These are both my feelings after a recent Twitter set of Tweets by the popular blog Age of Autism:
AgeofAutism: "Even if my girls WERE too old for an autism cure - I'd NEVER deny the possibility to another family. Would you? #AofA"
AspergersKitty: "@AgeofAutism My concern is how dangerous some "cures" are. I wouldn't get a cure myself;but if it was safe I wouldn't stop consenting others"
AspergersKitty: "@AgeofAutism Provided it's safe/science based; a cure is a deeply personal matter for the autistic individual and their family."
AgeofAutism "@aspergerskitty How dangerous is chemo for cancer? Risk/benefit based on severity of diagnosis. Of course safety 1st."
AspergersKitty:"@AgeofAutism Did you really just compare autism and cancer?! Wow. Well,not enough space here,but I will respond in my blog why that is WRONG"
Cancer is a deadly disease; autism is neurological condition that can cause both problems and benefits. I understand there are people severely affected by autism who need help. But risking death in order to treat autism is just not okay. Those with severe forms of autism are most in need of people's protection from dangerous therapies based on lack of scientific evidence.
It frustrates me when groups like Age of Autism and Generation Rescue have an attitude of promoting dangerous treatments. Of course they can say whatever they please, but ethically, there is a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Both groups are in an incredible position of power by being trusted by parents. I wish I'd see them take a stand and say no to dangerous procedures. Just imagine how great it would be to see Generation Rescue, Age of Autism, Autism Society of America, Autism Speaks, and GRASP working together to get support services like respite, speech therapy, occupational therapy, communication devices, and other safe treatments; while taking a stand and saying NO, it's not okay to risk lives with procedures like chelation.
My heart aches when I hear about innocent kids undergoing dangerous treatment. I feel like if I say nothing; it would be standing by while a child is being abused. Because, that's what it is. Risking a child's life on a treatment like chelation is abuse. I know I'll probably get angry mail about this; but why is it okay to do things like this to autistic kids? People would get arrested for doing it to a neurotypical child, why is it okay to do it to an even more helpless child?
One can wish for a world where children are safe from "professionals" and nobody justifies risking their lives for improving a neurological condition.
One can wish.