Including People with Autism in Church Life
April 5, 2010
Updated September 28, 2017
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April 2 was World Autism Day and many organizations in the U.S. mark April as Autism Awareness month. You may have read the statistics. Not that many years ago about 1 in 10,000 people were diagnosed with autism; now it's closer to 1 in 100 who are diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder.
Autism affects real people and real families. Healthy churches not only seek to accommodate people with autism and families, but also to embrace them as indispensable members of the body of Christ. Here are some resources that will help you and your church:
Many websites provide good, basic information:
Awareness about autism is good, but welcoming people with autism into church life and relationships helps churches better reflect the wide diversity of God's people, and unleashes people with autism to use their giftedness in the service of God's kingdom.
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Unfortunately, some who are severely autistic can be violent, such as this article about a mother beaten up by her adult autistic son: http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/12/man-with-autism-beats-mother-we-can-not-remain-silent.html
You mention that within a short time frame the number of cases of autism has shot up from 1 in 10 000 to 1 in 100? Do you know why?
Let's take these in opposite order. There are many theories regarding the increase in autism diagnoses. First and most important, the rise in autism diagnoses is NOT caused by the increase in vaccination rates. The theory of vaccinations causing autism has not only been shown to be false, but also a fraud perpetrated to line the pockets of certain people. The rise in diagnoses may not indicate that any more people today have autism than, say, 100 years ago. A diagnosis uses specific criteria, and as those criteria have changed over the years, rates of diagnoses have increased. Regarding the church's response, the important thing is not so much the diagnosis, but the welcome the church gives to people who bear the image of God.
That brings me to your first comment. Yes, it's true that some people who have autism are violent. It's also true that some men are violent, and some white people are violent, and some . . . are violent. We in the church should never hold prejudice against a whole group of people because they happen to share some characteristic. Instead, the church needs to be the welcoming community it is called to be, welcoming people with autism, and men, and white people, and . . . And if some individual, whether that individual has autism, or is male, or is white, begins to engage in inappropriate behavior, the church must take steps to set boundaries, not deciding immediately that he doesn't belong, but deciding to work with him to help him learn appropriate behaviors. I've consulted with a number of congregations who have done exactly that; what a beautiful expression of the love of God for all of us! "Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph. 2:4,5)
Actually recent scientific clearly demonstrates the link between autism and vaccines, specifically those made using human fetal cells.
This is an abstract that I split into paragraphs to improve readability of the article in Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology:
The aim of this study was to investigate a previously overlooked, universally introduced environmental factor, fetal and retroviral contaminants in childhood vaccines, absent prior to change points (CPs) in autistic disorder (AD) prevalence with subsequent dose-effect evidence and known pathologic mechanisms of action.
Worldwide population based cohort study was used for the design of this study. The United States, Western Australia, United Kingdom and Denmark settings were used.
All live born infants who later developed autistic disorder delivered after 1 January 1970, whose redacted vaccination and autistic disorder diagnosis information is publicly available in databases maintained by the US Federal Government, Western Australia, UK, and Denmark.
The live births, grouped by father’s age, were from the US and Australia. The children vaccinated with MMRII, Varicella and Hepatitis A vaccines varied from 19 to 35 months of age at the time of vaccination.
Autistic disorder birth year change points were identified as 1980.9, 1988.4 and 1996 for the US, 1987 for UK, 1990.4 for Western Australia, and 1987.5 for Denmark.
Change points in these countries corresponded to introduction of or increased doses of human fetal cell line-manufactured vaccines, while no relationship was found between paternal age or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) revisions and autistic disorder diagnosis.
Further, linear regression revealed that Varicella and Hepatitis A immunization coverage was significantly correlated to autistic disorder cases. R software was used to calculate change points.
Autistic disorder change points years are coincident with introduction of vaccines manufactured using human fetal cell lines, containing fetal and retroviral contaminants, into childhood vaccine regimens.
This pattern was repeated in the US, UK, Western Australia and Denmark. Thus, rising autistic disorder prevalence is directly related to vaccines manufactured utilizing human fetal cells.
Increased paternal age and DSM revisions were not related to rising autistic disorder prevalence.
