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Has autism affected your life?

February 3rd, 2010
01:02 PM ET

(CNN) The medical journal, The Lancet, on Tuesday retracted a controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/03/autism.wakefield.blog.gi.jpg caption ="Dr. Andrew Wakefield was the lead author of the study."]

The study subsequently had been discredited, and last week, the lead author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research.

The General Medical Council, which oversees doctors in Britain, said that "there was a biased selection of patients in The Lancet paper" and that his "conduct in this regard was dishonest and irresponsible."

The panel found that Wakefield subjected some children in the study to various invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopies and MRI scans.

He also paid children at his son's birthday party to have blood drawn for research purposes, an act that "showed a callous disregard" for the "distress and pain" of the children, the panel said.

The issue has become a huge debate within the medical community and among parents with young children.

Many parents avoided giving their children vaccines because of this study over the past decade.

We want to know what you think.

Has autism touched your life? Did you change the way you vaccinated your children because of this study? What are your thoughts on this emotional issue?

Please leave your comments below.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. D Rossi

    We are a family of 5 all affected with varying degrees Asperger's or PDDNOS. After our first child, now 20, was dignosed, and reading many books on the subject, I concluded that many of my relatives/in-laws are "on the spectrum" even going back to my eccentric great-great grandfather. Having said this, I do not believe that vaccinations have affected my family at all. We are predisposed to this and because "like seeks like" I married an Aspy and I am sure our children will marry on the spectrum as well.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  2. madeline

    My son has Autism (PDD) i don't vaccinate only because i don't want to harm or damage my son's body & mind ( No one truely knows the TRUTH about vaccinations ) i feel it has a lot to do with the enviroment – the foods etc.. This is a hard topic, i feel there's things that are not being said or done to help the children of the future. There should be more service after school & for the summer to help this children. There's so much to say but can write it all down. Autism is and everyday work in progress, we should do anything and more to help them... Am a mother of 4 kids 1 with Autism and we love him no matter what !

    February 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  3. Dinesh

    Vaccines are life saving but they (like any other money making scheme, are not without the Con Artists. Take H1N1 and SARS for example (both were/are a scam on the ignorant public). In the end we are left with a few Billion unhappy kids unnecessarily injected with viruses and mercury based preservatives so that the crooked drug companies can profit from the scare media campaign. Imagine our own stupid president falling for or pretending to fall for this scam and vaccinating his kids to influence public opinion ? ... Did he put his OWN KIDS at risk for the sake of Drug company campaign money ? ... Is this a person we want in the White House ? I am not a Republican ... but I am no longer an Obama supporter ... in fact I am VERY suspicious of this smooth talking (zero/negative performance) president. I view him as the worst disaster in making after President GW Bush. As for MMR vaccines ... autism is not just related to MMR but to mercury (a preservative in many and H1N1 vaccines). Drug companies are trying to distract and discredit but the truth will come out eventually – unfortunately too late for many kids while laughing all the way to the bank will be some Drug company CEOs and politicians like Obama who promote this SCAM.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  4. José

    Get ready for the next pandemic... Caused mainly because this people who believe the TV over their own family doctor; I believe this people have never seen a pandemic (like bodies being piled up and burned or things to the effect), well that is what vaccines try to prevent, you should be thanking the lord that you live in a country where vaccination is available because seeing children die because they could´t afford a 1$ vaccine or could´t travel to the free vaccination center is just heart breaking.

    If you love them, have them vaccinated and see them grow...

    February 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  5. B Brennan

    The GMC decision in the UK is not a surprise. They had to rule that way for their own sakes and the sake of their blessed MMR program. They wanted to send a message to doctors and researchers that opposed vaccines that they will be punished. They're using Dr. Wakefield as an example to teach this.

    They were also afraid of having to recall the only MMR vac they had left after a previous MMR had to be recalled due to adverse reactions.

    Also, the GMC panel of judges didn't even question the parents of the children who were studied. Could it have been because the parents supported Wakefield? Nahhhh.... it can't be that!

    People, stop listening to the looming voice from the ediface of British Medical Hierarchy and look behind the curtain of the small booth below and to the right. Do your research. Read up on the politics behind the hearing decision... both in the UK government and in the medical community. Pay close attention to the conflicts of interest betw the powers that be and the international pharmaceutical corporations.... especially when it concerns all these "studies" that show no link betw vaccines and autism (and other neurological conditions). You may come to be surprised as what you find out... for example that only a couple of vaccines have been studied and only for a short time... no study has been done of the mid to long term affects of simultaneously given multiple shots, for example.

    Generation Rescue has a good analysis of these studies. Please do more than just listen to MSM reports. Dig more than a little bit for the sake of your kids or the kids of your friends/family.

    By the way, Wakefield's work has been replicated with similar results in 5 other countries. Look it up. In fact, Dr. Krigsman and others released the results of their studies last Thursday, the same day as the GMC decision.

    And finally, it's not just the shots that cause our kids to go downhill, but it's other toxins and the junk in our foods and what gets put into the mother's body during pregnancy, and even some genetic predisposition. All these seem to prime the system until the right trigger comes along.... after that goes speech/language and attention, and other developmental losses.

    Do your research!!!!!

