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The CDC estimates that 1 in 68 children have autism, and that 1 in 6 has some form of neurological developmental delay. The
rate of autism is 4 to 1, males over females. The outcome of the high statistics is that children were receiving hundreds of times
the recommended safe doses of mercury. Most children were able to excrete these large doses of mercury, while other children
were susceptible to bad immune reactions from the vaccinations.
Autism spectrum disorders continue to rise in the United States even after mercury-containing thimerosal was removed from
childhood vaccines, suggesting that exposure to the compound may not be the only cause of autism, as claimed by many
groups. And yet, even though vaccines containing thimerosal are no longer used, studies have revealed that the incidence of
autism continues to rise. This increase may possibly be due to better recognition and diagnosis on the part of health
In the last decade, speculation over immunizations having a link to autism is due to two theories one is the measles component
of the triple measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, the other the amount of exposure to the preservative thimerosal which
contains ethyl mercury. These are the findings of a study published an issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
Thimerosal is 49 percent ethyl mercury. A closely related form of mercury, methyl mercury, is a known toxin.
Today, through immunizations given in the first two years of life, we can protect children from 16 diseases, preventing 33,000
deaths and 14 million illnesses per year. People do have questions about why certain ingredients are contained in vaccines. Some
ingredients, like aluminum, help make the vaccines effective; others, like preservatives, prevent the growth of harmful germs in
vials containing more than one dose.
The CDC is working on many aspects when it comes to autism. They’re currently conducting the largest study to investigate
the potential causes of and risk factors for autism. This study, called the SEED study, looks at genetic, environmental and
hormonal factors, as well as selected mercury exposures. They work along with government agencies, private organizations and
parent groups to organize the autism research plan for the country.
Autism and the MMR Connection
Some parents and families of children with autism believe that the Measles/Mumps/ Rubella (MMR) vaccine caused their
children’s autism. These parents report that their children were “normal” until they received the MMR vaccine. Only after
getting the vaccine, did their children begin to show symptoms of autism. Because the symptoms of autism start to arise around
the same time as the child’s MMR vaccination, parents and families see the vaccine as the cause of the autism.
The MMR vaccine controversy is over the safety of the MMR vaccine. Critics of the vaccine say that the incidence of autism
has greatly increased and that the vaccine is a primary cause of this increase. They suspect that the vaccine can harm the young
immune system, which they believe is often already overwhelmed from the effects of other environmental irritants such as
exposure to heavy metals. Critics also say that the live measles virus in the formulation of the MMR harms susceptible
individuals in a way that wild measles does not. The general belief of the medical and scientific community is that the benefits of
the vaccine greatly outweigh the risks, and that there is no scientific evidence to support the critics' claims.
Autism and MMR Link
Although children receive many other vaccines in addition to the MMR vaccine, these other vaccines have not been identified as
possible causes of autism. To date there is no definite, scientific proof that any vaccine or combination of vaccines can cause
autism. In the UK, the MMR vaccine was the subject of controversy after publication of a 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield
who reported a study of 12 children mostly with autism spectrum disorders with onset soon after dosing of the MMR vaccine.
During a 1998 press conference, Wakefield suggested that giving children the vaccines in three separate doses would be safer
than a single vaccination. This suggestion was not affirmed by the paper, and several resulting studies have failed to show any
association between the vaccine and autism. Wakefield has been heavily criticized on scientific grounds and for triggering a
decline in vaccination rates as well as on ethical reasons for the way the research was conducted.
In 2004 the MMR and autism interpretation of the paper was formally recanted by 10 of Wakefield's 12 co-authors. The CDC,
the National Academy of Sciences, and the UK National Health Service have all concluded that there is no evidence of a link
between the MMR vaccine and autism. A scientific review by the Cochrane Library concluded that there is no credible link
between the MMR vaccine and autism, that MMR has prevented diseases that still carry a heavy burden of death and
complications, that the lack of confidence in MMR has damaged public health.
Thimerosal In Vaccines
The thimerosal controversy is surrounded by claims that thimerosal containing vaccines cause or contribute to the development
of autism and other brain developmental disorders, and the general medical perspective, which is that no scientific evidence
supporting a link between thimerosal and autism. Even after thimerosal was removed from infant vaccines, the autism rate has
continued to climb. The number of reported cases of autism increased dramatically in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In 1999, thimerosal was in 30 U.S. vaccines including, the DTaP, Hib, and hepatitis B vaccines, given to infants. In July 1999,
the Federal government asked vaccine manufacturers to work towards eliminating or reducing the use of thimerosal, a
preservative which contains small amounts of mercury, in any products currently available on the market. The exclusion of
thimerosal from childhood vaccines in the United States was initiated from 1999 to 2001.
