40 Force: Unlocking Autism – Vaccines and Autism
WILBRAHAM, Mass. (wggb) – In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield performed a study of 12 patients.
It was this study that convinced many parents that vaccinations could cause autism.
What many don’t know is what became of Dr. Wakefield and his research.
Andrew Wakefield is a former British surgeon and medical researcher.
“He came up with a notion that MMR was somehow linked to autism. However, it wasn’t a scientific paper, it’s been refuted as being a scientific paper, it wasn’t well done,” says pediatrician Dr. Leif Nordstrom.
Following his widely discredited paper, which was later found to have undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, Wakefield was stripped of his medical license.
Still, the damage was done, following the paper vaccination rates dropped in the United State, United Kingdom and Ireland.
“Immunizations are important for a child’s overall well-being and we certainly stick with what the Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics have come up with as a schedule to cover these children and make them healthy young adults,” explains Nordstrom.
In fact, there have not been any studies that have made a correlation between vaccines and autism.
“It’s believed to be a bunch of genetic factors that are incorporated here and we do not think at this time anyway that there is any correlation at all,” said Nordstrom.
What Dr. Nordstrom did emphasize was how important it is to recognize autistic behaviors early. He explained they have much better outcomes with treatment and therapy when it’s started early in life.
So in order to intervene early, you need to know what to look for as signs that something may be wrong. According to Dr. Nordstrom the earliest diagnosis are usually made somewhere around 18 months.
He says you should be watching your children and making sure they are hitting developmental milestones.
Warning signs may be any speech delay, delay in eye to eye contact, a child not responding to their name or turn to sound.
If a child does not turn to the sound of their name being called by 12 to 15 months, that would be a concern.
In addition, there are some repetitive behaviors that autistic children tend to display, such as lining up cars in a row.