One of the biggest myths surrounding autism is that it can be cured, or that someone can ‘catch’ autism due to external factors. In fact, the reverse is true, because autism is not a mental illness – although it can make life difficult for those who have it.
Many autistic people consider the implication that autism is a disease offensive. For example, the activist organization Autism Speaks classifies autism as “a group of complex disorders of brain development”. Autism is a developmental state where someone will struggle with non-verbal communication and social interaction. Some autistic people have problems with interpreting language literally and may find figures of speech obtuse, for instance, while others may develop tics or “stimming” behavior, or find it hard to hold eye contact or hate physical contact with people or stimuli they find threatening.
And of course, autism is not caused by vaccinations, bad parenting, or anything else. The random lottery of human genetics are to blame, and furthermore, it can’t be cured.
Despite this, however, a number of desperate parents have apparently turned to an extremely irresponsible solution in order to try and rid their offspring of autism; one that could have extremely disabling or fatal consequences for the child in question. Police forces across Britain have learned that children as young as two are being encouraged to drink poisonous chemicals that have been peddled by quacks on the internet.
A secret Facebook group for parents is responsible for the dangerous fad, and claims that autism is caused by parasites in the gut which can be eradicated using CD (Chloride Dioxide) or MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution), administered via tablets ingested orally or via enema. MMS is a chemical compound consisting of sodium chlorite mixed with citric acid powder. It is used as an industrial-strength bleach used to unblock drains, and the Food Standards Authority (FSA) and Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warn that ingesting even a minuscule amount could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, reduced blood pressure and even respiratory failure.
Despite this, the lethal cocktail is widely available online, and has even reportedly been found stocked in British shops. Police have already arrested two individuals who have been touting the bleach’s benefits. Danny Glass, an an ex-drug addict with no medical qualifications, promised netizens that their children could live a “disease-free” life if they bought MMS through a link he provided on his website.
Dr Jeff Foster, who has autism himself, has come forward to warn the public of the dangers. “Autism is a neuro-developmental disease which is not amenable to any form of tablet treatment,” he stated. “It’s developed in the womb or early stages of life. You can’t just reverse it and anyone claiming that does not understand the condition. Chlorine dioxide causes abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.”
Foster added: “If you drink it on a long-term basis it causes inflammation of your gut lining, stomach, esophagus and intestines. At some stage something pops and then you can bleed to death. Your gut will excrete whatever has just been shed from having this irritant, and that’s likely what parents are seeing come out. They might make claims the doses are so small that it’s not like giving proper industrial bleach. But no dose is safe.”
Barry Sheerman, chairman of the Autism Commission, stated: “We have heard from parents very concerned about MMS. There is a very large, really unscrupulous group of people out there who take advantage of vulnerable families.” If you’d like to learn more about the real facts surrounding autism then please don’t hesitate to visit Autism Speaks for further information.