The effect that blaming autism on vaccines has on actual autistic children

Trump calls autism an epidemic as the result of vaccines

Trump calls autism an epidemic as the result of vaccines

So now we’re back to the whole anti-vaccine thing thanks to Donald Trump’s comments during the republican debates. Despite overwhelming scientific studies that have proven that there is absolutely no link between vaccines and autism, we continue to have people like Mr. Trump who prey on the fears of parents. I thought I’d take this time to explain to you what I see from the children that come to me asking if it’s true.

Most of the time, not always but a good 90% of the time, when a child asks me about vaccines and autism, they do so from a very personal place. Now granted, those other 10% of kids have a scientific curiosity and you can tell that they are genuinely just curious but for the rest, for all those other kids that I talk to, they’re worried and they’re scared. They feel like a mistake, an abomination and a victim.

I’ve talked to a lot of anti-vaccination parents and I know it’s not their intention and I know they love their children as much as any other parent but to be perfectly honest, that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Intentions or not, this is about how a child feels when they are told that they are a damaged product of a broken system that their parent didn’t want. Harsh? Maybe but this is the message that the child is receiving.

You don’t understand the damage you are doing to your own child with this nonsense. You really don’t. Your child will never tell you this because they are scared to death that you hate them and what they are… a broken version of the kid that you actually wanted. You are damaging your own child even worse than what you think those vaccines are doing. Your children are reaching out to total strangers on the Internet in search for answers because they are convinced that they are not the child you wanted. They are convinced that they are the source of your anger and your rage and your disappointment.

And you will disagree me and you will tell me that it’s not your child that I’m talking about but I’m telling you right now, and please listen to me… you clearly don’t see the impact. I am talking to these children every day and it’s breaking my heart. No one can convince them that they’re not a mistake and no one can make them believe that their parents love them when they grow up feeling like they are the foundation of your hate. And these children won’t let their parents know this. They don’t want to hurt their parents any more than what they think they’ve already done.

Please. Please! My heart is breaking for these poor children. They can’t take this. No child should be feeling this way! You can’t do this to them. You just can’t. I beg of you. I’m not asking you to stop believing what you believe. I don’t know, maybe I am. All I’m asking is… please stop doing this to your own children. To all of these children. To every child everywhere that is scared to death that they’re a broken, disappointing autistic byproduct of being poisoned.

Please don’t do this to them anymore.

  • I am Stuart Duncan, owner of Autcraft, a world wide Minecraft server with a user base of 6000 children that have autism. I speak to many of these children almost daily about some of the most personal aspects of their lives. I will not be sharing names or direct quotes as I do not want any of those children to feel like I am singling them out or giving clues as to their identity.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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15 Responses to The effect that blaming autism on vaccines has on actual autistic children

  1. WeepingWillowTwo September 17, 2015 at 4:19 am #


  2. E. Hickey September 17, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    Stuart – are you also talking to the nonverbal children who have such severe brain damage that they will require 24/7 care and supervision for the rest of their lives? This “debate” is about too many, too soon – plus, safety and efficacy. The fear mongering comes from Big Pharma. Follow the money!

    • Carmen McLellan September 17, 2015 at 9:46 am #

      You are ignorant of all the scientific studies that say that vaccines don’t cause autism. That autism is not brain damage. That the schedule of vaccines is carefully arranged according to when the child’s immune system is ready, and exposure to the disease is likely to occur.
      If you “follow the money”, follow it to the fear-mongers who claim that they can “treat” or “detox” or “cure” the condition with products ranging from useless to dangerous.
      As the mother of two of those children, I don’t see what you see. My kids were born this way, and I love them. I never want to make them feel that their differences make them less. That I would rather not have them. That they are damaged goods.

    • psychtld September 20, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

      To the uneducated person who says that NV = brain-damaged…

      I was non-verbal for my first three years on this hellish planet. But then I got into using my voice. Am I still brain-damaged or was it only for the duration of my non-speaking years?

      Yes – I have a shovel ready for you – I just KNOW you’re going to dig yourself deeper in.

      To Stuart…

      Thank you for writing and sharing this article. It needs to be said.

      • Kronisk September 21, 2015 at 7:33 am #

        I come from the opposite path. I was hyperlexic and echolaliaing all over the place. I could read something at age three and repeat it all over the place.

        When I was told I was autistic, there were no services, no assistance, no help, no nothing. I was “diagnosed” during another attempt to get work rehabilitation services to help me find stable, paying, and forward-movement-facilitating work. So when I tell you that I have remained unemployed throughout the ten-plus years since diagnosis day, Hickey, I want you to understand how offensive your functioning label gambit is to me.

        At you will find a woman who was told she is quite “low functioning” by so-called professionals. Judging by both the content of this video and the fact that she has been making such videos before I was (and mine **pre-date** YouChoob), I would say her opinion of Autism Speaks FNA is about the same as mine. Possibly lower.

        Even the people whom you use without their consent or interaction despise people like you, Hickey. This is for a reason.

  3. M Jones September 18, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    Excellent Stuart. Thank you. To the unenlightened commenter: Non verbal is NOT brain damaged. My teenager is non-speaking and needs support in some areas. She also uses alternative communication and is finally fighting back against being treated, by educators, as if she is a clueless burden. She is a strong human being and knows that being considered a burdensome tragedy is WRONG, because at home, she knows she is loved, respected and empowered.
    You should probably communicate with an actual nonverbal autistic person and stop listening to the parents who are letting their kids believe they are burdens.

