Pseudoscience

Mom tried to cure daughter’s autism by making her drink bleach

Another parent inadvertently tried to kill her child after getting her medical advice from Facebook.

An Indiana father went to the police recently to file a report against his wife for poisoning their child. According to him, the mother was feeding their daughter a dangerous concoction in a misguided attempt to cure the child’s autism.

A local Fox affiliate reports that the police report states that the mother was “putting drops of hydrochloric acid and water purifying solution (which contains chlorine) in her child’s drink” — a bogus cure that she found the “miracle mineral solution” in a Facebook alternative medicine group. The state’s Department of Child Services has removed the child from the couple’s home and is currently conducting an investigation.

From Fox 59:

The miracle mineral solution claims to be a cure-all for anything ranging from cancer to hepatitis, and even aids. However, health officials, including the FDA, have warned the product is little more than bleach.

Officials at the Applied Behavioral Center for Autism say it’s common for parents to search for home remedies to cure autism.

“Taking things into their own hands is something that many parents have done out of desperation, out of hope,” president and founder Sherry Quinn said.

Behavioral Center Clinical Director Kelly Goudreau added that it’s natural for parents to want to find a cure for their child’s autism and it’s common for them to look towards “home remedies.” However, she adds that it’s important to remember that there is no “cure” for autism, and that any treatment that is administered should be one that is backed by research and scientific evidence.

Although most people don’t go to the extremes that this mother went to, dangerous pseudoscientific remedies are consumed and disseminated widely across social media. As the Independent pointed out in a report from last month, fake health advice is shared more widely on social media than evidence-based information. “Of the 20 most-shared articles on Facebook in 2016 with the word ‘cancer’ in the headline, more than half report claims discredited by doctors and health authorities or – in the case of the year’s top story – directly by the source cited in the article.”

Watch Fox59’s report on the story below:

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