Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad Info

Which weight loss plan works best? What are the best books on health and nutrition - What is the best free weight loss app? Discover the best Health, Fitness & Dieting books and ebooks. Check our what others have to say about Peter J. Hotez,Arthur L. Caplan books. Read over #reviewcount# reviews on Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad before downloading. Read&Download Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad by Peter J. Hotez,Arthur L. Caplan Online

In 1994, Peter J. Hotez's nineteen-month-old daughter,
Rachel, was diagnosed with autism. Dr. Hotez, a pediatrician-scientist
who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases affecting the
world's poorest people, became troubled by the decades-long rise of the
influential anti-vaccine community and their inescapable narrative
around childhood vaccines and autism. The alleged link between the two
was first espoused in a fraudulent scientific paper, long since
retracted, but the story shows no signs of letting up. As a result,
we've seen deadly and disabling outbreaks of vaccine-preventable
diseases around the country, and Texas, where Hotez lives, is at
particular risk.

In Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism,
Hotez draws on his experiences as a pediatrician, vaccine scientist,
and father of an autistic child. Outlining the arguments on both sides
of the debate, he examines the science that refutes the concerns of the
anti-vaccine movement, debunks current conspiracy theories alleging a
cover-up by the CDC, and critiques the scientific community's failure to
effectively communicate the facts about vaccines and autism to the
general public, all while sharing his very personal story of raising a
now-adult daughter with autism.

A uniquely authoritative account,
this important book persuasively provides evidence for the
genetic basis of autism and illustrates how the neurodevelopmental
pathways of autism are under way before birth. Dr. Hotez reminds readers
of the many victories of vaccines over disease while warning about the
growing dangers of the anti-vaccine movement, especially in the United
States and Europe. A former US Science Envoy for the Department of
State, he also explains what's at stake if the movement continues to
gain ground. Opening with a foreword by leading medical ethicist Arthur
L. Caplan, this book is a must-read for parent groups, child advocates,
teachers, health-care providers, government policymakers, health and
science policy experts, and anyone caring for a family member or friend
with autism.

"When Peter Hotez―an erudite, highly trained
scientist who is a true hero for his work in saving the world's poor and
downtrodden―shares his knowledge and clinical insights along with his
parental experience, when his beliefs in the value of what he does are
put to the test of a life guiding his own child's challenges, then you
must pay attention. You should. This book brings to an end the link
between autism and vaccination."―from the foreword by Arthur L. Caplan,
NYU School of Medicine

Average Ratings and Reviews


445 Ratings






Ratings and Reviews From Market

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Reviews for Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad:


January 14, 2019

I am an Autism parent too and fully disagree with Dr, here is why
Totally disagree with the author. Vaccine is like just any other drug that has upside, downside, adverse reactions and side effects. Not every drug is suitable for every patient and also not every drug works in the same way in all people. Same with the vaccine. Too much of a good thing is always bad and hence we are seeing Autism 1 in 40 American children. Not addressed now, will soon lead to Autism 1 in 10 kids and eventually 1 Autism kid in every American family.

February 17, 2019

Not worth the money and time.
This is an unverified review because I bought the book at Barnes and Noble. It was a nice story about a dad who loves his daughter. I had hoped that there would be more scientific evidence presented. Basically Hoetz claims vaccines did not injure his daughter because his wife claims the daughter was different from the time she was born. With the Hep B & Vit K injections on the first day of life I am not sure how they can conclude this. I give the book one star because one would assume that there would be more science, especially from an infectious disease doctor like Hoetz.

February 27, 2019

Vaccines didn't cause Rachel's autism, therefore, vaccines don't cause anyone else's autism ever??? This is awfully anecdotal for a "scientist." Maybe his judgement is clouded by the conflict of interest of all that vaccine money...

February 27, 2019

Clearly opinions, not science.
If you follow this author's activities you see he clearly has an agenda and is only pushing his own ideology. Skip this book and find something with useful information.

