The recent ruling by Judge Mitting, quashing the GMC verdict against Professor Walker-Smith, is very welcome news!
Professor Walker-Smith acted as medical professionals should, using his extensive knowledge and skills to help children who were truly ill. Very sadly, there are thousands upon thousands of children with autism who are not receiving appropriate medical care, in part because it is clear that Professor Walker-Smith and his colleagues were meant to act as a menacing examples to others. The GMC ruling was clearly a political act, completely removed from the medical needs of children like our own.
Our charity, TreatingAutism, represents hundreds of families in the UK who have very ill children with autism. Getting appropriate medical help for our children is extraordinarily difficult (most doctors are too poorly informed and often reluctant to treat our children's numerous medical conditions); however, we also represent many families who have used biomedical treatments to improve the quality of their children's lives enormously.
We hope that more medical professionals and parents alike will follow the example of Professor Walker-Smith and look to the medical problems suffered by children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The Trustees of Treating Autism
Recent study conducted by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that children with autism face an increased risk for many common health conditions. This detailed assessment demonstrates that children with autism had much higher than expected rates of all of the medical conditions studied:
• frequent gastrointestinal problems
• eczema or a skin allergy
• food allergies
• ear and respiratory infections
• severe headaches or migraines
This much-needed research provides evidence that children with Autism and other developmental disabilities require increased health services and specialist services, both for their core functional deficits and for health problems beyond their core developmental disabilities.
Concurrent medical conditions and health care use and needs among children with learning and behavioral developmental disabilities, National Health Interview Survey, Schieve LA et al. 2006-2010. Res Dev Disabil. 2012 Mar-Apr;33(2):467-76. Epub 2011 Nov 24.
Read blog by one of the authors of this study here