How Anti-Vaccine 'Science' Holds Back Credible Autism Research

| by Kev Leitch

An expert panel says there’s no rigorous evidence that digestive problems are more common in children with autism compared to other children, or that special diets work, contrary to claims by celebrities and vaccine naysayers.

This is a totally non contentious piece of work. The panel examined all credible research into the subject and decided there simply wasn’t anything available to support the idea of a things such as autistic entercolitis – a faux syndrome pushed by the section of autism anti vaxxers who believe Andrew Wakefields fake science.

Take careful note though of what they are saying:

1) That there’s no credible evidence. Parental anecdote is not credible evidence.

2) Thats autistic children may well have gut issues and that if they do they should be treated medically.

3) That special diets show no eficacy in treating autism .

The issue for me therefore is that when autistic kids have gut issues they need to be treated properly by medical staff. This means making appointments that allow for the special needs of autistic people (either first in the day or last in the day to avoid waits, quiet waiting rooms with appropriate distractions and most of all well trained staff who won’t say caustic things to parents).

A TACA representative is quoted as saying:

“I’m filled with hope after reading this report,” said Estepp of the support group Talk About Curing Autism. “I wish this report would have come out 10 years ago when my son was diagnosed.”

Ironically, TACA who support the work of Andrew Wakefield probably could have had a report like this ten years ago if the work of Andrew Wakefield hadn’t been so heavily promoted by groups like TACA.

The new report says the existence of autistic enterocolitis “has not been established.” Buie said researchers and doctors have avoided digestive issues in autism because of their connection with Wakefield’s disputed research, which set off a backlash against vaccines that continues to this day.

Quite understandably, researchers didn’t want to get involved in a field tainted by a person like Wakefield and his demonstrably false and disproven idea that MMR causes or contributes to autism. If they did, when they came out with science that contradicted Wakefield they would be subject to the same sort of hate crimes currently perpetrated against numerous other scientists such as Paul Offit who has received death threats. Who would want that?

Quite simply – if people like Wakefield admit their error and then shut up, more science will be done that will reveal more results groups like TACA may well support.