Previous Post Next Post

Mom

Brought to you by

In Their Own Words: Adults on the Autism Spectrum Speak About Bleach 'Treatment'

By joslyngray |

When Emily Willingham started seeing tweets about the use of Miracle Mineral Solution to “treat” autism, she almost couldn’t stand to read about it. Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), when prepared according to instructions, is chlorine dioxide, a chemical used in treating wastewater and in bleaching wood pulp for paper. It is an industrial-strength bleach.

“I read the headlines and couldn’t stand to click,” said Dr. Willingham, who holds a Ph.D. in biology and is the science editor for The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. “I mean, the headlines say it all, and just reading them was painful. But finally, I read a thorough breakdown of the presentation at AutismOne that started this current brouhaha and the history of applying MMS–a.k.a. industrial-strength bleach solution — at Science-Based Medicine.

“There, I finally forced myself to watch the video of the AutismOne presentation, which was extremely difficult. As I was watching, I was also talking with Jennifer Byde Myers on my Facebook page. In what turned into a 45-comment exchange on Facebook, Jennifer suggested a Change.org petition, and we moved forward with that.”

Both Dr. Willingham and Ms. Myers have children on the spectrum and are among the co-founders of The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Dr. Willingham self-identifies as a woman on the autism spectrum.

Both Dr. Willingham and Ms. Myers feel strongly that AutismOne shouldn’t be endorsing, even implicitly by allowing the presentation at the conference, a product that holds a strong FDA warning.

“We felt that the fact that AutismOne could allow a presentation like that, one that clearly shilled a dangerous, unproven intervention with false claims of ‘curing’ autism, required the attention of federal authorities, both in the US and Mexico,” said Dr. Willingham. “Kerri Rivera, who made the AutismOne presentation–introduced, I add, by a woman wearing a t-shirt that read, ‘MMS ROCKS!’–peddles MMS from where she lives in Mexico.”

When I wrote about Miracle Mineral Solution earlier this week, there was a huge amount of information to sift through. Every time I clicked on another website, I found something else odd: the fact that Jim Humble, creator of MMS, says that the product has been successfully tested on prisoners in Malawi (although the Malawi government denies knowledge of this); that Mr. Humble is also an archbishop in The Genesis 2 Church of Health and Healing; and that for a fee, you can attend a seminar to become either a minister in his church or the holder of the title of D.MMS. — “Doctor of Miracle Mineral Solution.” Those seminars are held in Mexico and Ecuador, probably because practicing medicine without a license is a felony in the United States.

Unless I’m writing a purely opinion piece about autism (such as my open letter to Jenny McCarthy), I strive to include the voices of adults and young people on the spectrum in my posts. I didn’t do that for my first post about MMS, and I see that as a major fail on my part.

I’m rectifying that today. Because many of the children being forced to ingest, bathe in, or receive enemas of MMS are nonverbal, and therefore cannot voice their opinions on this matter, it’s all the more important to hear the thoughts of those who can say what they think.

Below, in their own words, are the thoughts of six prominent, thoughtful, and eloquent adults who happen to have Autism Spectrum Disorders. Having the opportunity to speak with and correspond with these people has been, thus far, the highlight of my work here at Strollerderby. I’m pretty sure I embarrassed myself with my fangirl gushing on the phone with Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Page about his letter to the New York Times last February. (Yes, that’s exactly the kind of geek I am. I get fangirl over letters to the editor.)

And despite my neurotypical status (or “nypical” as John Elder Robison would say), I just may have flapped my hands a bit when Mr. Robison e-mailed me back.

Take a moment to scroll through and read the words of these individuals. If you are a parent of a child on the spectrum, take note of the fact that while they all advocate supporting children and adults with autism with tools to help them navigate the neurotypical world, not one of them wishes to be cured.

Click the arrow to the right of the photo to view the next slide.

nggallery id=’124135′

/
Autistic Adults Speak Out on Bleach 'Treatment'

'There is a broad and powerful industry that profits from telling parents their children are broken.' - Ari Ne'Eman

"We're profoundly concerned about the use of abusive and pseudo-scientific 'treatments' like the one you mentioned. This is part of a long line of similarly dangerous products being marketed to families as autism cures, ranging from chelation, secretin, hyperbaric chambers, and even lupron - the drug used to chemical castrate sex offenders. I think the broader lesson to be drawn here is that there is a broad and powerful industry that profits from telling parents their children are broken and their only hope rests with finding a cure. We need to start challenging that. That's a big part of ASAN's work," said Ari Ne'Eman.

