WTF, Kate Tietje? Five reasons measles is better than autism?

http://dl.dropbox.com/s/411sgflctjdsm6b/Mob_s.jpg

I learned a new word today: neuro-bigotry.

Neuro-bigotry is prejudice against people on the autism spectrum based on the idea that they are less worthy of moral regard than everyone else.

Who taught me the new term? None other than neuro-bigot Kate Tieje whose nom de quack is Modern Alternative Mama.

Suggesting that the risk of brain damage or death from measles is preferable to having a child on the spectrum is neuro-bigotry.

Kate posted the mind boggling piece Five Reasons Measles is Better than Autism. There’s been such a firestorm of protest that Kate cannot ban and delete people fast enough from her Facebook page. But she is desperately trying to defend the post despite the fact that it is scientifically illiterate and startlingly prejudiced against those on the spectrum.

Here’s the Facebook version of the post:

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**New Post** Enough with the fear-mongering, let’s be honest: measles is better than autism. We have five reasons why the disease is preferred over the vaccine…

The actual post is a festival of stupidity. Just about every scientific “fact” is at best cherry picking and at worst a bald faced lie. And that’s not even the worst part of the post.

The worst part is this:

When a child gets autism? There’s no easy bouncing back. A bowl of chicken soup ain’t gonna solve this problem (though soup can help to heal autism).

Autism results in long-term neurological damage with can affect a child for lifetime, though there are children who recover through the hard work of their warrior mamas! Indeed, many studies … have found that gut health has a profound impact on the behaviors of those on the autism spectrum, and interventions such as diet and probiotic supplementation may be helpful.

I have an adult child on the spectrum. He is not neurologically damaged. He’s a highly successful, productive member of society with a degree from an Ivy League college, a wife and a high paying job.

Wait! They’re not talking about people like my son?

And before you cry for acceptance of neurodiversity, keep in mind, I’m referring to children with severe, regressive cases of autism, not those that are high-functioning and more self-sufficient.

But the majority (up to 75%) of people on the spectrum DON’T have severe, regressive autism.

What about measles?

You know what’s not a big deal? Measles. Did you know that according to this CDC document (page 85), between 1950 and 1960, there was less than 1 death per 100,000 in the US, which is 0.00001%, or about 1 in 100,000.

But that’s about 1 death per 1,000 reported cases, not a trivial number. [Correction: Edited to make clear the difference between death rate per population and death rate per reported cases.]

According to Measles Elimination in the United States published the Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2004:

From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year (∼1 death/ 1000 reported cases), compared with an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912–1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases). Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, serious complications due to measles remained frequent and costly. As a result of measles virus infections, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year; the latter was associated with a high risk of neurological sequelae and death. These complications and others resulted in an estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year.

Measles was a very big deal indeed.

The blog post postulates that the autism is so debilitating that risking the very real chance of hospitalization, neurological damage and death from measles is better.

Many parents of autistic children posted on Facebook profoundly disagreeing with Tietje; she has deleted most of their comments and banned them.

She tries to defend herself.

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Enough. It’s ok for us not to believe the same things. The article we shared earlier was written on our sister site Modern *Alternative* Health. We have an alternative point of view, and for good reason: today’s conventional food and medicine is not working for our kids.

Today’s generation of kids are actually predicted to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Something is wrong here, and calling names and insulting people because they believe differently than you isn’t helping our kids.

There is new information emerging, and refusing to believe doesn’t change it.

Please, let’s conduct ourselves in a dignified manner. And remember the rules: my page, my opinion. If you don’t like it, that’s ok, you are free to move on. Calling names, using foul language, and behaving like children will get you banned.

And:

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Please understand we are NOT saying that autism is the worst thing ever, or that people with autism are somehow worthless. Not at all. That’s not what this is about.

This is about putting things back into perspective. We’d rather have a child with a mild, short-term illness than a chronic disability.

The truth is, measles is a mild, self-limiting illness for most. Autism is a life-long issue, and regressive autism can be especially difficult for families, coming with behavioral, neurological, and physical symptoms. Simple illnesses are always better than chronic issues.

Of course that misses critical points:

Vaccines DON’T cause autism
Most people on the spectrum DON’T have severe regressive autism
Neurological injury or death from measles is WORSE than being on the spectrum

The most fundamental point is this:

Mothers don’t get to choose between measles and autism. They can choose to protect their children from measles but they CAN’T prevent autism, no matter how much they wish they could. Autism is almost certainly genetic. That means it’s no one’s fault so leaving your child exposed to death from measles in an effort to prevent autism is deadly nonsense.

And suggesting that the risk of brain damage or death from measles is preferable to having a child on the spectrum is neuro-bigotry.

  • Laura J

    Well Amy, I would love to read your book! I didn’t know you were a writer too! You could join us at the Write Way, just for writers. Hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend and I apologize for stumbling onto your page to stir some trouble. I hope I can find some other pages you have written and have a better experience with a better group! God bless!

    • Roadstergal

      If you’re off to find a group that knows less than you do and doesn’t annoy you with pesky ‘facts’ and ‘knowledge’ – well, god bless! (In the Southern sense.)

      Pro tip – if you really want to be a journalist in English (I understand that you might be ESL), you really need to work on clarity of expression, because your posts are 50-80% incomprehensible. You might start by writing something down, then coming back and trying to determine how clearly you have communicated whatever it is you’re trying to get across.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Can she stick the flounce?

      Damn those discussions where your ignorance is exposed…

      • Laura J

        Be nice. At least in my channel everyone treats the commentors with dignity and respect.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I don’t give a shit about your “channel,” whatever that is. You want respect? Don’t act like a blithering idiot. That would be a good start.

  • Laura J

    Autism is far more better than measles…and there are many spectrums. There are so many theories, but autism to me is a genetic thing and a higher functioning of intelligence. I think it’s the same of someone having ADD or ADHD and so forth. But a new aspect to the cause of Autism has come to the table, prions. We should investigate the sludge we put in our environment and the soil.
    http://www.cdc.gov/prions/index.html

    • Charybdis

      How do you figure it is “a higher functioning of intelligence”?

      Also, “more better” is redundant. Good, better, best. Or good, more good, most good if you prefer, although that is awkward sounding.

      The plural of spectrum is spectra.

      • Heidi_storage

        I am trying to get my three-year-old to stop using “more better.” I rather hope she nails it before reaching adulthood. Still, Laura may be ESL, as someone else mentioned (although even I wouldn’t say “mas mejor” in my wretched Spanish).

    • Irène Delse

      “Autism is far more better than measles”
      “Autism to me is a generic thing and a higher functioning of intelligence”
      “I think it’s the same of someone whith ADD”

      1) What does that even mean? Between the fuzzy thinking and the disjointed syntax, good luck with making sense of that! And thanks for telling us what you think autism is, but that means nothing, nil, nada, about what autism actually is.

      2) But aI least, by your own admission, it has nothing to do with vaccines. Well, then!

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    “Today’s generation of kids are actually predicted to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents” – did she get that from the Fed Up documentary? Because that was debunked: https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/does-the-movie-fed-up-make-sense/

    “According to the CDC and the Census Bureau, life expectancies are on an uninterrupted upward trajectory that is expected to continue rising until at least 2020.”

  • Kimberly Kjellberg

    She is clueless, hateful and spreader of dangerous lies. I never got the MMR because of age, suffered through measles (don’t remember it, I was too young) and yet I’m still Autistic. The only one of us three siblings who isn’t is the only of us who got the vaccine. Because those things are in no way related.

  • Eater of Worlds

    Neurobigotry sounds like yet another “differently abled” term for plain old ableism.

    What about the kids who don’t get vaccinated and still have autism? Has she ever had an answer for that?

    • Nick Sanders

      GMOs, parents having been vaccinated, toxins in the environment, etc. Anything to avoid admitting that it’s not an injury.

      • Roadstergal

        “Mom’s vaccines.” That’s the ones I’ve heard. It’s always the vaccines, so if the kids haven’t been vaccinated, the sins… um, I mean, the vaccines will pass unto the seventh generation.

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    Ah yes. The dreaded “regressive autism” as the only real autism. They deserve better than to be trotted out for some rant and then thrown back under the bus and ignored. When we discover how to communicate with these “retarded” people, as so many like to call them even with the backlash against the word, a lot of people should be ashamed. More than a few “non-verbal” autistics have found their voice with keyboards and blogs. They don’t like what people say about them when the normal people assume they can’t understand. And the ones that never will be able to communicate in a way most people can understand or do have the develomental delays that hinder their lives severely still deserve to be treated like people and not props.

    Ignoring or at least not demonizing some of the odd behaviors they have like the hand flapping, the strange noises, or the meltdowns would probably do more to help than what these “advocates” do. Everyone deserves a happy life. No one deserves to have their hands held down in their special education classes like my mom’s friend’s son until they’re screaming in terror because hand flapping isnt “normal.” He deserves to be treated like a human being like his family treats him. Just because he doesn’t talk like us doesn’t mean he can’t be understood. I’ve always been amazed at how his sister always knew what he meant by gestures and sounds that weren’t quite words as I knew them.

    Some people on the spectrum will need someone to watch over them the rest of their life like him. But with autistics this is somehow worse than other diseases. Down Syndrome people arent demonized like autistic people. Oh wait, they look different so we can show how good a person we are when we’re nice to them instead of treating them like an actual person. We accepted that people with traumatic brain injuries will need supervision the rest of their lives in some cases. Oh wait, they usually have a visual indicator too!

    Maybe I’m wrong or just angry but I think because so many autistic kids look “normal” they lose out on sympathy points other issues get. They look normal so they should -be- normal or whatever.

    But like we pushed for acceptance of those that don’t look like is maybe it’s time to push for acceptance of those that -can’t- be like “normal” people. The ADHD child that can’t sit still in school instead of medicated into docility only given meds as needed and allowed to move around instead of forced to sit completely still and listen for hours. Let the autistic kid stim to help them concentrate better or hold off the sensory overload without being told to hold still and stop being disruptive.

    This blog post from Julia Bascom made me cry the first time I read it. I thought I didn’t stim because I didn’t rock or hand flap. But I do stim. And people put their hands on my leg to make me stop bouncing it and suddenly I can’t block out the sensory issues. A lady at church thought she was being helpful by grabbing my hands and putting them on my leg to stop the bouncing. I almost started screaming. Noise was too much, the light was too bright, the sensation of her hands on mine were like fire. No one had been so brazen like that before and suddenly it made sense why I was “fidgety.” I stim and even my relatively unobtrusive stimming isn’t okay. And I’m a milder case. I see now why those that has less control over impulses scream. It’s awful.

    https://juststimming.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/quiet-hands/

    • Chi

      I wish I could upvote this more than once.

      Whenever people go on about ‘curing’ autism, all I hear is “You’re not what I wanted. You’re broken, you’re damaged and I am determined to ‘fix’ you.” And my heart breaks for those children who can’t understand why they’re being put through all these therapies and ‘treatments’ and ‘tests’, when all they want is to be loved and nurtured.

    • ses1978

      Love this comment. And I have come to that conclusion myself as one of those autistics who has been personally harmed by some of the nuts. Would they really truly say half of what they say about people like me about people with Down syndrome? Do note the operative word is people!

    • J.B.

      I read the just stimming link sometimes and needed to be reminded of it. I have a spectrum adjacent kid who will probably never have an autism diagnosis. You know what? The child’s intelligence is probably off the charts. And a child with high intelligence but not the emotional control to go with it, plus sensory issues, has some major challenges! Great potential, but a lot of stabilizing to function. But in the abstract, everyone wants their kid to be a genius. Just need to be reminded to respect my child. And would like to smack Tietje but don’t want to give her the cluck.

      ETA last word should be click but I kind of like the accidental rhyme!

      • Roadstergal

        “But in the abstract, everyone wants their kid to be a genius”

        You’d think the anti-vaxxers would have taken a moment to notice how most geniuses throughout _history_ have been ‘eccentric.’ Because that was the term people had.

    • Nick Sanders

      I remember when I was in a special ed school. Our vice principle insisted on so many things because “that’s what normal schools do”, never mind if there was any benefit to it, or if doing something else was better for us. I hated her for that.

    • BeatriceC

      I am not autistic. I have a couple stimming behaviors anyway. I used to drive my parents and teachers nuts because I like to rest my leg on the floor on the ball of my foot and let my leg shake. But only my left leg. MrC doesn’t mind at all, I think because he understands why something like that is comforting.

      • Roadstergal

        I’m having a ‘doesn’t everybody do that?’ moment. :p

      • D/

        Same here. When I’m sitting I frequently have this rapid air-tapping behavior with my toes (heel on floor) or leg-bouncing (ball of foot on floor) … most often with right leg, but not always. Also have a swaying-while-standing thing that pops up occasionally. I’m holding babies so much I figure that one’s pretty well disguised at lot of the time.

        Thirty-five year bedtime ritual at my house:
        I shake my right foot and leg (along with the whole bed) to settle for sleep.
        MrD: “Gah, do you have to do that shit *every* night!”
        Me: “Beèn doing this shit every night for how long? You still have to ask?”
        MrD: “Good night sweetie”

      • Charybdis

        I do the leg bouncing thing and favor the left leg as well. I also will rub my index finger in a circular motion against the ball of my thumb or rub my fingertips across my cuticles which are usually a mess because I am in and out of nitrile gloves all day. I also like to rub my fingertips across the edge of a blanket that is fuzzy. It is soothing.

    • Poogles

      You’re not “wrong or just angry”, let me assure you.
      I just want to say how much I appreciate your comments and perspective, especially when the subject of autism comes up. So many neurotypical people completely ignore the voices of people with autism (those who can find their “voice”) – I think it is so important for people with autism to “speak” out, in any way they are able. We need your perspectives, your POVs, even if many don’t realize it yet. Thank you.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Why oh why do people think it’s ok to put their hands on other people without permission?! I absolutely hate that. I am a pretty social person but do NOT touch/hug etc without asking. I can understand if my finger tapping/leg bouncing is distracting at work, feel free to ask me to stop. But do not grab me! So sorry that happened.

  • ryan

    MAM has always pissed me off, moreso than most people I’d guess given that I’ve got Asperger’s so I’m one of those people she would rather her kids suffer or die than be like, but this is a new low. This is fucking hate speech and dehumanization of the worst order. What a morally bankrupt excretion of a human being.

