Autism is a difficult disorder to miss, as it is characterized by noticeably abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted array of activities and interests. And while scientific consensus claims autism has been around for millennia at generally the same prevalence, that prevalence is now considered to be one in every 166 children born in the United States.
Therefore, with this devastating statistic in mind, one reporter set out to analyze the autism rates among Amish communities. Why? Because perhaps searching for autistic Amish children would reveal clues to the cause of autism … and it did.
The Clues Come Together
Since they have been cut off for hundreds of years from American culture and scientific progress, the Amish may have had less exposure to some new factor triggering autism in the rest of population. The likely culprit: vaccines.
Traveling to the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country in search of autistic Amish children, the reporter, based on national statistics, should have found as many as 200 children with autism in the community — instead, he found only three, the oldest age 9 or 10:
The first autistic Amish child was a girl who had been brought over from China, adopted by one family only to be given up after becoming overwhelmed by her autism, and then re-adopted by an Amish Mennonite family. (China, India and Indonesia are among countries moving fast to mass-vaccination programs.)
The second autistic Amish child definitely had received a vaccination and developed autism shortly thereafter.
The reporter was unable to determine the vaccination status of the third child.