Recovery Stories And A Dash Of Reality

13 Aug

Every now and again someone (usually Brad Handley) says that I’m wrong because they have recovery stories to prove they’re right. That the mercury poisoning that caused their child’s autism has been reversed.

My constant response has been ‘Really? Where are they? If any child recovered from autism it would be international front page news’. Nobody has ever replied to that question.

Generation Rescue

So I decided to go looking. As it’s Brad who usually bandies this assertion about I thought I’d start with the Generation Rescue site under the heading ‘success stories’. There are fifty-nine (59) ‘success stories’ on there in total which sounds pretty impressive until you actually read them.

Out of these 59 success stories, just 3 describe their child as having been reclassified as no longer meeting a diagnosis of ASD. That’s a ‘recovery’ rate of 5%. Interestingly, one of these cases states they did not use chelation at all. That puts the Generation Rescue chelation success rate at a little over 3%.

General Stories

NB: It should be noted I may be duplicating stories here. The GR site says it has gathered stories from around the web which _may_ include these other stories.

But maybe we need a bigger group of stories – not from Generation Rescue in other words – to try and get a bit of accuracy.

Let’s look at the ‘roll call of recovered kids on Autismnet and see what we can glean from it.

There are twenty three (23) kids listed in the table. There are four children who’s parents say they have lost their diagnosis. This is a 17% recovery percentage. Fascinatingly, only one of those kids (4%) used anything other than ABA. As far as _biomedical_ interventions go, that’s worse than the GR site.

Lastly, we’ll look at Dana’s view which also lists recovery stories. There are a lot of stories on this site but a careful look only reveals sixteen (16) that discuss kids on the spectrum – some discuss non-autism stories so were discounted. Towards the bottom of the page there are a number of duplicates (especially the videos and Scott Shoemakers son’s story is told twice) or kids I recognised from other pages. In the videos I watched, nobody really discussed diagnosis at all so I discounted those.

Of the 16 stories, one (1) says their child has lost their diagnosis to biomedical/non-ABA therapies. That’s a ‘success’ rate of 6%.

If we total all these stories up we get a total of ninety-eight (98) ‘success stories’ wherein a total of five (5) claim total recovery and their kids lose their diagnosis. That’s a recovery rate of 5.1%.

Other Methods?

By contrast, one ABA clinic reports a ‘success’ rate of over 50% whilst the original Lovass (1987) paper claimed a success rate of 47%. Even a more realistic and stringent look at Lovass’ (Smith et al 2000) revealed a success rate of over 13%.

The ‘recovery from mercury poisoning’ hypothesis ain’t doing so well in comparison.

Other methods that claim a good ‘recovery rate’ are AIT (from Bernard Rimland no less) and Son-Rise.

Then of course there are the uncounted kids who simply ‘recover’. In the introduction to his book Autism, Brain and Environment, Richard Lathe mentions three case studies of marked progression in kids. What’s notable about them is that their progress can be attributed simply time and the maturation process.

I further have no doubt that if I described my daughters typical day she would easily fit onto all of the ‘recovery/success’ stories’ web pages discussed. She wouldn’t be described as losing her diagnosis by any means but she easily meets or exceeds the progress made and attributed to chelation etc. Again, she’s simply growing and maturing.

Bottom line: a ‘recovery’ stat of 5% is meaningless in terms of indicating the ‘success’ of a theory. Turn it on its head and this means that its 95% unsuccessful.

There are no figures (or at least none I could unearth) that relate what percentage of autistic kids simply move off the spectrum without any fanfare – who just happen to be not autistic anymore – if anybody _does_ have some, I’d like to hear them. But here are a few interesting quotes from a variety of sources:

Mysterious spontaneous recovery. It hasn’t happened often, but *it has happened often enough for the phenomenon to be worth noting*: over the past 25 years I have received a handful of letters from parents which read something like this: “Please remove our address from your files. Our child has continued to improve so greatly—we don’t know why—that now he is no longer considered autistic.

Rimland.

It may be because of spontaneous recovery from whatever constituted their autism. I do remember meeting some older children and teenagers over the years who “used to be autistic”.

Donna Williams

This page states that:

Studies have shown that about 2% of the children will recover anyway, “spontaneous recovery” is the term used in these cases

But it fails to cite which studies claim this figure. However, its clear that:

a) Spontaneous recovery does happen
b) This possibility is not ruled out of the various ‘recovery/success’ stories.

