Please Stop. Please.

I was catching up on my blog reading tonight and I stumbled upon something horrific. I was reading Extreme Parenthood (which is not the horrific part, this is actually a great blog) and learned about one of the latest quack sciences being touted as a cure for autism. It was promoted at the AutismOne conference in Illinois this past week. Jenny McCarthy was one of the speakers and we all know how I feel about Jenny McCarthy. If you missed it, it’s here. Given this, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that there was lots of other pseudoscience masquerading as false hope at the conference.

Want to hear the latest “cure” for autism?

It’s called Miracle Mineral Supplement. It was developed by Jim Humbles (even his name is suspect). It’s a bleach solution. And it’s administered as an enema. Yes. You did read that right. It’s a bleach solution given as an enema to children with autism because some quack said that she had already cured over 38 kids with autism by doing so. In addition, Humbles boasts to curing over 100 children with autism through this practice.

I am appalled on so many different levels. First, there is not a cure for autism. I wish that there were. I’d give my left arm for one. So would millions of others. But there just isn’t. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got further to go. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: Yes, we have some very successful treatment approaches to autism. Individuals can make incredible gains from treatment. But stop using the word cure. Please. Stop.

Most importantly, stop the spread of this false information which results in parents giving their children this “treatment.” Have you had an enema? Imagine one with bleach. Just for a second.

Now, some of you might make the argument that the parents have to be the ones to administer the enema and think the responsibility lies with them. I understand this argument. However, unless you have had a child diagnosed with a disability, you can’t know the desperate search for something, anything that will make your child better. And if a “doctor” says that it is a cure, unfortunately, many parents will believe it.

Thankfully, there is a petition to:

Ask the federal authorities in relevant countries–the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Heath and Human Services in the United States and relevant federal authorities in Mexico– to order cease and desist on selling, recommending, or administering Miracle Mineral Supplement, also known as MMS or sodium dichlorite solution (industrial strength bleach), as “curative” for children with autism when used orally, in baths, or in repeatedly administered enemas.

I signed it. If anyone wants to add their signature go here.

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