Six Facts You Need to Know About Autism
By now most people know that the so-called “research” was disproven. Back in 1998, British doc Andrew Wakefield published a paper claiming a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and autism. He based it on twelve case studies. By 2004, he’d been widely discredited. Finally, in January 2010, a UK General Medical Council found that he’d acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in his published research, and he was prohibited from practicing medicine. The esteemed medical journal that had originally published his research, The Lancet, retracted it. By then, the research had already had a resounding impact on public health, as parents stopped getting their child the vaccine and reported cases of measles went up.
The Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: Health 101
In January 2011, the British Medical Journal deemed Wakefield’s work an "elaborate fraud." As an accompanying editorial noted, “Perhaps as important as the scare’s effect on infectious disease is the energy, emotion and money that have been diverted away from efforts to understand the real causes of autism and how to help children and families who live with it.”
Fear is a hard thing to repress, especially when it concerns the well-being of our children. “I know that there’s no connection between the vaccine and autism, but I can’t get past it,” a mom recently said to me. “I understand,” I said, “and I’m no doctor but I think it’s more harmful for your kid not to get the vaccine.” Of course, concerns should be discussed with a pediatrician; many doctors work with parents to space out vaccines.
Autism Signs: Your Month-by-Month Guide
Do you still fear the MMR vaccine, even though you know the connection to autism has been disproven? Do you know parents who refuse to get their kids the MMR?
Read more about special needs on Ellen Seidman's blog To The Max.
This article first appeared on Parents.com.