Let’s be thoughtful!
I am writing this blog post to encourage us all to be thoughtful when choosing treatments. I started getting worried about this after reading a headline today: AUTISM SYMPTOMS CAN BE REDUCED BY 50% WITH FECAL TRANSPLANTS. Following this headline was a description of a study that had seen improvements in 18 children with autism even after 2 years. Sounds great doesn’t it?
Well, let’s investigate a little further. Generally, studies that are more dependable have a large group of subjects. This study had only 18. Studies that are dependable also have control groups. In other words, one group that gets a treatment and one group that doesn’t. This study doesn’t. After two years, the researchers brought the children back and gave them the same series of tests that they gave the first time. The researchers found many of their GI symptoms were improved and that their autism symptoms were less prominent. I am not a medical doctor so I can not speak to the GI symptoms, but I can speak to the autism symptoms. Autistic children get better with Evidence-Based intervention. This study does not say what those 18 kids were doing for the past 2 years. How would we know whether the children improved because of evidence-based intervention and age or because of their fecal process? This is why we must be thoughtful about reacting to these headlines and find out the whole story before going forward.
For example, a family who is close to me, has an autistic child. He also has severe allergies and asthma. When their child was 6, secretin was being advertised as a wonderful intervention for autism that targeted language and behavior improvements. Secretin was only approved to treat pancreatic insufficiency at that time and now. A well-meaning but misinformed doctor was willing to take their child and give him a series of intravenous injections in the doctor’s office. The doctor had no resuscitation equipment in his office and no plan if there was an allergic reaction. This unproven process could have killed their child! Thank goodness this fine young man had a thoughtful family that saw the red flags. When studies with control groups were used, it was shown that there was NO effectiveness in using Secretin to treat autism.
Our children are not Guinea pigs and should not be treated like this! I urge you all to get the full picture when considering treatments for your children so they can continue to thrive and are not put through treatments that are not needed and even dangerous. I am always happy to help you with this! Feel free to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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