  4. aislingozdemir September 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    Well said as always! I have 3 sons all vaccinated; one is autistic. He is amazing, funny and hugely emphatic. It makes me crazy when people blame vaccinations… educate yourself vaccinations are so important and to blame them for autism is not only ignorant but dangerous.

  5. educationcomboplatter September 21, 2015 at 6:10 am #

    In response to the person who asked about headbanging:

    As for using autism as an excuse not to vaccinate, here is what ASAN has to say on the subject:

  6. Kronisk September 21, 2015 at 7:25 am #


    I am new to your journal and was intrigued by the subject of this post. But when I scroll through this journal, I see much wrong. Please indulge me for a moment, I will get as quick as I can to the point.

    Unlike most adults, I can remember huge chunks of my childhood really well. Being lied about in front of my face, being gaslighted, being threatened with life-altering abuse, you name it, it is there. It should come as absolutely no surprise to you if I told you that multiple people with PhD.s next to their name say I would stand a very good chance of meeting the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

    So when I tell you that my PTSD-like symptoms (which I have been displaying in some form or another since age six) are amplified and set off by what I call separationist language, please listen.

    Separationist language, that is, “with autism”, “has autism”, and so forth, implies to people who do not know better that my neurology is a separate thing to me. Like the diabetes I have genuinely suffered from since I was nine years old. Like the skin cancers I have been having dug out of my body since I was 23 years old. That is what I mean when I say separate. That you think of my neurology, my autism, in the same terms as you and I would my history of skin cancer or diabetes.

    I challenge you to think of something more absurd. Even mildly.

    The things you describe children feeling as a result of anti-vaxxer bulldust, and believe me, I feel those things too, I also feel as a result of “has autism”. If you go looking on the journals of such activists as Lydia Brown (aka Autistic Hoya), you will see I am not alone in this. People who insist on so-called person-first (I call it “person last”, because it puts the autistic person last for reasons I will soon get into) language have also demonstrated they are rude, aggressive, and completely intolerant of the contrary ideas of others. They believe their right to be pleased by an arrangement of words trumps my right to not have to go to bed seeing ghosts of autistic children crying at me that I let them die.

    Autism Speaks FNA (it stands for For Normie A@#!*$@!) also use so-called person-first language. “I love my son with autism”, for example. Knowing what I know about ASFNA and person-last language, my feeling is “if you refer to him like that, no you do not”. And that brings me to my next point.

    You see, part of the reason Autism Speaks FNA uses separationist language, and I believe has pushed separationist language and told people that they should use it, is because they want people like yourself or other outside observers to think of autism as a separate thing to us. Again, I challenge you to think of something more absurd. Remembering what I said before about comparisons with diabetes and cancer, remember that ASFNA has aggressively pushed for people to see autism in such a way. And thus, they are to blame for people like Donald Chump making such leaps of illogic, claiming we have been damaged by vaccines when on a truly level playing field he would be considered disabled by us.

    Separationist language is an Orwellian exercise in trying to make autistic people think of what makes them them, the most vital characteristic of them, the only persistent characteristic throughout a lifetime, as something separate. This is wholly unacceptable, and thus when I see it repeated anywhere, I react as if I am being threatened with sexual assault or murder by someone who is more than two feet taller than me.

    I await any and all further questions you might have for me about this.

  7. Phil/Timelord September 28, 2015 at 5:56 am #

    I just want to say that the effect this Trumped up nonsense (pun intended) has is not just on the kids. It’s us adults as well. We are not vaccine damaged any more than the current generation of children are.

    I know America has the First Amendment, but for goodness sake Trump needs to be gagged.

  8. thomassutcliffe January 17, 2016 at 5:41 am #

    Excellent and important article, which I have shared on twitter and facebook and ‘pressed’ on to my personal blog

  9. Nancy Gonzalez April 5, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    Thank you for writing this. I have tried unsuccessfully to tell parents the damage they are causing their children, however, most will not listen. They are so hung up on being right, that anything outside of their comfort zone is irrelevant. It is sad to see so many kids who are depressed exactly because of this and yet it’s better to medicate them for depression than to actually change the way the parents view autistics. Very sad. Sadly, someday they might understand, maybe when their kids are adults, but by then, most of these adults will have full blown PTSD from such mental anguish and depression.

  10. Susan Elizabeth Spann July 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    I just found this. And I am glad that I did. I am frustrated to no end at the abuse autistics are receiving from anti-vaccine people lately.

    Did you know that if they called children with Down Syndrome half the things they call autistics that the backlash would be to no end and it would be treated for what it is – hate speech? So why the relentless abuse of autistics?

    My diagnosis? Moderate-severe. Yeah, I know. I can write. So? My ability to write has nothing to do with my diagnosis.

    But first and foremost, I am autistic NOT damaged. I am NOT a zombie or a vegetable (even most non-verbal autistics I know aren’t either of those things). And I am NOT a chimp or a dog.

    We need to change the language. And we need to stop the abuse of the autistics.

  11. Simon Ells November 18, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Trump’s son Barron is autistic. He blames vaccines because he is too egotistical to accept the likelihood that fathering a child at his advanced age is the cause of his son’s autism.

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