Vaccines cause Autism Spectrum Disorders. Absolutely false.
Before I even mention the research done in this area I would like to give two definitions.
Cause- condition that produces an effect: eliminating a cause eliminates the effect
Contributing Factor- condition that influences the effect by increasing its likelihood, either in time or severity; eliminating a contributing factor will not eliminate the effect
I stated these two definitions to inform that even if research backed vaccines, that vaccines could only attribute as a contributing factor since not all people who received vaccines are not Autistic and all people on the Spectrum did not receive vaccines.
To the research. There was a study done in 1998 that stated that the MMR vaccine caused a regression in developmental progress with the children in the study showed signs of Autism. Since then, the article has been retracted. When an article on a study is retracted, that means that the findings or study itself was flawed. This does not mean that MMR vaccine can not attribute to Autism.
There has now been a study recently showing that the MMR vaccine has no part in contributing to Autism Spectrum Disorders. This was published this year. To put it in simple terms the researchers looked at a database of families with more than one child that took the MMR vaccine and had at least one child on the spectrum and compared the siblings. The sample size by the way was over 95000 kids, which is insanely huge even for this kind of study. The findings said that even kids that were at a greater risk of being on the Spectrum, that the vaccine had no part in contributing to the fact whether a kid would be on the Spectrum or not. The name of this article is Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With And Without Autism, for those wanting to read the whole article. I also plan to post the link on my Facebook page as well.
So if vaccines do not cause Autism Spectrum Disorders, what does?
I personally believe it is completely genetic. I believe like with most things, there is a standard deviation that is controlled by environmental factors. So like a person may be born with Autism and based on things like drugs, socioeconomic status, location of resources, and the other unidentified factors can make a person who already has Autism swing in either direction of more or less severe. I believe Autism can be a latent gene in some people, kinda like red hair can pop up in a kid three or four generations later when everyone forgot that a family member that had red hair way back when. I believe that Autism is a form of evolution, neither bad or good. I believe most parents try to put an environmental cause to Autism to try to shift the blame, because if it is genetic then they think it is their fault. When in reality no one is at fault because Autism is not a bad thing, it is just different from the societal norm.
With all that said, I am glad research will continue to try to understand this differentiation from the normalcy so that I can better understand who I am. Even if the ideas seem a little quirky sometimes.
Mark Fleming- Person on the Autism Spectrum