When most parents are starting on the autism diagnosis process, one of the first things they ask: Did vaccines cause autism? Maybe they’ve read an article or it was word of mouth.
But why the doubts?
Why are parents concerned about this?
Well, for starters, the rate of autism diagnosis has increased year-after-year.
This tends to cause a bit of worry and concern. And rightfully so.
Parents start looking for a cause.
Do vaccines really cause autism?
When I first started blogging about autism, I told myself that I would never touch the vaccine topic. Why? I always felt that it was more trouble than it was worth. However, with Autism A to Z, I felt that I would have a great opportunity to cover the topic and give my own answer to the question: do vaccines cause autism? If you’ve been here before, you may already know the answer (or at least my answer) but even if you have – I would encourage you to continue reading this post.
Do Vaccines Cause Autism? Two Sides to Every Tale
I could very well call this the tale of the tape because there’s always going to be two sides to the argument. Those who believe that vaccines do cause autism and those who don’t. For various reasons, you’ll fall into one of these camps. Usually there is no in-between and I think that’s to be expected.
So where do I stand?
I fully believe that vaccines DO NOT cause autism. While I am aware of vaccine injury, there have been numerous studies and reports published both this year and within the past five years (the generally accepted time frame for a scientific study) that prove that vaccines are not a direct cause of autism.
Is there proof that vaccines cause autism?
Currently? No. There have been no scientific and research backed studies that prove a link between autism and vaccines.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wakefield study? This happened in 1998 where there was “study” put out that linked autism and the MMR vaccine. However, there were several faults and flaws with this “study” —
- Research was falsified
- There was no control group
- At least two children in the study already had developmental delays
This did, however, lead to more studies and research based on this study. And all of the following studies and research found that there was no connection. Further, this study was retracted in 2010.
But what about other stuff in the vaccination? Can that cause autism?
There was another theory about thimersol – which is a preservative that contains mercury. It was once used in vaccines but has since been discontinued in most childhood vaccines. Some forms of the influenza vaccine still use it in multi-dose vials.
But even after that removal, there are still theories regarding a connection between autism and vaccines:
- Vaccines schedule (ex. too many vaccines within a short period of time) — however, there is no link between the number of vaccines that a child receives and autism diagnosis.
- Aluminum as a potential cause
Can vaccines exaggerate the existing signs of autism?
I think that’s still up for debate.
But for Sweet B, I’m fairly certain that her autism is genetic and was influenced by environmental factors. In the first two years of her life, we lived in an apartment with lead based paint. With her PICA, Sweet B would often eat anything that she found on the floor. Even with due diligence, sometimes it just couldn’t be stopped.
That being said, Sweet B is just one individual on the spectrum and we are just one family with that story.
But what about the arguments that support vaccines causing autism?
I’m honestly not sure. But, for whatever reasons or another, that family chooses to believe that vaccines caused their child’s autism.
Sometimes it might be a search for answers and sometimes it just might be what they believe.
So do vaccines cause autism?
The short answer, according to science, is no. More than 25 articles, with scientific backed research and data, support this.
But I also think it’s up to each individual to do their own research, read the reports, and come to their own conclusion. I’m not saying that you should think one way or the other just based on what I say. Take the time to form your own opinion.