Thimerosal Exposure Declines, Autism Rates Increase

Exposure to thimerosal, a preservative that contains ethylmercury, during childhood is not a primary cause of autism.

This is the conclusion of a study published in the January Archives of General Psychiatry (Vol. 65, no. 1) by Robert Schechter, MD, MSc, Immunization Branch and California Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Research and Epidemiology, and Judith K. Grether, PhD, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, of the California Department of Public Health, Richmond. Schechter’s and Grether’s article is entitled Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde. By studying time trends in the Archives of General Psychiatry (Vol. 65, no. 1) by Robert Schechter, MD, MSc, Immunization Branch and California Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Research and Epidemiology, and Judith K. Grether, PhD, Environmental Health Investigations Branch, of the California Department of Public Health, Richmond. Schechter and Grether’s article is entitled Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde. By studying time trends in the prevalence by age and birth cohort of autistic children who were enrolled in the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) from January 1, 1995 through March 31, 2007, the authors found that

“the estimated prevalence of autism for children at each year of age from 3 to 12 years increased throughout the study period”

and that

“the DDS data do not show any recent decrease in autism in California despite the exclusion of more than trace levels of thimerosal from nearly all childhood vaccines [my emphasis]. The DDS data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal during childhood is a primary cause of autism [my emphasis].

Also in the January Archives of General Psychiatry is an essay, Thimerosal Disappears but Autism Remains, by Eric Fombonne, of the Department of Psychiatry, Montreal Children’s Hospital. Noting that “multiple unfounded theories of causation and corollary ‘treatments’” have arisen since autism was first described in the 1940s, Fombonne writes that “hypotheses on autism-immunization links” have had a “profound impact in the field of autism research and practice and on public health at large.” Indeed: Books claiming a link between vaccines or something in vaccines and autism—journalist David Kirby’s 2005 Evidence of Harm and Jenny McCarthy‘s 2007 Louder Than Words, to name a few—-have been bestsellers and a number of parent-founded advocacy groups have persistently lobbied in support of research about an alleged vaccine-autism link. Parents of young children routinely express fears about vaccinations; parents of autistic children seek, try, and pay for unproven alternative “treatments” based on theories about autism as “mercury poisoning.” As Fombonne writes, these therapies—including chelation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and testosterone suppression—”are of unproven efficacy, and many are dangerous.”

Schechter and Grether begin their article by noting that (1) the prevalence rate of autism diagnoses has increased in recent decades; (2) “young children receive immunizations in the period preceding the typical manifestations or diagnosis of ASD”; and (3) increased exposure to thimerosal has been “postulated to have contributed to the upswing in reported cases of ASD.” In noting (3), Schechter and Grether cite two articles that appeared in Medical Hypotheses, a 2001 article including Sallie Bernard and Lyn Redwood as co-authors, and a 2004 article listing Bernard, Redwood, and Mark Blaxill as co-authors; all three are also members of the Executive Board of Safe Minds, which claims that there is a link between the “dramatic rise in autism rates” and mercury in the form of thimerosal.

Schechter and Grether review the use of thimerosal as a preservative in vaccines. It was used to precent “microbial contamination of vaccines, especially those in multdiose vials, since the 1930s.” In 1997, they write:

“prior to any hypothesis that thimerosal might cause autism, the US Food and Drug Administration, in response to its Modernization Act of 1997, compiled and analyzed a list of vaccines and their thimerosal content. By 1999, it became recognized that, under the recommended childhood immunization schedule, infants at 6 months of age were potentially exposed to cumulative doses of ethylmercury that, using an inexact surrogate benchmark in the absence of data, exceeded safety standards (maximum values of which vary from 65-501 µg) for ingestion of another mercury compound, methylmercury. In July 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service agreed as a precautionary measure that thimerosal be removed as soon as possible from childhood vaccines while maintaining high vaccination coverage levels of children. By 2000, new lots of all Hib and hepatitis B virus vaccines in the United States contained at most trace amounts of thimerosal. By March 2001, all vaccines in the recommended infant immunization schedule for the United States became available with at most trace amounts of thimerosal; the remaining lots of TCVs [thimerasol-containing vaccine] had expiration dates in 2002. [my emphasis]

The authors reference a number of studies (including the Medical Hypotheses previously noted) that have been published since 1999 that have sought to examine whether exposure to thimerosal in vaccines is associated with autism. Beginning in 2001, the Immunization Safety Review Committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies concluded in 2003 that evidence “‘favored rejection of a causal relationship between TCVs and autism,’” following a review of epidemiologic data; it was also noted that “‘if rates of ASD continue to increase following the removal of thimerosal, however, then TCVs could not be the primary cause.’”

And an increase in rates of ASD for children born from 1989 through 2003, when exposure to thimerosal has “decreased to its lowest levels in decades,” is what Schechter and Grether have found. Further, since 2004, DDS clients aged 3 – 5 with autism were higher than DDS clients of the same age with “any eligible condition, including autism.” Two reports (a 2001 report by Blaxill and 2006 report by Mark and David Geier) that interpreted the DDS data as supporting thimerosal as a cause of autism are discussed and their limitations: Blaxill’s 2001 report “reflected incomplete ascertainment because children born in more recent years had had a briefer opportunity to e reported compared with children born in earlier years”; the Geiers 2006 study is described as “fundamentally limited because it evaluated the trend in quarterly increases in DDS autism clients” without taking into account the “age of all or new clients or of the population denominator.” In their study, Schechter and Grether specifically measured the prevalence rate according to the birth year or the age of autistic children enrolled in the DDS.

Schechter and Grether further note the limitations of the DDS database: It was designed not to measure the “occurrence of developmental disabilities in the population,” but to keep track of clients’ data. The database does not include all autistic children in California, but only those autistic children “served by the DDS.” And, the resarchers note the lack of “actual data on the maximum or average thimerosal exposure in California for comparison with trends in autism”; a child can be exposed, for instance, be exposed to thimerosal in utero if his or her mother is exposed to vaccines or Rho(D) immune globulin. As Schechter and Grether note, “these limitations and strengths are shared by other analyses of time trends” that use the DDS data—including studies that have concluded that there is a link between thimerosal and autism. As Fombonne writes in his commentary in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the results of Schechter’s and Grether’s study are all the more significant because the DDS data has been “systematically used by proponents of the thimerasol hypothesis to argue that the rising number of children accessing these services—or the “epidemic” of autism—was linked to the increasing exposure to ethylmercury of US children occurring in the 1990s through the changes in the immunization schedule.” Schechter and Grether provide a “clear and unambiguous test” that shows that the decline in autism rates predicted by proponents of the thimerosal hypothesis did not occur.

