I just read an another
article debunking most of the “alternative” or “biological”
therapies, functional medicine, in short, saying that for children with
autism these therapies are a scam, expensive and dangerous. The condemnation
appears to be global. And the writer appears to think that “autism”
is a specific disease with a cause (which is not identified) and a solution,
which appears to be “live with it and find work-arounds”.
The protagonist of the story is now 14 years old. She types her sentences,
and communicates extremely well that way. The article quotes the young
woman as saying (typing): “There’s not a direct line between
my brain and my mouth”. The young woman goes on to say: “I
cannot sit quietly unless I am able to twirl my string, softly murmur
to myself and have a timer nearby. I cannot read aloud or answer most
questions verbally, but I can type,” she wrote in February. “I
have an incredibly large capacity to listen, learn and feel.” Here is a
link to her blog.
Clearly there is more going on in this young woman’s head than would
appear from the outside. She has the ability to communicate with people
and with her environment. She just cannot communicate with the spoken word.
There is no mention in the article about the circumstances surrounding
her regression into autism at the age of 2 ½. Was there a viral
infection? Did the child receive the recommended large number of vaccinations
at the age of 18 months? Was she normal after the vaccines until the age
of 30 months? Did she receive the recommended flu shot, which is preserved
with thimerosal (a mercury-containing fungicide)? The circumstances are unclear.
What is clear is that the family was offered no hope by the medical establishment,
and lots of hope by the “alternative” establishment.
If we thought that autism is one single disease, then in the conventional
medical model, it ought to have one single cure. In this child’s
case, apparently none of the potential treatments was effective in restoring
her neurologic function.
Those “alternative” treatments – gluten free diet, vitamin
and mineral therapy, restoring the normal gut function, even chelation
therapy – have been effective in some children, restoring them to
“normal” neurologic function.
The fact that no therapy is effective in all autistic children tells us
that the diagnosis of autism is simply a description of what we consider
to be abnormal neurologic function. It tells us nothing about the cause,
nor does it give us any indication as to cure – or even if a cure exists.
The most extraordinary part of the whole article was in the very last sentence,
again a quote from the now 14 year old young woman: “You thought
my autism was hurting me and that you needed to remove it, but you did
not understand that it is a neurological difference,” she typed.
“Fear caused you to behave with desperation.” Out of the mouths
of babes we learn to live in the present, and make our choices based on
what is in the present, leaving fear and anxiety behind.
Perhaps indeed these children labelled autistic are simply expressing our
evolution toward a different form of brain function, a way that the human
race can survive in the world which we have made so toxic. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, we applaud Emma and her family for their actions and their
response to what must have appeared to be insurmountable hardship.