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Breaking News: Autism Treatment Center of America still blames vaccines

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on February 17, 2009

Well I guess no one is surprised by this but it turns out that the “vaccines cause autism” crowd remains convinced that vaccines are to be blamed for autism. The latest comes in the form of an article at the Age of Autims, in which Raun K. Kaufman, CEO of Autism Treatment Center of America issued a statement last week saying:

“We disagree strongly with the court’s ruling and stand firmly behind parents of children with autism and other developmental disorders. Although there is currently ostensibly no statistical proof that vaccines have caused some cases of autism there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence. We work with thousands of parents, hundreds of whom have told us stories about how their children appeared completely typical before being vaccinated and within days or weeks of vaccination displayed the symptoms of autism.

The program we teach, The Son-Rise Program, is built upon the idea that the parent is the child’s best resource. No one has the love, life-long dedication and day-to-day understanding of their child that parents have. When parents tell us that their child was typical, received the vaccines, then developed autism soon after, we believe them. In everyday language we call these true stories. We do not believe in waiting 20 years for the right kind of statistics, but rather helping parents and their children now. Apparently the court disagreed.”

First of all we all stand behind the parents of children with autism and other developmental disorders. Second of all, so far as I have been interested in the issue I have heard parents of autistic children argue both sides of the argument. His statement makes it sound as if parents of autistic children fall in his camp when in fact I don’t perceive that as being the case. I don’t have any numbers to back up this statement, that is just what I feel based on what I have read. Parents fall on both sides of the spectrum.

Secondly, he agrees that there is no proof that vaccines caused any autism, but yet he believes, because of a “plethora of anecdotal evidence”.  He does not seem to understand how we obtain knowledge in this universe. The anecdotal evidence serves as a first step in determining if there needs to be further investigation, but when the rigorous investigation comes back negative, you don’t discount it and go back to the anecdotal evidence. That’s preposterous and ridiculously stupid. What it says is basically : I don’t care what the truth is, I choose to believe the weaker evidence instead of the strong evidence”.

Thirdly, this statement is dangerous. While it is true that no one ” has the love, life-long dedication and day-to-day understanding of their child that parents have.” it is not true to imply that because of that parents know best when it comes to complex medical issues. It is certainly false to say that parents know better about autism, solely because they have an autistic child.That’s akin to saying that I know more about fixing my car than my mechanic, because I have owned my care for 20 years and I love it dearly.

When parents tell us that their child was typical, received the vaccines, then developed autism soon after, we believe them. In everyday language we call these true stories.” I call them non sequiturs. While I do not doubt that temporally that is what happened, certainly given the vaccine schedule, the kid is bound to have had a vaccine at the most a few months before the diagnosis, I do doubt the parent’s ability to infer a cause and effect relationship from a sample of one.How can they know that it was the vaccine that caused autism? Are they really sure the kid did not have autistic symptoms before the vaccine? Can they be sure the kid was “autism free” right up to the day they got vaccinated? Are they not confusing the onset of the disease with the diagnosis? Sure the kid was diagnosed after a vaccine, but does that mean he was disease free until then? I doubt that. Most people get a cancer diagnosis way after the cancer entered their body. Time of diagnosis on it’s own does not imply time of disease onset. Are these parents telling us that the doctors that diagnosed their kids told them their kid could not have had autism before the shot? I doubt that.

I wonder what he calls the parent’s that say that autism is not caused by vaccines. Not that it makes much difference, at the end of the day they are not professionals and their opinion is just that, a personal opinion, but still it makes a good comparison I think.

13 Responses

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  1. Harold L Doherty said, on February 17, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    Yes many in the “vaccines cause autism crowd” are still not convinced. And for good reason. It is well documented that the necessary research to determine whether vaccines cause autism has been discouraged by public health authorities.


    Teresa Binstock, research 1999, article pointing out that funding of environmental and vaccine causes of autism was discouraged by funding authorities.

    IOM Vaccine-Safety Report 2004 which expressly advocated that research of a vaccine-autism connection not be pursued.

    Dr. Bernadine Healy 2008 the former NIH head who twice stated on the record that the epidemiological studies are not adequate for determining whether autism can be triggered by vaccines in vulnerable, at risk, population subsets and who pointed out that the IOM 2004 report expressly discouraged the necessary medical, laboratory research to explore the issue.

    The IACC decision in January to REVERSE a decision of only weeks earlier to fund vaccine-autism research.

    Forget about pharmaceutical industry-public health authorities ties and conflicts of interest, the necessary research was prevented from being done.

    You might consider applying your “skepdude” skill set to all sides of such controversial issues.

  2. Skepdude said, on February 18, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Ah the good old strong headed conspiracy-minded commenter. I only suggest you Google the following phrase “autism vaccine studies” and peruse just the first page of results, you need not go any further. You can if you want.

    Secondly, saying that the research has not been done shows to me that either you’ve been living in a news vacuum over the past few years or you’re simply engaged in a good old “moving the goal post” tactic which is quite pathetic really.

    Have you not heard that your hero, the guy who started it all, Andrew Wakefield faked his data? Have you been reading the news the past couple of weeks or so?

    How long do you want people to waste time and money studying your supposed link? Forever? Why solely because you don’t like the results? Get real! We’re no longer doing studies to see if gravity exists, are we?

  3. Skepdude said, on February 18, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    Here’s one study that according to our commenter was not done.

    This by the way goes to show that the original Wakefield claim about measles virus RNA in the bowels of children and its association with autism is a crapshoot!

  4. turbospinecho said, on February 18, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    I still want more research, safety of our children is key.

    Autism didn’t just happen!!

  5. turbospinecho said, on February 18, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    The Committee did conclude that the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines could be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders was biologically plausible.
    In 2004, the IOM’s Immunization Safety Review Committee issued its final report, examining the hypothesis that vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccines and thimerosal containing vaccines, are causally associated with autism.

  6. turbospinecho said, on February 18, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    One final piece of data regarding thimerosal is worth noting. At the initial National Vaccine Advisory Committee-sponsored meeting on thimerosal in 1999, concerns were expressed that infants may lack the ability to eliminate mercury.

  7. turbospinecho said, on February 18, 2009 at 4:53 PM

  8. turbospinecho said, on February 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Six recruits did not complete the study: 3 potential cases dropped out prior to colonoscopy; 1 potential case and 2 potential controls completed colonoscopy but had incomplete clinical assessments. No differences were found in age, sex, or case-control status between study completers and non-completers. An additional 2 potential cases were excluded for failure to meet diagnostic inclusion criteria

  9. Skepdude said, on February 18, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Your point being???
    “I still want more research, safety of our children is key.?”-Go do it, no one is stopping you.

    Your link to the coolmristuff makes no sense given the discussion at hand. Michael Savage is not a scientist and I make no claims about his statements. You’re wasting your time.

    Why do you find it interesting the not all recruited subjects made the final cut. Have you never read a study before? Are you not aware that there is always drop outs, that not all participants end up being included? Do you know anything about studies?

  10. turbospinecho said, on February 19, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    you don’t get do you? Casual, Plausible, mean it could be might be is a possible cause.

    Why not investigate this. I do not have the ability to do this but there are people that are way more qualified than me that can.

    you don’t have to agree but you do have to admit there is room for research in this area.

  11. Skepdude said, on February 19, 2009 at 10:45 PM

    Huh? I don’t understand your point. They have been investigated, and the investigations have come back negative. Of course the vaccines causes autism crowd can continue to study it, no one is stopping them. Go ahead, do your research and publish your results.

  12. Mohie,Francis Oko said, on September 14, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Such a wonderful site. I have been asked severally about the primary cause of autism, All through I lacked adequate or even correct answer to give.Haven gone through this article, I may be able to say the cause of autism,but I need more working facts.Thanks.

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