Mr. Ne’eman is the president and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an advocacy organization run by and for autistic adults and youth. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama to the National Council on Disability, making him the first autistic presidential appointee in American history. He also serves as a public member of the Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee within the Department of Health and Human Services.

(Photo Credit: ASAN)

The online petition started by Dr. Willingham and Ms. Myers, asking the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “to order a cease and desist on selling, recommending, or administering Miracle Mineral Supplement, also known as MMS or sodium dichlorite solution (industrial strength bleach), as ‘curative’ for children with autism when used orally, in baths, or in repeatedly administered enemas” is available here.

Joslyn Gray is the mother of four children, two of whom have Asperger Syndrome. Read more from her at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

More from Joslyn:

PSA: Please Do Not Try to Bleach the Autism Out of Your Children
Posing for Playboy Does Not Raise Autism Awareness
Court Decision: Jackson, Miss. Schools Banned From Using Handcuffs as Punishment
DSM-5 Changes Aren’t Limited to Autism; Final Feedback Sought

 

MORE ON BABBLE:

Babble’s 30 best autism Facebook fan pages
Is autism really on the rise? New study says no
Babble names the top 30 autism spectrum blogs
The CDC’s autism rate increase reflected in my house
Why I’m not freaking out about the new autism diagnostic changes

More on Babble

About joslyngray

joslyngray

joslyngray

Joslyn Gray is the mother of four children with a variety of challenges ranging from allergies to ADHD to Asperger Syndrome. She writes candidly and comedically about this and her generally hectic life on her light-hearted personal blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy.. Read bio and latest posts → Read joslyngray's latest posts →

« Go back to Mom

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on Babble.com and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

16 thoughts on “In Their Own Words: Adults on the Autism Spectrum Speak About Bleach 'Treatment'

  1. Angelika says:

    OH MAH GAH! This piece was not only informational, it was inspirational. Thank you for calling attention to the insanity that some parents develope, due to desperation. We need to get these people to understand that giving our kids strategies, skills and coping mechanisms is more important than finding a “cure”!

  2. JulieMiner says:

    This was an amazing and inspiring piece. Thank you.

  3. Yvette says:

    I agree about MMS, it’s horrible. But on the subject of “curing” autism, it makes me sad when highly functional people on the autism spectrum or the parents of kids with Aspergers take offense and decry the efforts of parents to heal children who have severe autism along with any number of digestive, immunological, and neurological problems (such as seizures) that cause their children physical misery and keep them from being who they are made to be (ASD and all). In my limited experience, this is what most of the AutismOne-type of parents are trying to “cure”, not the brain wiring that makes their children unique. I wish there were more clarity about the fact that autism encompasses a wide spectrum of challenges and abilities and one person’s experience with autism is wildly different than another’s. I wish that those who enjoy their own or their children’s “quirkiness” could have empathy for children who are truly suffering along with their autism and the parents who are trying to help them (and not take it as an insult). Of course, it should go without saying, is incumbent on parents to be wise and responsible with the medical interventions they use. I don’t want to start a debate, but would like to encourage respect on both sides of the “cure” issue.

  4. Manjari says:

    Great piece!

  5. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    Wow. That was really well written and interesting.

  6. joslyngray says:

    Thanks, all. The eloquent words here are those of the people I interviewed, not mine. It was truly an honor and a privilege to even interact with such terrific writers!

  7. joslyngray says:

    @Yvette — good point, and well taken.

  8. Lo says:

    Great article and also Yvette’s comments was really good. Now i am reading all the articles i missed and it makes me sad.

  9. Clo2 Truth says:

    Here is the real truth about chlorine dioxide from someone who sells and manufactures it for use world wide for a variety of applications. But to start, Joslyn Gray is absolutely correct. If taken internally, any form it would act and be as damaging as bleach to any living organism. Please do not drink chlorine dioxide. Clo2 is a wonderful surface-air disinfectant, not a pharmaceutical or “medicine”.

    Chlorine Dioxide is however the only documented chemical compound for the replacement of bleach aka”hypochlorite” as the best disinfectant two reasons. 1) It takes very low amounts (parts per million) for very high kills and 2) does not leave dangerous disinfectant by-products (DBP’s) to people, animals or the environment. It is used to clean, deodorize and disinfect surfaces of all kinds in lots of applications: health-care (great for oral rinse), mold-mildew-fungi remediation, agriculture and even odor elimination. It is used in a liquid for or for direct release into the air in the natural gas state.

    I have over ten years experience in labs,manufacturing facilities with professional R&D testing for decontamination results and measuring for DBP’s, no one will ever convince me it was intended for ingesting only for water, waste water and a myriad of other applications. It is an oxidant. Again please, don’t drink disinfectant oxidizers.

