Title

Old wine in new bottles: Science, quackery, and autism

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Department

Psychology

Conference Title

Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis

Organization

Association for Behavior Analysis

Location

Atlanta, GA

Conference Dates

May 26-30, 2006

Date of Presentation

5-29-2006

Abstract

Pseudoscientific claims concerning medical treatments for all varieties of illness are nothing new. With respect to autism, many of the claims currently parading as fact actually are rooted in the pseudoscience of years past. A skeptical approach to the world around us is important, but so is some familiarity with the mistakes of the past so that they can be avoided in the present. The present paper discusses the relationship between several quack treatments and theories of recent history that are enjoying nothing sort of a rebirth in the field of autism today. Special attention will be given to the topics of mega-vitamin treatment regimens and the purported link between MMR vaccinations and autism. Hyperbaric chambers, gluten-casein free diets, and various other pseudoscientific claims also are addressed.

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