Letter to the Editor sent to the Journal News
Regarding their Series on Autism
Parents and Health Care Professionals on Autism
series of articles on Autism that appeared in the Sunday 11-16 edition were
informative and helpful to parents and health care practitioners, but failed to
cover some important issues relating to this dreaded condition.
The incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders has clearly increased
dramatically over the past few years and this increase is not just due to better
awareness or better diagnostics methods: the increase is real and serious and
may relate to environmental factors and what we are doing to our children.
organization that has sponsored clinical research on helping children with
autism since 1967 is the Autism Research Institute, founded by PhD Psychologist
Bernard Rimland, whose son is autistic. Since 1995, this Institute has sponsored
a project known as “Defeat Autism Now” or DAN, whose philosophy about autism
differs from that of most mainstream physicians.
The DAN philosophy is that “Autism and related problems are the
symptoms of dysfunction of the neural, immune and/or digestive systems which
occurs in individuals genetically sensitive to such factors as sub-optimal
nutrition, food intolerances, microbial overgrowth and toxins. Appropriate
treatment entails identifying and alleviating the problems causing the symptoms
in that individual, rather than merely attempting to suppress the symptoms
through the use of psychoactive drugs.”
a better understanding of this approach, I recommend the following website for
articles, fascinating videotapes that can be viewed online, information about
past and future DAN conferences that are attended by parents and health care
practitioners, PowerPoint presentations from DAN conferences, listings of health
care practitioners using the DAN approach and much more: www.autism.com/ari/dan/contents.html.
One of the most important topics
covered is the very controversial role of vaccines (and especially mercury
containing vaccines) in the development of autism.
DAN participants are physicians whose children have been diagnosed with autism
and who have been able to help their children immensely using the DAN
philosophy, recommended diagnostic tests and treatment modalities, after
conventional treatments methods have failed.
The DAN approach is used in conjunction with the educational methods
discussed in your articles, resulting in much more help for the autistic child.
urge anyone (parent or health care professional) interested in helping the
autistic child to visit the website previously mentioned and begin to learn how
to DEFEAT AUTISM NOW!
B Schachter, MD, CNS, FACAM
Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine