To Test or Not to Test-

Is that the question??

Autism is very much a hot button topic these days. News reports, celebrity books and advocates as well as an increase in cases diagnosed place autism in the news on almost a daily basis. Today I ran across the article titled Experts Argue Over Push to Test Autism Treatment and found it to be very thought provoking read.

Many parents of autistic children are considering a treatment called chelation, which removes heavy metals from the body, due to anecdotal reports of success from other parents. The medical and scientific community has not previously tested or endorsed this treatment for children and are hesitant to do so because of the risks involved.

This article, like many before it, highlights the growing discontent and disconnect between the medical community and the families of autistic children. As a person with a good friend who is a scientist and myself being an educator, I see both sides of the dilemma.

This article illustrates the fact parents are becoming are willing to do whatever it takes to potentially help their child and, while the medical community may see the issue of autism differently, something needs to change. It is tragic to think of the number of families that may subject their children to unsafe procedures and practices based on a glimmer of hope. But if that hope is all they have, what choices are they being given?

It is time for the medical and scientific community to put more resources and research into autism treatments. Clearly there is a need and with so many families forced to fend for themselves, a troublesome situation is brewing.

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