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The Age of Autism

The above is the title of a December 14, 2005 UPI article written by senior editor Dan Olmsted who weighed in on the ongoing debate on Autism and the connection with vaccinations. Olmsted starts off by noting, "This was the year Big Media pitted parents against experts over whether vaccines cause autism -- and decided the experts are right. But they may have forgotten to ask an embarrassingly obvious question."

The article notes that there has been a growing surge of information and publicity suggesting that vaccinations are related to the huge increase in the incidence of Autism. Much of this information has appeared on the Internet and has fueled much debate. Recently, a large media blitz from the medical community struck back stating that there was no link between vaccinations and Autism.

Olmsted, in his article points out one glaring shortfall in those who try to state that there is no connection. He points out that there has never been a study comparing the rates of autism in a group of children who have been vaccinated verses those who have not been vaccinated. He stated, "We were surprised we couldn't find comparisons between real-live American kids who've gotten vaccines, and those who haven't. Officials say such a study would be hard to do, in part because so many kids are vaccinated that you couldn't find a "control group" of kids who aren't."

The article notes that there are groups of never-vaccinated children who could be compared to vaccinated children. These groups include the mostly unvaccinated Amish as well as children from home-schooling families. In true journalistic fashion Olmsted reviewed these groups in an admittedly non scientific manner, and found that there was very little Autism in these groups.

Olmsted concludes his article by saying, "Maybe 2006 will be the year journalists ask them about the autism rate in never-vaccinated American kids. That would be the question of the year."