I know this is a touchy subject for many but we really should be able to talk about this without anyone freaking out. I also know that most people won’t touch this subject with a ten foot pole but I’m not one of those people. My readers have proven that we can discuss serious and sensitive subjects without waging war on one another.
There are so many things I’ve come across in the Autism community that I just don’t understand. We have things like anti-vaccines, person first language, people who get bent out of shape over someone calling their own child Autistic instead of with Autism and even whether or not Autism should be cured.
I sorta get where people are coming from when it comes to word choices and even when it comes to finding a cure for their child with Autism.
I can understand a parent wanting to cure their low functioning child with Autism who may constantly struggle with life. There’s a million reasons for wanting this but none more powerful than the fear of what will happen to a child when the parent is gone. So when it comes to a cure, I think that’s a deeply personal thing and unique to every family.
The one that I don’t get is vaccines.
While vaccines can cause injury in some and that’s absolutely tragic, science has proven that vaccines are overwhelmingly safe for the vast majority of people. The problem is that some people are genetically susceptible to the adverse effects of vaccines and we should absolutely find ways to make testing for that a reality (before) so that no one needs to be afraid.
What I don’t get is why so many people cling to vaccines as being evil and causing Autism.
There are so many things in the world that we know and can all agree upon as being harmful to our children and yet so many people do it every single day.
The example I want to focus on is a personal pet peeve of mine and that’s smoking around people who don’t smoke, especially kids.
The whole reason this post is being written is because while driving to pick up my kids from school, I witnessed several people (in different cars) smoking away, while they’re child or children are in the back seat.
In one case I saw both the driver and passenger smoking with the windows barely even cracked and two young children in the back seat.
Where’s the outrage for things like this?
There’s absolutely zero doubt as to the dangers of smoking as well as second hand smoke. Why not put our energies into things like anti-smoking laws that protect innocent kids, especially while inside an enclosed space.
This is just how my mind works.
We looked at 2014 VEARS data, which covers reports processed as of Dec. 14, 2014. VAERS data shows (as of Feb. 3, 2015):
1,244 cases of people reported hospitalized
416 cases of people reporting a disability
122 reported deaths
388 reported life-threatening cases
That’s a total of 2,170 events, but once you factor out double and sometimes triple counting — meaning a reported death could also could include a reported disability or hospitalization — you drop to a total of 1,737 cases. (The numbers change slightly depending on how you run the search. We searched when cases were reported. Since the database is a living document, the numbers may also shift if you choose to run this calculation yourself.)
Vaccines are given to hundreds of millions of people (and children) around the world every year and they absolutely, without a doubt save lives. That’s a fact beyond contestation and arguing to the contrary is like saying we don’t need air to breathe. That said, every injury is tragic and as I said earlier, we need to do better.
I know people hate it when I say this but it’s the truth. If we say that 100,000,000 people receive a vaccine and 10,000 have a serious reaction to said vaccine, that’s .01% of the total people receiving it. Again, my heart goes out to anyone who’s fallen into that .01% but that doesn’t make vaccines evil or unsafe to the overwhelming majority of the human population.
On the other hand, when it comes to smoking:
Smoking deaths are one of the most preventable causes of premature death. Still, each year more than 443,000 people die from this deadly habit. Cigarette smoking accounts for more deaths each year than deaths from murder, car accidents, alcohol or drug use, suicides, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). via
That’s almost half a million deaths per year and that includes deaths from second hand smoke.
I guess my point is, why is there even a debate anymore? We know that some people are susceptible to injury but that number is infinitely small. Still we should find ways of testing for known genetic mutations that can pre-dispose someone to vaccine injury, exempt them and provide parents with peace of mind.
To me it just seems really odd that we argue, fight and even divide ourselves based on something that is known to be overwhelming safe for almost everyone and yet turn a blind eye to something that kills more people every single year, than murder, car accidents, alcohol or drug use, suicides and HIV.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me?