In search of evidence that autism is not vaccine-related:
The mainstream scientific consensus says autism is a complex genetic disorder, one that has been around for millennia at roughly the same prevalence. That prevalence is now considered to be 1 in every 166 children born in the United States.
Applying that model to Lancaster County, there ought to be 130 Amish men, women and children here with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Well over 100, in rough terms.
Typically, half would harbor milder variants such as Asperger’s Disorder or the catch-all Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified — PDD-NOS for short.
So let’s drop those from our calculation, even though “mild” is a relative term when it comes to autism.
That means upwards of 50 Amish people of all ages should be living in Lancaster County with full-syndrome autism, the “classic autism” first described in 1943 by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner at Johns Hopkins University. The full-syndrome disorder is hard to miss, characterized by “markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders….
So far, there is evidence of only three, all of them children, the oldest age 9 or 10. Julia is one of them. I found out about her through a pediatrician in Richmond, Va., Dr. Mary Megson. I had been asking around for quite some time about autism and the Amish, and she provided the first direct link.
Megson said she would give my name to this child’s mother, who could call if she chose. A few days later the phone rang. It was Stacey-jean Inion, an Amish-Mennonite woman. She, her husband Brent and their four children live simply, but they do drive a vehicle and have a telephone. After a few pleasantries, I told her about my trying to find autistic Amish.
Here is what she said, verbatim:
“Unfortunately our autistic daughter — who’s doing very well, she’s been diagnosed with very, very severe autism — is adopted from China, and so she would have had all her vaccines in China before we got her, and then she had most of her vaccines given to her in the United States before we got her.
I shall be most interested to hear the vaccine apologists explain this mysterious absence of autism among an unvaccinated population. Perhaps the reporter just didn’t look hard enough. Or perhaps some proper double-blind studies should be performed instead of relying on these statistical surveys which are so easily massaged.