The Day is Done: Judge Rolf Thorsen Issues Temporary Injunction Against Measles Emergency Declaration in Rockland County NY
Catholic Citizens of Illinois: The inconvenient truth about vaccines

I’d Rather

Choice_mainBy Cathy Jameson

I’d rather have an autistic child than a dead one!

I see that response every few months, and I’m surprised each time I see it.  I’ve never made that statement myself, but it will sometimes take my breath away while I’m reading or replying to online conversations about autism and vaccines.  Usually written by someone who has declared themselves pro-vaccine, I always find it an odd thing to say.  I’ve found that the people who say it tend to be quick to dismiss opinions other than their own.  No matter the topic, dismissing another’s opinion limits the opportunity for a productive back-and-forth dialogue.  Differences and odd statements aside, online convos about vaccines and autism are already known to be quite lively. 

Prior to stating that they’d rather autism versus death, as I recently heard someone say, the person has also just adamantly asserted that vaccines don’t cause autism.  They can’t.  Not wanting for their child to succumb to the measles, or whatever illness the media is perpetuating, they’ve insisted on the MMR vaccine for their child.  Led to believe that their child will die from the measles, they really, really want that vaccine, especially because that one doesn’t cause autism.  I won’t argue with their right to choose to vaccinate, but I can’t help but shake my head when their comeback, even though they didn’t need one, is “I’d rather have an autistic child than a dead one!”  Wait.  What?  They just said vaccines can’t cause autism, so why on earth would they say that they’d would rather an autistic child than a dead one unless they actually do think that the MMR vaccine can cause autism?  Besides being a tad rude, their comment doesn’t make sense. 

I know that when that emotionally charged statement is made in a conversation, the person doesn’t want to hear anything else from me.  As the mom of a child with regressive non-verbal autism, whose autism is a result of a vaccine injury, I’ve exhausted them.  I want to tell that other person that I’d rather they long for a typically-developing healthy child and hope that they would never have to think about making such a tough choice of a dead kid or one with autism.  When they add that to the conversation, it’s almost like they are saying they feel like they have to pick the lesser of two evils.  No one should have to do that. 

I’ve learned that if I want to keep the convo going, though, I can’t just blurt things out like they end up doing with their “autistic over a dead child!” retort.  When I hear that said or see that left in a comment online, it’s an immediate conversation stopper.  Once it’s been uttered, I know I’ll soon quietly, but confidently, walk away from the other person.  I’ll generally have said all that I needed and wanted to say at that point.  I know that even if they wholeheartedly disagree with me, which is their right, I’ve at least had the chance to plant a seed.  They can’t believe absolutely in the science of vaccinations as they do and also acknowledge the anecdotal evidence that I’ve provided.  Hearing from me, a parent who walked away from the vaccine industry, sometimes is too much for them to handle.  For them to admit that vaccines could be anything but safe and effective would go against everything they’ve been told to accept as true.  Since we, at one time, were in agreement, I have made sure to tell that other person that I, too, believed only positive notions about vaccines.  No way could they have done what they actually did to my kid, right?  But they did.  My son was a thriving baby, met his milestones, and was very playful.  But then, an unexpected vaccine injury happened.  Lost, confused, and in denial, I had no idea what to do.

When I begin to share Ronan’s story, I’ve been known to also share my own story.  I give information that I never knew I needed to know as a young mom.  In our conversation, before it has the chance to sour, I make sure to pepper in facts about the US vaccine program which includes pointing out that all vaccines come with risk and that US vaccine manufactures cannot be held legally responsible for their vaccines.  It was disturbing for me to discover that over a decade ago.  I know it still is for parents who are only learning that fact now. 

As unbelievable as those last few points are, I do my best to end things on a positive note with whomever I’m speaking or writing to, especially if they are of a pro-vaccine persuasion.  My intent is not to change their mind but to offer a perspective, albeit personal, that they are overlooking.  Occasionally, the person I’m communicating with respects what happened and agrees with why I have made the choices I have had which included walking away from the vaccine program.  More often than not, though, and especially lately with the media fueling so much vaccine misinformation to the public, the other person is incapable of wrapping their heads around my choice to leave liability-free vaccines behind.  Even though I’ve just shared a good deal of information, to include how vaccines contributed to my child’s autism diagnosis, they don’t know what to say and retaliate instead, Well…well…I’d rather an autistic child than a dead one!  I don’t think they’d really wish for their child to fall onto the spectrum.  I didn’t wish for that in my early parenting days and don’t now.  I would, however, wish that I could’ve avoided the medical problems my child developed post-vaccination.  Without those, life would surely be different than it is today. 