    In many ways, that vile and willfully ignorant con is what scares me most about society today. The strain of anti-intellectualism that lets her peddle her bigotry and non-medicine and get applauded with it is as terrifying as it is infuriating.

  • Spiderpigmom

    The more she protests of her intentions, the more disgusting she gets. “Oh, but I’m only talking about people with severe regressive autism”. Ugh. Someone very close to me had a child with autism, who was entirely non-verbal and had limited cognitive abilities. The kid died in a freak accident; it’s been a long time but there is not one day his parent doesn’t miss him and doesn’t wish he was alive. He was very dearly loved and cherished. Saying you should take the risk to have your child DIE rather than him possibly having “severe regressive” autism is beyond contemptible. Feeling so ragey right now.

    • Chi

      It’s repugnant. Especially since she doesn’t actually give a shit about who she offends, because if she offends people it brings them to her page and gives her more attention. And then she gets back pats from all her slavering, adoring followers saying ‘there there Kate, we know you speak the truth, don’t let those nasty bullying pro-vaxxers get you down’. Which of course only serves to bolster her ego even more.

      Autistic people are just props to be used in her fearmongering agenda. Which of course makes her more money when desperate parents buy her supplements to ‘cure’ that which cannot be cured.

      And that’s what really makes me ragey. People like her and all the other autism quacks who claim that autism can be cured. For parents who are overwhelmed by a special needs child, the promise of a cure can be a powerful thing. Unfortunately it’s the children who suffer most, and all because their parents couldn’t accept them for who and what they are. It is so maddening.

    • I might give her a tenth of a credit for this if she insisted on using numbers that reflected that limited proportion.

  • Mike Stevens

    It’s worth pointing out that prenatal infection with rubella virus was one of the commonest causes of autism (congenital rubella).
    MMR vaccine prevents rubella, making it a vaccine that can PREVENT autism.

    • demodocus

      shhh, it’s a secret.

  • Nick Sanders

    The real author banned me and deleted my posts linking to studies proving her wrong. I guess she doesn’t like science very much.

    https://www.facebook.com/thefamilythathealstogether/posts/1268782383132286

    Especially not this piece explaining that contrary to her claims, measles weakens the immune system greatly.
    http://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/6185/20150508/new-research-finds-measles-weakens-immune-system-for-up-to-three-years.htm

    (hint, hint)

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      She’s an alternative medicine quack worshiper…that is the very definition of anti-science.

  • Steph858

    If Ms. Tietje happens to be reading this:

    You call yourself a skeptic? Yet you accept the sheeple’s ‘fact’ that vaccines in general protect against diseases and that MMR in particular protects against Measles? Skeptic my arse! A REAL skeptic knows The TRUTH: Germ Theory is JUST A THEORY! The TRUTH (TM) is that the pathogens present in sick people are a SYMPTOM of the disease, NOT the cause of it. Diseases are actually caused by a buildup of toxins from living a modern lifestyle; once one’s body has been compromised by ingesting such poisons as pesticides, GMO foods and fluoridated water, pathogens will flock to one’s illness-ridden body like mosquitoes attracted to stagnant water.

    By accepting the premise that MMR protects against Measles, you are implicitly accepting the Germ Theory of Disease as true, and are thus playing right into The Ancient Evil Scientific Establishment Conspiracy’s hands!

    • Andrew Lazarus

      That Round Earth Theory is another conspiracy, and if you don’t believe me, there are Flat Earth Antivax cranks.

      You would think, given that the modern lifestyle is modern, that people lived a lot longer in the old days, but life expectancy was in the 40s. Nor is life expectancy good in parts of the Third World where pesticides, GMO foods, and fluoridated water don’t exist.

      So why is @Steph858 writing this absurd crap? Because then his good health is a testament to his own Awesome Lifestyle™, and not the many scientific advances that protect him: like the disappearance of smallpox, which his amazing body might not fight off after all.

      Antivaxers are dangerous narcissists.

      • Steph858

        I stumbled upon the Flat Earth Society forum a few years back. I’ve always thought that the FES Forum’s members were just indulging in an in-joke intellectual exercise in Solipsism. I found it hard to believe that any of the so-called ‘Flat Earthers’ were really seriously Round Earth Denialists; it’s just that trying to disprove common knowledge for the sake of having an argument is their idea of fun.

        However, after visiting the FES Forums, I later came across Icke’s forums. Having seen what some of the loonies over there believe, I now wonder whether there might actually be some real Round Earth Deniers out there …

        (Pssst, Andrew Lazarus: Don’t go around breaking my cover like that! That I’m secretly a man might appear to be a small, unimportant detail, but what you lowly minions seem to forget is that it’s such ostensibly trivial minutiae which is key to maintaining the main conspiracy; if you start letting little details like that slip out, before you know it every Tom, Dick and Harry will know about Us Illuminati NWO.)

        • Andrew Lazarus

          I’m sorry about getting your gender wrong.

          The antivaxer who goes by a typographical variation on Jolly Roger seems as sincere in his Flat Earth beliefs as his antivax beliefs. And the overlap in bogus methods of argument is not trivial.

  • Rhybellious

    I have hesitated to comment on this because I do not in anyway want to be seen as diminishing the accomplishments of those individuals on the spectrum who have managed to succeed in a world geared toward the neurotypical. I feel compelled to speak though because there are a significant percentage of those on the spectrum who also have a co morbid intellectual disability and I believe that these individuals and their parents are particularly vulnerable to the kind of ableist hate that MAM spews. Because their disability is so obvious and often so life changing for them and their families, they are often held up as the WORST thing that can happen to your child. Whether she says it outright or not, MAM and her ilk frequently spew rhetoric that amounts to better dead than disabled. Those who for whatever reason have trouble with continence (something many new mothers should have compassion for), who need technological assistance to communicate basic needs, who need accommodations on a daily basis in order to function still have the ability to love, to grow, to learn and with help are often able to contribute to their families and their communities. As the parent of a dead son and one whose metabolic disorder has caused frequent regressions, I respectfully submit I prefer parenting a living child. Even if he can only say I love you with his iPad. Even if I have to diaper him until he’s thirty. Even if he has a meltdown because he cannot make himself understood.

    • ses1978

      I respect that. Particularly in being in the moderate-severe zone of the spectrum. And yes, those are the ones most at risk of the hate that is being spewed by MAM and her ilk.

    • J.B.

      Thank you for that reminder.

  • Tom

    Amy, I think you might have made a math mistake here, or I’m misunderstanding it.

    The original article says:

    “You know what’s not a big deal? Measles. Did you know that according to this CDC document (page 85), between 1950 and 1960, there was less than 1 death per 100,000 in the US, which is 0.00001%, or about 1 in 100,000.”

    Based on your data, you said:

    “From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year (∼1 death/ 1000 reported cases)”

    However, that quote says 1 death per 1,000 reported cases. Since the US had a population of 182 Million in 1960, and there was an average of 450 deaths per year, isn’t that one death per 404,000 PEOPLE (versus 1 death per 1,000 REPORTED CASES)?

    Am I missing something here?

    • michi

      You’re missing something. For every 1000 people that got the measles in those years, 1 person passed. Not every single person in the US got the measles so you don’t use the total US population. You use the total number of people that got sick instead.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        Agree. The statistics of one death per 100,000 total people in the US is useless. That’s not how we measure the mortality of a disease. The mortality is 1 in 1,000, not 1 in 100,000.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Yes, but with measles, “reported cases” is problematic. Almost everyone got measles at some point, but probably most cases weren’t reported. Then again, probably many measles deaths weren’t reported as such either.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Of course, that also doesn’t include the children who died from pneumonia which they contracted because their immune systems were weakened by measles.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      You are correct! I was wrong so I edited the post to remove my mistake.

    • Mike Stevens

      Are you missing something? Yes.
      You can’t compare an annual incidence rate to an overall population.

      Example: say in any given year that one in 10 babies suffer infantile colic.
      What percentage of the US population has suffered from colic?
      Is it:
      a) 10%?
      b) 0.0125% (400,000 in 320 million)?

  • CSN0116

    Who is the “we” this freak speaks of? I thought this was a one-man shit show…

  • Stephanie Rotherham

    Oh God, excuse me, but I can’t even. Just… I’m too shocked to even be properly angry right now.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Give it up, measles lovers. Even Autism Speaks has admitted that the data are extremely clear and there is no correlation, much less any causal connection, between autism and the MMR.

    https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/no-mmr-autism-link-large-study-vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated-kids

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Normally I would not link to Autism Speaks, but did this time because if even they admit that there is no there there, there is no there there.

    • LaMont

      Ugh seriously!! If there were ways to *choose* autism or not, I can’t imagine people wouldn’t be interested in prevention. We vaccine-huggers are the ones who like to intervene in the “natural” plans, remember? But this has long been disproven! If vaccines had ever caused autism, you bet your ass the vaccine providers would have worked their tails off to provide newer, better vaccines that ran fewer risks. Why is this so hard to believe?

  • BeatriceC

    Google is failing me tonight. This is only somewhat on topic. I’m looking for what vaccines would have been given at what age to a person born in the early 1950’s (prior to the polio vaccine coming out.) Also, If a person got the polio shot that came out in 1955, why would they also have gotten the sugar cube version in 1960? The best I’ve come up with is what year the various vaccines were available, and figure that the ones that were available were the ones that were given, but I can’t find what age they would have been given. It’s not that there’s that many: small pox, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, plus some form of an annual flu vaccine, but still, I’m curious to know what the schedule was.

    • Erin

      TB? I’m sure my Mother said she was vaccinated against it although her Father died of it so it might not have been given to all.

    • Charybdis
      • BeatriceC

        Thank you!

        • Charybdis

          You’re welcome!

        • Charybdis

          Psst……I sent you a Facebook friend request, under my real name. Initials are AF…

          • BeatriceC

            I was wondering who that was.

  • kellymbray

    In the 1989 measles outbreak in the US the death rate was 1 in 447.

    • T.

      It does seem to depend up to a point on which strain of measles was around… different strains have different mortality or so I have understood… I could be wrong mind you

  • Roald Dahl was a big pro-vaxxer. His daughter got measles when she was seven years old — before the vaccine — and she died.

    None of Roald’s kids were autistic but he did have one who was brain damaged in an accident. When he found out his daughter’s school had a measles epidemic he got some gamma globulin, which was a routine prophylactic known to boost the immune system. He had to order it from a relative in America, and the relative only provided enough for Dahl’s son who had brain damage. The relative said, “Let the girls get measles. It will be good for them.”

    It. Will. Be. Good. For. Them.

    I’m sure Roald would be horrified by how far the Cult of Anti-Vaxx has spread since his death. Just as I’m sure he would have preferred his daughter alive and autistic (or brain damaged like her brother), than dead at the age of seven.

    http://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahl/timeline/1960s/november-1962

  • Voter

    As a medical doctor your comments are shocking because you, of all people, should know that generalizing your on-the-spectrum son to represent all of autism is about as scientific and ridiculous as saying all people who get vaccines will die. There are MANY children with autism who are barely toilet trained, who have seizures daily, who are nonverbal and who are suffering from unresolved gut inflammatory issues. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Amy

      Yeah? Why don’t you ask those parents if they’d rather their kids be dead of a VPD than autistic? In my experience, the answer is a resounding NO.

    • JP

      Lol, you know someone is full of shit when they need to start their comment with “As a medical doctor”

      • Azayki

        He was obviously talking about the author, not himself. Reading comprehension is important before posting on the internets. Granted, he’s an idiot but still.

    • Nick Sanders

      Take your bigoted stereotypes and cram them up your ass.

    • corblimeybot

      There are many autistic people who live happy and fulfilling lives, so what’s your point?

    • Sarah

      Fuck off.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      There are many children who suffer sequelae of VPD who have seizures daily, are non-verbal, and barely toilet trained. Furthermore, there is a causal connection between these problems and the lack of vaccination. There is no causal connection or even correlation between vaccination and any form or severity of autism.

    • demodocus

      So, you’d risk your kid going blind or deaf on top of ASD? You don’t get to pick the severity of either disease or disorder. As a what-if game, i prefer speculating whether Magneto or Voldemort would win a fight

      • Voter

        The ridiculousness of all this is that you are looking at and living with an entire generation that had measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough and scarlet fever, just to name a few. And that generation is not blind. Nor deaf. Nor ASD. They call it the Baby Boomers. If measles were truly as deadly as you brainwashed people think, we wouldn’t have a Social Security crisis because all of us Boomers would be DEAD. I do admit though that I have been permanently scarred by chicken pox. I had a pox right above my eye that I kept itching and my mother told me to stop itching or there would be a scar. I didn’t stop and there is a scar, and it has caused me lifelong trauma. I would take a picture of it and post it here but I forgot which eye it was.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Duh!! Why would they all be blind or deaf? The rates of these complications are very far from 100%.

          So what you need to tell us is the rate of measles induced blindness and deafness in 1960 compared to the same rate today.

          Let me guess, you don’t have a clue.

        • demodocus

          *I’m* deaf and my husband’s blind, both thanks to disease, a VPD one in my husband’s case.

        • Who?

          Oh dear, is a version of ‘my parents beat me every day, and I grew up fine, so what’s wrong with beating children?’ really the best you can come up with?

          We know better, we do better. Well, some of us, anyway.

        • demodocus

          Also, I know more blind-since-childhood boomers than my own generation.

          • Amy

            OMG THIS.

            I’ve been teaching 15 years and before that worked in teacher-like jobs (SAT courses, literacy programs, and the like). In that time I’ve worked with thousands of students, all millenials or younger. In that same time, I’ve known (not even worked with all of them, just known of their existence in the school systems where I’ve worked) FIVE blind students.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Seriously? I take care of many patients with post-polio syndrome. When I worked at a free clinic in NYC, I had a ton of patients with congenital rubella syndrome who were blind, deaf, or both. Crawl back under your privileged little rock, please.

          • Damo

            Ahh, I posted a similar story about a friend who had polio in his childhood only to die from complications in his fifties.

          • Laura J

            My uncle had polio. He had to walk with a cane his whole life. Isn’t it more prominent now in war torn areas like Syria regions?

