Jean-Ronel Corbier, MD
“General concepts in integrative neurology and the Restoration Model”
MD, Pediatric Neurologist
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
James B. Adams, PhD
“Gut Bacteria, Diet, Essential Fatty Acids, Probiotics, and Fecal Transplants”
PhD in materials engineering
Co-leader of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Autism Research Institute, an organization has been widely criticized for their debunked Defeat Autism Now (DAN) chelation therapy
Pseudoscience category: Microbiome, Diet, Heavy Metals
Patricia Finn, JD
Jackie Marquette, PhD
“What We Can Most Hope for Adults with Autism?”
PhD, Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education, with an emphasis on autism and employment
Helps autistic individuals identify their strengths and gifts with a goal toward establishing goals, identifying paths to achieve those goals and establishing a full life as an adult.
Pseudoscience Category: NONE
Richard C. Deth, PhD
“Methylation, MTHFR, redox dysregulation in neurodevelopment, dopamine, B12”
Believes that vaccines and resulting heavy metal exposure cause autism and that disruption of vitamin B12 levels and alterations in epigenetics cause autism. He was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Omnibus Autism Hearings. Also promotes misinformation about MTHFR genotype and autism.
Pseudoscience Category: Vaccines, Heavy Metals, MTHFR
Betsy Hicks & Tyler Sailsbery
Culinary Day: Fermentation, Cooking Tips Tricks for Picky Eaters,Therapeutic Diets
Tyler Sailsbery is a chef with no particular training relevant to autism.
Betsy Hicks is the wife of Dr. John Hicks. Together they run a medical practice built on the belief that autism and a variety of other disorders can be cured by nutritional therapy, proper supplementation, and vibrational remedies. They promote everything from homeopathy and quantum energy medicine, which would have to violate the laws of physics to work, to dietary changes. The website for their practice reads like an overview of every pseudoscientific theory of the cause of autism and theories for curing it, throwing in lots of technical information that has nothing to do with autism.
Pseudoscience Category: Diet
Mothers Determined Panel
Colleen Cimador, Kathleen DiChiara, Sheri Davis, Jennifer Giustra Kozek, Maria Rickert Hong, Esther Grondahl, Jennifer Noonan, Manisha Lad, Terra Smith, Zen Honeycutt, Tyler Dahm, Anne Evans (You will see many of these names as individual speakers on the schedule. Please see their specific summaries for more information.)
Together, these women are part of a group called Treating ADHD Naturally, with a satellite conference occurring right after the close of AutismOne. They promote practices with varying degrees of dubious scientific evidence including to cure ADHD: supplements, the Feingold diet, GFCS diet, treating Candida (there is a pseudoscientific idea that Candida is also the one cause of all diseases), restoring gut health, and essential oils.
Pseudoscience categories: Diet, Microbiome, Essential Oils
Andrew McCabe, MA, PsyD
“The Best of Dr. Andy’s Radio Show Interviews 2016”
You name it, he has promoted it or interviewed people who promote it. Many AutismOne speakers have been on his show.
Pseudoscience categories: All the categories
Kathy J. Forti, PhD
“Heavenly Healing Codes for Healthy Children”
Sells a product called the Trinfinity8 System that supposedly (magically?) transmits mathematical signals to cells to repair DNA, using computers and quartz crystals.
Pseudoscience category: Energy Healing
Theoharis C. Theoharides, MD, PhD, FAAAAI
“Immune Activation and Mast Cells”
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: Inflammation
Karima Hirani, MD
“Biomedical Interventions – Part I”
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
Leslie Carol Botha, WHE
“The Endocrine System and ASD – An Environmental Experiment Gone Awry?”
A women’s health educator and host of the Holy Hormones podcast who believes that autism is a result of endocrine disruption and one step “on a downward spiral leading to gender confusion and genital abnormalities”.
Pseudoscience category: Toxins, Epigenetics, Vaccines (HPV specifically)
Michael W. Elice, MD
“Biomedical interventions for pediatric neurodevelopmental and chronic illness — Part II”
Dr. Elice is a pediatrician whose practice focuses on biomedical investigation and treatments for children and young adults on the autism spectrum. He is on the faculty of MAPS and has presented at all the conferences favored by autism quacks, including Defeat Autism Now! , TACA, SEPTA and, of course, AutismOne. On his website, he promotes and sells nearly every pseudoscientific treatment discussed on this website.
