Just because we can… doesn’t mean we should.

I’m always nervous when I receive an email that says, “Did you see this?” usually followed by many exclamation points or question marks or both.

It usually means that I’m about to read something upsetting – and in this case it did!

The article began with the words “Horrifying new cure” followed by the line

“some parents are trying to reverse autism by giving their children toxic miracle bleach enemas!” The article then detailed the use of a product which contains chlorine dioxide – a mix of sodium chlorite and citric acid. I did a little research, because I’m always skeptical about these things and found that in fact this does exist and is being used by some to reverse the effects of autism.

I’m very familiar with the use of enemas (not bleach, just regular saline).  Having a daughter who is paralyzed and requires enemas, I know them to be uncomfortable and painful at times.  We hate giving them to her and wish for other options, but this has worked for her and she’s never had bowel issues – thank God. We use this purely for bowel regulation!

So to think that a person would use bleach in an enema and give this to their child is hard for me to understand. I can only guess that these parents must feel desperate to want to help their child – but just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. I should also say that the FDA has warned against this product and that there is no scientific evidence that this is an effective treatment for autism. It has caused vomiting and diarrhea and is an irritant to the skin and tissue! My son with ASD is 31 years old. I have seen my share of therapies – some very good, some that make me say, “seriously” (like this bleach one!)

I also know many parents who feel that unless they turn over every stone, try everything out there, they won’t feel they’ve done enough for the child.

But I can’t help but feel that at some point in time, we have to look critically at what’s being offered and ask ourselves if this will truly help; should we be doing this?

I know my husband Bob and I reached that point when we were offered therapy that we felt just wasn’t right for Nick – it went against how we felt he should be treated.

These are very personal decisions that each family faces. What angers me is that there are individuals, and companies that prey on the vulnerability of parents, knowing parents will do all that they can to help their children. They dangle these things in front of us – with a hint of hope that it may work and a hint of guilt should we say no.

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