        • Charybdis

          First of all, you SCRATCH an itch, you don’t “ITCH” anything. Second of all, the entire generation that had measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, scarlet fever, etc. AS A POPULATION came through it all right. Individuals, however, is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

          My father had scarlet fever as a young boy. He developed rheumatic fever as a result/complication and lived the rest of his long life with heart damage. He required prophylactic antibiotic treatment for every dental cleaning and procedure and had to have a pacemaker installed. Plus he battled congestive heart failure as well. He was athletic and race walked and lifted weights for a large portion of his life, but he was always aware of what “mild illnesses” could do.

          Both Dad and Mom remember the polio scares and the closing of pools, parks, etc. Even though their families did not lose any immediate members to measles, mumps, polio, etc., they knew people who did. Friends and neighbors who lost children to these “mild illnesses” or who had children permanently affected. Braces and crutches for those harmed by polio. Sterility for boys who had mumps. Babies who died from whooping cough or became “weak” or “sickly” from lung damage. Complications from measles and being “sickly” or “a poor doer” from a measles infection.

          I remember having chicken pox at about 3 years old. I had them EVERYWHERE. In my hair, under my nails, crotch, EVERYWHERE. I remember the baking soda baths and Mom keeping my nails trimmed way down so I wouldn’t do as much damage when scratching. It was MISERABLE. My son caught the chicken pox when he was nine months old. Nine months. No idea where he managed to catch it, but he did. He has a couple of scars on his face and some on his torso. It was a miserable time for him…feverish, itchy, unsettled and all sorts of uncomfortable. I wouldn’t characterize that experience as “mild” or “not that bad” or even as some sort of childhood rite of passage.

          People were RELIEVED and THANKFUL when vaccinations were developed for these illnesses. They lined up in droves just so their children could get the vaccines. Hell, they used to give the vaccinations AT SCHOOL. It was an investment in public health and people were eager to protect their loved ones from the diseases that could kill people or leave them adversely affected for the rest of their lives.

          • Maud Pie

            Yes, for those of us who value individuals it’s no comfort to be told enough people survived to keep the population going and increasing.

            Voter’s baby boomers argument reminds me of that witty retort by lactavists that breastfeeding problems are obviously a social construct contrived by the formula manufacturers because if breastfeeding is really so difficult the human race would have died out! Sure–breastfeeding worked well enough for enough people to survive long enough to produce a new generation–but what about the infants who died for lack of nourishment? My wonderful DD probably would have succumbed, so I can’t be so cavalier about a fatality rate too small to put a dent in population growth.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yes, for those of us who value individuals it’s no comfort to be told
            enough people survived to keep the population going and increasing.

            My grandmother had two sisters who died when they were between 1 and 2 years old. I don’t know why they died.

            But she also had 6 brothers and sisters who survived to adulthood and had families. Therefore, from a population standpoint, they were very effective.

            I’m sure that’s a great consolation to her parents, who saw two of their kids die.

          • Damo

            Wait, there is a chicken pox vaccine?? While it was a terrible time having it, it was always a rite of passage for my elementary school. When you came back, kids were all like how was it? Did you eat ice cream? And those of us who managed to wait until middle school were looked upon as freaks–“YOU didn’t get chicken pox yet?”

            While I am glad that children will not have to suffer, I do feel like kids today are missing out on a part of growing up.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            While I am glad that children will not have to suffer, I do feel like kids today are missing out on a part of growing up.

            I don’t.

            Chicken pox sucks, on many levels. Normal cases involve initial fever with 7 – 10 days of nasty, itchy rash, with quarantine. Mild cases might avoid the fever, and the rash isn’t as bad, but still lasts a week or so. While most survive, it does cause death in about 1/20000 cases. It’s rare, but it happens. Worse than normal cases are more common, with longer fever and worse rashes. On the whole, it’s a terrible time having it.

            In contrast, with the chicken pox vaccine, the typical response is mild soreness and redness at the injection site. Mild response is …. nothing after the initial shot (both of my kids were totally fine by the time they walked out of the exam room). More serious effects involve low-grade fever. It has not been associated with any death.

            The immunity is just as effective as getting the disease (which does not provide perfect immunity, despite claims).

            Given these situations, why in the world would anyone choose the disease over the vaccine? For a “right of passage”? To deliberately subject your kids to a “terrible” disease (your word)? Only a monster would do that, when there is a perfectly fine way to achieve the same result without inflicting disease upon them.

            BTW, I didn’t even mention the cost. As a parent, the quarantine period can be a huge problem. Having one parent spend two weeks at home, taking time off work, is not easy at all. It’s a royal pain in the ass, and costs money (if they are in daycare, you still pay for the daycare even when they aren’t there).

            But the decision to vaccinate against the chicken pox is not just about money, it’s about human decency. And I don’t think my kids are not missing out on anything by not getting sick.

          • Megan

            Consider this my upvote. I’d upvote each point individually if I could. Chickenpox if miserable. Nostalgia is no reason to make kids go through that.

          • Damo

            Calm your horses, I am not advocating not vaccinating your child for chicken pox–I merely stated that in the 1980s it was a common experience that all kids went through. So, save it for the anti-vaxxers.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yet, you lament that they are “missing out.”

          • Damo

            Yes, on the shared experience.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Make no mistake, I find hazing rituals to be equally distasteful.

          • Roadstergal

            My chicken pox experience wasn’t shared – it was an experience where I was isolated and alone and miserable for a good long time. I’m happy for kids today to miss out on it.

          • demodocus

            Wow, that is completely unlike my school’s culture. We never knew about anyone else’s chicken pox, just that someone was out sick for a few days.

          • Laura J

            Question, isn’t it ok for kids to build up their own immunities such as chicken pox etc without the vaccine?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Question, isn’t it ok for kids to build up their own immunities such as chicken pox etc without the vaccine?

            The whole point of getting the vaccine is to build up immunity without having to get sick in the first place. Because, you know, getting sick sucks.

            So if you can get the immunity without having to get sick, you can get all the benefit without the cost.

          • beth

            it seems to me that the whole point of immunity is to keep you from getting the disease. What the heck good is immunity if you have to get the disease to have it?

          • Laura J

            Chicken pox vax wasn’t available back then. I got almost everything. If you are a teacher, the schools are pretty packed of germs. Speaking of germs, still getting over this cold/ allergy thing. I get the flu shot every year because it turns asthmatic. However I’ve learned a few things if I get colds or such. CUt out dairy until it passes. Pineapple juice is great help. I am currently post pregnancy at the moment, and sure my writing etc. is a bit rusty esp. if you are aware of pregnancy brain!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And what does this have to do with the post to which you responded?

            You are one total non sequitor. You claim to be a writer, but you can’t place together two coherent thoughts in a row.

          • Laura J

            You are a real jerk…class ass of stupidity and libtard

          • corblimeybot

            Using any variation of “tard” as an insult, marks you as an astonishing asshole.

          • Laura J

            bofa is 100% and so are you too. Liberal looser

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Notice that she said that to me at the same time she chastised me to “be nice.”

          • Nick Sanders

            Wait, first you blame your period, and then pregnancy brain? How in the hell?

          • Heidi

            If you’re having that much trouble coping mentally post-pregnancy and during menstruation, a trip to the doctor might be in order. I’m saying this as a person who is 37 weeks post-pregnancy. I might be more prone to typos because of lack of sleep lately, but my husband has been similarly affected despite not menstruating nor gestating. But I seriously don’t go off on “tangents,” as you say. It’s not normal and to suggest it is is sexist.

          • Nick Sanders

            What would the point be? To give the kid a few days of misery, a chance of going to the hospital for severe cellulitis and/or respiratory infection, and a much great change of shingles later in life, while putting the young, elderly, and immunocompromised around them in unnecessary and avoidable danger?

          • Damo

            No, getting disease only builds immunity against that disease. If you survive.

          • Laura J

            Thank you. How is it that one group already has antibodies from that disease? Such as you can be positive for TB but not have any symptoms, say the bacteria is dormant?

          • kfunk937

            Vaccines “build up their own immunities” while preventing the disease. There is no magic to naturally acquired immunity, only the full-blown illness and complications. Furthermore, people can get chickenpox more than once, and once they’ve had it, are at a higher risk of developing shingles. Vaccination for chickenpox and later, for shingles, protects against both. Isn’t that more sensible?

          • Laura J

            Thank you. Yes I know someone who had it twice, chicken pox. Our 4 yr old has the vax for it. So it’s like dormant in the body, then…

          • kfunk937

            Yeah, it hides out in nerves, and under the “right” conditions becomes active as shingles, along the dermatome. One in three will experience shingles. Thankfully, there’s a vaccine for that, too.

            I did an informal survey (~30 people, 11 participants, 7 related to me-by marriage, and me) of those over 50 in an ER waiting room not too long ago. One had had had it twice (as with mumps) and another was there because of shingles that currently threatened her vision. The question, actually a casual conversation I started among the relatives (I don’t actually bother strangers in the ER, but 3 sitting nearby joined in), was about whether they had observed or participated in “pox parties” before the vaccine (1995 in the US). None had. Everyone had got it anyway.

          • shay simmons

            Born 1955 — six brothers and sisters and all of us caught the chicken pox. It spread so rapidly through an elementary school that pox parties (if they existed) would have been superfluous.

          • Sonja Henie

            Exactly! It was ubiquitous before the vaccine.

          • Laura J

            Amazing study! You must love your job. I thought I had shingles 2 years ago. Turned out I slept on a chinese massage ball with spikes on it…lol! Hurt like a you know what.

          • kfunk937

            Heh. Sounds like those massage-ball things they make as car-seat covers, or the sandals with stabby bits that make me feel like I’m walking over inescapable small rocks, just the right size to make me avoid walking.

            The survey I mentioned wasn’t work, just me killing time and indulging my own curiosity. I think that a good study could be done though, and possibly should be. The contention by those in favour of pox parties (even to the point of sending infectious materials through the mail–a federal crime) is that “everybody used to do it.” Turns out, that’s less than factual.

          • Laura J

            Oh yeah they are great to massage that area of the back or neck. They were great Christmas stocking stuffers too.

          • Sonja Henie

            This jibes with my experience as well with chickenpox parties. Growing up in Pittsburgh, my mom never hosted one when my brother and I had it back to back, nor was I ever invited to one. I asked my husband, growing up 1000 miles away in Omaha, Nebraska if he’d ever heard of that and he said “no”. We both said our moms would never have let us attend such a party.

            My kids were young pre-vaccine. I remember when chicknepox would go through the neighborhood, or the classroom, we moms would all hope our kids didn’t get it that time around. There’s never a good time to be sick with a contagious disease for a week. But again, never heard of a chickenpox party.

            I’d like to say a word about having chickenpox and even mumps twice.
            https://www.verywell.com/second-cases-of-chicken-pox-2633344
            “One common reason for a child to have a ‘second’ attack of chicken pox
            is simply because the first case, or maybe the second case, was really
            something else that was misdiagnosed as chicken pox. Although a
            full-blown case of chicken pox is hard to miss, other viral infections
            and even insect bites can be misdiagnosed as mild cases of chicken pox, especially by non-medical personal, including parents and daycare workers.”

            This happened in my neighborood. My neighbor was very p*ssed at me b/c I wouldn’t let my kids play with hers after her son had chickenpox. She had a daughter as well. She was certain the DD had had chickenpox when she had a little skin lesion a year or so earlier. I was not so convinced, and we had non-refundable airline tickets for a trip on July 5. Sure enough, they came home from their camping trip on the 4th because the DD had cpx for real this time. I wouldn’t be surprised if to this day she still says the kid had it twice!

            There is some evidence that some few people do get it twice; a public health nurse friend’s kids supposedly had a second case (each) but she said it was very light the second time.

            I was not surprised when one dose of the vaccine produced too many break-through cases and a second was added to the schedule.

            Back to my mom, she was a public health nurse in the 40s right after WW II. She used to get so annoyed when the neighborhood moms would talk about their kids having measles 2, 3, even 4 times, sometimes! Apparently, some moms called any rash disease “measles”. I am suspicious of second cases of mumps as well.

          • kfunk937

            Good points. Diagnosing any random bugbites or rashes as chickenpox leads to things like “it didn’t work” (when it did) and by extension, similar claims of “failed ‘flu vaccine” because someone got a garden-variety cold. Repeat mumps seems like it would be less likely to be misdiagnosed (and I hear about second cases fairly often), but even that could happen.

            Newsflash: vaccines have zero efficacy for diseases they are not designed to prevent. Well, except that preventing actual measles with the MMR is likely to improve all-cause mortality rates for a few years, or at least hold constant, since getting the actual measles suppresses the immune system for a few years afterward.

          • Sonja Henie

            This says second cases of mumps are rare, but doesn’t say what “rare” means.
            http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4211.pdf
            Pretty much everything I looked at said that.

            There are some other causes of parotitis. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/suppurative-parotitis-in-adults

          • Michael McCarthy

            Oh good, I’m not the only one to have had shingles twice (before 40!) and the mumps twice.

          • kfunk937

            Shingles will generally NOT be missed. Sorry you’ve been through it ever, much less twice! I’ve been lucky so far, but am looking forward to getting the vaccine when my insurance covers it at 60. Cheapest birthday present I ever planned (free).

          • Michael McCarthy

            I was fortunate that the emergence itself was rather mild compared to many (2x on the face- both sides) and on the arm/hand. I was unlucky in the second bout, though, to suffer some minor nerve damage (paresthesia) which was supposed to resolve itself but after 3 years I’ve decided that isn’t happening. (still better than the total loss of feeling at the start of the outbreak when I thought it was a stroke)

          • Roadstergal

            Yes, chicken pox is a herpes virus. Like the other sorts of herpes viruses, it can lie dormant and flare now and then…

            I think that if the ‘natural infection is better’ folk were reframed as intentionally infecting their kids with herpes, it would change the narrative. :p

          • kfunk937

            Have you seen cia parker’s comment describing how she infected her infant daughter with chickenpox, deliberately? Nary an objection from her fellow travellers. We don’t need to expend much effort in reframing when they’re promoting the practice. SMFH.

          • Roadstergal

            *barf**barf*

          • Sonja Henie

            Yes, the vaccine virus stays in the body just like wild virus. However, early results (the vax has been out 20 years and peak age for getting shingles is >60) show a lower incidence of shingles in the vaccinated as opposed to those who got “natural immunity”.

