Autismum

By day: mum of an autistic tot. By night: mum of an autistic tot.

“You can’t possibly know…”

Just in case it may have escaped anyone’s attention but I support vaccinating children on time, every time. This is what I do for the Pwd. Sometimes, I feel it necessary to express my concern that people who don’t do likewise are endangering their children’s health and the health of others. I am particularly likely to jump in if the “vaccines are related to autism” lie is being proliferated. Right off the bat, I declare that I am a mother of an intensely autistic child. You could say, this is my M.O.

Unlike the parents of autistic children who wrongly think that their child’s or any other’s autism is caused by vaccines, I do not use Pwd’s autism to garner sympathy.  Nor do I wave it, banner like, to imply I am untouchable and beyond criticism.  I certainly do not use my parental status to attempt to silence people who utterly disagree with my point of view – that is, the one supported by the overwhelming volume of scientific evidence – on the basis of whether or not they have a child with autism or are a parent at all.

Let’s put it this way: I lent Vaximom my blog because, although I am not pregnant, am content that I made good pregnancy and birth choices and never intend to be pregnant again, I still care that other women who are going through that stage in their lives might choose to follow Guggie’s stupid advice given in her sermons and they and/or their baby come to harm.

You don’t have to have an autistic child to know that bringing one up has unique challenges. Occasionally,  a thread goes on and on (and on) and the fact that I have an autistic child gets lost in the mist of the early posts. Other autism parents, believing they represent all autism parents, assume, because I am not as credulous as they, I cannot have experience of autism. They demand compassion. They demand respect for their paranoia. They demand immediate agreement or silence. They demonstrate how narrow, how blinkered and just how sloppy their thinking is.

When I see autistic adults being rediagnosed as having “Douns(sic) syndrome ” without the physical traits because they are articulate and express that they are sick of being portrayed by the parents of the next generation of autistic adults as broken, damaged, injured and soulless, it enrages me.

When I see people  being attacked, being told they cannot know what they are talking about, that, indeed, they have no right to voice an opinion because any children they may have are not autistic, it makes me rather annoyed to say the least. Needless to say, of  those screaming to make AndrewWakefield a saint or saying “right on” when a property mogul declares, without having conducted any research and in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that spacing out vaccines would lead to a massive drop in the prevalence of autism, no one is asking them if they have autistic children. Fact is, whether I or anyone has one, none or ten kids and whether one, none or ten of those children have autism is irrelevant. It does not change the evidence that vaccination is not related to an increased risk of autism. So, anti-vax autism parents, stick to the issue, stick to the science and stop using your kids as a human shield when someone calls you out for what you are – wrong.

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49 comments on ““You can’t possibly know…”

  1. Brett McCoy
    29 August, 2012

    I have an autistic son also and yes, totally up to date on his vaccines and the healthiest kid I know (never gets sick beyond the seasonal cold)

    • Autismum
      29 August, 2012

      Thanks for commenting. My son is fit a flea and rarely gets ill. I am getting increasingly angry that a certain branch of autism parents seem to think that the vaccine “debate” is all about them. Their ill-informed choices have the potential to impact on everyone’s health. I, for one, am more than happy for people with or without autistic children or any at all to discuss autism and the issues around it and, even better, become allies of autistic people.

  2. susan
    29 August, 2012

    First let me say I completely agree with everything you are saying. I believe the scientific evidence shows NO connection between vaccines and autism.

    I have a rather simplistic question for you that you may not have the answer to. I don’t have an autistic child and I only know personally a few who do, so my experience is very limited. My question is, what percentage of parents who have autistic children do you think believe that vaccines were the cause?

    It seems to me that the parents who feel vaccines are the cause have been so vocal about it that the public begins to be left with the incorrect impression that it is true.

    I don’t think their opinion is the majorities. I wish more parents were like you! They need to make even more noise than the Jenny McCarthy’s.

