Can raw camel milk, clay baths or essential oils treat autism? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of a number of companies peddling these products. It warns families of the dangers of its fake autism treatment claims.
The FDA updated its product beware page on its official site on Wednesday, April 12. The agency cited emerging products from several companies advertising an autism cure have not undergone tests. The agency cannot guarantee these products as safe and effective.
The FDA already sent warnings to companies concerned for their improper product claims. The only FDA-approved treatments, for symptoms of autism at that and not the general disorder, are antipsychotic medications like risperidone (Risperdal) and aripripazole (Abilify), as per Disability Scoop.
"The history of autism is basically a history of quack interventions because so little has been known about autism at a biological level," autism advocate Steve Silberman said, per Kansas City Star. Silberman heard all the fake autism treatment claims before and some products are even "incredibly expensive and dangerous."
Peddlers of fake autism treatments targeted desperate parents who want their kids to reverse their disorder. Silberman said there are indeed some moms or dads willing to spend a lot of money on these alleged autism cures even without clear proof it works.
Jason Humbert of the FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs said parents shouldn't rely on personal testimonies usually attached to these products' marketing. Its "scientific breakthroughs" and "secret ingredients" might likely be hoaxes as well.
Quick fixes and "miracle cures" for autism are not the answers. Autism symptoms are specific to a person and intervention therapies are individualized because this is the best way to ensure improvement of the child.
Families with children with autism should instead enlist a doctor's professional diagnosis before giving or taking any medication. Doctors will be able to determine the type of therapy a person with autism needs depending on the severity of his or her symptoms.