My child went from typically developing, to sick, then sicker.  I would never wish or hope for anyone to lose their speech, to physically regress, or for their cognitive ability to diminish as happened to Ronan.  Autistic or dead!  I would wish for so many different things instead.  I think about adding a response, but when that off-the-cuff remark comes out, I know it’s time to agree to disagree.  Maybe they don’t understand it well enough, but autism isn’t some choice.  It isn’t just quirky behaviors and a different way of thinking either, which I wonder if that is what they envision autism to be.  A simple definition tells us that autism is “a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.” (  In my experience, it’s anything but simple.  My son’s medical and special educational files supports that. 

Autism is inflammation.  It’s gut dysbiosis.  It’s food sensitivity, sensory issues, and obsessive/compulsive disorders.  Depending on who you survey, it’s more than that, too.  It’s lack of speech, lack of sleep, and lack of appropriate communication.  It’s hours of intensive therapy, it’s medication trials and errors, and it’s struggles and frustration.  An autism diagnosis, like the one my son has, is complicated and it’s not a gift.  It is nothing we’d ever consider celebrating.  So, when a person tells me that they would wish they’d have an autistic child in the way that they do, I’m baffled.  Do they really know what they are saying, I wonder.  Do they really wish for that?  Not once can I recall ever hearing a parent of a child who now has autism wished that their child would have autism.  Nor have I ever heard them say that they wanted them dead.  I have only wished, and hoped and prayed, for a healthy child.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a lot of parents would hope for that, too. 

People who say they’d trade a temporary illness, like the measles, for a lifelong autism diagnosis, have little compassionate towards those of us who do have a child on the spectrum.  I can think of other unpleasant replies I’ve heard over the years, but that one in particular really is the worst.  It insults parents of children with autism, and dare I add that it insults those diagnosed with the disorder and those who identify as autistic, as well.  I understand that those with higher functioning autism than my son has identify themselves very closely with autism.  Some have said that they feel that they are the diagnosis itself.  They are autism.  But my son is not.  He is Ronan.  If I had to describe his characteristics and behaviors, I’d say that he is non-verbal and delayed, he is dependent, he is vaccine injured, and sometimes, he is sick.

While the descriptions of my child may sound sad for some people to hear, there’s an upside of who he is.  Ronan is amazing!  He is silly!  He is a joy!  He is a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a grandchild.  He is an inspiration and worthy of every effort my family makes on his behalf.  We won’t identify him as a diagnosis, because he is so much more than a label.  When you get to know him, and when you take time to hear his story and listen to how much he’s had to overcome, you’ll see that he is more than just someone with autism and vaccine injury.  Not too many people like to hear about that vaccine injury, but it needs to be mentioned.  I would trade the chance of a temporary illness, like measles, over that vaccine injury any day if I could.  I truly would.  

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism. 



David Weiner

cia parker,

There is risk in life. My point is really that this way of framing the issue is not a healthy perspective.

One could just as soon ask "Should I go to work today or die from a car crash?" Yes, it is a remote possibility that if I drive to work then I will become a victim of a traffic fatality. We know that, but we don't think about our circumstances in those terms. We live our lives. Maybe you would entertain such a thought if there was a blizzard going on, or what have you, but generally speaking people should not allow themselves to be frightened into taking drastic measures to (possibly) protect against tiny risks.

cia parker


I think it's a true dilemma, but most parents aren't aware of its true dimensions. They need to know that some of the VPDs are very dangerous but rare, some would be very dangerous if large numbers stopped giving the vaxxes for them, and some vaccines are more dangerous than others. And that in each of these categories there are anomalies: some will die unpredictably if they get even a usually mild, beneficial disease and some will be disabled or killed if they get even one dose of a usually relatively safe vaccine.