February 27, 2019

The despicable fact is that this MD(and many like him) ignores the thousands and thousands of parents who all tell the same story of their children being harmed by vaccines. He perpetuates the LIE that vaccines are “safe and effective”, the bumper sticker slogan that is not backed up by science! When will the Pharmaceutical monster admit that since there has never been an inert placebo control group study of a single vaccine, let alone the entire damn schedule of ever growing numbers of vaccines that are burdening our children’s detox pathways, that you cannot claim vaccines are safe at all! There is no data to show the long term health outcomes favor the vaccinated. Keep shilling for your pet industry. Parents are in charge of their kids, not the corporate government.

December 30, 2018

Wasted potential
Clearly an inside the box author...which makes for a horrible scientist. Unfortunate so much educational potential wasted on a selective opinion rather than factual information.

February 27, 2019

Don't bother...completely one sided.
Not sure why I thought this would change my mind, Rachel's story is grossly insulted here, just like the rest of us trying to tell our experiences with vaccines.

November 24, 2018

Such a Timely and Important Book!
In light of the measles and chickenpox outbreaks currently occurring in various communities in the US and around the world, Dr. Hotez deserves much credit for his prescient warnings about the dangers of declining vaccine coverage. He also deserves much respect for his courage in speaking out boldly against the anti-vax groups that promote withholding or delaying vaccines based on anti-science theories that have long been discredited.

Dr. Hotez establishes his credentials as an authoritative voice on this subject in the very interesting story of his career as a pediatrician and vaccine scientist. In response to critics’ charges that he is a shill for the pharmaceutical industry he states, unconditionally, that he has never made any money off the vaccines he develops and probably never will - likewise, he has never taken any money from drug companies for consulting services. Dr. Hotez has spent his career as a university professor directing development of anti-poverty vaccines in product development partnerships. It is simply disingenuous to argue that Dr. Hotez is motivated by personal financial gain or suffers from a conflict of interest! Dr. Hotez tells of the challenges of developing vaccines for diseases such as cutaneous leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, hookworm, chikungunya and Chagas disease. These vaccines, which hold the potential to eliminate unimaginable suffering and end cycles of poverty among the poorest of the world’s poor, struggle to find funding sources because they lack the commercial prospects that drug companies look for in their investments.

In support of his statement that vaccines did not cause his daughter’s autism, Dr. Hotez methodically tackles each argument that vaccines are unsafe. Point by point, he systematically shows where the falsehoods lie by taking his readers through a thorough review of the scientific evidence that refutes each allegation.

However, I believe the most critical part of the book is that Dr. Hotez’s discussion extends beyond what doesn’t cause autism to a review of the latest research into the genomic and epigenetic factors that likely are the real causes. Simply put, current scientific studies show that individuals are born with autism caused by genetic anomalies – genetic differences that can be seen prenatally. The discussion of the underlying causes of autism leads to what I consider is the second major point of the book. With so much time and effort going into repeatedly demonstrating that vaccines are not the cause of autism, attention and resources are drained away from improving the lives of those whose futures might be made better if resources could only be directed toward earlier diagnosis and improved interventions.

By telling the very personal story of their daughter, Rachel, in such an honest and open manner, Dr. Hotez and his wife Ann give a glimpse of a family life most people have no idea exists. That they both clearly love and value their daughter is abundantly clear. However, it is also very clear that having one child who, of necessity, demanded so much parental attention affected their life as a family and altered the trajectory of Dr. Hotez’s career. Both Ann and Dr. Hotez lay out their concerns for their daughter’s future - the lack of opportunities to find employment, to find fulfillment in an independent life and, ultimately, the uncertainty over who will care for and guide her when they are longer able to do so.

Dr. Hotez is a remarkably gifted communicator and has managed to weave three narratives into a very engaging book. He and Ann relay their personal story with uncommon honesty and sensitivity. Dr. Hotez has the unusual ability to present science in a manner that should be of great interest to open-minded readers from a wide variety of backgrounds.

