One hundred years of doctor labour, and millions and millions of dollars spent on a search for a cure with no results to show for it, has lead some families with autistic children to delve into the twisted world of snake oil merchants who promise miracle cures for autism. These merchants, who believe that they have solved puzzles that the smartest minds of the 20th and 21st century could not solve with their miracle cures, attract cult followings of consumers who believe their hype. Pseudoscientific treatments for autism include gluten-free diets, specialized diets, solutions made from cannabinoids (products extracted from cannabis plants), and multivitamin supplements.
Attempting to “cure” autism through medicine is, in the words of Bill Clinton, “like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall”. It is not physically possible, and we certainly should not be pouring fortunes of money into this endeavour. Medicine cures diseases, and autism is not a disease, it is a state of being.
I only wish that the snake oil that these merchants were selling was as harmless and neutral as its namesake. While gluten-free diets, specialized diets, cannabinoids, and multivitamin supplements will probably just give autistics a bodily cramp, there are some treatments that are poison to the body and cause physical harm to the imbiber.
An infamous case of a poisonous solution being peddled as an autism cure is the Miracle Mineral Supplement, or MMS. MMS is chlorine dioxide; bleach. There are parents throughout the world that are using bleach solutions on their autistic children in an attempt to treat their autism biomedically. Imbibing and injecting bleach into your children has all of the effects that you would expect.
There are also surgeons that, for a fee, will inject the feces of a neurotypical person into an autistic person. Why would anybody want to do that, or want to do that to their children? Because news outlets such as NowThis have stated that doing so will cure a person of their autism. While the surgery itself is illegal in Canada and the United States, it is unregulated in Latin America, and surgeons in Canada and the United States have been advertising their fecal transplant surgeries which take place in Latin countries.
Many jurisdictions in the world lack an authoritative body investigating non-traditional medicine, including many jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. This is how MMS, fecal transplants, and other harmful unscientific treatments have been allowed to be sold in our countries.
Autistics call for an expansion of authoritative bodies to investigate and crack down on pseudoscientific supplements, public education campaigns to let families know the dangers of these autism “treatments”, and an expansion of social services calls to investigate families known to be subjecting their autistic children to harmful medicines such as MMS. And please stop putting other peoples’ feces in your children.