When Melissa Eaton and Amanda Seigler learned that there were private groups on Facebook that encouraged mothers of children with autism to find cures for themselves or to experiment with unthinkable treatments, they did not hesitate to become undercover heroines to try to stop those mindless practices.
For three years, these two mothers, who also have children with the disorder, have been infiltrating private groups where members have described how they have used dangerous resources to eliminate autism , a condition for which the medical cause is not yet known. nor the cure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , "Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a developmental disability that can lead to significant social, communicational, and behavioral problems."
According to an NBC News article , parents in many of these groups - sometimes made up of thousands of them - are convinced that this disorder, which begins to manifest itself during the first three years of the minor and will continue throughout His life is caused by various causes not supported by scientists.
These include viruses, parasites, bacteria, allergies, and poisoning from the components of vaccines that are used to prevent measles or rubella. However, several studies have concluded that there is no direct relationship between vaccines and autism.
Data provided by the CDC indicates that autism cases have increased over the past decade. It is estimated that one in 59 children in the United States has been related to the spectrum. Of that number, it is four times more common for boys than girls.
False and dangerous remedies
"Children are abused. I'm not the type of person who can see something like that and just forget it, ”said Eaton, who along with Seigler pretends to be a desperate mother looking for a cure for her son. In this way they can join the groups and take screenshots of the testimonies of other parents that describe how to give the products to their children.
These treatments often end tragically. Some parents mistakenly believe that the urine of those affected could reverse the condition or that the use of turpentine, a resin that is extracted from pine and fir trees and used in medicine and industry, could give them the result they expect.
But the most requested and dangerous remedy is chlorine dioxide, a formula that is nothing more than industrial bleach and which the Food and Drug Administration has rated as an extremely harmful product.
"My son is constantly panting," confessed a Kansas mother, who said she treated her adult son with chlorine dioxide.
While doctors have confirmed that this practice could have irreversible damage, those who believe in this procedure continue to supply it orally, through enemas, or during the bath.
The worst comments Eaton and Seigler have collected are those where parents say the children's reactions are just proof that bleach treatments are working.
"It's like a cult," said Seigler, who since 2016 has reported more than 100 parents to the local division of Child Protective Services. Although he does not know if these parents faced justice, he has sent his conclusions to the Drug Administration, the Justice Department and organizations that are responsible for curbing child abuse.
Meanwhile, advocates of this procedure take advantage of the parents' ignorance to sell books with a supposed cure and market chemicals that accompany videos on how to administer it.
"He doesn't open his mouth. Scream, spit and turn around, ”revealed another Canadian mother about her two-year-old son, who did not want to swallow the lye.