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Herbert, Sharp, & Gaudiano - Autism, 14/1/2006
Herbert, Sharp, & Gaudiano - Autism

Etiology and Treatment of Autism:

Autistic-spectrum disorders are among the most enigmatic forms of developmental disability. Although the cause of autism is largely unknown, recent advances point to the importance of genetic factors and early environmental insults, and several promising behavioral, educational, and psychopharmacologic interventions have been developed. Nevertheless, several factors render autism especially vulnerable to pseudoscientific theories of etiology and to intervention approaches with grossly exaggerated claims of effectiveness. Despite scientific data to the contrary, popular theories of etiology focus on maternal rejection, candida infections, and childhood vaccinations. Likewise, a variety of popular treatments are promoted as producing dramatic results, despite scientific evidence suggesting that they are of little benefit and in some cases may actually be harmful. Even the most promising treatments for autism rest on an insufficient research base, and are sometimes inappropriately and irresponsibly promoted as "cures." We argue for the importance of healthy skepticism in considering etiological theories and treatments for autism.

Note: We use the term "autism" throughout this paper to refer not only to classic autistic disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), but in some cases to the full range of autistic-spectrum disorders. The vast majority of the research reviewed in this paper does not distinguish among the various subtypes of autistic-spectrum disorders. It is therefore often impossible to judge the degree to which research findings are unique to autistic disorder per se, or are generalizable to other pervasive developmental disorders.

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder marked by profound deficits in social, language, and cognitive abilities. Prevalence rates range from 7 to 13 cases per 10,000 (Bryson, 1997; Bryson, Clark, & Smith, 1988; Steffenberg & Gillberg, 1986; Sugiyama & Abe, 1989). It is not clear if the actual prevalence of autism is increasing, or if the increased frequency of diagnosis has resulted from wider recognition of the disorder and especially recognition of the full range of pervasive developmental disorders, often referred to as "autistic-spectrum disorders." Either way, autism is no longer considered rare, occurring more commonly than Downs syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and several childhood cancers (Fombonne, 1998; Gillberg, 1996).

The degree of impairment associated with autism varies widely, with approximately 75% of autistic individuals also meeting criteria for mental retardation (American Psychiatric Association , 1994). Autism occurs three to four times more frequently in males than females (Bryson et al., 1988; Steffenberg & Gillberg, 1986; Volkmar, Szatmari, & Sparrow, 1993). Although recent advances have been made with respect to possible causal factors (Rodier, 2000), the exact etiology of autism remains unknown.

Moreover, although certain behavioral, educational, and pharmacological interventions have been demonstrated to be helpful for many individuals with autism, there is currently no cure for the disorder.

WHY AUTISM IS FERTILE GROUND FOR PSEUDOSCIENCE

Several factors render autism especially vulnerable to etiological ideas and intervention approaches that make bold claims, yet are inconsistent with established scientific theories and unsupported by research (Herbert & Sharp, 2001). Despite their absence of grounding in science, such theories and techniques are often passionately promoted by their advocates. The diagnosis of autism is typically made during the preschool years and, quite understandably, is often devastating news for parents and families. Unlike most other physical or mental disabilities that affect a limited sphere of functioning while leaving other areas intact, the effects of autism are pervasive, generally affecting most domains of functioning.

This is in stark contrast to most conditions associated with mental retardation (e.g., Downs syndrome), which are typically accompanied by facially dysmorphic features or other superficially evident abnormalities. The normal appearance of autistic children may lead parents, caretakers, and teachers to become convinced that there must be a completely "normal" or "intact" child lurking inside the normal exterior. In addition, as discussed above, autism comprises a heterogeneous spectrum of disorders, and the course can vary considerably among individuals. This fact makes it difficult to identify potentially effective treatments for two reasons. First, there is a great deal of variability in response to treatments. A given psychotropic medication, for example, may improve certain symptoms in one individual, while actually exacerbating those same symptoms in another. Second, as with all other developmental problems and psychopathology, persons with autism sometimes show apparently spontaneous developmental gains or symptom improvement in a particular area for unidentified reasons.

A number of contemporary treatments for autism can be characterized as pseudoscientific. Most scientists agree that there are no hard-and-fast criteria that distinguish science from pseudoscience; the differences are in degree, rather than kind (Bunge, 1994; Herbert et al., 2000; Lilienfeld, 1998). Although a detailed treatment of pseudoscience in mental health is beyond the scope of this paper, a brief discussion of the features that distinguish it from legitimate science is important in order to provide a context for considering currently popular etiological theories and treatments for autism. In general, pseudoscience is characterized by claims presented as being scientifically verified even though in reality they lack empirical support (Shermer, 1997). Pseudoscientific treatments tend to be associated with exaggerated claims of effectiveness that are well outside the range of established procedures. They are often based on implausible theories that cannot be proven false. They tend to rely on anecdotal evidence and testimonials, rather than controlled studies, for support. When quantitative data are considered, they are considered selectively. That is, confirmatory results are highlighted, whereas unsupportive results are either dismissed or ignored. They tend to be promoted through proprietary publications or Internet Web sites rather than refereed scientific journals. Finally, pseudoscientific treatments are often associated with individuals or organizations with a direct and substantial financial stake in the treatments.

A number of popular etiological theories and treatment approaches to autism are characterized by many of the features of pseudoscience described above (Green, 1996a; Green, 2001; Herbert & Sharp, 2001; Smith, 1996). Still other treatments, although grounded on a sound theoretical basis and supported by some research, are nonetheless subject to exaggerated claims of efficacy. What follows is a review of the most popular dubious theories and questionable intervention approaches for autism. We also review promising etiologic theories and treatments. Some intervention programs are designed specifically for young children, whereas others are applied across a wider age range.

THE ETIOLOGY OF AUTISM: SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION

Although modern theories of autism posit the strong influence of biological factors in the etiology of the disorder, psychoanalytic theories have abounded traditionally. Kanner (1946) was the first to describe the parents of children with autism as interpersonally distant. For example, he concluded that the autistic children he observed were "kept neatly in refrigerators which did not defrost" (Kanner, 1973, p. 61). However, Kanner also stressed that the disorder had a considerable biological component that produced disturbances in the formation of normal emotional contact. It was Bruno Bettelheim who was perhaps the most influential theorist promoting psychoanalytic interpretations of autism. Bettelheim rose to prominence as director of the University of Chicagos Orthogenic School for disturbed children from 1944 to 1978. He rejected Kanners conclusions positing a biological role in the etiology in autism and was convinced that autism was caused by "refrigerator" mothers. According to Bettelheim, autistic symptoms are viewed as defensive reactions against cold and detached mothers. These unloving mothers were sometimes assumed to be harboring "murderous impulses" toward their children. For example, in his book The Empty Fortress, Bettelheim (1967) wrote that one autistic girls obsession with the weather could be explained by dissecting the word to form "we/eat/her," indicating that she was convinced that her mother, and later others, would "devour her." Based on his conceptualization of autism, Bettelheim promoted a policy of "parentectomy" that entailed separation of children from their parents for extended periods of time (Gardner, 2000). Other psychoanalytic therapists such as Mahler (1968) and Tustin (1981) promoted similar theories positing problems in the mother-child relationship as causing autism (see Rosner, 1996, for a review of psychoanalytic theories of autism).

