Autism Conference at Gleneagles: Part 3


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Parents: Always check the scientific research evidence of any treatment prescribed for autism.

With the number of options of treatments offered for children with autism these days, I can only imagine the confusion parents go through after receiving a diagnosis of autism. I would suggest that parents read as much as they can on research-based treatments as well as meet with other parents.

Recently I was at Gleneagles Hospital which hosted a conference on autism. Amongst the different presentation was a presentation on stem cell therapy. Based on what was presented, this is a summary of the treatment:

1) The doctors use live cells that are taken from a pregnant rabbit’s fetus. Both the rabbit and fetus die in the process, sorry animal lovers. Note: these rabbits are bred in specific environments.
2) These live cells are injected into a child. Each injection costs RM30,000.
3) Only about 20 children with autism in Malaysia have gone through this treatment.
4) The doctors still recommend that the child continue to continue with therapy after this treatment.
5) They have seen progress in children that have undergone this treatment such as: better social engagement, ability to use the toilet, increased verbalizations, better eye contact etc. Note: The children who demonstrated these also had continued behavioural one-to-one therapy.

Word of Caution:

1) The doctor did mention that the only risk is mortalitybut that he has not experienced that yet.
2) This method of treatment is NOT approved by the Ministry of Health!
 So again, I urge you to check researched evidence of any treatment you are considering for your child with autism.

Written by, 
Jochebed Isaacs
Director, EAP Malaysia