Autism

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Re: Autism

Postby AutumnGirlLybbie » Tue May 01, 2012 5:47 pm

If this were the 1950s its easy to see which side of this debate of us would have been on. It was the best that medical science offered at the time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory
 
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Re: Autism

Postby LittleBabyNothing » Tue May 01, 2012 5:50 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:If this were the 1950s its easy to see which side of this debate of us would have been on. It was the best that medical science offered at the time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory


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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Tue May 01, 2012 6:54 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:If this were the 1950s its easy to see which side of this debate of us would have been on. It was the best that medical science offered at the time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory


And medical science realised it was wrong, and adjusted its views. Contrast that to religion, homeopathy, psychics, anti-vaccinationists and the likes.

However, your example is looking at the wrong field of medicine. You're looking at psychiatry, which is concerned with autism. What you should really be looking at is immunology, which is concerned with the MMR vaccine. It's absolutely true to say that our understanding of autism is still not very good. Our understanding of immunology, however, is fantastic, and has saved - and I exaggerate not - MILLIONS of lives since Edward Jenner made a rather astute observation. He may have saved more lives than anyone else - it's a close call between him and Sir Alexander Fleming. In contrast, Andrew Wakefield and his cronies have been responsible for what is probably the worst thing to happen to medicine this century.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Belle Leisha » Tue May 01, 2012 9:14 pm

AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:If this were the 1950s its easy to see which side of this debate of us would have been on. It was the best that medical science offered at the time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory


The problem with that is that no one, I hope, is arguing that you should agree the MMR vaccine doesn't cause autism, just because some doctors say so. The overwhelming, tried and tested, peer reviewed body of evidence, found no link whatsoever. To take from that there still might be a link, is ludicrous. You have to remember Wakefield is a doctor. This isn't parents vs doctors, this is straight forward right versus wrong, in the literal and moral sense.

There was never any evidence to support Wakefield's claim about the dangers of the MMR vaccine. He made it up. This is a doctor. Children have died, because of he made an idiotic statement and the media picked up on that, and not the overwhelming contrary evidence. Celebrity promotion of his lie, was part of that. It's also worth looking up what Wakefield actually did, in the course of his 'research'. It involved invasive tests done on twelve children, without the approval of the ethics committee.

But okay, medical science gets stuff wrong, let's imagine there was a mistake here and Wakefield was right. So in giving children the MMR vaccine you risk them getting autism, we must agree it's a very small risk given the many millions of children who have had it and aren't autistic. Or, don't have children immunised, and take the considerably larger risk of them getting measles which could very easily kill them.
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Re: Autism

Postby Innuendoes » Tue May 01, 2012 9:29 pm

Elessar wrote:
icy wrote:
Elessar wrote:I'll apologise if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly confident Inny will be on McCarthy and Wakefield's side.

She isn't even posting in this thread, so unless you read minds... :P.


It's just a hunch!

I hope you are sitting down. I heard rumors of the MMR vaccine causing "horrible" consequences in young children. I had my son vaccinated, anyway.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Tue May 01, 2012 9:41 pm

Excellent decision! (the rumours were unfounded, obviously)
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Tue May 01, 2012 9:48 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:It's also worth looking up what Wakefield actually did, in the course of his 'research'. It involved invasive tests done on twelve children, without the approval of the ethics committee.


For the avoidance of doubt, this research (funded by an anti-vaccination group, which is referred to as a conflict of interests) involved putting cameras up these children's bottoms. Autistic children. Can you imagine how traumatic that would have been?

Also he was a qualified surgeon and pathologist, but not a paediatrician (even his biggest opponents often mistakenly call him a paediatrician). Now, obviously non-paediatricians can be involved in paediatric research and can have paediatric knowledge (just as non-GPs can have knowledge of psychiatry and non-biochemists can have knowledge of zoology). However, it is against GMC guidelines for non-paediatric specialists to perform invasive procedures on children unless it's an emergency. Research isn't an emergency.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Delilah » Tue May 01, 2012 11:28 pm

