You’re a new parent.
In between the constant check-ups that your newly born son has to undergo in his first few years, you notice that he’s being pricked with an awful large amount of needles throughout the visits to the pediatrician. “Just your ordinary childhood vaccines”, the doctor tells you. You don’t remember getting as many shots when you were a kid. And you didn’t. The vaccination schedule for children has gotten larger and larger as time has gone on. Still, while you certainly don’t enjoy seeing your son cry as a man in a lab coat pokes him with a sharp metal stick, you know it’s only to make sure he’ll stay healthy.
As your son begins to reach the tender age of 3 though, you begin to notice something wrong. He’s not playing with others. In fact, he doesn’t seem to enjoy interacting with others at all. He’s not learning to speak as fast or as developed as a child his age should be and you’ve seen him develop a bizarre fascination with certain toys of his. As the months go by, you realize that he isn’t just being fussy or figuring things out at his own pace. You take him to the doctor and after a series of tests, he comes back and tells you that it’s likely that your son has an autism-spectrum disorder (ASD).
Feeling as though the air has sucked entirely out of the room, you demand an explanation as to what’s happened to him. He tells you that to date, there is no 100% concrete answer as to why some children develop autism and other don’t, though there is evidence that it has some genetic basis.
Sitting there in stunned silence, your son in his Spider-Man themed stroller, you know that no matter what happens from on out, there’s a good chance your son will never get to live a normal life. May never get to nickname the group of friends he meets in kindergarten, “The Avengers”, or get to ask his year-long crush Stacy to the prom or even get to tell the woman he met in a crowded cafe one day that he loves her and he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. He will never get to do those things, be those things and nothing but anger clouds your mind at the thought of that. “How could they not know why!? How could he just stand there and tell me he doesn’t know why my son’s life is ruined?” you think to yourself, “There has to be something. Some reason why.”
Then it flashes. Seemingly every other month, you took your son to that same doctor, watched him inject god knows what into him. “They never noticed anything wrong before then; all those things they stuck him with to protect him and they did nothing!” you angrily mutter to yourself on the drive back home. “What if they weren’t just a waste of our time,” you wonder, “What if they made him sick in the first place?”