We’ve got an issue here in Fresno, California with quackery posing as real healthcare for Autistic and other vulnerable people.
Last year, a news piece about new alternative therapy for Autistic children was aired on ABC30. The piece introduced a four-year-old Autistic boy and his mom, presumably non-Autistic, and then it went on to describe Autism in the most tragic terms of the Autistic child being trapped their own body.
In description written of the Autistic child in an article on ABC30:
“But at 15 months, Hudson began to gradually lose his language skills, then lost himself in his own body.” …
“By age 3, Hudson was diagnosed with autism and Shaine and her husband Brian, began a determined search for resources to help their son, but not with traditional therapies or medication.”
The news piece then explains that Dr. Dennis Redubla came to the Valley from the Philippines after having successful results with non-verbal children across Asia. Apparently these Autistic children are now able to speak with the help of neuro-feedback.
It goes into some woo describing brain lobes, mutual communication between them, brain scans and also, the approach is supported by the patient’s diet and vitamin supplements.
The statements are all red-flags for the bullshittery of antivaxxers and the quackery abuse known well to us in the Autistic community.
And, the alerts proved correct. Dr. Dennis Redubla is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. He states as such on his very own website fresnobrainclinic.com.
Disclaimer: Dennis Redubla is a licensed physician in the Philippines, and integrative/holistic practitioner and NOT practicing medicine in the United States.
That’s right, he’s a quack right out of the Jenny McCarthy’s Guide to Autistic Healthcare.
This ‘doctor’ is listed as a MAPS, which stands for Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs. This is a reincarnation of DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) that was affiliated with Bernard Rimland and the Autism Research Institute and focused on ‘healing and recovering’ Autistics from vaccine-injured brains.
Yes, this is history and home to Antivaxxers we know today connected to Andrew Wakefield, JB Handley, Robert F Kennedy Jr, Katie Wright, Generation Rescue, TACA, previously Autism Speaks (that still has antivaxxers on its board) and many more.
Celebrity influencers abound for promoting this protocol throughout the years too. (This is the toxic overload and ‘recovery’ programs that Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carey, Holly Peet Robinson and others crowed about all these years.)
The DAN! Protocol was started in 1995 and is well-known for dangerous and toxic treatments like hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy, chelation, and other risky and expensive treatments that harmed many Autistic and vulnerable people around the world.
Many parents and true believers of the DAN! Protocol claimed their Autistic children were ‘cured.’ Today there is still no evidence to support these claims, nor are the children present today as adults to support those claims.
DAN! Protocol was halted in 2011 by The Autism Research Institute (ARI). Many Autistics and allies objected to the name: Defeat Autism Now!
DAN! Issued a statement: “Although clinicians receive similar and consistent information at the [DAN] seminars, there is no uniform way patients are subsequently treated, even acknowledging individual differences, may perceive the clinician list as a list of recommended doctors — in reality, the list simply contains the names of professionals who attended our clinician seminars.
We do not certify them, and as a result, we cannot assure people that every practitioner on the list always provides the highest quality service. …”
Autism Research institute continues to focus on biomedical issues related to autism.
So DAN! doesn’t exist anymore, but that didn’t stop a new group, MAPS, from picking up seamlessly where DAN! had been before.
You can still see these quackaroos being promoted on Autism Organization sites today.
Over on TACA’s (formerly known as Talk About Curing Autism) website they describe DAN!/MAPS doctors:
They are doctors that mean a tremendous amount to families living with autism. These doctors are instrumental for helping families assess and treat co-morbid conditions that can greatly improve the daily lives of individuals with autism.
The most important aspect of what the specialists provide is in the following key areas:
1. Listen: most of these doctors care to listen to parents’ concerns and observations in the hopes of better understanding the patients needs. Their goal is to find solutions for individuals.
2. Time: most of these doctors take time to find and solve issues important to the family and that individual. These are not quick ‘well baby’ or check up visits. These appointments take time and address complex issues.
To further cement the relationship between these vulnerable parents and money-hungry doctors, TACA offers a Parent Mentor Program. It’s touted to be a fully developed, managed program offering experienced, trained, supported qualified Mentors to guide new parents on the Autism Journey.
Sure sounds a lot like Generation Rescue’s Angels program before they went into hiding and disarray last year. (JB Handley even boasted of retirement.)
