Dr. Taylor. Hello. I am Brent Taylor. I am the professor of community and child health at the Royal Free and University College School of Medicine and the head of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health on the Royal Free campus of University College London. I am honored to have the opportunity to testify today. I am here as a clinical scientist, but I am also a practicing pediatrician. My clinical work involves children with disabilities including autism. I know how desperate families can be to understand the cause of their child's often devastating condition. I also know that if we are to avoid families being led astray by false hopes, advances in understanding and treatment must be based on high-quality and rigorous science. Mr. Wakefield and Professor O'Leary's testimony notwithstanding, the belief that MMR is the cause of autism is a false hope. I have four main points. We do not fully understand the reasons why autism has recently increased. We do know that there is no evidence that immunizations are involved. Second, there is no evidence that MMR vaccine causes autism. Third, there is no conspiracy to suppress information about the side effects of vaccines--completely the reverse. Fourth, because of poor science, uptake of MMR vaccine has fallen to dangerously low levels in the United Kingdom, putting children's lives at risk from a resurgence of the damaging and occasionally killing of preventable diseases, measles, mumps, and rubella. The same thing could happen in the United States of America. If I could have the first overhead, please. Here are some figures from the United Kingdom. You can see at the top, in the black closed circles, MMR uptake, which has fallen from about 90 percent in 1995 to 75 percent in April 1999. There is almost an exact parallel fall--shown in the open circles--in mothers' confidence in the safety of MMR vaccine. Could we have the next overhead on top of this one, please? The reason for this loss of confidence relates mainly to two papers produced by Mr. Wakefield and colleagues. The first, which incorrectly related measles vaccine to Crohn's disease, one form of inflammatory bowel disease, has subsequently been completely undermined. There is no evidence that measles or measles vaccine play any part in inflammatory bowel disease. The second arrow shows the timing of a paper produced by Mr. Wakefield and colleagues describing a small group of inadequately described children with a range of autism-related disorders. Following each of these papers, there was a major effect on mothers' confidence and a resultant further decline in MMR uptake. I will now discuss the results of an epidemiological study I led to test Mr. Wakefield's hypothesis that MMR causes autism. My two senior colleagues, Dr. Elizabeth Miller and Dr. Patty Farrington, have submitted testimony to this committee with details of our methods and the background of our study. We identified all known cases of autism--498 in total-- living a defined area of North London and compared details of the onset and recognition of their condition with independently collected data on exactly when they received MMR and other measles-containing vaccines. The study involved a large amount of work, and we analyzed the data in considerable depth. There are lots of results which have been published in the Lancet. In summary, all of our analyses were negative. We concluded that MMR vaccine is not causally related to autism. In particular, we looked at the clustering after MMR of regression where it occurred, the timing of parents' concern about the child's development, and the age at diagnosis. There were no significant relationships. Our results are supported by other studies from Sweden, from Finland, and from France. Our particular interest in this hearing is the rise with time we identified from the late 1970's to 1992. Could we have the next overhead, please? Mr. Wakefield has compared our results with those reported in California. This is the overhead. It is important to remember that the authors of the California report clearly stated that theirs was not incidence data. The overhead, which is downloaded from the Lancet Web page, is of rather poor quality, and so is Mr. Wakefield's content. He has fiddled with the data regarding the dates of the introduction of autism, and to demonstrate other problems he has with time relationships, it is worthwhile just looking at the bottom line, where it goes from 1987 to 1960 to 1990. What is actually going on? I have included two additional arrows, the red arrows, which perhaps more accurately identifies the acceleration in cases in the rates at which autism is increasing. These, one can see, occurred at least 2 years before autism was introduced into the United Kingdom and at least 2 years after in California--hardly a convincing causal relationship. There is another problem for the MMR theory. Could we have the next overhead, please? Here is our data from our study up until 1992, which is what we published. The rise in autism can be seen there as clearly occurring long before MMR was introduced, and I must say, contrary to what Mr. Wakefield and some of the groups he is associated with say, that we included all cases in our analysis, including those involved in the MMR Catch-Up Campaign. After 1992, the numbers fell. We did not include these data in our analysis because we felt that there might be too many missing cases not yet diagnosed, and by leaving the left-hand side, it really gave the hypothesis that MMR causes autism the best chance of being confirmed. The parallel line in red is data from two of the larger districts, and this is important, because we have preliminary data as part of the further study on the same population to see what has happened. Is autism still going up, or is it flattening out? What our early results in these two districts show--if we could have the final overhead--is that rates are going down. There is an overall increase of numbers, reflecting continuing better recognition of autism, and immigration. The fall is seen in both studies, suggesting it is a real fall. Cases appear in this population to have peaked in about 1992, for reasons which are quite unclear. This finding alone must exclude MMR as a cause of autism. MMR had a rapid uptake in our population from 1988; then, rates plateaued, certainly until 1995, while autism rates were rising and then falling. We need more research on autism and its treatment, but Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, present evidence does not support a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism. As a result of adverse publicity on this topic, many clients in the UK are now at risk from the dangerous diseases of measles, mumps, and rubella. I urge this committee to strongly support the continued MMR program to avoid putting America children's lives at risk. As a result of my work and clear study of the evidence on this topic, I believe I can say with confidence that MMR vaccine is not a cause of autism.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.
One response to “Autism and Childhood Vaccines Hearing Testimony: Brent Taylor | April 6, 2000”
The Californians were honest when they said this was not INCIDENCE data.
And I think the brief fall in 1995-97 was when the DSM-IV was being put to bed.
It was 1998 when things were going up and up [and by 2000 they appeared not to stop].