36 Responses to “Recovery Stories And A Dash Of Reality”

  1. Jemaleddin August 13, 2006 at 10:39 #

    It’s sad that you have to explain this sort of thing, Kev. It seems like common sense that if your child develops more slowly, surprise, they’re still developing.

    There must be something we’re missing – maybe they just love the taste of snake oil.

  2. laurentius-rex August 13, 2006 at 12:26 #

    losing ones dx is not abnormal, it simply means that one has aquired skills that take one out of the range of a particular clinicians, or districts strict criteria.

    Often one gets rediagnosed with AS in later life, or something else.

    If you want to apply a strict diagnosis of dyslexia which would mean the totally inability to read I would show as a recovered dyslexic, but it depends entirely upon the funtional definition, and as we know the funtional definition of autism is very subjective

  3. Ballastexistenz August 13, 2006 at 13:24 #

    I’ve met several people who “used to be autistic”. Generally I could tell they were still autistic (even in settings that had nothing to do with autism, so I wasn’t expecting autistic people) before they or someone else let me know that they “used to be” autistic. I also have known many people whose parents did exactly what Rimland described, only to grow up and figure out on their own that they were still autistic.

  4. Ruth August 13, 2006 at 13:42 #

    With time comes the option of avoiding those areas where autism is most obvious. I appear less strange in a lab than in the social jungle of high school. I can avoid all the team sports where my slow reaction time is obvious and stick to running or swimming.

    My daughter’s kindergarten teacher could not see the math talent she had, just because 5 year olds usually can’t do math. She could only see the social deficits. Now her mainstream teacher lets her tutor other kids. They know she needs help with language, but they respect her ability in maths.

  5. Joseph August 13, 2006 at 14:02 #

    Szatmari (1989) documents a 25% recovery rate for “nonretarded” autistics. There are other studies of outcome of Kanner autistics in general. I think recovery rate was thought to be between 10% and 15%. But as Amanda notes, you’ll probably find that these “recovered” autistics are still autistic. When long-term outcome studies come out for autistics diagnosed today, I think they will find a lower recovery rate (i.e. at most, autistics will tend to become Asperger or ADHD in adulthood) but they will also find autistics today have better “outcome” in average than was found in pre-1990s studies.

  6. laurentius-rex August 13, 2006 at 15:01 #

    What recovery says is more about the nature of clinical culture at the particular historical time these somewhat anecdotal statistics were memegenated.

    It is a story of a diagnosis in flux in a dynamic world where nothing ever stays the same for long.

    I had my AS dx in 1999, it would likely not be the same one now.

    Anyone ever see Ridley Scotts Duellists where there is this tag line, “Times had changed and so had military Fashions” to explain why the two protagonists no longer wore the same hairstyles. Well Diagnostic fashions change to and I would say all that erly stuff was written much in ignorance of what we consider to be the case today, but in turn will discover also to be so much ignorance.

  7. laurentius-rex August 13, 2006 at 15:06 #

    Satsuma or whatever his name is invented the 25% statistic because no statistic is so pat as such memes are.

    Satsuma is not one of the cleverer of the reserchers, but then I am not sure any of them really are either.

    X says Y% and X is a respected academic, X has said it in print therefore generations to come will believe it as surely as they believe that KIng Harold died from an arrow in his eye. (but did he?)

  8. natalia August 13, 2006 at 15:46 #

    I have heard of so many people who, usually out of survival instinct, faked normal (or weird-NT) well enough to never get diagnosed (myself included) … My gut instinct is to agree with the idea that people are just not acting autistic enough for dx, but are still that way deep down.

    When I tell people I am autistic, they are surprised at first… Until they hear about the spectrum, and then they see that the things they know about me put me on the spectrum, when previously they just thought I was kind of weird…

  9. kristina August 13, 2006 at 15:46 #

    I’ve been thinking a lot on this topic too of late—–the book “A Real Boy” I’ve been reading of late announces itself to be “a true story of autism, early intervention, and recovery,” but more than a little in it seems less than what the book cover claims.

  10. Kev August 13, 2006 at 16:07 #

    re: ‘recovery’ – I totally agree with you all that its simply a matter of moving to a place that _appears_ off the spectrum. When I use the word ‘recovery’ I’m attempting to use it in a way the groups I talk about would understand the word.

  11. mike stanton August 13, 2006 at 20:42 #

    I am still recovering from my son’s autism -:) He learned to live with it a lot quicker than I did.

