05/21/2005 12:07 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Vaccines and Autism: Answers

David Kirby
asks fascinating questions and Janet Grillo, in telling her son’s story, offers some answers but asks a few more questions. No, Mr. Kirby, we cannot find a large number of 25 to 55 year-old adults with autism because they are not there to be found: Autism has grown to epidemic proportion over the past twenty-five years.

The “triggers” to this huge increase (from 1 case/5000 in 1980 to 1/166 in 2005) undoubtedly include mercury. Mercury from vaccines is a very likely culprit and the most recent studies support this. Conflicting analyses do exist. Most of the doctors and researchers involved in denying that vaccines cause autism are recipients of large sums -— millions of dollars in some cases -— from the vaccine industry.

My favorite explanation for the increased numbers of children with autism is the implication that doctors are much better at making the diagnosis than they used to be. I asked my wife, "Do you think I seem 800% smarter than I was twenty years ago??" After a little work with a paper and pencil the number she showed me was a minus 23%.

Honest doctors will eventually “break” this case.