16 Jul 2009

One quack clinic goes, another springs up

I just discovered a new site, Homoeopathy Ireland. It's for a clinic in Wexford claim to specialise in the "leading childhood epidemics of our time: Autism, ADD/ADHD, Asthma and other allergies."

Clearly these are all conditions in which homeopathy has been shown to have no effect whatsoever. But then this form of "medicine" has been shown to help many who have "a vague sense of unease or a touch of the nerves or even just more money than sense" then the homeopaths will be "there for them with a bottle of basically just water on one hand and a huge invoice in the other."

It's rather spooky that I learn of the existence of this clinic claiming to be able to heal the body of autistic children and hence their minds (gak) on the same day I read of the closure of a USA clinic promising much the same kind of quack nonsense and similarly intent on fleecing the well meaning parents of disabled and sick children. The quacks just love to get a bit of that autism pie. BrĂ¼no knows that autism is "in" now, but not because its funny, but because it's a great money spinner for people with all sorts of agendas.

The good folk at Homeopathy Ireland have a post up detailing their philosophy of autism. I've left a comment which has to be approved and which I'll repeat here.

Autism rates are not increasing. Changing diagnostic criteria, broadening of the autism concept, diagnostic substitution, improved services and awareness have all contributed to a perceived increase.

There is no evidence that autistic children have been successfully treated biomedically, and absolutely zero evidence of homeopathy having any kind of benefit in autism or any other non self limiting condition.

“Here, at Homeopathy Ireland we believe that vaccination injury among other variables play a part in autism.”
Your scaremongering about vaccines is not backed by any evidence either, some parents may have a “belief” that vaccines damaged their children but that is not enough. Do you at homeopathy Ireland welcome increased numbers of children suffering the ill effects of preventable infectious diseases also?

Where are these “Studies [that] have shown that 80% of these children have symptoms that suggest gastrointestinal disease”?

Autism is not curable, certainly not with homeopathy/magic water. Autistic children can learn, develop and benefit from sensitive parenting and appropriate education.

“By healing the whole body; the source of the problem, we then heal the mind.”
Prove it.

I have looked further at the effects of homeopathy on autism here.


Jax said...

do you not think that it is also possible that autism rates could be rising slightly as ppl with mild autism or aspergers have more possibility to be successful in a society that includes technological careers such as computer programming, thus meaning that ppl who previously would have been sidelined are now able to be successful and therefore raise families? So if there is a genetic aspect, which I would think there is, that then means there is a greater likelihood of children with ASD in those families?

Genuine question btw, not intended to be confrontational!

Sharon McDaid said...

Thanks for asking Jax. I don't know, but I reckon it's a possibility. Autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen has a theory on selective mating contributing to autism incidence. So perhaps there's something to the geek love idea. I know that me and my husband fit some of the nerd criteria, and so do the parents of many of the autistic people I know. It's not clear if that's just a coincidence though.

The Goldfish said...

Well, as I doubt your comment will be approved at Homeopathy Ireland, I shall approve of it here.

I do so hate it when people, in peddling their wares, target and lie to vulnerable people. Even if you had faith in homeopathy, there are other ways of selling it to people to try to make them feel better! Not to give a weird kind of destructive hope to parents, to make them think they can reasonably aspire for their child to be a different person. Using water.

Sharon McDaid said...

Big waves to The Goldfish! Nice to see you.

I like how you put it in your comment. I have to admit that some days water does drastically alter my children, especially when combined with a little soap.

Liz Ditz said...

Hi from California, Sharon.

This article is somewhat off topic, but to a certain extent addresses Jax's question:

Autism as Academic Paradigm.

Here's a partial quote:

The more complex reality is that there is a lot more autism in higher education than most of us realize. It's not just "special needs" students but also our valedictorians, our faculty members, and yes — sometimes — our administrators.

That last sentence is not some kind of cheap laugh line about the many dysfunctional features of higher education. Autism is often described as a disease or a plague, but when it comes to the American college or university, autism is often a competitive advantage rather than a problem to be solved. One reason American academe is so strong is because it mobilizes the strengths and talents of people on the autistic spectrum so effectively. In spite of some of the harmful rhetoric, the on-the-ground reality is that autistics have been very good for colleges, and colleges have been very good for autistics.

Sharon McDaid said...

Hi Liz, thanks for the link. I will enjoy reading that article properly tomorrow.

Jax said...

excellent article, thanks!

Do'C said...

I always enjoy learning about new websites like this - it's kind of like that nagging curiosity to look at a car accident, even though I should be watching the road.

Homeopathy Ireland doesn't disappoint. Talk about a website chock full of magic and stupid!

Elaine Caul said...

Technically anyone with a degree in Biochemistry, Pharmacology or Immunology etc. can start a homeopathy clinic. This industry isn't really regulated, so no one really needs any medical training. Now that I have my degree, I could open one of these places myself.

I'm someone who has a lot of allergies/eczema. Definitely NOT caused by Autism! My mum suggested to me that since none of the steroid creams actually work anymore that I try some herbal remedies. I read that some researchers at Kings College London tested a sample of 11 Chinese herbal remedies for eczema. 8 of them actually contained steroids. http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/dear-miriam/2008/09/stay-safe-if-you-go-alternativ.html

Natural products my a*se! Just another excuse to cash in on the vulnerability of people.