I do find the psychology behind someone like Jenny McCarthy interesting. In the face of all facts and knowledge disproving her adopted theory of the MMR vaccine causing autism and the discrediting of the study and man behind this belief, she clings to this belief. I think this is the same kind of thing that results in grown people believing in creationism. Her belief is clearly based on emotion. We all have clung to a belief or perception when we really should logically know better (look at romantic relationships for evidence of this), but her level of adherence to this belief is kind of fascinating from a distance.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby icy » Tue May 01, 2012 11:43 pm

Belle Leisha wrote:
AutumnGirlLybbie wrote:If this were the 1950s its easy to see which side of this debate of us would have been on. It was the best that medical science offered at the time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory


The problem with that is that no one, I hope, is arguing that you should agree the MMR vaccine doesn't cause autism, just because some doctors say so. The overwhelming, tried and tested, peer reviewed body of evidence, found no link whatsoever. To take from that there still might be a link, is ludicrous. You have to remember Wakefield is a doctor. This isn't parents vs doctors, this is straight forward right versus wrong, in the literal and moral sense.

There was never any evidence to support Wakefield's claim about the dangers of the MMR vaccine. He made it up. This is a doctor. Children have died, because of he made an idiotic statement and the media picked up on that, and not the overwhelming contrary evidence. Celebrity promotion of his lie, was part of that. It's also worth looking up what Wakefield actually did, in the course of his 'research'. It involved invasive tests done on twelve children, without the approval of the ethics committee.

But okay, medical science gets stuff wrong, let's imagine there was a mistake here and Wakefield was right. So in giving children the MMR vaccine you risk them getting autism, we must agree it's a very small risk given the many millions of children who have had it and aren't autistic. Or, don't have children immunised, and take the considerably larger risk of them getting measles which could very easily kill them.

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Re: Autism

Postby Innuendoes » Wed May 02, 2012 2:23 am

I hope you are sitting down. I heard rumors of the MMR vaccine causing "horrible" consequences in young children. I had my son vaccinated, anyway.


Elessar wrote:Excellent decision! (the rumours were unfounded, obviously)


I need to rephrase what I said. It wasn't just rumors on the streets, etc. It was on the news all the time and in the nation's leading parenting magazines. There were a lot of people who decided against giving it to their children. I made the choice to go ahead with it. BTW, as a child, I had Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chicken Pox. I itched like hell and had to stay home from school as all the other kids did as well. Of course with the Mumps, I was just plain pissed off for looking like a hamster that had just gorged it's food pouches full. :lol:
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Wed May 02, 2012 6:48 am

Innuendoes wrote:I need to rephrase what I said. It wasn't just rumors on the streets, etc. It was on the news all the time and in the nation's leading parenting magazines. There were a lot of people who decided against giving it to their children. I made the choice to go ahead with it. BTW, as a child, I had Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chicken Pox. I itched like hell and had to stay home from school as all the other kids did as well. Of course with the Mumps, I was just plain pissed off for looking like a hamster that had just gorged it's food pouches full. :lol:


Yeah, I know! And it all started over here. This is an excellent summary of the media coverage:
http://www.badscience.net/2008/08/the-medias-mmr-hoax/

This guy is almost entirely blaming the media rather than Wakefield. I think he's being a bit generous to Wakefield, but then again, it was written before it came to light just how unethical and indeed illegal his research was. And it's very interesting that in the huge number of articles written about these MMR fears, Leo Blair was mentioned more times than Andrew Wakefield. It really does show how a story like this can take off. And on one hand, it's absolutely right that the Blairs refused to say whether or not their kid had had the vaccine. Tony Blair was a politician, not a doctor, so his opinion shouldn't actually be that influential, and his kid is entitled to privacy and confidentiality. But as Goldacre points out, the argument about privacy is somewhat weakened by Cherie Blair writing in a book about the specific act of intercourse that conceived their son.

We don't vaccinate against chicken pox in the UK - I believe you can nowadays in America. Here we just get it young as it's rarely a big problem. Rubella is only a problem if pregnant women get it, as it can cause big problems for the baby. Mumps is mostly a problem for boys, as it can make them infertile. Measles is the big one though, as it can kill you.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Wed May 02, 2012 6:53 am

Delilah wrote:I do find the psychology behind someone like Jenny McCarthy interesting. In the face of all facts and knowledge disproving her adopted theory of the MMR vaccine causing autism and the discrediting of the study and man behind this belief, she clings to this belief. I think this is the same kind of thing that results in grown people believing in creationism. Her belief is clearly based on emotion. We all have clung to a belief or perception when we really should logically know better (look at romantic relationships for evidence of this), but her level of adherence to this belief is kind of fascinating from a distance.


