The Philadelphia Inquirer recently had the op-ed piece, “And the latest cause of autism is . . .” HERE by Michael Yudell.
In keeping with the usual spin from the mainstream press, Yudell shows no alarm over the autism numbers nor does he talk about any urgency to find answers. His message to us is--we don’t know the cause of autism but we’re sure it’s not vaccines. And we’re going to be very skeptical over any claim that could in any way implicate vaccinations.
Autism, the lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder marked by a range of social and communication impairments, has seen its share of reckless claims about causes and cures.
Actually Michael Yudell is giving us only a general description. (If he’s sure it’s lifelong, show us the millions of autistic adults that have been studied.) His piece doesn’t come close to describing how seriously impaired and desperately ill many children with autism are.
From the belief that the emotional coldness of the so-called refrigerator mother caused her child’s autism to the fabricated science that vaccines were a trigger, such misbegotten ideas have, at best, offered only temporary hope to affected families, and, at worst, done incalculable harm to the public’s health. Because scientists still know so little about autism’s causes – almost certainly a complex combination of multiple factors – it should come as no surprise that claims based loosely or not at all on science continue to attract public attention.
“Fabricated science”? That line only works if you believe the endless pharma-funded studies brought to us by the agency that runs the vaccine program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the real world, parents know about Hannah Poling and the 83 cases of vaccine-induced autism that have been compensated by the federal government. The public is also aware that the late Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, went on CBS News HERE in 2008 and said that the vaccine-autism question is still open. She said we need to look at the children who got sick—the ones who were born healthy and were developing normally until they suddenly and dramatically regressed into autism following routine vaccinations—but no one is willing to do that.
Parents also know about the power and influence the pharmaceutical industry has over our health officials and they’re aware that if it’s clearly recognized that an unchecked, ever-expanding vaccine program is behind the exponential increase in autism, lots of people will be held responsible. People like Yudell can defend the official denials all they want but those families dealing with an autistic child are tired of waiting for answers.
At quick glance, a recent opinion article in the New York Times by writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff, claiming that “perhaps one-third, and very likely more” of autism cases look like a brain-damaging inflammatory disease caused by a parasite deficiency that “begins in the womb,” offers interesting insight into the science of autism causation. Researchers around the world are hard at work trying to decipher the puzzle that is autism, and Velasquez-Manoff draws attention to some of their work.
But upon closer inspection the article’s claims about the causes of autism and its possible treatments and cures are not an accurate reflection of the best state of the science, may generate widespread misinformation among a public impatient for answers, and should caution us about how to present ideas about a disorder that has witnessed the communication of so much bad information.
Yudell is quick to poke holes in what Moises Velazquez-Manoff wrote about. His claims don’t reflect “the best state of the science”? There is no “best state of the science” when it comes to autism. All autism generates are denials and guesses when it comes to the cause.
Yudell needs to realize that the reason the public is “impatient for answers” is because scientists and officials have turned their backs on a generation of disabled children in favor of covering up a national health emergency with worthless and expensive pretend science. Every couple of weeks another claim for causation is out there. Yudell’s amusing title here, “And the latest cause of autism is…” is a slap in the face for many parents struggling everyday with a severely affected child. How much time do we have to guess about autism and do nothing to stop the epidemic and improve the lives of these children?
I think Yudell is most upset at the Moises Velasquez-Manoff piece in the Times because the idea of brain inflammation can easily be linked to vaccinations. The Yahoo News story about it, Can You Prevent Autism? HERE brought up vaccinations.
For the past few decades, autism has been one of the scariest mysteries of parenting, with debate swirling around its definition, how rapidly the epidemic is growing, and most urgently, what causes it. That’s why we were surprised to read a claim this weekend by science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff in the opinion section of The New York Times that scientists have figured it out: In at least a third of cases, autism is an auto-immune disorder that starts in the womb.
“The mother’s attempt to repel invaders – her inflammatory response – seems at fault,” the story says. A range of maternal issues from disorders like celiac disease, asthma and arthritis to getting sick during pregnancy in the most common ways–flu, urinary tract infections–have been shown to be significant risk factors for autism.
The story is a science-writer’s synthesis (informed by a wide and reputable body of science) but has far-reaching implications for all pregnant women. Most surprisingly, it includes a twist on the autism-and-vaccines story, which is that the mother being vaccinated, even for common things like the flu, could be a risk factor for autism.
This story had experts opening once again the door to the vaccine-autism claim.
“Not every vaccination or flu episode is going to result in an autistic outcome,” says Dr. Paul Patterson, a professor of biological science at CalTech.
Not every, but some vaccinations may “result in an autistic outcome”?
Dr Judy Van De Water an immunologist at the MIND Institute at UC Davis recommended that women get their flu shot BEFORE they become pregnant. In other words, it might be a risk factor for autism to get a flu shot WHILE PREGNANT?
No wonder Yudell is out to trash the Moises Velasquez-Manoff premise. Yudell writes that Velasquez-Manoff “makes claims that are inaccurate and in some cases simply untrue, leaving readers of one of the most distinguished opinion sections in the world with a false impression of autism causation and a possible cure.”
I have noticed that when reporters write stories like this they don’t tell us about the autistic children they’ve personally observed or the number of parents of autistic children that they’ve had in-depth conversations with. Commentators like Yudell have the luxury of talking about “the puzzle that is autism” without ever mentioning the rate. They seem satisfied to leave autism the perpetual mystery. They close their eyes to things like regressive autism, the absence of adults with the disorder, the massive amount of evidence raising serious concerns over vaccine safety, and they show no concern over the future for a million children with autism who will eventually age out of school.
The only message to parents in Yudell’s piece,
“And the latest cause of autism is …” is to expect no answers.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. subscribe to her newsfeed at AnneDachel.com.