There are parents of children with autism (and a few adults with autism) who ardently and sincerely believe that vaccines somehow are implicated in autism. However, the evidence continues to mount exonerating vaccines. But my fellow editor, Shannon Rosa, said it most eloquently:
...there is one thing we all need to remember when speaking to parents who still believe their child's autism was caused by vaccines: those people are in real pain. They want answers and need support. They are likely not getting either, except through the anti-vaccination movement's mostly negativity-filled channels, which is why they become so entrenched and remain in denial. But they are also the ones responsible for the upbringing of a child with autism. We need to be mindful of those children, and help their parents gravitate towards towards positive communities and attitudes, plus parent and adult autistic role models
The article, Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent, published this week in the British Medical Journal has stirred up a hornet's nest of responses. A lot of parents, like myself, are glad the word is finally getting out about Wakefield and his claims about autism and vaccines. We're hoping to move on to more fruitful avenues of research and advocacy such as identifying effective classroom supports for autistic individuals and better public education about what autism really is.
Other parents are not so pleased about the news about Wakefield. They have a lot invested in Wakefield and the beliefs they hold dear based on what he has claimed to be true. There's not much I can do about that but love my kids and share my point of view. You can follow the fallout from the article here, Andrew Wakefield, Yesterday's British Medical Journal Articles on His Fraud, and The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism.