Speakers: Friday

Richard C. Deth, PhD

“Redox, methylation, dopamine, and B12 from a research perspective”
“Oxidative stress and impaired methylation in autism: Focus on vitamin B12”
Believes thimerosal in vaccines causes autism. Was an expert witness for plaintiffs in the vaccine omnibus proceedings.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, Epigenetics, Heavy Metals, Diets

Theoharis C. Theoharides, MD, PhD, FAAAAI

“Put Out Brain Fires to Treat Autism”
Also presenting on Thursday
Dr. Theoharides promotes the idea that autism is the result of inflammation and can be cured by taking the untested and unapproved flavenoid, methoxyluteolin, which he also sells. However, a search of the medical literature turns up only one single case series on the use of this supplements (by Dr. Theoharides). This is an example of exaggerating and overinterpreting research findings and making clinical claims that are not backed by evidence.. Read here for information on his claims.
Pseudoscience category: Inflammtion

John Hicks, MD

“Medicinal Cannabis: The Herb and it’s Applications”
Presented by Judy Mikovits, PhD on behalf on John Hicks, who promotes the use of medical marijuana to treat autism, despite limited evidence of benefit and considerable evidence of risk in giving marijuana to young children.
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis

Gene Anthony , PhD, HMD

“How Adult Stem Cells Can Heal Autism”
Promotes the use of unregulated stem cell therapies as a cure for autism at his clinic in the Dominican Republic. The FDA has warned consumers about stem cell treatments, especially those administered outside the US. “But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned that the hope that patients have for cures not yet available may leave them vulnerable to unscrupulous providers of stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful.”
Pseudoscience category: Stem cells

Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD

“The Dirt Cure: What Does a Healthy Terrain Have to Do with Healing My Child?”
Dr. Shetreat-Klein is an MD but seems to have abandoned her medical training and now ascribes to Terrain Medicine, a long discarded view of medicine that has become the basis for naturopathy. Also speaking on Thursday.
Pseudoscience category: Naturopathic medicine

Arthur Krigsman, MD

“Autism Associated Enterocolitis 2016”
A colleague of Andrew Wakefield, Dr. Krigsman left his position at Lenox Hill in New York after his hospital privileges were restricted due to allegations that of performing medically unwarranted endoscopies on autistic children for research purposes. This is highly unethical and a violation of federal policies on human subjects research. Krigsman believes that vaccines cause autism and has been involved in research about GcMAF. Also speaking on Thursday.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, GcMAF, Diets (for more info on GI symptoms in ASDs)

Stephanie Seneff, PhD

“Glyphosate, Folic Acid, Neural Tube Defects and Autism”
“Mercury, aluminum, glyphosate”
Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Also speaking on Wednesday. In the first talk, she claims that the Tdap vaccine, not Zika, virus is responsible for microcephaly, and somehow ties this in with folic acid. She confuses microcephaly (caused by Zika) with anencephaly (a neural tube defects caused by folic acid deficiency). Her talk summary includes a series of false statements and non-sequiturs.
Read here and here for info on Zika. Also see the CDC and WHO pages on Zika.
In her second talk, she perpetuates the myths that heavy metal poisioning from vaccines and glyphosate used on GMOs cause autism. The talk summary is full of utter speculation based on a misunderstanding of biology and chemistry. It includes the phrases: “I don’t have proof” and “Connect the dots.” This is not how science works.
Pseudoscience categories: Vaccines, GMOs/Glyphosate

Tracy Fritz, MD

“Immunological Findings in Lyme Disease”
“The Endocannabinoid System (ECS): Treatment Implications in ASD”
Fellow at Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS), along with many other AutismOne speakers and anti-vaccine leaders
Discusses issues relating to the fake diagnosis of chronic Lyme. We say fake diagnosis, because people’s symptoms are real, but this diagnosis is not. Lasting effects of Lyme disease are also real, but they are not chronic Lyme as described by this diagnosis. Please read: Chronic Lyme Disease–Myth or Science?
Pseudoscience category: Chronic Lyme, Cannabis

