Thank you Allison for your query. I'll directly cut and paste my answer posted earlier today at Y!A.
Hope to see you and your family succeed at the highest level!
Before I begin, I'd like to ask you if you have heard of the term "refrigerator mother"? [please see my ref. at the bottom]
The term refrigerator mother was coined in the 1940s as a label for mothers of autistic children. These mothers were often blamed [by researchers and theorists] for their children's atypical behaviours. Thank goodness, researches on autism have advanced since then.
I am a mother of a 5-year-old child with autism. I am also a professional ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) therapist.
I have contacts with many parents of children who are on the autistic spectrum.
Hmmm...not sure what is the best way to communicate my thoughts to you. Please allow me to make an *emphasis* on a point that a mother's gut feeling/ intuition about her child is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools in the universe. We know our newborn babies more than we know our own selves. It is a blessing from God/ mother nature [whatever you may call it] in order to protect the planet's future progeny. I hope I don't sound too emotional.
As for my own child, I believe she was born with autism. B-U-T, I know of parents - first hand -- whose children were *perfectly* neurotypical [meaning "normal"] until the day before getting the vaccination and *suddenly* regressed [lost all the skills already acquired] significantly within a very short period of receiving the vaccination. Please note, these children usually have severe allergic reactions to food, medication, several environmental elements etc. There do exist alternative ways to alter this tragedy. For an instance, it is *not* a vaccination which is directly linked to autism. Some vaccines are cultured in egg protein, some contain "thimesoral" [that is 50% mercury by weight], and it is *possible* to prepare vaccines without these components. Newborn babies are not generally tested for allergies to egg etc. and those vaccines may very well damage their yet developing and vulnerable brain tissues [biological fact].
To cut a long story short, think about this. Just less than 10 years ago, autism was found in 1 in 2000 children. Last year, the ratio was 1 in 166 children. This year it is 1 in 150 children. Like it or not, autism is on epidemic rise. Why? Only improvement in diagnosis techniques cannot reasonably account for this strange sky-rocketing phenomenon.
Think about this. Diagnoses of autism within two years of introducing of this special type of MMR vaccination increased to a high of 27.3 cases per 100,000 children compared with just 1.45 cases per 100,000 in non-vaccinated children. The children who had had that special type of MMR vaccination were 45% more likely to have developed autism than the children who had not had the MMR vaccination. None of the above won any mainstream media attention.
Last but far from least, today's science is not an absolute/ final word about anything. The official symbol of autism is "an unfinished puzzle" -- denoting that the causes of this condition is not yet fully known. Scientific findings are changing all the time. Do you know that about half of Sir Isaac Newton's theories have now been proven wrong? Science has just discovered what "the mother nature" knew ages ago -- that breast milk is the best milk for the newborn babies, just to cite an example. This fact was *not* known even in 1970s. So, a mother's intuition about her child should *never* be underestimated. I feel dismayed to notice how people like to label a parent as someone lacking in common sense, a hatemonger ready to blame things on the doctors, vaccinations etc. It is not quite the case.
Hope this helps a little. Your feedback to my answer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for listening to me.