February 27, 2019

opinions, not science
I get that a father would want to defend his daughter but dont pass off your opinions as science simply because they are socially acceptable opinions

Apr 21, 2019

I'm glad Dr. Peter Hotez is pushing back on the anti-vaxxers. There aren't a lot of qualified people doing so.

The book covers his training as a physician and scientist, the rise and risk of the anti-vaccine movement, and personal stories about his beloved Rachel.

The writing could be smoother. The real strength is in the information: the complete lack of evidence to support the claim that vaccinations as a cause of autism, brain changes in ASD children begin before birth, the risk of an

I'm glad Dr. Peter Hotez is pushing back on the anti-vaxxers. There aren't a lot of qualified people doing so.

The book covers his training as a physician and scientist, the rise and risk of the anti-vaccine movement, and personal stories about his beloved Rachel.

The writing could be smoother. The real strength is in the information: the complete lack of evidence to support the claim that vaccinations as a cause of autism, brain changes in ASD children begin before birth, the risk of an unvaccinated portion of the population, to name a few. Lots of solid information and worth reading for Rachel's story.

Dr. Peter Hotez with his daughter Rachel from New York Post ...more

January 27, 2019

Compelling truth about vaccines and why they are needed
Professor Peter Hotez has written an authoritative book dealing with many of the issues concerning vaccines today. He has made the book very personal by including details, often of a highly personal nature, of the experience of his family with their autistic daughter, Rachel. This book should be read by any parent having concerns about vaccines. They will find a wealth of important and scientifically sound information to support the use of vaccines. The fact that the book is written by an outstanding scientist who is also the parent of an autistic child (now adult) will provide great confidence in the arguments. Prof. Hotez would have every motivation to determine what caused Rachel’s autism. He lays out in detail what he has learned and, in summary, he concludes that vaccines could not possibly have caused her or any other child’s autism. The book also deals with broader perspectives and highlights the failure of many public health officials and scientists to confront the anti-vaccine community. Hopefully, this book will encourage a greater number of these individuals and their institutions to be more active in their support of vaccines and vaccination. It is encouraging that recently the WHO has designated the anti-vaccine movement as a serious threat to health. I have worked over many decades on vaccines and have collaborated with Prof. Hotez, WHO and with dozens of scientists and institutions over the world. I have been involved in some very important efforts to protect children from serious diseases with vaccines such as the introduction of hepatitis B vaccine in developing countries. It is wonderful that now millions of children and young adults will never have to worry about dying from hepatitis B-induced liver cancer. The anti-vaccine community must be countered so that children can live without fear of diseases that have been largely controlled. It is unconscionable that parents would have kept their children away from measles vaccines and endanger their lives such as has occurred in Washington and Oregon recently. The children who became infected are not only at risk of dying but also of suffering long-term deleterious mental effects. I hope Prof. Hotez’ book will be read and used globally. Our children deserve it.

August 22, 2018

Good look at the autism/vaccine controversy
As a former professor who used to teach graduate-level research classes, I've been baffled by the growing numbers and intensity of the anti-vaxxer movement. I even once had a former student unfriend me on Facebook because every time she would post some unfounded anti-vaccination propaganda, I'd reply with a number of scholarly citations rebutting her position. So when I started reading this book, I did so with a sense of fatalism that the author, Peter Hotez, would be preaching to the choir and unlikely to change any minds.

After finishing the book, I still suspect that the entrenched "warrior moms" will still be just as entrenched... and that's assuming they were open-minded enough to read the book themselves. Where it will make a difference, I think, is for those people who have heard a little about the vaccine/autism controversy, enough to make them concerned about the safety of vaccinations, but who have not yet formed a strong opinion. And if this book can convince those people of the safety and urgent societal need for childhood vaccinations, it will have been a worthy accomplishment.

