In recent years, a Centers for Disease Control study found that the number of children diagnosed with autism has risen from 1 in every 500 children to 1 in 150—and scientists have not discovered a cause or a cure. Jenny says she believes childhood vaccinations may play a part, but she wants to make it clear that the community she represents is not "anti-vaccine."
"We are an intelligent group of parents that know the importance of having vaccines, but we do believe it's about time we have safe ones," she says.
Jenny says she also believes all children should be tested to make sure their immune systems are strong enough to handle immunizations. "What makes us believe that everyone can handle all the shots, all the time?" she says. "Let's protect the [children] who are weak—that's what these warriors are saying. We believe in the protocol. We know we need them, but we deserve safe ones."
In response, members of the American Academy of Pediatrics say they share parents' frustration over the undefined causes of autism and the lack of an established treatment, but they urge parents to be cautious when choosing treatment options for autism. "[We] recommend scientifically validated treatments," their statement says. "There's no valid scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism, but because of unfounded fears about vaccines, the U.S. is suffering its biggest measles outbreak in a decade."