Research must be objective and, regardless of popular trends, must examine and rule out all potential causes that do not bear evidentiary support.

Your Child is in Danger!

My husband has been an optometrist for many years and we have always enjoyed Review of Optometry.

My grandchild has autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders, May 2007). Hes a beautiful four-year-old boy who was developing normally until he received all the vaccines they give by the time children are two.

My best friends eight-year-old grandchild also has this dreaded disease. When he gets his nails clipped, he wont touch anything for much of the day. My sons friend had a perfectly normal child who received his four-year booster shot and the next day he stopped talking. He hasnt spoken a word since. Another child I know screams at the sound of a dog barking. The effects of these injections are so widely varied I could go on and on citing cases to you.

After much research, we found that autism is caused by the contents in these vaccines. We found it strange that when a large segment of the Amish peoples children was tested for autism, they all tested negative. The Amish do not believe in vaccinations.

Coincidence? I think not!

Your pediatrician will tell you this is ridiculous. My grandchilds pediatrician, however, has an autistic child himself. He gave his child vaccines and now forever regrets it.

The reason you dont know your child is autistic until the age of two is because thats about the time they finish receiving all these injections. By then, their little bodies are overloaded. Did you know they give a 12-hour-old child a hepatitis B
shot? Do you know how much thimersol is in that shot? Only about 30 times what their little bodies should be able to have!

I am taking this time to inform you so that I might just save your child from the agony my grandson is facing.

Sharon Wilder

 Trenton, Mich.


Dr. Taub responds:

Thank you so much for responding not only to the article but the editorial concerning autism. When it came time for my own children to receive the MMR vaccine, I thought about not giving it; that is, until I did my own research.   

While the information you sent is interesting, it still does not change the fact that there is no formal research study accepted by the major medical community that links the increase in autism with either the MMR vaccine or others that contain thimerosol. 

In 2004, the Institute of Medicines Immunization Safety Review Committee issued its final report with a two-pronged conclusion:

The body of evidence favors rejecting a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.

Hypotheses generated regarding a biological mechanism for such causality are only theoretical. 

Further, the committee stated that while the benefits of vaccination are proven, the hypothesis about susceptible populations and vaccination is presently speculative; therefore, widespread rejection of vaccines would lead to an increase in the incidence of serious infectious diseases like measles, whooping cough and Hib bacterial meningitis. 

The literature contains numerous theories regarding other possible explanations for the increase in the incidence of autism; there certainly is no consensus on the issue. Some question whether there has been an actual increase and whether secondary factors, such as a broadened definition of the disorder and increased awareness might be responsible for the increase. 

For instance, a family member of mine was diagnosed 30 years ago with a developmental delay secondary to a seizure disorder. Today, doctors feel that he has Aspergers syndrome. He certainly did not change, but the definitions and awareness of the conditions have. 

Moreover, the continuing debate about the cause(s) of autism even has affected the organization Autism Speaks. The founder, whose grandson has autism, and his daughter have taken divergent views as to the cause, which has caused not only a rift in that family but in the organization as well. This is a major concern, as from 2005 to 2007, the charity sponsored $11.5 million in grants for genetic research.

This debate can sometimes overshadow the fact that autism is an extraordinarily difficult disorderfor the individual, the family and the medical community. Research must be objective and, regardless of popular trends, must examine and rule out all potential causes that do not bear evidentiary support. We must continue to explore new treatments, traditional or alternative, to improve the quality of life for individuals living with autism. 

As optometrists, we must all be ready to face the challenge of examining autistic children and do all that is possible to help them. I hope we rise to the occasion like we have so many times in the past.

Marc Taub, O.D.

Memphis, Tenn.

Vol. No: 144:07Issue: 7/15/2007