In terms of organization and writing, this book is a bit of chimera--half autism parenting memoir, and half careful review of vaccine research and global vaccination efforts. As such, it does not entirely succeed at either part; in particular, readers expecting the traditional autism memoir will no doubt start having their eyes glaze over at the lengthy, acronym-filled description of various international organizations that have been implemented to promote vaccinations. It also does not help that Hotez, by his own admission, traveled extensively in his work, and thus the brunt of caring for his autistic daughter, Rachel, fell primarily on his wife. We hear details of the struggles with Rachel essentially second-hand, and this portion of the book lacks the immediacy and emotional whallop that is found in other autism memoirs (such as Beth Kephart's absolutely lovely "A Slant of Sun," which I recommend highly). I found myself wishing that Hotez had talked more about his family's experience with Rachel and less about his various academic appointments and duties.

With respect to the general science portions of the book, Hotez does an excellent job of explaining the need for and benefits of vaccination, as well as debunking the connection between vaccines and autism, and he does so in language directed toward a general audience. I particularly liked the "talking points" section in his epilogue where he briefly summarizes the evidence rebutting the most common claims made by anti-vaxxers; the next time I encounter another rabid anti-vaxxer online, I will be fully prepared with arguments and citations to confront their claims. I also agreed strongly with Hotez's conclusion that sectors of the government--the CDC, Surgeon General, and the like--need to abandon their current and wholly inexplicable strategy of largely remaining silent in the face of the anti-vaccination movement and instead need to engage in a powerful public education effort to support vaccinations.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the most heartwrenching parts of Hotez's book may not be those dealing with the challenges faced by his daughter, who may never be able to live independently. Instead, I found myself dwelling on the dry statistics he offers throughout the book documenting the millions of lives that have been saved over the decades due to widespread vaccination-- and the utterly disheartening increase in numbers of children being severely harmed, or even killed, by illnesses that they did not have to suffer simply because their parents choose to ignore scientific evidence in support of vaccination.

August 9, 2018

Neither well written nor well edited. And—sadly—less persuasive than it could and should have been.
I looked forward to reading this, hoping that it could provide students with a readable, comprehensible, and compelling account of the doubtful science and dreadful politics behind anti-vaccine movements. The author’s MD/PhD credentials, background in the study and development of vaccines for NTDs (neglected tropical diseases), and deeply personal experience as a parent of a child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) augured well, I thought.

To say I was disappointed by the book understates my reaction to it. The author is not a strong writer, or someone who is a good explainer, and the book received insufficient or ineffective editing. One of the big problems with the book is the fact that the author is, in part, writing a memoir about his career, and providing a heavily name-dropped but highly telegraphic history of (parts of) the development of vaccines. In my estimation, at least half of the book simply doesn’t add anything: it doesn’t provide the reader with a solid history, and it doesn’t illuminate the vaccine/autism disputes.

Another problem with the book is that it is extremely repetitive. Saying things over and over does not persuade a critical reader of the truth of what is being said over and over. And a sympathetic reader does not need to be bludgeoned. I also found the purported explanations of why we have strong reason to doubt that there is any vaccine/autism link to be more often assertions that there is no such link (coupled with citations of papers that purport to show this) rather than good, well-articulated explanations, and the criticisms of the anti-vaccine people to be more invective than careful and sympathetic explanations, I surmised that people who were not already persuaded of the truth of the author’s conclusions would have little reason to be so persuaded.

I also thought that the discussion of the author’s daughter’s life and experiences just wasn’t integrated well with the more analytic portion of the book.

This could and should have been less than half the length it is. Alternatively, there could have been a lot more fine-grained discussion of the roots and branched of the anti-vaccine camp.