Just to repeat: Exposure to thimerosal during childhood is not a primary cause of autism.

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    • toxic

      except you spelled thimerosal wrong throughout – thought you were a better fact-checker?

    • Leila

      I believe there may be one or more environmental triggers for autism. It’s just not thimerosal. Move on, mercury parents. It’s time to abandon the cult and admit you still don’t know the truth about what causes autism.

    • Emily

      Spelling /= facts. You know you’ve lost your argument when you start attacking the presenter, rather than the information.

      These were the data people were waiting to see, a pretty simple question waiting for an answer: As mercury exposure via vaccines dropped, what would happen to autism rates? Seems like CA is always first in line with answers.

    • qchan63


      Except you could repeat this a thousand times, and the true believers still would refuse to abandon the vaccine hypothesis. Quite the opposite, in fact. Now they’re saying it was never the thimerosal — it’s always been aluminum or animal tissue or some other ingredient (real or mythical) or maybe all of them working together in some insidious way that cannot be denied despite the lack of a single shred of supporting evidence.

      Maybe 1,001 times will work. Or 1,002.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      @ toxic: thank you.

      Just to repeat: Exposure to thimerosal during childhood is not a primary cause of autism.

    • Kathy

      You my dear, are the epitome of graciousness and tolerance.

      “I dips me lid to ya!”

      Or as you would say in America,

      “I take my hat off to you!”

    • Samantha Pierce

      Kristina your graciousness, patience and commitment to the facts is refreshing and awe inspiring. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you too for setting such a marvelous example for the rest of us.

    • kyra

      you know, it makes sense to me that it’s not primary cause of autism but i’m not convinced that environmental toxins are not a factor.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      The authors do note that “we support the continued quest for the timely discovery of modifiable risk factors for autism and related conditions.”

    • Colleen Eaton

      To state that removing Thimersol has done nothing to lower the autism rate based on data from the California State Development Department is misleading and flawed. How many children born from 1995 to the present were never properly diagnosed by their pediatricians so were never referred to the department of developmental services and are therefore not in the database? Pediatricians did not start accurately diagnosing Autism until recently. What if the number of cases of children born is far greater than the number actually diagnosed and referred? That would mean there is a possibility that the numbers have come down since Thimersol was withdrawn in 2001.

      My son was born in September 1995. I thought he was “normal”. In 2003 a neuro-pyschologist diagnosed my son with High Functioning Autism. He was never referred to the regional center and it is not in their database. How many more children are out there like my son?

      Perhaps a researcher would be smart enough to look at the data of the Department of Education regarding the number of special ed students with autism or autistic-like symptoms. You might find a more accurate picture of how many children born from 1995 to 2001 have autism versus after 2001. But, keep in mind, this number will be deflated as well since school psychologists avoid diagnosing autism like the plague due to budget concerns for educating special ed students.

      Colleen Eaton
      Tustin, CA

    • sandra Degiorgio

      I am a mother of a 7 year old boy with Autism from Melbourne Australia. I am yet to hear the truth of the cause of this horrible disorder. I am no doctor, but the way I reason it out by all the studies that have been made is it cannot be genetic because there has been an epidemic and genetic and epidemic dont go together. Next Have studies been made to see if there are any Autistic children out there that were never immunised. Lastly, lets work more on a cure rather than a cause, the damage has been done to my family all we want is a cure.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      @Colleen, Schechter and Grether note that there may well be more autistic children “out there” than indicated in the DDS numbers which, as you note, only includes those children “referred to the department of developmental services.” They state:

      The proportion of all children with autism who are served by the DDS may have been affected by program budget constraints, administrative guidelines, and trends toward diagnosis at younger ages. In 2003, California state law aligned its definition of “substantial disability” with the federal definition of significant functional limitations in 3 or more areas of major life activity. This alignment may have restricted eligibility for services and therefore new admissions at some regional centers after August 2003. Had this redefinition not occurred, the increase in prevalence in children with autism reported by the DDS after 2004, when thimerosal exposure has beenlower, might have been even greater. [my emphasis]

      Regarding special education data, research by Professor Paul Shattuck has found that as autism rates have risen, the prevalence of mental retardation and learning disabilities have declined by roughly the same amount in the special-education data. (See also this post; Shattuck’s article is “Diagnostic substitution and changing autism prevalence,” Pediatrics 2006, 118 (1): e139-e150.)

    • Emily

      There are children with autism who have not been immunized. There are children with autism–including my own–who received immunizations after thimerosol was removed. Concordance studies actually indicate a fairly high level of genetic involvement in the etiology of autism. As for the designation of epidemic, Kristina has posted plenty of information about that, and it is readily available from other sources. The idea that there is an “epidemic” has been called into question.

      As for the post asserting that these findings are irrelevant because of the possibility of undiagnosed cases of autism in the ’90s, that’s wrong. If mercury were a causative agent or involved in the etiology, its removal would have correlated with a drop in the relative rate of newly diagnosed cases, even if the overall rate might have increased because of different diagnostic criteria; these factors are easily adjusted for statistically, and reviewers aren’t likely to let that one slide by. At the very least, autism diagnoses during this period should have shown a trend to decline or at least plateau–improved diagnostic criteria notwithstanding–had mercury played a strong role as an etiologic agent.

      Normal is a setting on my dryer. We are none of us “normal.”

      Cure probably isn’t going to happen any time soon with cases of autism that are multifactorial in origin (i.e., most of them). For those with traceable heritability, such as that which occurs with Fragile X, prospects are more positive. And in clinical and basic research, identifying the *cause* is commonly a required and first step to identifying a *cure*.

    • Regan

      And in clinical and basic research, identifying the *cause* is commonly a required and first step to identifying a *cure*.
      I agree with Emily.

      Meanwhile observation suggests that there’s room for further evaluation and identification of the most effective educational interventions and best practices for which population, and even further, systematic implementation beyond today’s policy patchwork.

    • stopautismquackery

      Sandra: You might be interested in this parent’s story; here at this link:

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      Frayed and fraying policy patchwork, one might say.

    • Laura

      Because this is written and not spoken, I want to be sure I convey my tone – I am NOT writing this to be argumentative, but because I’m genuinely curious and concerned…

      My daughter is three. She is completely immunized to date with the exception of the varicella immunization. She received vaccines that did not contain any mercury to my knowledge (I asked each time because I’d read something somewhere that said I should. I had NO idea the debate over vaccines until my daughter turned two and had already received all her vaccines.)