  10. Jennifer McIlwee Myers says:

    As a person with Asperger’s who has a younger brother with autism, I believe that living on and around the autism spectrum has given me the wisdom and insight to know that POISONING CHILDREN WITH INDUSTRIAL BLEACH IS BAD.

    Just a thought.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer McIlwee Myers, Aspie At Large
    http://www.facebook.com/AspieAtLarge

  11. Mrs HWT says:

    My husband works in a pulp mill and they have emergency response procedures in place in the unfortunate event that someone’s skin comes in contact with chlorine dioxide. That parents are choosing to dose their children with this chemical is horrifying.

  12. sola bello says:

    all multi -therapeutical approaches in treatment of autism exists because d aetiology of autism is not yet known, so people tends to look for cure especially parents and they falls into trying different methods.Have read many approaches/methods in treating autism but this mms i dont know how this could help a non -verbal child to become verbal,a child who has sensory problem,a child who lacks social intractions. I may be wrong but i strongly believe that the best way to help such children & adult on the spectrum is to teach them the neccesary skills they are lacking so they can live independently not given them chemicals.

  13. autismoe says:

    these ppl that ar doing this ar pure quackery -why not instead lov us the way we are with autism fr we aernt flawed we hav a dferent operating system an its perfect fr us bt hard for the NT werld tu comprehend -this crazy alternative stuff has gt tu stop n before more children sugffr an mor lives ar destroyed wch s why educatiobn n awareness is needed not quaclk cure alls -besides autisms beutiful an i dnt wanaa cure

  14. Marty says:

    As an autistic adult myself, I would like to point out that mine has never been treated at all, and here I am. My mother was loving and supportive, although pressed to her limits at times trying to raise me, my brother and sister on her own. I also have a working knowledge of basic chemistry, and I am personally appalled at parents who not only feel like they can justify the use of an industrial bleach to treat a developmental disorder, but also just as appalled at their assumption that they can “normalise” their children quickly (or at all) with any of these ridiculous treatments.

    The way that autistic children are treated these days, like something that has to be herded into a certain set of conventions of behaviour, is disgraceful – people need to learn how to love the individuals they create. If they want to mould something in their own self-absorbed image, I suggest they take up pottery.

    If the author of this blog should wish in future any further thoughts on these matters from a certifiable Aspie with an agenda of truth, justice, love, and other virtuous objectives, please feel free to contact me at martolives@gmail.com. My own blog is at immaletyoufinish.blogspot.com

  15. Archbishop Jim HUMBLE says:

    Hello, I am Jim Humble, I discovered MMS back in 1997. I then spent several years just studying the chemistry of MMS. Did you know that table salt that all of you use is more than 50% chlorine. If you find out that I am correct does that mean that you will quit using table salt because chlorine is used in 98% of the world’s bleach. Well, MMS is no more bleach than table salt. I HAVE 426 MINISTERS OF HEALTH BRINGING HEALTH TO PEOPLE IN 72 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD USING MMS. I am so sorry to say that all you do with your efforts to convince people that MMS is bleach is hurt hundreds of people and sentence them to great continued suffering or even death that they could have otherwise avoided. All you have to do is to spend a little bit of time reading and studying chlorine dioxide, chlorine and bleach instead of talking from total ignorance of the two subjects, MMS and bleach. They are not the same. Please, you hurt yourselves most of all. Yours in health and love, Archbishop Jim Humble.

  16. Emily says:

    Archbishop Humble,

    I fail to see how your title of Archbishop also qualifies you as a chemist, scientist and medical researcher. If you had an ounce of chemistry knowledge, you’d know that chemicals contain all sorts of things and that the way in which they are bonded and interact with the body’s molecules and cells determine how harmful they are. I am surprised that you took the time to find out that Chlorine is in table salt, and the fact that it is bonded very precisely with Sodium is what makes it safe to ingest. However, Chlorine Dioxide is harmful because of its unstable electrons that make it highly reactive and highly combustible. It is extremely efficient at destroying bacteria, and had you educated yourself in the absolute basic knowledge of Biology, you may have come to find that the human bowels have good bacteria (gut flora) that are essential for the health of the body in immune function and prevention of harmful bacterial infection. Your treatments have already proven volatile and have caused many to become sick and injured. You have not killed anyone yet, but when the day comes that a poor soul must suffer and die from your carelessness, I sincerely hope that you finally realize the disgusting selfishness that plagues your soul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post

The Daily Babble