August 21, 2018

One Person's Opinion Does Not Outweigh Overwhelming Evidence - Good Story But Don't Base Your Beliefs On It
When my son, at 11 months old, was given a slew of vaccinations, he got extremely ill. He had a high temperature for a few days and literally had diarrhea for a month. None of his stools were solid. The doctor ended up prescribing a specific type of formula to firm up runny stools. After the diarrhea stopped and we thought he'd be back to normal we realized his milestones that had reversed after the issue weren't coming back. By the time he was 4 years old we knew there was a problem and we took him to a children's hospital in Milwaukee for a 3 day evaluation. He was diagnosed with a highly-functioning form of autism called Asperger's. He had no problems prior to the shots and his milestones were ahead of schedule. After the vaccinations, he was never the same. I blamed the vaccinations for a long time (he is 18 years old now) and when I saw this book I was hoping it would give me insight as to why my son had developed Asperger's if the vaccinations were not to blame. I guess I didn't want to believe that something I had done (getting him vaccinated with multiple vaccinations at one time) had caused him to develop the condition. Unfortunately, this book did not at all change my mind about what had happened to my son after he had gotten the vaccinations.

The story reads like a memoir but it's more of an expression of one person's story and opinion. It does do a great job of explaining the challenges parents of children with autism face when raising their children. However, it fails to prove that vaccinations do not cause autism. It's highly debated and they say there is scientific proof that vaccinations do not cause autism. However, I don't believe in the issue with my son being coincidence when I have heard so many similar stories. Yes, in the case of this book the child's issues were genetic in nature. That doesn't mean that other children don't develop autism due to vaccines and I think it's a very dangerous and slippery road to try to tell parents that vaccines are completely safe. I think the better approach is looking at each vaccination individually and weighing the risks versus the benefits. Also, there is no doubt in my mind that big pharm would cover up a risk like this due to the money that comes in from all things vaccine related, so the author's stance on completely trusting the pharmaceutical industry doesn't give me much faith in his opinions. Especially when I know so many parents who have experienced the same things our family has or worse. That's not coincidence. That's a problem.

Overall it's a good book if you want to read one family's experiences and one person's views on the subject. However, if you want a book that will prove vaccines are not a problem, this is not the book you're looking for.

October 31, 2018

Valuable insights from the front lines of the "vaccine debate"
Peter Hotez delivers a very readable account of his family's struggle to raise an autistic child, his career dedicated to bringing attention to "forgotten" tropical diseases and the challenges of confronting an antivaccination movement that threatens progress in overcoming those and other diseases.

It's difficult for pediatricians, infectious disease experts and public health officials to deal with the perception that they offer dry, unemotional facts about the benefits of immunization, while a group of antivaccine advocates convey heart-rending anecdotes about autistic children they say have been damaged by vaccines. Dr. Hotez's story reminds us that he and other health professionals have a great personal stake in the matter, and that their own children and other family members are placed at risk by a resurgence in vaccine-preventable diseases.

One of the more important points Dr. Hotez makes (one I have seen little attention to elsewhere) is that antivaccine advocacy doesn't only jeopardize the health of Americans and Europeans - it also threatens the great progress that has been made in conquering diseases like measles, which until relatively recently killed up to a million children every year in developing countries.

"Some evidence is already emerging in Brazil and elsewhere that educated parents are altering their vaccine decisions based on information (or misinformation) provided on the Internet...We've allowed the antivaccine movement to go global, and now we will need international cooperation to reduce its impact. The stakes are high. As the antivaccine movement enters the world's low- and middle-income countries, we could face a dramatic reversal of the U.N.'s Millennial Development Goals and see measles and other pediatric infections once considered relegated to the past become yet again major childhood killers."

Dr. Hotez urges public engagement through "vaccine diplomacy", involving not only government programs but an increased willingness of scientists to speak out on the issue.

A couple of relatively minor criticisms of the book:

Dr. Hotez mentions the emergence in 2001 of a major antivaccine talking point - that the use of a mercury-based preservative (thimerosal) was harming children. His timeline suggests that this now debunked claim soon led to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. publishing a book demanding immediate removal of thimerosal "from vaccines". While RFK Jr. authored an article co-published in 2005 by Salon and Rolling Stone alleging a coverup of harm from thimerosal, his book was actually published in 2015, more than a decade after thimerosal had been eliminated from all childhood vaccines (with the exception of some influenza vaccine produced in multi-dose vials), at a time when it had long been abundantly clear that thimerosal removal had zero effect on the autism rate. Salon later retracted the RFK Jr. article for its gross errors, but Rolling Stone failed to do so.

