A.I.M. Statement On Autistic Cures

There is no cure for autism. Autism is a neurological difference, not an illness, a vaccine injury, a disease or a curse, and as such we cannot and never will support using untested and unregulated substances on autistic people.

We understand that when a child is diagnosed as autistic, many parents want to find out as much as they can about it and turn to the internet, where unfortunately they can fall prey to misinformation and deception by “quack” therapists. We strongly encourage parents of newly-diagnosed autistic children to stick to therapies and treatments that are backed up by scientific research, and prescribed by doctors who are registered with a licence to practice by the General Medical Council (GMC). Medications and treatments available on the Internet are not regulated and can be extremely harmful.

As recently as October 2016, a four year old autistic boy was hospitalised in the UK after being given a cocktail of supplements and alternative therapies by his parents on the advice of a naturopath, including MMS, camel’s milk, silver and Epsom bath salts[1].

There are many “cures” for autism touted including:

Chelation – a treatment used for heavy metal poisoning, where a substance is injected into the bloodstream to remove the heavy metals. It has been used to try and “cure” people of autism, based on the false information that autism is caused by Thimerosal (a mercury-containing compound) in the MMR vaccine. In fact, the MMR vaccine does not contain Thimerosal and never has. Dr Andrew Wakefield first made a link between the MMR and autism in 1998[2], and very quickly his research findings were shown to be fabricated and fraudulent, and his research methods unethical and unscientific[3]. He was later struck off by the GMC and banned from practising medicine in the UK. In 2005 a British 5 year old boy was flown to the USA by his parents for Chelation therapy, and died during the procedure as a result.

Chlorine Dioxide (CD)/ Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)/ Patriot Water – This is bleach, and is also used in other spheres to clean swimming pools and bleach wood pulp. Proponents advise that MMS should be taken via oral solutions, inhalation, intravenous injection and enemas–this can cause stripping of the bowel, loss of intestinal tissue and colon mucosa. Other side effects are nausea, rashes, nose bleeds, dehydration, pink urine, green stools and seizures, pain and cramps.

MMS is now an unauthorised medicine in Ireland and is banned in Canada and Spain. In the UK it is not advised for use by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).

GcMAF (Globulin component Macrophage Activating Factor) – This is a blood product that occurs naturally in the body but is dangerous in excess, when it suppresses the immune system and can cause side effects such as nausea, bowel disturbance, rashes, headaches and fatigue.

Turpentine – This is the substance commonly used to clean paint brushes. It causes nausea, rashes, bowel disturbance and fatigue.

Camel’s milkThis is touted as an autism “cure” in its unpasteurised form, but has been shown to cause a respiratory virus known as MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in humans[4].

Other “treatments” that we advise against are:

We do not encourage the use of compliance-based therapies such as ABA, because they focus more on forcing autistic children to act like neurotypical children rather than honouring their inherent differences[5] and accepting that their developmental timeline will be different[6] to that of neurotypical children.

We do not advise restrictive diets such as the gluten- and/or casein-free diet unless you have been informed it is necessary by a qualified dietician due to allergies.

Individuals on the autistic spectrum can be assisted using therapies and activities such as:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Drama Therapy
  • Support Animals
  • Equine Therapy and Animal Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Sensory Integration

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us here at AIM.


[1] Fenton, S. Autistic boy hospitalised after receiving holistic treatment to “cure” condition. The Independent, 6th October 2016. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/autistic-boy-hospitalised-after-receiving-holistic-treatment-to-cure-condition-a7348671.html

[2] Wakefield et al (1998) RETRACTED: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. The Lancet 351: 637-641.

[3] Sathyanarayana Rao TS, Andrade C (2011). The MMR vaccine and autism: Sensation, refutation, retraction, and fraud. Indian Journal of Psychiatry 53(2): 95-96

[4] WHO (2015). Frequently Asked Questions on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). http://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/faq/en/

[5] Ryan, B (2013). The Cost of Compliance is Unreasonable http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2013/02/the-cost-of-compliance-is-unreasonable.html

[6] Miller-Wilson, K. Autism Developmental Stages. http://autism.lovetoknow.com/diagnosing-autism/autism-developmental-stages

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