What is autism? Autism is “a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD),” including Asperger Syndrom, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD-NOS (not otherwise specified). These are often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out more at www.autismspeaks.org.
There are parents with serious concerns that vaccinations are the cause of their child’s autism. It just so happens that around the same time the MMR vaccine is given, symptoms of infantile autism begin to emerge.
Approximately one in 110 children will be diagnosed with autism, but the cause is still unknown. Research over the past 30 years suggests that it may involve inflammation in the central nervous system. There are also studies that indicate how the immune system can influence behaviors related to autism.
What is definitely known is that autism is not caused by “bad parenting” (as thought in the 1940s), but is actually a biological disorder. And there is growing evidence that there is no correlation between autism and childhood vaccinations. Below are links to two articles supporting that evidence, one from Scientific American and one from the NY Times.
I’m not writing to tell you that you should or should not have your child vaccinated. That is a personal choice. What I can tell you is that there is concern among medical professionals about diseases such as small pox returning to the US with so much travel and increasing #s of families unwilling to vaccinate. I can also tell you that things will be difficult when you begin school and summer camps if your child is not vaccinated. And lastly, I believe strongly in the research that shows NO correlation between autism and vaccines.
As a music therapist, I’ve worked often with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They typically respond so well to music, in addition to sign language, both of which benefit language development in this population. A supportive article is here for you to read: http://www.autism.com/edu_music_therapy.asp. And some additional resources: http://www.metromusictherapy.com/autism.asp; http://www.researchautism.net/interventionitem.ikml?print&ra=113&infolevel=4. You can also read more on our articles page: http://www.mybabyfingers.com/articleshttp://www.mybabyfingers.com/articles.
On October 2nd, there is a Long Island based walk to raise money that will support research in autism and related disorders. For information about this walk and to find one closer to where you live, check out this link. www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/.