Parents: The Truth About Autism

11 Mar

Another day and another ‘cure’ group springs up. This one is called Generation Rescue and centres its efforts around the removal of Mercury.

EDIT: This edit is in place for all the people coming over from the Evidence of Harm mail list.

I become aware of your groups existence after checking my referral logs and finding a reference to this blog entry on the EoH mail list. On that group I was referred to as an ‘idiot’ and ‘stupid’ and characterised as a bad parent because of my belief that Generation Rescue were wrong to state that autism was mercury poisoning.

I was very annoyed by the misrepresentation of my beliefs and responded in kind. In hindsight it would’ve been better to calm down first, then respond. Also, thanks to the 7 or 8 people from EoH list who’ve mailed me privately to express their suspicions that I’m right or who’ve been willing to conduct the debate on a more sensible, adult level. Anyone and everyone is free to post here but if anyone gets openly abusive then an abuse mail will be sent to your ISP and your IP will be banned from here.

They claim that its the Mercury in our everyday lives that has caused autism and that its removal from the body will cure autism.

They have a big section on facts and claim support from thousands of parents/doctors etc etc. It goes without saying of course that all the Doctors who suppoprt tham are, according to them ‘world renowned’ or ‘experts in their field’.

However, they are wrong. If they were right then there would be no genetic evidence that autism exists. This is not to say that they are wrong about how bad Mercury is as they are not. Its also not to say that some autistics may be suffering from Mercury poisoning, as they may well be. What they fail to say though is that its possible to suffer Mercury poisoning and not be autistic. They fail to explain the concept of comorbidity and what it means for their argument.

Some autistic people have comorbid conditions such as ADHD, Tourettes etc. If an autistic person is proven to be suffering from Mercury poisoning and subsequently treated, they have been successfuly treated and cured of their poisoning – not their autism.

A telling point in the argument used by these kind of groups is the convoluted phrases used such as:

When you know cause, you can focus on cure.Thousands of parents are curing their children by removing the mercury from their children’s bodies. We want you, the parent, to know the truth.

Note how they carefully omit what they’re curing. The truth is, the fact is that they are not curing autism – it is incurable as it is not a disease – what they are curing is Mercury poisoning. A good thing of course, but very misleadingly described.

However, where groups like this get very dangerous is when they make claims such as:

There is no evidence to suggest that autism is genetic. No autism gene has ever been found and the search will be endless – how can you have a gene for a mythical condition? Autism is mercury poisoning.

Firstly, they are incorrect to infer no genetic basis for autism, there are freely available stories that establish genetic evidence for autism all over the internet. The one linked to above is just one single report. Feel free to search Google or Yahoo for hundreds of other reports. Claims like this do the actual autism movement a grave disservice in their irresponsible dissemination of misinformation. Secondly they claim baldly that autism is mercury poisoning with no evidence whatsoever to back up that claim. Let me be clear: there may be evidence that some autistics have mercury poisoning and these people may respond very well to the subsequent treatment, but this treatment is not a cure for autism. Mercury poisoning, at best, is a comorbid condition of some autistics.

It worries me so much that this kind of spin-doctoring of the facts goes on. Not only is entirely disrespectful to allude to a whole subsection of society as the result of an epidemic, or to be a disease, or to need a cure it also puts false hope into those parents who are desperately trying to help their children. Not help them to be ‘cured’ but help them to find a place in society being proud of who and what they are. Can you imagine how it must feel to be constantly told that your existence is nothing more than a disease?

Autistics do not need, nor will there ever be, a cure. What they need from us is our respect and our help. By all means intervene in your childrens lives to find a way to alleviate their debilitating comorbid conditions but if you’re after a cure you need to know that there is none and that by doing so you are giving your child the message that who they are is wrong.

15 Responses to “Parents: The Truth About Autism”

  1. Noetic March 11, 2005 at 13:53 #

    “We want you, the parent, to know the truth.”

    LOL – I bet they don’t! Otherwise, the parent wouldn’t fork out money to a snake oil merchant!