          • Charybdis

            Yes, there is a chicken pox vaccine. A single dose is something like 85% effective at preventing it and two doses ups the percentage to 98%+, but the child has to be 12-15 months of age before they can receive it.

            However, the incubation period is anywhere between 10-21 days, so if your child develops chicken pox, you have no idea (unless you have deliberately exposed them yourself through a pox party or gave them a lollipop that had been licked by a child with chickenpox) where they picked it up. I sure as hell had no idea where DS picked it up at 9 months.

            That’s the thing with VPD’s, they generally have a long incubation time with the minimum being somewhere around 10 days, but most are something like 14-25 days BEFORE SYMPTOMS SHOW UP. So you probably won’t be able to pinpoint where and from whom your child (or you) was exposed. And the little disease vectors are spreading the infection to everyone they come in contact with. They don’t even have to be present, as the measles virus can live in the air for up to 2 hours after an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to the infected person will catch it, IF THEY ARE NOT IMMUNE THEMSELVES. Infected people are contagious from 4-5 days before the rash appears to 4-5 days after it appears.

            I doubt many people are nostalgic about their childhood illnesses, if they were born before the measles vaccine was developed in 1963 and improved in 1968. Mumps and rubella vaccines were developed in 1967 and 1969, respectively, and I also doubt many people are nostalgic for being sick with those illnesses.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            I was born in 1961 and while I was fortunate enough to get the measles vaccine, I caught mumps and chicken pox, mumps when I was 5 and chicken pox when I was 6. Mumps was so painful that I have clear memories of being unable to eat or for the most part, drink anything for a week. Chicken pox was the most itchy and uncomfortable I have ever been. I could not sleep and nothing really helped. Why anyone would put their kids through this is a complete mystery to me.

          • Damo

            Thank you for actually answering my question. Just for the record, I am not saying anyone is nostalgic for being sick, but there is a bonding experience that occurs when people have similar traumatic experiences (in this case, the chicken pox). I would never advocate not getting a vaccine for a disease like this, as anyone who has seen my posts before knows, I rather enjoy mocking anti-vaxxers.

          • corblimeybot

            Missing on a part of growing up!!?!?!? Are you serious? Let me tell you what happened when my brother and I got chickenpox.

            First of all, no one in our schools gave a rat’s ass if we had the chickenpox merit badge. No one cared, no one discussed treatment, no one thought there was anything to talk about regarding chickenpox except, “sorry you were sick.”

            Our 8-year-old friend gave my brother and me chickenpox when my brother was 5, and I was 7. We got sick over Christmas vacation, and we missed the only white Christmas that happened in our childhoods. My father wrapped me up in a quilt and carried me outside to see the snow, but I never got to play in it. This was also the last Christmas that my parents were married, so I missed the last family Christmas of my childhood.

            I had lesions everywhere, including inside my nose, ears, eyes, and on my genitals. I was sick enough that I can’t even tell you what was going on with my brother, because I can’t remember much besides lying on the couch in misery.

            On Christmas, my family brought us presents. I cried and hid behind the couch under a blanket, because I said I was “too ugly to look at”. Such a normal, healthy part of growing up! Thank god I didn’t miss out!

            Then at 27, I got shingles. So nostalgic!

          • Damo

            Fuck off. Seriously. I just lamented that the trade off for modern medicine was a bonding experience that happens with most children. I don’t really give a shit about your experience. I never said that having the chicken pox was better than not having it. Once again, fuck off.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Seriously. I just lamented that the trade off for modern medicine was a bonding experience that happens with most children.

            And she shat upon your “bonding experience” nonsense. As did I.

            This “hazing rituals as a rite of passage” crap is bullshit. There is no virtue in it.

          • Damo

            No, she wanted to make my experience less legitimate because her own wasn’t the same. This isn’t shitting upon anything, it is one-upmanship of suffering. Get over yourself.

            And I don’t really know what you are talking about when it comes to hazing. I am not advocating hazing.

            So, you can join her and fuck off.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Yeah I’m sure my cousin who developed meningitis from the chicken pox virus would have liked to avoid that “right of passage”. Thankfully no permanent damage but a week or more in the hospital on the verge of death was something her parents could have done with out…

          • kfunk937

            Well, that’s one way to look at it.

            Per the CDC:

            Chickenpox used to be very common in the United States. In the early
            1990s, an average of 4 million people got varicella, 10,500 to 13,000
            were hospitalized (range, 8,000 to 18,000), and 100 to 150 died each
            year.
            ~snip~
            Each year, more than 3.5 million cases of varicella, 9,000
            hospitalizations, and 100 deaths are prevented by varicella vaccination
            in the United States.

        • Mel

          You are really clueless. There is a very large group of native-born deaf people in the USA who were born between 1968-1969. Why did this happen? There was an epidemic of rubella in the USA during that period.

          The number of deaf adults in the USA had dropped precipitously since the introduction of childhood vaccinations. There is, however, enough young adults who are deaf to continue supporting Gallaudet University. These college-aged students are mostly coming from countries where childhood vaccinations are not available.

        • Beth

          that totally makes sense. Also, wars are not deadly, because we had a bunch of them in the past 100 years, and humans are not extinct.

          why, the population of the US actually increased after WWII, so clearly WWII didn’t kill a whole bunch of people.

          • Azuran

            Yea, I mean, there are still Jewish people around. So clearly the Holocaust wasn’t that bad.

        • Nick Sanders
        • Guest

          My mom, born in 1943, tells stories of her 4 classmates that died from vaccine preventable illnesses. She had a graduating class of about 50 kids, so not a small percentage. Even in the bad old days of terrible plagues, humans still managed to out pace the disease. That doesn’t mean that millions of people didn’t die though. It all sounds dandy and perfectly reasonable until it is *your* loved ones and children who are the ones becoming permanently disabled or dying from a disease.

        • BeatriceC

          The bubonic plague wasn’t all that bad either. After all, the human population managed to bounce back after it stopped making its way through Europe, so it really wasn’t as bad as those medieval pansies made it out to be.

        • critter8875

          “scratching” not “itching”

        • Azuran

          Well, my grand mother does have a slightly stunted leg from polio, which caused her pain and the need to have special shoes for all her life. Oh, and one of her cousin died from it. But that’s not that bad right? Since ‘most’ people who got it survived, then it’s not worth trying to save the life of the few who won’t.

          Oh and in case you didn’t know, there ARE a few people on this blog who have permanent disability due to vaccine preventable disease. So yea, you might want to pout your foot where your mouth is.

        • Damo

          I personally know of one of you Boomers that died of esophageal cancer later in life. the doctors can’t say that they know why he got it, he didn’t smoke and had a pretty good diet. He was healthy for a man of his age until the diagnosis. Their best guess, it was a result of the polio he had contracted that had parlayzed his vocal cords.

          So you know, it is the virus that keeps on giving. I bet he wished he was vaccinated just before his frail 50-something cancer riddled body finally failed him.

          • Voter

            I personally know of more than one person whose cancers were traced back to SV-40 in a DNA test. … Thanks to the wondrous (and contaminated) polio vaccine they took as children. Ah, yes, the wondrous and contaminated sugar cube with the pink stuff in it.

          • Damo

            First, I know you are lying. Second, that is called anecdotal–over all the vaccine has saved more lives than it has harmed.

            Third, I was merely pointing out the fact that despite your belief that life before vaccines was all roses, it was, in reality, manure.

          • Roadstergal

            What cancer?

            How was it ‘traced’?

            The SV40/cancer link is tenuous at best, debunked for the most part. You can have gotten the OPV, and you can get cancer – it’s not like the OPV will prevent cancer for the rest of your life, so vaccinated populations should get cancer at more or less the same rates as unvaccinated populations, which is what’s been observed.

        • Azuran

          So, if something is not 100% deadly, it should not be a worry?
          Guess small pox wasn’t that much of a big deal, after all, it was only like 30% deadly. Clearly they went overboard vaccinating everyone. Humanity would have still survived without it. After all, 60% of people would have been ‘fine’.
          We should also stop putting lifeguards around pool. Since 100% of kids are not going to drown if left untended. Sure, a lifeguard would have saved the life of my uncle who drowned at 4. But meh, not 100%, who cares.

          And do you realize the stupidity of your comment? Of course you are surrounded by people who survived all those illnesses. Because those who didn’t are DEAD you idiot. Like my grandmother’s cousin, she died of polio.

          • Beth

            the black death was no biggie either. It only killed 60% of the population of Europe. I mean, 40% of the population came through just fine. If it was really that bad humanity would have died out. But clearly we’re all still here. Pfft, I bet if an epidemic of it started up today people would overreact and want to find a vaccine against it or something. Drama queens.

            “And do you realize the stupidity of your comment? Of course you are surrounded by people who survived all those illnesses. Because those who didn’t are DEAD you idiot.”

            This. So, so much this.

    • Who?

      So if Dr T was an opinionated undereducated nobody like MAM, blowviating (sp?) about either/or relationships between unrelated health issues, you’d be endorsing her comments?

      Good to know.

      • Amy

        Bloviating. 🙂

        • Who?

          Got it, thanks!

          • Nick Sanders

            When I have trouble remembering how to spell a word, I get it as close as I can, then google that spelling. If it’s not right, the results will give one or more “did you mean” and I check those until the definition of the word I was looking for pops up. It’s tremendously helpful.

          • Who?

            Good tip, thanks!

    • I’m sorry – GI issues and seizures are not autism. They’re co-morbid.

      And read her post – 75% don’t have severe regressive autism. Therefore 25% do. No generalization to ALL of the spectrum – it is not DR. Amy’s fault if you can’t count from 0 to 100.

  • Amy

    I have a new blog post up, too! It’s called, “Five Reasons Conventional Household Cleaners are Better Than Black Mold.”

    …too soon?

    • BeatriceC

      *snicker* I don’t use a lot of conventional cleaners because of the birds. They do legitimately have extremely sensitive respiratory systems, hence the whole “canary in the coal mine” thing. If I need to use something stronger than vinegar, which they can handle, I send their little feathered butts outside.

      • Amy

        I actually don’t, either. Mostly vinegar and baking soda here, with a little Mrs. Meyer’s and Method thrown in.

        But given the choice between nothing-and-black-mold or chemicals-and-no-mold, I’d take the chemicals.

        • BeatriceC

          Years ago we evicted a particular tenant for a whole host of reasons (my parents own a bunch of rental houses). When we finally re-entered the house, it was an absolute pig-sty. I took one step and my sneakers sunk into this sticky much far enough that the muck held onto my shoe and pulled it off. It was one of the nastiest clean ups we’ve ever had to do, and that’s saying something, as another evicted tenant locked a cow inside as they left, and cows poop a lot, and scared cows do a lot of damage. Anyway, after looking around, we decided to go get the respirators and acid wash the floors with muriatic acid (ceramic tile for the win!) and then re-seal the tile. I’m not at all adverse to harsh chemicals when they’re necessary, and using some of the nicer smelling stuff would be nice, but I like to keep my birds alive and putting them outside every time I clean is a pain in the butt.

          • Azuran

            ….How…….A cow? Where the hell did they get a cow?…………why?
            My god you’re lucky it didn’t die in there.
            (But I admit your faces must have been priceless)

          • BeatriceC

            Thankfully the cow was fine. The house was destroyed. It had to be gutted completely. The only thing we were able to save were the bathrooms and the tile floors throughout the house. But even the drywall in the bathrooms had to come down because of the smell. This was in Homestead, FL, which is now fairly developed, but is still on the edge of a lot of agricultural businesses, and still hosts a large annual rodeo, and has a lot of ranch/farming type people living in or nearby. Police were called, as well as an acquaintance who had cows and knew how to handle them. The police brought in even more farm types and a large animal vet to safely remove the cow and find its owner. The former tenant got a few more charges added to his troubles, which included cattle rustling.

          • demodocus

            cattle rustling, rofl oh my heavens, I’m going to wake the baby!

          • Charybdis

            Depending on where you are, cattle rustling can carry a heavy penalty. That shit is serious 😛

          • Steph858

            Well, as the saying goes, may as well be hung for a cow as a calf …

          • kfunk937

            In another lifetime when I was a property manager, I had (evicted) tenants who rented a first floor suite with walk-in closets in which to park their motorcycles, and a photographer with a pony (who rehoused it after some “education” on the lease terms).

            Some renters are…interesting.

          • Roadstergal

            I… did bring a motorcycle into a first-floor apartment when I was younger. Motorcycles are really easy to steal – even if the steering is locked and it has a disc lock, get two strong guys and a van, and they’ll drive up, pick it up, toss it in, and strip it down at their leisure. I knew I had Made It when I could afford a place with a garage.

            At least I put down scrap carpet for rolling and made sure it didn’t drip anything!

          • kfunk937

            Oh noes, dId I evict you?

            It was the trashed carpeting that revealed their garage: apparently they could no more afford repairs than rent, and had not yet learnt basic mechanics.

          • Roadstergal

            Oh, ouch. 🙁 I do not now and will never have a motorcycle that leaks anything, because if it starts to seep anywhere, I fix it. :p

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            A cow? Holy cow!

            Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • ses1978

    As an autistic, I hate people like Kate. Her and her cult make me ANGRY. I nearly died because my mom was exposed to rubella while pregnant with me. And I had measles in adulthood. And yes, I am moderate-severe autistic (officially) and it has its challenges like still not having all the fine and gross motor skills of my peers and having to wear diapers when we go out for extended periods of time due to sensory issues with regard to public toileting, and sure I will always need support services and caregivers in my life because I also live with two life threatening diseases (not related to the autism though), but I am also now hard of hearing. From the measles! And as both an autistic and someone who suffered from the measles, I can absolutely tell you right here and right now that measles is NOT better than autism. So Kate, if you stumble on this, come at me b****. I have some things you need to get through your thick head. Also, on another note, would she dare say the same thing about a person with Down syndrome? If not, please hear this: your hate speech about autistics has gone on long enough. And it will be forwarded to the FBI and the DOJ.

  • Rachel

    But our life expectancy is increasing, not decreasing…. so…. talking bullshit again Kate?

    • Demaris Forsythe

      Does she ever talk anything else?

      • Laura J

        hm are you still harassing the good people? Demaris Forsythe ” Melissa Powell Higginbotham You are not heeding what science shows. I like to ridicule people for fun.”

