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Autism-Vaccine Link?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More

A special federal court U.S Court of Federal Claims) agreed to hear the case of a family whose child received a vaccine and subsequently developed immune system problems including severe autism. The case will take three weeks to be heard. In this court it is easier to win a case than in regular courts because families will only have to show that there is a link between vaccines and autism. Some 15,000 families have claims involving vaccines and autism. Winning this case would mean that affected families would receive compensation in order to pay the costs for training affected children.

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others in a normal fashion. Additional symptoms include severe anxiety, irritability, failure to notice important social cues and facial expressions in others and the inability to make eye contact and respond to what others are saying. There are also serious cognitive deficits in these children.

For several years many parents have asserted that their children were normal until they received the vaccinations for diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. Parents charge that a preservative formerly used in the vaccines caused their children to become autistic. Scientists insist that studies fail to show any such connection between autism and the types of vaccinations that were used. Presently, the offending preservative is no longer used.

While children receive many of the vaccinations within the first year or two of life, families report they saw a dramatic change in their children subsequent to the shots. Part of the difficulty with interpreting this data is that symptoms of autism can begin to manifest themselves very early. In addition, no all or even most children receiving the vaccinations are affected.

We will all be waiting expectantly to hear the ruling of the judge in this important case.

In the mean time another log entry that will be coming up will be talking about the use of specially trained dogs to help autistic children begin to verbalize and communicate. At the moment the data on the use of these dogs with autistic children is anecdotal it is hoped that it will lead to hard scientific research.

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