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Monday, February 19, 2018

Bleach and Autism

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss autism quackery.  One particularly dangerous "cure" involves bleach.

WDBJ in Indianapolis:
An Indianapolis father accused his wife of feeding their child bleach to help cure her autism, according to a recent police report.
The report says the mother was putting drops of hydrochloric acid and water purifying solution (which contains chlorine) in her child’s drink. The man says his wife told him she read about the mixture online in a Facebook group. The mother reportedly identified the mixture as the "miracle mineral solution.”
According to IMPD, the Department of Child Services is currently investigating the case and has removed the child from the home.
The miracle mineral solution claims to be a cure-all for anything ranging from cancer to hepatitis and even aids. However, health officials, including the FDA, have warned the product is little more than bleach.
Officials at the Applied Behavioral Center for Autism say it’s common for parents to search for home remedies to cure autism.
“Taking things into their own hands is something that many parents have done out of desperation, out of hope,” president and founder Sherry Quinn said.
Abby Haglage at Yahoo:
Myths abound in the autism world — and, thanks to the internet, those myths travel.
Whether it’s a company touting concentrated oxygen chambers as a cure or a doctor erroneously claiming the condition is caused by vaccines, the many misconceptions about autism cater to parents who are desperate for answers. At best, they muddy the truth about the developmental disorder that affects one in 68 kids nationwide. At worst, they put those kids in danger.
That’s what happened most recently in Indiana, when a mom allegedly gave her daughter drops of a “bleach-like” concoction that she read online was a “cure” for autism. According to local Fox news, the unnamed mother told her husband she got the idea from “a Facebook group” that referred to the liquid as the “miracle mineral solution” or MMS.
This “miracle mineral solution” is a myth that has existed for some time; it pops up regularly in online antivaccination discussions. For instance, MMS interpreted as “master mineral solution” is favored by a woman named Kerri Rivera, a controversial Chicago native who now runs a nonprofit clinic in Latin America that purports to “cure” autism. In 2012 at a yearly conference called Autism One, Rivera announced MMS as the “missing piece to the autism puzzle,” one that she claims allowed “38 children to recover in 20 months.” Her website now claims that MMS has cured 235 children, as of October 2016.