I've barely taken any type of medication whether it be aspirin, supplements/vitamins or a prescription med. Our extended family has many types of dx's however. Thyroid dysfunction, lupus, allergies, asthma, diabetes, dyslexia. I definetly think the genes played a part and his exposure to certain substances triggered his autism that he was genetically predisposed to. Most of the dx's come from his paternal side of the family.


This article demonstrates the path that serious analyses should begin following. I never hear much in the debate about whether vaccines cause autism that addresses the statistical difficulty of identifying relationships when one is studying an infrequent event (i.e., incidence of autism relative to millions of vaccinations) The wholesale dismissal of the vacciantion/autism link given the difficulties in doing rigorous studies in this area is absurd. To date, all the studies have some serious flaws. The CDC and others should be doing work that examines and expands on this analysis so that, to the extent possible, that small group for whom there may very well be a quite discernible and demonstrable link between autism and vaccine exposure are spared.

Happy Mom

still does not explain why my first born is affected, then I had onset of RA. The second two children are NT.

Leanne Veitch

Do these statistics take into account medications that parents may have been on during the pregnancies of their autistic children?

Example: sodium valproate (anti-convulsant) is a known cause of autism when babies are exposed to it in utero. In my own mothers group here in NZ, more than 50% of the mothers with autistic children took this drug during the pregnancies of their autistic children.

Not all of the mothers were epileptic. Many of the mothers were bipolar (the same drug is prescribed for bipolar disorder) yet the result was the same - autistic children. Clearly this indicates that the drug was the issue, not the epilepsy.

There is also currently a class action against the drug company in question regarding this issue in the UK.

So I wonder whether what we are seeing here is NOT genetic risks, but the outcome of drug exposure during pregnancy.

It suggests the question - what drugs were involved in the instances of rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes etc? And am I the only one putting the pieces together in this puzzle?

The statistics hint at sodium valproate being a huge factor (if not the largest single factor) in the massive rise in rates of autism. Forget vaccination where the facts are sketchy and uncertain - the facts are in for sodium valproate, and it is undeniably linked, yet women of childbearing age are still being prescribed this autism-causing drug without being warned of the risks.

Interesting article - thanks.

Ben's Dad

Very interesting Kathy. Although, this is going to make all the big family reunion camping trips near OLD LYME that I dragged my wife too seem like more evidence of I was wrong. There was the tropical storm year, the chicken pox year, the other torrential rain year, and now this. I'm done for. I checked out your site and will look into this further. Thanks.

Kathy Blanco

Ben's Dad-
Consider that your family has congenital lyme/mycoplasma disease, which causes RA and Thyroid disorders. And yes, there is such a thing as congenital lyme disease, and this makes that child triply able to have vaccine injury through increased oxidative stress and inflammation already present in the child. Especially think, rain, hmmm? Are these not lyme endemic areas?

Kathy Blanco

Ben's Dad

Scott this is really great. Thank you for taking the time to find this. These are remarkable numbers. Please consider sending this to the NYT or Newark Star Ledger. None of these are as exciting as the widely reported correlation between rain and autism, yet 14 of the items on this list are more than double the rain correlation, and they are far far more practical in identifying at risk families. This is end user kind of data. The 1:8 rheumatoid arthritis number hits home although I need to do more checking. Yesterday I calculated 1:10 (4:40) boys in the great grandchild generation of my maternal grandparents are affected by autism. Yes, that 4 is up 1 from my posts just a few months ago.

In googling “rheumatoid arthritis autism” I was not at all surprised to immediately hit Dan Olmsted's 12/28/07 piece on “THE EXPERTS, THE TRUTH, AND GOLD SALTS“
“ Just this week I got an e-mail from a reader named Martin Cowen: "Hi Dan. The Wall Street Journal today, 12-18-07, page D-1, has a story about this lead poisoning treatment. Of interest to you, I think, will be the fact, stated in the article, that the treatment was originally for rheumatoid arthritis. As you have reported, Autism case number 1 was treated for rheumatoid arthritis with gold salts. Maybe there is a connection between autism and rheumatoid arthritis?"  “

carol hoernlein

I have created a flowchart which links the various symptoms of autism together and shows that the common link is glutamate - which has come up in genome studies of autism.

This finding of Dr. Bob Sears matches exactly with my own findings.

The Chart:

In the chart - I have listed the genes involved in autism, then I show all the different parts of the body that can be affected by excess glutamate and what occurs in each case. Below what happens I list the name of the disease and consequently the drugs used to treat each disease. I then color coded any item related to autism, and I also color coded any glutamate-blocking drug used to treat the diseases.
As you can see, diabetes, epilepsy, and thyroid are all on my flowchart - linked together by their common link of being adversely affected by excess glutamate. Glutamate is also known as free glutamic acid - which is ALSO the common thread in EVERY vaccine. They add it to preserve the virus.
So here in my one chart, you have the diseases mentioned by Dr. Sears AND their direct link to how vaccines would affect a developing child susceptible to these diseases.


I would like to see info on the connection - if any - for Autism with a family history of OCD or MS. I have battled OCD all my life (I'm winning!) and I see so many "ticks" or "stems" that look familiar. Also my father died from complications due to MS this year. He had MS for 23 years.


"the authors write that '… This work supports the underlying presence of genetic factors in the etiology of autism.'"

Did the authors say anything about this work supporting the underlying presence of immune system issues in the etiology of autism?

Thanks for this interesting article.