Marco Ruggiero, MD, PhD

“GI issues in ASD, with gut-brain connection, GcMAF mechanism of action, nagalase, and TUS”
“Novel insights on the etiology and treatment of autism”
A long time HIV/AIDS denialist, Ruggiero is involved with nearly every supposed autism “cure”. He sells a $400 yogurt making kit as a miracle “cure” for autism. He jumped on the CD/MMS/Bleach enema bandwagon and co-authored Kerri Rivera’s book. Most recently, he has been involved with promoting GcMAF. Use of GcMAF in autistic children is blatant experimentation. GcMAF for this use is derived from human blood outside the purview of FDA regulations to ensure the safety of blood products.
Pseudoscience category: GcMAF, Microbiome

Robin Saxton Goffe

“Older Children with Aggression, SIBS, Violence and Destruction: A historical journey to an Herbal Answer”
No longer able to present about CD/MMS in Illinois after last year’s legal action against Kerri Rivera, this year Goffe is presenting an herbal protocol based on her research as a historical researcher (not a scientist or doctor). Last year, the “Worm Whisperer’s” major contribution to the AO2015 conference was to show an image spelling out “Infected Monsters” with intestinal linings that came out of a child treated with CD/MMS (bleach).
Pseudoscience category: CD/MMS, Naturopathic medicine

Peter Sullivan, MS

“Wireless: A Key Piece of the Autism Puzzle and What You Can Do About It”
MS in Computer Science
Believes that reducing exposure to Wifi and electromagentic fields will cure autism.
Pseudoscience category: EMFs

David L. Hardy

“Optimizing functionality, stabilizing mood, and eliminating aggression in autism with essential element therapy”
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Education, Founder of Hardy Nutritionals
Believes the autism (and a variety of illnesses) results from nutrient deficiencies that can be restored by using the supplement he created and will sell you. However, what the evidence shows is that ASD is not caused by nutritional deficiency, but that nutritional deficiencies can be caused by selective eating patterns common in patients with ASD or by restrictive diets. There is no good evidence that specific vitamins do anything for autism symptoms. In contrast, supplementation for specific deficiencies may be warranted for patients with restricted diets, but this is not what Hardy is claiming.
Pseudoscience category: Nutrition

Stephen Walker, PHD

“Beyond the Symptoms and Histology: Molecular Characterization of Autism-Associated Gastrointestinal Inflammation”
A colleague of Arthur Krigsman, Walker’s unpublished work has been used by Wakefield and colleagues as evidence of link between MMR and autism, even though the study was never actually published and Walker himself issued a statement that his study did not actually show that. Although if he really wanted to distance himself from the claims, one wonders why he continues to associate with AutismOne, Krigsman and Wakefield, and why he continues to promote this topic.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, see Diets for discussion of GI issues

Jesse Stanley and Cristi Bundukamara, Ed.D., NP

“Social Enterprise and the Cannabis Industry”
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis

Arthur Krigsman, MD

“Evidence of Unique GI pathology in children with ASD”
A colleague of Andrew Wakefield, Dr. Krigsman left his position at Lenox Hill in New York after his hospital privileges were restricted due to allegations that of performing medically unwarranted endoscopies on autistic children for research purposes. This is highly unethical and a violation of federal policies on human subjects research. Krigsman believes that vaccines cause autism and has been involved in research about GcMAF.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, GcMAF, Diets (for more info on GI symptoms in ASDs)

Anju Usman, MD, FAAFP, ABIHM

“Update on the Biome, Biofilm, FMT and Helminth Therapy”
Serves on the advisory boards for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) and Generation Rescue. She is on faculty for MAPs (Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs) with many other AutismOne speakers
Despite being investigated for malpractice and ethical violations and her alleged involvement in the chelation-related death of an autistic patient, Usman remains a board member of The Autism Society of IL (trib.in/1JZyHwK). Chelation is a chemical process to strip metals from blood, used in autistic children to remove mercury supposedly from vaccines. There are absolutely no links to mercury or vaccines and autism (bit.ly/1VmBTds).
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, HBOT, Chelation, Microbiome