Generation Rescue is Jenny McCarthy’s organization boasted of by Miracle Mineral Solution’s peddler, Kerri Rivera.
All of these antivaxxer Autism organizations are familiar names, and their founders are familiar faces, at the largest snake oil sales conference for Autism in the United States: AutismOne.
You know, the one where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his cult following have their yearly quackery revival. The one where RFK Jr is the keynote speaker this year.
This is the one where Autistic activists are raising funds to travel and protest in Chicago this May.
So back to Fresno, California. The Central Valley has a real problem with the strong community of antivaxxers/bleachcult harming Autistic people. Dennis Redubla and his Brain Center aren’t the first to invade this area with quackery.
Yes, the AutismOne promoted Dr. Robert Melillo. He is stated to be a New York chiropractor and author of “Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders.”
Yes, a chiropractor wants to balance Autistic brains right here in Central Valley, California.
Thankfully, in this article, there are actual doctors interviewed and their concerns are shared on the lack of studies and evidence these treatments do anything for autism.
In 2011, the article states about the Brain Balance center being in Clovis, California. Today, there’s a Brain Balance center active in Visalia, California.
A caregiver stated at the end of the article: If there is a chance a treatment could help Kristian Stiles said he was willing to try it. “You write a check with hope.”
Sadly, many parents of Autistics have been sold this style of snake oil and wrote many large checks with hope.
And every new generation of Autistic children are vulnerable, because these “doctors” keep recruiting scared parents and bilking them, and then offering products to sell them too.
Unfortunately, these quacks are getting real media coverage by Fresno and other local stations and avenues. They’re also using the coverage to solidify their worth by promoting it on website and other mediums.
So ABC30, tell me, why are you promoting snake oil and quackery in the name of actual healthcare? Why didn’t you make VERY CLEAR this doctor is not licensed to practice in the United States?
It’s a huge disservice to every Autistic in this Valley, and their families, for spreading the misinformation and woo of the bleachcult.
It’s a huge disservice to all Autistics in the Central Valley that antivaxxer martyr moms are the direct link to news sources with their tragedy narrative, and toxic autism cures – and speaking over Autistic moms and Autistic people every day.
So how about this year media folks, reach out to reputable organizations and reputable professionals and actually Autistic people for your interviews this April.
Stop spreading misinformation, woo and promoting toxic autism treatments and ‘cures’ to Valley homes. Start reporting the actual plight of Autistic people today.
Believe me there’s enough ugly there to lead your headline and make your page views.
Like let’s start with this …
Did you know the largest minority group in the world’s #1 cause of early death is suicide?
Did you know the largest minority group in the world’s second cause of early death is murder?
Did you know the largest minority group in the world is Autistic people?
Believe me, there’s plenty of ugly, tragedy and horror to write about on autism, Autistic people and the civil rights movement that’s been happening over 30 years now. It’s just not the topics you’ve been sent in a press release to quote.
This April, maybe … you know … report on real Autistic community news, instead of reporting on homeopathic unproven treatments that have harmed, and even killed vulnerable autistic and disabled people around the world. Stop legitimizing these snake oil salesmen and stop helping them profit on the backs of vulnerable populations from making these types of services legitimate to viewers.
You know, the toxic treatments that Autistic Activist Moms, like myself, Autistic Activists and our Allies are fighting to get banned here in the States right now.
The treatments that have been making headlines across the nation the past year – with this quackery being banned on social media platforms and more.
Treatments like miracle mineral solution, turpentine, chelation, horrific and restrictive diets and more are a part of these ‘doctors’ protocols.
The Autistic Community and our allies have been battling the misinformation and abuse dealt out by these charlatans for decades now. Decades.
Every time you air something about autism, please make sure it’s legitimate and correct information. Please make sure it’s a legitimate pediatrician or specialist licensed to practice in the United States – not one who has a homeopathic paper. It’s dangerous to lend these people legitimacy and promote their quackery as real medicine.
Autistic children are the ones who pay for it the most.
Where’s your accountability for the truth?
So ABC 30 before you air some new treatment, please inquire with reputable Autistic organizations (like ASAN) to make sure it’s not Autistic abuse, toxic, or just an outright lie.