Trying Anything and Everything for Autism

The article, Trying Anything and Everything for Autism by Jane E. Brody, published in the New York Times Personal Health section (January 20, 2009) is another account of how people seek alternative therapies in favor of conventional scientifically based therapies. The article focuses on the parents of a child diagnosed with autism. The parents desperately seek out and try different forms of alternative therapy for their son’s autism.

Fortunately, the article quotes and references Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, author of Defeating Autism: A Damaging Delusion who rescues the age of reason when he likens the alternative therapies to “medicine’s dark ages.” Dr Michael Fitzpatrick says, “When parents have invested money, time, energy and, above all, hope into a particular treatment, it is natural to seek to attribute any improvement to that treatment.”

Alternative therapies do not undergo the rigorous testing demanded of clinical trials. The “evidence” is usually anecdotal. Unfortunately, this leads to delusion, wasted money and potentially dangerous therapies such as chelation therapy or special diets.

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