Norma Erickson, AB

SaneVax and HPV Vaccines: Creating Global Solutions”
Believes that a vaccine that prevents cancer, the HPV vaccine, is a “global problem”
Pseudoscience category: HPV Vaccine

Siegfried Othmer, PhD

“Infra-Low-Frequency Neurofeedback in Application to the Autism Spectrum”
Promotes the use of neurofeedback, which he claims must be started earlier and continue roughly indefinitely, despite a lack of actual evidence to support this. He also sells this service. “Use of this modality is outstripping the evidence is just another red flag that its proponents are not adequately science-based.” The required feedback sessions can be very expensive.
Pseudoscience category: Neurofeedback

Nathan Coombs , MA and Rhonda Morris, CSEA

“Cannabis as a treatment for symptoms of autism”
Neither have medical or biological expertise. Nathan Coombs has a Masters Degree in Special Education and is co-owner of a medical marijuana collective that was created in 2010. Rhonda Morris is a Certified Special Education Advocate.
They promote the use of medical marijuana for autism.
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis

Shawn K. Centers, DO, MH, FACOP

“Necessity of Body Work”
“Herbal Approach”
Dr. Centers promotes the use of a variety of manual therapies in children, including cranial osteopathy, massage and soft tissue techniques, marma therapy (an Ayurvedic energy healing technique), chiropractic, and movement therapies. None of these are evidence-based techniques. Also speaking on Thursday.
Pseudoscience categories: Craniosacral therapy, Massage, Energy Healing, Chiropractic (more here and here)

Ruth Snyder , RN, James Williams, and Ashley Runnalls

“Biomedical Issues From An Autistic Perspective: How Do We Experience Them?”
Believes that children with autism are biomedically ill. Uses the fact that autistic children also have health issues (of varying severity and that are not unique to autistics – like chronic headaches, sinusitis, GI symptoms) to justify using nearly all of the pseudoscience presented at AutismOne. While she is correct in saying that the medical problems of autistic people should not be ignored just because they are autistic, the fact that issues have been ignored and dismissed inthe past does not justify turning to unproven or disproven strategies.
Pseudoscience category: Almost all the categories presented on this page

Freda Birrell

Mario Lamo-JIménez

Karsten Viborg

Each of these speakers addresses their issues with the HPV vaccine in a different part of the world
Believe that a vaccine that prevents cancer, the HPV vaccine, is a dangerous scourge upon society
Pseudoscience category: HPV Vaccine

Judy A. Mikovits, PhD

“Advances in Understanding Immune Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders”
“Can Cannabis Cure Autism? We don’t know, but it’s a question worth asking.”
“Advances in Understanding Chronic Infections and Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of ASD”
“HPV Vaccination: Is unproven potential benefit worth the significant risk?”
Giving multiple talks today in addition to her talks on other days, Dr. Mikovits hits all the pseudoscientific ideas about the causes of autism. She believes that autism spectrum disorders are acquired immune deficiencies, caused by exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, GMO foods, and multi-antigen vaccinations in susceptible individuals. In her talks today, she also promotes the use of cannabis and shares anti-vaccine propaganda about the HPV vaccine. Her previous work on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been completely discredited.
Psuedoscience categories: GMOs/Glyphosate, Vaccines, Heavy Metals, HPV Vaccine

Felicia Carbajal and Andrew Kuebbing

“Cannabis Medicine: Access and Advocacy”
Promotes the use of medical marijuana to treat autism, despite limited evidence of benefit and considerable evidence of risk in giving marijuana to young children.
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis

Gary Samuelson, PhD

“Meeting of the Minds: Success from Understanding Fundamental Cell, Tissue, and System Signaling”
Pseudoscience category: Magical water
PhD in Atomic/Medical Physics
Sells ASEA water, which is just salt water. He has no training in medicine or biology and this is a multi-level marketing company.