    • Autismum
      29 August, 2012

      Of the parents I know in real life who have autistic children, I’d say about a quarter to a third. However, just like on social networking sites, they are hugely vocal and very loud. I have also known parents who did not attribute their child’s autism to vaccine injury who, after being lured into the “cure” industry began telling vastly different stories. I am not implying that they are not telling the truth but that they somehow absorb the anti-vaccine narrative into their own stories.
      I am happy to say I know lots of parents with autistic children, online particularly, who aren’t fooled by this nonsense and also wonderful self advocates who speak out against it. I find it really heartening that people who aren’t directly affected by autism want to know more about and, best of all, become autistic allies. Thank you for your comment and please don’t let the volume of certain people deafen you or drown out your voice. Your comments are always welcome here xx

    • Sonja Luchini
      3 September, 2012

      Unfortunately, Jenny McCarthy is a sexy actress and looks better on tv than a scientist would. I agree with vaccinations and am the mother of a son with autism who felt it would be irresponsible of me NOT to vaccinate him. (Link here to a local news story featuring him that was on last Thursday about services for adults with autism): http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/What-Happens-with-Autistic-Children-Grow-Up-/168081566

      There seems to be a genetic component in our family (both sides show tendencies) with the adults undiagnosed and several cousins who have a diagnosis.. In the USA we’re seeing a rise in Measles cases (which can lead to disabilities as well in some instances) where we see families buying in to the myth of vaccine dangers. they’ve only substituted the unfounded danger for a real one.

      When we start having massive outbreaks then perhaps people will come to their senses.

      • Autismum
        3 September, 2012

        Thanks for your comment.
        It’s brilliant to see your son doing so well. Life skills is a huge focus in the Pwdin’s school but there’s still so little provision beyond those years. Your son is SO lucky to have such a wonderful mammy xx

      • Autismum
        3 September, 2012

        I shared your wonderful video on my Facebook page and with the Born This Way Autism group there and I’ll tweet it too. Ben has really made me smile. Thank you again.

      • susangoodstein
        3 September, 2012

        Hi neighbor! I live in the L.A. area too. What a great video. I agree with Autismum your son has a wonderful mom.

        I’m afraid you might be right. It very well might take massive outbreaks to put an end to the antivaxers agenda.

      • Science Mom
        11 October, 2012

        Unfortunately, Jenny McCarthy is a sexy actress and looks better on tv than a scientist would.

        Wanna bet? :D

  3. GraemeC
    30 August, 2012

    The Amish religious group in America never vaccinate their children & none of them have Autism.
    The best way to get rid of Autism is by taking 1 teaspoon of Kerosene a day in 1 teaspoon of brown sugar

    • Autismum
      30 August, 2012

      that he Amish never vaccinate and don’t have autism is a myth perpetuated by Dan Olmsted – not a man noted for his accuracy.
      His lies have been discussed in detail here

      http://photoninthedarkness.blogspot.co.uk/2006/03/how-to-seek-and-not-find.html

    • Brett McCoy
      30 August, 2012

      The “There are no autistic Amish people” is a myth.

    • Allison
      1 September, 2012

      You’ve already had your lie about the Amish addressed. I would like to address feeding kerosene to autistic children. Please provide scientific evidence (a study published in a peer-reviewed journal) that feeding a child a combustible hydrocarbon is a cure for autism.

      • Autismum
        1 September, 2012

        He’s very silly. He believes everything he reads at AoA

      • Graeme
        5 September, 2012

        Hi Allison, peer reviews are not always given, for example on Laetril, — this had amazing results on Cancer, but the Sloan Kettering board fudged the results.

        A friend of mine said that her Grandmother tried to commit suicide when she could not get better from Typhoid, in Estonia. She drank 300ml. ( as a 20 yo.) and now is free from it at age 74.

        My first wife died from Cancer, and sadly was not interested in the many cures I have uncovered. Partly because her Father is a Doctor & her Mother a nurse.

