Well, here we are heading into our last week together. I am going to miss you all so much. It has been a wonderful semester with you.
I am so proud of you and the work that you have done. I am excited about the friendships that you have created. I am ecstatic about the things you have taught our boys. You have forever impacted their lives and I am so grateful!
Know that you will always have a room and teacher to come back and visit. I hold each of my LINKS dear to my heart and hate letting you go. Luckily we have a whole semester left where we are in the same building. Next year will be a bit more difficult!
Okay, on to some academics. Today we spent a lot of time discussing vaccinations and their link (or lack of) to autism. I did my best to show you both sides of the argument. You could go and Google it right now and you would find millions of websites and articles and videos on the topic.
You will find this article here saying that there are 22 medical studies that show vaccinations can cause autism. You will also find this article here talking about the different studies that have been done that have not found a link between vaccinations and autism. (This article also talks about Jenny McCarthy and the damage that she has done by preaching from a "Hollywood Star Pedestal" that autism is in fact caused by vaccinations.)
You can find article after article of outbreaks of many of these diseases that doctors thought were totally gone. Here is an article of a new outbreak in measles. Here is another article about a recent mega-church in Texas where the pastor preached anti-vaccination messages from the pulpit. Guess what has started to spread throughout their nursery? Measles. Finally, here is an article about a town in Wales that saw a major major epidemic due to parents not vaccinating for fear of autism.
You will also find many many articles and videos that talk about how the government is hiding the connection between vaccinations and autism with us. There are tons of blogs about the "natural" ways to raise your child. There are many parents concerned with putting extra toxins and chemicals into their child's body.
I do not want you to think that my way of thinking and answering is the right way for this topic. I just want you to be educated and to understand that it is a lot deeper of a topic than it seems on the outside. Mrs. Breen and I were just discussing this and we were both throwing out our other ideas beyond vaccinations of what causes autism. There are so so many ideas, thoughts and beliefs out there that it is impossible to just stick to one.
If you Google "What causes autism?", you will find over 38,600,000 results. That's crazy. That shows that this is a hot hot topic right now, and it may be for quite awhile! Autism seems to continue to rise, and people continue to become more frustrated with the fact that a cause has yet to be found.
As students of (not with!) autism, keep yourself informed. Listen to other people and be careful about what you say. Make sure people know it is your opinion- not fact. There are no facts when it comes to the causes of autism, and that is what I want to get across to you in this autism vs. vaccinations discussion. It could be anything, and the opinions are definitely out there. Be open-minded and educated.
Final thought: Just because you will no longer be in my class does not mean you will stop caring for kids with autism. There are many ways to care for kids with autism. You can spend time with them, teach them, be their friend, and stay informed! Continuing to learn about autism is a huge way to "care" about your friends and peers. If you ever are looking for something new to read, just email me or check this blog. I'm always trying to keep it updated with the latest information.
Thank you again for this wonderful semester. I look forward to seeing what all you learned when your final projects come in. I hope it was worthwhile and a life-changing experience for you all!
All my love,