Originally Posted by AbbyGrant
2000 (birth year 1992) 6.7 per 1000 = 1 in 150 children
2002 (birth year 1994) 6.6 per 1000 = 1 in 150 children
2004 (birth year 1996) 8 per 1000 = 1 in 125 children
2006 (birth year 1998) 9 per 1000 = 1 in 110 children
2008 (birth year 2000) 11.3 per 1000 = 1 in 88 children
I am wondering why you include the statistics from 2000 (birth year 1992), as the approach to collecting the data significantly changed between 2000 and 2002:
The 2000 study, which examined children who were born in 1992, involved sites in six states and 1,252 children with ASDs. The prevalence averaged 6.7 children out of every 1,000.
The 2002 study, which focused on children who were born in 1994, involved 2,685 with ASDs at sites in 14 states and found that autism prevalence ranged from a low of 3.3 in 1,000 children in Alabama to 10.6 in 1,000 in New Jersey. The overall average was 6.6 in 1,000 children, or about 1 in 150.
It's also worth noticing that New Jersey's rate was 10.6 in 1000 in 2002, and that New Jersey is home to over half of the worlds' pharmaceutical companies, and has the most stringent vaccine mandates for children.
It would stand to reason that the children born in 2000 would have been exposed to less thimerosal than those born in the years before, yet the rate of autism is higher. I don't think it's really misleading to point to these rates as an indication that thimerosal is not a likely candidate for causing the increase although it's not exactly solid evidence.
No, it would not stand to reason. Children born in 2000 were exposed to as much or more thimerosal than those born in the years before.
1) The transition to provider use of thimerosal-free infant formulations for Hepatitis B, DTaP, and Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccines was not complete until late 2001/early 2002. Manufacturers had completed the transition by mid 2001, but thimerosal formulations continued to move through the supply chain until administered to infants, as the FDA never issued a recall. Vaccine shelf life can be over 2 1⁄2 years. (See http://safeminds.org/mercury/mercury_releases/Thimerosal_content_of_US_vaccines.pdf)
2) In addition, children born in 2000 began receiving thimerosal-preserved flu shots beginning in 2002. Flu shots had not been routinely recommended to children in previous years.
3) According to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-schedule/history-of-vaccine-schedule.html),
Important changes to the schedule since 1995 included:
Additional recommendations for existing vaccines that were extended to chidlren: influenza (2002); hepatitis A 2006)
New versions of existing vaccines: acellular pertussis vaccine (DTP - 1997); intranasal influenza (2004)
Discontinuation of vaccine: Oral polio vaccine (2000); rotavirus (2000)
So, children born in 2000 were receiving Rotashield (which children born before 1998 did not receive), and also began receiving hep A, pneumococcal vaccine and inactivated polio, all of which were preserved with thimerosal during that time. In addition, the DTaP, while licensed in 1997, did not make its way to many pediatricians until 2001-- which is when our pediatrician first offered it as a BRAND NEW vaccine. Apparently, many pediatricians held off on newly-licensed vaccines until they could read post-marketing surveillance of reactions/efficacy.
My son was born in 2008 and has never had a flu vaccine (nor did I receive any vaccines during pregnancy or while breastfeeding), so I feel confident thimerosal did not cause his autism. He has been vaccinated on a delayed schedule and on a selective basis, but given when signs of autism appeared, I have no reason to suspect vaccines, at least not in his case.
Nobody is claiming that vaccines cause/ trigger all or even most cases of autism; nobody has even suggested that it is a factor in your son's case. Perhaps in your son's case, you are an older, overweight mother; perhaps you ate large amounts of tuna while you were pregnant; perhaps you live near the freeway. Perhaps you received a flu shot while pregnant, or had amalgam dental filligs placed while you were pregnant.
It's absolutely fine and dandy that you feel you have eliminated vaccines as being linked to your son's autism. You have no right to do so for anyone else's child. That would be like claiming that since your son had no allergic reaction to peanuts, peanut-induced allergic responses do not exist.
From all the research I've done since finding out my own child has autism, I think autism is primarily genetic with possible environmental triggers. I've yet to see any convincing evidence that vaccines are one of those triggers, at least in the absence of other underlying conditions. There are studies indicating everything from not taking prenatal vitamins at the time of conception, to the time of year a child was conceived (thus indicating a possible seasonal trigger at some critical point in development...infection during the winter?, pesticides during the summer?, etc), to the age of the mother and the father (older mothers are a risk factor as are older fathers (40+) coupled with younger mothers (<30)). Thankfully there is a lot of interest in the subject and research is ongoing, but I think it will be awhile before we have the full picture.
Then please explain why autism has skyrocketed from 1/10,000 to 1/88 (or more) in just a few decades. It's already been concluded that impoved diagnostic criteria only explains a small increase, not the huge one we've seen. We have never before seen a "primarily genetic" epidemic. Please explain how this could be. Also please explain why so many people who have NEVER had autism in their families, who had never even HEARD of autism, have severely autistic children.
Certainly, there could be a genetic predisposition to things like vaccine reaction, to autoimmune disorders (which are known to be caused by vaccination), to food allergies (also known to be caused by vaccination), and to seizure disorders (also knwon to be caused by vaccination).
One must wonder why these genetic predispositions are not studied in relation to autism, especially since those with such genetic histories are barred from taking part in vaccine safety trials.
I think the rise in reported cases is mostly due to the broadened diagnostic criteria and an increase in awareness and available services. However, I also think there are social and environmental causes as well some of which tie back into the environmental triggers and genetics. I've heard some interesting theories concerning changing social expectations and changing..er...mating habits for lack of a better word (couples having children later, The Geek Syndrome).
The broadened diagnostic criteria has not changed in 12 years, but the rate of autism diagnosis has continued to skyrocket. In addition, as posted several times on this forum, UC Davis MIND Institute has published a study that clearly show that "better diagnosis" does not explain the skyrocketing rate: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/20090218_autism_environment/index.html, and they state in their paper, "Vaccines, Thimerosal and Other Potential Environmental Causes of Autism," “Does this mean that we can say without a doubt that vaccines do not cause autism in some children? The answer to this question is “no”. There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations.”
Personally, I don't have a problem with the criteria being reigned back in next year and think it has absolutely nothing to do with trying to cover up a connection with vaccines. I can understand why those in the autism community think it might be related to the expense of providing services though. That at least makes sense although I don't believe it.
Would you have a problem with criteria being reigned in if your child lost much-needed services, and was significantly impacted as a result?
Anyway, in short, I think there are some legitimate reasons to not vaccinate or to delay or be selective, but avoiding autism isn't one of them IMHO.
Tell that to the family of Hannah Poling, Bailey Banks, and the thousands of parents of children who suffered vaccine-induced seizures and resulting brain injuries that included autism. There are 2000-odd cases that were admitted and compensated in "Vaccine Court." Tell them that their childrens' reactions should in no way make any other parent think twice about delaying vaccines, or turning down the ones proven to be unnecessary/unsafe (like the flu shot, hepatitis B for most newborns, and Gardasil).