Imagine someone outside the autism community watching this interview. They'd already heard a lot about autism, including that there's an epidemic, its cause is a mystery, and it's linked to vaccines. These two researchers, however, explain it all.
Autism isn't new; we just never dealt with it before. We blamed mothers and neglected affected children.
Donvan, as a recognized authority, assures viewers that the vaccine controversy is "a myth." The one good thing about it is that people linking autism to vaccinations made us aware of autism. See, everything's fine. Vaccines are safe. We just need to do for all the autism we've discovered is to be like the folks in Forest, Mississippi.
This is a concerted effort to camouflage what autism is really doing to us. Making autism into a normally occurring human condition let's vaccine off the hook. Until enlightened people, like Donvan and Zucker, of the 21st century, we neglected, concealed and totally failed the autistic community. Now things are changing. No more talk about the vaccine controversy or refrigerator mothers. We need to "embrace" autism, like the residents of Forest, MS with Donald Triplett.
Feb 17, 2016, CNN: Authors: Vaccine controversy raised profile of autism
The CNN anchor starts by asking about the "myth" that vaccine, specifically ones with mercury, are responsible for "the epidemic."
John Donvan: "The myth is a myth in the sense that the science has refuted that claim that vaccines cause autism, BUT, the fact is that most people in this county probably heard about autism for the first time in the last 15 years because the vaccine story came up and they were motivated by fear--not the best motivator, but it really works. In a backwards way, it actually raised the profile of autism as no advocacy or even movie had ever done."
Anchor: "A silver lining indeed."
Caren Zucker explained how mothers were blamed for causing autism in their children. There was no treatment for autism.
Anchor: "It's relatively new, the diagnosis of autism..."
Donvan discussed "our friend, Donald J. Triplett," and how his local community "embraced him."
Zucker: "If you could bottle the way Forest [MS] has accepted the first person ever diagnosed with autism, the world would change significantly. It's just about embracing him."
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.