        • Nick Sanders

          Kate Tietje is not “good people”.

        • corblimeybot

          Kate Tietje issued a command to parents whose children have contracted serious vaccine preventable disease thanks to the neglect of anti-vaxxers. She told them to stop being big meanies, and scaring poor, poor anti-vaxxers with photographs of their neonates shoved full of tubes and respiration apparatus.

          She told them to quit scaremongering with photographs of their mortally ill or dead children, who were sick thanks to the resurgence of vaccine preventable disease caused by people like Kate Tietje. She basically told them to quit making people like her look bad.

          Kate Tietje also hates autistic people. HATES them.

          Tell me, does that sound like good people to you?

      • Laura J

        Here are the general propaganda themes you will find in message boards, blog comments, social media comments, etc:

        – “vaccines are not for you, they are for all those around you thus you are selfish and irresponsible not to vaccinate early often and just get the damn shot”
        – “my relative died or was maimed by a vaccine-preventable disease – you are stupid if you don’t vaccinate”
        – “SCIENCE…are you a SCIENTIST? Because this is not SCIENCE. SCIENCE says vaccines are safe and you are not qualified to have an opinion unless you are a SCIENTIST.”
        – if you are or you cite a SCIENTIST with an alt-vax point of view, then “you are a QUACK and your cited source is a QUACK.”
        – “polio, polio, all hail the end of polio; criticize vaccines and it is coming back.”
        – then there’s the casting of stones and knashing of teeth with useless comments such as “idiot”

        The trolls spewing the garbage listed above are easy to identify. When you call them out, the more evolved commenters get involved. These are likely supervisors or team leaders who are paid more because they are more adept at handling the conversation when the trolls are called out.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Do you have formal training in immunology, science or statistics?

          No? So why should we pay any attention to the nonsense you’re spewing?

          By the way, you’re not merely ignorant if you don’t vaccinate; you are remarkably gullible.

          • Laura J

            Here are the general propaganda themes you will find in message boards, blog comments, social media comments, etc:

            – “vaccines are not for you, they are for all those around you thus you are selfish and irresponsible not to vaccinate early often and just get the damn shot”
            – “my relative died or was maimed by a vaccine-preventable disease – you are stupid if you don’t vaccinate”
            – “SCIENCE…are you a SCIENTIST? Because this is not SCIENCE. SCIENCE says vaccines are safe and you are not qualified to have an opinion unless you are a SCIENTIST.”
            – if you are or you cite a SCIENTIST with an alt-vax point of view, then “you are a QUACK and your cited source is a QUACK.”
            – “polio, polio, all hail the end of polio; criticize vaccines and it is coming back.”
            – then there’s the casting of stones and knashing of teeth with useless comments such as jerk.

            The trolls spewing the garbage listed above are easy to identify. When you call them out, the more evolved commenters get involved. These are likely supervisors or team leaders who are paid more because they are more adept at handling the conversation when the trolls are called out.

          • corblimeybot

            One thing that sucks about the internet: It’s harder and harder to avoid conversations with people who with certifiable, severe delusions and rage issues.

            In this case, we have someone so in love with their own delusional rant, that they’re just copy/pasting it. This isn’t going to get any better, that’s for sure.

          • Laura J

            Here are the general propaganda themes you will find in message boards, blog comments, social media comments, etc:

            – “vaccines are not for you, they are for all those around you thus you are selfish and irresponsible not to vaccinate early often and just get the damn shot”
            – “my relative died or was maimed by a vaccine-preventable disease – you are stupid if you don’t vaccinate”
            – “SCIENCE…are you a SCIENTIST? Because this is not SCIENCE. SCIENCE says vaccines are safe and you are not qualified to have an opinion unless you are a SCIENTIST.”
            – if you are or you cite a SCIENTIST with an alt-vax point of view, then “you are a QUACK and your cited source is a QUACK.”
            – “polio, polio, all hail the end of polio; criticize vaccines and it is coming back.”
            – then there’s the casting of stones and knashing of teeth with useless comments such as “idiot”

            The trolls spewing the garbage listed above are easy to identify. When you call them out, the more evolved commenters get involved. These are likely supervisors or team leaders who are paid more because they are more adept at handling the conversation when the trolls are called out.

          • Roadstergal

            …seriously…

          • Laura J

            Actually I am a journalist, artist and so forth. I have training in naturalist/ traditional medicine. Trying to figure out this phenomena why such strong opinions.

          • Roadstergal

            “I have training in naturalist/ traditional medicine.”

            So you have no training in science or medicine.

            What paper or magazine do you write for?

          • Laura J

            Special needs children. It is a joy to write for them. I also write on various other topics. I do have training, we had a family dr that was very close to the family. Learned a lot from him, as my mom worked for him since I was a teen. He did believe in vacs though he was naturalist w/ traditional methods. I’m almost half a century old! I tend to look at all the evidences and research before a conclusion is made. I don’t just say, Oh! so that’s it…
            Basically medicine is an experiment. If a method has been done enough that it works, it becomes fact. If you ever read Military Medicine, and it was a medical text, it talks about sending soldiers to the front lines that got injuries and illnesses from their battle wounds. There were diseases around even before vaccines were even made. Evolution or mutations of pathogens is always prevelant as nature is smart, because now some bacteria are almost resistant to antibiotics. And there are pathogens still prevalent without vaccines… hantavirus, the bubonic plague and now the Zika virus, which is a really bad one derived from monkeys.

          • Roadstergal

            I can’t find a magazine or newspaper called “Special Needs Children.”

            Could you try to bring your journalism skills to bear on your comments? You’re being really meandering and unclear.

            I’m almost half a century old, too. I’ve seen a lot of medicine change for the better just in my own lifetime. I work in medical research – the cancer that killed my mother is both more detectable and more treatable these days, and it’s not because of Traditional Medicine. Of course medicine is not set in stone – if it were perfect now, I wouldn’t go to work every day. But it improves by progressing forward on the shoulders of giants, not turning back and worshipping the BS that was all they had back in the day – but is clearly BS now.

            “nature is smart”

            No, it isn’t.

            “And there are pathogens still prevalent without vaccines”

            Because we haven’t made those vaccines yet. Vaccines are very difficult and require a lot of research and work and time. You know those movies where they ‘isolate the pathogen’ and then ‘make a vaccine’ for it the same afternoon? Stop watching those movies – they’re crap.

          • Laura J

            So sorry for losing your mom. No one should lose a parent. Also lost a parent to lymphoma.

          • D/

            Speaking of movies, maybe you can help me out here. This Christian rabies conversation is almost reminding me of a movie, but I can’t quite put my finger on it though.

            MarsupialHunter?? … MammalHunter?? … Oh well I’m sure it will come to me.

          • Roadstergal

            I haven’t a clue! 🙁

          • D/

            Google worked: ‘Christian rabies hunter’ 😉

          • Heidi

            Well, I can tell you why I have a strong opinion. I don’t want to take my baby out to the grocery store or out to eat and worry about him contracting measles, mumps and/or rubella because he isn’t old enough for that vaccine. If we can mandate that people vaccinate their children or homeschool, most will choose to vaccinate so we ensure a lot more people are vaccinated and I can take my 8 month out in public. When he’s older, I want enough people to be vaccinated that we actually have herd immunity so if he was one of the few that didn’t gain immunity, herd immunity would protect him. I want to die before my child and I don’t want to see my child suffer because some people think they don’t have to participate in society.

          • Laura J

            I am all for vax, really.

          • swbarnes2

            “Training”? Like you’ve read medieval medical texts, and can name lots of treatments that were totally ineffective because they were based on a totally faulty understanding of how the body worked? Or “training” like you think that black salve is a great natural cure for cancer?

            Or trained like the naturoapth who treated Ezekiel Stephan as he was dying of meningitis?

          • Laura J

            Try Galen, who was a Roman physician! Chinese medicine etc.

          • swbarnes2

            Galen, proponent of the philosophy that all disease and illness could be traced to imbalance of the four humors? Strong advocate of bloodletting as medical treatment? You get your scientific understanding from thousand year old texts, instead of medical textbooks?

          • Laura J

            He actually was a surgeon, too…and some of his methods are used today by the way. He was very prominent. Yeah the humors were a bit out there. Love history, have to start somewhere. I also have his book.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen

          • swbarnes2

            I’m sorry, how do you think it enhances your credibility to say that you are a big fan of someone who was fundamentally wrong about how medicine worked? The rest of us are talking about medical techniques that literally save lives. If you are sincerely interested in the topic of vaccines, you should be studying modern immunology, not translations of ancient Greek.

          • Laura J

            I’m sorry about your ignorance of the historical aspect. Ah immunology. You should broaden your horizons as you should know research is essential. Immunology, while brilliant in saving lives has a margin for error because nature is actually smarter than us. You need a receptor in a body to a pathogen. As in the virus rabies, there is one animal that cannot get it…do you know what it is? Hm. Why do some people get sick while others don’t? Perhaps it is genetics and them having antibodies. Evolution or genetics.

          • Roadstergal

            “because nature is actually smarter than us”

            No, it isn’t.

            “You need a receptor in a body to a pathogen”

            “Perhaps it is genetics and them having antibodies”

            Please take an immunology class before using words you don’t fully understand.

          • Laura J

            Seriously you don’t understand the word antibodies. You don’t know which animal does not get Rabies… a virus whether RNA or DNA type needs a receptor site to make copies of itself. Duh.

          • Charybdis

            Seriously? Roadstergal actually works in the immunology field, so I’m quite sure she knows what she’s talking about. You? Not so much.

          • Laura J

            She should know which animal does not get rabies. She has not answered the question.

          • Charybdis

            How does working in the immunology field automatically mean you know which animal doesn’t get rabies? Unless you are working specifically with the rabies virus, then you would *probably* have that information right at your fingertips.

            If we are just asking random animal questions, what animal carries leprosy?

          • momofone

            I think it’s pretty clear which one carries ignorance.

          • Laura J

            She doesn’t know. Maybe you don’t either. Thanks for playing…I’d give a hint but she seems to think nature is not smarter than Man! OMG

          • corblimeybot

            Nature doesn’t have a consciousness, let alone an intellect. Gaia is not real.

          • Charybdis

            I do know, but what does that knowledge have to do with knowledge on how immunology works, or the price of tea in China for that matter?

            Mammals can get rabies. Opossums’ body temperatures are too low for the rabies virus to replicate effectively.

          • Laura J

            because of no receptors on their cells.

          • corblimeybot

            No, Charybdis is right. But what would I know, I just spent my 20s working for wildlife experts.

          • Laura J

            did you look that up? Love the reptiles and the bats…

          • Corblimeybot on old phone

            If you only knew how ignorant this comment is. Actually, I suspect you do. Or else you would have presented a better argument than “lol reptiles are cold blooded and bats are small”.

            I didn’t have to look it up, you fool. I worked in a facility with live opossums, a wildlife specialist veterinarian , opossum rescue workers, and etc.

          • Laura J

            Sure like everything on here is true. Is that all the insult you can come up with? COme on…do call me every thing in the book! Make yourself bigger! Oh wait, you’re human! Right?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Laura, let me tell you about Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion. It was first mentioned about 10 years ago, and is a very good guideline:

            When joining an internet discussion, regardless of the topic, assume that someone participating knows more about it than you do.

            Now, when you have been around for a while, you actually can learn what the regulars know and don’t know, and can figure out places where you might the expert, but in a new place? Don’t even think about it.

            You are the current poster child for Pablo’s First Law.

          • “When joining an internet discussion, regardless of the topic, assume that someone participating knows more about it than you do.” Indeed, something I’m following hence all the requests for evidence of payment.

          • Corblimeybot on old phone

            This is too incoherent to continue. I can’t deal with blithering.

            I’ve spent my career path working with and for wildlife. I am no zoologist, and not a scientist, but I can tell you this right now: Everyone who reads your comments here can tell you have no clue about the natural world. Maybe you got that degree from an unaccredited Christian college. You didn’t get it from a legit program, if you have it at all. You’re not a qualified amatuer naturalist , either. TThat’s fine, but don’t play off a middle school level understanding of animals like it’s anything other than what it is. I have known so many formally and informally educated brilliant naturalists, scientists, and citizen scientists, and you are not one of them.

          • Laura J

            I thought you were a decent human being. I almost liked you.

          • Nick Sanders

            That was a close one, Corblimeybot! Glad you are okay!

          • corblimeybot

            Don’t mind me, I’m just dying of heartbreak.

          • Laura J

            Try University, punk ass. Go OWLS.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            She’s baaaaa-aaaaack! She couldn’t stick it. About an hour, it was….

            You couldn’t live without us, could you, Laura?

          • Nick Sanders

            You should consider asking for a refund.

          • Charybdis

            Rice University or Ordinary Wizarding Levels?

          • corblimeybot

            It’s not possible for you to have attended a legitimate university and acquired a degree in biology, and have zero understanding of the topics you have discussed here.

          • corblimeybot

            I was a punk kid for a while though, thanks for ID’ing me properly.

          • Heidi

            All these words you string together really make no sense. You would tell her but she thinks nature is smarter than man? Why would you giving her the answer be dependent on her belief about nature? Opossums can get rabies. Extremely rare sure but not impossible. Omg! Thanks for playing!

          • Laura J

            you get an A +. But they are not mammals..

          • corblimeybot

            Opposums ARE mammals. Wow, you are much worse at this than you think you are.

          • Laura J

            marsupials

          • Heidi

            I didn’t say anything about whether or not opposums were mammals! As far as I can tell, though, marsupials are still considered mammals, but someone who knows more about taxonomy is welcome to correct me. You wouldn’t be that person.

          • Laura J

            It’s a debate huh. Love marsupials…

          • Irène Delse

            No, it’s not a debate. It’s zoology. Opossums are marsupial mammals. Marsupials are the closest living relatives of placental mammals, which means us.

          • Laura J

            It is a continous debate. How did pluto become a non planet? THeir placentas are outside the body. Amazing animals.

          • Nick Sanders

            They don’t HAVE a placenta. And just because you don’t agree doesn’t make it a debate.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yes, and so taxonomically, they are separated from the placental mammals.

            The clade theria is a subgroup of mammals, and splits into marsupialia and placentalia

            Having placentas is what separates marsupials from the other mammals.

