In a miraculous show of scientific rigour and common sense, PETA has begun to advocate for autism.
Except in typical PETA fashion, they have let a complete quack write a highly insulting and inaccurate take on autism.
Now the thing is autism is a problem because it is an idiopathic disease. In that we just don’t know what definitively causes it. Oh we know childhood and foetal infections can cause it. Rubella for example causes neurological developmental disorders that manifest as autism. The thing to remember is autism is a clinical behaviour diagnosis rather than a definitive one. It takes time and indeed some kids are false positives. Kids have behavioural issues and learning difficulties who are initially diagnosed as autistic but grow into appropriate developmental stages.
Now there are pro-autism people who decry such language but frankly? The developmental stages are a rough guide for us to detect neurological issues. Countless lives are improved thanks to these and many children have long and healthy lives due to the early detection of neurological depression and retardation and the correction of these. For example? Cretinism. Missed mileston, thyroid testing = Early thyroxine therapy = no more missed milestone and full and healthy development.
The Indigo Child attitude to autism harms children because it encourages the notion that children with a health issue are normal and so they don’t seek tried and tested methods of therapy. I think the neuroatypical child being portrayed as “Special” harms them by ignoring foibles. It is a lie parents tell themselves because no one wants to have a sick child. The fact is autism need not be a disease. Medication and therapy lets most lead a normal and healthy life. In fact the current theory is that we always had autistic kids. We just thought those kids were a bit weird growing up and grew up just fine when treated normally and their little foibles were adjusted for.
But PETA? PETA are now utilising the common autism fear to flog their own bullshit. Autism is caused by vaccines? Nah! Autism is caused by non-vegetarianism!
Ladies and Gentlemen? That sound you just heard was Ed Brayton fainting.
Autism is a brain disorder that causes sufferers to have extreme difficulty communicating and relating to others. It is often marked by anti-social behavior like screaming and obsessive repetition of actions, which takes an enormous emotional toll on sufferers and their families. PETA has created a billboard to alert the public to the connection between this devastating disease and dairy-product consumption.
Okay, sort of a depiction of autism at its most severe.
But that response? PETA has created a billboard to drum up fear and push for veganism through.
More research is needed, but scientific studies have shown that many autistic kids improve dramatically when put on a diet free of dairy foods. One study of 20 children found a major reduction in autistic behavior in kids who were put on a casein-free diet (casein is a component of cow’s milk). And another study done by researchers at the University of Rome showed a “marked improvement” in the behavior of autistic children who were taken off dairy products.
The research was done by ARI. Autism Research Institute, slick professional looking website.
That’s the thing. 50% of online information is by slick looking websites. ARI pretends to be legit, expensive website design makes the place look rather spiffy. By contrast? Natural News is designed to look like a small indie operation when it frankly puts out more hits per month than FTB combined.
The first statement about diets from here is to ignore naysayers. And it provides advice to ignore doctors because doctors knew nothing about diets.
Which is hilarious, doctors are taught nutrition. Part of my Social and Preventative Medicine and Paediatrics papers are about diets.
In their report, the AAP found that they could not recommend the use of special diets for children with autism spectrum disorder because of inadequate evidence. The report stated, “Although use of the gluten/casein-free diet for children with ASDs is popular, there is little evidence to support or refute this intervention, and reviewers have determined that meaningful conclusions cannot be drawn from the existing literature.” Similarily the Cochrane Library’s Gluten and Casein-free diets in autism spectrum disorder paper from 2008 indicates no effect on the behaviour or function of individuals on autism. When the parents were aware of allocation they claimed a benefit. When the trial was double blinded there were no significant differences indicating that any improvement due to a diet is entirely due to parents being aware and the placebo effect. As in the parents thinking the child has improved when the situation is the same.
Another systematic review shows that there is no support fro such diets in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. And that the stigmatisation, diversion of resources and reduced bone thickness as a side effect is not great.