  12. Joseph August 13, 2006 at 23:19 #

    Satsuma or whatever his name is invented the 25% statistic because no statistic is so pat as such memes are.

    Szatmari? 🙂 Of course you’re right in that both diagnoses and outcome determinations are subjective, so any researcher bias and cultural bias would show in the results of such research. The fact that a broad autism spectrum was not widely recognized in 1989 is important I think.

  13. alyric August 14, 2006 at 00:25 #

    Anecdotally Kev an autistic here at university in Canberra once remarked on the Hangout that her psych said that only around 10% progressed as she had. She was btw a really bright warm personality who celebrated the night she successfully ordered a pizza over the phone. Well , you know how phones are.

    From everything I’ve heard (not that much:), the cure/recovery rate claimed for various things is never above this 10-15%. And as I’ve written recently the study by Sallows and Graupner is a pretty clear indication that the intervention is probably incidental to the result since the control group outperformed the experimental group 2:1.

  14. Ms Clark August 14, 2006 at 02:31 #

    I’m dying to see a study of autistic kids born into poor families or isolated families where the kids don’t get much in the way of “therapy.” I would bet that they do better than the kids who have the high pressure therapy upon therapy upon therapy, double-time forced march and/or inject-me-again-momma (DAN!) childhoods. Which is not to say that kids should have no therapy, but surely there’s a middle ground. My ASD kid got physical and occupational and a tiny bit of speech therapy, and lots and lots of natural (fun) home tutoring/teaching/therapy (from me) from age 0. My NT kid got almost the same amount of home tutoring/teaching/therapy, but that one was more into running and harder to read to or to teach reading to.

    An autism resercher once told me about a mom she knew something about, who wrote a book about her son’s “recovery,” made money off of it. Then later when no one was looking, the kid had to go back into special-ed categorization because the stresses at school had changed and VOILA he was autistic again… uhuh. She didn’t write a book about that uncovery.

  15. Ms Clark August 14, 2006 at 03:29 #

    I was just thinking yesterday about something from my ASD kid’s toddlerhood. When xe was about 12 months old xe would respond to xyr name almost always normally, but there was a period that I remember trying to get xyr attention as xe was moving away from me in the kitchen, heading for an open door to the garage, or something like that… I was busy doing something and didn’t want to stop and grab the kid (this wasn’t life or death, just time to corral the kid) saying xyr name didn’t work at all, so I took to yelling xyr name really, really loud. It worked, xe would stop and come around back toward me. I did that for a week or so when I thought I needed to, then I realized that the neighbors probably thought I was screaming at my child abusively, so I discarded that “tool” and had to go grab xyr if I needed to.

    These days, if I were handed the M-CHAT or something like that and asked, “does the child respond to name.” I might have checked “No” or I might have checked “yes.” It’s hard to say if this kid would get an ASD dx today, if xe was 18 months old… I’m pretty sure would get PDD,nos hands down, and possibly autistic disorder, though there was some pretty good joint attention, plenty of smiling, probably ok eye contact (hard to say), there were stereotyped repetetive behaviors, though, and sensitive hearing, very picky eater (gagged easily) and I don’t think xe would bring us toys to look at. I don’t know about joint attention… it was probably ok. It’s hard to say what might have been odd about xyr, with two odd parents, who knows what we missed, or automatically compensated/ameliorated for the child? Today, if I wanted to look at only certain aspects of xyr personality, ignore the lack of eye contact and the stereotypies, I could say xe was recovered. Alot of this “recovery” business is about parents in denial, or parents worried about their child’s future as a handicapped person, take the label away, and no one has to know….

  16. Gabesmom August 14, 2006 at 07:27 #

    Ms. Clark said,

    “I’m dying to see a study of autistic kids born into poor families or isolated families where the kids don’t get much in the way of “therapy.” I would bet that they do better than the kids who have the high pressure therapy upon therapy upon therapy, double-time forced march and/or inject-me-again-momma (DAN!) childhoods”

    I agree, but just try to mention that in a parents’ forum. I bring up the topic occasionally that all of the anecdotal stories relating to how much progress each child has made with x,y, or z therapy may be more a result of normal maturation and development than of the therapies themselves. I tell them my son was almost exactly where your child was a year ago, and guess what?, he’s made the same amount of progress, and guess what? No therapies of any kind so far. The only responses I ever get are, “Well, just because your kid made so much progress on his own, doesn’t mean everyone else will.” Or sometimes, “Your child must be so high functioning you could never understand what other parents have to go through” I also occasionally get, “Are you sure your child is even autistic?”

    I’m not saying that I don’t believe in education, and I plan on pursuing some speech therapy for my son and doing activities at home with him to work on language development and social awareness, but at the same time, isn’t life itself the greatest teacher? If we deny our children the very “normal” experiences of living, and instead fill their days with flashcard drills, behavior modification programs and an endless array of supplements, aren’t they being cheated out of the most valuable types of education they will ever have? Personally, I’d prefer my son to live his life authentically and richly as an autistic to him spending his life jumping through someone else’s hoops and maintaining a facade of “normalcy” for the benefit of strangers. If that’s what “recovery” means, I want no part of it.

  17. Susan August 14, 2006 at 07:34 #

    Are we talking about educational or medical status, when saying the child is recovered? Many school districts abandon the autism label once a child has progressed to a certain point. BUT, that’s an educational label that is being abandoned, not a lable relevant to neurological differences. In other words, the child no longer meets their self-set standards to receive special services from their “autism team”. Doesn’t mean the kid isn’t autistic. It means no services!

  18. Kev August 14, 2006 at 09:25 #

    Susan – when I use the words recovered/success I’m searching for stories that relate to the people who I’m told are ‘cured’ or ‘recovered’ from the hell/abyss/nightmare of autism. I take that to mean that these children are considered not to have a medical diagnosis any more.

  19. laurentius-rex August 14, 2006 at 11:19 #

    Well the problem is that all of the studies that are done of autism tend to be of a medical perspective not a sociological one, and the fact to me is that since autism is something that has a social dimension, and exists in society, that the sociological understanding of autism is very much missing. Recovery stories, parent reactions, the way education is carried out, these are all sociological things not medical at all.

    There is a pronounced difference in the way that adults are percieved by educational and medical services, if they are coming into a late (or sometimes a recoverd diagnosis (that is to say recovering a diagnosis they once had)…)

    Getting an adult diagnosis can be difficult if one is dealing with clinicians whose training and experience is in children, in that one is not autistic enough, on the other hand if one is diagnosed by someone trained and experienced in adults, one is although the same funtioning level as a “recovered” peer considered differently.

    The danger point really comes for those in the educational system who have progressed too well, in that it is like taking ones spectacles away, after one has lernt to read, saying hey you don’t need them any more.

    There is also the diagnosis of residual traits of autism that I have seen.

    My dyslexia is another case in point, I actually consider it as residual compared to what it was, and my mum did not think it fitted as an adult diagnosis at all, however others seem to think I am well dyslexic (that is to say considerably dyslexic) from my reading of the reports and in comparison to how a peer would perform in the tests.

    Trouble is how do all these adult reports of dyslexia, and AS present me in a sociological light.

    unfortanatly they would put me in the “brave battler against disability” model, in that they pretty much acknowlege that it is by my own endeavors I have got to where I am and am capable of study, because I have figured out ways around the varios “road blocks”.

    But what is that faculty that allowed me to do that?

    Let us suppose a differnt trajectory, if I had been given behavior modification to make me a more tractable child, AIT and all that crap (which would probably have rendered me partially deaf with tinnitus) (oh I forgot I do have tinnitus) complex brain and body destroying drug and diet regimes.
    (thats not to say I was not medicated at some points)

    I guess I would need now to recover from all that 🙂

    Why am I both capable of and engaged in writing this now?

    Because it was written that I would be 🙂 I simply followed my alternative path to this point.

  20. anonimouse August 14, 2006 at 14:14 #

    As someone who had an autism diagnosis as a young child and later “lost” it (mostly because I could communicate reasonably well and was a uniformly excellent student) I can tell you that it is easy for labels to be lost. I still think I probably fall somewhere on the ASD spectrum, but in my current profession it’s in no way a hinderance.

  21. Anne August 15, 2006 at 03:16 #

    If I’m remembering it right, the Lovaas study defined recovery as being able to enter a general education environment without an aide. Or something along those lines. It was not a clinical determination that diagnostic criteria were no longer met.

  22. Anne August 15, 2006 at 03:35 #

    There are some studies that were done on adults with “residual state autism,” a diagnostic category under the DSM-III, or “infantile autism, residual state.” I don’t know anything about the history of this category or why it was removed from the DSM-IV, but the suggestion is that kids with diagnoses of autistic disorder could mature into adults with just a “residue” of autism.

