Why Vaccine-Autism Myth Started and Why it Still Endures Today
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” -Mark Twain
Andrew Wakefield, a former British doctor, falsely linked the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to autism in a prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, on February 28, 1998. The paper was eventually retracted, and Wakefield was de-licensed. Unfortunately, Wakefield and the vaccine-autism myth persist.
Though Wakefield was exposed as a fraud, his vaccine-autism myth was persisted, causing confusion and harm globally. The myth was particularly effective in Western societies, where countries like the United Kingdom experience decades-long setbacks to immunizations rates, rates which contributed significantly to the over 12,000 cases of measles experienced by UK families after the Study’s publishing.
“As a family physician with four decades of experience fighting preventable disease around the globe and a professor of anthropology risk, and decision science studying global vaccine confidence, we’ve seen the deadly harm that fraudulent science and unfounded claims can cause. We must vigilant if we are to avert epidemics that would have been prevented were if not for vaccine denial, ” said Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH and Heidi Larson.
ABA therapy allows Lighthouse therapist to tailor an individual program for each child, with goals that are developmentally appropriate and that help them learn new skills. Here are three wonderful examples of how ABA therapy leads to positive achievements.
Went from not responding to his name or making eye contact to independently sustaining eye contact with peers and adults while responding to his name.
Increased his communication skills by using a picture exchange communication system to answer yes or no questions and request preferred items.
Went from being unable to sit independently in a group setting to being able to sit independently for more than 15 minutes in a group setting and follow the group leader.
Increased her communication skills by using full sentences to express wants and needs.
Went from showing many bad behaviors when asked to do preferred activities to performing several non-preferred activities with no behaviors!
Went from refusing to perform activities outside of those she preferred to consistently selecting other activities when her preferred activity is not an option.
Increased his communication by using a picture exchange communication system to request wants and needs.
Went from having minimal appropriate play skills to playing proficiently with nearly all toys.
Went from being unable to feed himself to using a spoon independently and has nearly mastered using a fork.