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An evidence-based resource for journalists

Autism News Beat header image 2

The greatest story never told

June 2nd, 2008 · 7 Comments · Critical thinking, Kudos

The UK’s Daily Mail goes where no major American media outlet has dared to go: The Great Autism Rip-Off … How a Huge Industry Feeds on Parents Desperate to Cure Their Children.

There is little hope given to parents of children with autism. Mainstream medicine offers no explanation for the cause of this life-long learning disability, thought to affect one in 100, and there are no effective treatments.

Perhaps the most cruel characteristic of the condition, which impairs communication development and ability to relate to others, is that children often develop normally until about two years of age, when they suddenly ‘regress’, becoming mute, withdrawn, refusing to make eye contact and prone to tantrums.

Many never take part in mainstream education and some require full-time care, even as adults.

In the absence of solutions, desperate parents are increasingly turning to the world of alternative medicine in their search for a cure.

In this burgeoning market, private doctors and clinics have sprung up across the UK claiming they can treat or even ‘reverse’ the disorder.

Recent research published in the Journal Of Developmental And Behavioural Paediatrics found that a third of parents of autistic children have tried unproven ‘alternative’ treatments.

Worryingly, the study claims one in ten has used what the experts class as ‘a potentially harmful approach’

Read the whole thing



7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ms. Clark // Jun 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    That article is amazing. The editors obviously were totally behind this article. Someone paid a lot of money for the reporter to go visit these DAN! doctors for the consultation. Now it’s time to do the same here in the US.

  • 2 Emily // Jun 2, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    One of the best I’ve seen. They really did their homework and reported clearly, without hyperbole. Nice work.

  • 3 laurentius-rex // Jun 2, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Not that the daily mail is any more responsible than any other section of the scurrilous media, they are all part of the same machine of control and oppression after all.

  • 4 Lisa // Jun 3, 2008 at 5:50 am

    thought you’d enjoy that one!


    Lisa (

  • 5 Liz Ditz // Jun 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    This is especially welcome for two reasons:

    Kirby’s infestation of the UK, and the “green vaccine” rally in Washington.

  • 6 isles // Jun 5, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I can think of a few DAN!s who should be secret-shopped!

  • 7 Science-Based Medicine » Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and “Green Our Vaccines”: Anti-vaccine, not “pro-safe vaccine” // Jun 9, 2008 at 5:54 am

    […] of, and the best example of corollary are parents who have been misled by the pseudoscience of the cottage industry of autism quackery that depends on the belief that vaccines cause autism. Couple that with the arrogance of ignorance, […]

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