After his suicide in 1990, stories began to emerge that tarnished Bettelheims reputation (Darnton, 1990). Several individuals claimed abuse at the hands of the famous doctor when they were at the Orthogenic School. Furthermore, information emerged that Bettelheim often lied about his background and training. For example, although he frequently claimed to have studied under Freud in Vienna, Bettelheim possessed no formal training in psychoanalysis whatsoever, and instead held a degree in philosophy. Also, Bettelheim claimed that 85% of his patients at the Orthorgenic School were cured after treatment; however, most of the children were not autistic and the case reports he presented in his books were often fabrications (Pollak, 1997). Despite the continued acceptance of Bettelheims theories in some circles, no controlled research has been produced to support the refrigerator mother theory of autism. For example, Allen, DeMeyer, Norton, Pontus, and Yang (1971) did not find differences between parents of autistic and mentally retarded children and matched comparison children on personality measures. Despite the complete absence of controlled evidence, even today some psychoanalytic theorists continue in the tradition of Bettelheim by highlighting the putative role of early mother-child attachment dysfunctions in causing autism (Rosner, 1996).

Candidiasis is an infection caused by an overgrowth of candida in the body. Women often contract yeast infections during their childbearing years. In addition, antibiotic medication can disrupt the natural balance among microorganisms in the body, resulting in an overgrowth of candida (Adams & Conn, 1997). In the 1980s, anecdotal reports began to emerge suggesting that some children with candidiasis later developed symptoms of autism. Supporters of this theory point to animal studies in which candida was shown to produce toxins that disrupted the immune system, leading to the possibility of brain damage (Rimland, 1988). Furthermore, Rimland speculated that perhaps 5 to 10% of autistic children could show improved functioning if treated for candida infection.

Proponents often recommend that Nystatin, a medication used to treat women with yeast infections, be given to children whose mothers had candidiasis during pregnancy, whether or not the children show signs of infection. However, there is no evidence that mothers of autistic children have a higher incidence of candidiasis than mothers in the general population and only uncontrolled case reports are presented as evidence for the etiological role of candida infection in autism (Siegel, 1996).

Adams and Conn (1997) presented the case study of a 3-year-old autistic boy who reportedly showed improved functioning following a vitamin treatment for candida infection. However, the boy was never medically diagnosed with candidiasis and was only reported to meet criteria based on questionnaire data. In addition, reports of the childs functioning were mostly based on parental report (especially concerning functioning prior to the course of vitamin treatment) and not on standardized assessment instruments. Although interesting, such presentations provide no probative data on the possible role of candidiasis in causing autism. Without reliable and valid evidence to the contrary, case reports cannot rule out a host of confounding variables, including any natural remission or change in symptoms due to developmental maturation or even merely to the passage of time. It is important to remember that many people, especially women, contract candidia infections at different points in their lives, sometimes without even knowing that they are infected because the symptoms are so mild (Siegel, 1996). However, there is no evidence that even severe candidiasis in humans can produce brain damage that leads to the profound deficits in functioning found in autism.

There has recently been much public concern that the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is causing an increased incidence of autism. As evidence of the link between the MMR vaccine and autism, proponents point to the fact that reported cases of autism have increased dramatically over the past two decades, which appear to coincide with the widespread use of the MMR vaccine starting in 1979. In fact, Dales, Hammer, and Smith (2001) found in their analyses of California Department of Developmental Services records that the number of autistic disorder caseloads increased approximately 572% from 1980 to 1994. Indicating a similar trend in Europe, Kaye, Melero-Montes, and Jick (2001) reported that the yearly incidence of children diagnosed with autism increased sevenfold from 1988 to 1999 in the United Kingdom. Fears that the MMR vaccine may be responsible for this rise in the increasing incidence of autism have been picked up in the media and some parents have decided to decline vaccinations for their children in an effort to protect them from developing autism (Manning, 1999).

Rimland (2000) saw "medical overexuberance" as producing a tradeoff in which vaccinations protect children against acute diseases while simultaneously increasing their susceptibility to more chronic disorders, including autism, asthma, arthritis, allergies, learning disabilities, Crohns disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pointing out that the average number of vaccines school-age children receive is now at 33, Rimland blamed the "vaccine industry" for making products that have not been properly tested before their widespread usage. He concluded by stating that research on this problem should be of the "highest priority."


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Misconceptions about Immunization, 20/1/2008
Vaccines cause autism

On October 3, 1999, Cable News Network aired a program on which the parents of three-year-old Liam Reynolds stated that he had developed autism two weeks after receiving measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine . The program included the views of Stephanie Cave, M.D., a Louisiana physician who "specializes in treating autism" with diet and nutritional supplements . An American Academy of Pediatrics official and explained why there was no reason to believe that a link exists between autism and vaccination. But the dramatic before-and-after videotapes of the child probably had enough impact to persuade many parents to avoid having their children vaccinated. The program's narrator stated there had been "a puzzling jump in the number of children being diagnosed with autism." However, the number being diagnosed may reflect increased reporting of cases rather than an increase in actual incidence.

Autism is a chronic developmental disorder characterized by problems in social interaction, communication, and restrictive and repetitive interests and activities. Autism may be initially noted in infancy as impaired attachment, but it is most often first identified in toddlers, mostly boys, from 18 to 30 months of age. Boys are 3-4 times more likely to be afflicted with autism than girls. Girls as a group, however, may be more severely affected.

Correct diagnosis of autism depends on an accurate developmental history focused on types of behaviors typical of autism and on evaluation of functional skills. Approximately 75% of persons with autism are mentally retarded. Fewer than 5% of children with autistic traits have fragile X or another known chromosomal abnormality.

Although no cure exists, autism is treatable. Symptoms associated with autism often improve as children start to acquire language and learn how to communicate their needs.

In most cases of autism, no cause is apparent. In a few cases, biologic causes have been identified, although none are unique to autism. Some prenatal factors include intrauterine rubella; tuberous sclerosis; chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down's syndrome; as well as brain abnormalities, such as hydrocephalus.

Frequently cited postnatal conditions associated with autism are untreated phenylketonuria, infantile spasms, and herpes simplex encephalitis. In the majority of cases, however, no underlying cause can be identified.

The current theory favored by many experts is that autism is a genetically-based disorder that occurs before birth . Studies of persons with autism are finding abnormalities in brain structures that develop in the first few weeks of fetal development .

Evidence that genetics is an important, but not exclusive, cause of autism includes a 3-8% risk of recurrence in families with one affected child. A working group convened by the National Institutes of Health in 1995 reached a consensus that autism is a genetic condition. An issue unresolved by the group was the role of immune factors in autism spectrum disorders; it was suggested that studies to clarify the situation are needed.

Some parents of children with autism believe that there is a link between measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

However, there is no sensible reason to believe that any vaccine can cause autism or any kind of behavioral disorder. Typically, symptoms of autism are first noted by parents as their child begins to have difficulty with delays in speaking after age one. MMR vaccine is first given to children at 12-15 months of age. Since this is also an age when autism commonly becomes apparent, it is not surprising that autism follows MMR immunization in some cases. However, by far the most logical explanation is coincidence, not cause-and-effect.

If measles vaccine or any other vaccine causes autism, it would have to be a very rare occurrence, because millions of children have received vaccines without ill health effects. The only "evidence" linking MMR vaccine and autism was published in the British journal Lancet in 1998 . An editorial published in the same issue, however, discussed concerns about the validity of the study . Based on data from 12 patients, Dr. Andrew Wakefield (a British gastroenterologist) and colleagues speculated that MMR vaccine may have been the possible cause of bowel problems which led to a decreased absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients which resulted in developmental disorders like autism. No scientific analyses were reported, however, to substantiate the theory. Whether this series of 12 cases represent an unusual or unique clinical syndrome is difficult to judge without knowing the size of the patient population and time period over which the cases were identified.

