In the past two days, I’ve had two e-mails from the Food for the Brain (FFTB) e-mail list, advertising a seminar by Michael Ash on ‘The Gut Brain link in Autism, Depression and Mental Health’. They certainly seem keen to encourage attendance, and at £49 for the seminar, I can understand why bookings might be a little sparse. Naturally, as FFTB are so keen to promote Ash’s speech, I thought I’d look at some of his previous work on these subjects. What seemed especially notable was Ash’s role in Nutri Link: a “Practitioner Group” which offers information on a dizzying range of interventions for children on the autistic spectrum.
A first thing to note about Nutri Link’s ‘Information for Parents’ document [PDF link] on treatments for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) is that it is explicitly aimed at parents and carers. One wonders why – is the Nutri Link treatment meant to ‘cure’ those with ASDs before they reach adulthood? Or would adults on the autistic spectrum be unlikely to appreciate the type of interventions suggested?
A second thing to note is how many interventions are suggested. There are seven pages of relatively dense text, suggesting a dizzying range of things to do to children with ASDs. As the author(s) of the document are clearly aware, they suggest that children with ASDs take so many supplements that it will be hard to get all these pills and powders down their throats. Continue reading