Friday, 13 April 2018

Homeopathic Treatment of Autism - Evidence #4

Forensic dissection of every UK lay homeopath's online utterances would be incredibly dull to read. A more thematic approach is taken.

Something that does appear in safeguarding guidelines is the issue of vaccination. A child not being up to date with vaccinations, or worse, never having been vaccinated at all is considered a potential sign of neglect. There is research to suggest that autistic children are at greater risk of neglect. Denying a child appropriate medical treatment is neglect.

It is not difficult to imagine an attitude that autistic children are some how of less value and thus less deserving treatment. Neglect due to this kind of indifference and is something that professionals should recognise.

Previous posts have highlighted that homeopaths who claim to treat autism are very anti-vaccination and along with that very against medical treatment. On the face of seeking homeopathic treatment does not look like neglect but it can be. Professionals unfamiliar with homeopathy and in particular treatments such CEASE therapy may not recognise it as such.

Sian Collister
Collister is a member of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (ARH). Collister's website home page offers "Homeopathy for Autism and Vaccine Injury Recovery". She offers CEASE therapy but also talks about Biodynamical Cranio-Sacral Therapy
I am a co-founder of Homeopaths Support Refugees, running day clinics in refugee camps in France and Greece and and supporting homeopathic projects in Kurdistan and Turkey since January 2016.
Additionally she has a sideline in Anthroposophy "inspired" wooden toys.

Collister doesn't say very much about autism or CEASE therapy but offering Skype consultations is concerning. How someone can guage the condition of a child who has potentially has communication difficulties without direct observation and examination is unclear. Offering Skype consultations to international clients is even more worrying. To begin with, there can be language issues. This notionally exists in many medical contexts which is why the NHS offers interpreters as well as publishing information in different languages. In a private setting, interpretation is rarely available and then often as an extra cost. Additionally, a practitioner may have no understanding of how to access other services in the client's locality. UK practitioners may not grasp that access to emergency services in some places can be difficult and or very expensive. And so on. To describe a UK homepath offering Skype consultation as telemedicine lends it too much credence but some of the same legal and ethical concerns do apply. 

However, in the context of CEASE therapy, it could be argued that no real consultation is needed as much of it consists of giving ineffective homeopathic remedies blindly in response to a history of "toxic exposures". This could be done in other ways without the need for an expensive consultation.

Collister has a blog. It has a post about homeopathic detox "reversing" autism. It is not impressive and worrying that the child had been subjected to hyperbaric therapy amongst other things. It mentions that "detox" of steroids was conducted first and then a "Childhood Poly Vaccination detox" which was repeated several times. So, instead of systematically (ahem) dealing with levels of "toxification" as per Smits, Collister treats for all possible ones. This was seen in the previous post with Anna Rayner.

There is another post about "treatment" of an autistic child. What Collister fails to point out is that there were obviously concerns on the part of doctors about maternal exposure to Tuberculosis. BCG vaccination is rarely given in the UK. Likewise with Hepatisis B and vaccination. Too little information is given to make conclusions but very worryingly -
I started Andrew’s treatment with a Bowel Nosode and Tuberculinum and followed this with a Poly Vaccination Homeopathic Detox. Organ support remedies were also prescribed to support the paths of elimination. Andrew was also seeing a nutritionist who had prescribed some supplements as support.
Tuberculinum is a "nosode" - what is made of seems to vary by manufacturer - some say made from TB bacteria but mostly likely from the sputum from someone with TB. Some homeopaths use it as homeoprophylaxis or treatment for TB but it is used for other purpose.
Andrew had a fever several times during the detox, after each fever he seemed slightly better – gained a word, wasn’t as hyper and easily angered. His diet was still limited and his desire for indigestible things continued.
Then worse.
It has been amazing to observe Andrew improve. His parents have trusted his body’s healing ability and allowed him to have fevers without suppressing them. Homeopathy has been gentle yet powerful for this young child.
The blog is difficult to navigate. Collister's website is likely not configured correctly. There are more posts claiming improvement in cases of autism but thankfully, they are likely difficult for the public to access unless they stumble across them via internet search.

