Autism

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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:00 pm

 
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Re: Autism

Postby Delilah » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:24 am

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:Are you suggesting that parents is incapable of helping their children because their too emotionally involved? Do you have any idea how dangerous that sounds?

I completely disagree. A parent is the one who knows their child best. Nobody, not even a doctor, knows them better. Parents are the best and most important advocate a child has! I can tell from the first sneeze my child has if its allergies, or something more . My sister can tell if her daughter has strep throat long before her throat ever gets soar. I know parents who have children who have seizures. They can tell when one is going to happen several hours before it does! I know and predict better how my son is going to do in school with certain subjects before those educating him do! I am his parent, I know him best!


I get you, I really do. However, although I might know when my child is developing strep throat, I do not depend on my motherly instincts to cook up the antibiotic that will help her. I take her to the doctor, who will test her for strep in order to be sure that my anecdotal diagnosis is correct. If it is, and I'm usually right about that because I know the fevers that she develops with strep, I allow pharmaceutical companies and medical doctors to give me the tools to help her heal from it. Yes, I know what kind of chicken soup she likes best during those times and I know to put a cold washcloth on her head when her fever is especially high, but I need science to cure her. If I noticed that every time she has gotten strep she has just recently eaten tomatoes with her meal, maybe I could decide that tomatoes were the cause. I'd be wrong. If strep were something that couldn't be cured and she'd suffer forever with it, I'd probably at some point lose my rationality and get so emotionally desperate that I'd try just about any crackpot thing to try and cure it. That also wouldn't make me right.

I have sympathy for Jennie McCarthy, but she's just wrong on this. It doesn't mean that she's a bad person, she's just wrong.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Belle Leisha » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:25 am

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:
Elessar wrote:
If I had been through it myself, I would be emotionally involved and my judgement would therefore be impaired. I don't necessarily blame Jenny McCarthy - there are plenty of celebrities nutters attached to various causes, and I doubt they've got malicious motivations.




Are you suggesting that parents is incapable of helping their children because their too emotionally involved? Do you have any idea how dangerous that sounds?

I completely disagree. A parent is the one who knows their child best. Nobody, not even a doctor, knows them better. Parents are the best and most important advocate a child has! I can tell from the first sneeze my child has if its allergies, or something more . My sister can tell if her daughter has strep throat long before her throat ever gets soar. I know parents who have children who have seizures. They can tell when one is going to happen several hours before it does! I know and predict better how my son is going to do in school with certain subjects before those educating him do! I am his parent, I know him best!


I don't think anyone would suggest parents don't know their children best, they certainly do. Doctors know better than lay people about medical problems though. Most parents would not presume to treat their own child rather than take them to a doctor, because knowing them personally doesn't give you the necessary medical expertise. I have absolute trust in the instinct of parents when it comes to their children, my brother would have been diagnosed with epilepsy as a toddler had my mother not insisted he was seen by a specialist who as she knew he would, confirmed the GP was wrong. It still involved needing the person with the most experience with the disease, not the child, and the expertise in the relevant field. Anecdotal evidence is very important, research is essentially made on huge amounts of it.

I don't know how someone can be over educated, but to oppose misinformation on autism is not an attack on or dismissal of parents' importance or knowledge. That Jenny McCarthy has an autistic child doesn't make her claim that autism and the MMR vaccine are linked, any less wrong. It's actively dangerous and seriously irresponsible. Emotional involvement does make your judgement unreliable. It doesn't mean parents can't help their children, of course not. It just means that if all evidence says there's no link between MMR vaccinations and autism, and the paper which originally made the fabricated connection has been discredited, trusting that, rather than the one parent of an autistic child who continues to claim it, is much more reasonable. A parent may want something to blame, where simple facts have no reason to.
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Re: Autism

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 am

Girls, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this.
I don't have an absolute opinion on this topic and I'm not going to second guess a mother in this situation on her child on this either.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby icy » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:27 am

WeeMann wrote:
Elessar wrote:You can walk a marathon if you like.


