"While I doubt the blog is your cup of tea, I invite you to read a little bit of the Thinking Moms Revolution. The women who write it are clearly articulate and intelligent (even if you disagree with their message) - and many of them are trying to help their children through biomedical approaches. Do you really think they are just poor gullible parents?"
Honestly, I really do. Have you heard of Jim Laidler? He was an educated doctor. He was absolutely convinced these treatments helped his son. He helped run conferences, and even did speaking engagements with Wakefield. He said (and still says) his son showed improvements after they started the treatments from ages 3-4. He did the gluten free diets, the vitamins, minerals, chelation treatments, everything. This is his blog http://www.autism-watch.org/about/bio2.shtml.
In it, he describes how he was so easily duped by it all. He likened the hope that these parents have from these treatments to addictive drugs. He says
"After years of “supplements,” restrictive diets and “unconventional” therapies (too many to list), our boys were improved, but were a long way from being cured. We were forced to carry their special foods with us whenever we left the house, lest a molecule of gluten or casein catapult them back to where we had begun. We were nearly broke, despite both of us having well-paying jobs, and we were on the verge of exhaustion. The beginning of the end was when my wife, suspecting that some of the “supplements” we were giving our older son weren’t having any effect, stopped them all—without telling me. I saw no difference, even after two months (when she finally told me). We had been chasing our tails, increasing this and decreasing that in response to every change in his behavior—and all the while his ups and downs had just been random fluctuation. My eyes began to open."
In the next paragraph he says that on a trip to Disney World is when they stopped all of it except for speech and occupational therapy for both of their sons and saw that they continued to improve at the same rate-or faster, than before.
And I guess this is my point. There are not any peer reviewed studies published in reputable journals that show that any of this makes a difference. There are natural fluctuations in children with autism and it has nothing to do with their diet. I have a younger cousin with autism and I saw him improve drastically with occupational and speech therapy. No vitamins or special diets.
From the Autism Science Foundation :
"Gluten Free-Casein Free (GFCF) Diet: Those who promote gluten (protein found in wheat, rye, and barley products) and casein (protein found in dairy products) free diets claim that children with autism have "leaky guts" that allow opioids to escape into the bloodstream and then travel to the brain and cause autistic behaviors. There is no evidence for this claim, and studies have found that compared to typically developing children, children with autism have no more opioids in their blood. Furthermore, children on the GFCF diet have been found to have lower bone density than controls, which could lead to osteoporosis. A large-scale study of the safety and efficacy of the GFCF diet indicated that children on the diet had similar outcomes to those who were not on the diet."
There are a lot more on that site, if anyone wants to look.
I really feel for parents that have children with autism, I am not an uncompassionate person and I love kids. I just think parents should stick with proven benefits like occupational therapy and not give false hope that these mostly untested therapies will cure their child.