- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

While Terrence Scanlon’s piece on the value of vaccines is all true, the fact is autism raised its ugly head in our generation and is a continuing and heartbreaking affliction on our children and families (“The war against vaccines,” Commentary, Wednesday).

As a special-education specialist in both Prince George’s County and the Archdiocese of Washington school systems, I was privileged to receive some of the most professional training available from medical, educational and psychological professionals in the area.

One medical conference I attended in 1998 painted a very realistic picture of the rising number of cases of autism at the time. Very simply stated, the change in status of autism from a relatively unknown affliction to an exponentially growing and alarming affliction for youngsters was this: The vaccines themselves were excellent and safe; the numbers of vaccines given together were overwhelming the children’s systems.

In other words, when my children’s generation - the generation that grew up in the 1970s - got their vaccines, they got no more than two vaccines together at any one time. Today, children get three to four vaccines at one doctor’s appointment.

When people in the audience asked the speaker why such a simple solution (i.e., spreading out the vaccines over multiple doctor’s appointments) was not put into practice, the speaker said pharmaceutical companies will deny responsibility, as will the American Medical Association. Therefore, denial will trump solution and cure - and logic, I might add.

As a small voice of reason, I have spoken to people about this, but to no avail. I hope someone with some heart and influence can pursue this avenue of possible prevention for all our future children.

THERESE STRINGFELLOW

Greenbelt, Md.

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