      My daughter showed signs of delays from birth. At first, all we noticed was severe sensory challenges (tactile and auditory). She was sick a lot and in and out of the hospital with signs of UTI with no labs to confirm infection (dehydration, high fever, vomiting). Each of these illnesses followed stress in her environment (someone came to visit for the weekend, we traveled somewhere or she had immunizations). She didn’t get fussy during the visits or the immunizations (she barely cried while receiving any shots) but would get violently sick afterwards. The autistic behaviors came later, around nine months and continued to get worse (she lost language, wouldn’t/won’t make eye contact, and didn’t/doesn’t play with me or appropriately with toys, etc.) over the next 27 months.

      Does anyone have any thoughts as to why/how the vaccines (especially the Hep B – she was in the hospital for fluids with each one because she was so sick) could play a part in this?

      I don’t believe it caused any of my daughter’s sensory or autistic behavior, though she did receive the Hep B immunization at birth (and was subsequently hospitalized for persistent vomiting, high fevers, body rash, dehydration). So many of her behaviors are very genetic in nature so I’m not concerned that the vaccines caused anything to occur, but I am wondering why they seem to play a part in making her sick.

      Because there seem to be only two camps (vaccines are good/vaccines are bad), I’m having trouble finding any specialists that will even approach the topic with any neutrality and objective observation. I also haven’t heard of this happening to anyone else (unless you count the parents that swear it was the vaccine at birth).

      Can anyone think of why they could be a part of what is making her so sick? I hardly think it’s coincidence that she’s in the ER after each one. I know this isn’t a debate forum, but it’s why I posted this. I really don’t want to argue it, I just want to see my daughter healthy and happy. Right now, she’s completely vaccinated, but I am concerned about the four year vaccines and what they might do to her as we haven’t been back in the ER since there have been no vaccines now for a year.

    • Emily

      Laura, there are several possible explanations. Her immune response may simply follow that pattern. If people visit and bring their bugs with them and give them to her, or if your travels result in exposure to something new, that would fit with the overall picture you describe. We have differing intensities of immune response from individual to individual–these differences may have played a role, for example, in who survived the “Spanish flu” pandemic in the early 1900s. So, yes, in that sense, the vaccines may play a part in making her sick, but so may exposure to disease vectors in general. I’m not an MD, so you might ask your ped (if you haven’t already) about these things. Another idea that comes to my mind is a latent reaction to anxiety (from shots, visitors, travel), but that would seem unlikely. As a scientist, I would seek explanations that provide a common cause for all of the situations that trigger these symptoms, and immune challenge seems prima facie to provide that explanation.

      My youngest also showed very early signs of being on the spectrum. We declined Hep in the hospital, so no connection there. He did end up in the ER with acute pyelonephritis before he was one year old, has bladder retention problems and bilateral ureteral reflux, among other things. These are developmental manifestations, not something arising from immune problems. I think his bladder innervation is poor, something that developed in utero.

      He has manifested gross motor delays since the age of about 4 months (that’s about as early as they can manifest unless their extraordinarily severe). He has lost the limited speech or gestures he had halfheartedly acquired before age 1, and is now “severely” speech delayed. But he walks and grunts and runs in circles, and we’re doing the earliest possible intervention for him. I have faith in the plasticity of the human brain.

      He does not appear to have had any rxn whatsoever to any of the vaccinations we’ve had for him (we reduced the schedule somewhat).

      His oldest brother has been diagnosed with Asperger’s. We believe this baby is very like his brother, but his “signs” are much more obvious.

      Neither boy has received mercury-containing vaccines.

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    • Emily

      Ugh. Unless “they’re” extraordinarily severe. Brain fog today.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      thanks, Emily!

      Laura—perhaps you have seen this already: This is the CDC’s page on vaccine side-effects. These are side effects for Hep B specifically. It’s interesting to me that you note the sensory challenges—-may I ask which in particular? Noises, or textures, perhaps?

    • alinclusive

      I think it is important to keep looking at the vaccines…there has been suspicion for a long time that there might be an auto-immume component to autism.
      It is unfortunate that so many people focused only on thimerisol…although I think that it is a good thing that thimerisol has been finally been removed.
      If we really cared about our children we would be much more willing to investigate and study areas of suspicion i.e MMR vaccine and its relationship to auto-immune disease…given the apparent genetic component of autism maybr there are children that should not receive the MMR …or at least not at such a young age.
      Maybe we should only ever give one vaccine at a time…

    • Laura

      Kristen and Emily,

      I have seen the side effects the CDC lists, but other than the fever, it doesn’t say anything about dehydration, vomiting and head to toe rash that she had with both Hep B vaccines (she still has one more Hep B to get before Kindergarten).

      The immunity argument makes some sense and we’ve thought of it often, only her symptoms every time she got sick were the exact same. It wasn’t like she was sick with colds, flu bugs, ear infections, etc. It was always high fevers, vomiting, and dehydration to the point of lethargy. No one that visited was sick (maybe the sniffles on occasion just to not say they weren’t ever sick) and same with the traveling (it was a 30 minute drive to another town to my grandmother’s house.) If it was an immunity issue, wouldn’t she be getting various bugs and various symptoms? And wouldn’t she be picking up lots of colds, coughs, etc? We had one situation where we put her down for a nap and she was fine, with no fever or noticeable signs of illness. Some friends came over to visit and when she woke up from her nap, they were there. She laid her head on my husband’s shoulder and became completely lethargic, non-responsive, dehydrated and had a high fever over the next few hours. We had to take her to the ER for fluids later that day to get her to perk up again and become responsive. The same would happen after her vaccinations, only it was within a few days. Which is why the pediatrician said there wasn’t a connection because it didn’t happen immediately.

      Again I don’t believe the vaccines are causing whatever is going on, they just seem to make “it” worse or flare up and I’ve always been curious about why. It seems that the way she reacted stress in her environment was to physically shut down.

