Medical diagnoses are ripe for conspiracy theorists and other out there claims to be made. In the autism world there are a couple of ripe theories that seem to be so pervasive that it doesn’t matter how much real science is presented its true believers are, well, true believers.
The kool-aid really is flowing freely.
Yes it’s flowing so much in public now that a potential US Presidential candidate declares aloud publicly that he believes vaccines cause autism. That this has been debunked by real science again and again seems to be beyond the understanding of the man.
It would be easy to dismiss him as just another hopeful presidential candidate whose a slightly unhinged, but when it is a man who is one of the wealthiest in the world and seemingly has a strong backing from conservative and tea party types then one has to stop to ponder.
It’s not just Mr Trump of course who has swallowed the Kool-aid either.
A few months ago Robert Kennedy sprouted the same sort of thing and to that end called autism not just the usual emotive epidemic but invoked the language of holocaust.
Of course the Autism Speaks rhetoric can’t be overlooked. They speak of a generation of lost locked away children. They have only recently declared support for the science dismissing the vaccination link. One wonders if publicly that is their stance but behind closed doors along with their pointless search for a cure is a belief that vaccines really are the culprit.
The drastic consequence of these high-profile types propounding such rubbish is it makes it easier for the average mum and dad to draw the conclusion. And of course when that is the case there is a range of differing rationales that are offered for this belief.
Perhaps the most difficult and dangerous of these rationales is the one that goes something like ‘well I accept the science that mostly vaccines don’t cause autism, but in my case I saw my child experience x y and z after they had their MMR vaccine and they didn’t do this before hand.”
This is difficult as it is wrapped very much up in a strong emotional belief that the parent saw what they believed to be a “normal” developing child change into an “abnormal” one. It’s very difficult to counter this belief. And I get this, but counter it we must. The very future of autistic people is dependent on it.
It’s dangerous because it encourages people to disregard the real scientific research. To declare themselves more qualified than the scientists who have worked years at the highest levels to hone their skills and knowledge. To declare with passion and impunity across social media and the internet in general that vaccines cause autism, that the vaccine injury courts are paying out for autism caused by vaccinations. It’s dangerous because it malign actually autistic people as less than normal, as undesirable, as injured and sick.
It’s also dangerous because it promotes the falsity that vaccines are ineffective and dangerous and that it should be all about the parents choice. It promotes also an idea out there that it is more desirable for your child to have preventable diseases that could have fatal consequences than to, shock horror, be autistic.
The Kool-aid is flowing, it is dangerous.
Already have been outbreaks of preventable communicable diseases such as measles. Herd immunity is at risk. This means all our children are at risk. And why? Fear. Irrational fear of autism.
Autism is nothing to be feared. It is just neurological difference.
Autistics are not to be feared we are just neurological different. We still feel, love, fear, play, read, write, dream and hope.
Yes the kook-aid is flowing and it’s time to turn off the tap.