Collister is an "advocate for informed consent and co-ordinate the Arnica East Herts Parent Support Network." Put another way, she is part of an organisation that is virulently anti-vaccination and a threat to public health. The Arnica Group disseminates all kinds of bogus information - it is not concerned with "vaccine safety". 

Jennifer Hautman
Hautman is a member of the Society of Homeopaths (SoH) styling herself as "The Essential Homeopath". 
My aim is to empower and teach you to be your own family physician -
to provide you with all the tools you need (including homeopathy and essential oils) and the confidence to use them. 
My mission is to create healers in as many homes as I can.

As discussed in a previous post, Hautman has issues with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) but has no issues with groups run by ScientologistsHautman is also a doula - a non-medical person who helps after the birth of a child, although some will attend birth. Hautman clearly offers this. Hautman is not a member of Doula UK - a voluntary organisation that . Hautman does not state what, if any, training she has had. One thing that is clear is that doulas do not offer medical treatment or advice. Hautman does this in spades as well as attempting to sell all sorts of products to her (potential) clients. Other doulas might find this unethical.

Although the law has been relaxed to allow anyone to attend birth, putting aside competence issues, there are possible implications for liability insurance. Specialist doula insurance does exist, but it would not cover use of therapies. Membership of the SoH requires liability insurance but it would not necessarily cover doula actitivies.

Hautman is a victim of an American multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme. Involvement with doTERRA essential oils does suggest a level of credulity and/or desperation. Most of those involved in MLM schemes fail to make any money. The products are vastly over priced. The importation of these products is legally dubious. doTERRA have been the subject of an FDA warning letter. In the US there are concerns regarding marketing of the products aimed at the parents of autistic children. Hautman offers "training" in the use of essential oils that she charges for. Hautman actively encourages people to sign up for the doTERRA scam.
Although I do not recommend it, you can purchase doTERRA oils retail through me. I highly encourage you to get your own doTERRA wholesale account to save 25% on all product purchases, but if you prefer you can purchase retial here.
Hautman offers "training" in fever. Information on how to treat fever and when to call for medical help is freely available as here on the NHS Choices website. The page links to a dubious paper that speculates autism may be due to suppressing fever (no evidence is provided) but Hautman believes this is proof!
Standard medical guidelines state that fever medicines (anti-pyretics) should not be used to try to reduce a temperature, as this has been found to prolong the duration of the illness, worsen the illness, and lead to an increased risk of allergies, asthma, eczema and autism.
The NHS Choices website actually says "give them paracetamol or ibuprofen if they're distressed or unwell." It also says not to "undress your child or sponge them down to cool them – this doesn't help reduce fever" which is often recommended.
At the end of it all, my aim is to teach you, in a very short amount of time, how to raise happier and healthier children, which will save you from future sick days off work & school, saving you more time & money to spend with your family, and, I hope, saving you from a lot of worry.

So the question is: Can you afford not to buy this course?
Probably. 

Her page on treatment of autism mentions that she practices CEASE therapy. It is deeply anti-vaccination - unsurprising given links for Arnica Group events etc found elsewhere on the website. Involvement with the Arnica Group is problematic for SoH members given that the SoH's stated position on vaccination (which is no longer visible to the public). The page contains a link to the now defunct Foresight Preconception - a spectacularly bogus "charity" whose dodgy hair analysis and vastly over priced supplements were much liked by some homeopaths. There is a link to the seemingly now defunct The Autism Clinic discussed in this article - it offered chelation, hyperbaric therapy and all sorts of dodgy tests. There are plenty of other links to anti-vaccination and bogus therapy websites.

Nowhere does Hautman state whether she has actually treated any autistic children. No mention is made of any "successes" and so on.

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