      Her sensory issues in her first year were noises and textures. We had to watch tv on text with the sound off or it would wake her in the other room. We couldn’t wash dishes or even talk above a whisper. White noise machines irritated her and kept her awake. She hated to be held but hated to touch the ground with any part of her body. She still has “bionic” hearing (it’s her super power) and the tactile sensitivity isn’t as bad (though washing her hair is a nightmare because of the feeling of water trickling down any part of her head, neck, face or ears. Motion is also a pretty big problem for her. As an infant, she screamed in the car from point A to point B. She did this until we put her in a forward facing seat at a year. Visually she seems fine and enjoys malls, stores, etc., as long as people don’t look at her. She is really bugged when people look at her and try to interact with her. Why do you ask about the sensory stuff?

      She isn’t a sick child but if she has any kind of reaction to a stressful situation, we more than likely see it in these very familiar symptoms. She had a fall from the stairs a few months ago and was sick for the next week. She had an MRI after Christmas, again, high fevers, dehydration, etc.

      Thanks for letting me throw this out there! I appreciate the feedback and information!

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      Thanks, Laura—I asked about the sensory because it’s something that a lot of parents consistently comment on and that (it seems to me) autistic adults comment on too. I did not think my son (he’s 10 1/2 now) had sensory issues when he was younger but it turned out he has many and these have been the case since he was a baby. Charlie being a boy we keep his hair very short (buzz cut)—he hates getting it rinsed though he loves to dunk himself underwater in the swimming pool. More reactions to Hep B vaccine on RX list and I apologize if I posting sites you’ve already researched!

    • Laura

      I hadn’t seen that list of possible reactions. It was fascinating! Thank you!

      I’ll be interested to see where my daughter’s sensory issues go as she gets older and how they expand (if they do) into things she’d have to tell us, such as olfactory and visual sensitivities. Since her communication skills are sorely lacking when it comes to explaining how she feels, emotionally or physically, we just don’t know yet.

      Was Charlie a quiet, “easy” baby? Were the signs you first noticed of autism or more sensory based?

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    • Regan

      “Perhaps a researcher would be smart enough to look at the data of the Department of Education regarding the number of special ed students with autism or autistic-like symptoms. You might find a more accurate picture of how many children born from 1995 to 2001 have autism versus after 2001.”

      I think someone may have already done so:
      Laidler, J.R. (2005). US Department of Education Data on “Autism” Are Not Reliable for Tracking Autism Prevalence. PEDIATRICS Vol. 116 No. 1 July 2005, pp. e120-e124 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2341)

      I suspect that this may drag out for awhile–I already received 3 emails today from groups or individuals refuting the Schechter and Grether paper, with the one from Rick Rollins stating that if thimerosal is definitively refuted, there are other substances of interest in vaccines that could be investigated.

      Just a heads-up on a study projected for this fall:
      CDC funded projects
      …Thimerosal and Autism Study (September 2008)
      Using the Vaccine Safety Datalink, CDC is comparing thimerosal exposure in children with and without autism…”

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      You’re very welcome—-Charlie was and wasn’t an “easy” baby. He babbled some; never really had any words. He would play with a basket of toys or look at books for long periods of time, but I had the sense that I had to be with him, checking on him, interacting—–he met all of his gross motor milestones late. He was not crawling at 10 months and the pediatrician told me I was running to help him too much, carrying him too much. I think he was somewhat hypotonic in his arms and legs; he had a big head and when I tried to put him on his stomach, he did not roll over, but put his face down on the floor after a few minutes of screaming and gave up. (And, since he was crying, I went to turn him over and carry him……)

      I noted the sensory concerns more when he was around 5 years old. Around that time he started to wrap himself in fleece blankets and I realized that he was self-applying “deep pressure”; he loved to go to the bottom of the pool, for the pressure of the water. (He loves swimming and especially the beach—the sand too.) Charlie’s language is mostly requests in a few words or short phrases; he’s not able to express his feelings or the effect of something on him. He certainly tries hard, for sure.

    • Laura

      We used to joke about our daughter not being able to hold herself up to sit (that and rolling over were her only slightly delayed gross motor skills) because of her big head. It was in the 90th percentile somewhere, while her weight was slowing creeping off the charts to below the 3rd. She was also hypotonic and would “slip” through our arms, not holding on to us with her legs as we carried her.

      How old was your son when he was diagnosed and who gave the dx? I’m always fascinated to read other people’s stories and hear how both completely similar and totally different they are!

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      @Regan, regarding some of those “other substances” Rollens et al. suggest:

      Those who argue for the link have put forth increasingly desperate notions. Kirby has argued that mercury from cremations was increasing environmental mercury toxicity and offsetting the decrease in mercury from thimerosal. The Geiers simply reinterpreted the data using bad statistics to create the illusion of a downward trend where none exists (Geier 2006). Robert Kennedy Jr. dodges the issue altogether by asking for more studies, despite the fact that the evidence he asks for already exists. He just doesn’t like the answer. Kennedy and others also point to dubious evidence, such as the myth that the Amish do not vaccinate and do not get autism. Both of these claims are not true, and the data RFK Jr. refers to is nothing more than a very unscientific phone survey (Leitch 2007).

      from Steve Novella, VACCINES & AUTISM: Myths and Misconceptions: The Anti-Vaccination Movement, in the December 2007 Skeptical Inquirer.

      Kirby has also mentioned emissions/pollution from China in various Huffington Post articles.

      @Laura, Charlie, as revealed in his ultrasound, had a big head and long tapering fingers. He was just over 2 years old when diagnosed but by 18 months he was clearly delayed (no joint attention or language, minimal play skills, lots of crying and tantrums)—-he was diagnosed by the Child Development Clinic of the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital (we lived in St. Paul at the time).

      He was very wobbly for years, with long arms and legs (he was a relatively big baby—21 1/2 inches and 8 pounds, 3 oz). He must have been 6 or 7 when he learned to put out his hands to support himself when he fell!

    • Emily

      Our baby didn’t crawl until 10.5 or 11 mos. Didn’t roll over until just before that. Has a huge head. He and his oldest brother have spent toddlerhood walking around with bumps all over their foreheads from falling down.

    • Laura

      How is he doing balance/tone wise now? Is it because of therapy (OT/PT?) or did it just go away?

      My daughter just turned three and after nine months of OT, she’s starting to put her hands out to catch herself. We have quite a few scares with her falling flat on her face on cement and asphalt.

      I guess I could go read your other blog and find out more rather than grilling you like this! :) I really like hearing stories of other families that have been through this so I appreciate your willingness to talk about it! Thanks for talking to me about your experience (and Charlie’s of course!).

    • Cliff

      I have to admit at this point that this seems to be a statement of the relatively obvious as a study, but it does wonders to systematically make the point.

