New book by two Dopers - the truth about vaccines

It’s not a question of denial. It’s two questions: is there really an epidemic of autism and if so what’s fueling it?

We get into that in the book in greater detail. But briefly as nearly as scientists can tell right now most the epidemic seems to stem from factors such as increased diagnostic awareness by peds, more available social services for autism patients and a push to give kids an autism diagnosis rather than one of mental retardation or learning disabilities.

This paper in the April 1st 2006 edition of Pediatrics examines the issue more closely. The author points out:

Bolding mine. It’s the sort of finding we think needs far more publicity. Instead we get coverage of Andrew Wakefield’s lies and Jenny McCarthy’s “google university” rants.

If you want an annecdotal point: about 18 years ago I was working for a psychiatrist. We had a new patient that sent him to a medical library to research papers on this ‘new’ thing. He came back with a punch of xerox copies and new knowledge, and labeled the patient with autism. And over the year or so I continued there, he changed the diagnoses on at least a half dozen of his regular patients from non-specific retardation and such to autism.

Bingo! A proportionately huge rise in the number of autistic patients in his practice, and it had nothing to do with an increase in the disease among children.

I’ve never even heard of an autism denier. It’s all a question of statistics.

Thank you, everybody, for the kind words and the support! LavenderBlue and I really appreciate it!

And Wakefield shouldn’t be eaten - he should be staked out over an ant hill.

If it were up to me, I’d charge him with murder.

We are in no way autism deniers, so I have no idea how you pulled that interpretation out of the clear blue sky. What we talk about is the fact that there is not currently an autism EPIDEMIC. There are demographic and statistical explanations for the so-called epidemic that we discuss in detail in the book. Autism is a real disorder, but not related to vaccines.

Without even reading the book, based on my opinion of the knowledge of the posters involved on the issue, I feel comfortable saying there should be a government program to air-drop copies of it into the most egregious offenders of non-vaccination in the country.

I am continually astounded at how much reverence Wakefield gets when anti-vaxxers rarely actually refer to any of his ‘science’ to justify their position.

I’ve been looking forward to this! You just made a sale. :slight_smile:

As a parent of a currently 8 year old girl who uses an IPad and ASL to communicate with those around her I can assure you she isn’t MR. The rocking back and forth, the flapping of the arms, are unmistakable. And I can say without a doubt, vaccines did not cause her autism. I don’t know wtf did, but she regressed before her MMR.

I am very vocal against the anti vaccine crowd as well, and try to fight the fear they spread with the real world fears we will all face if more people start listening to the crazies.

I will withhold judgement on your stand on autism until I read your book. I have had other parents talk to me on a playground about their “autistic” child. Who I observe interacting with the other kids, running over and talking to their mom. All normal like… and it bugs me… but I also know from everything I have heard around me, from my daughters teachers to therapists to family… it seems to be growing.


Probably short for mentally retarded.

Mental retardation. Sorry about that, so used to that being called just “MR”

Thank you; that makes sense.

When my late mother taught special education she used the initials EMR to describe some of her students. EMR stood for educable mentally retarded.

Sweet! Talk about “fighting ignorance”. Well done.

Awesome! It’s going on my B&N wish list and I hope to be able to buy it soon. Congratulations to you both.

I just got my physical copies. This is one hell of an amazing place. About two years ago I thought I want to write a book about this subject but oh hell that’s a huge and daunting task. Yeah I’ve written articles here and there but never an entire actual book. I can’t possibly do it alone.

So on a whim I threw out a request in a pit thread for a co-author on my potential book. Allison immediately showed up and pm’ed me with a barrel of wonderful ideas about how to turn my ideas into a real book. After a lot of hard work and hours and hours and hours of research we crafted a book proposal and then mailed them out to publishing houses. Five months and ten nos later one house said yes.

A year later I’m sitting here reading my own book with tears streaming down my face. Thank you, Dopers. You are wonderful people!

Right. They’re unmistakable now, when we know what the symptoms of autism are. But before that knowledge was widespread, if a doctor didn’t know what the hell was wrong with this kid but that they weren’t quite right and wouldn’t interact, what did they call it? Mentally retarded.

Just like a lot of deaf/hoh kids got labeled MR before they started doing hearing tests as a regular part of pediatric care.

Kolga and LavenderBlue, congratulations and thank you to you both.

Congrats. I am a rather noted Amazon reviewer. If you would like to send me a copy, I’ll review it for you on Amazon. If so, PM me.

I added it to my wishlist, this sometimes gets a book a little help in the rankings.


I’ve got it on my birthday wishlist, and if I don’t get it by then I will buy it myself! I’ll also be recommending it to my local library - they have a very good medical section and this will be a great addition to it!


I posted it on FB, too, in the spirit of Good for YOU! I love hanging out with smart people…:wink:

Very cool! Just downloaded the Kindle preview and added it to my wish list. Will post to FB, too.

I was going to suggest sharing with Phil Plait too.