Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

¡Gracias a Dios!

A special court ruled Thursday that parents of autistic children are not entitled to compensation in their contention that certain vaccines caused autism in their children. "I must decide this case not on sentiment, but by analyzing the evidence," one of the "special masters" hearing the case said in denying the families' claims.

This largely disposes of the problem from a legal standpoint. These families had claimed that MMR vaccine and thimerosal combined caused their children's autism; other claims are based on one or the other agent alone, and logically, if the court ruled against these families, the remaining cases are hopeless.

I'm afraid, Mr. Robert F. Kennedy Junior, that you're going to have to find another class action lawsuit to pursue. Not that you aren't wealthy enough already.

As for these families who struggle with their children's autism, of course they need more support and resources. If we had a sufficiently just society in the first place, people wouldn't have to pursue frivolous lawsuits in order to try to get the help they need.


roger said...

i thought of you, and kennedy, when i read about the decision.

kathy a. said...

was also thinking of you when i heard about it on the radio.

the decisions do not just resolve the legal issue; these decisions were based on the evidence, which overwhelmingly fails to show a link between vaccinations and autism.

my understanding is that the judges who decided these cases expressed great sympathy for the families who are caring for their autistic children.

whisker said...

Yeah this is another giveaway to the druggie exec's at the expense of our kids. I also thought of you and wished you had done a longer post on it. But the point of it all is quick and clear.

MissFifi said...

Right on, these families need assistance and should not have to fight for every ounce of it.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts Regarding Autism Spectrum Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Of these rare neurological dysfunctions, Autism is the most common of these passive developmental disorders. Autism is a disability caused by a brain development disorder of unknown cause, yet some suspect the cause is some sort of neurological dysfunction- possibly with a genetic predisposition.
Usually, symptoms of the disease present themselves before the toddler reaches the age of three. Before Autism was more understood, others inaccurately labeled autistics as childhood schizophrenia or as having a psychosis or mental retardation.
Out of over two dozen diagnostic criteria utilized for these disorders, eight must be present to be considered autistic, according to the DSM. As with all passive developmental disorders, the person expresses language, social, and behavioral difficulties.
Treatment includes what are called psychotropic medications that delay the progression of the disorder, as well as relieve some of the symptoms of one who is autistic. Behavioral therapy is common as a treatment regimen as well. Boys get Autism much more than girls.
Then there is the controversy between many who claim that thimerosal- a preservative containing mercury, which is a neurotoxin that was used in vaccines until 2001, was the catalyst for autism in children.
Over 5000 lawsuits have been filed because of this belief, and some have been successful for the plaintiff. Yet most agree the correlation between thimersal and autism is void of scientific merit. Furthermore, the cases of autism have not decreased since the preservative was discontinued in 2001.
Aside from Autism, the other four passive developmental disorders are known as autism spectrum disorders.
Asperger’s Syndrome is more common than autism, and the symptoms are milder, as there is minimal delay in language abilities, if at all. What is expressed with Asperger’s syndrome is mild autistic symptoms. In time, the patient may express atypical personality disorders, though.
While intelligence is within normal limits with the Asperger’s patient, social interactions and abilities preset difficulty for such a patient. As with Autism, medications and behavioral therapy are treatment regimens with one with this syndrome
Rett’s Syndrome or disorder presents with not only atypical behavior, but also suffers from restricted physical growth and movement. There is cognitive and social impairment as well. The disorder affects mostly girls, and the cause is due to a gene mutation.
Childhood Disintegrative disorder is rare, and is 10 times less common than autism. The disorder has a late onset with mild autistic symptoms. The disorder affects mostly boys, and regression is sudden and possible with this disorder. Skills lost with this disorder may be language, social, self-care, as well as play or motor skills. Decreased function or impairment with this disorder may include social skills and behavioral flaws. Central Nervous System pathology is a suspected cause of this disorder.
Finally, there are passive development disorders that are not otherwise specified. This may include atypical autism, for example. Yet as with the rest of types of these disorders, the symptoms vary in their frequency and intensity, as well as the range of abilities of these developmental disorders vary widely as well.
Medicinal treatment along with cognitive and behavioral therapy prove to be most beneficial for all the different types of Passive Development Disorders that unfortunately exist for unknown reasons, yet further research should be done to discover both the etiologies as well as more effective treatment for the Autism Spectrum.
Dan Abshear