        My second wife in Jakarta got Typhoid, but could not take the anti biotics as she is allergic to them.
        I gave her a glass of Colloidal Silver for 4 days & put her on a Blood cleanser. after the 4 days she felt better, so I took her to another hospital, where they said she was free of the Typhoid.
        On the internet it takes from 7 – 14 days with the antibiotics.

        These methods are banned in the USA. even though 2 Doctors in the Albert Einstein college of Medicine developed the Blood Cleanser.

      • Autismum
        5 September, 2012

        Laetrile, kerosene and government cover ups. I think you tin foil hat must be chaffing

    • Autismum
      1 September, 2012

      Graeme you suggest taking Kerosene – I suggest you put the crack pipe away and seek help

      • Graeme
        5 September, 2012

        Funny, I don’t do any Drugs even the prescription types.

        One of my friends is going to try the Kerosene on her Autistic Daughter, I will let you know how it goes.

      • Autismum
        5 September, 2012

        Anyone who would try that is not a safe parent and their child should be removed from their care.
        No further comments of your’s relating to kerosene will be approved.

    • Susan
      1 September, 2012

      You are kidding right? Kerosene is a combustible hydrocarbon!

      Ingestion of kerosene is harmful or fatal. Kerosene should never be used to get rid of hair lice as it can cause burns and serious illness. A kerosene shampoo can even be fatal if fumes are inhaled.Wiki

      • Graeme
        5 September, 2012

        Yes Susan, Kerosene is a Combustable Hydrocarbon,& the Heart tablets with Nitro Glycerene are possibly highly explosive but many people here in Tasmania I have talked to have used Kerosene with good results. One friends Grandmothe drank a glass of it in Estonia to commit suicide (at 20yo) when she could not get better from Typhoid. she now is 74 with no problems, The Australian Atrmy gave it to Soldiers when they reported in sick, and many have said they used it sucessfully for head lice . Maybe the Kerosene in Britian is different.

        I uncovered many cures for health problems aftered my wife died from cancer, that are covered up, Susan

      • Autismum
        5 September, 2012

        Kerosene is kerosene the world over and should not be administered to anyone much less anyone who, like a non verbal autist, cannot freely give their consent. Anymore of this nonsense and you will no longer be welcome to post here.

  4. lilady
    31 August, 2012

    It simply does not make a difference if your child is autistic…or not…with the exception of a small group of credulous parents who want to…and who need to…”blame” some *external force* for their child’s autism.

    That *external force* is always, without exception, vaccines.

    It does not make any difference to them, now that Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent research that blamed the MMR vaccine on his bogus diagnosis of “Autistic Enterocolitis”, has been thoroughly debunked. Nor does it make any difference that a preservative in some vaccines, Thimerisol, alleged to have caused autism has been thoroughly investigated in dozens of studies, and found to be a non-issue.

    The *latest* trope from these credulous parents is that the aluminum adjuvants in some vaccines “causes autism”…in spite of the fact that no valid study has ever been published that associates aluminum adjuvants with the onset on autism…and in spite of the fact that aluminum adjuvants have been used in childhood vaccines for 80 years.

    Trying to *treat/cure* autism has led to credulous anti-vaccine parents using their kids as human guinea pigs, with such abusive practices as IV chelation, chemical castration, MMS industrial bleach enemas and intrathecal infusion of G-d-knows-what substances at clinics beyond-the-reach of the FDA and other regulatory agencies.

    The abusing parents *enjoy* their notoriety, *enjoy* playing the pity game and have a need to assign blame for their autistic child on vaccines and the preservatives, excipients and adjuvants in those vaccines.

    Thank you so much Autismum, for all the good work you do, for your advocacy and for you excellent blog that is a refuge amongst all the pseudoscience that prevails on the internet.

    • Autismum
      1 September, 2012

      Thanks,Lilady.
      The very idea that the only people who should have a say on vaccine safety are those who believe (without evidence other than their own observation or recall) their children are vaccine injured is ridiculous. By extension, they also want to take the helm and guide where funds in autism research are allocated.
      It makes a mockery of the lives and deaths of those children who have suffered real vaccine injuries and the efforts of people who truly push for increased vaccine safety like John Salamone.

