Wednesday, May 2, 2012

222 > 24,000...the new math?

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Like the Bird Flu that kept us out of school for what seemed like forever, news of illness breaking out in large numbers is scary. Visions of communities patrolled by armed guards and gates...I have read the thrillers, seen the movies. I have a healthy fear of outbreaks of illness! So when I saw this article, reported by USAToday, about a measles epidemic in the United States, I instantly had to click on it.  
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Lately, every time I turn around, someone is complaining about their boy's behavior. Everywhere I turn I see that boys especially are on the spectrum. I have 11 adopted children, 6 who are boys. All the boys have behavior problems and even though I am an experienced mother who has a bachelors and some graduate credits in social work and spent my entire career in parent education, I am not that familiar with autism. I assumed it could not be my child's disease. However, I have sought out information and am finding that behaviors who look more like my boys are indeed being diagnosed as autism. Or would if I took them to be evaluated. When I heard the crazy stats about them, 1 in 88 which is probably understated, I said, well that's my answer. Research suggest that the Autism epidemic is caused by vaccines. The government is in complete denial. There are entire blogs posted about the behavior of the CDC, who mandates that children take more and more immunizations. The doctors who develop the immunizations and consequently profit from them. Even the support agency that is making tremendous dollars to find a cure, Autism Now--where is the incentive to find a cure when it is paying for all their salaries? Many parents still believe vaccines are the cause, but it is disputed firmly by Thomas Insel and other experts during a recent panel called "Information from New Research into Autism." During the recording, a caller said that her child was not autistic when he was born and brought up the fact that the 2 month old vaccines contain a toxic load of well over the safe limit of 20mcg. Insel quickly denied a link, claiming,
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"Studies] have indicated that there is no such link. These most recent numbers, if there was any lingering doubt, should speak to that fact, because ...the theory was that thimeral, an additive in vaccines, was responsible and thimerosal has been removed from virtually all vaccines ... you would have expected those numbers to go down. ...In fact, they've gone up.”

On the other side of the debate, Rep. Dan Burton, who's grandson was diagnosed with autism in the late '90's said, "I’m not a scientist, but the Committee heard from many credible scientists and experts who are convinced that mercury is a contributing factor; and the theory is no less worthy of exploration than the theories being propounded today that the pregnancy weight of the mother or the age of the father at conception influences whether a child becomes autistic. When you have no idea what is causing a disease, policymakers and scientists should never be afraid to investigate any plausible theory. In fact, researching possible environmental factors is a central component of today's research on autism."

I am not a scientist either, but I can do math if I have a calculator nearby. Lets see, we are positive that it isn't vaccines, but we have no idea what it is. Credible scientists believe that autism is caused by vaccines, yet we don't give every hypothesis a chance. We eliminate one even though it has been found by more than one scientist and countless anecdotal evidence by parents who have pictures, tapes, and family witness to speak to the fact that their children began exhibiting symptoms only after vaccinations, but we will discard that idea as completely not possible and explore every one of the other 80,000 possibilities it could be in search of the answer. But what do I know. I mean they have 222 cases of confirmed measles last year. Measles is a tough disease and all those whiny parents of  autistic kids refusing to vaccinate are going to bring back every epidemic...222 kids with measles vs. 24,000 children born this year who will be diagnosed with autism.
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Lost in all the numbers is one clear fact,

If you look at those numbers, the increase and recognize how many of those kids will become adults, we ...also need to be thinking about how we prepare the nation for a million people who may need significant amounts of services as they are no longer cared for by their parents or as their parents are no longer around.

Yes, Mr. Insel, what are we going to do...isn't that your job...

Please join me next week for part two... and don't worry, I'll be watching...
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