If there happened to be selective referral of patients with autism to the researchers' practice, for example, the reported case series may simply reflect such referral bias. Moreover, the theory that autism may be caused by poor absorption of nutrients due to bowel inflammation is senseless and is not supported by the clinical data. In at least 4 of the 12 cases, behavioral problems appeared before the onset of symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Furthermore, since publication of their original report in February of 1998, Wakefield and colleagues have published another study in which highly specific laboratory assays in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the posited mechanism for autism after MMR vaccination, were negative for measles virus .

Other recent investigations also do not support a causal association between MMR (or other measles-containing vaccines) and autism or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) . In one investigation, a Working Party on MMR Vaccine of the United Kingdom's Committee on Safety of Medicines (1999) was charged with the evaluation of several hundred reports, collected by a firm of lawyers, of autism, Crohn's disease, or similar disorders developing after receipt of MMR or MR vaccines. The Working Party conducted a systematic, standardized review of parental and physician information. Although acknowledging that it is impossible to prove or refute the suggested associations (because of variable data quality, biased selection of cases, and lack of a control group), the Working Party concluded that the information available "... did not support the suggested causal associations or give cause for concern about the safety of MMR or MR vaccines." In March 2000, a Medical Research Council report concludes that between March 1998 and September 1999 no new evidence had suggested a causal link between MMR and autism or IBD . The American Medical Association has reached the same conclusion.

A study by Taylor and colleagues provides population-based evidence that overcomes many of the limitations faced by the Working Party and by Wakefield and colleagues . The authors identified all 498 known cases of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in certain districts of London born in 1979 or later and linked them to an independent regional vaccination registry. ASD includes classical autism, atypical autism, and Asperger's syndrome, but the results were similar when cases of classical autism were analyzed separately. The authors noted:

The first diagnosis of autism or initial signs of behavioral regression were not more likely to occur within time periods following vaccination than during other time periods.

A study of the population of children in two communities in Sweden also found no evidence of an association between MMR vaccination and autism . That study found no difference in the prevalence of autism in children born after the introduction of MMR vaccination in Sweden compared with children born before.

In January 1990, an Institute of Medicine committee examining possible health effects associated with DPT vaccine concluded that there was no evidence to indicate a causal relation between DPT vaccine or the pertussis component of DPT vaccine and autism . Also, data obtained from CDC's Monitoring System for Adverse Events Following Immunization (MASAEFI) system, showed no reports of autism occurring within 28 days of DPT immunization from 1978-1990, a period in which approximately 80.1 million doses of DPT vaccine were administered in the United States. From January 1990 through February 1998, only 15 cases of autism behavior disorder after immunization were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Because of the small number of reports over an 8-year period, the cases reported are likely to represent unrelated chance occurrences that happened around the time of vaccination.

The most frequent vaccines cited in the reports were diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DPT), oral polio vaccine (OPV), and MMR. Other vaccines reported as having a possible association with autism were Haemophilus influenzae type B and Hepatitis B.

Although the possible association with MMR vaccine has received much public and political attention and there are many who have derived their own conclusions based on personal experiences, the available evidence does not support the hypothesis that MMR vaccine causes autism or associated disorders or IBD. Separate administration of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines to children provides no benefit over administration of the combination MMR vaccine and would result in delayed or missed immunizations.


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Suit against Dr. Stephen Edelson, 10/12/2003
1. Plaintiffs are residents of California. Plaintiffs AB and WB are the parents of HB, a six year-old child that has been diagnosed with autism.

6. Defendant Edelson is a doctor that advertises himself as an "expert in the biology of autism." He is an M.D.

8. The website discusses autism in some detail and asserts that "the specific cause of "common" autism in an individual has been shown by me to be a toxic one." See www.ephca.com/autism.htm.

Edelson proclaims that autism "is not just genetic! It is also toxic!" Id.

9. It has not been generally accepted in the medical and scientific communities that chemical toxicity is the cause (or a major contributing cause) of autism. Reliable medical and scientific studies have not determined precisely what causes autism, although some of the most recognized causes of autism include genetic factors and brain abnormalities at birth. Scientific studies are investigating possible genetic, infectious, neurological, and environmental causes and mechanisms of autism, but this research has not identified a definitive cause of autism. See the Centers for Disease Control's statement at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/concerns/autism/autism-facts.htm.

10. Defendants' website goes on to state "he longer the wait, the greater possibility of not being able to reverse the process that is damaging the nervous system. There is too much at stake and almost no "downside" to exploring and elucidating the pathology. The treatments that relate to the environmental and immunological characteristics are not going to cause any harm." www.ephca.com/autism.htm

12. Defendants widely publicize the Center to autistic parents and hold Edelson and the Center out as experts in the treatment of autism. In fact, neither Edelson nor the Center have any specialized education or training in the treatment of children with developmental disorders.

13. On the website, the Edelson Center is referred to as the "Edelson Center for Autism and Autistic Disorder," although no such entity is registered with the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners or with the Georgia Secretary of State.

15. Mr. and Mrs. B were impressed by Defendants' promises of a breakthrough cure treatment for autism. They contacted the Edelson Center for more information.

19. Based on these representations, Mr. and Mrs. B believed that Defendants had discovered a treatment that could cure their son of autism. Based on Defendants' representations, Mr. and Mrs B decided to bring their son to Atlanta to undergo treatment with Defendants.

26. Defendants represented that if HB did not receive the recommended therapy immediately, his brain would be damaged, and that with treatment HB might be "cured" of autism.

40. Defendants knew or should have known when they recommended this treatment that there is no reliable medical or scientific evidence proving that autism is solely caused by environmental or chemical agents. Defendants also knew or should have known that there were no controlled, peer-reviewed studies demonstrating a causal connection between autism and exposure to environmental or chemical agents.

41. Further, even if environmental or chemical agents had been proven to be a factor in causing autism, Defendants knew or should have known that there is no reliable medical or scientific evidence supporting the idea that autism could be cured or reversed using chelation, I.V. gamma globulin or detoxification programs.

43. Defendants heavily advertised chelation therapy as a "cure" for autism and performed chelation therapy on HB at an extremely high rate of profit, but did not conduct properly controlled scientific studies, adhere to FDA guidelines for drug investigation, or disseminate study results in the usually accepted standards.

(c) In recommending expensive and unproven treatments without adequate medical or scientific evidence or support for the proposition that these treatments are medically beneficial for treatment of children with autism;

(f) In causing HB to be removed from behavioral therapy programs (which are known to be effective treatments for autism) for extended periods of time without undertaking measures to prevent regression as a result of the suspension of therapy.

"Autism Specialist"Blasted by Omnibus Special Master, 24/3/2009
"Autism Specialist"Blasted by Omnibus Special Master

"Autism Specialist" Blasted by

A report by a Special Master of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims suggests that Jeffrey Bradstreet, M.D., of Melbourne, Florida, habitually misdiagnoses and mistreats autistic children . The 293-page report dissects Bradstreet's management of Colten Snyder, whose family petitioned the court for compensation based on their belief that vaccines caused the boy to develop autism. The court ruled that no such connection exists. This article describes how Special Master Denise K. Vowell concluded that Bradstreet had improperly diagnosed and treated Colten for "mercury toxicity."

