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About letterwriter

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    Norfolk Broads
  1. I'm afraid the OP is quite mistaken. The MMR vaccine has NEVER contained mercury. It was the diphtheria/tetanus/whooping cough vaccine (given at 2, 3, and 4 months) that used to contain a miniscule amount of mercury preservative. This was phased out quite a few years ago and since there has been no consequent fall in the number of new autism cases, it (the preservative) has generally been ruled out as a possible cause. It is quite a common mistake, when people confuse two quite separate anti-vaccine theories.
  2. You may find this helpful: http://researchautism.net/autism_treatments_therapies_intervention.ikml?ra=56 It is from the Research Autism website. I would recommend anyone considering interventions of any kind to take a look at the RA site as it has a pretty comprehensive run-down on the current state of published evidence for most of them.
  3. Hi folks, it has been long time no post, but I felt I had to share some information when I read about one of the newest (and most extreme) "autism cures" now doing the rounds. It is called "Miracle Mineral Solution (or supplement)" and in many countries (especially the US) it is being touted as a cure for everything from cancer to AIDS and, inevitably, for autism. It is neither a miracle nor a mineral, though it is a solution, of sodium chlorite. Users are told to "activate" it with citric acid (eg orange juice) which turns it into chlorine dioxide, AKA industrial bleach! They then drink it and are told that the sickness that results is a "sign that it is working". But for autistic children it is even worse as their parents are being told to give it as a enema. Yes really. Even now, some of the leading lights of the American Biomed-autism-cure movement are telling people to squirt industrial bleach up their childrens bottoms several times a day. Again, they are told that the fever, diarrhoea etc which this causes is a "sign that its working". You might think I'm making this up but here are some articles about it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/15/miracle-mineral-solutions-mms-bleach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_Mineral_Supplement http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/bleaching-away-what-ails-you/ If you google you'll find lots more as well as lots of people selling the stuff with the usual promises. I'm amazed these people aren't arrested for incitement to child abuse. I have an awful picture in my mind of someone holding down an autisic child and forcing bleach up their bottom in the name of "achieving normalcy" (as they like to say). I ask myself which one of them is supposed to have something wrong with them?
  4. I fear we have strayed into "X files" territory again! However, I can only agree with your final sentiment!
  5. I've read back and can't see where you have refered to this, BD, or offered an explanation. Was it on another thread? "And given that even the most militant of those arguing against MMR agree that it's probably only a factor in a small percentage of cases where a genetic predisposition is also a factor... " Do they?? I doubt that applies to those waving banners behind Dr Wakefield!
  6. I'm also quite puzzled when people say "the government can't admit the truth because then people would sue". Of course, anyone can sue any time they like. In fact the whole point of suing is to get someone to admit liability. All you need is evidence. In fact, that was how this whole thing kicked off, because a group of parents wanted to sue. But the case stalled, because in spite of spending 5 years and £15 million of public money, they never found enough evidence to make a case. Since then, the "no win no fee" system has been introduced, so there is nothing to stop them having another go.
  7. Hmmm...one interesting fact never seems to get a mention: Everyone agrees that in the 12 years since Dr Wakefield's publication, uptake of the MMR has fallen dramatically (as much as 20% in some parts of the country), yes? And everyone agrees that in the last 12 years the number of children diagnosed with autism had continued to rise steadily. Yes? So, if the two trends are going in opposite directions, how could one be causing the other? It is the same with the mercury idea. Mercury was removed from all childhood vaccines, first in California (nearly 10 years ago) the in the rest of the US, then in the UK (about 5 years ago). Anti-mercury campaigners had hoped and expected to see a big fall in the number of autism cases as a result but as we all know this has not happened. Now even the fiercest campaigners are having to do a re-think (though many have just switched allegiance to new bogey-men) I look at it this way: if I'm sitting in my room and the light goes out, I'll try changing the bulb. But if the room continues to be dark, I'll have to consider other possibilities (fuse? power cut?). It would be pretty fruitless for me to carry on sitting in the dark, still insisting that it must be the bulb!
  8. There is a full account of this story in Michael Fitzpatrick's excellent book "Defeating Autism: a Damaging Delusion". According to Dr Fitzpatrick, the boy was not cured, but suffered a major regression following a traumatic and abusive attempt to cure him by a sharman in Mongolia. And he was far too terrified to go anywhere near the horses. I strongly recommend Dr Fitzpatrick's book to everyone.
  9. Hi All, I am the author of the letter quoted at the top of this thread. It was prompted by a very bad experience on another site, where, I happen to know, quite a few other people have also come to grief. I was naturally concerned when the NAS appeared to be endorsing that site. The internet is not all good and I think there can be no harm in simply advising people (often very vulnerable people) to be careful and not to take everything at face value when checking out a site run by people they know nothing about. Sound advice surely? I suspect those who don't see a need for it are those who have not had their fingers burnt (which is a shame as they are the ones who could benefit!) I should make it very clear that the word "professional" does not appear in my letter and I certainly never intended to imply that forums should be run by "qualified professionals". On the contrary, I think the members are what make a forum so valuable. Thats why I like to hear the advice and experience of all of them (as seems to happen here) and not just a few self-appointed gurus who can never resist the temptation to "pull rank". (Here's my tip: if the management of a website feels the need to frequently assure its members that they "are allowed to disagree", you should ask yourself why such an assurance should be needed!) I really can't see anything in my letter which could be taken to suggest that I think people involved in autism are more than usually prone to disputes. Disputes can happen anywhere, but (as I learned the hard way) it's unwise to get into a dispute with someone who is holding all the cards. (I know there is at least one person here with very recent experience of falling into that trap!) As you can see, I begin and end my letter by saying how valuable on-line forums can be if they are well run. I'm sure thats a sentiment everyone here can agree with. Thanks for listening and good luck with your forum.
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