      Also, the spelling; it was well known as Thimerosal in the U.S for a long time. In the rest of the world the world it’s Thiomersal . It’s still in common parlance Thimerosal in the U.S (hey, we didn’t pick up the metric system either). It’s hardly an important point to mind.


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    • Tiggerr

      Laura, Three of my children as well as myself are on the spectrum. Katie was the most affected and I watched in horror when she regressed in 2nd grade. I thought we were losing her. She barely spoke, cried a lot and threw up every morning before school. It was a bad year for all of us as I struggled to get the very minor accommodations my kids needed. Things that they had received the previous year with the same principal. Ones that would cost nothing.

      The stressors, left us all sick and sent my bipolar disorder so out of control that my husband almost hospitalized me. Switching schools made all the difference. Now Katie laughs, talks too much and jumps to help at a moments notice.

      I would be willing to bet that simple changes in your child’s routine are devastating to her. It appears that this is when she reacts. My son would melt down because his 6th grade math teacher skipped around in the book instead of starting with chapter one, then 2 etc.

      I have days when my skin is on too tight, and there are holes in many of my shirts , where I have ripped off the tags. The smell of cinnamon, can on some days gag me.

      You may never see a pattern. But there are sensory integration therapies that can help. Normally these are done by an occupational therapist. You have to be your child’s advocate and get the things she needs. If your pediatrician says things like she’ll grow out of it, or it’s nothing, get a different pediatrician. You know your child and you know when something is wrong.

      Good luck

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    • Nelly Huppert

      So if one of several probable carcinogens were removed from cigarettes would that make smoking safe? That is the problem with the way this study is being interpreted. Thimiserol is toxic in and of itself but in the context of this study, it may have been an indicator of the overall toxicity load given at vaccination visits at 2, 4, and 6 months.

      Understand there are no good long term data on vaccine safety. To get a vaccine approved one needs to inject a study group of children, have parents keep a log of adverse reactions which they turn in 42 days later and a titer is drawn. If 80- 90% of those vaccinated have adequate titers for immunity voila vaccine approval. Read UPI editor Dan Olmsteads series on vaccines at the, website and Pox part 5 May 15,2006. 2 children in Olympia Washington had regressive autism following trials for Quad pro (MMR plus chickenpox) reported to their physician and the governments vaccine adverse event reporting system in 2001. Merck did not report the events until questioned by the reporter in March of 2006.

      The current vaccine schedule was tested in this manner. 4 shots, 7 vaccinations at 2,4, 6 months are the recommendations. This schedule is designed for convenience compliance and point of contact. Remember the government staffs and funds all those public health clinics,a more complicated schedule would decrease compliance and possibly herd immunity. Starting in 1980 vaccines were added to an existing schedule without adding visits, and several years later coincidentally the autism rate started to climb. The government has painted itself into a corner, if they look at changing the schedule and find long term sequelae from the current schedule then they have a huge liability issue. One should read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby, to understand the entire thimerosal story. For those of you who want a quick synopsis go to, and read the Simpsonwood minutes or extracts from a closed door CDC meeting on thimerosal. Also check out Dr Thomas Verstraeten’s emails on his original analyis of the Vaccine Safety datalink, data and Mark Blaxhill’s powerpoint generation zero presentation.

      Food for thought for every severe autistic child there are 5 on the spectrum, I postulate for every child on the spectrum there are 5 with learning disabilities. Could the explosion in learning disabilities be also be due to vaccines? Are your taxes going up because people are not spreading the shots out?

      I highly recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr Robert Sears and give it as a baby gift to pregnant women, to educate them so they can make an informed decision.

      I have 4 children, my first 2 who are a boy and a girl, were vaccinated in Deal by an old time pediatrician who believed in spreading out the vaccines, we did not have more than 2 shots per month. Both children made all developmental milestones. We moved to Lakewood for a short period of time and my 2 younger children received 4 shots at once 7 vaccinations at 2,4 and 6 months. The 3 year old is on the spectrum the 2 year old did not get the MMR has a speech delay. I started looking at the data regarding vaccines this past year and could not beleive the schedule was not changed.

      For every 100 people who smoke 6 will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Almost no one with lung cancer did not smoke. If one has an autistic child the chance of having another is 10% but can that be decreased for those people by not vaccinating? Can it be that for every 100 children vaccinated, according to the present schedule 1 will be on the spectrum and 5 will have learning disabilities? These questions should be answered with good trials.

      Nelly Huppert MD

    • Liz Parker

      Did ANYBODY actually READ this study?

      The study period was, actually, BEFORE California mandated the PARTIAL removal of mercury from vaccines administered to pregnant women and babies under 3 years old.

      “In addition to analyzing the prevalence of autism by birth year, the researchers also examined the rate among children age 3 to 5 based on quarterly reports issued by the Department of Developmental Services. Prevalence increased each quarter from January 1995 (0.6 per 1,000 live births) through March 2007 (4.1 per 1,000 live births), including after 2004, when the researchers estimate that exposure to thimerosal during infancy and early childhood declined. Over the same time period, the rate of all developmental disabilities increased but at a slower rate, from 5.4 to 9.5 per 1,000 live births”

      The period January 1995 – March 2007, including only children 3 – 5 years old.

      Since California implemented its law in July of 2006, NONE of the children considered in this study actually are known to have received low mercury vaccines! The oldest child post-California law change was only 8 months old!!!

      This study is a farce. The researchers never even validated mercury exposure for this study “researchers ESTIMATE that exposure to thimerosal during infancy and early childhood declined.” THIS is SCIENCE?! Give me a break.

      California’s children (3 and under) are still likely to receive about 10 mcg of mercury through their vaccines by the time the reach one year of age, and get to share another 20 mcg with their RH- mothers. California children over age 3 still get full-mercury shots. It is very difficult to study the effects of a poison with any real results, until you have a control group that is entirely free of exposure.

      Even so, if you believe simply removing the mercury will suddenly make vaccines “safe,” you must not have considered some of the many other toxins and common ellergens being injected into our kids: aluminum (another neurotoxin), ammonia, dyes, formaldehyde, lactose, msg, egg, phenol, polysorbate, urea, acetate, yeast, soy, and tissue from monkeys, mice, chicken, human, and cows.

      Our world is already toxic enough, why mainline poison?

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      I have read the study.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      I have read Evidence of Harm, Dan Olmsted’s articles, and other texts on this subject, and have referenced Mark Blaxill’s powerpoint.