Our focus is evaluating and treating patients with autism spectrum disorders, PDD, and related neurological and developmental disorders. We assess the underlying medical problems most commonly seen in children with autism through the use of measured biomarkers .

Bradstreet's curriculum vitae states that he graduated form the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1979, had two years of residency training in obstetrics and gynecology, and then had an additional training in aerospace medicine in 1981 . He considers himself to be a family physician who limits his practice as noted above. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians but is not board certified in any specialty. He advocates a "biomedical" approach to autism that is said to correct "biochemical imbalances" "and provide "detoxification." He says that the IRDRC has records on about 4,000 patients treated at their facility .

More than 5,000 families who claim that vaccines caused their children to become autistic are seeking compensation through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Bradstreet is treating many of these children and also offered expert testimony in the proceedings. In February 2008, three Special Masters concluded that no credible evidence exists that vaccines can combine to to cause autism . The decisions completely debunked this notion and implied that doctors who base their treatments on them are unscientific and unethical. The decisions came in three cases selected to "test" how similar cases should be handled. One of the children was Colten Snyder, whom Bradstreet began treating in 1999. After stating that Colten's medical records with Bradstreet encompassed over 650 pages, Special Master Vowell noted:

began with a diagnosis of autism, yeast overgrowth, and a fungal infection in July, 1999. Subsequent diagnoses included autoimmune encephalopathy; autoimmune disease not elsewhere classified and immune mechanism disease not elsewhere classified); allergic gastroenteritis and autoimmune disease; unspecified urticaria, unspecified encephalopathy, and allergic gastroenteritis; encephalopathy unspecified, unspecified disorder of immune mechanism, gastroenteritis, and colitis; disturbance of sulphur-bearing amino acid metabolism, unspecified disorder of immune mechanism, unspecified disorder of metabolism, and encephalopathy unspecified; the same diagnoses in July, 2004, with the addition of “rule out epilepsy, unspecified”; autoimmune disease not elsewhere classified, unspecified disorder of metabolism, unspecified disorder of immune mechanism, and encephalopathy not elsewhere classified; and toxic effect of mercury and its compounds, autoimmune disease not elsewhere classified, and unspecified disorder of immune mechanism .

I find it curious that more than a dozen of the above "diagnoses" are either "unspecified" or "not elsewhere classified." Bradstreet testified that the recorded diagnoses varied, depending on the nature of the problem being treated at that particular time. It appears to me that Bradstreet decides which of his nonstandard theories to apply and records diagnoses that embody them. Or perhaps these diagnoses are provided in an attempt to help families obtain reimbursement for nonstandard treatments that insurance companies would otherwise not cover. It would be interesting to know what percentage of children treated at ICRDC get similarly long lists of vague diagnoses. The Talk about Curing Autism Web site includes at least six of the above diagnoses in its list of "commonly used ICD9 codes for the co-morbid disorders autistic children may have."

No good data demonstrates that chelation therapy works to treat autism. Nevertheless, approximately 30-40% of Bradstreet’s patients were chelated during his treatment of them, a figure that remained consistent over the five years preceding the hearing .

Rarely has a court ruling described a health-related scam more thoroughly. Having concluded—without justification—that mercury toxicity is a causative factor in autism, Bradstreet and his allies run phony provoked tests to look for it. But even when the tests are negative, they often treat it—with methods that are not even the appropriate ones for the conditions they claim to diagnose .

Vowell DK. Decision. Snyder v Secretary, Dept of Health and Human Services, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Office of Special Masters, Case No. 01-162V, filed Feb 12, 2009.

Bradstreet J. Simplified evaluation and treatment of autism using biomarker directed algorithms. Undated, probably 2008. ICDRC Web site, accessed March 10, 2009.

Barrett S. Omnibus court rules against autism-vaccine link. Autism Watch, Feb 14, 2009.

Autism & Insurance: Common co-morbid disorder diagnosis codes ICD9, TACA Web site, accessed March 14, 2009.

Secretin Found Ineffective for Treating Autism, 17/12/2004
Secretin Found Ineffective for Treating Autism

for Treating Autism

Secretin is a peptide hormone that stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids from the pancreas, the production of pepsin from the stomach, and the production of bile from the liver. Autism is a chronic developmental disorder characterized by problems in social interaction, communication, and restrictive and repetitive interests and activities.

Interest in using secretin for treating autism was generated by two reports. One was about an autistic child who improved dramatically after receiving secretin during a study of pancreatic function. The other was an unblinded study of that child and two others . However, subsequent double-blind studies have found no evidence of effectiveness.

In 2004, a review of 15 double-blind, randomized, controlled trials of secretin for autism has concluded: "Almost none of the studies reported any significant effects and none concluded that secretin was effective."

Horvath K and others. Improved social and language skills after secretin administration in patients with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of the Association for Academic Minority Physicians 9:9-15, 1998.

Sandler AD and others. Lack of benefit of a single dose of synthetic human secretin in the treatment of autism and pervasive developmental disorder. New England Journal of Medicine 341:1801-1806, 1999.

Chez MG and others. Secretin and autism: A two-part clinical investigation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 30:87-94, 2000.

Dunn-Geier J and others. Effect of secretin on children with autism: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 42:796-802, 2000.

Suit against Dr. Stephen Edelson, 17/12/2003
5. Defendant Edelson is a doctor that advertises himself as an "expert in the biology of autism." He is an M.D.

8. Defendants' promotional materials discuss autism in some detail and asserts that "the specific cause of "common" autism in an individual has been shown by me to be a toxic one." Edelson proclaims that autism "is not just genetic! It is also toxic!" Id.

9. It is not been generally accepted in the medical and scientific communities that chemical or heavy metal toxicity is the cause (or a major contributing cause) of autism. Reliable medical and scientific studies have not determined precisely what causes autism, although some of the most widely recognized potential causes of autism include genetic factors and brain abnormalities at birth. Scientific studies are investigating possible genetic, infectious, neurological, and environmental causes and mechanisms of autism, but this research has not identified a definitive cause of autism. .

12. Defendants widely publicize the Center to autistic parents and hold Edelson and the Center out as experts in the treatment of autism. In fact, neither Edelson nor the Center have any specialized education or training in the treatment of children with developmental disorders.

13. Mr. and Mrs. M were impressed by Defendants' promises of a breakthrough treatment for autism. They contacted the Edelson Center for more information.

He regressed in the progress he had made through behavioral and educational therapy. Psychological testing performed at Edelson's direction showed that the boy''s condition had actually worsened to one of "severely autistic," whereas evaluations done prior to treating with Defendants had only indicated mild pervasive developmental disorder or mild autism.

42. Defendants knew or should have known when they recommended this treatment that there is no reliable medical or scientific evidence proving that autism is caused by environmental or chemical agents. Defendants also knew or should have known that there were no controlled, peer-reviewed studies demonstrating a causal connection between autism and exposure to environmental or chemical agents.

43. Further, even if environmental or chemical agents had been proven to be a factor in causing autism, Defendants knew or should have known that there is no reliable medical or scientific evidence supporting the idea that autism could be cured or reversed using chelation, ozone, detoxification or nutritional supplement programs.

