Harmful Interventions

Scientifically Unfeasible and Potentially harmful Interventions

SyringeThere are some interventions which are potentially harmful - such as some medications.  There are some interventions which are scientifically unfeasible - such as homeopathy. And there are some interventions which are both scientifically unfeasible and potentially harmful. Unfortunately,  this type of intervention seems to be on the increase.

For example, the Westminster Commission on Autism recently reported that autistic people had been offered treatments such as crystal therapy, ear candles, spiritual intervention, aromatherapy, chelation, juice plus diet, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, exorcism, stem-cell transplants, exposure therapy (including slapping), rerum, DAN (defeat autism now) therapy, MMS (bleach), turpentine and many more.

We can't emphasise strongly enough that no good reason to try these interventions exists. But we don't expect you to take our word for it.

Please look at the next page to find out more about some of these therapies.

A Spectrum of Harmful Interventions for Autism: A Short Report

The Westminster Commission on Autism has conducted a short inquiry into the regulation of treatments, therapies and products for autistic people.
It reported that autistic people and their advocates have had a range of dangerous and unsubstantiated products and therapies offered or suggested to them. It made recommendations for improved policy and practice to ensure that no autistic person is misled into using a product or therapy as an intervention for autism which is unsubstantiated or even harmful.

Making a Complaint

If you have concerns about a particular product or therapy that you think may be harmful please report it to the appropriate authorities.

  • To report a problem with a product bought in the UK call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 (search for Consumerline if you are in Northern Ireland)
  • For a suspicious medicine visit: fakemeds.campaign.gov.uk
  • For a product being sold for human consumption which is not a medicine email: foodcrime@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
  • For a non-medicinal intervention making claims about autism visit: www.asa.org.uk/make-a-complaint.html
  • For a product being promoted on social media you can report it using the platform's complaints procedure

Related Pages

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16 Jun 2022