As a parent it’s only natural to be concerned about that one discredited academic paper from 1998 linking vaccines to autism. On the whole, most of us would agree we’d rather have a child with a higher risk of death than one that’s kind of a faff.

We’re here to tell you that not only are your feelings valid, but those avoidable childhood illnesses are good, actually. Well, not good, but better than autism. Here are five dangerous diseases that will have you saying: “at least it’s not autism.”


At best, measles will cause your child to have a horrendous rash, a high temperature and to generally feel like shit. At worst, it can cause pneumonia, meningitis and ultimately death. 

But at least they’ll wave their toy train sets around saying “choo choo” instead of lining them up and embarrassing you.


Most children will simply get very painful swelling, giving them what’s known as “hamster face” – but mumps can also lead to meningitis. 

Still, far better than having a kid who doesn’t like it when their sausage and beans are touching each other. 


There’s no suggested link between the malaria vaccine and autism, but that hasn’t stopped you so far! Don’t ruin the family holiday of a lifetime by getting a kid who cries when you put suntan lotion on them. 

The worst malaria can do to your child is kill them horribly and painfully, but at least they won’t ruin the holiday snaps by refusing to smile. 


Livers are overrated, as is autism. Once the autism fad is over, would you rather your child had no liver or no autism? We think we know the answer.


Brain damage, kidney failure and death don’t sound like so much fun for your child. Then again, having one that insists everything has to be “fair” is a pain in the neck, so swings and roundabouts. 

Sure, a bunch of busybodies might start asking you invasive questions like: “don’t you want your child to live?” but what they don’t understand is that autism might seriously inconvenience you. You know your kid best, so remember to follow your parental intuition – which trumps medical science every time.

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