            Apparently, you didn’t have a taxonomy class as part of your biology degree.

            (seriously, you can find all this in wikipedia)

          • Roadstergal

            Or from They Might Be Giants:

            Standing in between extinction in the cold
            And explosive radiating growth
            So the warm blood flows
            Through the large four-chambered heart
            Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have

            Mammal, mammal
            Their names are called
            They raise a paw
            The bat, the cat
            Dolphin and dog
            Koala bear and hog

            One of us might lose his hair
            But you’re reminded that it once was there
            From the embryonic whale to the monkey with no tail
            So the warm blood flows
            With the red blood cells lacking nuclei
            Through the large four-chambered heart
            Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have

            Mammal, mammal
            Their names are called
            They raise a paw
            The bat, the cat
            Dolphin and dog
            Koala bear and hog

            Placental the sister of her brother Marsupial
            Their cousin called Monotreme
            Dead uncle Allotheria

            Mammal, mammal
            Their names are called
            They raise a paw
            The bat, the cat
            Dolphin and dog
            Koala bear and hog
            The fox, the ox
            Giraffe and shrew
            Echidna, caribou

          • corblimeybot

            “How did Pluto become a nonplanet” is a quite a bizarre question. It kind of sounds like you’re saying, “Since Pluto is no longer referred to as a planet, everything in science is up for debate, and facts aren’t real.”

            You can only sustain that delusion if you are essentially ignorant about how science works. It’s also weird that you’re conflating the study of taxonomy, with classification methods used in astronomy. These two fields should be self-evidently rather different, but it’s like you can’t see that.

          • Wren

            They are not placental mammals, but they are a part of the class mammalia.

          • Irène Delse

            That’s where you show your ignorance. Marsupials (taxon name Marsupialia) are a subset of mammal (Mammalia). We humans are part of another, larger group of mammals, Placentalia, or placentals. And there’s a third group of living mammals, the monotremes, who lay eggs AND give milk.

            Placentalia: humans, cows, cats, whales, etc.
            Marsupialia: opossums and kangaroos.
            Monotremes: platypus.

            All this is common knowledge, or should be. Kids learn it in school, and a quick check at Wikipedia would have yielded the relevant info.

          • Laura J

            Or error..to be correct. Did you google that or come up with that yourself. When you search it comes up with both..whether they are mammals or not.

          • Nick Sanders

            Isn’t the echidna a monotreme as well?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Echidna and platypus are the only non-extinct monotremes

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You know, not too long ago, we had a discussion here where the question of marsupials and mammals came up. Me, instead of blowing on about something I didn’t know, ASKED the question of whether marsupials were mammals.

            And as a result of that recognized ignorance, I now know that you are absolutely incorrect about them not being mammals.

          • Laura J

            YOu know one site says they are another site says they are not. Blame google. Yeah they are amazing animals. Their placentas are like outside the body… I’m sure there is a continuous debate about them.

          • Nick Sanders

            Not any debate at all. A person with a “biology degree” really should know that.

          • Irène Delse

            Nope, marsupials don’t have a placenta “outside the body”. And no, the people who actually study mammals don’t debate where marsupials should be. Part of successfully using a search engine is knowing how to sift through the results and discard the fake, outdated or just low-quality websites.

            Everything you say screams “I’m making it up a as I go along”. And still, you seem like someone with a genuine curiosity about the natural world. So, please, do us (and yourself) a favour: stop digging that hole. Try getting some remedial courses from a serious, science-based source. Start with the links on the right-hand column of this blog, and then with the links on those websites. Get acquainted with how Wikipedia works, too: compare the the pages labeled for high quality with any ordinary page, and then with a page with a warning that it contains unsourced info. And be patient: education is a process, not a product.

          • Laura J

            Gotta love that block tool

          • Irène Delse

            I just realised where the notion of placentas being “like, outside the body” in opossums could have come… And I’m pretty sure I knew where: it’s because baby marsupials are born at a fetal stage and must spend some time in their mother’s pouch. But they are NOT linked physically to their mother via a placenta and umbilical cord! They just cling to their mother’s fur with their front paws, which are stronger and more developed than in the fetuses of placental mammals at the same stage.
            It really is a fascinating adaptation, which makes it all the more sad when people mix it up and mangle the biology.

          • swbarnes2

            Are you sincerely claiming that opossums are not mammals? And you say that other people are poorly educated?

          • Laura J

            NO actually it was a google error. Sorry about that.

          • Laura J

            My sweet husband cleared that up. They are both mammals and marsupials..best put.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Marsupials are classified as a subset of theria, which are a subset of mammals. That’s the taxonomy, and so that means they are a subset of mammals.

            Your inability to do a proper internet search is not our problem.

            BTW, I know that Wikipedia has a bed reputation, but for textbook level science, it actually does pretty well. You did a google search and failed to find it? In fact, here is the first sentence about marsupials in Wikipedia…

            “Marsupials are an infraclass of mammals”

          • Laura J

            I am on my cycle…so I am on a tangent. If you are female you’d understand.

          • Heidi_storage

            Hoooly cow. Clearly women shouldn’t be put in charge of anything important, if their menstrual cycles so badly affect their research, reasoning, and communication skills!

          • Laura J

            Or post pregnancy 🙂

          • Laura J

            Ah right.

          • Laura J

            Oh yeah my husband knows to say nothing but just nod. LOL!

          • Laura J

            Or being president.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’m am female, and I do not understand. I do not become incoherent when I menstruate. Please do not perpetuate this offensive stereotype.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I am aware of the irony of starting a post where I claim not to be incoherent with a typo.

          • Laura J

            It’s called life lady. Deal with it, trollster.

          • Irène Delse

            Oh, ho, now it’s you not answering a random question about animals and diseases! By your own logic, it means you have proven your ignorance and we don’t have to pay attention to what you’re talking about. See how easy it is?

          • Beth

            oooh, ooh, I know this! It’s the armadillo!

            do I get a prize?

          • corblimeybot

            Sloths carry leprosy, too.

          • Nick Sanders

            Interesting! And koalas can carry chlamydia.

          • corblimeybot

            My former workplace also had a sloth, and we had a visitor come through who had grown up in a place where wild sloths could be seen just outside his home. His mother had always told him to stay away from them, because they carried leprosy. He was kind of delighted to find out that his mom was correct.

          • corblimeybot

            Because if you work in human immunology, which is already complex enough, you should obviously know about the immune systems of every other animal.

          • Irène Delse

            And because Roadstergal declined to play LauraJ’s little “gotcha” game, she decided that R didn’t know the answer? It’s silly.

          • Dr Kitty

            Not all human diseases are transmitted to animals, not all animal diseases are transmitted to humans.

            Only mammals can get rabies. Birds, fish and reptiles can’t get it, but all warm-blooded mammals can potentially contract rabies if exposed to it.
            Which animal were you thinking of?

            Or were you thinking of armadillos and leprosy?

          • Laura J

            Opossums…they have a lower body temp where it can’t survive. A +

          • Nick Sanders

            So, all this talk about receptor sites, and the answer was body temperature? Yeah, I definitely want to see that “degree”.

          • Laura J

            Opossums

          • corblimeybot

            A lot of animals don’t get rabies. The majority of Kingdom Animalia does not get rabies. Reptiles, amphibians, birds, annelids, insects and other arthropods, etc.

            Or are you saying “mammal” and “animal” are synonymous? If that’s the case, you don’t have any room to refer to yourself as an expert on anything natural.

            Among mammals, American possums are resistant, but not immune, to rabies.

          • Roadstergal

            I’m an immunologist, not an epidemiologist, so a resistance of an animal to infection that is unrelated to immunology – as in opossums and body temperature (that was a new one for me, and I learned something cool today!) – isn’t in my field.

            Contrast that with, for example, mice and HIV. Mice don’t get HIV infections. This also has nothing to do with antibodies – it has to do with various steps in HIV’s infection and replication cycle. Eg, HIVs 1 and 2 can’t interact productively with mouse CD4 and the murine homologs of the various HIV co-receptors. Make mice transgenic for human CD4 and, eg, CCR5, and the virus can enter their cells. It still can’t replicate and make new virus particles, however. There are more differences down the line between humans and mice. Elucidating these differences helps us in the process of understanding better what’s required for the HIV life cycle, and how minor differences in these genes can affect people’s susceptibility to infection.

            Do you just call anything interesting around infection, like body temperature or allelic variation, ‘antibodies’? That’s very Humpty Dumpty of you.

          • Squillo

            Seriously, Roadstergal. Stop pretending you know something about antibodies. Or those other immune thingies.” 😉

            Bofa’s first law–QED.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Pablo’s First Law, actually

            It was pre-Bofa

            Bofa’s First Law is on “they aren’t all bad” defense.

          • Nick Sanders

            Can’t you also do something similar with mice and poliovirus? I remember seeing a summary of a study to that effect, I think.

          • Roadstergal

            Ya, CD155 is also called PVR, for poliovirus receptor, and they’ve made mice transgenic for it… I don’t know how well it works as a model, not my area.

            I’m mostly familiar with CD155 because it’s an immune modulator. :p

          • Nick Sanders

            For “nature” to be smarter than us, or anything, it would have to have a consciousness. But it’s just the interaction of a bunch of blind forces.

          • Maud Pie

            If nature had any logic, the esophagus and trachea would not have adjacent openings, the upper respiratory system would not be a germ trap, and I haven’t even gotten to the service line through the entertainment district issue. There’s plenty of material to fill a trilogy of books: Where Nature Went Wrong, More of Nature’s Mistakes, and Who is this Nature Person Anyway? With enough left over for That About Wraps it up for Nature.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Just don’t go on to prove that black is white, or you might come to grief on a zebra crossing!

          • corblimeybot

            I studied Galen in college for an ancient and medieval philosophy course. I remember running across a few journal articles that argued that blind adherence to Galen’s teachings, prevented the advance of medicine in parts of Europe for hundreds of years. I ought to check on that, because that’d be interesting if it’s true.

          • Laura J

            As a writer of celtic fantasy, I needed some idea what medicine was like during the archaic period,then to implement in my book.

          • Laura J

            Galen was a skilled surgeon, operating on human patients. Many of his procedures and techniques would not be used again for centuries, such as the procedures he performed on brains and eyes.[9] To correct cataracts in patients, Galen performed an operation similar to a modern one. Using a needle-shaped instrument, Galen attempted to remove the cataract-affected lens of the eye.[48] His surgical experiments included ligating the arteries of living animals.[49] Although many 20th century historians have claimed that Galen believed the lens to be in the exact center of the eye, Galen actually understood that the crystalline lens is located in the anterior aspect of the human eye.[50]

          • Laura J

            I do from medical texts. It makes you more rounded to look at a variety of methods even if they didn’t work. It makes a dr a better doctor actually. You can keep on the same method that works, but then you get a patient where conventional methods do not work. Hm. Gotta think out of the box, you know?

          • Nick Sanders

            So, the answer to something that usually works not working this time is to try something that has never worked?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Chinese medicine?

            In 1920, the life expectancy in rural China, you know, the place where they use TRADITIONAL Chinese medicine, was 25 years for men, and 24 for women (because they were likely to die in childbirth).

            Why in the HELL would I “try” anything that was such an utter failure?

          • Who?

            Well yes but those people were poor, and didn’t have running water and big airconditioned cars to drive to shops with loads of organic produce sourced from all over the world for them to buy and then store in their room sized refrigerators, before preparing it in one of their many labour saving devices.

            Your sample grew their own organic food, fertilised with manure and watered with water from who knows where. They lived all natural, as opposed to natcheral. When it didn’t rain enough, or rained too much, or it was too cold or too hot, or when the wind was too strong, all their food was destroyed, and they starved.

            Really, if you’re well fed and housed, with clean water and a teeny taste of existential angst, a few dried up old twigs boiled in some organic well water is hardly going to do any harm, is it?

            Laura’s on a nice little earner, no conscience required, she’s apparently ideally suited. Why anyone in their right mind would be taken in by her nonsense is a whole other question.

          • Laura J

            TY. I’m near half a century old. If I went back to school, it would be for nutrition. Georgia actually has a high mortality rate among pregnant women…there was a documentary on our state a couple years ago. Luckily I was among the survivors to sepsis during delivery that came out of nowhere.

          • Laura J

            u should try tai chi

          • Who?

            Been there, done that, got the tshirt.

            Your point?

            Or are you going to complain you were talking to Bofa, not me, so how dare I butt in?

          • Laura J

            Best thing lol

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Why?

          • Heidi_storage

            Chai tea is better, as mentioned above. I do love chi, though–the spelling variants “qi” and “ki” make such useful Scrabble words.

          • Laura J

            Love Chai tea…and Thai tea. Yummy but loaded with sugar.

          • Laura J

            My husband is an instructor of Tai Chi, and Qigong. Great for the mind & body. I sleep so good and I am a light sleeper.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I listen to Harry Potter books on audio at night. Sleep great.

            So why bother with this tai chi crap?

            Will you ever bother to tell us what “chi” is?

          • Laura J

            Heh that was common everywhere. Women have it better now, but it still happens. An example of medicine as an experiment :0

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Heh that was common everywhere.

            Yeah, because their approach to medicine and health was so god-awful worthless!!!!!

            Why in the hell would anyone want to try to go back to that? Our medical practices today are miles and miles better.

          • Laura J

            Much better thanks. Esp. if you are vigilant too, and got the right Drs at the right timing to. GA has a high mortality rate with pregnant moms. It was in a documentary a couple years back. I was not very clear, but a good physician embraces both the East & Western medicine….Galen tried in his time, yes. Some surgeries are or were done without anesthesia esp. in China. I would opt for the anesthesia though any day.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What is “East medicine”?

            Some surgeries are or were done without anesthesia esp. in China.

            Of course, you know why? Because they didn’t have a choice! They didn’t have good anesthesia, so patients were forced to go without. And you know what? It hurt like the bejeezus!!!!! BTW, a lot of them still died.

            Nowadays, we have good anesthesia and brilliant anesthesiologists who understand how it works. Why would we opt to go back to things that didn’t work?

          • Laura J

            Well that is basically an ancient practice. Not sure if it hurt, but it was sort of like a hypnosis or some kind of state… if you know what Chi is

          • Nick Sanders

            Chi is nonexistent, that’s what it is.

