Chelation is the process whereby chelating agents, chemical powders ingested into the body, remove high levels of toxic metals such as lead and mercury. While the chelation therapy works for these specific ailments, the FDA has not approved the therapy for any other use than what it is recommended for. Extreme cases of chelation overdose have caused severe adverse affects, especially in children.
Still there is a sub cultural movement prevailing that insists on believing that children with autism are the way they are because they were exposed to high amounts of toxic metals, either while in utero or after birth when they were able to crawl around and explore. While it’s certainly true that babies can be exposed to lead, mercury and arsenic in much older homes and apartments that predate the 1980’s cleanup of of these metals in paint and construction materials, there’s no evidence to suggest that autism affects all babies by this route. Certainly, medical ethics prevents us from exposing infants to such harmful toxins to prove it, but not all children with autism have this problem, which clearly points to high blood metal toxicity levels not being the cause of the disorder.
And yet, chelation therapy for these children is touted by this subcultural movement as the autism cure all. It’s an ongoing battle with pediatricians everywhere to try and inform parents that chelation therapy is ONLY for the removal of deadly metals from the blood, not a treatment or cure for their autistic child. Stubbornly refusing to listen parents charge head on into a situation that could prove to be fatal for their children with autism.
“Why,” do you ask, “would anyone take the risk of fatality and do it anyway?” Indeed, it’s preposterous to watch in action. If there aren’t medium to high levels or there aren’t any levels of these toxic metals in the autistic child’s system, chelation therapy will attack the next best thing. That’s the healthy minerals any child needs to function, or any adult for that matter. Urinating or vomiting up or even defecating to the point they have to be hospitalized because their magnesium or potassium levels are dangerously low is just idiocy.
If the child does have medium to extremely high levels of these toxins in his or her blood, a doctor will naturally prescribe the chelation therapy, but only for the length of time needed until the blood work comes back with a more positive outlook. Does it change the child with autism at all to have their blood levels of these toxins reduced? No, not really. An average child suffers the same symptomology as a child with autism does; poor apetite, low weight, slow growth, and a few physical deformities that, over time, correct themselves with therapy. The end result of the chelation therapy in both cases is the same. The child is healthier, eats more, grows better, etc.
Then the question still stands; why would anyone still attempt to do chelation therapy long or short term in the attempt to cure or treat autism? It’s quack medicine when used incorrectly, and the equivalent to snake oil for a broken leg. If a parent is so sure it will help, they need to be certain first that these toxins are even in their child’s blood to begin with. If they’re not, or they’re really low, they run the risk of killing their child by forcing the matter and getting a chelation prescription from the doctor. By the way, parents, even through their own stupidity, can still sue a doctor for writing a prescription they insisted on having when it has negative or fatal side effects. How insane is that?
The FDA has now made it illegal to use chelation outside the recommended parameters inside the U.S., but desperate parents who won’t drop the issue will take their child to another country to attempt this homicidal treatment. These parents really need to take a closer look at their actions and look deep within to see why they can’t accept their children as they are and love them unconditionally as they should.
Abroad, chelation therapy is still in use to treat autistic children. In underdeveloped countries, that’s all fine and good because the women and children are exposed to these toxins all the time. Chelation therapy in some parts of Europe, Russia and the Far East won’t do as much harm or be as fatal there because the blood levels of the toxic metals get flushed out and the child benefits from this anyway. In developed countries, like the U.S.A., it’s just a bad idea all around unless a doctor says it’s really necessary.
This ongoing battle for the rights of the autistic children and freedom from unnecessary medication is the whole focus of the group, “Aspies For Freedom”. Their website has several links to the do’s and don’ts of medicating a child with autism and when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. It’s a very good eye opening site for parents who may be considering chelation therapy because it might just change their minds and save their children’s lives. Parents of autistic children can advocate for their children but should do it in ways that support their child’s uniqueness, not in ways that are trying to “cure” or “fix” them.
As for any pediatrician that is all for chelation therapy, or any other drug for off label use with a child with autism, you might want to have them checked out. Some doctors have been known to receive kickbacks just for prescribing treatments and medications for off label use, making their patients guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical companies. Love your autistic children more than these doctors love perks, and just run the other direction for their own protection.
What about oral chelation therapy or Music therapy for autism?
“Do Children With Autism Spectrum Get Better?“