(c) In recommending expensive and unproven treatments without adequate medical or scientific evidence or support for the proposition that these treatments are medically beneficial for treatment of children with autism;

How the "Urine Toxic Metals" Test Is Used to Defraud Patients, 2/10/2014
The "hidden stores" notion was further debunked by a study that compared non-provoked and DMSA-provoked urine specimens from 15 children with autism and 4 normally developing children who ranged from 3 to 7 years old. After a baseline specimen from each child was collected, the DMSA was given in three doses over a 16-hour period, and the specimens were collected for 24 hours and tested for lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. The testing was performed by the Mayo Clinic's laboratory, which used reference ranges of 80 ug/liter as the upper limit of normal and over 400 µg/liter for the lower limit of the potentially toxic range for lead and 10 µg/liter as the upper limit of normal and over 50 µg/liter for the lower limit of the potentially toxic range for mercury. All of the normal children and 12 of the autistic children excreted no detectable amount of any of the tested materials. In one child, DMSA provocation raised the urine lead level from undetectable to 6 µg/liter, which the researchers said was far too low to be of concern. In another child, the mercury level rose from undetectable to 23 µg/liter, but after fish was removed from that child's diet for more than a month, it fell to 5. The study showed that when laboratory measurements are accurate and proper reference standards are used, neither autistic nor normal children are likely to have problematic levels of lead or mercury, even when provoked testing is used, but fish-eaters might consume enough mercury to enable provocation to produce an inflated value. The authors concluded that the proportion of autistic participants in this study whose DMSA-provoked excretion results demonstrated an excess chelatable body burden of Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead or mercury was zero .

In 2005, the Autism Research Institute,which promotes a spectrum of questionable autism treatments, issued a 42-page consensus position paper called Treatment Options for Mercury/Metal Toxicity in Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities . Referring to provoked testing of urine specimens, the document states that "the reference range for the urine or stool generally involves a comparison to people who are NOT taking a detoxification agent, so that even a normal person would tend to have a high result." Quig is identified as one of 33 people who reviewed and endorsed the position statement.

Doctors who offer chelation therapy as part of their everyday practice typically claim that it is effective against autism, heart disease and many other conditions for which it has no proven effectiveness or plausible rationale . One such case was described in a 2009 decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims which found no credible evidence that childhood vaccinations cause autism. In that case, Colton Snyder underwent chelation therapy after a Doctor's Data urine test report classified his urine mercury level as "very elevated." After noting that the urine sample had been provoked (with DMSA) and that provocation artificially increases excretion, the Special Master concluded that a non-provoked test would have placed the result in the normal range. He also noted:

We thank you for providing the extensive testing for toxic metals , fecal stools & all the other tests that us parents of children with autism and other disabilities have done at DDI.

In May 2010, the Texas Medical Board charged "autism specialist" Seshagiri Rao, M.D. with nontherapeutic prescribing, failure to secure informed consent, and fraudulent billing related to his mismanagement of five children with autism or autism spectrum disorder. The complaint states that Rao used an inappropriate urine test to diagnose nonexistent "heavy metal toxicity," inappropriately treated the patients with chelation therapy, and pretended to insurance companies that he was treating heavy metal toxicity rather than autism .

In October 2011, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation charges Usman wirh unprofessional conduct in her management of the Coman boy. The complaint states that she failed to obtain informed consent for his treatment, failed to maintain appropriate medical records, and prescribed chelation therapy, dietary supplements, hormones, enzymes, antifungal drugs, and various other treatments that have not been proven effective against autism .

Soden SE and others. 24-hour provoked urine excretion test for heavy metals in children with autism and typically developing controls, a pilot study. Clinical Toxicology 45:476-481, 2007.

Treatment Options for Mercury/Metal Toxicity in Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities. San Diego: Autism Research Institute, Feb 2005, p 6.

Vowell DK. Decision. Snyder v Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. In the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Office of Special Masters. Case No. 01-162V, filed Feb 12, 2009.

Hastings GL Jr. Decision. King v Secretary of Health and Human Services. U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Office of Special Masters Case No. 03-584V, filed March 12, 2010.

Allen A. Treating autism as if vaccines caused it: theory may be dead, but the treatments live on. Slate, April 1, 2009.

Barrett S. Be wary of CARE Clinics. Autism Watch, Dec 31, 2009.

Doctor's Data leads the way. Doctor's Data Web site, accessed July 17, 2012.

Immunizations: Misconception #11, 27/5/2011
Thimerosal Causes Autism: Chelation Therapy Can Cure It

A few physicians have been promoting the idea that the mercury content of vaccines is a cause of autism and that autistic children should undergo chelation therapy to be detoxified. Lawsuits have been filed, and several attorneys are advertising on the Internet for more clients. The situation arose because until recently, certain vaccines contained thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative that is no longer used in most of the vaccines now recommended for children. However, there are several reasons why concerns about the use of thimerosal in vaccines are misguided:

No link between mercury and autism has been proven. If the thimerosal in vaccines caused mercury poisoning, the symptoms would affect all parts of the nervous system.

There is no scientific evidence or logical reason to believe that autism has a toxic cause.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compared the incidence of autism with the amount of thimerosal received from vaccines. Preliminary results indicated no change in autism rates relative to the amount of thimerosal a child received during the first six months of life (from 0 micrograms to greater than 160 micrograms). A weak association was found with thimerosal intake and certain neurodevelopmental disorders (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in one study, but was not found in a subsequent study . Additional studies are planned, but it is unlikely that any significant association will be found.

An Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee, which issued a comprehensive report in October 2001, found no proof of a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, speech or language delays, or other neurodevelopmental disorders .

Seven studies reported between 2003 and 2006 found no association between exposure to thimerosal in vaccines and the incidence of autism .

Thimerosal was eliminated from most vaccines in 2001. If it actually caused autism, the removal would be followed by a sharp drop in the number of newly diagnosed cases. However, in 2007, a study of autism rates in California found that no drop occurred . The data were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry accompanied by an editorial that stated:

Parents of autistic children should be reassured that autism in their child did not occur through immunizations. Their autistic children, and their siblings, should be normally vaccinated, and as there is no evidence of mercury poisoning in autism, they should avoid ineffective and dangerous "treatments" such as chelation therapy for their children .

Gerber JS, Offit PA. Vaccines and autism: A tale of shifting hypotheses. Clinical Infectious Diseases 48:456-461, 2009.

Continuing increases is autism reported to California's Developmental Services System: Mercury in retrograde. Archives of General Psychiatry 65:19-24, 2008.

Fombonne E. Thimerosal disappears but autism remains. Archives of General Psychiatry 65:15-16, 2008.

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Edelson Center Closed after Three Suits alleging Fraud and Malpractice, 22/9/2013
Edelson's Web site offered information and treatment about autism, allergies, colitis, chronic fatigue, mercury and lead toxicity, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), ADHD/ADD, multiple sclerosis, multiple chemical sensitivity, and Parkinson's disease. In 2001, the site included 20 testimonial letters, four of which were for cases of autism. The home page carried a disclaimer that, "The following information is intended as material to inform and educate. There is no claim being made, in the therapy areas, of scientific validity, only personal experience. There is also no claim being made as to the superiority of these methods over any other. Therapy must be guided by your physician, not the information given in this material." However, disclaimers of this type do not usually protect wrongdoers against the consequences of their actions.

One service Edelson offerd for autism was chelation therapy, a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. Because chelation has valid use in some cases of heavy metal poisoning, many practitioners falsely diagnose lead, mercury, or other heavy metal toxicity. It use against autism is based on the idea that the problem is caused by poisoning with mercury that chelation supposedly removes. This idea has no scientific validity .

