By Scott Shoemaker
Last week, it was announced that the parents of a child who died almost 2 years ago while undergoing chelation therapy were suing the doctor who administered the treatment for wrongful death. You can find the article here.
There are events in our lives like the 9-11 attacks where everyone can remember what they were doing when certain events take place. Two years ago, this sad, unfortunate and rare event was one of those days for me. The death of a child is a horrible thing, but being the parent of a child that was diagnosed on the spectrum that was using a different form of this treatment, it hit closer to home than for most parents.
So what happened?
Apparently, there was a mixup of medications that were used. The child was most likely given Disodium EDTA instead of Calcium Disodium EDTA, and it was a matter of grabbing the wrong bag off of the shelf or mislabeling. The chelating agent that was used stripped the calcium from the child’s body causing heart failure. This should not have happened if Calcium Disodium EDTA was used.
There are risks and potential side effects with most treatments and drugs for serious illnesses including medical mixups. Chelation has been used to treat metal poisoning for over 50 years. In that amount of time, there have been very few deaths reported considering the length of time that it has been around. It is amazing to me the amount of attention that this story received when medical mixups happen all the time. And, there is hardly any attention given to the number of children who die a year from taking prescription drugs such as Ritalin for neurological disorders.
When my son was diagnosed with autism, I was amazed when I looked at the similarities between autism and mercury poisoning. I spoke to parents across the country that told similar stories of how their children seemed to drop out of their world after a round of vaccines. Some of these same people also told me of the success that they were seeing from chelation therapy.
After doing my own research, I believed that my son was metal poisoned, and I decided to treat him for it. I thought that it would be foolish not to try it if others were having success. In a sense, I did not even feel as if I was using chelation to treat “autism” although that was the “official” diagnosis by two separate teams of professionals. I had to think of it in terms of treating my son for metal poisoning in order to be comfortable with it.
We used transdermal DMSA (TD-DMSA) on my son that (at the time) was newly developed by the Lee Silsby Pharmacy in Cleveland, Ohio. To this day, it was one of the best decisions that we have made to date in treating our son, and has created the most drastic results.
At first, I was a little skeptical as to whether it would work, but I remained open-minded because I had spoken to other parents that had seen success with it. I will not get too much into detail as I have posted some details of our initial experiences with chelation on Pat Sullivan's blog. I will say that after only a few months of chelation therapy, my son went from basically non-verbal to speaking in complete sentences. He regained eye-contact, stopped his daily vomiting that had been going on for several months and lost between 60-70% of his “autistic” symptoms in only a few months. I decided to sit down with the video camera the night before we started to get a baseline of my son’s behaviors, and have since video taped a drastically different child.
Many people will say that it was some of the “other” behavioral therapies that allowed my son to recover so much of what he had lost in such a short time. That is a valid argument, except for the fact that to this day, he has never had any behavioral interventions. In fact, chelation was the only biomedical intervention that was used for my son for the first 5 months of treatment when he made the majority of his gains.
There needs to be more independently funded research on the effectiveness of chelation therapy and environmental factors as being a possible cause for at least some types of autism. Almost 1 billion dollars has been earmarked for autism research, and to date, there has been very little independent research done by individuals/organizations having no conflict of interest in the outcome of the studies looking into these causes, in particular, the cumulative effects of vaccines.
My son’s case, is a clear case that at least some types of autism could very well be caused by toxic metals. The doctors and therapists that have watched the video that I have produced are confused and have no explanation as to how a child could change so drastically without “proven” behavioral therapies like ABA. Isn’t it time that we throw some of our tax dollars out there, work together, and get to the bottom of this epidemic and put a stop to it? With autism rates climbing to more than 1 out of 1 in 150 children affected, and as many as 1 in 6 children developing a neurological disorder (or ND), no avenue should be left unexplored.
My child was going downhill on a daily basis until the very weekend that we started chelation. He immediately responded to the treatment and made unbelievable progress. After only that first weekend, he never spun himself in circles again, which used to be a daily occurrence. Is this the magic bullet that will help all kids that exhibit “autistic” symptoms? Maybe not, but I cannot imagine the type of life my son would be leading if I had never tried it.
Scott Shoemaker is the father of an autistic child. He lives in Ohio.