Hotez expresses discomfort with use of the term "antivaxer" (or "antivaxxer"), suggesting it may be unnecessarily giving offense to the antivaccine contingent. Whether one describes such people as "antivaccine" or "antivaxers" is in my opinion a distinction without a difference, seeing that their main ire is in being accurately portrayed as "anti", a prefix that carries some opprobrium in public perception no matter what one is "anti". Thus we get deceptive statements like "I'm not antivaccine, I'm pro-safe vaccine" (strangely, those who say this typically spout numerous false and deceptive antivax memes, and are unwilling to cite a single vaccine they would recommend for parents to get for their children).

The most compelling parts of Dr. Hotez's book may be his accounts of raising his autistic daughter Rachel, and the difficulties he and his wife and faced in keeping her safe and trying to help her have a career and some measure of independence. It's worth reading for Rachel's story alone.

August 19, 2018

Compelling Personal Stor and; One Sided Position Paper
This book is part memoir andpart position piece. It succeeds more in the story of Rachel and the challenges of raising a child with autism. I truly hope there is a special place in heaven for the parents who care for kids like Rachel. It appears, however, that her issues were genetic as opposed to a consequence of vaccines. the opsition portion of the book is a rather one sided recitiation of the history and vaslue of vaccines and the irresponsitbility of the anti vaccine movement. The auhtor himself is a vaccine researcher and that does color is opinion. I lack his confidience in the integrity of the pharmaceutical industry and the goverment. Like many people I know of two cases of serious reactions to accines. One resulted in a child's deathand the other changed a bright, involved 10 year old dinto a specialneeds chld diagnosed with autism.Granted these experiences are anecdotal but instead ofo dismissing the claims, how about some research on testing for high risk indviduals.? I do't think Rachel's story was well integrated with the vaccine portion. I, can't say that I am convinced by his arguments either. I know plenty of people who have been vaccinated (myself included) with no long term negative effects. to me the realquestion is not pretending there is no risk but whether that risk is acceptable.And that questionwas not answered by this book.

August 4, 2018

A Shot in the Arm
When Rachel K. Hotez was born on October 14, 1992 she joined siblings Matthew, 4 and Emy, 2. A younger brother Daniel would join the Hotez family in 1996. Rachel's mother Ann noticed something different about the baby immediately. She described Rachel as being "stiff" and not molding into her body, unlike her brothers and older sister.

Rachel's behavior was described as noncompliant throughout the book. She had a history of running away and not responding to entreaties to come back; she did not appear to have any concept of how her behavior was perceived by others. One such episode took place when Rachel, then , 5 ran into a neighbor's vacant house simply because she "wanted to see their pictures." When questioned, she saw absolutely nothing aberrant about her behavior and response. This was a pattern that would follow her all of her life.

Rachel was formally diagnosed at 19 months and performed poorly on IQ tests, despite being highly verbal and able to memorize whole reams of TV dialogue from shows she watched. As with most if not all people with autism, Rachel had special interests. Pop culture tends to be a draw for many with autism and Rachel's special interest included Power Rangers, an early 1990s TV show. Over the years, including several moves to different parts of the country Rachel's tendency to repeat the same question incessantly; her avoidance tactic of hiding in a bathroom to avoid tasks she found distasteful; her aggression and her unwillingness to follow through on assignments remained problematic for her. Fortunately for Rachel, she had highly intelligent parents who were able to find good school placements for her. While her behavioral problems stayed with her, she grew into a social personality who enjoyed talking to people.

