Potential Causes of Autism(2)

Autism, a relatively new medical phenomenon, is defined as a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts (Webster, 1994). There are many arguments that support various reasons for the onset of autism in new age children; vaccines, bacteria in the gut, chemical imbalances, genetic dispositions, natural environmental factors, etc. The strongest arguments however are supported heavily on two opposing sides. There is an ongoing debate whether or not vaccines may have a direct link to the development of autism in children. Although there are many arguing viewpoints to the cause of autism, this particular argument that vaccines cause autism has proven to be one of the most controversial, and two very prominent groups have two very prominent opposing standpoints on the argument.

One group who opposes the idea that vaccines cause autism is the Center for Disease Control, along with additional umbrella companies under their tutelage who believe that there is no direct link between the many vaccines given to children at birth and the development of Autism. The Journal of pediatrics concludes, “…increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating protein and polysaccharides in vaccines during the first two years of life was not related to the risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder.” (Barlie, Kuperminc, Weintraub , Mink , Thompson, 2012) In addition to this study, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has funded nine other studies which also founded research concluding that vaccines do not cause Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, the studies that the CDC and partnering organizations conducted focused on the ingredient Thermisol alone, though there are over 10 main ingredients/chemicals in each vaccine, most used solely as preservatives.

What makes the CDC and their partnering organizations argument somewhat problematic is the amount of money that is made for pharmaceutical companies through mandatory vaccination schedules. The Global Human Vaccines Global report estimates that currently, the vaccine market is worth close to 24 billion dollars. The same report estimates that by 2020, the vaccine market will have reached profit of over 60 billion dollars (Guzman, 2016). Forty-five percent of this revenue alone comes directly from the United States. Coincidently, The United States is in the top 5 of countries with the highest cases of autism rates reported.

An additional reason the CDC and pharmaceutical companies pose a hard argument is that they legally have no liability should a patient have an adverse effect using product they’ve developed. This can be easily argued in support of their viewpoint on the linkage between autism and vaccines. The Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6–2 vote, implemented what is called the Liability Shield. The liability shield protects vaccine makers from lawsuits in State courts that seek compensation for injuries or deaths due to avoidable problems with vaccines (Hensley, 2011).

On the opposite side of the position of the pharmaceutical companies and the center for disease control, are the hundreds of parents who took their healthy children in to the hospital for their scheduled vaccinations, only to leave with children forever changed due to vaccine injury. Many parents have reported developmental delays, and even reversion of learned behaviors post their children’s scheduled vaccinations. Their argument is pretty black and white; they went in with “normal” children and came out with differently-abled ones. Although the exact numbers of these incidences vary, Parents Magazine suggests that 25% of parents polled in a national survey believe that there is a cause and effect link between vaccines and autism. Additionally, pediatricians have reported that seventy-three percent (73%) of parents have delayed their children’s vaccinations due to the controversy surrounding its possible linkage to Autism Spectrum Disorder (Sanghavi, 2011). Many parents have similar horror stories, but one that particularly stands out is a story about a couple who are parents to what was a once a “normal” set of triplets. I have included the link to their horrifying story below. While their story is unique, it is important to acknowledge their argument as to why they believe there is causation between autism and vaccinations.


In the above video, the McDowell family describes the very day they took their triplets, two boys and one girl, to the doctor for their scheduled pneumococcal vaccine. The pneumococcal vaccine is a shot administered to children to protect them against the strep virus and can help prevent some cases of pneumonia, strep, and meningitis. Why a 9 month old would need that kind of protection is beyond me. Prior to the visit, the McDowell’s described their children as normal, happy babies; within hours of receiving their vaccines however, they could only be described as being “shut down.” According to their parents, the triplets stopped blinking, lost their startle reflex and eye contact, stopped smiling, and never looked at each other again. Not only that, but the skills they learned in their short 9 months, had all reverted back to that of newborns. The McDowell’s were told by multiple doctors that the triplets responses were due to a genetic deficiency; however, geneticist told them that because the triplets were both male and female, there was no possible way for the reactions to be the result of genetics. The McDowell’s were then told that there was nothing they can do about the vaccine injury as the company had no legal liability, as indicated earlier through the Liability Shield passed by the Supreme Court. Mr. McDowell states,’ “We woke up one morning, and had three, happy healthy nine month old children, we took them for their vaccinations, by that evening they were autistic.” He goes on to say, “We are living proof that they are all lying.” (McDowell, 2017) Incidences like the McDowell’s experienced make it a hard case to argue that something about the new vaccination process does not have an effect of the development of autism.

Works Cited

Guzman, T.A (2016, January 27). Big Pharma and Big Profits: The Multibillion Dollar Vaccine Market. Retrieved September 23, 2017, from https://www.globalresearch.ca/big-pharma-and-big-profits-the-multibillion-dollar-vaccine-market/5503945

Hensley, Scott. “Supreme Court Upholds Liability Shield for vaccine maker.” NPR Science, 22 Feb, 2011, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/02/22/133964322/supreme-court-upholds-liability-shield-for-vaccine-makers

Sanghavi, D (2011, October 8). Understanding Autism. Retrieved September 23, 2017. From http://www.parents.com/health/autism/symptoms/autism-diagnosis/

McDowell, F.M [999Solomon999] (2017, January, 1) McDowell Triplets Brain Damage & Severe autism for the pneumococcal vaccine vaxxed stories [Video File] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1EHEq5zLG0