  2. Kaiden March 11, 2005 at 16:20 #

    The thing that they never mention is that thimerosal is not a solution or a compound, but a molicule. This molocule does contain one mecury atom. It also contains 23 other atoms. People claim that mecury is “50%” of thimerosal. This is true if you go by weight. The mecury atom has a very high atomic weight compared to the other atoms in the thimerosal molicule. This is very much like the Aspie joke of the helicoptor in a dense fog who gets lost, holds up a sign to a building that says “Where I am?” and gets the resposne “You’re in a helicoptor.” He concludes that he is at Microsoft, because the information is technically correct and factually useless.


    atom #atoms atomic weight total weight
    Hg 1 200.59 200.59
    C 9 12 108
    S 1 32 32
    O 2 16 32
    H 9 1 9
    Na 1 23 23

  3. Robin March 20, 2005 at 03:33 #

    I think Generation rescue is a great web site. Autism is just a misdiagosis for mercury poisoning. I’m chelating my son now and he’s almost recovered in just 18 months of treatment. The truth will come out soon….wake up people

  4. Kev March 20, 2005 at 07:16 #

    Autism is just a misdiagosis for mercury poisoning.

    No, it isn’t. Thats not opinion, its simple fact. For your claim to be true you have to account for every single one of the autistic people who have not been exposed to Mercury. You also have to account for the reams of scientific evidence that supports a genetic component for autism. To put it simply: Generation Rescue are either intentionally or through ignorance, misleading people.

    What you have done is treated your son for Mercury poisoning. If he was autisitc you’ll have made no change to that, if he was suffering from Mercury poisoning then thats what you’e treated. More power to you for doing so but don’t fool yourself it has anything to do with autism necessarily.

  5. yvonne hughes April 15, 2005 at 13:34 #

    Hello, my name is Yvonne Hughes. I have an eight year old son named Liam. My son is being tested for Aspbergers Syndrome, I personally dont think this is the case. I have being viewing your website and find it most interesting, could you please email me with any information on how to get in touch with a toxicologist I live in Bodelwyddan NorthWales. many thanks Yvonne

  6. Lujene Clark May 1, 2005 at 21:40 #

    Keith,

    If it is genetic, how many of your ancestors (or those of your wife and her family) are “autistic” or suffer from severe neurodevelopmental disorders?

    I have gone back five generations on my family tree and four generations on my husband’s family tree and there is NOT one instance of even mild neurodevelopmental disorder. There was one great aunt by marriage that developed late onset Parkinson’s in her early eighties. Other than that, there is nothing…zip…nada! In talking with other parents, you will find this same pattern over and over. If it were genetic…where are all the OLD autistics? Besides, there is NO SUCH THING as a “genetic” epidemic because the fastest genetic shift occurs at about 1% per every hundred years…ask any geneticist. Your genetics theory is starting to sound a little weak, huh? Undoubtedly, genetics can play a role but what medical science is finding out is the dramatic impact of a “trigger” such as mercury to create a “toxic tipping point” for these children.

    Our son was neurotypical, met all of his developmental milestones (talked early, walked unassisted on 1st birthday, appropriate social interactions, etc) until he got the boosters to attend schools at age five. He developed allergies, asthma, and AD/HD by age six. After he received his first series of influenza vaccines in November 2002 and December 2002 at the age of 7 ½ (YES, I SAID SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS OLD!) and within a matter of weeks our world began unraveling, he developed severe neurodevelopmental symptoms/regression and within 10 months he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Once we identified his problems as mercury poisoning, began to detoxify the mercury from his body (FIR Sauna) and address the biomedical pathways (vitamins, minerals, Transfer Factor, methyl B-12 injections, etc.) that were damaged by Thimerosal then our son started to recover…dramatically. Before you sneer at the comment regarding the damage Thimerosal causes, you should know they have been identified and even replicated time and again in published, peer-reviewed studies). You can read many of these articles at http://www.nomercury.org/science.htm. I am happy to report that Devon is approximately 90% – 95% recovered. We will not tell you he is cured…he is recovering. He will probably have to use the sauna and supplements for the rest of his life because his body’s ability to excrete toxins has been damaged by the Thimerosal. In other words, the only cure for mercury poisoning is to STOP CAUSING IT!

