Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Andrew Wakefield and the "Vaxxed" Team: No, We Are Not "Vaccine-Damaged" nor "Broken"

Frankly, I cannot believe that over eighteen years since the publication of Wakefield's fraudulent paper, and more than six years after its retraction and the stripping of his medical license, not only does he still crusade in promoting his nonexistent gastrointestinal disease by the name of "autistic enterocolitis," but that uninformed parents of newly-diagnosed children still fall prey to his preaching as a result of fear and of uncertainty.

 I find it incredible that even after statements in the likes of this, this, and the threatened legal action against autistic rights activist Fiona O'Leary that there is not more outrage from the broader community that is in opposition to the long-debunked autism-MMR vaccine link.  Alas, I then remember that the anti-vaccine movement has gained a considerable amount of momentum since Wakefield's infamous publication, that precise publication having given birth to a demon of a movement that has lead many to be convinced that the lives of people such as myself, as my cousins, and as my acquaintances are a death sentence and a drain on public resources.  This same movement has also cost people, many of them children under the age of five, their very lives, after 114,900 people died of measles in 2014. 

Andrew Wakefield, Polly Tommy, and Del Bigtree-- the Unholy Trinity of the propaganda film "Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe--" has convinced so many people that having a child much like myself is the worst potential thing that could plausibly happen to them, that having an autistic child is the shattering of their hopes and their dreams.  These are the individuals whom find out, usually much too late, that there is indeed hope, that their autistic child did not receive his or her autism from vaccines, and that it is instead a developmental disability and a neurological difference with an extremely-high rate of being inherited.

Am I denying the challenges of raising an autistic child?  No, I am most-definitely am not.  I have witnessed, first-hand, just how exhausting and how difficult it can in fact be.  But, when, as a result of the anti-vaccine movement, people feel compelled to murder their autistic children, there is a major issue that should have a direct solution, but unfortunately, one does not exist.  When the media sympathizes with those who murder their autistic children, no matter their care needs or stage of life, then there is only fuel added to the fire. 

What I find to be profoundly comical is that the anti-vaccine parents whose children are not autistic shout proclamations as if they are morally and ethically on a sort of a higher ground.  What I find to be even more hilarious-- in a devastating manner, of course-- is that the anti-vaccine parents whose children are autistic who say that they are doing all in their power to "cure" their child of their autism, and twisting it into a somehow revolutionary act.

Would you like to know what is truly revolutionary in nature?  Loving and accepting your autistic child as they are, no matter their individual care needs and communication skills.  In a World that will attempt to convince you that your autistic child is inherently "broken" or "diseased," to love them as they are and to advocate against a cure and instead funnel energy and money into more adult resources and alternative communication developments is far more revolutionary than it shall ever be to make your child's life as close to "normal" as possible.

Andrew Wakefield and the "Vaxxed" team: I am not "vaccine-damaged" nor "broken."  My cousins are not "vaccine-damaged" nor "broken."  My acquaintances are not "vaccine-damaged" nor "broken."  I find you and your lot to be scant more than pusillanimous circus clowns, and I say this because it is quite cowardly to convince an entire generation of parents that having a child like me is worse than having one who is dead.  You and your foolishness must be stopped before it can spread any further, and seep into the minds of the next generation of those who will be parents.

 Andrew Wakefield and the "Vaxxed" team, please, rid of yourselves from the scene and find a manner to make money that does not exploit the anxieties and the money of parents who do not know where to turn because their son or their daughter has been identified as being on the autism spectrum.  Your reign of terror is quite insidious and damaging beyond words that I can articulate with the eloquence that I would feel is evident in much of my writing.