Nothing gets a parent fired up more than the safety of their child and for many parents of autistic children, that fervor has turned to demonizing childhood vaccines as the cause of their child’s autism.
The Times has an interesting article about Paul A. Offit, who argues that autism is not caused by vaccines and very unsurprisingly, he has received death threats because of it. (Mr. Offit also happens to be the co-inventor of the childhood vaccine for rotavirus.)
I first learned about this claim in college and years later saw Jenny McCarthy (actress; former Playboy bunny; PhD) serving as the ‘vaccines = autism’ unofficial spokesperson. The parents peddling this theory are always very impassioned but there’s always been a frightening lack of evidence. Since autism itself is so misunderstood and presents across such a spectrum of symptoms and functionality, I think a parent struggling with an autistic child is even more susecptible to something that promises some answers. Unfortunatley, I don’t think refraining from vaccinations is the correct answer and most all of the scientific community agrees.