A few weeks ago I wrote a rebuttal editorial about a vaccine court decision of the link between autism causation and childhood vaccines - particularly the MMR (see blog post dated February 14, 2009). The ruling authorities in the court determined there was not enough evidence to show that vaccines had caused autism in three separate cases being tried through the vaccine court. Obviously, this was devastating news to the parents involved, and for other parents and care-givers of children with autism who strongly feel that a particular vaccine(s) contributed to their child's regression.
On February 25th an article from Robert Kennedy, Jr. and David Kirby has revealed that a separate government vaccine court has been hearing testimony from families whose children have been damaged by vaccines, and in some cases awarding these families financial sums of thousands of dollars in damages. The difference between the two courts is the former the cases were being presented as pure autism causation, and the latter as neurological damage from vaccines that likely contributed to or exacerbated an underlying medical condition related to autism-spectrum (i.e. PDD-NOS) or autism-like conditions.
Basically, what is happening is the word "autism" has become a lightening-rod of controversy, and the courts will not budge on their stance regarding vaccines and autism causation. However, semantics are at play here, and the decision to acknowledge a link between adverse vaccine reactions and neurological disorders that contribute to or are autism-like in appearance through another government court is an indication that the government at large knows there is a problem.
I would encourage you to read the entire Kennedy/Kirby article here.