          • Roadstergal

            Unlike chai, which exists and is very tasty. Still no substitute for anesthesia.

          • Nick Sanders

            Mmm, chai…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t know what “Chi” is. Why don’t you tell me, and tell me how you know about it?

          • Laura J

            Maybe I should rephrase that I had the pleasure to learn from a Dr. friend of the family which started me from my teens.
            Ah Galen…Roman physician. Chinese medicine, natural methods. Teas, spices, turmeric–great spice for the body. Kelp….actually kills viruses, but don’t eat too much because of the Iodine…

          • Nick Sanders
          • Roadstergal

            I LOVED that bit.

          • momofone

            Oh ok. So as Dr. Amy said, no science.

          • Laura J

            yes science got my degree in science, biology. What she assumes is not doing her any good.

          • corblimeybot

            You do not have a biology degree from any valid institution if you think “animals” is synonymous with “mammals”, and if you think opossums are not mammals.

          • Laura J

            ah sorry yes they are mammals. I do have a degree! I’d show it to you

          • Laura J

            My sweet husband clairified that for me…both mammals & marsupials! I know it seems silly now. lol

          • swbarnes2

            Because you are such a bad researcher, you couldn’t look it up yourself? And at the same time that you can’t verify simple facts, you know more about medicine than doctors do, because of Galen, and you know more about how vaccines work because you don’t know immunology?

            Is this some kind of unfunny elaborate joke?

          • Laura J

            Thought you were a decent human being too. I almost liked you.

          • Nick Sanders

            Phew, lucky break there, eh, swbarnes?

          • Laura J

            If you are female you might understand the nature of the AF cycle….which can disrupt the focus temporarily.

          • Nick Sanders

            Did you seriously just blame being an insufferable know-knothing know-it-all on your period? Really?

          • Laura J

            Sorry Amy, I am curious to the phenomena why those are in medicine pushing these.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Here’s a thought: learn some immunology and then you will understand.

          • Laura J

            Science, right? Man will always think they are smarter than God…or nature, but medicine is an experiment. Try a method, and it works. Evidence. Try it again, it’s no longer a theory or hypothesis. Sure yeah there is evidence vaccines work, my kids are by the way. Surgery works too, saves lives, and sometimes it does not if there is nothing more to be done for the individual. We’ve come a long way since say, 2000 years? We still have a margin for error. Think of it.
            The trend is there seems to be a rift between both sides that won’t meet halfway.

          • Roadstergal

            “Man will always think they are smarter than God”

            I’m a woman, and there is no evidence to support the existence of god(s).

          • Laura J

            Keep telling yourself that, fake atheist. No such thing as a real one.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            No such thing as a real one.

            Ah, another topic you know nothing about…

          • Nick Sanders

            Oh dear, one of those people who think all rejection of Christianity stems from a hatred of God? Would you please kindly shut the fuck up and stop embarrassing the rest of us?

          • Maud Pie

            That is a tiresome canard. I don’t hate God. It’s not his fault he doesn’t exist. (Capitalization and masculine pronoun used pursuant to convention, and should not prompt any “deep down inside she really believes ” speculation.)

          • Roadstergal

            If I did believe in a god, I’d be asking a lot of questions. Probably the first one would be around why all those babies have to die of AIDS all the time. That seems to be a straightforward one for the ‘to-do’ list of any omniscient being.

          • demodocus

            haha, One thing that always annoys me is the kind of atheist who refuses to capitalize “Bible.” It’s the title of a book. Whether it’s “The Lord of the Rings” or “A History of Soviet Russia” doesn’t matter.

          • Roadstergal

            Huh, I capitalize Old Testament and New Testament and not bible, because I thought the latter was just a slang term for book – but if I’m wrong, I’m always happy to be corrected. 🙂

          • demodocus

            Bible does just mean book (Latin, I think), but The Bible only refers to one book. (As opposed to The Quilter’s Bible or something like that, and then bible is being used as a slang term.)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But then she accuses me of not treating her with respect….

          • Roadstergal

            Heehee, you have a point. I secretly believe in Thor. I just don’t wanna tell anyone.

          • Megan

            I don’t trust god or nature to keep my child healthy.

          • Heidi_storage

            I trust God–the God who has given us brains with which to figure out new ways to combat the disease, suffering, and general suckiness of this fallen world. There is nothing contradictory in praying for yourself or your child while seeking competent medical care.

          • Megan

            What I mean is, regardless of my religious beliefs, I am not going to skip modern medical care and just rely on my faith to keep me or my family healthy. It makes sense to use the resources available to us. I probably didn’t make that very clear in my short reply.

          • Laura J

            Like Jehovah’s Witness, of which we are not… nor scientologists either.

          • Laura J

            That I agree.

          • Laura J

            We do our best for our kids.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Science, right? Man will always think they are smarter than God…or nature

            Thank goodness for those arrogant men (and women) who figured out how to get me to see and cared enough to make it available to people like me, since God either wasn’t smart enough to know how to do it, or didn’t care enough about me to do it.

          • Laura J

            Or use a lightning bolt on you on a clear day. Heh

          • Roadstergal

            I’ve had successful PRK for years, now. Still waiting on that lightning…

          • Laura J

            Thank you for your time. I appreciate your input. Have a great night.

          • Nick Sanders
          • Thank you! I’ve been looking all over for this!

        • Roadstergal

          “vaccines are not for you, they are for all those around you thus you are selfish and irresponsible not to vaccinate early often and just get the damn shot”

          The pro-science stance is not ‘vaccinate early and often,’ it is ‘vaccinate on a consensus science-based schedule.’

          “my relative died or was maimed by a vaccine-preventable disease – you are stupid if you don’t vaccinate”

          No, that’s the argument of ‘you are heartless if you don’t vaccinate.’

          “SCIENCE…are you a SCIENTIST? Because this is not SCIENCE. SCIENCE says vaccines are safe and you are not qualified to have an opinion unless you are a SCIENTIST.”

          You’re qualified to have an opinion no matter your education. However, if you are not an immunologist, vaccinologist, or similar field, your opinion is going to hold less weight. Here’s a question for you – if you’re going to get on a plane, would you prefer it to be an educated and licensed pilot, or your cousin Barry who has no flying experience, but has really strong opinions?

          ” if you are or you cite a SCIENTIST with an alt-vax point of view, then “you are a QUACK and your cited source is a QUACK.””

          See above. If the scientist is a scientist in an area that is unrelated to vaccines, their opinion simply does not hold the same weight.

          “”polio, polio, all hail the end of polio; criticize vaccines and it is coming back.”

          Polio is an excellent case study in vaccination eliminating disease in certain regions; unfortunately, the second part of your statement is not an ‘if.’ In many places in the developing world, criticism of vaccines is preventing the elimination of polio.

          “then there’s the casting of stones and knashing of teeth with useless comments such as “idiot””

          I’ve gone through this whole post without calling you an idiot. Don’t make me regret that.

          “These are likely supervisors or team leaders who are paid more”

          Where is my paycheck, dammit?? I haven’t gotten a red cent for endorsing vaccination. Or for endorsing washing one’s hands after excretion.

          • Laura J

            Here are the general propaganda themes you will find in message boards, blog comments, social media comments, etc:

            – “vaccines are not for you, they are for all those around you thus you are selfish and irresponsible not to vaccinate early often and just get the damn shot”
            – “my relative died or was maimed by a vaccine-preventable disease – you are stupid if you don’t vaccinate”
            – “SCIENCE…are you a SCIENTIST? Because this is not SCIENCE. SCIENCE says vaccines are safe and you are not qualified to have an opinion unless you are a SCIENTIST.”
            – if you are or you cite a SCIENTIST with an alt-vax point of view, then “you are a QUACK and your cited source is a QUACK.”
            – “polio, polio, all hail the end of polio; criticize vaccines and it is coming back.”
            – then there’s the casting of stones and knashing of teeth with useless comments such as “idiot”

            The trolls spewing the garbage listed above are easy to identify. When you call them out, the more evolved commenters get involved. These are likely supervisors or team leaders who are paid more because they are more adept at handling the conversation when the trolls are called out.

          • momofone

            I’ve washed my hands twice this morning for that very reason. Someone’s holding out on you.

        • Nick Sanders

          What the hell is “alt-vax”?

    • Louisa

      Actually, her statement was correct but as usual, taken totally out of context. The current generation of children are expected to be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents but it is due to their (generally) more sedentary lifestyle compared to previous generations and their higher levels of obesity. It has absolutely zip to do with autism or vaccines!

  • Stephanie Latorres

    ok, how about this: which is better- a splinter or a cancerous tumor? (i wonder what you’ll say)

    • Nick Sanders

      A splinter. Just like a vaccine needle prick is better than getting the actual disease.

    • JP

      Lol, I love how you make such a nonsensical comparison, and don’t have the intelligence to see how nonsensical it is.

      • Amy

        Kind of like comparing vaccines and autism, isn’t it?

    • Sarah

      It doesn’t matter, because breastmilk and curried placenta will cure both.

      • Mrs.Katt the Cat

        Curried placenta. Thanks for that, now I can’t eat curry anytime soon.

        • Sarah

          Me neither, but at least I can still have placenta.

      • Laura J

        Breastfeeding is the best. Not sure about placenta, but I love, love curry in anything.

  • Stephanie Latorres

    wow. so you guys would prefer autism over a case of the measles. wow. wow. wow. no wonder we have so much trouble seeing eye to eye. i can’t relate. beyond that, i’m utterly baffled. just wow.

    • Nick Sanders
      • Voter

        Putting your hand on a hot stove Does. Not. Cause. Burns.

        • Nick Sanders

          Well, apart from all the studies I just posted, a stove is a device designed to impart a large amount of heat into a small area. It is an obvious and inherent consequence that if something that does not tolerate so much heat, such as a hand, were placed on it, that it would burn.

          Vaccination, on the other hand, is designed to train white blood cells to recognize antigens thereby facilitating adaptive immunity, and bears no such logical connection to the excess neural connections that result in autism.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yeah, in terms of getting burned by a stove, not only is it clear that it happens, there is also a real simple mechanism that explains why and how that injury happens.

            In contrast, not only is there no mechanism for vaccines causing autism, there is not even a correlation.

            Other than that, the comparison is spot on.

        • TRIALNERROR

          Yes it does

        • Mrs.Katt the Cat

          Well, really, not having the sense to either avoid a hot stove in the first place or to remove your hand as soon as you feel the heat, causes burns.

        • demodocus

          Though we always appreciate sarcasm here, vaccines don’t cause autism. Since congenital rubella sometimes *does* cause autism, getting the MMR prevents some cases.

        • Heidi_storage

          There’s a whole body of peer-reviewed research that concludes that putting your hand on a hot stove doesn’t cause burns? Wow, who knew?

        • Sarah

          I used to be able to put my hand on a hot stove without it burning at all, ever, but then I got vaccinated and now I can’t. Vaccines cause stove burns. True story bro.

    • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

      I’ll reinforce:

      VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM. There is no “choice” between autism and vaccination, because VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.

    • ses1978

      Being autistic is NOT as bad as now being hard of hearing because of measles in adulthood. At least with just the autism before the measles, I could hear fine! Oh, and I am survivor of rubella in the womb. Would you say what you just said about people with Down syndrome though? If not, tell me why? Then think about why you wouldn’t say the same thing about people with Down syndrome and tell me why you are so hateful toward autistics? We are people too. We have feelings just like you. And even those who cannot write like I can are feeling hurt by your words against them.

      • corblimeybot

        I know she’ll never reply to your comment, but she should be compelled to do so. She should be required to face the consequences of saying such hateful and horrible stuff about autistic people.

        But she really DOESN’T think autistic people are real human beings! She definitely doesn’t expect them to show up in a conversation where she’s using them as a rhetorical boogeyman! She doesn’t expect that she should have to face stories like yours, and realize what an asshole she is.

        • ses1978

          Thank you for your support!

    • JP

      You do sound rather baffled. It’s as if facts and logic have caused your brain to short circuit.

    • Leah

      You seem to still be labouring under the delusion that vaccines cause autism, so anybody who gives their kids vaccines is ‘preferring’ to risk them getting autism. Newflash: It has been proven time and time and time and time again that there is NO evidence to support the theory that vaccines cause autism. So by vaccinating our kids, we are not ‘preferring’ autism over measles.

      Just a reminder that the idiot who came up with this whole vaccine-causing-autism malarky, Andrew Wakefield, actually only claimed that one particular vaccine caused autism, because he wanted to market a different vaccine!! He’s doing exactly what you accuse ‘big pharma’ of doing – lying in his ‘studies’ to make money off his vaccine! How can you trust someone like that?

    • Steph

      I guess you’ve not met many people with autism, if you really think it’s that bad. I’d 100000% prefer my children autistic than dead. But then, I’ve actually met people with autism. Hell, I even married one and had two children – who are also autistic. I seriously think you should volunteer at an autism charity and get some seriously needed perspective.

    • TRIALNERROR

      Stephanie, no matter how dumb you act, you can’t blame it on vaccines forever. Face it, get over it, you were just born that way dear.

    • Who?

      I didn’t realise it was a ‘select one’ situation. Autism seems to be mostly about genetics, so pick your parents wisely if concerned; and measles is easily avoided by a safe and effective inoculation.

      Having had measles as a child I’m very happy neither of my children have had it, and neither of them are autistic either.

    • Azuran

      We just understand how utterly stupid this whole ‘choice’ thing is. Vaccines don’t cause autism, that horse has been beat to death, grilled, fed to pigs that then got turned into bacon and eaten again.
      So you don’t get to chose ‘between’ the two. You will either have a child with or without autism, and there is nothing you can do about it. And once you have the kid, regardless of if it’s autistic or not, you can protect it against measles or you can be an idiot and let it get sick for no reason.

    • corblimeybot

      Get down there and reply to ses1978’s comment. Face what a shitty person you are. No autistic person should have to deal with people like you.

    • Azuran

      It’s not a choice that exist. There is no link between vaccine and autism. So making people make a choice is just inviting people to bash autistic people.

    • J.B.

      Bite. Me.

  • Nick Sanders
  • harriethuestis
  • Andrea Murley-Anderson

    Actually, she has described children with autism as damaged.

    My two are perfect and she can get stuffed.