Edelson represented himself as an "expert in the biology of autism" even though he has no formal training in pediatrics or developmental disorders.

Edelson improperly claimed to have shown that autism's cause is "a toxic one."

Edelson represented that if the boy did not receive the recommended therapy immediately, his brain would be damaged, but that with treatment he might be "cured" of autism.

None of the treatments the boy received has been accepted by the scientific community as effective against autism. Nor has autism been shown to have a "toxic" basis.

Edelson first saw the boy at age four years. Edelson told Mr. and Mrs T that autism has a toxic basis and that everybody who undergoes his treatments gets better, but if treatment were not begun right away, the autism would become "permanent" when the child turned six.

Attorneys Elizabeth T. Kertscher and Douglas R. Kertscher represent the plaintiffs, and Robert S. Baratz, M.D, D.D.S., Ph.D., is a consultant and expert witness. The first suit was settled with undisclosed terms. Georgia's licensing database indicates that on 12/23/02, Edelson settled a malpractice suit for $180,000. It doesn't state which suit was involved, but I believe it is safe to assume that it was the first autism suit. The other two suits were settled with undisclosed terms.

Barrett S. Misconceptions about immunization: Thimerosal causes autism; chelation therapy can cure it. Quackwatch, May 27, 2011..

Ozone devices promoted as cure for autism. FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Fiscal Year 2005 report.

Questionable Organizations: An Overview, 10/7/2014
American Medical Autism Board

Autism Society

Autism Treatment Trust

Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!)

Foundation for Autism Information and Research (FAIR)

Strategic Autism Initiative

Talk abour Curing Autism (TACA)

Unlocking Autism

Autism Research Institute

Autism Research Unit (University of Sunderland)

The Autism Autommunity Project (TAAP)

Center for Austic Spectrum Disorders (CASD) — Austin, Texas

Center for the Study of Autism

British Courts Side with Vaccination in Parental Dispute, 8/8/2003
Dr Donegan comments on the connection between the jab and autism. She points out that many of the arguments rely on sophisticated statistical analysis of papers not written with a view to considering a link. Autism was only described as a disease for the first time when the major vaccination programmes were started. She concludes that if there is a link it is certainly not the only vaccine which may be responsible.

New claims were made by Dr Wakefield and colleagues. Professor Kroll has reviewed a series of papers about this topic since then. He has looked at a link with autism and the effect of combining the 3 vaccines together.

2. Despite the formal impossibility of proving a negative, the accumulating and substantial body of evidence shows no link between MMR vaccination and autism.

I am aware that in relation to autism and MMR there is a civil trial due to start in London in April 2004 expected to last 6 months. The claimants have children who suffer from autism.

Firstly in respect of the mother B it is the dominating role she feels that pharmaceutical companies have, that the link between MMR and autism has not been properly investigated, and that the issue of parental choice is more important than the community aspect of the debate. She also feels she is in a war with the father that has brought her close to letting him look after C.

She said the reasons for her opposition to the vaccinations was due to autism and disablement which a child could have through the jabs. Her father had never had his inoculations until he went into the army and he did not want any of his children vaccinated.

Mental Help: Procedures to Avoid, 16/4/2014
AIT was developed as a treatment for autism by Guy Berard in France in the 1960s and was introduced into the United States in 1991. It has also been advocated for children and adults with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, migraine headaches, and many other conditions. Proponents claim that individuals with these disorders often have hearing that is disorganized, hypersensitive, different between the two ears, or otherwise abnormal. The first step in AIT is an audiogram that determines the auditory thresholds to more frequencies than are typically measured during hearing tests. Suitable individuals then undergo "training sessions"—typically two half-hour sessions per day over a 10-day period—that involve listening to music that has been computer-modified to remove frequencies to which they supposedly are hypersensitive. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Audiology have warned that no well-designed scientific studies demonstrate that AIT is useful . AIT devices do not have FDA approval for treating autism, attention deficit disorder, or any other medical problem.

This is a process in which a "facilitator" supports the hand or arm of a severely handicapped person who spells out a message using a typewriter, a computer keyboard, or other device containing a list of letters, numbers, or words. It is alleged to help individuals strike the keys they desire without influencing the choice of keys. Some speech therapists and other special-education providers are using this procedure for nonverbal individuals with autism or severe mental retardation. Proponents claim that it enables such individuals to communicate. However, many scientific studies have demonstrated that the procedure is not valid because the outcome is actually determined by the "facilitator." In one study, for example, autistic patients and facilitators were shown pictures of familiar objects and asked to identify them under three types of conditions: (a) assisted typing with facilitators unaware of the content of the stimulus picture, (b) unassisted typing, and (c) a condition in which the participants and facilitators were each shown pictures at the same time. In this last condition the paired pictures were either the same or different, and the participant's typing was "facilitated" to label or describe the picture. No patient gave a correct response when the facilitator had not been shown the picture. The researchers concluded that the facilitators were not aware that they were influencing the patients . The American Psychological Association has denounced facilitated communication and warned that using it to elicit accusations of abuse by family members or other caregivers threatens the civil rights of both the impaired individual and those accused . In 1994, the FTC settled charges that two companies had made false and unsubstantiated claims about "facilitated communication" devices they had marketed.

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities. Auditory integration training and facilitated communication for autism. Pediatrics 102:431-433, 1998.

Mulick JA and others. Anguished silence and helping hands: Autism and facilitated communication. Skeptical Inquirer 17:270-280, 1993.

License Revocation of Rebecca Carley, M.D., 26/9/2008
BPMC documents state that Dr. Carley obtained her medical degree in 1987 from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, New York and then took four years of general surgical training but left before completing the residency program. She then enrolled in a physical medicine/rehabilitation residency program, which she left only two months. In addition, the BPMC notes, she "worked in a number of hospital-related positions, all of which she ultimately left because of general dissatisfaction with the staff and/or working conditions." Dr. Carley's Web site states that from 1994 through 1998 she "researched innovative uses of homeopathic and other natural therapies that treat dis-ease at the causal level, rather than covering up symptoms (like the allopathic band aids) while entering motherhood," and from 1998-99, she "developed Hippokrates Systems to detox vaccinations and other toxins on an individual basis in each patient and restore immune system malfunction due to various assaults." The site also states that "The Hippocrates Protocol heals the immune system, it can be used to improve any auto immune disease. Such as: autism, PDD, Asperger's syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, minimal brain dysfunction, lupus, cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, and all other vaccine induced diseases." Previous versions of he home page have stated tht she speecializes in "energy medicine" and in "vaccine-induced diseases (VIDS)." Her "protocol" includes homeopathic products, colloidal silver, and other nonstandard substances.

Dr. Labins also testified that the Respondent believes that her husband sodomized their son as part of a satanic ritual because she does not vaccinate and because she cures children with autism.

The Respondent has both delusions of persecution and delusions of grandiosity, i.e., the Respondent believes that she is being persecuted because she has a special ability to heal autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cancer and other autoimmune disorders. . . .

