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Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure


reviewed by Bertram Chiang June 23, 2009

coverTitle: Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
Author(s): Dr. Paul A. Offit MD
Publisher: Columbia University Press, New York
ISBN: 0231146361, Pages: 328, Year: 2008
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As the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, Dr. Paul Offit is uniquely qualified in Autism’s False Prophets to present the scientific side of the heated vaccine-autism debate. In Chapter 1 (The Tinderbox), Offit summarizes the false hope and debunking of facilitated communication and the secretin therapy as treatments for children with autism in the 1990s. In Chapter 2 (Lighting the Fuse), Offit focuses on chronicling and critiquing the connection between MMR vaccine and autism stemming from a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in a well-respected British medical journal, Lancet, in 1998.  As Offit writes: Despite their professed good intentions, Douglas Biklen (facilitated communication), Karoly Horvath (secretin), and Andrew Wakefield (MMR vaccine) had proven to be false prophets in the quest to find a cause and a cure for autism. (p. 52) In Chapter 3 (The Implosion), Offit... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 23, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15671, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 3:59:55 AM

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About the Author
  • Bertram Chiang
    University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
    E-mail Author
    BERTRAM CHIANG, Ph.D. is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
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