. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chasing Cars [With Lyrics] - Snow Patrol

Unrelated to the song, which I find is a wonderful love song, my teenager is now driving with his learner's permit. For some reason this song came to mind when he was driving home from a gathering at our friends' house and a stream of cars were following us. He was going only slightly slower than the speed limit, and yet the cars were backing up. He's on his way to being an excellent driver.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The First Study Flawed

Whether or not you believe that autism can be linked to the MMR vaccines given at age 1-2, you need to read these articles. The original 1998 study has been under fire for a while now and I've been following the results. Seems that it was flawed after all, as I guessed. Too many children with autism had developmental problems before any vaccines were given. Mine included.

Here is an article posted on Yahoo's news page:

And here's another that was posted on my husband's cousin's husband's facebook page:

The paper was originally published February 1998. It was retracted 12 years later. My son was born in 1998 but I didn't hear about the case for the MMR vaccine causing autism until we suspected he was on the spectrum when he was about 4 years old. The paper sure caused an uproar but I believed that any link between the vaccine and autism was not all that there was. My son showed developmental delays and problems by the time he was one year old. Therapists began coming to our house when he was 15 months old. After all, early intervention is the key to success.

My family seems to have a strong genetic link to autism spectrum disorders, but it has only been an issue in the last generation. I believe it is something in our generation since it is 3/4 women roughly the same age with kids born near the same time. Was it something we did/did not do as children? Was it something our kids did/did not do? My cousin firmly believes it was the vaccines for her son but our other two boys showed symptoms before their vaccines (I don't know about our other cousin's daughter). I believe that our kids are extra sensitive to toxins out there in the world right now, whether it be vaccines, pollutants, or pesticides (for example).

The second article above shows what the doctors with anti-vaccine agendas did in order to gain fame and fortune. It does state that there is a difference between "regressive autism" such as a child that reached every milestone until around 2 years of age when they suddenly lost their skills and "classical autism" where a child has symptoms of autism from birth. They briefly mention other kinds of autism such as PDD-NOS or Asperger's where a child reaches milestones at a normal rate but has autistic traits that impact their learning and socialization throughout life.

In summary, the article states:
How the link was fixed

The Lancet paper was a case series of 12 child patients; it reported a proposed “new syndrome” of enterocolitis and regressive autism and associated this with MMR as an “apparent precipitating event.” But in fact:

  • Three of nine children reported with regressive autism did not have autism diagnosed at all. Only one child clearly had regressive autism

  • Despite the paper claiming that all 12 children were “previously normal,” five had documented pre-existing developmental concerns

  • Some children were reported to have experienced first behavioural symptoms within days of MMR, but the records documented these as starting some months after vaccination

  • In nine cases, unremarkable colonic histopathology results—noting no or minimal fluctuations in inflammatory cell populations—were changed after a medical school “research review” to “non-specific colitis”

  • The parents of eight children were reported as blaming MMR, but 11 families made this allegation at the hospital. The exclusion of three allegations—all giving times to onset of problems in months—helped to create the appearance of a 14 day temporal link

  • Patients were recruited through anti-MMR campaigners, and the study was commissioned and funded for planned litigation