  23. Jennifer August 15, 2006 at 04:14 #

    There is a recently published abstract on Residual Language Deficits in Optimal Outcome Children with a History of Autism.

    I haven’t seen the whole paper yet, but it would be interesting to see what treatment these children had.

    Jennifer

  24. Jennifer August 15, 2006 at 17:05 #

    Now I have looked at the paper. Very interesting. All the children received ABA, except one with a DX of Asperger’s. No biomedical treatments are mentioned. These children have optimal outcome, in that they are mainstreamed and without classroom support and are “functioning successfully in a typical school environment”. Despite this, they ALL still have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Of the six that originally had a DX of PDD-NOS, one improved to PDD-NOS (mild), one now met the criteria for autistic disorder (!) and four remained as PDD-NOS. The single Asperger’s child was still Asperger’s. Of the seven originally diagnosed with autistic disorder, only one still met that criteria, and the others had all moved to PDD-NOS.

    This paper is a striking indictment of the ABA as “cure” brigade. These children are clearly not “cured”, even if they are functioning successfully. The have obviously not “lost” their diagnosis. Moreover, the authors comment that their study was limited by small sample size, and note that “it might be difficult to identify a large sample of equally successful children.” If truly 48% of children in intensive ABA programs have this outcome, it would be easy to identify a larger group of these children.

  25. LB August 15, 2006 at 23:08 #

    I find the ABA as a cure claim almost as annoying as the bio-medical cure claims. They both can be equally as manipulative in their language – as one such “discussion” on a group where someone claimed that ABA is a teaching method (not therapy) and to deny that ABA works is to say that a child is unteachable. If someone wishes to pursue ABA that is there choice, however, there are many devotees who choose not to be realistic about the data. Most will just repeat statistics, but not what they really mean by “cured”.

  26. Joseph August 15, 2006 at 23:23 #

    That study doesn’t say much about the effectiveness of ABA. It sounds like the authors went looking for “optimally functioning” autistic children and only found these 14. One thing to ask would be how often ABA therapy is used where the study was conducted. There is no way to know how these children would’ve developed without ABA. Were the authors biased in looking for children who did ABA? Were the parents influenced by ABA treatment such that they pushed for the children to be mainstreamed? Without better controls, it’s hard to tell how helpful ABA really is.

  27. Jennifer August 16, 2006 at 03:03 #

    Joseph,
    I think the idea behind the study was not to examine ABA, per se, but to look at the characteristics of children that had “optimal outcomes”, particularly their language abilities.

    But the study does say something about ABA. The authors had access to the histories and data from a large caseload of children who had received ABA. They work for a big ABA provider. And, they could only find a few children that had optimal outcomes. Even though these children were mainstreamed, and working academically at an age-appropriate level, (i.e. “recovered” as per Lovaas) they still could be diagnosed under the austistic spectrum.

    So this study says that “optimal outcome” or academic mainstreaming without support, is rare. It also says that “optimal outcome” does not equal loss of diagnosis.

  28. Cheryl August 17, 2006 at 18:36 #

    I am so excited to find this blog. I belong to a parent message board that jumps down my throat and calls me a bad parent for not going down the biomed route! I also get “you’re son obviously only had 20% of what my child had”. I didn’t realize we were competing. Anyway, my son will be 4 this month, he received a PDD-NOS diagnosis at 26 months, and has gone from non-verbal to age appropriate speaking. Only received ABA, Speech, and OT. ABA was phased out 6 months ago. He has also become very social, he’s very imaginative, animated and has a great sense of humor. His weaknesses include very delayed writing skills, and non-compliance/self-direction type stuff. So, I don’t think he’s “cured”, but I know he wouldn’t meet the so-called criteria today. I also completely accept him for who he is and don’t view him as “broken”. Seems like some of these biomed people want to ‘fix’ there child. I have one parent I know who is chelating, oxygen chambering, B12, GFCF, blah blah, and he’s out of school 50% of the time. Her kid is STILL autistic!!!! His body goes through hell, she’s stressed out all the time, and she tells me that if I let my son get pre-K immunizations that I deserve what I get! HUH? Anyway, so nice to see a group of people on a similar page as me….

  29. Kev August 17, 2006 at 19:34 #

    Hi Cheryl, you’re very welcome :o)

    If I might plug another site I think you’ll like, go to Autism Hub where you’ll find lots of blogs written by autistic people, parents of autistic people and/or professionals working with autistic people. The common thread is that we don’t desire a cure. Have fun :o)

  30. Cheryl August 17, 2006 at 19:42 #

    Will check it out and on the same subject, have you seen the documentary “normal people scare me” by a 16-year old boy with HF autism? I loved it, found it interesting and think it helped me understand my son’s perspective more, even though he’s still just a baby….

