By Lisa Jo Rudy, About.com Guide to Autism
According to David Kirby, RFK Jr., and Generation Rescue, the Vaccine Court has quietly awarded millions dollars to several families who have claimed a causal link between vaccines and “autism-like” symptoms. The gist of the story is that families who call their children’s disorders anything but “autism” can win major settlements, while those who actually use the term “autism” win… bupkus.
Here’s a quote from today’s Huffington Post: “The Vaccine Court, in other words, seems quite willing to award millions of dollars in taxpayer funded compensation to vaccine-injured autistic children, so long as they don’t have to call the injury by the loaded term “autism.”
The article goes on to suggest that the CDC specifically and intentionally has been denying funding for vaccine-related research, likening the CDC to the tobacco industry:
Meanwhile, CDC has actively, openly and systematically suppressed and defunded epidemiological studies that might establish a causal link. CDC has ignored repeated pleadings that it fund peer reviewed studies of unvaccinated American cohorts like the Amish and home-schooled children. At the same time the agency has worked overtime ginning up a series of fatally-flawed European studies purporting to dispute the link. Even a cursory critical examination reveals that the oft-cited Danish, English, and Italian studies are rank tobacco science. Many of them were funded by CDC, a badly compromised agency, performed by vaccine industry scientists, and published in miserably conflicted journals.
Meanwhile, in support of the Kirby/Kennedy article, Generation Rescue has taken out a full page article in today’s USA Today. Under an image of multiple hypodermic needles, the text reads in part:
Why does the Vaccine Court exist? Why are the rulings in favor of the children being suppressed? Where is the justice for these parents? In this new era of government accountability and transparency, the one in 64 American families dealing with autism deserve more. It’s time the government told the truth about childhood vaccines.
Note: I am not at all sure where the 1:64 figure comes from, since the official figure at this point is 1:150.
Clearly, today’s media blitz will keep the autism community abuzz for quite a while to come. Do the allegations really hold water? Because I’m not an investigative journalist, I can’t claim to have the inside scoop. I can say, however, that most forms of autism can ONLY be identified through observation of symptoms. Thus, so far as I’m concerned, the distinction between “autism-like symptoms” and “autism spectrum disorders” really does lie in the spelling (setting aside Fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome, which can be identified through genetic tests).
If the allegations in today’s Huffington Post are confirmed, the vaccine/autism debate – believe it or not – has only just begun.