Some behavioral and cognitive therapies have proven effective in dealing with autistic patients, but to this day there is no approved drug to treat this disease, so what makes many people resort to unsafe treatments?
In a report published in the French newspaper LeFigaro, author Laure Daziniere says that about 8,000 children with autism are born every year in France, and in the absence of a drug treatment for this disease, many families fall prey to all kinds of false treatments.
The author quotes the head of the Department of Pediatric Psychiatry at Robert-Debré Hospital in Paris, Professor Richard Delorme, as saying, “We must realize that we have been wrong in dealing with autistic people for decades.”
“Decision makers have a frame of reference for treatment based on psychoanalysis, and even when science develops and new treatment strategies emerge, many people insist on their opinion that nothing can relieve symptoms in children with autism,” Delorme added.
By providing many consultations, Professor Delorme is well aware of the plight of families whose children suffer from this disorder, and says, “Often autism represents a real crisis within the family, both psychologically and financially, and parents find themselves in a very precarious situation. This explains why some people tend to experience this problem. Other methods, or consulting doctors who recommend dangerous and unproven treatment strategies. “
This was the case with Estelle Astverley, the mother of baby Alan, a 15-year-old autistic boy, who underwent one of these unsafe clinical trials.
“When Alan was 7 years old, we had a very difficult time,” Estelle says. “He had difficulty speaking and was acting violently.”
The mother added, “I read a press interview with a doctor who said he can treat children with autism. After a little searching on the Internet, I called him and he told me about a microbial treatment.”
After the consultation, the doctor prescribed a number of medications and antibiotics, and made some recommendations.
“Alan’s condition worsened, and he became thin, pale, and tired, and was in pain. The doctor was telling me that I had to continue, and that it was normal for Alan’s body to detoxify. I continued to follow the recommendations but his condition got worse, so I stopped. It took more than 6 months for him to come back.” Alan to his usual state. “
Estelle later realized that her son was a testing ground for those clinical treatments that had not received any clearance from the National Agency for Medicines Safety.
“They wanted to do their experiments long term, without the slightest consideration of the patient’s condition. There was no serious treatment, no follow-up, and it never crossed my mind that they were working without a license,” she says.
Journalist Olivia Catan listened to dozens of testimonies similar to what happened with Alan and his mother, which she included in a book she wrote on autism. In her book, Katan states that these “mind-manipulating doctors” give false information and test all kinds of drugs, including antibiotics, alcohol and cocaine addictions, and anti-parasites.
In the book, Kattan talks about a “brutal” clinical trial conducted in 2011 in an educational medical institute by a Chronimed physician. Testimonies of thousands of children who were subjected to uncontrolled treatments across Europe were also quoted.
On September 15, the French Agency for the Security of Medicines and Health Products announced that it had contacted the Public Prosecutor regarding a number of doctors prescribing antibiotics for children with autism.
Olivia Catan explains that this step is the result of great efforts made during the past period to address such practices, and says in this regard, “SOS Autism Organization in France has published an alert online on the website of the National Agency for Medicines Security, and health products warning. One of those alleged remedial methods. “
But Chronimed’s methods are only the tip of an iceberg, as the author says, as these new therapeutic methods, which mainly revolve around what is known as “biomedicine”, have become very popular during the last period, especially on social media, and have become a “haven” for parents who are exhausted What their children suffer from problems and pain due to autism.
And Olivia Catan believes that parents resort to these treatments in search of quick solutions, and some of them subject their children to strict diets and some dangerous drugs, while doctors benefit from this through analyzes, consultations and the sale of nutritional supplements, and autism turns into a real business.
The author asserts that some are promoting the idea of treatment by adopting “anthroposcopic medicine” (medicine of human wisdom), which is a mixture of myths, philosophies and myths, according to the author.
For his part, Professor Delorm admits that there is a failure to spread awareness among parents to avoid the dangers of these therapeutic methods. In this context, he says, “We need a website that gives parents the opportunity to obtain unified reliable information, enriches their scientific culture, and makes them more cautious.”