Kiran Krishnan

“Forget What You Know About Probiotics – A Paradigm Shift”
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology
Makes many unfounded clinical claims about the microbiome. Claims that all disease can be traced to the gut microbiome – see the “one true cause” fallacy.
Pseudosciece category: Microbiome

Zach Bush, MD, Post Doc Cert in Public Health

“New Breakthroughs in Gut Health and the Autistic Brain”
CEO of Biomic Sciences who created Restore, which has been called “a glorified bottle of water with extracts from coal, minerals and amino acids“.
Pseudoscience categories: Toxins, Microbiome

Stuart H. Freedenfeld, MD

“Environmental Stressors and Their Influence on Symptoms in ASD”
Pseudoscience category: Toxins, Homeopathy

Jean-Ronel Corbier, MD

“The Brain Restoration Model and Autism”
Believes that autism is reversible and curable, that vaccines cause autism and nutritional changes can cure autism. Supports the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for autism. Has no peer-reviewed scientific publications on any topic.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, Diet, HBOT

Jere Rivera-Dugenio, PhD

“Quantum Sound Therapy: scalar vortex miracoil technology and proprietary sound frequencies as an effective stress management and relaxation tool for autism spectrum disorder (ASD)”
PhD in natural medicine from the International Quantum University for Integrative Medicine, which is not accredited by the US Department of Education
The description of this talk is full of such utter nonsense that we are unable to categorize exactly what this is. There are a lot of science-y words that individually have meaning, but they have been assembled into meaningless combinations, sometimes referred to as word salad. Tellingly, searches of Google Scholar and PubMed show that he has published zero scientific publications on any topic.

Karima Hirani, MD

“Safely Detoxifying and Corresponding Relief of Symptoms”
“Low-Dose Immunotherapy (LDI)”
Also speaking on Thursday
Dr. Karima Hirani is a board certified family physician who has regularly attended the DAN! conferences from 2001-2012, until they were discontinued, and from 2012 to 2015, she has been attending MAPS conferences. She is certified in clinical homeopathy, which has been thoroughly disproven and would only work if everything we know about biology, chemistry and physics is wrong. She promotes many different pseudoscientific remedies.
Pseudoscience categories: Heavy metals and Chelation (DAN!), Diet, HBOT, Toxins

Sin Hang Lee, MD

“Viral DNA bound to aluminum may mediate HPV vaccination side effects”
Dr. Lee’s fear mongering about HPV is not new and he is also a part of SaneVax (see other HPV-related speakers).
Pseudoscience category: HPV

Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD

“Vaccination: how safe and effective? Issues with endotoxin contamination and vaccine-resistant pertussis”
Dr. Obukhanych continues her typical anti-vaccine pseudoscience. Her lack of expertise and false claims have been discussed here in detail.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines

Christopher Shade, PhD

“Phytocannabinoids from hemp: delivery systems, usage, and mechanism in neuroinflammatory disorders”
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis

Amy Derksen, ND

“Naturopathic Insights to Help Manage Complicated Cases”
Naturopath with DAN!/MAPS-training, also uses a form of applied kinesiology called autonomic response therapy. Applied kinesiology is different from kinesiology (the study of biomechanics) and is inconsistent with what we know about biology.
Pseudoscience category: Naturopathic medicine

Heinz Reinwald, PhD

“From the old GcMAF to the new Rerum as integrated in the complete Rerum Protocol: a natural immunotherapeutic approach to autism”
PhD in Philosophy and Political Economics
Pseudoscience category: GcMAF

HPV Vaccine Survivor Recovery Panel: Norma Erickson, Erin Crawford, Karsten Viborg, Eileen Iorio

