Skeptico pointed me at this overview of a recent study about mercury causing autism. Many of us have already known that ethyl mercury in thimerisol had nothing to do with autism. There has been no data or proposed mechanism to justify that hypothesis. But this myth keeps getting promoted and is often accepted as true by popular culture.
People wasting their money on chelation, hyperbaric chamber therapy, and other nonsense 'treatments' are just delaying true understanding of the causes and treatments for Autism. Further, they are endangering their child with 'treatments' that have not been shown to have any effect, and worse, have not been vetted for possible side effects (although, I'll admit, sticking your kid in a hyperbaric chamber is probably not that dangerous unless it is operated wrong, think "The Bends" from scuba diving).
Further, some people are not vaccinating their kids, for religious reasons, or simply out of fear or ignorance, or inability to discern good science from bad. Vaccination, along with sanitation and clean water, are the most successful national health efforts ever to be accomplished in the history of mankind. While there is a 1 in a million chance of significant side effects from vaccines, the immensely reduced occurrence of deadly childhood diseases is, by far, worth it.
I have a one year old daughter. I can fully understand how frustrating and saddening it must be to find out your child is autistic (or has any disorder that lower mental or physical capacity). I understand the intense desire to do anything that might help your child not have to suffer. I am also not sure I would be able to let my reasoning remain stronger than my emotion in my efforts to relieve my child of suffering. But while my rational half is strong, I appeal to you to help put this myth to bed so we can focus our time and money toward finding the real cause.
So, to my ten or so readers, please read the whole article. Its very well written. Then please tell people you know to read it. Help put this stupid myth to rest.
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