Rachel's father has a long and extensive background in science, particularly in the areas of parasitology and vaccinations. He puts forth many arguments in favor of vaccinations and says that the "anti-vax"" group have hurt more than they have helped. This book is written with chapters alternating between life with Rachel and the parents' academic backgrounds and Dr. Hotez' thesis supporting the benefits of vaccinations.

This book is riveting and a quick read. Rachel, at last count is happy in her neighborhood, making the rounds of local bakeries and coffee shops. Her siblings have all soared academically and professionally and her only sister has found her niche in the psychological services field.

November 7, 2018

not very clear
Dr. Hotez defends the effectiveness and need for vaccines. However, I did not see any vaccines mentioned for example introduced in the military. If he had discussed the background of Anthrax and weaponized small pox vaccines the military "immunizes" it's members with and the controversy relating to those vaccinations, his point for vaccinations would have been lost. The distrust of people of the pharmaceutical companies is justified considering the profits involved and the lack of compassion by these businesses. He implies that all vaccinations, but mentions only some, are needed to prevent epidemics of certain diseases. If one would consider the above mentioned vaccines used by the military, it would become clear, very quickly, that profits do dictate development and administration of certain vaccines. Should we question vaccines? Yes. Should some vaccines be administered to protect everybody? Yes. Did Dr. Hotez convince me of his objectivity because of his daughter's condition? No. If this book had been only about Autism and vaccines, which it clearly is not, it would have been a shorter book and maybe he would have made his point better.

August 23, 2018

needs more science to back up the story
It's a pretty good story but coming from a doctor I expected the hard science to be in here too. It's a nice emotional story, but I would have liked to see it backed by more hard science. That being said, it is nice to hear the story from someone who doesn't believe the autism was caused by a vaccine.

November 28, 2018

This is quite short book about vaccines, autism and anti-vaccination movement. The author is working on creating vaccines for tropical diseases, which are usually affect the poorest, and so no big pharma wants to work in the area as it is not going to be profitable. So, he knows everything about vaccines, but he does not seem to have any vested interest in wrongly promoting vaccines, other than normal human compassion and the knowledge that vaccines save lives. He provides some history on vaccines, and tells us a story about his own daughter who has autism and is in her mid-twenties now. He explains how it is not at all plausible for vaccines to cause autism because the changes in the brain start way before any vaccines are given to the child.He cites multiple studies that were trying to find a link between vaccines and autism, but could not establish the link. He tells us about the anti-vaccine movement and how it harms our ways of life, and how diseases that we seemingly eradicated are now coming back because of them.
He also talks about what is in store for his daughter now she is all grown up, and what will happen to her when they are not around any more. There is a lot of support for young children with mental illness, but there is not much of anything for adults.

Feb 11, 2019

The title of this book is incredibly apt to the discussion. Direct. To the point. Unequivocal. And based on facts and science. This is an absolute must-read for people who want to engage in thoughtful, reasoned discussion regarding vaccines and (Autism Spectrum Disorder). This is NOT for people who want their information distilled to a meme or bumpersticker or social media post.

Dr. Hotez, an intellectually and scientifically curious person from an early age, earned not only a medical degree, The title of this book is incredibly apt to the discussion. Direct. To the point. Unequivocal. And based on facts and science. This is an absolute must-read for people who want to engage in thoughtful, reasoned discussion regarding vaccines and (Autism Spectrum Disorder). This is NOT for people who want their information distilled to a meme or bumpersticker or social media post.

Dr. Hotez, an intellectually and scientifically curious person from an early age, earned not only a medical degree, but a PhD and a career fighting diseases. And as important: He is the father of several (now adult) children, including Rachel, his autistic daughter.

The story splices together personal history and Rachel's history along with important science-based information from his field of study and life long work. Some of the criticism is that it is too scientific, while others wanted more information about his daughter, and others wanted more of his wife's perspectives. I thought he balanced them well.