Pseudoscience category: All the categories
Gay Russell , LCSW, NMD and Lisa Mogge, MEd
“Live Foods for the Whole Family: Natural Detoxifers and Builders”
Gay Russell is a social worker and Lisa Mogge is an elementary school teacher. They sell Juice Plus, which is a line of products sold by a multi-level marketing scheme with no scientific basis for the claims made. Both promote the idea that autism can be cured through diet by reducing “toxins”.
Pseudoscience category: Toxins, Diet
Stuart H. Freedenfeld, MD
“Environmental Influences on Pediatric Neurodevelopment and Chronic Diseases”
Under the guise of “holistic” medicine, Dr. Freedenfeld promotes the use of many unproven and disproven techniques to cure autism.
Pseudoscience categories: HBOT, chelation, Homeopathy, Toxins
“Healthy nutritional snacks and treats”
Yoga teacher, chef, Founder of SugaVida – a “superfood sweetener”
Kristina’s workshop is about preparing healthy snacks and may not be pseudoscience per se. However, a look at the SugaVida website reveals standard tropes about “toxins” and food as medicine. It is full of claims not backed by evidence and health claims not approved by the FDA. She claims to be able to cure autism through dietary changes.
Pseudoscience category: Toxins, Diet
David C. Kossor, PhD, RPh, DABT, PMP
“Sleep: The Final Frontier — waking up to the health benefits of melatonin”
Dr. Kossor has taken the reasonable hypothesis that is backed by some weak evidence that melatonin can help autistic children fall asleep when they have difficulty falling asleep and taken it to extremes. He exaggerates this and claims that melatonin deficiencies are the cause of autism and that the melatonin supplement he sells (but not others) will cure autism. This product has not be shown to be safe or effective for children and there may be a risk of seizure in children given too much melatonin.
Pseudoscience category: Melatonin
Ann Rigby, MSW
“The Benefits of Evidence-Based Connectivity Guided Neurofeedback for Autism”
Believes that conscious control of brain waves can modify altered neural connections in autism and create lasting, functional improvement. Despite being used for decades, there is little credible scientific evidence for this. “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
Anju Usman, MD, FAAFP, ABIHM
“Cutting-Edge Interventions”Dr. Usman will present briefly on cutting-edge interventions, such as magnetic resonant therapy, transcranial ultrasound, low-level light laser therapy, and stem cell therapy.
Dr. Usman will present briefly on cutting-edge interventions, such as magnetic resonant therapy, transcranial ultrasound, low-level light laser therapy, and stem cell therapy. As with most treatments that Dr. Usman has promoted in the past, these are light on evidence and heavy on exaggerated claims. Her medical license has previously been suspended due to improper use of unproven and dangerous treatments on autistic children.
Pseudoscience category: Stem cells, More info on Dr. Usman
Medicinal Cannabis Panel
Thalia Michelle , MFA, AmyLou Fawell , MAEd, Christian Bogner , MD , Felicia Carbajal, Brandie Cross , PhD, Luke Cua , OMD, Tyler Dahm, Cristi Bundukamara , Ed.D., NP, Andrew Kuebbing, Rhonda Morris, Jesse Stanley
A panel moderated by Thalia Michelle, executive director of MAMMA (Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism) and co-founder and TMR (Thinking Moms’ Revolution) author. Members of this panel advocate for 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
Arthur Krigsman, MD
“Unique Gastrointestinal Pathology in Autism: Clinical Evidence and Proposed Interventions”
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 may even be 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)
Stephen Walker, PhD
“Autism Associated Enterocolitis: Unique Pathologic Features of Diseased Intestinal Tissue and Blood”
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.
Pseudoscience category: Vaccines, Diets (for more info on GI symptoms in ASDs)
Richard Frye, MD, PhD
“Mitochondrial and metabolic management; cerebral folate deficiency”
A member of the scientific advisory board of TACA, an association completely focused on curing autism and restoring children. and colleague of Dan Rossignol (who promotes HBOT).