What I mean by pointing out that severely autistic individuals can be violent is that this is unacceptable if this is preventable by not using vaccines made from human fetal cells. Isn't it outrageous that parents, not being informed what is actually in the vaccines, are unnecessarily burdened with an autistic child who can later (when older/bigger) be life threatening to his/her own parents?
I personally don't agree with vaccination, i.e. don't believe that Almighty God made a mistake in our design.
However, regarding what the church should do. The church should at least be demanding that there is ALWAYS an alternative to vaccines made from human fetal cells, for Biblical/ethical and health/safety reasons. Currently there is no alternative to the MMR vaccine containing human fetal cells.
This is the link to the article, in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology mentioned (above): http://www.soundchoice.org/scpiJournalPubHealthEpidem092014.pdf
Dr. Deisher (author) testifies on the connection between vaccines and rising rates of autism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5b9xsGZs1E
This is a summary of the scientific findings: http://soundchoice.s3.amazonaws.com/soundchoice/wp-content/uploads/SCPI-AJournal-Sum-2pg012715.pdf
Second page lists all vaccines made using human fetal cells and alternative(s), if any. Some vaccines don't have any alternatives.
Many sources agree that the autism/vaccination link does not exist. It always worries me when someone will benefit financially if people believe a study that person publishes. Such is the case with Dr. Deischer, the author of the study you cite, according to this article in Patheos, and such was the case with Andrew Wakefield. We had our children vaccinated, and I firmly believe that God gave us minds to discover new ways of protecting ourselves from disease, whether vaccinations or antibiotics or other means. I feel sad for the children getting measles today because their parents refused to have them vaccinated.
Interesting that this statement was made in the article you linked to:
“Until scientists can prove exactly what causes autism, it's difficult to definitively disprove anything.”
Actually there are parallels between current denial of the obvious link between vaccines and autism, and the historical denial of the link between smoking and lung cancer.
- Lung cancer was once a very rare disease, so rare that doctors took special notice when confronted with a case, thinking it a once-in-a-lifetime oddity.
1987 - “Autistic disorder is rare, occurring in fewer than five children per ten thousand births, but with few exceptions (Lovaas). Similarly when a doctor was confronted by a case decades ago, it was regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime oddity.
This is interesting history regarding smoking and lung cancer that is similar to current denial of link between vaccines and autism:
“Cigarettes were recognized as the cause of the (lung cancer) epidemic in the 1940s and 1950s, with the confluence of studies from epidemiology, animal experiments, cellular pathology and chemical analytics. Cigarette manufacturers disputed this evidence, as part of an orchestrated ploy to salvage cigarette sales. Propagandizing the public proved successful, judging from secret tobacco industry measurements of the impact of denialist propaganda. As late as 1960 only one-third of all US doctors believed that the case against cigarettes had been established.”
Dr. Theresa Deisher’s credentials seem far more credible that the blog that you linked to. “Dr. Deisher has focused on discovering and developing new therapies for grievous human illness. Dr. Deisher obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford University and has spent over 20 years in commercial biotechnology, working with companies such as Genentech, Repligen, ZymoGenetics, Immunex and Amgen, prior to founding AVM Biotechnology and Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI). AVM Biotechnology is the marquee pro-life biotech company worldwide, certifying that it does not use morally illicit material in any process.”
Are you pro-life? Do you think it’s OK to be injecting babies with vaccines made utilizing aborted unborn babies.
It's nearly impossible for science, good science, to make a blanket statement about a condition as complex as autism. However, the article I cite says, "The American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Institute of Medicine all agree that there's probably no relationship between autism and vaccines." Considering the enormous, real, and documented risks posed to unvaccinated children, compared to the highly unlikely connection between autism and vaccines, I still feel the need to express my belief that the most responsible and loving choice a parent can make is to have his or her child vaccinated.
