April Autism Awareness Month coincides this year with a sharp increase in the number of people infected with measles in B.C. – now nearly 400, more than anywhere else in North America. This is attributed to the declining number of children being vaccinated. At ACT we follow the research into autism carefully; we have compiled the following resources to help families consider the excellent public health information which supports the need to vaccinate our children.
On a more personal note, as a parent of a young adult with ASD, I would like to urge all parents, especially those whose children have ASD, to spread the word that the research is conclusive:
vaccines are safe and are not linked to autism. I know that this is a tough topic for many of our families. Having had the experience of running the gamut of an unresponsive diagnostic and
treatment system, it is hard for many families to trust medical authorities. Above all, it is difficult to consider doing anything which has any potential to harm your child.
For a number of years I sat on the fence, confused about the conflicting claims, but now the evidence is compelling – numerous studies covering hundreds of thousands of children have demonstrated that vaccines are not to blame for the increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with ASD.
A great public health resource with links to research and resources is Immunize Canada: immunize.ca/en/publications-resources/questions/autism.aspx.
Earlier this week, Global TV did a terrific round up of resources: globalnews.ca/news/1260577/vaccination-myths-debunked/
At the end of the day, it is up to each family to decide on this issue. However, if you are still on the fence and believe that your child is healthy enough to pull through a dose of the measles, rubella or whooping cough, please think about your friends and neighbours:
- Their baby may be too young to be vaccinated and exposing a newborn to whooping cough can kill;
- Their child may be too medically fragile to be vaccinated and is at particular high risk of severe complications immunizebc.ca/i-have-immunity/stories/view/cindys-story-story-how-baby-richelle-had-rely-on-herd-immunity
- Pregnant women exposed to rubella (German Measles) during the first trimester, if they haven't been vaccinated, are at a higher risk of having children born with severe handicaps.
【2014.4.11 ACT – Autism Community Training】