“The estimated prevalence of ASD based on 2014 data was 2.24%, a significant increase from the estimated annualized prevalence of 1.25% based on 2011–2013 data,” the CDC reports. [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr087.pdf]
Despite some of the inaccurate information you may be reading in the media, autism, as we are seeing it today, did not exist 100 years ago.
I didn’t see a single case of autism during my four years of medical school (from 1981 – 1985) at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire.
That’s not because autism was not being diagnosed. The incidents of autism among children were so low back then that, even though I came in contact with hundreds of children, not one had autism.
The incidence of autism in children has steadily increased over the past four decades:
The increases are real. Moreover, the most severe cases – those of non-verbal, anxious, flapping or spinning kids without eye contact or much connection to their world – simply did not exist.
When a new condition arises, in the general population or in a subset of people, we were taught in medical school to first make sure that the condition was not iatrogenic – that is, caused by something we as doctors were doing.
Sadly, many harmful health conditions have been caused by modern medicine.
✔ We prescribed diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic hormone, made from pregnant mare’s urine, to pregnant women to ward off miscarriage. We told women this was perfectly safe. Until we discovered DES caused devastating genital cancers in adolescent children whose mothers had taken it in utero.
✔ We touted radium, used in the paint that made watch dials glow in the dark as a convenience and in energy elixirs as healthful, while dismissing early concerns about its toxicity. Yet, we colluded with eager marketers to promote it. Until we learned that radium was poisonous and caused bone fractures, necrosis of the jaw and severe anemia.
✔ We championed using x-rays on pregnant women to estimate the size of the pelvis so we could be sure the baby would fit through. We told these women that x-rays were perfectly safe. Until we learned that x-rays are carcinogenic and particularly dangerous to the developing fetus.
✔ We urged our patients to scrub their hands with antibacterial soap, putting it in every waiting room and hospital. Until (we are finding), that its main ingredient triclosan is doing more harm than good. Triclosan increases infertility and early-onset puberty, which is correlated with breast cancer and a host of other health problems.
✔ We have been overprescribing antibiotics. Until, we realized, we are creating an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant super bugs.
Which brings me back to autism.
Numerous studies have been published in an attempt to reassure us that there is no connection between vaccines and autism.
Here are just a few:
Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaard M, et al. A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(19):1477-1482.
DeStefano F. Vaccines and autism: evidence does not support a causal association. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007;82(6):756-759.
Destefano F, Price CS, Weintraub ES. Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism. J Pediatr. 2013;163(2):561-567.
So, there must not be a connection, right?
There wasn’t a connection between the radium in paint and jaw degeneration in the girls who worked in the watch factories. And there were numerous scientific studies to prove radium was safe.
What we don’t know about vaccines and autism is more striking than what we think we know.
The studies that still have not been done are the ones we need the most.
We still do not have any studies that compare health outcomes – including autism, allergies, asthma, and other auto-immune disorders – of matched populations of fully vaccinated children to selectively vaccinated or completely unvaccinated children.
Those of us who work with large numbers of autistic children have heard, all too often, the story of a child regressing into autism after a vaccine or group of vaccines have been administered. After you have heard 10, 20, or 30 of these stories, it is hard to accept the repeated reassurances from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism.
Given the well-established link between environmental toxins and autism or developmental delays, it has become vital that we realize that vaccines, in most cases, contain environmental toxins.
The most worrisome toxins are:
Mounting research shows that aluminum is toxic to the immune system. It has been documented to cause Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA). [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25277820, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24238833, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23733136, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609067, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23557479]
We know that increasing aluminum exposure is “associated with a reduction in the Mental Development Index (P = 0.03), with an adjusted loss of one point per day of intravenous feeding for infants receiving the standard solutions.” [http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199705293362203]. This research was done in 1997.
As a result of this and other research, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has had a ruling in place since 2000, which is still current as of 2015, stating that, “Research indicates that patients with impaired kidney function, including premature neonates, who receive parenteral levels of aluminum at greater than 4 to 5 [microg/kg/day] accumulate aluminum at levels associated with central nervous system and bone toxicity. Tissue loading may occur at even lower rates of administration” (my emphasis).
Despite this information, the CDC recommends that the hepatitis B vaccine (with its 250 micrograms of aluminum), be given to all newborns at birth and again at two months and six months of age, even though these recommendations exceed the FDA recommended maximum of 5 micrograms/kg/day.
Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease that your infant has little chance of contracting. The only ways an infant can contract hepatitis B is if: the mother is hepatitis B positive, the infant receives a tainted blood transfusion, or the infant is pricked with a needle contaminated with hepatitis B. Giving the hepatitis B vaccine to newborns, in the absence of medical need and the presence of the risk of aluminum overload, is madness.
Do vaccines cause autism?
Is it the cumulative total of toxins in the vaccines themselves?
Is it vaccines given at the same time as acetaminophen, which makes it so much harder for the body to detoxify – as my colleague at Duke University Medical School, William Parker, Ph.D., argues?
Is it the toxic load of vaccine ingredients combined with pesticides, mercury, tar-derived dyes and other harmful chemicals in the food chain?
I don’t know.
No one knows.
But I do know that the doctors who are shouting at you from the rooftops that all the vaccines on the current CDC schedule are necessary, safe and effective and who insist that vaccines don’t cause autism are lying to you.
And to me.
And to themselves.
Some of the girls who worked in the watch factories had such high levels of radium poisoning that you could measure the output in the soil around their gravesites years later.
It’s time to stop ignoring the harm doctors are inflicting on our children. Autism matters. We have to stop harming our children’s brains.
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Dr. Paul Thomas is an award-winning Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience in pediatrics. He is an expert on addiction and in Addiction Medicine. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016).
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