Regarding your final question, I'm strongly prolife. Your question is a difficult one, though you ask it in a misleading way. Your question makes it seem as if babies are continually aborted in order to create vaccines. In fact, some, not all vaccines, use stem cell lines from three babies that were aborted decades ago - two in the 1960's and one in the 1980's. Just because these abortions happened decades ago does not make the action of the abortions morally acceptable. However, as this article from Right to Life of Michigan points out, "The further away the current act (using a vaccine) and intent (protecting a child from a disease) of an individual are from a previous immoral act (aborting a child), the less that individual is restricted by the immorality of the previous act. While the act of aborting the child was certainly immoral, all of the steps involved with the development and use of the vaccines thereafter did not cooperate with the abortion." This article goes on to cite a number of authorities who agree that using these vaccines is morally acceptable.
Actually, if you see my posting of yesterday you will notice that a senior CDC has blown the whistle that the link between MMR and autism was covered up. The lead scientist of the infamous Danish study absconded with over a million dollars. Danish study was found to be totally flawed. Surely, especially Christians, shouldn't be believing CDC liars as well as crooks instead of a commendable scientist who is a pro-life Christian.
This was the case with the link between smoking and lung-cancer and will be the case with vaccines, especially MMR, and autism. Hopefully people wake up to the truth sooner rather than later. Are they going to wait until 1 in 10 or even 1 in 5 has autism before they accept the reality of the link?
Contrary to the vaccine propaganda, the cases and deaths from vaccines had already plummeted to a great extent before vaccines were even introduced. For the last three decades of the use of the small pox vaccine more children were being damaged and killed by the small pox vaccine than were dying from small pox. In the past scarlet fever was a problem causing many deaths. Have you heard of scarlet fever deaths recently? BTW, there is not vaccine for scarlet fever!
As Christians we are told in Romans 12:2 not to confirm to the world. Nowadays some Christians rationalize unbiblical practices such as using aborted babies to make vaccines. Whether the babies were killed yesterday or decades ago, it doesn’t matter to Almighty God and Christians who don’t conform to the world. It is still the shedding of innocent blood. The end doesn’t justify the means.
In reality the vaccinated are more of a problem to the unvaccinated than the other way round. The live vaccines, such as MMR, shed and can infect other people. For example the medical advice given to those that are immune compromised, taking chemo etc., it to not have visitor(s) who have been recently vaccinated with a live virus. They can shed for even a month or so. Another issue is that unlike true immunity from getting the disease, the vaccine effect wanes and the vaccinated person gets the disease and can also infect others. For example recently hockey players who were vaccinated for mumps still got mumps as an adult when it is more serious.
I also believe that this supposed finding of a link between vaccinations and autism is baloney. I subscribe to Scientific American Mind, and in one issue there was an article titled "Why We Cheat," in which the case of this fraud was discussed along with other scientists who were also found to have cheated with data while they were still Ph.D. students but apparently their supervisors failed to confront them at the time, and when they submitted an article with fraudulent data and were found out their budding careers were over. Who wants to hire an individual known to cheat and lie?
My sister also believed that autism was linked to vaccines and was extremely reluctant to have her son vaccinated because of that fraud, but she resigned herself to have it done because he would not have been admitted at the school where she and her partner wanted to register him UNLESS he were vaccinated. I have lent her the issue but I don't know if she's read it yet since she's a pretty busy woman. However, since both she and my brother-in-law are engineers, there is very little likelihood of them being anti-science.
Actually the real fraud has been committed by those covering up the link between autism and vaccines, especially MMR (from aborted unborn babies):
Statement by whistle blower Dr. William Thompson, Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1998.
“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that especially African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.
There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”
Also the infamous Danish study purporting to deny link between vaccines and autism, has been found to be totally flawed by scientists. Also the lead scientists of the Danish study i.e.: POUL THORSEN, 49, of Denmark, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and money laundering based on orchestrating a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research.
Those who are denying the link are actually ‘anti-science’, just like those who denied the link between smoking and lung cancer.
What we have here is a not-so-subtle attempt to "chill" scientific research in an area that the vaccination lobby doesn't like.
If you attempt to discredit Dr Deisher's work because of purported conflict of interest, consider the other conflicts of interest that exist , i.e. Vaccination advocate, Dr Paul Offit earns royalties from Merck for his vaccine; Julie Gerberding formerly positioned at the CDC moved to head Merck's Vaccine division. Financial ties held by CDC and FDA to the Pharmaceutical companies they are making recommendations about.
This is a statement by a doctor:
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