Isn’t There More to Autism than Vaccine-haters or Pro-Lifers?

13 Jan

With the Supreme Court entering to ostensibly end (but truly to reignite) the debate over whether vaccine manufacturers can be sued for injuries allegedly caused by the vaccine, I can’t help but think we are in the eye of the storm — a temporary, albeit not-so-pleasant calm in the midst of the storm. As I look I round, I see an autism community divided, collateral damage that, well frankly and mildly crudely, pisses me off to no end. As I have written about the effects of this bifurcation of the community, I won’t digress, but I will talk about the teams.

On one side of the proverbial fence stand the Vaccine-haters, who point to different scientific experiments (what the “pro” vaccine community, which I will creatively call “Pro Lifers” due to their arguments as to the benefits of vaccines, call pseudoscience) to augment their point. They blame thimerosal (a Mercury-based preservative) for its toxic effects, which the “other team” rebuffs with arguments of subthreshold levels that can be eradicated by the body. But wait, the Vaccine-haters retort: But not my Johnny! His body can only do so via chelation, a medical treatment that — you guessed it — the Pro-Lifers find specious at best and liken to ECT at worst. The Vaccine-haters point to behavioral changes following the vaccines. They wave their hospital discharge summaries for intense fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and, ultimately, the report that diagnosed the autism spectrum disorder. Our Pro-Lifers hold that same report, but their attribution theory is “better”; they site some breaking news about living too close to a highway and birthing a child too soon after an NT child.

This is our reality, like a red state-blue state politically drawn map, a rally with picketers on both sides with signs attempting to undercut the other, or a sporting event with fans donning their team’s jersey while holding a sign besmirching the other team’s best player.

But, what if we wore the Red Sox jersey with a Yankees hat? Can God “hate gays” and “love them” too? Can you be pro-life and have an abortion? Can black and white exist harmoniously?

I think so. Isn’t it called gray? Or grey? Either way, isn’t that an option, too?

I recognize that I am not just asking for black and white to play nice. I am asking for them to give just a little of their hue and mix it to produce something entirely new. What would that look like in our world of Vaccine-haters and Pro-Lifers? Vaccin-Lifers? Pro-haters? No, those seem to be synonyms for our previously identified teams.

To be honest, I do not have the answer right now, which frustrates me, again, to no end. But, for now, I’m trying to be grey/gray. For me, that means listening and learning, not spitting, picketing, and yelling.


Posted by on January 13, 2011 in ASD in the Grand Scheme, NTs on ASD


6 responses to “Isn’t There More to Autism than Vaccine-haters or Pro-Lifers?

  1. Tam

    January 13, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    there is so much irony and offense (to both sides, I imagine) dripping around in this post I don’t even know what to say

  2. jholverstott

    January 13, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I tried to be equal to both sides!

  3. Liz Ditz

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    In some ways, the dispute between the “autism IS TOO vaccine injury” faction and the “vaccines are the greatest public health advance in history” faction is like a family fight — you know, the ones where Cousin Sally blows up at Aunt Minnie over a seeming innocuous comment from Minnie about Sally’s new hairdo. What newcomers don’t get is the 111 times in Sally’s youth that Minnie harped on Sally’s weight, or her acne, or whatever; or all the times that Sally needled Minnie about Minnie’s son Fred’s business failure.

    About half of the autism parents I know have given biomedical treatments a try-including chelation, but most less, well, dangerous. Most have turned away from biomed.

    Part of the deal is how well-funded, strident and well-organized the “autism IS TOO vaccine injury” faction is, compared to parents who have children with autism but don’t blame vaccines. It’s not hard to understand — there’s nothing on a national level for the “autism happens” parents to organize around. They are busy at a local level getting services, dealing with one or more school districts, or maybe fighting with insurers.

    My two cents, anyway.

  4. Jennifer

    January 18, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    This is the lives of children being damaged by pharmaceutical companies for the money of it. And, if the “pro-lifers” want to say that it’s not true, then make them put vaccines through the same testing that they have to do for drugs (which isn’t much). Why were they made not liable to be sued if vaccines are safe? I have questions and I want them answered. Why has the Autism rate skyrocketed since the addition of so many vaccines? Until I get my answeres, I will kick and scream until someone hears me because we’ve tried every other way. But, at least we have big stupid Autism organizations who have “walks” to raise money. For what?? A joke.

  5. jalfff

    February 5, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Kicking & screaming will only raise your blood pressure,
    and stop people from listening to you…
    I firmly believe some is caused by vaccines…
    Been here forever (over 20 years)if you can move around to where ever the best help for this stage is great, but if not just hang in there and do the best you can to keep progressing..Towards a livable situation….
    Don’t beat yourselves up over the past….Unless you have a time machine?


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