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Myth Busted: Autism Is Not Caused By MMR Vaccine

Myth Busted: Autism Is Not Caused By MMR Vaccine

Throughout the past several years there has been a controversial debate over whether or not the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine has any connection with children that developed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now there is an answer to the question that has been asked by hundreds (if not thousands) of people. The myth is busted and there are facts to prove it. The MMR Vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are not connected and here’s why.

The Theory

It all started in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield and about 11 other authors had an article published, which hinted there was a possible connection between the MMR vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Eventually the study was discredited, the Lancet retracted the article and “the General Medical Council ruled that he acted dishonestly and irresponsibly in doing his research” according to Science and Medicine. That did not stop people, especially parents, from giving the theory a second thought.

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The Study

According to The Journal of American Medical Association, the MMR vaccine does not have any connection at all to children developing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There was a study done that involved about 95,727 children that were “continuously enrolled in a health plan from birth […] and at least five years of age during the yeas 2001-2012”. All of the participants received “doses of the MMR vaccine (0,1,2)” from birth up until they were the age of five. The results speak for themselves. Out of the entire group of participants (95,727 children) with older siblings only 1.04% (994) were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Also, the study gathered information about their older siblings as well and about 2.01% (1929) of those had an older sibling with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The Simple Answer

To people like me (who’s brain shuts off when any type of medical terms are mentioned) this means that they monitored a pretty sizable number of children who went in and got their MMR Vaccination and out of that handful of children, only about 1% of them were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the rest did not (some of them even had older siblings that were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)).

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The Support

Other websites and organizations such as The Pharmaceutical Journal, The Center of Disease Conrol (CDC), Science Daily, and Cleveland Clinic’s website accept the study. On the Cleveland Clinic’s website they state that there have been countless studies in the last fifteen years that have also shown no possible link between the MMR vaccine and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Dr. Frazier II, PhD., who is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Health Center, states:

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“There are treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), children cannot avoid Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by avoiding things like vaccinations.”

Well known organizations like the CDC have stated:

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“The MMR shot is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles [and] scientists in the United States and other countries have carefully studied the MMR shot. None has found a link between Autism and the MMR shot”.

There are still many people that disagree with vaccinating their children, and they have the right to have that opinion, but at least now they know that the MMR Vaccine will not lead to their child developing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

This vaccination was made to help protect you from disease and it was developed to keep our communities from having a measles outbreak. Whether you believe in vaccinating your children or not, you can be certain that scientists went through great lengths to prove that the MMR Vaccine will not cause children to develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Featured photo credit: Little girl getting vaccination from pediatrician at office-Ronny Richert via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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