    You should also know that I spent many years working as a nurse in a busy medical offices (Family Practice and OB/GYN) and my husband is a physician with thirty years experience (Board certified M.D. in Emergency & Trauma). He was classically trained in conventional, allopathic, evidenced-based medicine (in other words he is “mainstream”). Now that we’ve pretty much addressed your raving lunatic, desperate parent, genetic theory…are you ready to discover some truths or do you still want to bury your head in denial? The old saying, “ignorance is bliss” comes to mind.

    The reality is, once you discover what is happening you have a moral obligation to address the real source of your child’s problems (and this process is TOUGH AND LOTS OF WORK) but if you remain in denial you don’t have to extend yourself or take responsibility to heal your child because it is so much easier to blame “bad genes” and accept your child’s fate. Or worse, try to get your child to accept his “genetic” fate. That is a COP-OUT. Your child deserves better. Get off your lazy bum and start to heal the biomedical problems of your child!! While every child may not experience the same level of recovery, my personal belief is they can make a marked improvement and have higher quality of life…and YES, SOME DO RECOVER FULLY.

    Lujene G. Clark
    President & Co-Founder
    NoMercury

    http://www.NoMercury.org

  7. Kev May 1, 2005 at 23:09 #

    Lujene,

    It might be easier to take you seriously if you could even read well enough to get my name right.

    “If it is genetic, how many of your ancestors (or those of your wife and her family) are “autistic” or suffer from severe neurodevelopmental disorders?”

    Three.

    “I have gone back five generations on my family tree and four generations on my husband’s family tree and there is NOT one instance of even mild neurodevelopmental disorder. There was one great aunt by marriage that developed late onset Parkinson’s in her early eighties. Other than that, there is nothing…zip…nada! In talking with other parents, you will find this same pattern over and over.”

    Nice hearsay. Where’s the empirical evidence?

    “If it were genetic…where are all the OLD autistics?”

    Oh dear. You’re using arguments that sound worryingly like creationists refuting evolution. I don’t know about anyone else but in my family the old autistics are, well, dead. Kind of a side effect of getting old. Unfortunately that prevents them from being able to back me up.

    “Besides, there is NO SUCH THING as a “genetic” epidemic because the fastest genetic shift occurs at about 1% per every hundred years…ask any geneticist.”

    Strawman argument. There is no autism epidemic. Deal with that first then we’ll tackle your point about whether genetic epidemics exist or not.

    “Your genetics theory is starting to sound a little weak, huh?”

    Um, no. Mine is backed up by research. Your theory seems to be comprised entirely of hearsay and logical fallacy.

    “Undoubtedly, genetics can play a role but what medical science is finding out is the dramatic impact of a “trigger” such as mercury to create a “toxic tipping point” for these children.”

    So in one instance you’re saying genetics plays no role and here your claiming it can? Come on Lujene, which is it? Get your story straight.

    “…[snipped]…. In other words, the only cure for mercury poisoning is to STOP CAUSING IT!”

    Couldn’t agree more. What’s that whole section got to do with autism? I thought you lot didn’t think AS was autism?

    “Now that we’ve pretty much addressed your raving lunatic, desperate parent, genetic theory…are you ready to discover some truths or do you still want to bury your head in denial? The old saying, “ignorance is bliss” comes to mind.”

    You’ve certainly adressed it but you’re far, far away from even being close to being credible. Hell, you can’t even get my name right and it forms part of the URI of this site!

    What exactly am I in denial about by the way?

    “The reality is, once you discover what is happening you have a moral obligation to address the real source of your child’s problems (and this process is TOUGH AND LOTS OF WORK) but if you remain in denial you don’t have to extend yourself or take responsibility to heal your child because it is so much easier to blame “bad genes” and accept your child’s fate.”

    There’s the difference between you and I Lujene. My child doesn’t have a ‘problem’, she’s autistic. You seem intent on making your child and thus yourself out to be a victim. In that you are no different than every other pity-poor-me that our generation has created so many of. In terms of responsibility, what I have an obligation to do is raise a happy, confident child who’s capable of finding her own way in the world. In that we seem to be doing OK so far. I’m sorry you lack the parenting skills necessary to do this but, hey, thats life eh?

