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Volume 60

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Hi, I'm Craig Kendall, the author of The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.

Conquer any Feelings of Guilt You May Have.

Court: Vaccines Not to Blame for Autism

Many parents have worried that they may have "caused" their loved ones autism spectrum disorder. Whether their child has low functioning autism or high functioning Asperger's syndrome, many parents have second guessed their decisions to vaccinate their children. This has left many parents with feelings of guilt that somehow they are to "blame".

If it is any comfort, the U.S. government courts have ruled that vaccines do not cause autism.

Per ABC News, (March 12, 2010)
"In a major blow to parents who believe that their children's autism was caused by childhood vaccines, a special court ruled today that 'the theory of vaccine-related causation is scientifically unsupportable' and in three separate cases, denied parents any compensation from the makers of the vaccine."

The landmark study that linked vaccines to autism was originally published in The Lancet, a British Medical Journal but was withdrawn in January 2010.

The medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday retracted a controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.

The study subsequently had been discredited, and last week, the lead author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research.

The General Medical Council, which oversees doctors in Britain, said that "there was a biased selection of patients in The Lancet paper" and that his "conduct in this regard was dishonest and irresponsible."CNN Feb. 2, 2010

 


British Medical Council Bars Doctor Who Linked Vaccine With Autism

UPDATE: New York TIMES / May 24, 2010
By JOHN F. BURNS


LONDON A doctor whose research and public statements caused widespread alarm that a common childhood vaccine could cause autism was banned on Monday from practicing medicine in his native Britain for ethical lapses, including conducting invasive medical procedures on children that they did not need.

The General Medical Council applied its most severe sanction against the doctor, Andrew Wakefield, 53, who abandoned his medical practice in Britain in 2004 as questions intensified about his research and set up a center to study childhood developmental disorders in Texas, despite not being licensed as a physician there.

In January, after the longest investigation in its history, the council found several instances of what it said was unprofessional conduct by Dr. Wakefield. It cited his taking blood samples for his study from children at his sons birthday party; he paid each child 5, about $7.20 today, and joked about it later. It also noted that part of the costs of Dr. Wakefields research was paid by lawyers for parents seeking to sue vaccine makers for damages.

Dr. Wakefield left the Texas center in February, but continued to speak out against his treatment in Britain, as he did in interviews in New York on Monday, when he called the British decision to strike him off the medical register an effort to discredit and silence him. He said he would appeal the decision, which will take effect, unless suspended for legal reasons, within 28 days.
 

 

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Eliminating Feelings of Guilt

Many parents have feelings of guilt for all types of reasons associated with their ASD loved one.

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You feel guilty that your child has this disorder in the first place; you feel like you shouldn't be too hard on him because of it.

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You feel like your child's behaviors are driving you absolutely insane, and sometimes you might even feel like you hate your child; and then you feel guilty for feeling that or even thinking it.

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You feel like you might have caused your kid's autism and feel guilty about that.

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You may feel guilty about not being able to do enough, to provide enough treatments, and so on.

Don't Worry, It Is Normal

All parents dislike their kids at some points.  They are, and we are, only human, after all—there are going to be some rough moments. Guilt is a very prevalent part of parents' emotional experience of autism spectrum disorders. Learning how to manage those feelings of guilt is very important.

Instead of looking at it as "you're not doing enough," try looking at it as "you're being an outstanding parent and trying to do too much." Why do I say this? Well, think about it for a minute.

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You are comparing yourself to the parents of typical children, most likely, since that is the only experience you know.  But as a parent of an autistic child, you have so much more that you have to deal with on a daily basis.

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Your child's needs are so much more extensive than that of a typical child's, and you do a great job fulfilling your child's every day basic needs. From coaching her through simple activities to managing meltdowns, you work hard to give your child the support he needs to get through the day.

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You fight for services that your child needs from the school district. You fight for them to get into certain classes.

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You research autism tirelessly and endlessly, trying to figure out the best treatments.

Realize how much you are already doing

Realize how much you are already doing, and give yourself a pat on the back—you deserve it. You are doing a great job. Realize you are not alone, and that other parents of kids with autism are going through the same thing. Seek them out for support, so when your child has a milestone that only parents of autistic kids would understand, they can rejoice with you.

But most of all, acknowledge how much you are already doing, and give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can, and you have certain limits and constraints that can't be ignored. That is a fact.

Acknowledge that the feeling of guilt is there, but don't let it take over. Remember you are doing the best you can just being who you are.

 

My book on Aspergers for Teens and Young Adults discusses bullying, anxiety, depression and what to do about it. Click here for more information:

www.aspergerssociety.org/teen_book.htm

 

Learn how to...

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Make and keep friends

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Building relationships

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Get and KEEP a job

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Minimize depression and add meaning to your life

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Understand therapy options and much more.

This book is not only for adults who have Asperger's but also for their loved ones

Which of these questions do you want to solve?

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Are you struggling in an unhappy marriage and want to save it?

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Do you have an Asperger's loved one who cannot seem to get or hold a job?

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Has the romance, fire and passion gone out of your relationship and you are at the end of your rope?

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Do you have an adult child who is "stuck"? Still living at home? Living an isolated life with no meaningful relationships?

Yes, Craig, I want to help my loved one who has Aspergers and improve my relationship with them

Click here for more information

 

The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide Book Image

For additional information on Asperger's Syndrome go to the web site  www.AspergersSociety.org. There you will be able to sign up for the free Aspergers newsletter as well as get additional information on the book, The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.

Craig Kendall is the father of an Asperger's child and the author of "The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide". You can find more information about living with Asperger's Syndrome by contacting him on this site: www.AspergersSociety.org

 

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Thank you,

Craig Kendall, Author