David Mulhall Centre - any good?

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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby Goldenhamster » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:19 pm

It's a worrying thing really, at the moment therapies or 'cure' for autism are a free for all and almost anybody however unqualified can set up providing a 'treatment' without adequate evidence that it works. Most are scams, a few are well intentioned but misguided, one or two are downright harmful.

Especially in the USA, autistic children have been needlessly put through dangerous chelation therapy on the now discredited evidence that the thimerosal preservative in the MMR vaccine was at the route of their autism. Although the FDA made it clear that they did not approve chelation as a treatment for autism, the link between autism and thimerosal is still pervasive in the public perception. For example in the 2010 release for Jodi Picoult's 'House Rules' (which I haven't read), which deals with a character with high functioning autism, Picoult draws attention to now discredited link between vaccination and autism http://www.jodipicoult.com/house-rules.html although she does not advocate not vaccinating children. Picoult is a novelist and not a doctor or a researcher, but her book was number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list when it was released, so her opinion is high profile.

Even more upsetting is the Judge Rotenburg Centre in Massachusetts, in their own description 'a special needs school in Canton, Massachusetts serving ages 3-adult. For 39 years JRC has provided very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors'.

Notice how all these diverse and qualitatively different conditions are lumped together. The centre practices what it calls 'aversive therapy', basically delivering electric shocks or other unpleasant or harmful stimuli to patients when they exhibit certain behaviours.

I don't want to write any more about that here because some of the details are very upsetting, but my point is that genuine doctors and educational psychologists should take care to warn parents and patients against the dangers of scam therapies and 'cures'. Also that we, as people on the autistic spectrum, are aware of suspect and abusive therapies ourselves and take care to raise awareness to others.
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