In order to regain the privilege of "practicing medicine" because Dr. Carley has developed the Hippocrates Protocol, which uses only natural substances and has successfully treated autoimmune diseases such as autism, asthma, allergies, eczema, as well as cancer. The DOH website regarding treatments for autism suppresses the inoculation etiology of this debilitating vaccine-induced brain injury; and fraudulently states, "ABA is the only intervention recommended. Interventions reviewed and NOT RECOMMENDED include, vitamin therapies..." in order to cover-up their misconduct in not properly researching the true side effects of these genocidal weapons of mass destruction being injected into God's people as per order of the DOH masons under color of law (in league with the Department of Defense masons) under Title 50 of the US Code, Chapter 32, § 1520 & 24.

Why "Sensory Integration Disorder" Is a Dubious Diagnosis, 3/4/2008
Few pediatric neurologists believe that SID is a real diagnostic entity. We note that children with a range of neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, and anxiety disorders also have “sensory issues” such as oversensitivity to touch. Many neurologists therefore feel that “sensory symptoms” are a nonspecific indicator of neurodevelopmental immaturity, not a sign of a distinct disorder. Yet thousands of children are sent for these therapies by their parents, at no small expense. Aetna considers sensory integration therapy experimental and does not pay for it . However, a few insurance companies do cover it, and some school districts provide it.

Anecdotal evidence from parents is often used to support the existence of SID and the effectiveness of treatment. A review of the literature on sensory integration disorder reveals mostly poorly designed studies and flawed methodology. Studies with tiny sample sizes (as small as one patient!) are common . Other studies investigate sensory symptoms in children with a serious underlying disorder such as autism , or mental retardation , and are therefore unlikely to be especially relevant to more normal children. Still other research assesses sensory therapies in the treatment of tangentially related conditions, like learning disability or neuromotor delays . In some cases where treatment appears to benefit, the therapies may simply be a calming influence on a nervous child. However, there are no adequate controlled studies either supporting the existence of SID as a distinct and definable entity, or clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of the therapies used for SID compared to no treatment at all . In my experience, children diagnosed with "SID" are simply very anxious and come from a family that includes others who suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Description of sensory integration. Association for Science in Autism Treatment Web site, accessed April 30, 2005.

Dawson G, Watling R. Interventions to facilitate auditory, visual, and motor integration in autism: a review of the evidence. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 30:415-421, 2000.

License Suspension of Rebecca Lee Carley, M.D., 27/11/2004
BPMC documents state that Dr. Carley obtained her medical degree in 1987 from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, New York and then took four years of general surgical training but left before completing the residency program. She then enrolled in a physical medicine/rehabilitation residency program, which she left only two months. In addition, the BPMC notes, she "worked in a number of hospital-related positions, all of which she ultimately left because of general dissatisfaction with the staff and/or working conditions." Dr. Carley's Web site states that from 1994 through 1998 she "researched innovative uses of homeopathic and other natural therapies that treat dis-ease at the causal level, rather than covering up symptoms (like the allopathic band aids) while entering motherhood," and from 1998-99, she "developed Hippokrates Systems to detox vaccinations and other toxins on an individual basis in each patient and restore immune system malfunction due to various assaults." The site also states that "The Hippocrates Protocol heals the immune system, it can be used to improve any auto immune disease. Such as: autism, PDD, Asperger's syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, minimal brain dysfunction, lupus, cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, and all other vaccine induced diseases." Previous versions of he home page have stated tht she speecializes in "energy medicine" and in "vaccine-induced diseases (VIDS)." Her "protocol" includes homeopathic products, colloidal silver, and other nonstandard substances.

Dr. Labins also testified that the Respondent believes that her husband sodomized their son as part of a satanic ritual because she does not vaccinate and because she cures children with autism.

The Respondent has both delusions of persecution and delusions of grandiosity, i.e., the Respondent believes that she is being persecuted because she has a special ability to heal autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cancer and other autoimmune disorders. . . .

In order to regain the privilege of "practicing medicine" because Dr. Carley has developed the Hippocrates Protocol, which uses only natural substances and has successfully treated autoimmune diseases such as autism, asthma, allergies, eczema, as well as cancer. The DOH website regarding treatments for autism suppresses the inoculation etiology of this debilitating vaccine-induced brain injury; and fraudulently states, "ABA is the only intervention recommended. Interventions reviewed and NOT RECOMMENDED include, vitamin therapies..." in order to cover-up their misconduct in not properly researching the true side effects of these genocidal weapons of mass destruction being injected into God's people as per order of the DOH masons under color of law (in league with the Department of Defense masons) under Title 50 of the US Code, Chapter 32, § 1520 & 24.

Mental Help: Procedures to Avoid, 7/4/2004
AIT was developed as a treatment for autism by Guy Berard in France in the 1960s and was introduced into the United States in 1991. It has also been advocated for children and adults with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, migraine headaches, and many other conditions. Proponents claim that individuals with these disorders often have hearing that is disorganized, hypersensitive, different between the two ears, or otherwise abnormal. The first step in AIT is an audiogram that determines the auditory thresholds to more frequencies than are typically measured during hearing tests. Suitable individuals then undergo "training sessions" -- typically two half-hour sessions per day over a 10-day period -- that involve listening to music that has been computer-modified to remove frequencies to which they supposedly are hypersensitive. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Audiology have warned that no well-designed scientific studies demonstrate that AIT is useful . AIT devices do not have FDA approval for treating autism, attention deficit disorder, or any other medical problem.

This is a process in which a "facilitator" supports the hand or arm of a severely handicapped person who spells out a message using a typewriter, a computer keyboard, or other device containing a list of letters, numbers, or words. It is alleged to help individuals strike the keys they desire without influencing the choice of keys. Some speech therapists and other special-education providers are using this procedure for nonverbal individuals with autism or severe mental retardation. Proponents claim that it enables such individuals to communicate. However, many scientific studies have demonstrated that the procedure is not valid because the outcome is actually determined by the "facilitator." In one study, for example, autistic patients and facilitators were shown pictures of familiar objects and asked to identify them under three types of conditions: (a) assisted typing with facilitators unaware of the content of the stimulus picture, (b) unassisted typing, and (c) a condition in which the participants and facilitators were each shown pictures at the same time. In this last condition the paired pictures were either the same or different, and the participant's typing was "facilitated" to label or describe the picture. No patient gave a correct response when the facilitator had not been shown the picture. The researchers concluded that the facilitators were not aware that they were influencing the patients . The American Psychological Association has denounced facilitated communication and warned that using it to elicit accusations of abuse by family members or other caregivers threatens the civil rights of both the impaired individual and those accused . In 1994, the FTC settled charges that two companies had made false and unsubstantiated claims about "facilitated communication" devices they had marketed.

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities. Auditory integration training and facilitated communication for autism.

Mulick JA and others. Anguished silence and helping hands: Autism and facilitated communication. Skeptical Inquirer 17:270-280, 1993.

Quackwatch, 22/11/2014
Autism Watch

Quackwatch has grown considerably. To help visitors with special areas of interest, we maintain 24 additional sites for autism, chiropractic, dentistry, multilevel marketing, and many other hot topics. We are also closely affiliated with the National Council Against Health Fraud, which cosponsors our free weekly newsletter, and with Bioethics Watch, which highlights issues of questionable research on humans. Our Internet Health Pilot site provides links to hundreds of reliable health sites. Our Casewatch site contains a large library of legal cases, licensing board actions, government sanctions, and regulatory actions against questionable medical products. These sites can be accessed through the "Visit Our Affiliated Sites" drop-down menu above. Their contents can be searched selectively with our WebGlimpse multi-site search engine or all at once through our Google search page.

