Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Guilt Tactics Aimed at Moms Yet Again

I'm so tired of the media constantly bringing up small one-time studies or theories with no basis on what causes Autism. You know what those news stories don't do? Stop or decrease Autism. You know what they do accomplish? Making parents (mostly mothers) feel guilty about decisions they have made while pregnant. Decisions that every mom makes that are recommended by nearly every pediatrician.

Your child must be vaccinated to prevent them from having horrible things like polio and whooping cough that can permanent disable a child. They also are required to be vaccinated to attend school. Now the media loves to say vaccines and Autism have a link (thanks, Donald Trump and the idiot Jenny McCarthy!). This information is based on a BS theory from a man that no longer has his medical license. 

This information is taken from and can be verified in countless medical journals and statements from the Center for Disease Control to the American Association of Pediatrics:

The widespread fear that vaccines increase risk of autism originated with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon. The article was published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children.
The paper has since been completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet.
Nonetheless, the hypothesis was taken seriously, and several other major studies were conducted. None of them found a link between any vaccine and the likelihood of developing autism.
Today, the true causes of autism remain a mystery, but to the discredit of the autism-vaccination link theory, several studies have now identified symptoms of autism in children well before they receive the MMR vaccine. And even more recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero, well before a baby is born or receives vaccinations.

Now, as if that's not enough guilt caused by incorrect data made up by a quack doctor, now there has been a study that claims there MIGHT be a link between mothers on antidepressants while pregnant and Autism. It was on the Today Show this morning and they made it sound like some study found a solid link between the two. They even said there's a link between moms with depression and Autism. Really? Hmm. Well, let's look at what that study ACTUALLY found:

Berard's team studied more than 145,000 children born in Quebec between 1998 and 2009. They found 4,700 babies, or 3 percent of the total group, whose mothers took some type of antidepressant while pregnant.
Only 31 babies, or 1 percent of the group whose mothers took antidepressants in later pregnancy, were later diagnosed with Autism.

Wait a minute. The media piece on the show made it sound like there was a link between these antidepressants and Autism... Yeah, now you're getting it. 
Let's break this down:
145,000 children studied 
Of those 145,000, only 4,700 or 3% of the group were children with mothers that took antidepressants while pregnant.
Of that 3% only 31 babies were found with Autism.
So only ONE PERCENT of the children studied had both a mother that took antidepressants and Autism. One percent?!

If you've ever taken a statistics class you can see what this is: complete crap. You could take that exact data and show anything you wanted. You could show numbers and suggest mothers with brown eyes have a higher chance of having children with Autism. You could suggest that mothers that are left handed and have freckles are more likely to have a child with Autism. It's a joke! And any educated person can see that it is. The Today Show just wanted something sensational to report on.

This is why you cannot trust what you hear on tv or read. Do your research. Do not take what one study or one opinion as the complete truth. 
And please, do not blame yourself for something you could not control. 

-Boog's Mommy