    “Or worse, try to get your child to accept his “genetic” fate. That is a COP-OUT. Your child deserves better. Get off your lazy bum and start to heal the biomedical problems of your child!! While every child may not experience the same level of recovery, my personal belief is they can make a marked improvement and have higher quality of life…and YES, SOME DO RECOVER FULLY.”

    Hilarious. You seem able to make diagnosis over the Intenet. Forget this nomercury schtick Lujene – you could make a fortune as a replacement Jesus!

    If you want to bury your head in the sand and pander to every bit of quackery that comes your way then be my guest – after all its only your child your experimenting on.

    Here’s the truth for you once more Lujene – I know its hard for you to hear as it entials some accepting of parental responsibility: mercury poisoning isn’t autism. Mercury poisoning is mercury poisoning. If you’ve had success in treating your mercury poisoned child then good for you but don’t belittle autism or autistics by claiming autism is mercury poisoning.

    Look forward to your response. I removed the nauseating advert from the end of your comment by the way.

  8. Michele May 2, 2005 at 01:06 #

    Wow, Kevin, Have you ever concidered chelation for yourself! You really make no sence and you never give links to back up your statement. Your very tone is very irrational and you can tell you have mood swings. You may want to contact a toxicologist and have your metal levels tested. You know, if your low in glutathione, you might not be able to detox naturally very will and therefore your body can build up toxins. It’s a genetic predispostion problem and therefore it can be passed on to your children and create mecury poisoning in the body or aka- autism.
    Lujene, thank you for sharing your story…….it made a lot of sence!

  9. Kev May 2, 2005 at 02:32 #

    Wow Michelle – small tip: ‘c’ is not the same as ‘s’. Also, you may want to consider taking a course in grammar as your comment made little ‘sence’ (sic).

    Whilst you’re there, sign up for a basic internet course so that you can recognise what a link is and how they work (hint: see the underlined words? They’re links – click them. Obviously you’d do better to figure this out for yourself before commenting on it publicly as it saves you looking stupider).

    I’m finding it very interesting how no one has actually been able to prove Generation Rescue’s basic thesis to me yet: that autism is mercury poisoning. I guess that’ll be along shortly after the next person with an interesting approach to basic grammar and spelling?

  10. Lujene Clark May 2, 2005 at 05:45 #

    Kevin,

    It appears that I may have been mistaken. In your case, it seems apparent from reading your reply there is a history of serious psychiatric illness in your family. My apologies, I would not have attempted to engage in rational discussion had I known you were affected.

    Lujene

  11. Kev May 2, 2005 at 05:56 #

    Lujene,

    Well done on getting my name right this time but bad luck on your inability to engage me on anything but an aggressive emotional level. Come back when you’re capable of more than pouting and whining.

  12. Becky Nelson May 2, 2005 at 13:40 #

    Sorry the first part of my message was erased (above) – Here goes again:

    Hello Kevin. I am sorry you were offended by some of the posts on the EOHarm group; I’m sure you realize that some of the board members were offended by your posts as well. This is a sensitive issue for all of us. Most of us on the EOHarm board have been involved in the thimerosal-autism controversy for many years. Please do not take my comments as criticism. I truly hope you can have an open mind and read some of the research that I will provide to you below.

    In your links above the first one I visited was to the BBC site to the article: “Brain Inflammation linked to Autism”. This article clearly shows that the inflammation is a result of immune activation due to birth complications, toxins (thimerosal), diet, viruses and other pathogens. In this study they have not ruled out thimerosal as the cause of autism.

    The WebMD and BBC sites that linked to the ATP gene have been researched further. Researchers said the genetic variations they identified in this study appeared to be quite common. Even Dr. Buxbaum stated that these findings by themselves, do not cause autism. It is now known that ATP binding proteins found in neuroblastoma cells were decreased significantly following in vitro treatment with increasing concentrations of thimerosal. For more information regarding ATP function in autism see Richard Deth’s recent research at:
    http://www.reform.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Testimony%20%20Deth.pdf.