    • Kelly

      Thimerasol has not been removed from all existing vaccines. Why does it bother people that some of us understand that our kids were poisoned.? we should be coming together not fighting. Epedemic’s are not genetic!

    • stopautismquackery

      I would like to address Kelly’s question…

      “Why does it bother people that some of us understand that our kids were poisoned.? we should be coming together not fighting.”

      …by reposting/re-paraphrasing what I wrote, here on this blog, to Ray Gallup last week.

      My own child has gotten very, very upset at being referred to (by careless others) as “poisoned”. I wish that those who subscribe to the ‘poisoning premise’ would think about the obligation they, themselves, have to pursue to the truth for all the kids.

      One had better be absolutely 100% certain — beyond-all-doubt — that the standard pediatric vaccines have caused and are causing ASDs, because all kids (elementary school; middle school; sped schools; therapy centers; neighborhoods) are aware of this frightening story/urban legend.

      If you — as a vax = poison proponent — are anything less than 100% assured and are lacking possession of the appropriate, non-disputed facts to guarantee your premise as absolute truth, then you must take a hard-look at what you have done and are doing (by equating vaccines as poison and causing ASDs) as being potentially seriously harmful to the psyches of millions of children.

    • Liz Parker

      Stop -

      You must be kidding…Check out the MSDS for thimerosal, there is a SKULL and CROSSBONES! Further, aluminum and formaldehyde are also poinsonous. All of these are found in childhood vaccines.

      Regardless of this, we tell our children all kinds of other things that probably cause more damage to their psyche…Santa Claus, tooth fairy, easter bunny, that their eyes will stay crossed if the cross them, that masturbation causes hairy palms…

      And there is plenty we choose not to tell them that harms them as well…We don’t actually know there is a God, how babies are made, that there are times we wish we hadn’t had children, that we actually did experiment with taboo stuff as teens, and more.

      Then there is what they hear on the street…This is why YOU are the parent. It is YOUR job to allay their fear. It is OUR job as PARENTS and good citizens to teach our children TOLERANCE and RESPECT. Just because your family believes vaccines are good does not make them so or not so – that is why it is called a belief.

      My children know that they need to make their own decisions about what they hear. They come to me and ask questions, we discuss the issue from as many sides as we can find, then they draw their own conclusion. Regardless of the conclusion they draw, we do our best to make them understand they are not “right” or “wrong” and neither are others who hold differing opinions.

      I have said this more times than I ever thought I would…”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      I strongly suggest you try this approach with your child.

    • Kelly

      I wanted to add that i know 100% that my Son was poisoned. He was normal and then slipped into Autism after at least 8 mercury filled shots. i cannot and will not speak for everyone. My family has been through hell and for others to dought what i am saying is unfair. If your child had cancer would it be right for me to question you as to how it happened.? i know the truth and for those who will forever deny it I feel sorry for you.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      On the cancer/autism comparison, see this post.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      @Liz Parker, regarding “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the notion of presuming competence in cognitively disabled individuals is perhaps relevant. Thus, if you refer to a child as “poisoned” in his or her presence, the child is indeed hearing that, and that seems a rather severe message to communicate to a child.

    • Liz Parker

      Kristina -

      I have experienced for my daughter exactly what you have for your son. Luckily, we both are loving and adept enough to see the spark in our children. My “severely autistic” daughter, according to her psych eval has an iq of 56. Interesting, she is 8 (late b-day), in 3rd grade and performing in the 85% – 95% level (not bad for a child the public schools deemed uneducable at 5, and the doctors told me to plan to institutionalize when she was just 2).

      My daughter is adopted. Even before she could indicate that she was aware, or interested, or cognitively able to respond, I spoke in front of her about this fact. I told others in her presence and I told her in stories (like the story of her birth). This truth can stigmatize. This truth can hurt. This truth can mean nothing. This truth can mean everything.

      We are blessed. My daughter is now very interested in her “adopted” status. She knows her birth mother and explores the idea of “adopted.” I felt, all along, that denying who she is, what she is (part American Indian), where she came from, and how she came to be where she is, was unacceptable.

      Equally, I cried as I held her after she suffered a severe neurological event following her three month vaccines. I called to her when she lost contact with me and lost the ability to support her own weight and her interest in the world around her. I beckoned to her with my heart, soul, and all things tantalizing to bring her back to me. We struggled together through the darkness in the abyss of autism. She climbed out of the depths of that pit and I rejoice daily.

      All throughout her journey away and back, I sang to her, told her stories, spoke of my day, talked to strangers in front of her, and brought, into the world and up, her two little siblings. I knew she was in there somewhere, I knew part of her was listening. I knew she was entitled to know how her life had been made to be such a struggle. I DO NOT regret speaking of the awful fate that befell her as a result of “routine” vaccination and medical “care.”

      She does not go about saying she is poisoned. Nor do the children at her school ever give a passing thought to this – they are interested in Tamagotchis, four square, painting, kickball, reading, playing house, and chasing each other about. In the event somebody taunted her with, “Na-na-na-na-boo-boo, you are a poisoned,” I would guess, like any other taunt, it would be reported to the teachers or assistants and dealt with through the required apology and a time out for the taunter and a hug for the tauntee.

      If this was a concern for her, I would explain (at whatever cognitive level she was capable of understanding) that many people are poisoned every day and recover just fine. Then I would tell her all of the ways we have gotten the poison out of her body and how well she, too, is recovering.

      Is it more harmful to pinpoint the etiology of a child’s disease or disability and provide them a concrete cause or to leave them wondering just how it is they got slammed by the Autism stick? Sometimes the monster you know is a lot less scary than the one lurking in the shadows (just waiting to reach out and grab you).

      There will come a day, in the distant future, when my daughter contemplates motherhood. On that day, I hope she will know that, in her case, Autism is not entirely genetic and that there is much she can do to help her child avoid many of the struggles she has endured.

      Poisoned? Yes. But, what matters is that we found the antidote.

    • acrimomominous

      I guess it’s just me, but I see what Liz Parker is saying as evidence that she is poisoned. Her mind has been poisoned. But my calling her poisoned or toxic, that’s ok, because it’s my version of real reality, and someone can give her a hug and that will make it all even-steven. OK?

    • Liz Parker

      Bottom line…If the worst thing somebody taunts my kid with is that she is poisoned, I’ll feel lucky indeed. “Poisoned” does not insult her intellect, her beauty, or anything personal about her. In my book, this would beat “retard,” “sped,” “loser,” or any of the other nasty taunts usually witnessed on playgrounds across this country.