Most people are going to make the vaccine choice based on general worldview. For those interested in considering both sides, we saw just a month ago the stories about the boy in Oregon who nearly died of tetanus. He was hospitalized for a long time and survived, but at a price tag of a million dollars. I think it's important to remember that even healthy children can get tetanus. In the US they probably wouldn't die of it, but it's a possibility, and it would be a traumatic experience and require extensive treatment. The tetanus vaccine uncoupled from the pertussis vaccine is, together with the polio vaccine, the safest vaccine (not always safe, but usually relatively safe), and I think parents should consider the DT series after two years old. And diphtheria is a very serious clinical disease, often deadly, which conceivably might come back if a lot of people stopped vaxxing for it.

David Weiner

Of course, this type of assertion is nothing more than a false dilemma. We don't need to choose between these 2 outcomes. In the vast majority of cases, we can have neurotypical, healthy kids provided that the prospective parents take good care of their own health and that they provide the things that children need to thrive, which would not include vaccines.

cia parker


Exactly. I've said here several times that that's happening to me a lot in the last few weeks. If I type in any query mentioning any disease or vaccine into Google, it freezes and does nothing. But so far Duck Duck Go and Yandex do just fine, except for the following. I go to a website called thereligionofpeace dot com every day for the latest news. Starting two weeks ago I can't get to it by putting it in the top bar of Google, Duck Duck Go, OR Yandex, but so far am able to get it by putting it into the search box in the middle. Google was so dysfunctional for so many things that I only use it now for gmail and translation questions. You probably saw that Forrest Maready's new book The Autism Vaccine was banned from Amazon and Google. Just because of the title. He's selling it online and my copy is on the way. Just like Tommy Robinson's Koran. Banned from Amazon just because of his name on the cover. Word for word a venerable Pickthall translation from a hundred years ago, but put into a more comprehensible order, reverse chronological, but banned because of its title. Also being sold at a dedicated website. But I'm sure that if they could burn them, they would.


Thanks for that. I always get on to Age of Autism by Googling it (because I'm no good at URLs!) So far I haven't had a problem, it still comes up, though sometimes lately a bit further down the page. I do get other interference with my internet use though, so "They" must want me to read AoA!"

Most welcome. We're still not able to perform a search on Google's front page for this website, but as I've said, I've now bookmarked this site and know I can simply search using my tool bar/url.

My point is that in all the many, many years I've been Googling the Age of Autism's website, I have never experienced this issue before.

And it's frightening. It's censorship/fascism and this shouldn't be happening in the United States.

But of course, it is. As I just read somewhere, there are more ways to burn a book. This is one of them...


Hera, that's a brilliant response.


Would I rather my grandson had not suffered vaccine injury?
Would I rather that his parents & siblings not have to cope with the sacrifices his care entails?
Would I rather that the people at big pharma, CDC et al, take responsibility for the disaster that is vaccine injury?
Would I rather that political leaders use their bully pulpit to commit to the truth about vaccine injury?
Would I rather that the media be willing to put true public health interest over their ad dollars?
Would I rather that people be woke, think for themselves, do the research, EDUCATE BEFORE THEY VACCINATE?
Damn right I would rather ...


Hi All,
age of autism still shows up in my google search engine top of the page.
Re "I'd rather" it is normally based on ignorance, and often my kindest response is to point out that children have died from the vaccine, and name some of the children who have.. Pointing out that Guilliame barre ( paraylsis, sometimes lifelong) is another side effect from the flu shot is also worth mentioning. Online, pointing out kids have and do die from the vaccine tends to silence the ignorant or potentially cruel. What are they going to say?.

Face to face, if the comment was meant cruelly, I would be tempted to look them in the eye and say,coolly, "Of course, some people would prefer their kids to suffer brain damage and death than appear socially non compliant. Not everyone is willing to speak up for their kids.." Which is of course what they are really saying; "I'd rather do what I am told than face social ostracization for protecting my kids."

Grace Green

Thanks for that. I always get on to Age of Autism by Googling it (because I'm no good at URLs!) So far I haven't had a problem, it still comes up, though sometimes lately a bit further down the page. I do get other interference with my internet use though, so "They" must want me to read AoA!


I should clarify my previous post about the Google search for this website: If I go to the Bar and simply type Age of Autism, I get right into the site. However, if I'm on Google's home page and from there, type in Age of Autism, the url for this site does NOT come up.

Am also able to use Duck Duck Go and have no problem at all getting the url to come up.

