Conroversial Autism Treatment Could Merit NIH Study

Autism, which is a group of disorders that impedes a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others, has long been considered to have no cure.  This fact, coupled with the concern and sometimes desperation of parents whose child suffers from autism,   has created a sort of underground market for testing for cures – or at least, help – that is not exactly in the medical books or supported by most doctors and practitioners who deal with the help and care of children with autism.

One treatment that until now has stayed under the radar, yet has reportedly helped many children with autism is called chelation. This treatment is not considered a proven treatment for autism, in fact many scientists, doctors and other practitioners feel that it is not a safe treatment and will not actually help children battling with the disorder.

Many patents feel quite differently. They have tried other treatments – both talk and behavior therapy and medication – without results.  When they have tried non-traditional treatments – especially chelation – they say the results are much different and much more positive. 

The process of chelation which is already in use to help children and adults with lead poisoning and to work on other issues in adults, is considered an effective treatment for the purposes it is used for.   The argument on one side is that it is dangerous to kids with autism and it can redistribute the metals throughout the body, possibly depositing them into the central nervous system.  In addition, the medications and compounds used in chelation are said to lower the white blood cell count and cause rashes which are sometimes severe.

The argument on the parents’ side is that with very few other options and nothing else that has worked, it is worth trying anything to help their child.  Besides, in the sort of underground portion of the world of parents of kids with autism, there are a lot of reports of children who have improved a great deal through this process.

While the debate continues, the National Institutes of Health feels it is worth looking into and tests are warranted to see how well chelation works on autism, as long as the tests are safe and the guidelines are clear.  Many parents are holding their breaths and hoping that research and testing will get approved and funded.

Time will tell whether the testing will be authorized.  In the meanwhile, it might be important to take the phrase “father knows best” and bend it a little to state that parents know their child best.  Hopefully parents and their children with autism will get some answers and some relief soon.

Entry Filed under: Treatment Types

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