It’s time to ban abusive autism ‘cures’

Kathleen Lynch has supported Fiona.

The Government is fully aware of abusive and unregulated so-called treatments for autism, but is doing nothing to stop them, writes Fiona O’Leary.

I AM autistic as are two of my five wonderful children.

I am part of a worldwide campaign trying to ban abusive, unlicensed, and unregulated “treatments” being used on autistic children and adults such as MMS, Chelation, HBOT, GcMAF, to name a few. Sadly the list is very long.

These supposed treatments are not proven to help autistic people in any way, neither are they safe, in fact they can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening.

How are these “treatments” permitted in a supposed civilised society? I can invent a “treatment” today, smother it in pseudoscience, market, and profit from it to my heart’s content with nothing to stop me.

The Government is fully aware of these abusive treatments but is doing nothing to stop them.

We do not even have an autism bill. After three years it is still languishing at the committee stage. It is simply not good enough.

Without legislation, these awful “treatments” can be used, with autistic people generally being used as guinea pigs for all sorts of quackery.

It is experimentation on the autistic community. It is hurtful enough to be described as a disease, or a tsunami — language used by the largest autism charity in the world Autism Speaks, which has many links within Ireland.

The negative stigma is well and truly ingrained into society’s perception of autism and this is the root cause of the advent of a cruel biomedical industry dedicated to the eradication of autism.

The public is probably more aware now of the abusive bleach treatment MMS/CD which is being peddled as a “cure” for autism.

Many parents are giving this to their children. It is given both orally and in an enema form.

MMS/CD is chlorine dioxide. It is as strong as industrial- strength bleach.

We also know of professionals advocating this toxic bleach and also freely selling it to parents of autistic children.

Doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, and alternative therapists are known to support this deadly solution.

My worry is that these dangerous “treatments” are in fact being normalised by professionals and being accepted in the medical arena.

We also know of seminars being held by professionals encouraging parents to use these so-called cures.

Many of these professionals are also part of a large anti-vaccination movement which is encouraging parents not to vaccinate their children and are instead offering these dangerous unlicensed “treatments”.

Surely the Government should be concerned that parents are being advised not to protect their children and instead are being offered dangerous alternatives.

Also the public should be aware of the huge amount of money vulnerable parents are handing over.

The quack industry is huge and business is booming. Parents are preyed upon by individuals who only want to profit from their vulnerability without any consideration to the wellbeing of their children.

With increasing media attention over the past year, including coverage in the Irish Examiner and on RTÉ’s Prime Time, you would think that the authorities and the Government would be actively doing something to bring this abuse to an end?

My colleagues and I have been highlighting this abuse for nearly a year now and whilst we have received support from many people including — the Children’s Rights Alliance; Senator Jillian Van Turnhout; TD Clare Daly; the gardaí; Barnardos; Kathleen Lynch; the minister of state for primary care, mental health, and disability; and other TDs who kindly raised this matter in the Dáil several times — we still do not have legislation to ban these so-called treatments.

I call on the minister for health, the minister for justice, and the minister for children to meet with myself and other representatives of the autistic community in a combined effort to deal with this situation once and for all.

Fiona O’Leary is founder of Autistic Rights Together

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