Having said the above, this has never happened before. Obviously from now on, I will use my bookmark to access this website, but am really shocked to see this.

I cannot tell you how many times I've gone into this page using Google's home page to do so. Today, for me at any rate, that's no longer possible.


Am going to add this yet again to this thread because I simply don't know where else to post this:

JUST TODAY, I found that when I Google this website, Age of Autism, IT. DOES. NOT. COME. UP.


In other words, NO URL comes up for this website. BUT I can get Autism Speaks, the CDC, and other websites that are mainstream type websites, just not THIS ONE.

BUT when I used Duck Duck Go, this website's url comes right up.

My husband tried and had the same result. But he said that if you put quotation marks around Age of Autism, the website comes right up.

So I tried that - it worked.

I am at this website every single day. I have never, ever had this happen to me before.

So yeah. Something's clearly UP with Google.

So just a heads up my friends...

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you for this thoughtful and extensive addressing of this "I'd rather..." that, when I'm handed it, just leaves me feeling like someone has no idea what they may be heading headlong into or supporting the tossing of others headlong into.

I'm pretty exhausted by it lately though, and don't know if this is effective, but I've started responding simply that there is no gold standard all-cause mortality research to see if any vaccine saves more lives than it takes (other than some suggesting DTP kills more in a short period of time than it can possibly save). And, too often I'm censored at this point or I don't get a response, but I hope those really seriously in a conversation and not performing a PR function for a paycheck (I suppose I even hope that sometimes these) at least consider why there is not research establishing that vaccines actually save lives.


I didn't know where to place this comment, so will put it here:

I just tried Googling this website (Age of Autism), and the url did not come up. I tried same on my iPad earlier this morning -- same thing -- did not show up.

SO then I tried using Duck Duck Go - and BINGO; it was the first url to present.

Anyone else finding this issue as well?

Big Brother strikes again.

Michael S.

Posted by: Pete | April 07, 2019 at 08:27 AM

" so there now exists a cognitive dissonance in the minds of many who have outsourced their thinking to their television sets."

Brilliant summation of what's gone wrong in America.


If you want to respond then say:

"Well the jokes's on you because those with autism have a 15 year lower life expectancy (according to studies and pro-vaxers love studies). You could catch measles 50 times over and still expect to live longer than if you have autism.

And let's not gloss over the fact that whilst vaccines most assuredly do cause autism (as proven by challenge rechallenge events involving vaccines and autism symptoms) they don't actually prevent measles (doctors just change the name to roseola or 5th disease or hand foot and mouth when they see the rash appear in vaccinated children)."

 cia parker

I told a friend the other day that the vaccine companies are proficient in the use of game theory to advance their agenda. And in manipulating the normal human instincts to protect their children against danger, as well as to be well thought of in the community and recognized as excellent parents. The parent with a vaccine-damaged child says He got the --- vaccine, and that evening he screamed all night, the next day had lost his language. Etc. The pharma rep moves HIS piece parroting Correlation does not equal causation. All of OUR scientists say there's no causative link. AND, since we've spent millions establishing the meme that measles and pertussis are extremely deadly and easily spread diseases, what YOU'RE saying is that you'd rather your child died of measles than take the chance which WE'VE already disproven, that the vaccine might cause autism etc. And EVEN if, as CDC director Julie Gerberding admitted, a vaccine MIGHT cause autism in someone who was already going to get it anyway sooner or later, in one in a million cases, it comes down to What do you want, a child DEAD from your negligence and ignoring of our Good Parent Advisories, or a child with autism (which still leaves you in the running for sixty-two or our Good Parenting Awards)? So they've covered their bases.

The reality is harder. If it were not for nosodes, which most people don't know about, it would be hard to make the vaccine decisions for an immunocompromised child. In the case of a healthy, well-nourished child, unless it were a very unusually virulent strain of the measles virus, measles will help him and not hurt him, if he takes vitamin A, takes NO fever reducers, stays well-hydrated in bed, and allows adequate recuperation time (at least two weeks after the day the rash appears). Before the vaccine, mortality was only one in 10,000 cases, and those deaths were nearly always in the malnourished or immunocompromised. Or bacterial pneumonia which could have been treated with antibiotics in most cases. Or measles encephalitis (one in 10,000 cases if no fever reducers were used, and even then, only about a quarter of cases were fatal, another quarter disabling).

