Respectful insolence digs into the new CDC autism numbers. - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2014, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/03/31/the-antivaccine-movement-resurrects-the-zombie-2014/

 

He made some of the same points that I did (re vaccines and autism) that while the new estimate is 30% higher than the one from two years ago, vaccine rates have remained pretty stable in the same time, which does not make for a compelling case that vaccines are a cause of the "autism epidemic". 

 

He makes other good points.  For example, non hispanic white children were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than non hispanic black children, and were almost 50% more likely to get diagnosed than hispanic children.  He says "This sort of disparity is far more likely to be due to differences in screening and diagnoses than to biology."  

 

Additionally, he points out "The authors noted that in previous reports, from 2002 to 2008, the greatest increases in ASD prevalence were noted in Hispanic children, non-Hispanic black children, and children without co-occurring intellectual disability. The first two suggest that Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children are likely to be “catching up” with Caucasian children in terms of access to diagnostic services..." 

 

He talks about the broadening of criteria as well and quotes Emily Willingham as saying

 

"From the data, it looks like a lot of sociocultural factors enter into the values. Given the huge variability from site to site and the ethnic differences, recognition and service availability are probably factors. Dr. Boyle referred repeatedly to the evolution of our understanding of autism and used the large percentage of children included in these values who have average to above-average intelligence as an example of that. Unlike numbers from a decade ago, these values include children who previously might not have been recognized as autistic."

http://pediatrics.about.com/b/2014/03/27/responses-to-the-latest-cdc-report-on-autism-prevalence.htm

 

And Rachel Dornhelm 

 

"For one thing, the prevalence seems to vary in different communities and among children of different races. The CDC found white children are far more likely to be identified with autism, even though scientists don’t believe the rates are truly different between whites, Hispanics or blacks." 

http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2014/03/27/higher-autism-numbers-announced-as-feds-introduce-early-screening-program/

 

So snark, sarcasm and insolence aside, what do you think about his interpretation of the new CDC autism data? Do you agree?  Or do you think theres an environmental factor at play here? 


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Old 04-07-2014, 02:19 AM
 
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I so wish those blogs would be more respectful and not insulting. I'd love to use the analysis to point out the factual inaccuracies in places like Safe Minds and AoA, but you can see why people get cross reading paragraphs of insults of people before getting to any of the meat of the article. Not a good way to reach out to anyone other than those already convinced. 

 

I wish we could move on from vaccine-autism links. It's not MMR, and it's clearly not thimerosol. But as the second commenter so succinctly puts it: 

 

Quote:

If it’s not the thimerosal, it’s the adjuvants, and if it’s not the adjuvants, it’s the other preservatives, or if it’s not the other preservatives, it’s the antibiotics, and if it’s none of those, it’s probably residual DNA damage from the vaccine, or the parents’ vaccinations, and/or the grandparents’ vaccinations.

In other words: It’s always the vaccine. It’s never NOT the vaccine.

 

It's a real pity as I'm sure it distracts from people trying to find the real (and possibly environmental, but not meaning vaccination) cause of autism increases…. 


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Old 04-07-2014, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post
 

I so wish those blogs would be more respectful and not insulting. I'd love to use the analysis to point out the factual inaccuracies in places like Safe Minds and AoA, but you can see why people get cross reading paragraphs of insults of people before getting to any of the meat of the article. Not a good way to reach out to anyone other than those already convinced. 

 

I wish we could move on from vaccine-autism links. It's not MMR, and it's clearly not thimerosol. But as the second commenter so succinctly puts it: 

 

 

It's a real pity as I'm sure it distracts from people trying to find the real (and possibly environmental, but not meaning vaccination) cause of autism increases…. 

 

I agree.  I made sure to only post parts that weren't offensive. 

 

Some "skeptical" bloggers have said that they use this language because it increases their page hits, so they actually do end up reaching more people this way. 

 

The skepticalob addressed it fairly recently and put it thusly: 

 

"You imagined what my blog might be like if I wrote in the same style as a midwife whom you admire. You didn’t ask what my blog might be like if I wrote in the style of Dani Repp at What Ifs and Fears are Welcome or Lisa Murakami of Married to Medicine or the many bloggers like them. Both Dani and Lisa are much nicer than me! They write about the same topic as I do with more nuance and more compassion, yet you didn’t mention them. Why? Either you’ve never heard of them or they made so little impression that you forgot them.

 

For better or for worse, nuance and compassion don’t attract readers. Years ago I briefly tried it and it nearly killed the blog. When I started the predecessor of this blog in 2006, I got about 550 visits a day, 500 of which I bought through Google Ad Words. I haven’t paid for advertising in years. Today this blog averages 6000 visits a day on weekdays, and often thousands more. For my most popular posts I’ve gotten 5,000 visits an hour. I’m sure that you’ve already guessed that the posts with the most traffic tend to be the snarkiest.

 

Simply put, snark is my schtick." 

 

Also, completely agree with that comment you quoted.  That pretty much sums it up. 


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Old 04-07-2014, 12:53 PM
 
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Maybe he gets more readers this way, but I wonder if they're the right readers. Preaching to the choir?

Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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Old 04-15-2014, 05:39 AM
 
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I've been blogging steadily for about 5 years and my most controversial articles definitely get more attention. But I realized at some point in there, it's better to have a small community of readers who make thoughtful contributions, than a mass of readers who come looking for excitement and controversy. With that said, I'm not in blogging to make money, or even just to fund my hobby, so that probably makes a difference. In these cases, I dislike both Orac and Amy Tuteur 's approach exactly for the things that make them so popular. I may be more familiar with them, but I do much prefer finding a good, thoughtful, compassionate blog discussing the same issues that I can share with people who disagree with me, but whom I don't want to insult while also trying to inform.

And I tend to go back to those thoughtful, compassionate blogs (redwineandapplesauce.com !) . I like that they are more about information than personalities. I know enough about Orac and Tuteur that I don't feel like I ever have to read another thing that they write.

 

With that said, I have no complaints about all the info you quoted. Sounds about right to me.

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Old 04-15-2014, 05:47 PM
 
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Quote:

If it’s not the thimerosal, it’s the adjuvants, and if it’s not the adjuvants, it’s the other preservatives, or if it’s not the other preservatives, it’s the antibiotics, and if it’s none of those, it’s probably residual DNA damage from the vaccine, or the parents’ vaccinations, and/or the grandparents’ vaccinations.

In other words: It’s always the vaccine. It’s never NOT the vaccine.

 ^this x10000

 

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Old 04-19-2014, 03:41 AM
 
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I know. Possibly the best comment on a blog ever! There'll be some who will never be convinced. I'm convinced of that. Hopefully sense and the scientific method will convince most people in the end.

Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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