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How Autism 'Causes' Vaccines

Autism causes vaccines.

You read that right. Or did you?

The fallacy that vaccines cause autism is still out there, and it’s dangerous misinformation which could prevent millions of lives from being saved. It’s as commonly misstated as “Beam me up, Scotty,” or “Play it again, Sam,” neither of which were actually said by the characters being quoted.

No credible information has been presented to show vaccines cause autism. All such theories have been readily debunked by nearly all in the practice of medicine. Nurses and doctors urge everyone to vaccinate for the common good, and many medical professionals are just as frustrated over the anti-vaccination movement as we are.

According to the World Health Organization, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children worldwide, but measles vaccines are credited with preventing an estimated 15.6 million deaths between 2000 and 2013.

Though it can’t be proven that vaccines cause autism, it is possible to show how autistic people throughout history have been responsible for technological and scientific advancements which have led to the development of the very vaccines some would falsely claim cause the condition.

A few examples of historical figures who were thought to have been on the autism spectrum are Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Henry Cavendish and Charles Darwin. Other brilliant scientific minds, past and present, have begun to be identified as autistic as well. Many lists have surfaced over the last few years, some speculative, some highly probable, some without question. I’ll leave it up to you to look them all up, but here are a few examples of probable neurodiverse people who contributed to the ultimate development of vaccines.

The microscope:

“Sir Isaac Newton developed his particle theory of light (Corpuscular Theory) in 1678. This theory was found to be sufficient in explaining how light moves and helped microscope builders refine lenses.  Newton had developed a telescope but did not work on the microscope himself.”

X-ray technology:

“Every radiologist is aware of Nikola Tesla’s research in the field of electromagnetism. The International System (SI) unit of magnetic flux density, the Teslacon magnetic resonance imager (Technicare, Solon, Ohio), and Teslascan manganese contrast agent (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, Wis) were all named after him. Without his other inventions like the alternating current supply, Tesla-Knott generator, and fluorescent lights in view boxes, it is impossible to even imagine a workday in a contemporary radiology department.”

DaVinci’s contributions:

“Da Vinci was among the first to provide both accurate drawings and explanations of [human] anatomy.”

Charles Darwin:

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” ― Charles Darwin

For some time since my own late diagnosis, I had been wondering why autistic people seem to want to relate our condition to such important people. Sure, it sounds cool, but is it self-serving to attribute autism to so many scientific luminaries? Especially because no one seems to point out the less desirable who may have been autistic. There must be some…

I’ve since come to realize there are reasons for this apparent self-promotion. Among other things, we need to show we are not only deserving of acceptance, but we can even be considered exceptional and often celebrated. Without variations made possible by an atypical mind approaching things from unconventional angles, we would probably not have many of the innovations in science and specifically in the field of medicine which led to the development of those contentious vaccines.

Therefore I suggest each time we hear someone say, “Vaccines cause autism,” we return with, “Autism causes vaccines.”

Let’s see if it cures the epidemic of ignorance.

Getty image by Andrey Popov.