The Connection Between Autism and Childhood Vaccines

Autism is a condition experienced by kids such that the life they live is different from that of most normal kids. Autism is a mental disorder characterized by an inability to socialize, communicate, and repetitive behavior. For example, you may greet a child and instead of the child responding to you, she or he just stares at you and says nothing. You may think that child does not like you at all; this might be a reason especially if that child has never met you before but in most cases, the child with such kind of behavior suffers from autism. Such kids cannot communicate with other people by mouth on their own without special assistance. Kids can be partially affected by autism such that their life is not much changed or they may be completely affected by autism such that they require much assistance in life.

Autism is a “disability that has not any known cure and it is believed to have claimed a thousand lives of young kids across the world” (Taylor). Children with autism are able to respond to any changes within their environment but in an unusual way. Some small changes such as noise and touch bother children with autism so much and they may feel disturbed. Unwanted noise for many is a disturbing phenomenon; however, people with autism are heavily affected by just small magnitudes of the noise. Kids with autism find difficulty in connecting between happenings and causes of the happening as other kids do. For instance, when somebody cries, a normal person will understand that the crying person is hurt. To a kid with autism, this is hard to connect between the cry and the feeling of that person.

“Word communication to kids with autism is a difficulty which makes understanding with people around them difficulty” (Steven). A kid with autism cannot link words spoken with their actual meaning. It’s difficult to understand what someone is saying if you can not know the meaning of the words he or she is using. This symptom is common in kids with autism. Not only kids with autism find trouble in understanding the meaning of words being used by others, but themselves also can not find right words to express their feeling verbally. Their behavior and action are unusual as compared to many kids. You will find kids with autism repeating the same thing or word for a period of time such as playing with one toy for a long. Kids with autism will be glued to a similar routine every day: they do not like changes. They might demand their things be arranged in a particular way and if one tries to change or rearrange the things they play with they get upset or feel uncomfortable.

If someone has autism he or she finds it difficult with important tasks in your life because one’s mind isn’t functioning in the usual way. We use our minds every day to interpret happenings around us and experiences: make conclusions about the world. Can you imagine what will happen if your mind cannot help you understand your environment? You will find it difficult to communicate, travel to college, and carrying out any other daily activities. With autism, life will be difficult and people may run away from you or discriminate against you. This is a situation which kinds with autism find themselves in. children at a tender age like playing much with their young age mates and so love to interact. Kids with autism find it difficult to understand life and due to that, they do not interact with other children to play or talk. They will spend much of their time isolated and confined to one place for many parts of their entire life.

The big question causing debate over the years is what is the cause or causes of autism. There is no one who knows the cause or cause of the disability although scientists have had a different opinion on what might have caused autism. Some scientists believe autism is a hereditary disease. “That is, children are likely to suffer from autism because a similar malfunction of mind has happened to one of their family members” (Taylor). The complexity of the human mind makes it difficult to unearth the true causes of autism. The human brain has billions of cells called neurons which interconnect with other body nerve cells. “These neurons carry messages from the mind to other parts of the body and such massages are the ones which help us to see, feel, move, and work together as we should” (Steven). Due to reasons unknown to many, the development of such cells and messages in the mind of a child suffering from autism may not develop fully or get damaged.

But many scientists are “pointing fingers at the vaccines given to children as the cause of failure in brain development or damage in young kids” (Kelly). Kids are usually vaccinated at a very young age, for instance, three hours old. Bearing in mind the chemicals contained in those vaccines, it is easy to understand why many point fingers at the vaccines. “Vaccines are medicine made to immunize infant against diseases by producing antibiotics that arm the body against diseases” (America Academy of Family Physician). Vaccines are said to be safer and their benefit outweigh far much their risk of minor casualties. Some vaccines have side effects on the infant such as fever and many more. Vaccines are not administered in one day but, an infant immunization process starts at tender age until up to the age of six years. Not all children are given vaccines because in some cases kids suffering from diseases such as cancer are not given vaccines. Some of the vaccines given to infants include:

  • The DTP vaccine: This protects the infant body against, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis is given five times.
  • The Td vaccine used to top up the DTP vaccine to prevent tetanus and diphtheria given at age of 12 years
  • The IPV vaccine is aimed at preventing polio, a disease that paralyzes the legs and harms the affected infant.
  • The MMR vaccine that arms the infant’s body against measles and mumps
  • The Hib vaccine, that prevents Haemophilus influenza that causes meningitis.