What I find interesting is how it requires science to kick off the belief, but then once that science was shown to be flawed, unethical and illegal, there were already enough 'followers' to keep it all going, and now they make up their own science. Things about inactivated genes being activated by MMR, heavy metals in the vaccine, that sort of thing - none of that was in Wakefield's theory. It's people working backwards from the assumption that MMR does indeed cause autism, and then trying to come up with a scientific basis. And what's even more interesting is the amount of research time and money that has been wasted on humouring these theories - the heavy metal theory was never seriously proposed by any scientist, but it has now been thoroughly investigated and of course shown to be entirely false. The media have cried out for more research into MMR/autism, but have failed every single time to report on the new research that has specifically shown no link between the two. There have been many studies. None of these studies would ever have taken place if it wasn't for the media scare. They were about as useful to our scientific knowledge and understanding as a multi-million dollar investigation into whether or not pirates prevent global warming.
 
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Wed May 02, 2012 6:57 am

Another thing that I don't understand is people's desperation to believe the MMR/autism link. I get why people want to believe in God, or in astrology, or in psychics, or even in homeopathy. These are all things that, if true, can bring comfort or happiness or immortality or insight or health. But why believe something as worrying and troublesome as a vaccine causing a fairly serious condition? Shouldn't people be relieved that it's not true?
 
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Re: Autism

Postby WeeMann » Wed May 02, 2012 7:16 am

Delilah wrote:I do find the psychology behind someone like Jenny McCarthy interesting. In the face of all facts and knowledge disproving her adopted theory of the MMR vaccine causing autism and the discrediting of the study and man behind this belief, she clings to this belief. I think this is the same kind of thing that results in grown people believing in creationism. Her belief is clearly based on emotion. We all have clung to a belief or perception when we really should logically know better (look at romantic relationships for evidence of this), but her level of adherence to this belief is kind of fascinating from a distance.


I can't speak for Jenny McCarthy, as I know nothing about her, but I can give my views on Alli, John's Mum. I should know better, having been on this site for a few weeks now, but posting the video was never an intention to start a big fight/debate, merely to say that my mate's brother is featuring in a TV programme. Autism/MMR is not something I've ever looked into in any great depth beyond deciding that our kids were better off having the jab.

Alli is a desperately tired, loving mother who wants to do whatever she can for her son. I believe she has tried and exhausted most avenues in making his life a better one. She constantly travels the world to attend talks and discussions on the subject of Autism in the hope of finding anything which may work. Whatever she and her husband have been trying over the last year or so seems to be working to an extent. I don't know the details, but the forthcoming documentary will cover this.

Talking to Charlie, the change in John in the last 12 months is incredible, in his words "He's doing brilliantly - more vocabulary, more understanding - just a magnificent progression." Now, I don't know if people with Autism spontaneously start improving, or whether whatever they are doing is responsible for this improvement, but it is a fact that he is in a far better situation than he was 12 months ago. Will it last? Only time will tell, but for now they are all positive.
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Re: Autism

Postby Elessar » Wed May 02, 2012 8:12 am

I watched the video with high hopes, as there have been many excellent documentaries recently, such as the one by Louis Theroux, and Simon Baron Cohen seems to be on TV with increasing frequency. However, when they said something about bowel problems, alarm bells started to ring. Then I googled the organisation involved, and found out they're affiliated with Wakefield and McCarthy.

The chances are that they do have some excellent treatments. The single best treatment for autistic children is intensive, one-to-one education, basically spending 8 hours every day teaching them the things that come naturally to other kids. That's phenomenally expensive, and GPs have to apply to their PCT for funding on a case by case basis. Unsurprisingly, not many kids get the best treatment possible.

The anti-vax brigade have a huge amount of money, so I suspect they have the resources to fund this excellent treatment. Sadly, I suspect they attribute any good results they get to special diets, dangerous chelation therapy, and avoiding vaccinations.
 
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