Some anti-vaccine zealots have stubbornly clung to the discredited theory that children's vaccines are somehow responsible for the increased rate of autism over the past decade or so. However, the latest article on the subject of girls with autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) gives data that further undercuts the vaccine-autism "theory."
The article discusses at length the imbalanced ratio of boys to girls who have autism. Boys are three or four times more likely than girls to have classic autism and are twelve times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome -- high-function autism in which the diagnosed have normal intelligence but have social and communication deficiencies and restricted interests. These imbalanced autism ratios are one more piece of information (added to many studies on this subject) that seems to refute the connection between vaccines and autism. If vaccines were the cause of autism, one would expect the ratio of children with autism to be even, since the ratio of children who receive vaccinations is even.
For more information on the relationship between vaccines and autism, please see ACSH's publication The Promise of Vaccines: The Science and the Controversy by David Smith.
Patricia Ludwig is a research intern at the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH.org, HealthFactsAndFears.com).