      Unfortunately, even OUR children, who already have to bear so much, have to learn about sticks, stones, and name calling. This is life.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      @Liz Parker, Thanks for writing about your daughter—-sounds like quite an odyssey. There’s more than a few parents who have autistic children who are adopted and who sometimes comment here. If I may ask, do you know much about your daughter’s birth mother’s medical history (apologies if that seems an inappropriate question).

    • stopautismquackery

      Unfortunately, the word poisoned was not used as a mere playground taunt. It was used by adults, in a position of power, and the mention of certain remedies was discussed as well. None of those adults, however, have any capacity to diagnose anyone as having any kind of poisoning. Morever, they certainly don’t have the capacity to prescribe and should not be mentioning this, in any kind of manner, to minor children in their charge. Period.

    • Liz Parker

      @Stop, I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately my DD had a number of similar experiences.

      One of her teachers said (in front of a very good friend of mine and my daughter), “I don’t know why we are wasting our time with this one, she is going nowhere.” Another teacher told me as I was departing with my daughter in my arms, “She doesn’t belong here. You need to enroll her in ——- (the local school for violent and severely emotionally disabled children), she is too much of a burden. We should not have to change diapers.” A third teacher told us, “If you come in tomorrow and I am not here, it is because I don’t want to have to teach your daughter, children like her don’t belong in my classroom (Speech Language Impaired).” the final blow came in my absence, when my virtually non-verbal child arrived home on the bus in a soaked dress, sitting on a plastic grocery bag, holding another plastic grocery bag filled with her poop-filled underwear which was smeared on the entire change of clothes and accompianied by the wipes and gloves they had used to clean her.” The bus driver berated her as I was taking her off of the bus. Once inside, my DD curled into the fetal position on the tile of our front hallway and commenced rocking and shouting, over and over, “Would you look what you’ve done?! Would you look what you’ve done…” I could not get her to stop for 3 hours. When I contacted the classroom I was told she was wet because she had no clothing changes (even though they were fully aware she had 6 in her diaper bag in their classroom restroom.

      It is not that I cannot empathize, I can. I do not condone those in authority who say and do what they said and did. I abhor the ignorance, pettiness, and meanness in people. I detest the effort my DD had to make to overcome the damage they caused her psyche. I went to the effort to ensure each and every one was chastised and enlightened, but in the end it will not change who they are.

      Since we can’t change them, the best we can do is to help our child recognize their value is in no way tied to what others say or think. It is a very painful lesson that our kids have to learn over and over again; but at least our kids have recovered enough to understand what is being said and what it means.

      The real world is not very pretty and definitely requires a thick skin and well-developed sense of forgiveness. Anger and hatred take too much energy, we are leaving that to those who are generally ignorant.

    • Tiggerr

      Oh Liz your story made me so mad I want to cry. Why do people have to be so cruel. Why do they take jobs with children if not to help them. If only they could put themselves in your daughters shoes for just a day.

      I worked in many nursing homes and as the RN instructor, I gave a class where I read a paper describing what sounded like a baby and what he/she might be thinking. In reality, it was describing what could have been one of the older residents who needed complete care but couldn’t tell us what was really going on in her head due to some neurological problem.

      Just as the saying that I see on many autism shops goes,”just because I can’t talk doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.”
      Our children are in there, and when some careless person treats them like less than the loving child we know they are, I get so angry.

      You can imagine the outcry if someone said things like that to them or their child.

      I have a button I carry with me that says, I have Aspergers, what’s your excuse? Doesn’t help completely, but it does some. I admire your attitude. I wish I had it too. Neurtyls (my daughters name for Neural Typicals) are just too hard for me to understand some days.

    • Liz Parker

      @Tiggerr – It certainly sounds like you have your hands full, too! I am sometimes not sure if having Aspergers is a blessing or a curse when it comes to raising our special kids…One thing is for sure, I am the most determined, assertive, and completely informed parent the local school district has had to cope with LOL. And it helps that, in many ways, I can feel what my daughter with autism is feeling because we have a number of the same issues…

      I have a button, too “Normal people scare me.” Actually, I have two buttons the other reads, “Some people have one of those days; I have one of those lives!”

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    • Eli Stone

      Studies have consistently shown no link between vaccines and autism (CDC, NIH, etc.). What we have here is science versus personal anecdotes. Parents understandably are searching for a cause, a reason, for their autistic child. Unfortunately the unfounded and unproven relationship of vaccines and autism has allowed these families to reach some personal acceptance of the issue, through blame. Although science has repeatedly said otherwise, someone (or something) must be at fault. Unfortunately (and to the detriment of childhood safety) that fault is being placed squarely on vaccines.

    • Cliff

      Wait a second…


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    • Lou Ann

      I also have a child with autism. If genetics are the problem then there are a whole bunch of future parents that should probably think twice about having children. Because it looks like only a select few parents while have normal healthy children.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      @ Lou Ann,

      My son’s definitely very healthy and very like both my husband and myself in various, and different ways.

    • Kassiane

      Lou Ann, what about people who don’t think autism is a problem? If autism is indeed on the rise, why is it wrong to expect society to shift to accomodate a changing population?

      I sure don’t think it’s fair for someone to tell me I can’t have kids because of my neurology. It brings back early 20th century notions of genetic purity, actually…and that is not a good road to go down at all.

    • Liz P


      Go ahead and have kids.

      If things don’t change, then they will simply be like the fourth generation of lab rats, consistently exposed to to DNA damaging toxicity; likely either severely deformed, infertile, or insane. Since most of the population will be this way, they will probably fully ACCEPT each other; however, eventually there will be nobody left to care for or provide for these individuals and they will, eventually, die off…So will human kind…Let’s hear it for toxic shots, “medicines,” food, air and water–hip, hip, hooray!

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    • my take

      I don’t believe the government always tells the truth (wmds anyone?)…a lot of these “studies” are performed by government agencies.

      I know pharmaceuticals are huge business (largest lobbying group, no?).

      Also, do you think they would easily admit to vaccines causing neurological problems? That would just result in a lack of vaccinations and more problems. They wouldn’t want that, and who knows how far they’d got to prevent it.

      The government, CDC, and FDA look at large numbers, not the individual. I consider two numbers: both of my boys.