    • BeatriceC

      None of my children are autistic, but the love of my life is. Sure he has some quirks, and some of those quirks are maddening, but he’s so much more than those quirks. We have found ways to work through the issues that cause real problems, and ignore the ones that don’t.

    • Amy

      Neither of mine have autism, but I have had numerous students who are. Some require a one-to-one aide with them at all times. Others get perfect scores on the AP Calculus and Physics exams and end up at Ivy League universities. And everything between. It’s a trait, much like needing glasses to see or being short or needing mobility assistance. With the right support, everyone can learn and work toward their dreams. Seeking and then vilifying nonexistent causes isn’t helping anyone.

      • Fleur

        In my brother’s first year as a teacher, he was assigned a class of about thirty kids, one of whom was autistic. This little boy was in the process of being assessed to see whether he could continue in a mainstream school. In the meantime, he had a one-to-one assistant but my brother still spent the greater proportion of each lesson trying to stop the poor kid throwing things and running out of the classroom. For a newbie teacher, it was a very challenging experience. Yet, at the end of the year, my brother told me that, if he could hypothetically pick one child in his class, he’d want to take that little boy home to be his son. Not out of pity but because, in my brother’s words, “he’s a lovely little boy”. That’s what idiots like Tietje don’t understand: it’s not that anti-vaxxers are the only people in the world who are aware of the challenges that severely autistic people face. Half of my family work with people with SEN and they’ve told me some desperately sad stories. The difference is that they see children and adults who need support to become the happiest and most independent possible versions of themselves, whereas people like Tietje just see the soulless autistic bogeyman of antivaxxer mythology. Fuck them.

        • Amy

          I had a similar experience with the highest-need student I’ve worked with in my career. And seeing how much this student progressed in my class was pretty much why I became a teacher in the first place.

  • Michael Cooper

    I got blocked after citing http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6235/694
    and pointing-out her use of the Leukemia Journal wasn’t particularly compelling (by impact factor) after Dorit pointed-out Kate’s evidence failed to support Kate’s claim.

    Edit: nm, Kate blocked me ages ago, another page sharing and defending her post blocked me.

  • Navneet Johal

    Your ridiculous romanticization and trivialization of autism is no better than antivaxxer nonsense. Ridiculous claims about Einstein, Gates (insert historical or living never diagnosed genius here), being on the spectrum have no more merit than the claim of vaccines causing neurological damage. I’m not sure what severe regressive autism refers to, but most figures show 40-60% of ASD have an intellectual disability. I am glad that your son has done so well, but his outcome is far from the norm. Even on the high-functioning end – unemployment and underemployment for adults on the spectrum is appallingly high, as are rates of co-morbid depression and, anxiety disorders. If as the neurodiversity movement touts, autism is just a benign difference like being gay or left handed, rather than a disability – people on the spectrum should not be eligible for SSDI, medicaid or any other assistance – would you be in favour of that?

    • demodocus

      Blind people also have a high level of unemployment; it’s almost like the more typical members of society think it’s too difficult to figure out how to adapt to a disabled person.

      • BeatriceC

        So do people in wheelchairs.

        • guest

          An returning veterans with PTSD.

          • Tigger_the_Wing

            And even people of a different race or religion to the dominant one.

            People have a tendency to thoughtless bigotry.

            That says nothing at all about the intrinsic value of their victims, does it?

            There are non-autistic people who have learning difficulties; and neurotypical people suffer from depression etc. even though they get preferential treatment when it comes to employment, housing etc.

    • Kasey

      As an autistic who has had the measles, measles is horrid, autistic is mostly fun, with unique challenges of course, but not bad.

      • ses1978

        I am with Kasey. Before measles, with just autism, I could hear everything well. Now post-measles, I have a hard time hearing my own voice and music (which I love). And frankly, it sucks enough that I almost died from rubella exposure in the womb.

      • Voter

        You obviously have not met many truly autistic children in your life.

        • corblimeybot

          There’s a reason it’s called a SPECTRUM. Jesus christ,

        • Nick Sanders

          Go fuck yourself.

        • Amy

          I have. Teacher with 15 years experience and a MIL and several colleagues all on the spectrum, not to mention friends and friends’ kids. And all over the spectrum, including the severe, high-needs end.

          I also know an over-the-top Crunchy Mama™ who had unassisted births with all of her kids, didn’t vaccinate any of them, doesn’t even use shampoo……and…..has two autistic children. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

          • Charybdis

            Clearly Crunchy Mama (TM) did not do an effective juice fast and cleanse with kale, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar with some turmeric tossed in for good measure BEFORE getting pregnant. Too full of toxins, heavy metals and meat to gestate a non-autistic child.**

            **SARCASM FONT

        • Azayki

          “Truly” autistic. LAWL LAWL LAWL. Oh god. The lawls so hard.

        • TRIALNERROR

          Truly autistic? You mean they have to be hump-backed drooling pant-wetting violent inarticulate morons before they can be rightly classified as truly autistic? Did you get your definition of truly autistic on a clay tablet handed to you on Mt Sinai? Funny thing is, the apparent increase in autism over recent decades is largely down to much more inclusive diagnosis. If the medcal profession restricted its diagnosis to your narrow “truly autistic” terms, then autism rates would probably appear to have reduced or just leveled out. Sorry, but if you want rampantly increasing autism, then you have to tweak your “truly autistic” parameters my fine friend.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Truly autistic? You mean they have to be hump-backed drooling
            pant-wetting violent inarticulate morons before they can be rightly
            classified as truly autistic?

            I’ve suggested before that people think that every person with autism must be Rain Man.

          • It’s funny – they need people to be…according to their own argument…falsely diagnosed as autistic in order for their own epidemic to work. So why are they not screeching about misdiagnoses?

        • Sarah

          You’ve obviously not met much science.

        • momofone

          It’s interesting–and convenient–that you seem to believe that your opinion carries more weight than the fact that Kasey has BEEN an autistic child.

        • Who?

          Oh dear. Disappointing to know someone with your reasoning skills (ahem) is a voter.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Love it. It’s the No True Scotsman logical fallacy for autism.

        • demodocus

          I probably have met “truly autistic” adults, since I met many older folks in Connecticut’s Department of Mental Retardation, where my mom worked. Tough, yes, but she complained far more about coworkers than most of their clients. She was one of the ones who changed diapers on 40 year olds. Most of them were perfectly lovely people.

        • Charybdis

          Reading comprehension, dear. Kasey said s/he was autistic and has had the measles. I think that makes him/her uniquely qualified to make the comparison.

          You don’t have a leg to stand on in the matter.

        • Sarah

          Are you going to be the judge of who’s truly autistic, then? Are the others just pretending? Tell us, do.

        • Baxter et al.

        • Kasey

          I was an autistic child and am now on autistic adult. My brother was. And I have talked to quite a few autistics and admin in a group of thousands.
          Odds are I’ve met more than you could count.
          With a vaster array of places on the spectrum than you could imagine.

    • Just a second here, Navneet:

      Remind me what we usually use to test possible candidates? An interview, right?

      Now, what kind of skills does an interview test? Hint: It starts with so- and ends with -ial.

    • Irène Delse

      You know who else has trouble getting our keeping jobs due to a brain working in non-typical ways? People with bipolar disorder. Contrary to autism, it generally manifests in adolescence or early adulthood, so nobody has yet tried to link that to childhood vaccines. Yet, it’s part of the neurodiversity paradigm.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Even on the high-functioning end – unemployment and underemployment for adults on the spectrum is appallingly high, as are rates of co-morbid depression and, anxiety disorders.

      This is, unfortunately, true. But did it ever occur to you that these problems might be just a tiny little bit related to some ever so slight social bias and lack of accommodation on the part of society rather than an inherent inability of people with autism to hold jobs? Or that being told that you’d be better off dead might increase the risk of depression and anxiety just the slightest bit?

      • demodocus

        *gasps and clutches my imaginary pearls”

      • It’s more like “400 people dead is a better option than one kid being like you.”

    • For christ’s sake – go and argue with yourself. You have no clue what the neurodiversity movement is.

    • J.B.

      Ok dude, so part of the concept about a spectrum is that it includes a wide range. And people who actually know the science suggest that those with high intelligence and technical skills have a higher rate of autistic siblings than the average. (No official citation but I could dig up references if need be.) Plus my highly educated techie area has a higher than average rate of autism and the highest risk factor for autism is having a parent who is an engineer. -Breath- There is a spectrum of human behaviors and the autism spectrum as identified in dsm includes a specific area, we all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas. Sometimes we can compensate and sometimes we can’t.

      • Tigger_the_Wing

        And many of those people are currently without a diagnosis themselves simply because they are too old to have been recognised when kids (Asperger’s Syndrome, now recognised as part of the ASD spectrum, wasn’t available as a diagnosis until the mid-nineties) or flew under the radar (as most autistic girls and women do) but are just as autistic as their siblings and offspring.

        I remember back in the late nineties when the TV was showing a programme about Asperger’s Syndrome; my father and I agreed that when perfectly normal behaviour gets pathologised, we’ll soon all have diagnoses.

        Yes, well… we got our diagnoses when one of my sons was having particular problems at school and was sent for diagnosis himself.

        Every autistic person has our own, unique set of challenges. There is a reason we tend to go for the quirkier professions, and a lot of us are most successful when we are self-employed.

      • Oh yes and did you hear the stuff about the “super sperm bank”?

  • Angela

    I’ll answer MAM’s question at the end of her post, “has your child ever experienced measles?” No, my children are all vaccinated.

    How do these people do research? Sounds like they decide to write a blog about vaccines and autism, then start searching around for studies to support their position. I don’t think that’s the way it works…

    • Madtowngirl

      That is literally what they do. There is no actual research, just a bunch of googling things that support their theory.

      • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

        And a complete lack of critical reasoning. They parrot everything they read without ever giving its validity or accuracy a second thought.

        My junior high students generally demonstrate better critical thinking skills.

        • BeatriceC

          This is an insult to parrots. Parrots definitely pick and choose what they’re going to say, and frequently do so in context. 😉

          (MrC has been trying to get Goofy to say “Good morning” for 20 years. Stubborn bird won’t do it. But after two weeks he was saying “Charlotte”, when she was singing the song of her people.)

      • Charlotte

        Googling using the front page of Google as well, not something like Google scholar sadly… (or PubMed, or JSTOR…)

      • Jonathan Graham

        Because googling for “vaccine dangers” couldn’t possibly provide skewed results…

  • Monkey Professor for a Head

    The actual link between autism and vaccines!

    • BeatriceC

      I showed this to MrC, who’s an autistic research scientist retired from “big pharma”. He loved it.

    • TRIALNERROR

      Fuckin’ sharing that. Thanks

  • guest

    I’d take autism every time.

  • fiftyfifty1

    “there was less than 1 death per 100,000 in the US, which is 0.00001%, or about 1 in 100,000.”

    So she can’t do 5th grade math, but we are supposed trust her with medical decisions, huh?

    Here, let me spell it out for you Katie:

    1 in 10 = 10%
    1 in 100= 1%
    1 in 1,000= 0.1%
    1 in 10,000=0.01%
    1 in 100,000=0.001%
    1 in a million = 0.0001%
    your “0.00001%” is actually 1 in 10 million, not 1 in 100,000

  • Monkey Professor for a Head

    “And before you cry for acceptance of neurodiversity, keep in mind, I’m referring to children with severe, regressive cases of autism, not those that are high-functioning and more self-sufficient.”

    She says that, but she’s perfectly happy to use those people as part of her scaremongering over an “autism epidemic”. Sorry anti adders, but you can’t have it both ways.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      Anti vaxxers, sorry autocorrect

  • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

    Thankfully MAM is having her ass handed to her in the comments. There is hope for the world!

    • Charybdis

      As often as that happens (having her ass handed to her), it seems to keep regenerating. Someone should look into that; she appears to be part urodele amphibian (salamanders and newts).

      Too bad she can’t seem to generate or regenerate a brain.

  • Marie Gregg

    I have friends who have autistic children. This makes me see red on their behalf. Sure, these parents would have loved to have kids who didn’t experience such difficulties, but they don’t sit around a cry about it. They love their awesome, creative kids – and every last one of them says they’d rather have a kid with autism than a dead kid.

    I really wish there was a way to get MAM shut down.

    • Angela

      MAM is dangerous. I’m thinking of those on the fence, not sure about vaccines. They run across her website and can get sucked down the rabbit hole of anti-vax nonsense.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        It why I take the trouble to reply to people like dietdee on the other post. I don’t expect to convince them, but I might stop someone else from buying their nonsense.

        • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

          I agree. It’s important that the crazy voices aren’t the only ones participating in the conversation.

    • Voter

      I’m sure all the moms who have autistic children still in diapers throwing poop at the walls, seizing daily sometimes three or more times a day, and who have spent their life savings on trying to help their kids are happy for your creative awesome kids.

      • corblimeybot

        The fact that there are highly disabled autistic people doesn’t change the fact that there are many, many people on the spectrum who are fine and happy with their lives. I don’t know why you can’t stand the fact that functional and intelligent spectrum people exist

      • Nick Sanders

        You are a horrible person, fully of bigotry and lies.

      • Marie Gregg

        They aren’t my kids. They are children of friends who make the best out of a tough situation.They play the hand they’ve been dealt. I admire them – parents and kids – greatly.

        What MAM has done with this guest post is provide a forum for misinformation and condescension. Speaking of the differently abled as though they are lower life forms is disgusting. Claiming that autism can be “cured” with a special diet is stupid. She and the author deserve to be called to the carpet.

      • Sarah

        I’m even surer that they’ll have no problem at all with you using them and their children to make irrelevant arguments.

      • If you only want to talk about them, voter, then you need to start using very different figures.

        Baxter et al. Read it.

  • Nick Sanders

    I’ve been posting a pile of links refuting the connection between autism and vaccines. And it’s been constantly deleted within moments.

    Ugh, that whole post makes me want to vomit, it gets me so angry.

    • Chi

      I’ve been banned there for ages. Because I dared to use science and logic. Two things MAM hates because they undermine her fearmongering.

    • Nick Sanders

      Update: Turns out there was some sort of autotrim feature deleting the post for having too many URLs. Breaking it up into multiple posts let it stay. Still no less angry about the bullshit MAM posted.