    It’s a hard pill to swallow when you realize that this tragedy could’ve been prevented. As mentioned in your link to “logical fallacies” – fallacies may also exploit the emotions or intellectual or psychological weaknesses of the interlocutor. Having the capability of recognizing logical fallacies in arguments will hopefully reduce the likelihood of such an occurrence. Your link to the “straw man” states: As a rhetorical term, “straw man” describes a point of view that was created in order to be easily defeated in argument; the creator of a “straw man” . Kevin, can you not see it from the other side? Can you not see that these terms can be applied to yourself? Again, I am not trying to be argumentative, and I respectfully must say that I think you are more comfortable with the idea of autism being a genetic disorder. I am hoping you will eventually recognize that there has been a huge cover-up and the autism epidemic is a completely iatrogenic disease. Straw man: “argument does not accurately reflect the best arguments of your opponents, but instead sidesteps or mischaracterizes them so as to make the opposing view appear weak or ridiculous.”

    There is growing scientific evidence that autism is caused by genetic susceptibility to thimerosal in childhood vaccines.. 95% of children are born with these “gene disorders” that make them susceptible to certain disease. These diseases would never occur if there were not a trigger. Mercury is toxic to everyone. Some people have a higher threshold for damage than others. Perhaps I could smoke two packs of cigarettes a day and not develop lung cancer. Just as there are non-smokers who have developed lung cancer. Just because I didn’t develop lung cancer it does not prove that smoking is not the cause of lung cancer.

    Isn’t it suspicious that monthly for the last seven years a new study appears where experts have “’proved” that there can be no relationship between the autism epidemic and vaccines? Doesn’t that seem like an odd way of studying an epidemic? By telling us what it’s NOT caused by? Why hasn’t the government tried to find out the cause? Since 1930 we’ve been injecting people with thimerosal. The only study ever done to gauge it’s toxic effects was done in 1929 on meningitis patients who later died.

    You mentioned in one of your posts at the EOHarm board that the list members “have not, by the way, seen people ‘recover’ from their autism.” I must assure you that we have. You stated that we “have seen people recover from there mercury/metal poisoning …….please don’t make the continuing mistake of confusing metal poisoning and autism. This is a basic error brought about by the fact that they share several behaviours..” You can call it what you like. The fact is that our children have been diagnosed by medical professionals as “autistic”, and after chelation therapy they are defined as “normal” or “near-normal”. If you go back to the EOHarm group site I have posted a few articles for you to research regarding thimerosal toxicity and it’s role in autism. Here is the link:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EOHarm/message/1164

    You seem to have come to the EOHarm list to change our minds. I can assure you that this will not happen. After reading these articles you can come to your own conclusions. Good luck to you. I wish you and your family the best.

  13. Kev May 2, 2005 at 15:47 #

    Becky – I came to the EoH list as explained above. I found a post referencing a post I’d made here. The post referencing mine included replies describing me in very personal and abusve terms so I replied in kind.

    “You can call it what you like. The fact is that our children have been diagnosed by medical professionals as “autistic”, and after chelation therapy they are defined as “normal” or “near-normal”.”

    Thats my whole point Becky. You can’t call it what you like and whilst some children may have recovered from mercury poisoning, not all have. If chelating is so great then it should cure autism. Which it doesn’t. I’m sorry your kids were poisoned by mercury and I’m very glad they’re recovering from it but you’re in error if you think mercury poisoning is autism and vice-versa. Life isn’t that black and white.

    “You seem to have come to the EOHarm list to change our minds. I can assure you that this will not happen.”

    As i said, I came to EoH as a response to being described abusively. It seems that a lot of people on your side of the debate can’t deal with rational debate and have to resort to name calling and veiled insults. Thats their perogative but if I’m addressed in those terms, I will respond in kind.

    I have no illusions about changing anyones mind about anything. I understand that once you’ve bought into quack cures its very difficult to buy out of them especially if they seem on the surface to be having some effect. Good luck to your family too.

  14. Kev May 2, 2005 at 17:52 #

    Comments are closed on this thread for awhile whilst I do some maintenance on this thread and remove a few comments placed in the moderation queue. I’ll be writng a new post to hopefully answer a few questions and continue the debate on a more adult level. This should be published tonight.

    Now live.

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