A Parent's Story: Vaccines Did Not Cause My Son’s Autism

Over 100 scientific studies have found no causal link between vaccines and autism. (If you’d like further reading, try There is No Link Between Vaccines and Autism and Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, Even in Kids at Higher Risk. Also: Vaccines are Not Associated with Autism and What Parents Need to Know about Autism Research.)

And yet the myth that autism is linked to — or the result of — vaccines persists in vaccine-hesitant circles.

Today we’re sharing the perspective of a Portland mother with a son who has autism. She shares a heartfelt and important story about the stigma that surrounds autism, and how we can help reduce the stigma and support autistic kids and their families.

Read an excerpt of the story below, with a link to the full text:

Brenna, mother, Portland, OR

Brenna, mother, Portland, OR

By: Brenna, mother, Portland, OR

I do not believe that vaccination caused my son’s autism. 

I do not believe it because a mountain of scientific evidence has established that there is no link between vaccines and autism. But on a much more personal level, I do not believe it because when I look at my son I do not see a damaged version of someone he was supposed to be. I see a sweet, bright, empathetic boy who is growing into a warm and loving young man. I see the son I have wanted since I was a little girl. My son has always been who he was meant to be. 

But that is not how too much of the world sees autistic people. No one has ever died from autism, and in fact autistic people have made and continue to make foundational contributions to our communities and society. But the link between vaccine-hesitancy and autism exists in no small part because autism is more frightening to many people than diseases that claim lives. The thing that makes autism more frightening than measles, mumps, or rubella is stigma. That stigma bears much blame for the resurgence of vaccine-preventable disease. Read more.

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