There’s a new study, reported in the LA Times (and elsewhere), that a rare form of autism that is accompanied with epilepsy is treatable with drug store supplements. Or something to that effect.
I admit, I haven’t read the study. I don’t need to – I know the effect it will have. We’re going to see protein-diets, with protein-moms arguing online about what kind of protein cured their kids. Great.
Sure, if this study found something that helps people with their lives, helps with epilepsy, in some cases, that’s a great finding. I will note that the study is missing one key element: people – it tested mice, which while similar to some people (oh, sorry, I was thinking rats, not mice), aren’t exactly people. So they have a way to go. That’s assuming it’s not another bogus study about an autism cure, like the precursor to the last 10 or so fads in autism “treatment”.
Personally I have little tolerance for this type of thing. Oh, no, not little tolerance for helping people with epilepsy, but rather how this will be clung to by some as their hope, while they give kids who don’t have these genetic sequences a bunch of dietary supplements (or, worse, completely screw with the kid’s diet unnecessarily). I’m assuming the study found something real – only time will tell there (and a bunch of autistics who know science way better than me will rip it apart in a few days if it’s bogus anyhow). I also note that the researchers say this isn’t a general cure for autism (and probably say they aren’t even sure it’s a cure for whatever type of autism they are curing). But it will be treated that way by many – mark my words.
We don’t need quack cures. We need to have a say in our lives. We need a place in society – whether we get cured or not. We should be able to have some control, some ability to live our own dreams. That’s where I’d like to see the attention. Not a bunch of people who will be sure that their kids have that genetic sequence and will be cured by a bunch of who-knows-what purchased at the local health food store.