Thursday, December 16, 2010


Several days ago, the Tennessean featured a story about rising autism rates (and how poorly prepared schools, how poorly trained teachers are, for students on the autism spectrum). According to the article, "The number of children with autism served by Tennessee's public schools more than tripled from 2001 to 2007, rising from 1,293 to 4,019."

This morning, the same newspaper features a story about how Tennessee now leads the nation in vaccinations for kids. "Tennessee has moved from the middle of the pack to the top spot among states for early childhood immunization in the last five years, and children are benefiting." There is no mention of vaccine injury reports, so we don't know if injuries increased. The writer of the article leaves the reader to think that there are only benefits and no risks to vaccines, which is misleading.

Is the rise in autism rates in Tennessee independent from the increase in childhood immunization there? Or are the two related? I suppose the real question is will autism numbers increase as pre-schoolers vaccinated in the past five years enter the public school system. Food for thought.

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