Still true that for the very rare children who would die from chickenpox if they didn't get the vaccine, in most cases it would have been better to get the vaccine. There's no way to get around them. Also true that numerically more children would be disabled by the vaccine than saved by it, but there are still numerically a certain number who would be saved by it. The game-savvy corporate spokesmen are well aware of how to exaggerate and distort the truth to achieve their ends, but everyone must be aware that it comes down to outcomes which are impossible to foresee. Even totally healthy people occasionally die from the diseases.

And good point that most people would (and do) abort a fetus if they knew it had Down syndrome (as most people do ahead of time). With autism becoming so common, I think a lot of people will choose not to have children rather than take the risk of either autism or bucking the system/ "deadly" diseases.


Cathy-thank you for another very inspiring article and I agree with you on everything 100%. For a person to say they would rather have an autistic child than a dead one shows they know nothing about the heartbreaking lives we live seeing our children regress into this devastating disorder. As Bob Moffit says, when is Ed Day going to talk about the real crisis of 1 in 35 children being diagnosed with autism every day. I just read that over 30,000 people are diagnosed with autism in New York state from an email I received from the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities! I have a friend who works at an Easter Seals day care center where they can't keep up with the number of young children being admitted for care with autism. We need research from qualified people around the world to solve the puzzle and provide a CURE for our vaccine damaged children. It can be done. Our children deserve nothing less!

Cathy Jameson

Susan, thank you. Ronan's big sister helped me with that paragraph. I love that the siblings want to be involved in telling their brother's story. xo, Cathy


Another excellent article Cathy! :-)

The line "I’d rather have an autistic child than a dead one!" is an astroturfer soundbite, hence why we see it all the time, another astroturfer soundbite is "there's more mercury in a tuna fish sandwich than in a vaccine". Both are designed to deceive the layperson.

We live in a world where a significant proportion of people would choose to abort a baby with Down's Syndrome, some see it as irresponsible to bring such a child into this world. Yet with autism, now that we have a Big Pharma agenda at work, so now 'autism is great'; it is their Plan B in case people do conclude that vaccines are causing autism. Yet it is known that outcomes for autism are worse than for Down's syndrome, so there now exists a cognitive dissonance in the minds of many who have outsourced their thinking to their television sets.

A quick reminder of what the reality of autism can look like

No doubt the parents of this young man would have preferred that he had caught measles with a 1 in 10,000 risk of death, rather than regressing into autism after a vaccine, getting taken into care far away from where his parents live, drugged and restrained, crying and tearful everyday. His parents aren't allowed to have him back. And they have spent around a quarter of a million dollars on the legal battle. Whereas measles, that means around a week of fever and rash, then you are immune for life, with your immune system enhanced from the experience. Choosing measles is a no-brainer!

Bob Moffit

"I'd rather have an autistic child than a dead one"

Sometimes this type of cruel comparison is made through actions taken rather than words spoken.

Consider my Rockland County Supervisor Ed Day .. responding to an "outbreak of measles' comprising 166 cases .. out of a population of 368,000 people, over 5 months time .. declared the measles outbreak a "disaster" .. and .. therefore issued a ban on unvaccinated children under 18 years of age .. from public schools, public malls, public gatherings, including those of a religious nature.

Apparently Day believes 166 cases of measles is a far greater disaster than having 1 in 35 children being diagnosed DAILY in this country. Day has yet to take any public measures to ascertain why so many children are being diagnosed autistic because he believes measles is the far bigger threat to children than autism.

How is it possible for Day to have so much respect for measles that he classified 166 cases over 6 months a 'DISASTER" .. yet .. appears content that our country "celebrates Autism Awareness Day' once a year as though autism is what measles once was .. a childhood disease to 'celebrate" as a natural childhood experience?

What is it going to take before politicians like Day realize the true DISASTER in this country is .. and .. has been for decades now … AUTISM????? When is Day going to hold hour long press conferences surrounded by public health officials extolling the dangers of measles as he has done for the last two weeks .. on AUTISM .. where he and those very same public health officials can extoll the growing consequences of a generation of children being diagnosed autistic at a rate of 1 in 35 a day?


susan welch

Thank you, Cathy. As always, thoughtful, moving, informative and I loved the last para particularly.

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