The Unfounded Vaccination/Autism Scare (updated 11/17/02)

Orthomolecular Therapy, 30/5/2014
During the 1980s, for example, the Princeton Brain Bio Center (not affiliated with Princeton University), in Skillman, New Jersey, touted its "nutritional" treatment for alcoholism, allergies, arthritis, autism, epilepsy, hypertension, hypoglycemia, migraine headaches, depression, learning disabilities, retardation, mental and metabolic disorders, skin problems, and hyperactivity .

Subsequently, an American team using an extensive computer search was able to locate 12 studies on B6 and magnesium for autism.

Pfeiffer SI and others. Efficacy of vitamin B6 and magnesium in the treatment of autism: A methodology review and summary of outcomes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 25:481-493, 1995.

Some Notes on the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD, 26/5/2011
Mark and David Geier have been operating ASD Centers LLC, a chain of clinics that advertises "a new combined genetic, biochemical, heavy metal, and hormonal evaluation/treatment for patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mark had his medical license summarily suspended in April and is facing charges of unprofessional conduct . David is facing charges of practicing medicine without a license .

When subjected to extensive cross-examination, Geier could not point to a single study that conclusively determined that any amount of mercury could cause the specific neurological disorder of autism.

Geier's conclusion that the peer-reviewed literature he has relied upon supports his theory that autism can be caused by thimerosal is flatly contradicted by all of the epidemiological studies available at this time.

CoMeD's principal activity appears to be a drive to force the FDA to rid the marketplace of all vaccines that contain thimerosal, a preservative that contains trace amounts of mercury. In 2006, the FDA denied a CoMeD citizen petition after concluding that its contentions were legally and scientifically unsupportable by either law or science and that the currently marketed drug products that contain mercury preservatives are safe . After reconsideration was denied, CoMeD sued, claiming that claimed that (a) the FDA's denial had injured its members by denying them the opportunity to be safely vaccinated, and (b) CoMeD members who received thimerosal-containing vaccines suffered harms that included autism, miscarriages, and other injuries. In 2010, the suit was dismissed after a U.S. District Court judge concluded that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue . CoMeD is appealing the dismissal, but there is no reason to think that its suit is winnable.

Dubious Genetic Testing, 31/7/2010
CARE Clinics, of Austin, Texas, is using Genovations to test children with autistic spectrum disorders. The tests are part of an expensive test package that is claimed to guide "biomedical treatment" with dietary supplements and other modalities said to correct "biomedical imbalances" and provide "detoxification." In 2008, one of us (Dr. Barrett) examined test reports and concluded that the tests do not appear to be related to autism and contain no information that would provide a rational basis for treatment .

The Blums consider dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain) to be the key factor in a cascade of neurophysiologic reactions leading to increased feelings of well-being and stress-reduction. They claim that a genetic defect in the D2 dopamine receptor gene causes "reward-seeking conditions" such as alcoholism, drug dependency, obesity, smoking, pathological gambling, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome, sex addiction, autism, chronic violence, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizoid/avoidant cluster, conduct disorder, antisocial behavior, and other compulsive behaviors . The tests are claimed to detect a genetic predisposition to such disorders. If the test is "positive," the corresponding formula is recommended for lifetime use .

The scientific literature does not support Blums' theories or methodology. Most scientists believe that alcoholism has both genetic and environmental factors and that the inheritable component is most involves multiple genes rather than something that could be detected with a simple test . Tourette syndrome is hereditary; and autism, ADHD, and schizoid disorders may have as-yet-undiscovered genetic causes; but the rest of the Blums' list are probably unrelated to genetic makeup. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence that a combinations of vitamins, amino acids, or herbs are effective against any of the listed conditions. In fact, it is difficult to imagine any rationale for the large number of ingredients in the Reward formulas.

Barrett S. Be wary of CARE Clinics and the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (CASD). Autism Watch, Nov 26, 2008/

Dubious Genetic Testing, 16/12/2008
CARE Clinics, of Austin, Texas, is using Genovations to test children with autistic spectrum disorders. The tests are part of an expensive test package that is claimed to guide "biomedical treatment" with dietary supplements and other modalities said to correct "biomedical imbalances" and provide "detoxification." In 2008, one of us (Dr. Barrett) examined test reports and concluded that the tests do not appear to be related to autism and contain no information that would provide a rational basis for treatment .

The Blums consider dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain) to be the key factor in a cascade of neurophysiologic reactions leading to increased feelings of well-being and stress-reduction. They claim that a genetic defect in the D2 dopamine receptor gene causes "reward-seeking conditions" such as alcoholism, drug dependency, obesity, smoking, pathological gambling, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome, sex addiction, autism, chronic violence, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizoid/avoidant cluster, conduct disorder, antisocial behavior, and other compulsive behaviors . The tests are claimed to detect a genetic predisposition to such disorders. If the test is "positive," the corresponding formula is recommended for lifetime use .

The scientific literature does not support Blums' theories or methodology. Most scientists believe that alcoholism has both genetic and environmental factors and that the inheritable component is most involves multiple genes rather than something that could be detected with a simple test . Tourette syndrome is hereditary; and autism, ADHD, and schizoid disorders may have as-yet-undiscovered genetic causes; but the rest of the Blums' list are probably unrelated to genetic makeup. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence that a combinations of vitamins, amino acids, or herbs are effective against any of the listed conditions. In fact, it is difficult to imagine any rationale for the large number of ingredients in the Reward formulas.

Barrett S. Be wary of CARE Clinics and the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (CASD). Autism Watch, Nov 26, 2008/

Mental Help Index, 16/9/2007
Autism: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Etiology and Treatment

Gluten- and Casein-Free Diets for Autism

MMR Vaccine Not Linked to Autism

Sensory Integration (link to another site)

Association for Science in Autism

Index of Questionable Treatments, 13/8/2014
DAN protocol for autism

Secretin for Autism

Sensory Integration for Autism (link to another site)

Immunization Is a Question of Science, Not Faith, 4/2/2005
Recently, The New Zealand Herald reported on research that has contradicted the findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist and lead author of a 1998 paper that suggested there may be a relation between the MMR vaccine and autism. This single claim gathered enormous publicity, and was used in every single anti-immunization argument, providing another chance for the immunization campaigners to frighten parents away from protecting their children against preventable diseases. The claim was reported the year before our son was born, and was used relentlessly as an example of why not to immunize him. Who in their right mind, wants to impose a risk of autism on a healthy child?

Since then, ten of Wakefield's co-authors have published a formal retraction of the suggestion of a link in the medical journal, the Lancet (March 2004) and they have strongly dissociated themselves from the idea that the vaccine is in any way related to autism. Dr Wakefield is also under investigation for alleged failure to declare a financial interest when he submitted his research for publication, as he failed to mention he was paid Ł50,000 towards research for a legal action by parents claiming the MMR vaccine had harmed their children.

British Appeal Court Sides with Vaccination in Parental Dispute, 8/8/2003
However I should record that Dr Donegan, in supporting the mothers' objections, had not argued that the MMR vaccination was in any way to be linked with autism, nor had she argued that there was any heightened risk from giving those immunisations as one rather than three separate procedures, nor that the MMR vaccination as used in the United Kingdom contained any element of mercury.

It is especially worth highlighting why autism was not an issue in this case: not even Dr Donegan suggested that there was a scientific case for linking it to the MMR vaccine.

I appreciate that outside the confines of the present case there is an ongoing dispute about autism and the MMR vaccine; but this much at least deserves to be known.


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