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Vaccines, Vaccines, Vaccines: AoA as Jan Brady

September 16, 2010

What’s a belittled, beleaguered, bemused group of folks to do when the evidence continues to mount against its most cherished beliefs? Well, if it’s Age of Autism, it’s to put a spat of stories out, all of them concerning vaccines and how for autism, “most of the roads of causation research end at the vaccine schedule” (Handley). Nothing like holding onto an idea despite all evidence!

Handley, like most folks at AoA, really dislikes Autism Speaks. Okay, to be fair, many folks in the online autism community have legitimate beefs with the superpower that soaks up donations and then spends more of it on themselves and fundraising than they do on research. It has to be odd, though, for the Wrights, to see their daughter on the woo team and writing for the anti-vax rag. It’s a wonder they haven’t founded an organization to fundraise for a cure for that.

According to Handley, AS has to take the  position they do, otherwise their funding would dry up. In other words, AS knows that most parents think that the AoA’s position regarding vaccines and autism is bunk, and AS has no desire to be a group that appeals to the fringe elements and thereby see its status fall to the fringes, as well. Well, at least that’s an offhand way for Handley to admit that the majority of people in the autism community itself disagrees with AoA’s position.

After Handley, or before, depending on how you view the scrolling down of the blog, John Stone writes on the Fletcher case and the whole idea that medical professionals promote the myth that vaccines are safe, but you know, they’re really the root of all evil (well, that’s what the title would have you believe, but in reality, what the article is instead is a string of Stone’s comments showing how insightful he is and how wrong everyone else is. It’s a waste of space, even by AoA’s standards).

And, what would AoA do if they didn’t bring in the monkeys and the “new” study from Thoughtful House? Blaxill and Olmsted would be lost without their monkeys. This article is a rehashing of old junk science, with the added throw-in of calling the online science blogging community the wackosphere, which made me chuckle. There’s nothing new in the long, winding article as far as I could tell, no evidence that they learn anything from the valid points raised by science-based bloggers regarding these studies.

What we do get to witness in these three latest offering from Age of Autism is that their interest is firmly on vaccines and not on autism. It’s a fair assessment to decide that based on the abundance of articles that AoA puts out regarding vaccines, and from their own words, that they are primarily anti-vaccine and completely against scientific evidence that does not support their claims. Indeed, to them, any such evidence is from the wackosphere; they ignore the new study out of Pediatrics showing yet again that thimerosal is not implicated in autism (see Emily’s blog for a great tear down).

In the end, AoA comes across as a whiny Jan from The Brady Bunch. I might not care to be Marsha, as she certainly wasn’t my favorite character, but I sure wouldn’t want to be Jan. I think the youngest daughter had the better approach and the more winning personality; Cindy was sweet and happy. Yeah, that’s nothing like AoA.

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