FDA Warns Parents About Dangerous False Cures for Autism

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2017 | Defective Products

Learning your child has autism is tough for any parent. There are too many things to consider all at once: What is best for my child? Will he learn to read and write? Will she be able to be independent? How will this affect his future? While physicians and experienced teachers can provide parents with guidance, some parents turn to sources that claim they can treat children with autism or even cure them. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding parents that there is no cure for autism and products on the market that claim to be a cure could pose a significant danger to your child.

Fake Cures for Autism Are Serious Health Risks

Some companies make claims that their products can treat an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by improving the effects of the condition, or can cure autism altogether. It is not possible to cure autism at all. An ASD can affect an individual’s social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication, and often results in repetitive behaviors. Children who are autistic can display a range of symptoms and will have unique strengths and challenges. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with an ASD. The symptoms of the condition should only be handled by licensed physicians who can recommend certain types of education and therapy or prescribe medications when absolutely necessary. False cures and treatments not prescribed by a doctor are often substances that could pose serious health risks to children.

False Treatments and Cures to Avoid

The FDA listed a few specific false treatments and cures to watch out for and avoid:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: This is a treatment that has been cleared by the FDA but only for certain, specific medical uses, including treating decompression sickness in underwater divers. It requires the patient to breathe oxygen in a pressurized chamber. It is not approved for use in treating autism and will not benefit a patient with an ASD.
  • Detoxifying clay baths: While detoxifying clay baths may be enjoyable and have emotional benefits for the user, they falsely claim to draw out chemical toxins, pollutants, and heavy metals from the body, leading to improvement in ASD symptoms. This is not true.
  • Products including raw camel milk and essential oils: Many products including raw types of milk and essential oils are marketing as treating autism and ASD-related symptoms. However, they have not been shown to be safe or effective when used as recommended. Raw milk, in particular, could pose a serious health threat.
  • Chelation therapies: These capsules, sprays, suppositories, liquid drops, and clay baths claim to remove toxic chemicals and heavy metals from the body. Some of these therapies have been approved by the FDA for the purpose of treating lead poisoning, iron overload, and other medical conditions. However, no chelation therapies have been approved for treating autism or ASD-related symptoms and they should never be purchased and used unsupervised. Using chelation therapy when unnecessary and without supervision can be life-threatening.

Was Your Child Injured by an Over-the-Counter Product?

If you purchased a product to help with his or her autism symptoms and when used as recommended that product harmed your child, call the experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorneys of The Bettersworth Law Firm. We are eager to help you today.