My wife is in two weeks. I'll send you the link and you can sponsor her (in aid of breast cancer research).

/blatant plug

:bigups: and much respect to her W.
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:51 am

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:Girls, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this.
I don't have an absolute opinion on this topic and I'm not going to second guess a mother in this situation on her child on this either.


There's no need for an opinion, because we're in the luxurious position of knowing the actual fact instead: MMR does not cause autism. Not a matter of opinion; a matter of fact.

This mother's intuition thing is all well and good. My mum claims it all the time. Every time she guesses what I'm about to say, and I ask how she knew, she always says, "Because you're my son". I'm sure it's lovely to think that carrying around a mini-human for 9 months and suffering all the associated physical and psychological disturbances leaves you with a superpower, but the reality is far more subtle. It's no coincidence that 'mother's intuition' is still present between a mother and an adopted child; yet is absent between a mother and a biological child if that child is adopted. Mothers spend a huge amount of time with their children. Consequently, they can recognise the smallest of changes in their child's behaviour. This, combined with past experience or common knowledge means that a lot of the time, parents are excellent diagnosticians. But there's nothing mysterious or magical about it, and mother's intuition certainly doesn't replace or trump meticulous immunological, psychological and epidemiological research.

Where was mother's intuition when this happened?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4871728.stm
 
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Re: Autism

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:34 am

Elessar wrote:
Where was mother's intuition when this happened?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4871728.stm

I've already brought this kind of thing up and my opinion of it earlier.


Funny how your not above using anecdotal evidence when it suites your point of view.
Its also amusing to see you think you know so much about being a mother. Even though your neither a woman or a mother.


Putting blind faith in science is just as dangerous as putting blind faith in religion. I don't do either. I can see that both are flawed.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:02 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:
Elessar wrote:
Where was mother's intuition when this happened?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4871728.stm

I've already brought this kind of thing up and my opinion of it earlier.


Funny how your not above using anecdotal evidence when it suites your point of view.


You're getting a bit confused about what anecdotal evidence is.

Anecdotal evidence is evidence based on anecdotes, i.e. stories. Empirical evidence is based on observations and the testing of hypotheses. There is some overlap. There's a place in scientific research for case studies - essentially reports of anecdotes - however these should be done carefully and scientifically, and should only really be done when the condition or phenomenon is so rare that empirical research is difficult. Wakefield's original paper was a collection of 12 case studies - 12 anecdotes, that were written up in a scientific manner. This was not particularly interesting because both autism and the MMR vaccine are very common, so finding 12 children with both is not particularly remarkable. If someone had two extremely rare diseases, or an extremely rare disease in an extremely rare setting (e.g. went to the moon, came back with three arms) it would be well worth writing a case study, so that the next time it happens, the doctors could be guided in their treatment by the very limited past experience, as opposed to being in completely uncharted territory.

These case studies alone didn't really show very much, but then Wakefield published a further paper in a far less prestigious journal, speculating that the MMR vaccine causes autism. The media went crazy, and the rest is history. The fact that it was later shown that he used unethical and illegal practices in his original case studies is almost irrelevant.

A huge wealth of high-quality empirical evidence has shown that the MMR vaccine offers excellent protection against measles, mumps and rubella. This isn't anecdotal evidence: this is epidemiologists looking at a huge sample of children, and finding that people who have had the MMR vaccine get measles, mumps or rubella far less frequently than people who haven't had the vaccine. There are therefore two empirically proven facts:

1) The measles virus causes measles
2) The MMR vaccine protects against the measles virus

A third fact is that until 2006, there had not been a measles death in the UK for 14 years.

So when a child who had not received the MMR vaccine died of measles in 2006, although that was just one case which in isolation could be seen as a piece of anecdotal evidence, when put in the context of all the empirical evidence we have about measles and the MMR vaccine, as well as his medical history of having not received the appropriate vaccine, it becomes more than just a piece of anecdotal evidence, and becomes an historical landmark in the MMR media scare story.

Now the article goes on to say that he had an underlying condition and was on immunosuppressive treatment. That's fair enough. Measles doesn't usually kill you. It can be deadly, but is usually just very, very nasty. Also, the article says that the case was not due to the MMR scare, but rather due to communities that don't get vaccinated anyway. That's a purely speculative view, and totally ignores the very important concept of herd immunity. However, I suspect the Department of Health doesn't particularly want to educate the public about the notion of herd immunity, because it will inevitably lead to selfish parents deciding to protect their children from the evil autism-causing vaccine, while relying on other parents to vaccinate their own children.


AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:Its also amusing to see you think you know so much about being a mother. Even though your neither a woman or a mother.


Some mothers believe the MMR vaccine is safe; some believe it's not. They can't all be right. Andrew Wakefield is neither a woman nor a mother. Until antenatal classes are modified to include a crash course in immunology, whether or not someone is a woman or a mother will continue to be irrelevant to their ability to discuss the facts surrounding the safety of the MMR vaccine.

And I won't bother asking why it is that you think you know what I'm thinking.


AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:Putting blind faith in science is just as dangerous as putting blind faith in religion. I don't do either. I can see that both are flawed.


The scientific method isn't flawed. Scientists are of course flawed, as they are human. However, that's why we have an excellent little system called peer reviewing. It's incredible that Wakefield's paper got through it, but it has become far more robust as a consequence. No one should have to put blind faith in science: The answers are out there. If you don't want to put blind faith in the MMR vaccine, do some reading and educate yourself about the MMR vaccine. The answers are there, and are accessible, and it is shown very clearly how those answers were established. The same cannot be said for religion, because it is a faith-based system, as opposed to an evidence-based one.

What's also incredible is that anti-vaccination people (the demographic has a significant overlap with the right-wing, with users of alternative medicine [83% of Australian homeopaths do not recommend vaccination], with religious people and basically any other belief typical of a schizotypal personality) are so opposed to science and medicine, yet herald Dr. Andrew Wakefield MBBS FRCS FRCPath as their Christ/Mandela figure.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Not confused, wasn't talking about the link. Obviously you don't even know when you do it. Convenient.
I prefer not to discuss this with you anymore, clearly we disagree and its just going to go around in circles from here, save a few insults slung at each other. Its really boring anymore.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:12 pm

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Re: Autism

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:47 pm

You are so disrespectful.So one sided. And you'll only read what you want to read. Really, what is the sense in carrying on a discussion with you?
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:55 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:You are so disrespectful.So one sided. And you'll only read what you want to read. Really, what is the sense in carrying on a discussion with you?


Have you read Andrew Wakefield's Lancet article in full? I have.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:43 pm

I have not read it in full. You need to admit it though, you had your mind made up before you read it.
Your not even reading what I post!
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:22 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:I have not read it in full. You need to admit it though, you had your mind made up before you read it.
Your not even reading what I post!


I don't need to admit anything! It was written in 1998 - I certainly didn't have a stance on MMR/autism at that time in my life. I can't remember when I first took an interest in it, but I suspect it was around 2004/05. At that point, my stance was guided by facts. Back then, the belief that the MMR vaccine is safe was fairly mainstream, but there was a significant debate with respected figures on either side. Nowadays, the anti-vaccinationist stance is as eccentric and as respected as the anti-evolution stance, and is backed up by a similar volume and quality of evidence. You should seriously consider whether or not you wish to be associated with these crackpots.

I am reading your posts. I'm not sure why you think you know what I am doing with my time.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:48 pm

An excellent summary of some of the key evidence. Note the objective, rational, scientific tone. No emotive language, no products for sale, and no picture of good-looking celebrities with their children.

http://antiantivax.flurf.net/
 
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