Thimerosal Is Not Responsible for Autism
January 31, 2005 by

It is hard to know exactly when the hypothesis that mercury could cause autism was first proposed. The idea was circulating well before 2000, the year that thimerosal—a mercury-containing preservative—was removed from children’s vaccines. In its October 2001 report, Immunization Safety Review: Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that, while …

My Involvement with Autism Quackery
December 7, 2004 by

Ever since I began the Herculean (some might say Quixotic) task of exposing the quackery and pseudoscience surrounding autism, I have had people ask me, “Are you the same Jim Laidler who used to talk about chelation at autism conferences?” To them, the idea that I could once have been an impassioned supporter of the …

How “Educational Assessments” Skew Autism Prevalence Rates
September 15, 2004 by

During an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting with our local school district, one of the teachers suggest that my younger son was autistic. This surprised me because we had just provided a letter from a well-respected developmental pediatrician that specified why the boy not meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. In response to my concerns, …

The “Refrigerator Mother” Hypothesis of Autism
September 15, 2004 by

Although it is hard to find the specific instance when the “refrigerator mother” hypothesis of autism was first used, it is not difficult to find who first proposed it. As early as his 1943 paper, Leo Kanner was calling attention to what he saw as a lack of parental warmth and attachment to their autistic …

Telephone Survey of Chiropractic Practices (2004)
September 14, 2004 by

During the past few years, I have observed several academic chiropractors refer to a “growing” chiropractic reform movement. However, they have not been able to provide any data about its extent. After I mentioned this during a high-school class I teach on critical thinking, the students decided to survey see how local chiropractors viewed several …