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Anti-vaxxer misinformed on autism

Comox Valley Record - 5/3/2017

Dear editor,

I write you in response to the sadly, misinformed Letter to the Editor piece by Summer Joy in the April 18 edition (Autism editorial rouses anti-vaxxer), regarding the erroneous connection between autism and vaccinations.

The rise in autism is due to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) definition having been broadened around 20 or so years ago, with the 1994 publishing of the DSM 4. It [autism’s rise] was associated with vaccinations by now disgraced gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield (in a Lancet article from 1998).

The fact a person is diagnosed with autism is not related to their vaccinations. Sorry to burst your beliefs. It is more that the definition now encompasses a broader range of mental disorders within what autism is considered than it did when many parents now, were children. Also, diagnosis can occur in a much broader range of ages than 20-plus years ago.

Please note, I am not one who feels that every and all vaccinations are required; but that each family and person should know the benefits/issues with or without being vaccinated. That said, do not link autism and vaccinations together (it has been debunked), as you muddy the waters for those who have autism and distract from having people focus on developing a true understanding of what it is and how to handle it.

Anthony Hopkins,



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