Is there a role of vaccines in causing Autism? ASD & Vaccine Damage controversy.
Over the years, many people have had concerns that autism might be linked to the vaccines children receive. One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is Thimerosal, used as a preservative in many recommended childhood vaccines. MMR vaccine has also been linked with Autism frequently.
The main reason people talk about vaccines and autism is that some parents have noticed changes in children shortly after the children were vaccinated. Their kids seemed to be developing normally, then suddenly stopped interacting with people and lost language abilities — a condition called “regressive” autism.
The American Academy of Paediatrics, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Institute of Medicine all agree that there’s probably no relationship between autism and vaccines.
But if the case is that solid, why do so many people remain unconvinced? There are a number of websites giving information about vaccine damage in kids. YouTube also has dozens of testimonial videos from parents who believe their children developed autism after vaccination.
Their beliefs may have been validated in March 2008 when federal officials said that a Georgia girl was entitled to compensation because vaccines may have aggravated an underlying condition, causing autism-like symptoms (2). In 2013, an Italian court also ruled in favour of the Bocca family, whose nine-year-old son became autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine (3).
New evidence suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism have emerged recently. Scientists reported finding a strong association between the vaccine and an immune system reaction which is thought to play a role in autism. The team led by Dr Vijendra Singh analyzed blood samples from 125 autistic children and 92 children who did not have the disorder. In 75 of the autistic children they found antibodies showing there had been an abnormal reaction to the measles component of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (4).
Nine out of ten of those children were also positive for antibodies thought to be involved in autism. These antibodies attack the brain by targeting the basic building blocks of myelin, the insulating sheath that covers nerve fibres. This stops the nerves developing properly and may affect brain functions.
None of the non-autistic children showed the unusual anti-measles response.
Dr Singh has suggested that an abnormal immune response may be the root cause of many cases of autism. Dr Singh’s team, who worked at Utah State University in the U.S., report their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of Biomedical Science (5).
In June 2013, scientists and physicians from Wake Forest University, New York, and Venezuela, reported findings that not only confirm the presence of intestinal disease in children with autism and intestinal symptoms, but also indicate that this disease may be novel. Using sophisticated laboratory methods Dr. Steve Walker and his colleagues endorsed Wakefield’s original findings (6) by showing molecular changes in the children’s intestinal tissues that were highly distinctive and clearly abnormal (7).
Another new study shows a direct link between standard childhood vaccination series, MMR, and autism-like symptoms in monkeys. The principal scientist involved in the study, Dr. Laura Hewitson of the University of Pittsburgh, presented the alarming conclusions as an abstract pending publication at the International Meeting for Autism Research. It has been presented at scientific conferences in both London and Seattle, USA.M
The study compared vaccinated macaque monkeys with non-vaccinated macaques. The vaccines included the popular MMR series. The study found a marked increase in “gastrointestinal tissue gene expression” and “inflammation issues” with those monkeys which received vaccinations (8). They are a common symptom of children with regressive autism.
The study also found marked behaviour changes and development differences in those monkeys given the vaccines versus those who were not. “Compared with unexposed animals, significant neuro-developmental deficits were evident for exposed animals in survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets,” the study`s authors reported. “Differences in behaviours were observed between exposed and unexposed animals and within the exposed group before and after MMR vaccination.” (8)
Despite these recent research studies, the scientific community remains divided about vaccine-autism relation. As informed parents, you need to make your own choice.
Here is a list of studies that have raised questions about vaccine efficacy and safety:
What is the treatment available for ASD, Autism?
Autism treatment includes intensive, sustained special education programs and behaviour therapy early in life can help children acquire self-care, social, and job skills often improve functioning and decrease symptom severity and maladaptive behaviours. Available approaches for autism treatment include applied behaviour analysis ABA for Autism, developmental models, structured teaching, speech and language therapy, social skills therapy, and occupational therapy.
In conventional medicine, many medications are used to treat ASD symptoms that interfere with integrating a child into home or school when behavioral treatment fails. More than half of US children diagnosed with ASD are prescribed psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsants, with the most common drug classes being antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics. All these medicines have their own side effects and they should be used for autism treatment only after weighing the pros and cons with your physician.
There are many alternative therapies that parents often use to treat their autistic children. These include naturopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda, hydrotherapy, orthomolecular medicine etc. For most of these CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) modalities, there is lot of anecdotal evidence but most therapies have not been tested on a large scale in a scientific manner. Hence there is little or no evidence either for or against such therapies. Any CAM treatment for Autism symptoms should only be taken from a certified practitioner in that CAM modality.
Homeopathy treatment for Autism
Homeopathy is one of the most popular alternative systems used for Autism treatment. There are several books and websites dedicated to providing information about homeopathic treatment of Autism. YouTube also has many videos from parents giving positive testimonials and success stories of homeopathic treatment of Autism for their children.
For parents looking for autism treatment in homeopathy, the primary question is – is autism curable by homeopathy? Can autism be cured permanently? To answer this we need to understand the role of homeopathy in autism.
Dr. Manish Bhatia, who has been treating Autistic children with homeopathic medicines since last 15 years, believes that mild autism can be cured in majority of children, homeopathic medicines for autism can bring significant improvement in cases with moderate autism, and children with severe autism show limited improvement. The medicines can help in reducing sensory issues, treat speech delay and general development delay, reduce hyperactivity and bring positive changes in the majority of autistic children.
Homeopathy is a safe and gentle system of healing, which tries to identify the root cause of any problem by taking a detail case history, which includes the current complaints of the patient, his/her past medical history, family history, nature and disposition of the patient and many other finer factors.
Classical Homeopathy for autism treatment is the best form of homeopathy and offers better results than complex homeopathy. When you consult a classical homeopath for the treatment of your autistic child, he/she will note the full case history of your child. This will include your child’s current medical complaints, their onset, modalities, past medical history, mother’s history during pregnancy, family history, exploration of any stress points or causes for current illness, and a detailed assessment of your child’s mental and emotional makeup.
After this exhaustive case history and analysis, the homeopath identifies a homeopathic medicine that covers your child’s ASD symptoms and conditions the best. Such a remedy, when well selected, can bring significant changes in many difficult and inveterate cases.
Do diet and nutrition play any role in Autism?
Many therapists recommend large-dose supplements of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Zinc and Fish oil. Casein free and Gluten-free diets have also been suggested by many. Please consult your physician before making any dietary modifications.
What is CEASE Therapy for Autism?
CEASE therapy is a form of homeopathy treatment for autism, which was developed by Dutch physician Tinus Smits who was looking for a way to help children with autism. CEASE stands for Complete Elimination Autism Spectrum Expression and Dr. Smits helped well over 300 children with Autism prior to his death in 2010. While his method was originally designed for children with autism, Dr. Smits and those that he trained have experienced success treating a number of conditions including MS, Chronic Fatigue, allergies, ear infections, hyperactivity, and detoxification.
It is a combination of Isotherapy (a form of Homeopathy) and Orthomolecular medicine (nutritional supplements in therapeutic doses to nourish the brain and restore proper intestinal function, esp supplements of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Zinc, Omega 3 Fatty acids). In Dr. Smits experience, autism is an accumulation of different causes and about 70% is due to vaccines, 25% to toxic medication and other toxic substances, 5% to some diseases. With isotherapy, a form of homeopathy using the causative substances themselves in homeopathic preparation, the toxic imprints can be erased.
In CEASE Therapy, step by step all causative factors (vaccines, regular medication, environmental toxic exposures, effects of illness, etc.) are detoxified with the homeopathically prepared, that is diluted and potentized substances that are implicated in the cause of autism.