I think your tone towards me is very contentious, and I am confused on why you felt the need to go over my previous posts in another support forum to prove me "wrong" and split hairs over my statements.
The message I got from your first post was, ‘Vaccines don’t cause autism. Genes do’, therefore I was surprised to read elsewhere that you do believe that vaccines are a cause of autism, and I wanted to point that out.
It must be very difficult for parents of a non-vaccinated child with atypical behaviours from birth to keep hearing, “It’s the mercury” or, “It’s the vaccines”. And I think I can understand your point of view, Empress. After all, books pointing the finger of blame at ‘The Mother’ were still being written and published in the early 1990s and I found them very distressing.
I knew that I hadn’t caused my son’s autism and yet here were psychiatrists telling me that I had. I knew my son hadn’t been neglected or abused but, from what I read, I just might have overdone my devotion to baby, for they told me that “a good-enough mother” was the best kind, and I might have been too attentive.
IMO the problem with the autism and vaccination controversy is the word “Autism”. Its meaning has evolved into a certain kind of disease that must have one cause, like vaccines or genes, instead of a collection of unusual behaviours found in many people, from the severely brain-damaged person at one end of the continuum to eccentric geniuses at the other.
There isn’t one cause for these behaviours, there are many causes, and some are only personality traits and don’t have ‘a cause’. We are not all alike. But within the group of children with atypical development, there is a subgroup of once neurotypical children with regressive autism after vaccination.
The myth that has been perpetuated is that regressive autism always starts to appear between 12-18 months, or in the second year of life, and any link with the MMR vaccine is purely coincidental. What should be widely known is that children have regressed and become autistic after MMR or other vaccines at 2, 3, 4, 5 and 12 years old.
Something happened around the mid-80s and continued throughout the 90s because suddenly instead of two-thirds of children being born with autism, two-thirds had the regressive-type.
Parents of these children needed to know the cause, they were not content with, “Autism strikes some children. It's genetic. Here are some drugs that might help, and here’s the telephone number of your local support group".
They witnessed the link with vaccination and needed to know what impact it had had on their child's developing brain. They were looking for a possible cure to restore the child they had lost.
Obviously children with Retts or the 50% of children with TS and tubers in the brain and seizures, don’t have vaccine-induced autism. Neither do children exposed to Valproic Acid or alcohol during fetal development, nor children deprived of oxygen at birth. But, because these children have the same behaviours as children with late-onset autism, they are put under the same PDD/ASD/Autism umbrella.
PDD-NOS is not a specific disorder (so it’s not a tangerine), and your PDD definition would only apply to children. Adults with Autism don’t have developmental delay.
You say that Retts shouldn’t be included in the PDD category because it is genetic. But the reason these children are included is that their behaviours fit the criteria.
Children with these disorders also fit the criteria:
Non Verbal Learning Disability, Pathological Demand Avoidance Disorder, Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, Childhood Schizoid Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Attachment Disorder, Multidimentionally Impaired Disorder, Multiple Complex Developmental Disorder....
Once these subgroups are in use, and others have been defined, will the children with these disorders remain under the “Autism” umbrella, or will they be re-categorised?
Once the picture becomes clearer, will geneticists stop looking for the ‘Autism gene’? Will the media stop using “Autism” instead of PDD? And will the rate of “Autism” miraculously drop?
Perhaps not. Because if ADHD is eventually classified as a ASD, as some clinicians have suggested, “Autism” cases would skyrocket overnight and the rate increase to perhaps..... 1 in 8 children.
Maybe that would only matter to parents of children with vaccine-induced regressive, late-onset autism in the 80s and 90s. Our kids don’t have ADHD. (And I’m not trivialising the condition. I believe that these behaviours are also vaccine-induced.)
3) I have conceded before that is very likely that some children affected by PDD and autism are a result of vaccinations. But I think the number of it is not as high as the proponents of the vaccination and mercury theory would like us to believe, or as low (or non-existent) as the CDC and other anti-vax/mercury theorist would like us to believe either.
The pertussis component of the DTaP might be enough to cause damage, or the measles virus, or aluminium or....
Seeing as they have only just discovered that injected mercury and aluminium end up in the brain, and have yet to find out where other toxic ingredients go, no one knows what effect they might have on the developing brain – or the immature immune system. How the brain works is still largely a mystery, and the brain and the immune system are closely linked.
I do believe the answer of what is causing the "autism epidemic" lies in a mish-mash of increased diagnosis and attention to the issue, genetics....
PDD is flexible. Autism isn’t. And, using the DSM-IV criteria, neither is Asperger’s Syndrome.
What worries me about what you call the mish-mash of increased diagnosis is that the children in the 80s and 90s who were brain-damaged by thimerosal are being forgotten. And associating Autism with past geniuses and eccentrics, such as Einstien, is making an “Autism” diagnosis far more socially acceptable, and maybe... even desirable.
I do think that everyone has their own agenda, and pushing hard the "It's the vaccinations! It's mercury!" is doing a disservice
I do think people should stop and think why mental health problems affect one in every five young people today. I very much doubt that the largely non-vaccinating Amish community has such a rate. Their Autism rate is close to zero.
Parents alone should decide what risks they want to take with their own children, not organizations hell-bent on eradicating infectious diseases.