We take issue with this quote in the Post-Gazette article "Autism, Vaccine Debate Not Over for Some" published Feb. 14: "It would be nice if autism advocacy organizations actually advocated for children with autism," Dr. [Paul] Offit said. "Instead, they are anti-vaccine organizations ..."
The Autism Society of America, Pittsburgh, strongly advocates for all living with autism -- families, professionals and adults on the spectrum -- and has done so since 1967. Money raised in Pittsburgh stays here to support advocacy, newsletter, parent and professional supports, and training activities.
This past week we held two informational meetings plus one parent/professional training mini-conference. In July we'll educate over 90 children with autism spectrum disorders in the SPEAK summer school program. We are there for our people.
We have never been anti-vaccine and never will be. We are, however, anti-mass vaccinations and against inclusion of substances in vaccines that are empirically suspect in triggering onset of autism symptoms. We will continue to battle the Offits and the pharmaceutical lobby and press for genuinely independent, peer-reviewed research to determine the extent to which vaccine content and practice do or do not cause autism.