Members of SaneVax rehash myths about HPV
Pseudoscience category: HPV Vaccine

Rosario Trifiletti, MD, PhD

“PANDAS”
While PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) are a real thing (read about them here from NIH), Dr. Trifiletti has been criticized in the past for over-zealous diagnosis of PANDAS in an strange case where 18 people developed an unusual tic disorder. To make it even more unusual, the anti-vaccine group Age of Autism jumped into the mix and tried to blame this on the HPV vaccine.
Pseudoscience category: PANDAS

Walter J. Lukiw, MS, PhD

“Aluminum, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and autism spectrum disorders (ASD)”
Will present data about aluminum in AD and ASDs. It is unclear whether he himself is anti-vaccine or if people who are anti-vaccine just like to cite his research.
“Understanding the Medical Comorbidities of Autism”
Speech pathologist and Director of Strategic Planning on Focus for Health, one of the major anti-vaccine groups and former co-sponsor of AutismOne
Her talk focuses on medical problems of autistic children. Most of the content of her talk is way outside her area of expertise in speech pathology, making her expertise irrelevant to the topic at hand. Based on her affiliation with Focus for Health, she may also be anti-vaccine.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines (?), Toxins

Dmitriy Niyazov, MD

“Genetics of autism: from chromosomes to mitochondria”
A geneticist who studies the genetics of autism with a goal to improve diagnosis. The first half of his talk discusses the genetic architecture of autism.
The second half of his talk at AutismOne promotes the use of feeding tubes in autism. The miraculous testimonial nature of his slides and lack of citation or mention of studies raised some red flags among us so we dug a bit deeper. Despite being well-published and respected within the genetics of autism field, Dr. Niyazov has not published any papers on the use of feeding tubes and various supplements in autism. That said, information from the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that children with certain developmental disabilities have a higher rate of feeding problems that children without developmental disabilities. In some cases of severe eating problems, use of a g-tube is warranted to address resulting malnutrition. However, the actual data do not suggest the kind of broad recommendations and drastic changes that are presented here, and feeding tubes come with their own risks.

Frances Dougherty Kendall, MD

“The Use of Medical Cannabis in Mitochondrial Disease Symptom Management: A Personal Review”
A review of anecdotal stories of people who have used medical marijuana in mitochondrial disease. A reminder here for that anecdotes are one of the weakest forms of evidence the hierarchy of evidence.
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis

Brandy Vaughn

“Pharma Primer: Dissecting Pharma-Led Legislation: Tips and Strategies”
Former salesperson at Merck, Founder of the Council for Vaccine Safety, an anti-vaccination group, has been a guest on the conspiracy show InfoWars
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines

Richard Frye, MD, PhD

“Cerebral Folate Deficiency in Autism Spectrum Disorder with Direction for Therapy”
Believes autism is the result of abnormalities with folate pathway
Pseudoscience category: Folate/MTHFR

JoQueta Handy, PhD, CCC-SLP

“How to Teach the Non-Verbal Child: If You Think Your Child Can’t Read, Think Again!”
Doctorate in Quantum Medicine, a branch of complementary medicine that uses low-dosage electromagnetic radiation in the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of disease. Quantum medicine uses scientific language for what is essentially energy healing. For more on the lack of science behind quantum medicine, read here and here.
Pseudoscience category: Energy medicine

Julie Logan, DC

“Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)”
MAPS certified chiropractor (not an MD) who practices with Dr. Anju Usman in Naperville, IL
The start of her talk contains a version what is known as the “Quack Miranda Warning”. The slide says: “Information is for educational purposes only; The alternative view presented has not been established as standard care or practice; Clinical trials have not yet been conducted; Not to be taken as specific medical advice.” However, her talk contains specific information about how to diagnose yourself and what you should do about it. As with all interventions with claims about restoring the microbiome, any claims made are, at this point, just hype.
Pseudoscience category: Gut Microbiome

James B. Adams, PhD

“Gut Bacteria, Diet, Essential Fatty Acids, Probiotics, and Fecal Transplants”
On the board of Autism Research Institute (known for DAN!)
Pseudoscience category: Gut Microbiome, Heavy Metals, Diet