Many parents believe that biomedical interventions help their child’s autism. Traditional medicine and physicians have pretty much always turned their backs on biomedical interventions — many parents swear by it and feel that their children have benefited greatly from therapies that include removing gluten and casein. In addition, some parents believe that a regimen of certain vitamins help their children immensely. It is a commonly known fact that many children with autism experience an inordinate amount of gastrointestinal problems that include severe constipation.
One of the theories with autism is that children with the disorder cannot properly absorb certain minerals and/or metals in their bodies. A few studies conducted have suggested that chronic gastrointestinal problems actually reduce absorption amounts of nutrients and create problems with the immune and general metabolic functions.
Because many parents believe that their child’s autism originated with mercury poisoning, many are choosing to treat autism with a process called “chelation.” The definition of chelation, according to Wikipedia is the process of reversible binding of a ligand, the chelator or chelating agent, to a metal ion, forming a metal complex. What does that mean? It means that an agent which bonds to heavy metals is administered intravenously, transdermally or orally, that bonds with heavy metals in the blood allowing the patient to then excrete those toxins. There is much ado in the autism community as to whether or not the treatments are safe.
Chelation has been used since the early 1940’s as a treatment for ACUTE lead poisoning. Because the origin of autism is not known and has not been definitively proven to be mercury poisoning, the CDC and other Federal health organizations do not support its use in the treatment of autism. Some call it “quackery.” The traditional medical community has denounced this treatment as voodoo science and does not support its use, for the most part.
Parents, on the other hand, who have tried chelation, sometimes report seeing drastic changes in their children. In fact, a new organization called Generation Rescue was recently founded based on the belief that autism is a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning.
AutismLink is a fence-sitter on this issue, particularly since the death of Abubakar Tariq Nadama, a child in the Pittsburgh area who recently passed away while receiving chelation therapy. Tariq’s death has not been attributed to chelation therapy and autopsy results are pending. We refuse to take a side. We’ve been asked why, and we can tell you that our mission is to advocate for PARENTS. Some parents wish to use biomedical interventions, some do not. If you choose to apply biomedical interventions in your own personal fight against autism, AutismLink urges you to speak to your own physician and use common sense in your approaches to treating autism. We do not tell other parents what to do. We simply provide the information in an unbiased format.