    Cheryl

  31. LB August 17, 2006 at 21:25 #

    Hi Cheryl. It’s ridiculous on some of the parent groups. I know some people say how can parents believe this stuff, but what some of them don’t realize is that if they get on certain groups (even local ones) the conversation can be completely dominated by this. So if there are no opposing viewpoints presented than there is no reason for them to question what they are hearing. It is important to keep voicing your opinion for the newbies on these groups.

  32. Jen August 19, 2006 at 21:45 #

    I loved the comment from the person that said, “I’m still recovering from my son’s autism.” That is exactly how I feel.
    My son is eleven now and in an Asperger class, his original Dx was PDD, and he was very slow to develop language. We did a lot of therapies that I thought were helping. I am pretty sure they improved his digestion. They put me in horrible debt. Now, we just use digestive enzymes and try to roll with everything else.
    Outside of cyberspace, I know more parents that just roll with it than parents that dig into all the therapies. Their kids vary from being very involved to just mildly affected.
    It makes me wonder if I put myself into debt, worried, and subjected him to treatment for nothing.
    However, it is very hard to see your child so withdrawn and unable to communicate and not do anything extra to resolve that for him. I think there are some real opportunists who take advantage of that. I also think parents are trying some weird stuff before knowing for sure how it will effect their child. I was one of them. I can’t tell for sure if he is better or worse for it. He is completely verbal, but still has social deficits.
    I wonder if I just let it roll from this point on will he mature, be able to hold a job, get married, and have a family? Or should I still be looking for extra ways to help him? Is thinking those goals are possible just setting myself up to never be happy with what is? Is there anyone out there that was moderately to severely autistic, and matured enough to not be disabled by it as an adult?
    Thanks,
    Jen

  33. Claire August 20, 2006 at 06:23 #

    My nephew has made dramatic improvement, no longer fits the diagnostic criteria for his autism (PDD-NOS) still has social delay and some mild motor coordination issues. He is excreting mercury in the elevated levels and is doing the DAN protocol including Gluten free casein free diet, many supplements, and transdermal chelation.

  34. Ruth August 21, 2006 at 15:48 #

    My daughter has made lots of progress (PDD-NOS) without a special diet, supplements or chelation. Only a few compounds are known to diffuse through the skin (such as DMSO). What about the chemical structure of these creams allows them to penetrate the protective layer of epidermis, and go through all the cells in the layers of the dermis to reach the blood vessels? Does it pick up the metals in the cells or from the plasma? My daughter likes brushing and other forms of massage. Could most of the benefit from trans dermal cream come from just massaging the skin?

  35. Eric Chiverton September 5, 2006 at 15:57 #

    I would just like to leave a short comment on this.
    I have a son aged 4 now who was diagnosed severely autistic at age 32 months. We have been doing ABA/VB on a regular basis, and have noticed that whilst this is definitely helping his language and general understanding, it does not help with his behaviour. We have introduced GFCF/enzymes/l-glutathione and B12 amongst others, and I can state categorically, that with the introduction of every single one of these, his behaviour has improved dramatically. with the methyl B12, it was quite astonishing how much difference in his general demeanour , eye contact and use of language.

    I am sad that as with everything there is bad press and good press, that cloud the fact that behavioral and bio-medical actions DO make a difference. It obviously varies from child to child. It is impossible therefore to make a study on this that would make a definitive staement that such and such would always work. And yes, there is a school of thought that suggests some children recover on their own. But how much quicker and how much better if they were given help.

    I wish any parent with an autistic child all the luck in the world, whatever they decide to do.

  36. Kev September 5, 2006 at 16:22 #

    Hi Eric,

    I wonder how you controlled for all those things? I’m not doubting your opinion but with respect thats all that it is. I’d like to see some definitive science. The GFCF diet did absolutely nothing for Meg. What alters her behaviour is how old she is. She doesn’t tantrum like she used to when she was a toddler.

    I think you have to be careful about attributing blanket statements like ‘behavioral and bio-medical actions DO make a difference’. Some very well may do. Stands to reason that someone with allergies will benefit from a restricted diet but I don’t think those things can be said to be treating _autism_ but maybe they do make a child feel better enough not to react to certain stimuli. What do you think?

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