Elizabeth Hensley

My Mother and I both have (in her case had) Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is an immune system problem where one's own immune system attacks one's thyroid. I also have adrenal fatigue and my Mother probably did too. They were definite factors in our behavior and dysfunction beyond the autism which is also a hormone deficiency (Oxytocin). I also need large does of Melatonin to sleep. Ditto to celiac disease. Autists and Parents of Autists need to check body temperatures before the individual gets up in the morning and at other times during the day. If it is low, go to and the thyroid section of and join this group at yahoo.: Natural Thyroid Hormone ADRENALS Go into and go to groups and type that in the search box. If Patients don't learn about the need for thyroid meds that include T3 many Doctors will only give T4 only medications that don't work as well. The brain desperately needs T3! God put it there for a reason and to refine it out of thyroid medication makes it much less effective. It is like taking the elevator only half way up a building instead of all the way up. Also watch out for Doctors who have not learned the national board of endocrinology changed the ranges the standard thyroid tests are interpreted from what it was (5.0 to 0.5) to the new way of interpreting the ranges: 3.0 to 0.3 because the old way was missing too many cases. Also with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis the thyroid amounts in the blood can go up and down drastically, making just one test a hit and miss situation catching it. The Doctor needs to do another test that tests for that and when diagnosed the patient should stay on some Armour thyroid all the time despite what the ranges show to keep the immune system from attacking the thyroid gland. Most Doctors just don't know what they are doing when it comes to thyroid treatment and Patients have to learn to be experts themselves and self advocate big time when dealing with Doctors just as they must with vaccinations.

Rose Anne DeCristoforo

Children (and the their mothers) who have (familial) gluten/casein intolerance have decreased ability to absorb beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, because of gluten induced damage to the intestinal villi. When beneficial minerals are not present in adequate amounts, their place in the bones and other repositories in the body is taken up by heavy metals such as mercury. In effect, when the beneficial minerals are not present, the heavy metals "move in." This could explain why the subset of children who have familial gluten intolerance are more vulnerable to damage from heavy metal exposure.

Judy Bifro

Has anyone looked into the fact of all the toxins that are in the everyday products we use of which alot of these toxins affect the reproductive organs and causing cell mutations. The makers of these products say the amounts are very minute, but if they are in almost everything such as soaps, deoderants, fragrances, body lotions, hair color, etc. and we use these on a daily bases, whats the accumulative affect and could these be a possible cause of autism in our children.

Kathy Blanco

I have been screaming for some time now that they should be identifying children with weak immune systems via the biological code of ethics (see my work on this on Hyper IgE on Cord Blood at ), kids with infections already on board, and other immune and metabolic genetics before willy nillying (is that a word?) vaccines just on everyone. IMHO, the bell curve is growing ever larger because we are becoming more toxic, and the more toxic we are, the more we can't fight of persistent viruses, bacteria or fungi, this is just plain scientific facts. Also, reading another article yesterday on thyroid disorders in mothers...did you know it would only take THREE DAYS of a disordered thyroid to reflect/damage/change on the brain of the child to be in utero? The study showed, if the thyroid for three days did not work, the purkinje cells via reelin pathways would not work, thusly causing autism in many mothers, begging this question, actually accurately tested (not the standard labs or standard "what is normal ranges"), that their thyroid was functioning properly (TSH, TRH T3 and T4)? Most moms I know of these kids are hypothyroid or hashimotos? After being diagnsed hashimotos in myself, as wel as three other AUTOIMMUNE diseases (hint hint), I finally tested my adult kids with autism, who in fact also have HYPOTHYROID. And because of that they are doing much better with treatment, even one son stopping seizures.

Then the question is, why is that happening? Read Dr Jim Adams, who states, that mothers of autistic children had a higher percentage of IODINE DEFICIENCY (iodine was taken out of our salts for over two decades, which correlates nicely to the autism epidemic), MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY (depleted farming methods), and higher toxic mercury burdens (thanks fish, pesticides, fertilizers, thanks crematoria, thanks smoke stacks, thanks amalgams, thanks your own vaccine accumulations). Also, GLUTEN can get after the thyroid, so what if mother has had a test for anti glutimase antibodies, with a false negative, yet has all the symptoms? Point being, that we have walking "dead and wounded" moms out there (and Dads) who are frankly being overlooked as someone with the potentiality of having a daughter or son with autism. We also know that chemotherapy drugs and other things that mutae geness(toxins), can mutate the genes for autism. Even our age. Age would mean, you are under more years of oxidative stress with the added affect of toxins, undiagnosed, undertreated infections (usually retroviruses, HHV6, CMV, Parvo, Lyme, Mycoplasma, etc etc), and pooped out mitochondria X linked into your child.

So who in their right mind thinks we are all one size fits all, that the viruses in these kids won't have permision to attack endlessly their brains and immune systems gone haywire?

This is why I say, how can you green ANY vaccine? In our kids? They should never be near them. Taking out one ingredient here or there, may save some kids, but for the majority, even the VIRUSES and CONTAMINANTS in the vaccine, are enough to push our kids over the edge. So the illustration of the loaded gun is so entirely clear to me. ESPECIALLY if you have kids with undetected congenital lyme (that be a lot of us folks).

Oh to be a doctor!

This is a great article. Didn't the CDC admit to Sharyl Atkisson of CBS News that it did not follow the families of kids who had autism? Do you think the CDC might be interested to know now? Do you think the AAP might want to know this? Do you think all pediatricians might want to know this?

I am somewhat surprised to not see anything about allergies in this study. Or do allergies come from one of the conditions mentioned in that list?

candace passino

wow!!!! awesome work..this is exactly the stuff they (cdc) should have done a long time ago..this is brillant!!!! as a RN and mom of child autism this made my day..thank you..candace


This is a great post -- THX

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