Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Autism/Vaccination link?

Forwarded to me today: What do YOU think?

September 25, 2007
America, Meet Our Unvaccinated Kids, Version 2.0
Jb_handley_photoBy J.B. Handley

Back in June, we released what we felt was an astonishing data set for the first ever study comparing the rates of ADHD, autism, and asthma between vaccinated children and unvaccinated children. Our conclusion was weighty:

"We surveyed over 9,000 boys in California and Oregon and found that vaccinated boys had a 155% greater chance of having a neurological disorder like ADHD or autism than unvaccinated boys."

And, the mainstream media wouldn’t touch it.

Cynics will say this is because our survey was only a "phone survey"despite the fact that phone surveys are reported in the news every day, and despite the fact that the CDC uses a phone survey to establish the prevalence of…autism!!

As the Director of the CDC’s two phone surveys on autism noted: "the consistency of prevalence estimates across the two surveys supports high reliability or reproducibility of parental report of autism and reliability is one important component of validity."

Were we blacked out? Was our story too hot for the mainstream media to handle? Perhaps, we’ll never know for sure. That said, we got plenty of coverage and heard from places like UPI reporter Dan Olmsted, Daily Kos, and, to name a few.

Fast forward to September, and the climate for listening to the parents has changed, perhaps permanently, thanks to Jenny McCarthy.

So, we ran our Ad again today, the one describing the survey results, but this time we ran it in USA Today.

With that as background, America please meet our unvaccinated kids: For the first time ever, we know something about them that may help our kids. Yup, they live right down the street from you, they are 5.6% of the population, and they have less asthma, less ADHD, and less autism than our kids seem to have. At least according to our survey.

Do we expect you to believe us? Not really. Not if you’re a member of the mainstream media or the mainstream medical establishment. But, we really hope you will look at our data. Because today, unlike the CDC, we are making all of our data public simultaneously with the release of our survey. Crunch away, and decide for yourself.

We followed a very straightforward process, so anyone can retrace our steps. We told a market research firm what we wanted to know. They designed a questionnaire they felt would get us an answer. We approved the questionnaire. They ran the survey and sent us the data, which you can now access. Decide for yourself.

Some of the numbers really jump out, particularly amongst the boys. A "Risk Ratio" is a way to compare prevalence, so that if 10% of vax kids and 5% of unvax kids have ADHD, the Risk Ratio is 2.0, or a 100% difference. Risk Ratios above 2.0 tend to be allowed in a court of law to show correlation.

We found many Risk Ratios well in excess of 2.0, and some higher than 4.0, the equivalent of a 300% difference.

Decide for yourself.

Have we proved anything today? Yes and no. We’ve proved that unvaccinated kids are easy to find, and that a straightforward survey yielded some disturbing results. What we haven’t done is design a study with enough scale and controls to be published in a first-tier, peer-reviewed journal.

But, we’ve certainly highlighted the screaming need for such a study to happen.
So, now what?

Everyone should send an email to Dan Olmsted and thank him for his Age of Autism series from UPI. He’s the one who asked about unvaccinated kids first, and asked it loudest. He even asked Julie Gerberding, CDC Director.

He just kept on asking it until we got so tired thinking about what an obvious question it was that we did something about it.

Our data should be scrutinized, analyzed, challenged, and debated by any and everyone in the autism community who cares to do so. (If you want a copy of the Excel spreadsheet with the primary data in it, email us and we will send it to you.)

Everyone and their grandmother needs to cajole their Congressperson to jump on the bandwagon and support Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's bill to study unvaccinated children.
This incredibly brave Congresswoman from New York said in a press release in June: "What is ultimately needed to resolve this issue one way or the other is a comprehensive national study comparing outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. As the most scientifically advanced country in the world, we should be jumping at the chance to conduct a comprehensive national study to resolve the questions that have been raised. Parents deserve answers, and children deserve no less than absolutely certainty and safety."

The autism community should pull together and fund our own independent study, in addition to the Maloney bill, to gather as much data as quickly as possible. Autism Speaks, with the biggest war chest, should take this opportunity to fund or lead the funding for such a study, and help put this issue to rest once and for all. It would be a great opportunity for them to repair a badly burned bridge with many of us, and I hope they jump at the chance. The study must be run by researchers who have no history in this fight, on either side of the argument, and it must have the scale and controls to achieve wide acceptance through journal publication.

As for me, nothing much changes. My son is getting better, and we think the road map drawn by considering him "vaccine injured" is why. Knowing cause is so incredibly important to figuring out how to help and treat our kids, and I’m grateful for the pioneers who have been demanding answers for years. My wife and I hope, in some small way, that this survey moves things forward, and creates a deafening demand from parents for more answers. Now.


Kristina said...

Well, there are quite a few studies that DON'T show a link like this. I'd need way more proof to believe vaccinations cause autism. This study should have been reported, though.

Vaccinations really do so much more good than harm. My mother (who was born in the 1930s, before most vaccinations were available) had one sickness after another when she was a small child. Some of those illnesses were life-threatening or could have caused life-long problems. All of them kept her in bed and away from society. Everything she had is now preventable with a vaccination.

Sadly, many of these diseases are on the rise again. Why? Because so many children aren't being vaccinated.


Keith & Sarah Milligan said...

I totally agree that unvaccinated kids need to be studied.

My personal opinion is that maybe the USA should move more towards a vaccine schedule that resembles countries such as Japan - they do them, but do them later in life instead of assaulting a 2 month old immune system with 6 shots. I bet that would help with some of the issues researchers are seeing.

Stephanie said...

I think that yes it is possible the vaccines have a lot to do with it. However, that would not stop me from get my children their shots. I do agree with Jenny McCarthy that there should not be a one size fits all vaccine.

Mir said...

No. I do not believe that vaccines are a cause of autism. I think autism is an over-diagnosed, LARGE spectrum that is genetically predispositioned. Perhaps there are environmental catalysts, but honestly, one study doesn't sway me.

There are studies out there linking autism to the introduction of cable TV. And there's more than one linking autism to Americans' increased use of chemicals in the home.

Personally, I would rather have a child with autism that may or may not have been caused by a vaccine than have a child who contracted Polio and suffered the after effects because I chose to not vaccinate.

Here's an article that pretty much completely depicts how I feel, aside from the one area of the rise in the number of autistic children.,2933,162314,00.html

kate said...

A dear friend of mine was vehemently opposed to vaccines due to their possible connection to autism. She refused all vaccines.
At the age of 2, her son quit saying the 2 words he had spoken up until then. He had tubes put in because they thought he wasn't hearing correctly. After a year of refusing (because she hadn't vaccinated and therefore, to her it was *impossible* for her son to have autism), she agreed to a full Denver and various other tests and determined, that, sadly, her son was, in fact, autistic.
She avoided this thing that was supposedly linked to autism, and in doing so, exposed her child to possible death and possible "typhoid mary" status as a disease carrier, only to end up with an autistic child anyway. Doesn't make sense to me.

I agree that it warrants being studied further, but any study needs to be taken with a (giant) grain of salt, and the good sense to look more closely at causal relationships.

Anonymous said...

There have also been numerous studies that show vaccinations do not lead to autism. I think it needs to be studied closer, but I also think as parents we have the power to choose which vaccinations our children get. I don't see why children who aren't going to go to daycare should get there hepatitis vaccinations or the chicken pox one. Just because a dr. tells us that it's what is best, doesn't mean that we need to do it.