By Dan Olmsted
The field of autism research looks just about the way you would expect it to look if the nature of the condition –inflammation and immune stimulation in utero and in infancy – were inescapably clear, yet the biggest and most obvious contributor – vaccines in utero and in infancy that cause inflammation and autoimmunity – were suppressed by mainstream media, medicine and scientific research.
If that were the case, we'd hear about every other possible source of inflammation and autoimmunity in utero and infancy popping up in their tedious turn -- traffic pollution and air pollution and power plant emissions as culprits, and pesticides and sudden unexplained surges in head size, and kids with all the signs of encephalitis (brain swelling) after well-baby visits (note, well babies), and we'd get too much white matter (autoimmunity) making for generalized inability of parts of the brain to connect, even as some parts function at savant levels; and we'd get typical facial features and normal intellectual development because the triggers all came along not in the genes but after the genes had expressed themselves and assembled the architecture and wiring for the last and most innately human functions – language, affective contact, a zest for novelty, not repetition – to come on line. But they wouldn't, for some mysterious reason.
We'd hear things that point to exactly what is happening and where it is happening – in the doctor’s office, the health clinic, the grocery store “health” center – but because of what and where it is happening and whose job it is to figure it out – the bureaucrats who approve and recommend the shots – we'd be having the ridiculous conversation we are in fact having about traffic pollution, which has only gotten better, not worse, and methyl but not ethyl mercury (ditto) and lead (double ditto).
We'd hear about “exciting” gene discoveries that in some unfathomably complexificated way must grab onto the 80,000 other environmental factors through some Rube Goldberg contraptions that are no doubt the next “frontier” at Autism Speaks, even as the daughter of the founder is begging them to look her child in the eyes and publicly acknowledge the truth.
We'd witness an outpouring of parents and families and (increasingly) doctors and researchers who have seen the truth, and seen it again, and again, and again, armed with hashtags and transcripts and room numbers for Congresspersons, and the evidence of their eyes and their children’s lives, stepping beyond their individual catastrophes in a messy but massive advance.
We'd see the truth leaking out of vaccine court rulings and fishy legal language and we'd detect it in the shrill dismissals of “skeptics” whose business is to take down the reputations of anyone who even gets close to speaking the truth.
We'd see the dawning realization among the supposed cognoscenti that the disease fighters don’t have the sense to stay off the subway and away from commercial flights and bowling alleys and panini shops in Princeton for 21 days because they believe their work in other countries – other countries, not here, where we could use some common sense and common decency -- places them in a special category where the only harm they can imagine is harm done to their own schedules and convenience. That’s the modern medical mantra -- Do no harm – to me!
We'd see all that, and we'd say, the doubt and anger are just about everywhere now. If we wanted to be nasty we could call it a virus and say it's endemic, which is the epidemiological version of "too late." It got loose while the experts were trying to appear above it all and stamp out chicken pox and hep B in newborns, and it’s infecting the institutions dedicated to holding it back. How it all goes down from here is just guesswork, but one thing for sure is that there's no vaccine to stop it.
That’s how the field of autism research would look right now if the only suspect remaining in the lineup were the truth. And that, in fact, is how it looks to me.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.