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Local Autism Article Attracts Attention of Anti-Vaccine Movement

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Ryan Neal at the Review Atlas has produced an excellent series of articles (#1, #2, #3, #4) on autism and how local families and school districts are struggling to deal with the consequences of this challenging neurodevelopmental disorder.  I encourage everyone to check out the articles, and I salute Mr. Neal for some excellent reporting.

The second article in the series has drawn the ire of the houngans of anti-vaccine voodoo at Age of Autism.  Anne Dachel, the media editor for Age of Autism, saw fit to personally respond to the article.  Her commentary is filled with ad hominem venom directed at Mr. Neal, the CDC, and medical researchers who had the temerity to provide evidence against their doctrine of faith that vaccines are the root of all autism.

I’m not going to fight the willful ignorance of the anti-vaccine movement here.  Others have done so quite well before me.  As a primary care pediatrician who has vaccinated thousands of children, I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this matter.  The truth is that the preponderance of medical and scientific evidence discounts any link between vaccines and autism.  I have fully immunized my own five children according to the ACIP / CDC / AAP recommendations, and I strongly endorse that vaccine schedule.  I have never received funds from any vaccine developer, and I, like most pediatricians in practice, do not receive any additional compensation based on my vaccination rate.  Many pediatricians LOSE money by providing vaccines, but continue to do so because they know it’s the right thing to do.  Bottom line: vaccines save lives – not hundreds, not thousands, but MILLIONS of lives.

If you want to help children with autism, support organizations like the Autism Science Foundation.  They will not needlessly throw money at a question that has already been answered over and over again.  They seek to find REAL answers for the parents of children with autism and adults living with autism, and they deserve your support.

Addendum (1/4/2011): The Review Atlas has now posted a 5th article in the series.  Again, excellent!  It points out that we already have a tool – Applied Behavioral Analysis – that when applied early and intensely can make all the difference in the world for those with autism.


Written by Matthew

January 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm