Hey, all. I have a few thoughts to add on this practice.
I’ve been doing some research online recently on autism. It’s absolutely shocking to see how “political” the disorder is. I hate it. Honestly. It takes it from a legitimate concern for everyone to simply another topic to use when mudslinging. I haven’t really performed any intricate research online since 2003. It has become a political hot button.
You know what irritates me? It’s all pushed on the current Presidential administration. Why? Autism has been around since the 1940s. Autism rates skyrocketed during the 1990s, when the Clinton administration was in office. Thimerasol, the mercury additive believed to be responsible for autism by many parents, was starting to be fazed out of vaccine manufacturing in 2001. Wasn’t that the start of the current Administration? Autism existed long before this Administration, the previous Administration, or any other that most Americans easily recall. Autism is reported to have started shortly after the mercury-containing preservative was used in vaccines, in the 1940s.
Rep. Bill Frist did attempt to enact the “tort reform,” and put a cap on medical malpractice suits. Okay. And he is a Republican. But, he’s a doctor. Most doctors in America wanted that reform regardless of political party.
It just cheapens the issue so much. Now that Thimerasol is being fazed out of vaccinations, there’s a reported (dramatic) decline in autism among 2-4 year olds. What does this have to do with politics? Nothing as far as I can tell. The mega-pharmaceutical companies are still shelling out big bucks in support of both political parties.
What has that gotten us? Bush signed in the Autism Act of 2006 providing a billion dollars in funding for autistic research. That’s more than any other President did. But, more needs to be done.
I generally believe that choosing a political party is nothing more than choosing the lesser of two evils, but this really bothered me. It’s akin to turning any other disease or ailment into seemingly hopeless political fodder. It doesn’t bring awareness; it sends people into political ranting and removes any emphasis on autism.
This is my two cents on the matter: autism does not have a political affiliation. It has no regard for status, income, or geographic location. My son developed autism under the Clinton Administration. What does that tell me? Not a bloody thing. The same for kids who developed it under Bush Sr., Ronald Regan, Jimmie Carter, Nixon, etc.
If we want to make it an issue, than do so intelligently. What resources do families raising autistic children need? What does society need to know? What should be taught in public schools relevant to autism? Are all autistic children receiving the best education they can? We need far, far more than someone to blame. It has taken many people to shape the world into what it is today and they all belonged to a host of political parties.