The Immunization Safety Review Committee of the Institute of Medicine has recommended supervision of patterns in autism as
exposure to thimerosal during early childhood has decreased. Today, all routinely recommended pediatric vaccines manufactured
for the U.S. market contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts. It was gradually replaced by other non mercury compounds,
and some vaccines have been formulated so they don't need preservatives. However, the preservative is still used in multiuse
vials of flu vaccines.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. to seek damages from alleged toxicity from vaccines, including those assumed
from thimerosal preservatives. The parents of a 9-year-old girl with autism said that their accusation that her illness was caused
by childhood vaccines has been vindicated by the federal government's decision to compensate them. "We are very pleased with
the government's decision," Hannah Poling's father, Dr. Jon Poling, a neurologist in private practice in Athens, Georgia.
A federal program intended to compensate victims of injuries caused by vaccines concluded last November that Hannah Poling's
underlying illness that had predisposed her to symptoms of autism was "significantly aggravated" by the vaccinations she
received as a toddler and that her family should therefore be compensated. The government has made absolutely no statement
indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. "This does not represent anything other than a very specific situation and a very sad situation as far as the family of
the affected child."
Parents should continue to get their children immunized, she said: "This is proven to save lives." The CDC, American Academy
of Pediatrics, Institute of Medicine and other prestigious medical organizations maintain there is no known link between vaccines
and autism. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and elsewhere also have found no link.
Concerns with Autism and Vaccines
Recently, many parents have raised questions about the timing and number of vaccines. Most vaccines are given at an early age
because that's simply when children are most vulnerable to infectious diseases and need the added protection. Although some
may call it a "one size fits all" approach, the recommended vaccine schedule is flexible, and it does account for instances when a
child should not receive a recommended vaccine or when a recommended vaccine should be delayed. Those decisions,
however, are best made in consultation with the child's doctor, and parents shouldn't be afraid to discuss any concerns.
There are many speculations when it comes to autism and vaccines. It is believed that some children may not be able to get rid
of the mercury, and this poison invaded their brains and other body organs, producing symptoms that look like autism. It has
been proven that these children were mercury poisoned, and this fact was first recognized by a devoted group from Safe Minds
who published an article comparing the symptoms of autism with the symptoms of mercury poisoning.
The government has slowly removed mercury from childhood vaccines, yet it’s encouraged to give flu vaccines to children.
The flu vaccine which still contains thimerosal is also recommended for pregnant women.
Religious sectors have been hesitant about vaccines ever since they were introduced, even when vaccination is required. Early
Christian activists appeal that if God had established that someone should die of smallpox, it would be a sin to hinder God's plan
through vaccination. The Family Research Council, a conservative U.S. Christian group, opposes mandatory vaccination their
belief is diseases typically spread via sexual contact, maintaining that the possibility of disease discourages sexual promiscuity.
Many jurisdictions allow parents to choose not to vaccinate their children for religious reasons; some parents falsely claim
religious beliefs to get vaccination exemptions.
The number of young children who are not fully vaccinated for preventable diseases has been steadily increasing over the last
decade. More and more, parents are claiming non-medical exemptions from routine vaccinations in turn leaving their children,
their children's classmates, and other children in their communities vulnerable to diseases. The only individuals who are exempt
from vaccinations is a child who has had an organ transplant, has HIV, or for some other reason has a compromised immune
system, these children should not get a live vaccine. There are also some immunizations that are made with egg whites, so
children who have egg allergies should avoid those.
Autism and Vaccines Link
Medical experts say there is no link between autism and childhood vaccines, but some groups continue to disagree. Researchers
from the state Department of Public Health found the autism rate in children rose continuously during the 12-year study period
from 1995 to 2007. The preservative thimerosal hasn’t been used in childhood vaccines since 2001, but is used in some flu
Doctors say there is no link between thimerosal exposure and autism risk and reassure parents that the disorder is not caused by
vaccinations. If there was a risk, they said, autism rates should have dropped between 2004 and 2007. Health officials insist that
current research definitively shows mercury in vaccines doesn't trigger autism. Meanwhile, public health officials struggle to end
the whole vaccine-autism debate.
Vaccinations have provided lifesaving miracles in public health. However, it's acknowledged that they are also responsible for
many serious adverse events including brain disorders and, rarely, deaths. Trying to maximize the potential benefits of vaccines
and minimize the harm shouldn't be seen as a threat to the nation's immunization program; it's simply a reasonable step ahead.
No Connection Found Between Autism and Vaccines
Several credible scientists, government agencies and the medical community have said there is no connection between autism
and mercury once used to preserve vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control says "There is no convincing scientific evidence
of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection
The American Academy of Pediatrics says "No scientific data link thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines with any
pediatric neurologic disorder, including autism.
"The Institute of Medicine’s Immunization Safety Review Committee concluded "that the body of epidemiological evidence
favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism" and a study of California
Department of Developmental Services indicated that there was "an increase in autism in California despite the removal of
thimerosal from most vaccines."
There is much diversity by the suggestion that autism may be triggered by any combination of genetics, impaired detoxification,
major disruptions in gut and immune system dysfunction. Based on genetic evidence a percentage of children have an extremely
difficult time detoxifying heavy metals, described as a sensitivity to mercury. Genetic predisposition, mercury and other toxins,
plus the number of vaccines administered at once, including the fact that there are more vaccines today then years ago all these
factors may contribute to the increase in autism.