MAR 07, 2017 4:33 AM PST

False Claims About a Cure for Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both names for a group of symptoms, syndromes and disorders of the brain. They can affect development, socialization and sometimes present with physical as well as emotional and behavioral symptoms. Autism looks different in almost every person that has it. Because it can manifest is so many different ways, the saying goes, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” That is why it’s referred to as a spectrum; there is a wide range of disorders involved and each patient is unique in how they appear. 

While it may look different in different patients, it’s common for those who have autism to have difficulty with social interaction, verbal and non-verbal cues, communication and repetitive behaviors like hand flapping or other self-stimulating movements. It’s incredibly stressful for parents and families who have a child diagnosed with autism. Special education services, behavior therapy and other interventions are needed and it’s a lot to handle. Adding to the stress is that there is no known cause or cure. That doesn’t stop some organizations from offering up false hope however. 

It’s been known for quite some time that a particular treatment called “Miracle Mineral Solution” is not a cure for autism, but rather a dangerous mix of chemicals and distilled water that can be lethal. Recently, claims about its ability to cure autism and other diseases as well have been cropping up again. Current legitimate research has pointed to a connection between the gut microbiome and autism and this is a possible reason that the MMS claims are again making the rounds.  The claims come mostly from an online organization called The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. While the group is legally an online church, it bills itself as “non-religious.” 

The group is led by founder Jim Humble. Humble currently lives in Mexico but in his role as the leader of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing he has promoted MMS worldwide as a cure for autism encouraging parents to give it to their children to “purge” the autism from their systems.  The directions for the treatment instruct parents to mix the solution with an acid like lemon or lime juice. The problem with that is the main ingredient in the solution, sodium chlorite, converts to chlorine dioxide when mixed with acid. Chlorine dioxide is an industrial-strength bleach. When ingested, as Humble directs his followers, either orally or via an enema, the result is vomiting, diarrhea and eventually dehydration. Humble explains that this is how parents will know the treatment is working and their bodies are expelling the autism. Health Canada and the FDA have both issued warnings about the product and in the UK, the BBC did an expose on the claims made by groups that were selling the product. The video below goes into more detail about the product and how dangerous it is, take a look

Sources: ABC News , BBC, Health Canada, Food and Drug Administration 

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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