Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

5/21/08

If you read nothing else today...

It should be this! Kev (LeftBrain/RightBrain) continues to do an outstanding job reporting on the Autism Omnibus hearings. Specifically today on Elizabeth Mumper's (medical director for DAN/ARI and founder of the Rimland Centre) testimony.

Some highlights: If you are testifying & referencing a study for a statistic (to support your beliefs), make sure those statistics are actually in the study! How accurate is the Porphyrin test (especially with regard to results in both autistic and non-autistic children), and does it detect mercury in the brain? Do not miss this!

Something interesting I came across was this: Dr. Mumper states she has never treated a child for mercury poisoning. Which, is somewhat startling to me, seeing as she is a DAN! doctor. I came across a few things that made her statement all the more puzzling. Here, from a vaccinetruth.org:

Chelation Use in Autism Spectrum Disorders

The role of heavy metals such as mercury in autism has been heavily debated, and many parents are turning to chelation as a potential treatment. Dr. Elizabeth Mumper presented her findings from treating children at the Advocates for Children Pediatric Clinic in Virginia.

She reports that she has treated 280 children with autism who showed altered metabolism of porphyrins in blood and urine. She uses this disruption in porphyrin levels as an indirect marker for heavy metal exposure, and in addition noted that these patients show a disruption in the methionine synthase pathway, also measured in urine and blood. In addition to chelation therapy, children receive vitamin supplementation to compensate for possible loss of essential metals lost during succimer treatment.

Although no statistical analyses were conducted on the effectiveness of chelation therapy in children with autism, Dr. Mumper has cited positive responses from parents who report an improvement of symptoms following oral succimer chelation therapy as part of the DAN! protocol.
And then here, on the DAN/ARI website, scroll down to the box at the bottom and read the "Treatment Options for Mercury/Metal Toxicity in Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities: Consensus Position Paper." You will see that Dr. Mumper was one of the signed physicians on this paper.

So, let's see--it would appear she believes in Mercury/Metal Toxicity, has trea
ted 280 children who she claims had markers for "heavy metal exposure," and that these children's parents have "cited positive responses" from her treatment. I'm curious if all of those parents realize that Dr. Mumper was treating their child for a "diagnosis" (heavy metal exposure) based on a test that she now states does not provide any evidence that mercury is in the brain.

I also wonder if all of those 280 sets of parents (or the many more that have been "treated" since) believed their children were not being treated for mercury poisoning. This idea, of mercury poisoning, is plastered throughout the DAN/ARI and Generation Rescue websites. In fact, many of the parents and activists affiliated with DAN, Generation Rescue, et al refer to autism as "mercury poisoning."

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