My son Ronan and I Youtube several times a week. He’s actually wearing headphones for a few of his must-see videos which is a major sensory milestone. I’ve been adding new videos and different subjects to his mix of favorites. I do this to see if he will tolerate more than his usual requests (ie, perseverations for the same song/theme). Ronan has a few choices that I have grown to find annoying so I keep a mental list of which songs he likes and ones I’ll suffer through. Some make him too hyper and a few of them have him squeal with glee. One of the videos that caught my ear was a new character Ronan has grown into as he leaves his old time buddy Thomas the Tank Engine behind. Hello, The Cat in the Hat and all of your silliness!
I stumbled upon this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ASI7vY0ssg trying to find a new clip for Ronan. In the clip, The Cat announces the need to look for something that is missing and sings a catchy song Calculatus Eliminatus (loosely translated by me: Find the Missing Thing).
When you’ve mislaid a certain something, keep your cool and don’t get hot.
Calculatus Eliminatus is the best friend that you’ve got
Calculatus Eliminatus always helps an awful lot
The best way to find something is to find out where it’s not
It isn’t here…it isn’t there…
We just jot down all the places where it isn’t, and gee whiz, very shortly we will locate
where the missing object where is!
When you’ve mislaid a certain something keep your cool and don’t go to pot.
Calculatus Elimanutus is the best friend that you’ve got!
Calculatus Eliminatus always helps an awful lot
The way to find something is to find out where it’s not!
If you’ve mislaid a certain something…
You can blame Wakefield for the MMR vaccine-autism controversy. You can even blame Wakefield about all vaccines for that matter because of how the media chooses to report on the issue so one-sidedly. You can blame Wakefield for autism because vaccines supposedly don’t cause autism. (But, they do result in autism so be careful of how you say that.) And, get this. You can even blame Wakefield for not vaccinating your child.
It always helps an awful lot…
Because of how the media misreported Wakefield’s findings, that reporting caused fear and panic in parents. Those parents decided to not vaccinate their child. Lo, and behold, their child contracted a disease that might have been prevented by a vaccine. Oh, wait. What? A parent listened to the news reports about vaccines and autism. He opted to keep those terrible vaccines out of his kid’s body. The kid later got sick, and the parent got pissed. The parent wants to blame someone. Oh, he can blame that doctor, right? Wakefield made my kid sick. There. That makes me feel better. He did it.
Keep your cool and don’t go to pot…
The sting from the media reports about Dr. Wakefield’s work and his character leave one either completely angered or terribly confused. How could one man, whose reputation has gone to pot thanks to the media, be THE guy to blame now? Wakefield’s paper was misreported so long ago. That information has been heard and seen over and over again despite a proper explanation. Not that it matters to some who have already made up their minds about it, but one should note that Wakefield’s work included observing several patients who had severe bowl disease problems. These patients also had autism. Some of them had received the MMR vaccine. Why is it so wrong for a medical doctor to ask to investigate a possible correlation of bad bowels and autism when said doctor has credentials and an extensive understanding of gastrointestinal issues? Wouldn’t you want a thorough doctor like that if your child was in constant pain? Wouldn’t it be even better to discover what was causing the pain so as to treat it and eliminate it for other children? Nah, we’ll just crucify the guy instead.
While further findings of vaccine-induced autistic issues have been reported (and thankfully believed by some), the old, inaccurate Wakefield news continues to be THE news anyone remembers. Parents had already for years reported other vaccine-related injury issues. But, who wants to hear and believe that vaccines could actually be a culprit for these kids? Since Wakefield was already labeled as the bad guy, his old news is coupled with new vaccine news. That news tends to be that vaccines are always safe; and, therefore, vaccines do not equal autism. Why would anyone be willing to believe the parents of vaccine-induced autistic kids when the news reports about Dr. Wakefield are so damning and everywhere?
Jot down all the places where it isn’t, and gee whiz, we’ll locate where the missing object is!
Despite how devoted several of the families of the children from Wakefield’s paper are to Dr. Wakefield (because he actually wanted to help them heal from the pain they were in) his paper has been publicly been ripped apart, debunked and finally labeled as fraud. Sadly, at the same time this is happening, children are still having adverse reactions to vaccines. Many of the children have severe gastrointestinal problems, too.
It’s quite difficult to find a mainstream doctor who will take parents seriously about vaccines and autism. It’s difficult even when a parent brings their child to that doctor! Proof positive is standing (or writhing in pain) in the exam room, and yet parents are told it can’t have been the vaccines that caused it. What’s a parent to do when he’s up against misinformed or close-minded providers whose practice relies on pharmaceutical companies who make vaccines? Just about every other advertisement in printed and video news sources is a pharmaceutical product (go ahead, count how many commercials or pages are medical or drug related next time you watch TV or pick up a magazine). Advertisements are everywhere! What’s a parent to do?
Mainstream medicine and mainstream news miss the mark not just with Dr. Wakefield but with parents also. They are the ones who found the evidence to make the connection with autism and vaccines. The news reports went on the offensive against Wakefield again this month. In its quest to prove that vaccines are just fine, the media was sure it always was, and will always be, Wakefield to blame. They’ll keep spouting that news to the masses while hiding behind poor interviewing tactics. They’ll do this as long as their advertisers are promoting prescriptions drugs and vaccines. At the end of a Q and A session with Dr. Wakefield, when the topic is: ‘Is it the vaccines or not?’ it’s easier to state the final answer is Wakefield. They do this because, by golly, HE is the only autism missing piece, not those damn vaccines.
…the best friend that you’ve got!
Fortunately, a group of people believe in Dr. Wakefield. In the one-sided news reports you might not hear that there are people willing to stand by Wakefield’s work, his mission and his reputation. When the rest of the world has turned their backs to him, plenty of people have not forgotten to say thank you to Andy Wakefield. Instead of telling him to stand down, these people would rather offer a standing ovation. Despite the tumultuous experience, it’s a miracle and a blessing that he continues to work in our autism community.
Andy Wakefield might not receive an apology from the people who chose to dismiss his every word and action. But, because every piece of evidence leads a group of people, including me, to believe that vaccine-induce autism exists, may I be one of many grateful parents wishing to say thank you:
Dr. Wakefield, I thought I had it rough being the parent to my son with all of his issues, but we’re on the road to recovery. I have high hopes of turning things around for my son. I’m sure it’s difficult to continue to rise up against a world of doubters whose mission is to run you into the ground. I truly hope that in spite of the negativity other people have, that you always feel welcome within this community. Together we can eliminate the damage that’s been done—to our children, to your name, to our community. Thank you for being part of our revolution and resolution. You’ve made a believer of me and many others. We’re here for you as you have always been for us. Sincerely, Cathy Jameson
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.