The ARI review in particular ignores that the negative results for a Gluten and indeed Casein free diet by ignoring papers. Every double blinded study has shown milk free diets to have no benefit and slight disadvantages to them.
There is absolutely no proper evidence for this bar extremely subjective research from non blinded studies.
The reason why dairy foods may worsen or even cause autism is being debated. Some suspect that casein harms the brain, while others suggest that the gastrointestinal problems so often caused by dairy products cause distress and thus worsen behavior in autistic children.
Regardless of the cause, testimonials show that many people with this disease may be able to find relief with a simple dietary change—removing milk from their diet. The Internet contains numerous heart-wrenching stories from parents of kids who had suffered the worst effects of autism for years before dairy foods were eliminated from their children’s diets. Here is one mother’s story:
Unless your children are allergic to lactose or gluten it is advisable to maintain a normal diet and not force them into fads promoted by PETA. This is the official line of medicine and paediatrics. There are negative side effects to restricted diets in children and they are not advisable for fads.
PETA is incredibly intellectually dishonest here by claiming that “Some” suspect that casein harms the brain which is also a good reason not to drink breast milk then. Added to which vegetarian children generally have low calcium, Iron and Protein and eliminating milk from this is eliminating a cheap source of calcium and protein.
If your child is lactose or casein intolerant then your trained paediatrician will give you a better and more rounded diet that is easier to stick to than PETA’s scare mongering nonsense. ARI may not have its anti-vax ties on the surface but it’s emphasis on quackery certainly empowers it and a quick search leads to articles about mercury toxins which is a common enough argument against the anti-vax when dealing with vaccines.
Then I realized that Miles’ ear infections had begun when he was 11 months old, just after we had switched him from soy formula to cow’s milk. He’d been on soy formula because my family was prone to allergies, and I’d read that soy might be better for him. I had breast-fed until he was 3 months old, but he didn’t tolerate breast milk very well—possibly because I was drinking lots of milk. There was nothing to lose, so I decided to eliminate all the dairy products from his diet. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous. Miles stopped screaming, he didn’t spend as much time repeating actions, and by the end of the first week, he pulled on my hand when he wanted to go downstairs. For the first time in months, he let his sister hold his hands to sing “Ring Around a Rosy.”
Anecdotes, have they considered treating the ear infection? Otitis Media is common in young children because the eustachian tube is short and so ear infections are common. It has nothing to do with diet but due to simple anatomy and physics. Tube connects to throat, a sore throat can trigger an ear infection. That’s more common in babies because they cry a lot opening the eustachian tube and secondly because the tube is shorter.
It isn’t surprising that dairy products may worsen this disease, considering that milk has already been strongly linked to cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other serious health problems. Anyone who wants to alleviate or avoid the devastating effects of autism should give cow’s milk the boot and switch to healthy vegan alternatives instead. To learn more about a diet free of dairy products, order our free “Vegetarian Starter Kit” today.
Cancer! Crohn’s! No I am afraid neither are linked to milk. Crohn’s precipitates lactose intolerance but lactose doesn’t precipitate Crohn’s.
This is shocking behaviour. PETA used to be on my shit list for being the front for Animal Liberation Extremists in particular the charming Camille Marino and her hypocrite brigade from NIO (Hah! Life saved by medical intervention at an ICU grade facility. Only reason she exists to harass students is the animal testing she hates.). This is the respectable face of their hate mail and attacks on anyone involved in medical research.
It is shocking that PETA would throw its hat in the arena on the side of autism quacks who make a quick buck by promising cures to desperate parents that don’t exist. or who push anti-vax ideas.
Eat a balanced diet and buy ethically. That’s more than PETA’s idiotic campaigns to reduce animal testing and meat eating by frankly ludicrous scare mongering. And they want us to take them seriously when they do things like this? Has PETA considered that every time they do something unscientific and silly they lose credibility?
You want to encourage people to be vegetarian? Don’t pretend to be a medical institution and don’t lie about research and don’t make claims that are frankly bullshit and above all? Don’t make claims that harm autistic people.