Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Dear Ms. Tsouderos:
Parents of newly diagnosed children with autism seeking information on the Internet are bombarded by incredible claims associated with hundreds of treatments, most of which lack empirical support. What many of these treatments do not lack are proponents with an intense drive to maximize their profits - often at the expense of parents desirous of a pathway to help their children with autism realize their fullest potential.
We applaud you for sharing this important development with your readers related to the recent action taken by the FDA. Chelation is a very serious treatment that should be given only to those with documented heavy metal toxicity, given the risks and side effects. Thank you for further reporting that some companies use tests that only serve to drive business their way.
There is a well-established method for evaluating efficacy of treatments via the peer-reviewed scientific process. Consumers should be cautious of treatments touted only by testimonials. We look forward to the day when scientifically validated bio-medical treatments for autism can enhance the effectiveness of already established treatment procedures. That day will come sooner when more energies and funds are invested in research, and companies who act as if they have a "pass" on having to offer scientific data to support their claims are questioned, scrutinized, and in this case, reprimanded.
Please continue to share stories such as this so that parents can become as informed as possible in this "caveat emptor" era of autism treatment. Our children's futures and lives depend on it.
Celiberti, Ph.D., BCBA-D, President
Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Joyce E. Mauk, M.D., ASAT Advisory Board Member
President and Medical Director
Child Study Center