    • Susan
      1 September, 2012

      Lilady I’ve read your comments before on Orac’s blog and they are always so eloquent, informative, and to the point. These remarks are no different. :-)

      Whether one has an autistic child or not we should all speak out against and stand up to the charlatans and bullies who promote pseudoscience.

      I would like to see this Rivera woman try to peddle her quackery in the U.S.

      Thank you Autismum and others like you Lilady for speaking out against fraud in health care.

      • lilady
        1 September, 2012

        (Blushing) Susan, there are millions of people “out there”, who have children with developmental disabilities, who have autistic children, who have neuro-typical children and who have no children..who speak out for, and who advocate for, all children. What a sad world this would be, if we didn’t speak out for the most vulnerable people in our society.

        “I would like to see this Rivera woman try to peddle her quackery in the U.S.”

        Rivera did peddle her MMS *treatment/cure* for autism at the recent AutismOne/Generation Rescue Conference in Chicago. One of the *journalists* at AoA wrote a very complimentary article about Rivera and the *right of parents to try bleach enemas of their autistic youngsters*. This same *journalist* defended MMS *treatments/cures* on a Huffington Post blog…where I proceeded to take her on.

        Have you seen the many posts about autism *treatment/cures* on the Thinking Moms Revolution blog?

        http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/got-parasites/

        No *treatment/cure* for autism is ever too bizarre, no treatment is ever too painful or invasive or dangerous or abusive, for an innocent defenseless child to endure…as long as these loony parents hope to *recover* their autistic children who are soulless and who were *vaccine-damaged*.

  5. Kathryn
    1 September, 2012

    Why thank you for writing this article ! I have been made to feel as if I have no right to talk about the subject, because I dont have any children with autism.

    The Wakefraud study was what pricked up my ears and made me want to learn as much as I could about vaccines and their safety before I chose to start a family.

    Fast forward 12 years later and I have 3 children, all vaccinated. They dont have autism. I do have 3 friends who have kids on the spectrum, ranging from severely autistic to Aspergers, and I am fully aware of their daily struggles. (None of my friends believe their kids were “damaged by vaccines”)

    The vocal minority in this war are the parents who believe in this very cruel lie. And the silent sufferers, sadly are their own children.

    • tahdah68@bellsouth.net
      23 April, 2013

      I respect everyones opinion but have you ever actually talked in earnest and asked the parents of the children who were affect. As surely they and not their friends are going to be the authority on this subject. Have you ever considered the possibility that you might have got this wrong in some way for some kids. It seems the government is beginning to listen to these parents and I wonder why. Maybe you could look and listen a little deeper. Most things in life are not so black and white. Just a thought. Don’t chop my head off!

      • Autismum
        23 April, 2013

        Do you really need to talk to parents who claim their autistic children are vaccine damaged to know that, on the basis of evidence and plausibility they are not? I don’t have to meet every child whose mother claims they are psychic to know they are not

  6. Karen
    1 September, 2012

    The human shield analogy is spot on. This post is now my favorite from your blog. I’m so humbled by your words that I have none of my own.

    • Autismum
      1 September, 2012

      Thank you xx

  7. Allison
    1 September, 2012

    This is a wonderful post! As someone without children at all, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I can’t talk about the research in the field because my opinion as a non-parent is invalid. As if people require their doctors to have had every single illness before they accept their doctor’s opinion as invalid. Or require that their oncologist have had the exact same cancer before they’re willing to receive life-saving treatment.

    I’m well aware that as a non-parent, I can never truly know how difficult and challenging raising a child with autism can be. I can also never truly know how parents struggle with all of the decisions, big and small, that are involved in raising ANY child. But I hope that I can know what the research says about the important issues, and can help parents use that information wisely and well.

