Some say it's a fraud, others say they have living proof.
You've probably heard of the 1998 study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. His findings linked autism to the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine children normally get during the first years of life. That report made some parents afraid of giving vaccines to their children. That same report was since retracted by the medical journal The Lancet. Some doctors say as a result of that study, we saw outbreaks of previously-contained diseases like whooping cough.
Since then many other journals have chimed in. Click here to see what Natural News is saying.
But for thousands of parents who have autistic children, the studies have little to do with reality. Curt and Kimberly Linderman of Center, Missouri are among the growing number of families who say their child is living proof that vaccines can cause autism, no matter what the reports say.
"It was like he was stolen from us," said Kimberly Linderman.
Kaden Linderman suffers from autism, but his parents say it wasn't always like this. Curt and Kimberly Linderman say Kaden was a walking, talking, 15-month-old boy when he went to the doctor's office.
Kimberly Linderman said, "They call it the catch-up schedule. He got 9 vaccines in 6 shots in one day."
Curt Linderman said, "Just like any other parent, we believed in the vaccines and felt the need to keep our child disease-free."
Kimberly Linderman said, "I held our son when they put the needles in him. They told me to give him Tylenol and I took him home."
Curt Linderman said, "A couple of hours after the vaccines, he started running a fever. Within 24 hours, he had exploding diarrhea that ended up lasting three-and-a-half years."
Kimberly Linderman said, "He quit looking at me. He quit noticing his surroundings and he didn't even care. He would just sit by himself and just scream."
Curt Linderman said, "He also lost his verbal communication."
Kimberly Linderman said, "He would lay across the couch and press his stomach and his head into everything."
Curt Linderman said, "It was really a failure to thrive ... and it was immediately after the vaccine."
Kimberly Linderman said, "At first, we didn't even think about the vaccine. It was so ingrained in us that vaccines were a normal part of childhood that it never occurred to us. I took him to the doctor at least twice a week and asked the doctor, 'What happened to him, where is my son? This is not the same child that I had. Where did he go?'"
After getting no answers, the Lindermans started doing their own research and discovered their son had developed autism. Kaden's story led them down a path of leadership in autism awareness. Through their work with Autism File Magazine and Autism One Radio , they've met thousands of parents who share the same story.
The Lindermans say numbers don't lie. In the '80s, one in 10 thousand children was diagnosed with autism. Now the CDC says it's one in 91 kids.
Curt Linderman said, "There is a direct correlation between the growing numbers of autistic children and the number of vaccines being offered all over the country"
Now it's their life's work to warn other parents of the dangers.
Curt Linderman said, "I am furious. We're being lied to: It's as simple as that -- we're being lied to. There are studies out there that are confirming it and the doctor listening to the American Academy of Pediatrics. They're listening to them and not looking at the facts. And the facts are, vaccines play a major role in the autism epidemic."
Perhaps more frustrating to the Lindermans is how quickly the medical field turned its back on Dr. Wakefield's research.
Reporter: They say it's not true-- what do you say to that?
Curt Linderman said, "I find it hard to believe that they say the study that linked autism to vaccines was debunked when it wasn't a study looking at the vaccine issue. It was originally a study of 12 children with gastrointestinal issues. The MMR became a factor in that study. Dr. Wakefield never said vaccines caused autism. That's a fallacy in and of itself. In the actual 1998 Lancet study , he said it was a hypothesis. (He said) we should study it more. He's (Dr. Wakefield) been made out to be a villain and now his career has been destroyed. His reputation has been destroyed and all for the advancement of the pharmaceutical industry. Other doctors won't touch it because they don't want to become 'another Wakefield.'"
Reporter said, "What would you say to experts who are telling me autism is not tied to these vaccinations?"
Kimberly Linderman said, "It's been replicated in five times in five different countries. There are 28 studies proving the same thing that he proved. He never said vaccines caused autism. He was studying 12 children that were referred to him with gastrointestinal problems. While he's (free lance reporter Brian Deer) is out there trying to discredit Dr. Wakefield, every 20 minutes a child is diagnosed with autism. Millions of children are out there. Millions of children in pain. Why is all this time and money being spent making one man a villain with millions of children in pain?
The Lindermans suggest reading 'Silent witnesses,' the book written by the parents of the children in the original study who still support Dr. Wakefield's research.
The following is more of the interview with Curt Linderman:
The following is more of the interview with Kimberly Linderman:
Wednesday night on KHQA's Evening News at six, we'll hear why many scientists and doctors continue to say there is no link between autism and vaccines.
We know this is a question that faces many families on all sides of the issue.
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