I have a son, nearing adulthood, who is autistic. His is a voice I needed to hear, quietly discussing important things among the people shouting to no one in particular. Take care of your kids. Take care of your communities. Take care of our humanity. It can start with this book. I promise you. ...more

January 1, 2019

3.5 in truth... not as convincingly argumentive as I had hoped
To begin, I am happily and confidently pro-vaccine despite everyone calling me that crunchy lady. Consider myself in the choir while Hotez is the proverbial preacher. But in perusing text about my side of the debate, I was hoping this book would go in more depth than what I could find on various blogs.

The good: I find Hotez to be trustworthy as a scientist. He has enough history in vaccine work that I am ready to believe what he tells me. He also pulls out good data, sturdy arguments and studies, and even has the occasional nice pop of personality in his writing.

I would like to say there is enough in here to convince anyone fighting against vaccines. But we know how people are...

And that's where I wish there was more on this book. It's a slim volume, not a problem in and of itself, but the information was largely stuff that can easily be found on the internet. There lies the bad. His arguments and points are already out there, and I was expecting and hoping for further data defending the points, or even, fingers having been crossed, some new information.

So, while the book was a nice mix of science and excerpts about Rachel for those already on Hotez's side, that's pretty much it for the audience who will enjoy this.

March 8, 2019

Book is more opinion than science
The author is pushing a point a view and looks at the issue from a narrow perspective.

June 1, 2019

Amazing and much needed!
I sent this book to my mother who has always been scared of vaccines. She follows the work of many psuedo-science doctors. I did not have high hopes that this would get through to her, but she has called herself a convert! Amazing what a review of actual science presented clearly can do in the face of shysters and academic-imitators. For anyone on the fence about the vaccine debate (a term that should not be used, unless you also think the flat-earthers deserve equal time on a debate stage) please check out this book to make a better-informed decision. All the 1-star reviews are very clearly from people who lack an understanding of true scientific method and evidence, and also most likely have not bothered to read the book but simply have their heels dug in to their previous notions. Kudos to my mom and you, dear buyer, for being willing to look at all the evidence to make a true determination of the facts.

Oct 29, 2018

It's good to finally have a work that shows someone who has a family member with autism AND deals with vaccines.

Vaccines do not cause autism.

I would have appreciated hearing more from Ann about raising Rachel, especially since the burden of childcare and dealing with Rachel's autism fell on her. It would have been good to hear from Rachel too, but then she may have opted out of putting her point of view in the book and that's okay.

It was helpful showing how Rachel progressed and how she It's good to finally have a work that shows someone who has a family member with autism AND deals with vaccines.

Vaccines do not cause autism.

I would have appreciated hearing more from Ann about raising Rachel, especially since the burden of childcare and dealing with Rachel's autism fell on her. It would have been good to hear from Rachel too, but then she may have opted out of putting her point of view in the book and that's okay.

It was helpful showing how Rachel progressed and how she behaved along with the input from Ann who had noticed something was different with Rachel before the diagnosis of autism. Showing the struggles, battles, heartache, and the good was helpful in showing that those on the autism spectrum and their families have to deal and cope with behaviors from their loved ones without a lot of support especially as an autistic child becomes an adult. It was also helpful to show an autistic girl because autism in girls has increased in the last few decades. Having a face to put to the diagnosis rather than a meaningless phrase of paper will help many see the humanity of those with autism rather than a impersonal diagnosis.

It's genetic and has about a 1000 genes that affect the development of autism with only 65 genes currently identified. The genes that cause autism affect development in the womb, not caused by vaccines. Autistic behaviors start before certain vaccines are given, ones falsely accused of "causing" autism. People are born with autism, not infected with it. Those with autism are usually born with a larger head (macrocephaly), don't bond or don't bond well with parents, cry easily and can't be consoled as babies, start overdeveloping their brains starting at 6 months, may regress in development milestones or be slow to meet them and are usually diagnosed between 18-24 months.

We don't provide enough services and support for those with autism and families that have an autistic family member. Vaccines are safe. Let's put more effort into developing and funding support and services for those on the autism spectrum and their loved ones. That's what we really need more of. ...more

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