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Temple Grandin on Vaccines -- If There's a Risk, "Space Them Out."

Temple_grandin Temple Grandin gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal this weekend (HERE) in which she amplified comments she's been making about controversial aspects of autism. The interviewer mentions Andy Wakefield's 1998 Lancet paper -- now retracted by the journal -- and "the antivaccine movement perhaps best associated with the actress Jenny McCarthy ..."

"Scientifically, there's still some things to be done,' Ms. Grandin says. Scientists need to study 'the kids where they seem to have language and then they lose it at 18 months to two years of age.' She adds: 'I've talked to too many parents that have talked to me about regressions that I can't just pooh-pooh that off.'"

So what to do? "We can't stop vaccinating because we're going to end up with all these childhood diseases. i grew up with iron lungs. ... That was horrible, dreadful ... We can't go back to that."

She recommends: "'If you have autism in the family history,' or other auto-immune problems, 'you still vaccinate. Delay it a bit, space them out.'" She again cites "very big improvements" with wheat-free and dairy-free diets. And she insists that while better recognition may have increased the number of people diagnosed with Asperger's,  "some of the severe autism has increased." And that suggests, the interviewer wrote, "the possibility of environmental toxins interacting with 'susceptible genetics.'"-- Dan Olmsted




Hey, I just want to applaud anyone that is using common sense in the media! LOL! It hardly happens...


Guys - I think this was a great article re: our side of things (to echo Frank - please read the actual WSJ article).

There is NO WAY the WSJ would include anything explicitly anti-vaccination and Ms. Grandin is very smart by making her comments palatable (to the mainstream) and printable.

And - hello? She came right out and said the GFCF is wonderful - and that should be cheered.

I think her understanding of Aspergers/HFA is a bit one-dimensional. That this is "one type" and they "think in pictures". Or, that all Aspergers kids will be inventors or great scientists of some sort. Or, that many with the Aspergers diagnosis are because of better diagnosing.

Did anyone else read "Strange Son" by Portia Iversen (co-founder with her husband, Johnathan of Cure Autism Now - now folded into Autism Speaks)? I credit this book, above all others, with helping me to understand my child's autism (yes, I know Dov and Tito are non-verbal 100% auditory processors - and my son is not - but sooooo much of the book rang true for our situation - I literally couldn't put it down and read late into the night until it was done).

My child is very high functioning - once upon a time, well on the path to full Autism/multiple regressions - first noticeable when weaned at 9-10m/including major vaccination damage regression that was rapid and horrifying at 26m. We pulled him off that track (through combo biomed/diet/vb-aba/NET/RDI/Speech/PT/OT/Music/Sports/etc./etc./etc.) and by the time we formally had him diagnosed (long story involving many doctors - and who cares) - he was diagnosed with Aspergers at nearly 4 years old (so he cannot ever be a "recovery" story as we don't have the piece of paper backing up our story - as we started diets/etc. at 26m).

ANYWAY - our super duper high functioning son - without any support, besides OT - does NOT "think in pictures."

He's mostly an auditory processor with a bit of visual processing thrown in (formal psychometry testing at 4.5 and on-going testing - the latest at neurofeedback). He's not a researcher/scientist type as Ms. Grandin makes it seem like all of the HF/AS types are. If only it were so simple. Truly, I thank Ms. Iversen - for describing verbal processors so eloquently.

Regardless, I am very thankful for everything that Ms. Grandin does for our community. She is CLEARLY on our side - I've seen her many times. Even at DAN! conferences no less. Thankfully, she is not on the neurodiversity side and for that - I am so very, very thankful.

So guys - be kind, be encouraging, be thankful. Ms. Grandin is one of us and I'm very, very thankful that she's in our camp. I am very, very thankful for all of her gifts and for sharing her gifts with the world (and not just us).

Darian (nickname)

I wouldn't be shocked if they had left things out. Being straight forward as she is, she is not known to dance around an issue like it seems to show here. I give Temple the benefit of the doubt.

The reporters however have shown thier bias over and over again! It is they who should be taken to task!

Tony Bateson

The British government trumpeted the sad case of a child who died of measles, the first death from measles for fourteen years! Then it was revealed in a secret report that 18 deaths had occurred over four years from infant vaccinations! Expert medics then said that this was likely to be a lot less than the true figure. What sort of corrupt world do we live in? What have we done to deserve this?

Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

Autism Grandma

Re: "'If you have autism in the family history,' or other auto-immune problems, 'you still vaccinate. Delay it a bit, space them out.'"

When Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism it was extremely rare 55 years ago. I am wondering how in the world she missed the vaccine connection with the massive epidemic in the last 20-25 years. Or perhaps she was misquoted as so often happens. However if she actually DID make the above statement: "you STILL vaccinate. Delay it a BIT. Space them out." This is ridiculously conservative and just doesn't cut the mustard.

She is saying that even with autism in the family "you STILL vaccinate"???!!! And what does "Delay it a BIT" mean? Delay the vaccines a few months or a few years? There is an educated school of thought that warns that no children should ever be vaccinated before age 2, but what about children with family history of autism? It should be NEVER for these children. NEVER PERIOD.

Spacing the vaccines out definitely reduces the toxic load per visit, but that does nothing to resolve the ACCUMULATION of heavy metals over time. It's just the difference between slow heavy metal poisoning and fast heavy metal poisoning.

I should give Temple Grandin the benefit of the doubt here based on so many reporters distorting information in order to back up the vaccine industry agenda. But if in reality this statement was all that she could say about vaccines and the millions of children with autism now, I am extremely disappointed because this particular statement obviously supports the vaccine schedule. So IF she DID say this, I guess she must feel that 49 doses of vaccines by age 6 (statistic NVIC) is perfectly OK, and thus a golden opportunity to save future children from the lost world of autism has been flushed down the toilet.


I spaced out the vaccines. My child was fine, and then she stopped shaking her head no. I let them give her the rubella vaccine, and that was it. Autism.


Dan, I can't thank you enough for everything that have done and continue to do for the autism community! You, sir, are a ROCK STAR in our house! Thank you!


I strongly recommend people read the entire article that is linked within this post. She says a lot of other very interesting things.


I love how Temple Grandin describes her experiences, and how she also listens to others' experiences and acknowledges the more severe end of the spectrum as well as the Aspie experience. Yes, she does not seem in this article to understand all of the concerns about vaccines (although you never know what the reporter has left out), but at least she recognizes that there are legitimate concerns.

Kathy Blanco

David, SOOO agree with you...what if polio vaccines caused polio (which they think it did), and that pesticides used in the summer (because that is when this parlyzed child would present), is just toxic soups. There is no vaccine that is safe or efficacious, or has ameliorated any disease. WHALE TO (google along the word polio), read about polio Temple. I know you can grasp the concepts well. Anti vaccine? How'd you guess?


Iron lung - Yes I grew up then too and scared to death of polio. Scared to death of Diptheria too. Also scared to death of brain injuries and strokes too. Scared of a brain injury much more so than the iron lung. Mitch McConnall our KY Congressman and Minority Leader had Polio as a child. Gee let me seeeeee: My son had autism and some day he could be minority leader - I don't think so.

Speaking of Mitch McConnall- his office has been the only people to every call and write me back. They listen, but who knows what they really think???

david burd

Unfortunately, Temple Grandin cites "iron lungs" as a symbol of contagious/infectious disease, thus unwittingly giving undeserved validity to the present immunization schedule, as Grandin says to 'just space out the shots' (to paraphrase).

The extremely few cases of stricken children/adults shown dramatically in iron lungs back in the early 1950's was vastly outnumbered by the dead and paralyzed victims of the new onslaught of both massive pesticide poisonings and experimental vaccines such as "polio" and diphtheria and pertussis, all causing significant paralyses and deaths.

Ms. Grandin being so young, and a very rare Spectrum case 55 years ago, at that time would unfortunately, naturally, have been indelibly impressed by photos of someone in an iron lung.

Of course, it must be emphasized the Guillane-Barre syndrome that paralyzes the diaphragm, was caused by the above pesticides and experimental vaccines, thus comprising most of those in iron lungs.

So, the New York Times, a zealous advocate and ally of today's insane Vaccine Schedule (pardon me, but I do have a studied verdict as to The Schedule) cleverly used her and her errant, imprinted impression of iron lungs.

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