    February 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  6. Christine

    I have three children, 1 with Asperger's Syndrome. Our life has been turned upside down. I have done eveything possible for my son, who is now 14 and is now a very happy kid, that has 1 good friend that is an Aspi and it has changed his life for the better and he is finally at a good private school that has kids just like him and teachers that are willing to teach him and not complain about his behavior issues. I know that my son was never the same after his 2year old shots, I can say it has been a long road and he is now off all drugs that were causing him major behavior problems. He has gained weight and is now a normal teenager. Smart mouth and all, but I now have my son back and drug free and I would not trade it for the world.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  7. Laura Smith

    My 23 yr old son, Benji has Autism. When I took his older brother to the Dr. for his six week check up, I received a German Measle Vaccination. I had to sign a release saying I would not get pregnant for a period of time after that vaccine, unfortunately, I discovered that I was already pregnant with Benji at the time or soon after having it. I have always believed that the Measle part of the MMR may be the cause of children getting Autism. There must be something in their genetic makeup that is sensative to that Measle vaccine. Maybe the Mumps and Reubella vaccines are safe, but Im sceptical about the Measle vaccine.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  8. Sarah J.

    I know several kids with Autism who have never had vaccinations. I know more kids who have siblings with Autism who also are in the spectrum and believe that Autism is a genetic disorder and has nothing to do with giving your kid a shot.
    When I have kids, they will get all their vaccinations because it has been proven that vaccines save lives.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  9. Elaine Albertson

    I'm a behavioral scientist who works with children and families affected by autism. We still don't really know what "causes" it. What we do know is that it dramatically affects the lives of the child and their family forever. I try to encourage parents to do their own research...but I also teach them how to sort the valid information from emotionally charged hyperbole. There are indeed a lot of unanswered questions about how multivalent innoculations affect the body over the long term, but there are also a lot of unanswered questions regarding genetic predisposition. I ask parents to not waste their valuable energy...physical, emotional, and spiritual...looking for "the cause" as it is a past tense issue for them unless they plan on having more children. Personally, I'm taken by the huge spike in identified cases over the past few years. There is obviously something emerging. We need to devote more assets to the investigation.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  10. B Brennan

    Elaine said: "I ask parents to not waste their valuable energy...physical, emotional, and spiritual...looking for "the cause" as it is a past tense issue for them unless they plan on having more children"

    Yet, if the cause is something that is toxicological, metabolical, immunological, or neurological, you don't dare just sit on your hands and concentrate only on behavioral therapies. You need to investigate what's going on inside the child's body at the present... even do some tests for markers. Otherwise, not only will you not inprove the child's development, you might lose the child even more.

    New Paradigm of Autism

    ASD is a medical illness
    -with a biologically impaired brain,
    -commonly associated with multiple medical problems and organ systems
    -with genetic AND acquired factors
    -leading to abnormal behavior, learning, and development
    -that is treatable.

    And to Sarah J., I say, I know a number of kids who have had vaccines and within a week, they regressed big time. Also, i have read of twins where one was ASD and the other was fine... can't blame genetics there. Finally, i know of 3 kids from one family who are all ASD. There is a genetic indicator here... but also something else. The oldest one with the most vaccines is the most ASD. The youngest one with the least vaccines is the least ASD... and the middle child's ASD matches the in-betw amt of vacccines. Ain't that interesting.

    Sarah, there are a number of different kind of autisms with different etiologies. A few are genetic like fragile X. But many more are caused by different factors outside the genetic realm. It behooves us to send some research $$ that way as well.

    By the way Sarah, at least a couple of vaccine apologists have stated that kids can take from 10,000 to 100,000 vaccines at a time. Wanna line your kids up to ensure their lives are saved by their hypodermic needle? Let us know what happens.

    Go to fourteenstudiesDOTorg folks and read up.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  11. Ying

    I have 3 boys & a girl, my 2nd boy has ASD. He was developing normal, in fact much faster than his elder brother. By 1+, he was able to call daddy, mommy & his brother...until he took the MMR. Well, that was the milestone we could recall, cause after that, we started noticing a regression. He stopped talking & eventually, no eye contact. Numerous doctors we spoke to brushed off the connection by sayiing that at 15-18 months, its where there is significant growth spurts in children & because MMR is administered during this same period, we should not draw the co-relation based on this,.

    Nevertheless, this was what we experienced & I have an autistic boy.

    February 10, 2010 at 10:09 am | Reply
  12. autismspecchaos

    Spectrum is compromised.Go to You Tube and type in "autism spectrum seems out of control" to see why the epidemic of confusion about autism exists: the definition of autism is a HUGE problem rooted within the pervasive ignorance of the American Psychiatric Association, becuz they don't know what real autism really is. Most experts don't have a clue. Thankfully, parents-who actually live with real autism, such as the mom on You Tube who posts videos of her severely autistic son with self injury-people may get a better idea of the realities of autism, especially the most severe sides There is a spectrum but the spectrum has expanded into something beyond autism. Again: go to YOU TUBE type in "autism spectrum seems out of control" This is an important video because the DSM-5 is due to change in the year 2013, and the APA wants to lump ALL these different disablities into ONE catagory.. that's rubbish since these experts don't understand what autism is to begin with..that's why they have to toss everyone together–because they can't figure it out. What lazy hypervigilant reckless foolishness. These are the same professionals who diagnose people like Donna Williams, the author of Nobody Nowhere, when it turns out, the woman has a multiple personality disorder, that she herself reveals in the book that says she's autistic on the cover..how crazy is this? And then there are the wonderful brilliant publishers out there who buy fake autism stories like Jenny Mccarthy and her kid who was never autistic, but had febrile seizures that caused developmental delays- and then when he got seizure meds and ate some wheat free crackers...he was allegedly cured, no Jenny cured him, of his autism...oh boy folks, it's time to educate yourselves about real autism...everyone's got their hand in the autism industry and they RELY on your ignorance about what autism really is...educate yourselves because ignorance is NOT bliss

    February 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Reply

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