      I know something happened to my perfect baby way back between 1997-2000. (when he received too much exposure to mercury in vaccines…of course any, to me would be too much). I also know now – he’s ten and has Aspergers and major Sensory processing issues. And I’ve learned the hard way, that the doctors and hospitals don’t have the answers…they medicate, which was the worst thing for my son. He’s doing SO much better now on physical activity, social activity, OT, PT, and something to help him sleep. He’d still be on meds, if I had listened to the doctors.

      All people have different sensitivities to different things depending on their body composition, so it would make sense that vaccines should not be a “one size fits all” . The CDC does this and then allows for a limited compensation program for when they don’t. Why not alter the vaccination schedule to make it safer? They should not contain mercury EVER (when they don’t need to). They should be given on a more conservative, safer schedule (not to save trips to the doctors office).

      Really, the US is so full of healthy people…we must be doing everything right following these fully supported health guidelines the government feeds us. (please note the sarcasm)

      I do not understand why people feel the need to defend the “vaccines are not linked to Autism” theory so vehemently, like you are. I could understand it better if you were a medical professional that performed studies that supported such information…where are they? Vaccines and toxins aren’t officially linked by the government “yet”. Reports are inconclusive. Of course parents are desperate to figure out what happened to make their child change…like I am. I am new getting into this debate, but it’s pretty obvious to me from the faulty, incomplete evidence…it really is unclear what vaccines could do to different people with different genetics. Perhaps for your child it wasn’t the some causation…which is why it doesn’t make sense to make the connection, when it may to others.

      Currently, I am not for either “side”. I am for valid, thorough, unbiased evaluations to be completed and significant actions to be taken accordingly.

      A last note, I find your use of the title “PhD” after your name a little misleading and irresponsible considering the purposes of this blog. I thought it would surely be relevant to children or health issues in some way. Some others may be assuming this and not going all the way to read your profile to understand you are no expert in these fields. Besides in literature, which I am not belittling, I just think you should perhaps make that clear when voicing your opinions to millions on line.

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    • Kelly

      They never removed Thimerasol!! Check the package insert.

    • CS

      My take said: “He’d still be on meds, if I had listened to the doctors.”

      Then My Take wrote: “A last note, I find your use of the title “PhD” after your name a little misleading and irresponsible considering the purposes of this blog. I thought it would surely be relevant to children or health issues in some way. Some others may be assuming this and not going all the way to read your profile to understand you are no expert in these fields. Besides in literature, which I am not belittling, I just think you should perhaps make that clear when voicing your opinions to millions on line.”

      Sounds inconsistent to me. First you state you didn’t listen to some MD’s (because they didn’t understand your child). Then you state that someone with a PhD should be more demonstrative about they’re lack of formal education in certain fields because it could mislead.

      I’m not sure based on your conflicting statements, whether you understand the inconsistency of those statements. You didn’t listen to those with the “proper” formal training, and then complain about another person for lack of former training. Which is it?

      One thing typically found in folks who have earned a PhD is that they have learned to be critical thinkers. Thus, the reason I find your logic inconsistent.


      CS, PhD (Economics)

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    • Steve

      Maybe its not thimerisol, but its still the vaccine.
      Maybe the doses of the vaccine are sometimes
      higher in some vaccines, maybe kids are exposed
      to environmental toxins that when mixed with
      the vaccines, its just too much. I think we should
      still focus on the vaccine, since these kids are getting sick like the day after they get vaccinated
      and before that they are perfectly healthy. Im not one of those people that thinks you should discount anectodal evidence. Usually where theres smoke theres fire. The normal reaction to something like this would be to pick apart the scenarios I mention until theyve been exhausted.
      The only thing in my mind keeping people from doing that, especially when childrens lives are at stake, is usually other competing agendas. LIKE MONEY. Money usually makes people lose all perspective on life and whats really important, LIKE OUR CHILDRENS HEALTH. CORPORATIONS, GOVERNMENT, LAWSUITS, etc. always have agendas that dont take into account the individual. They lose sight of whats really important, and they start saying things like if you cant prove it, then shut up. Or if all kids arent getting sick then its not the vaccine. Instead of looking for excuses not to do anything, lets just do the obvious, rule out the vaccine first, it would be alot cheaper to do that, then to have a 2 billion dollar slush fund laying around just for lawsuits.

    • Ezra

      The people that blindly believe what is told to them!! The tobacco companies did the same thing when damning evidence came out about the deadly dangers of cigarettes. Hired scientists to come up and out with BOGUS reports to create doubt and confusion but the proof is in the pudding people, deny it if it makes you feel better. The fact of the matter is, there is a cause and effect to everything, I’ve read some comments above that were quite rude and made to suggest that anyone concerned with their child’s well being and this “autism vaccine thing” was “crazy”. Read REAL reports not paid for by the people whose pockets have the greatest interest in this matter! Oh and thank GOD that “your” child didn’t have to suffer the consequences of greed.

    • Ezra

      1 Immunization Safety Review, Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorder, IOM 2001, pp. 31-37 viewed at: and Autism A.L.A.R.M. by the AAP and CDC
      2 Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Telephone Interview with Boyd Haley, April 9, 2005. See also Leo Trasande, Public health and economic consequences of methyl mercury toxicity to the developing brain, Environ Health Perspect 113:590-596 (2005) (The research found the IQ losses linked to mercury range from one-fifth of an IQ point to as much as 24 points. The study showed about 4 percent of babies, or about 180,000, are born each year with blood mercury levels between 7.13 and 15 micrograms per liter. That level of mercury, the researchers concluded, causes a loss of 1.6 IQ points. The study found that between 316,588 and 637,233 children each year have cord blood mercury levels > 5.8 μg/L, a level associated with loss of IQ. The resulting loss of intelligence causes diminished economic productivity that persists over the entire lifetime of these children. This lost productivity amounts to $8.7 billion annually (range, $2.2-43.8 billion; all costs are in 2000 US$). See also Grandjean P, Cognitive deficit in 7-year-old children with prenatal exposure to methylmercury, Neurotoxicol Teratol. 19(6):417-28 (1997) (“[m]ercury-related neuropsychological dysfunctions were most pronounced in the domains of language, attention, and memory, and to a lesser extent in visuospatial and motor functions. The effects on brain function associated with prenatal methylmercury exposure therefore appear widespread, and early dysfunction is detectable at exposure levels currently considered safe”). See also, CBS News, Study: IQ Loss From Mercury Costly, March 1, 2005. Accessed online June 15, 2005 at

    • Ezra
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    • Diana

      I am curious…which government entity oversees the amount, or lack thereof, of thimerosal in vaccines?

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