    • Autismum
      1 September, 2012

      I don’t have any neurotypical kids but you can bet, as sure as eggs, I’ve got opinions on raising them.

  8. Pip
    3 September, 2012

    I could have written this! I have two kids, one non-verbal ASD and one NT (so for – he’s 10 months old). Both vaccinated for their protection and for society. I’ve tried to be outspoken on the issue but the louder anti-vaxers seem to have more time on their hands! I’m a little bit busy with early interventions and communication aides, toilet training, and physio, occupational and speech therapy to stand on a podium and yell about what may or may not have *caused or cured* autism! In fact those two things are the last thing in my mind most of the time – I’m working on my kids potential!

    • Autismum
      3 September, 2012

      Both your children are lucky to have such a marvelous mum

  9. Claire
    3 September, 2012

    Wonderful article as ever Autimum, and I enjoyed reading all the comments. GraemeC however upset me as I read his point a couple of times trying to get my head round it….Graeme I think your suggesting we kill children with Autism… I have alot of words for you…but I wont use them as I like this page to much.

    • Autismum
      3 September, 2012

      People like Graeme need help. I let his comments through just so anyone who has any doubts can see just how crazy some (but by no means all) anti-vaccine people can be

  10. Science Mom
    11 October, 2012

    Autismum, One of the AoA drones, lookinglass inadvertantly paid me a high compliment; she thinks we are the same person. The thread is here: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/finding-vaccine-truth-crowds-hear-two-takes-on-dismissed-study/article_4f1d528a-0e9c-11e2-b597-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=comments

    There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Deer being invited to UW-LaCrosse and Wakefield was not and relegated to preaching to his devoted from a gun shed in the park. I can’t imagine living seeing conspiracies everywhere.

  11. Science Mom
    11 October, 2012

    Quite the braintrust aren’t they? I think you might be about 3/4 more Welsh than I and not on the same continent either and we have our own blogs. But hey, we both have mum/mom in our name so that must make us the same person. Yeah, that’s it. What a bunch of blinkered nutters.

    • Autismum
      11 October, 2012

      I have also been an Australian intensive care nurse, an 18 year old young man from Northern Ireland (Chris McKee who wrote some lovely guest posts here), Vaximom (of course) and I have also claimed this blog is mine when it isn’t (!). Hmm. It would be hilarious except that these people are responsible for bringing up children. And a quarter Welsh is brill! The Pwd is half Welsh, half Irish and made in France – he’s very cosmopolitan.

  12. lilady
    11 October, 2012

    I was cited as being a science blogger. I was also accused (by a morphing troll…would you believe), of being another poster on the Shot of Prevention blog.

    My answer was:

    I am a female…the other poster isn’t.

    I am a retired public health nurse…the other poster isn’t.

    The other poster is the father of two young children. I am the mother of one surviving child who is 42 years old.

    • Autismum
      12 October, 2012

      And they boast of their research skills!

  13. Darwy
    12 October, 2012

    Kerosene? Is that the new “MMS”?

    Colloidal silver? Really?

    Yanno, I honestly don’t know where to start with that load of horseshit.

    • Autismum
      12 October, 2012

      Shh! you’re giving the biomeddlers ideas – horse shit could be the next big thing.

  14. kermommy
    20 November, 2012

    I can’t help it, though I am late to the conversation, I must put my 2 cents (Canadian) in. My friend Jim Walter at Just a Lil Blog has been given the key to curing Autism! He has generously shared it with the world (with just a bit of merchandising to offset costs cough* cough*) http://blogginglily.blogspot.ca/2012/09/flush-sporns.html
    And my Grandma was big on kerosene too. She used to dose the sheep with it. It certainly got rid of the ticks, but I wouldn’t swear by the toxicity, although I am pretty sure she had no autistic sheep either.

    • Autismum
      20 November, 2012

      Ha ha. It’s da sporns! I’m going to use that in conversation that’s my challenge for tomorrow.

  15. Pingback: Vaximom: Guggie’s at it again | Autismum

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