Some of these vaccines contain harmful minerals which somehow due to unknown circumstances affect the development of the child’s brain. Some vaccine mixtures known to cause damage in the development of the body include formaldehyde, thimerasol which is known to contain 50 percent mercury. Mercury is known to be a toxic substance that has an adverse effect on body functions and is suspected to be carcinogenic (Guallar et al. p. 347). Others are; Aluminum phosphate an antibiotic that has been proven to be both toxic and corrosive, aluminum salts, and methanol are all also toxic. Thimerosal remains the possible cause of many cases of autism according to the believers on some elements of vaccine being responsible for autism. Although there is no “sufficient evidence to support Thimerosal as the cause of autism, statistical data have suggested this” (Kelly). Medical bodies in the US for example, the Institute of Medicine have been championing the removal of Thimerosal from vaccines in order to reduce the risks of exposing infants to mercury. According to various journals on vaccines, published in the US, “studies show that there is evidence of a connection between mental disorders in infants and the rate of exposure from vaccines containing mercury” (Institute of medicine). The authors of the article analyzed the doses of “mercury was given to an infant during the immunization period and were compared with the set immunization guidelines” (Pichichero et al, p. 360).

It also evaluated the Thimerosal effect on infants who received the vaccine and incidents of heart diseases and mental disorders reported to the “government’s vaccine adverse effects reporting system” (Mark and David, Geier). Their report suggested that infants, from the day of inception, are variedly exposed to elements of mercury in their first day of encountering the immunization process and the “level were far much than the Environmental Protection Agency and Drug and Food Administration set possible levels for daily oral ingestion of methyl mercury” (Kelly).

From this and many other studies, we can conclude that the Thimerosal vaccine which has some traces of mercury forms a link between infant vaccines and development disorders and heart diseases.

The DTP vaccines according to Lorraine contain some elements of mercury. More so the influenza vaccine is said to “contain 25g of mercury element” (Lorraine). Although many bodies have championed the removal of mercury in vaccines, the parents and the doctors can not guarantee that traces of these elements are not contained in the chemicals, thus the infants are at the mercy of the manufactures. This is a clear indication that many infants have been exposed to the mess without the knowledge of their parents and the government. If the studies are true and manufacturers of vaccines containing Thimerosal still manufacture, then our infants will forever be exposed to large amounts of mercury. Therefore we should stop using vaccines that have elements of mercury to save our children from autism if the studies are anything to go by. As we seek to establish other causes of autism, we should acknowledge the fact that vaccines are responsible for the increasing rates of autism in the world.

Although vaccines are necessary for growth and development, we should eliminate mercury from vaccines given to our children or stop using them altogether. In general to avoid losing more and more infants in the name of vaccines, “we should remove mercury elements in vaccines given to our children as it has been done to foods and animal vaccines” (Michael).

Doctors find it difficult to detect autism in infants and parents are the first people to know whether their child is suffering from autism by first observing their behavior as they grow. Even realizing that a kid is suffering from autism may not be easy to a parent well because these symptoms may be caused by disorders other than autism. Autism can be sufficiently tested by doctors in laboratories by first testing whether the kid has any other disability that has common symptoms with autism. There is no medical cure for autism, the only thing doctors and therapists can do is to put the patients under treatment mechanisms that will help the children to adjust to various difficulties.

Depending on the nature of autism a child may grow and live on their own or rely on help. Kids with mild autism are able to live on their own while those whose problem is more will only live with help from their parents. In general when parents, doctors, and the family give kids with autism the necessary support and help the kid’s future will remain bright.

References

  1. Steven Dowshen, MD.  2008. Autism. Web.
  2. Kelly Patricia O Meara.  2003. Vaccines may fuel autism epidemic: Report: U.S. Infants exposed to mercury beyond EPA, FDA limits.
  3. American Academy of Family Physicians. 2006, Childhood Vaccines: What they are and why Your Child needs them. Web.
  4. Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak. 2004. Mercury Linked to Autism.
  5. Taylor B, “Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism”. Child Care Health Dev 32 (5) (2006): 511–9.
  6. Mark, R. Geier, M.D., Ph.D. and David, A. Geier. Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopment Disorders, and Heart Disease in the United States. 2008.
  7. Guallar E., Sanz-Gallardo MI, Veer P, et al. Mercury, fish oils, and the risk of myocardial infarction. 2002: 347:
  8. Institute of Medicine (US). Immunization safety review: Thimerosal-containing vaccines and Neurodevelopment disorders. Washington, DC: National Academy press: 2001
  9. Pichichero ME, Cernichiari E, Lopreiato J,Treanor J. Mercury concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing thimerosal: A descriptive study. Lancet: 2002: 360.