“Effective Therapeutic Enhancement to Ease Anxiety and Improve Daily Functioning”
Bachelor of Industrial Design, Inventor of Snug Vest, with no particular qualifications in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, social work or medicine.
Lisa Fraser invented the Snug Vest, a vest designed for Deep Pressure Therapy. According to her LinkedIn profile, prior to starting the company that makes Snug Vest, she worked as a designer, a marketing promotional representative, an art teacher, a lifeguard and swim instructor, and an industrial design consultant (note there is no relevant training or experience here). There is limited data to support the use of weighted vests to reduce aggressive and self-injurious behavior, certainly not enough to justify the claims about Snug Vest. There are also no current standards regarding amount of weight, length of time or frequency of use. Parents should be aware of the experimental nature of this and keep these caveats in mind.
Robert Slovak , MS and Tyler LeBaron
“Essential Knowledge: Water, Minerals, and Molecular Hydrogen”
Tyler Lebaron has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from an undisclosed university, without any further formal education. Tyler is the founder of the “Molecular Hydrogen Foundation,” (formerly the “Molecular Hydrogen Institute”), and claims to be doing research into hydrogen gas. According to his own bio, he is interested in the therapeutic potential of hydrogen gas because “we have always been exposed to it.” Tyler’s website overstates the potential for “molecular hydrogen,” basing his claims on preliminary studies or studies with extremely small sample sizes. Tyler has associated himself with the likes of Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America. Tyler claims to operate MHF as a non-profit.
Robert Slovak is an aeronautical and astronautical engineer who has worked in reverse osmosis, a method of filtering water. Since retiring from the industry in 1996, he has pursued a series on questionable projects relating to the healing powers of water, particularly seawater.
Pseudoscience category: Molecular Hydrogen, Alkaline Water
Shellie Carter, CHT, RMT, PMC, HC
“For the Love of All”
Massage therapist and self-proclaimed expert in Multi-Dimensional Healing for the Body, Mind, Spirit and Soul
Believes that energy healing can help the body heal itself.
Pseudoscience category: Energy Healing
“3 Steps to Naturally Heal Autism”
Massage therapist, craniosacral therapy
Believes in 3 stages of recovery from autism based on misinformation about GI symptoms, heavy metals and how biology works. The underlying theory of craniosacral therapy is false. As a treatment modality, it has no plausibility, no demonstrated therapeutic value and the safety is questionable. Her presentation, which is available for download, hits on nearly every topic discussed on this website.
Pseudoscience category: Gut microbiome, Heavy Metals, Craniosacral therapy (here and here)
Sandra Weizman, DMH, DHHP
“Heilkunst Homeopathy for Autism Healing”
A practitioner of homeopathy, a system that would require everything we know about chemistry, biology and physics to be wrong in order to work. It has been disproven over and over again, despite never having any plausible mechanism to start with. If the principles of homeopathy worked, it would also mean that you drink poop every time you drink water.
Pseudoscience category: Homeopathy
“Legal resources for parents and caregivers – LegalShield”
Co-founder and vice president of American Autism and Rehabilitation Center, an executive director and network vice president of LegalShield Inc
High school graduate, began college for architecture and quit to pursue business and marketing
Kevin Mohler promotes and sells his LegalShield service, which for a monthly fee essentially keeps a lawyer on retainer for you. LegalShield is a multi-level marketing scheme with a troublesome history.
Suzanne Goh, MD
Dr. Goh offers a mix of evidence-based and non-evidence based practices. As with other MDs and scientists presenting at AutismOne, one must wonder at her continued association with AutismOne and the Autism Research Institute (where DAN! originated) and why she embraces treatments that lack evidence.
Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD
“Herbal Medicine in Pediatric Neurology”
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.
Pseudoscience category: Naturopathic medicine, Toxins
Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR) Panel on Puberty
Thinking Moms’ Revolution is an antivaccine group of mommy bloggers who think they know immunology, vaccine science, pharmacology, toxicology, and drug development better than actual scientific consensus and evidence.
Janet Levatin, MD
Steve Kossor, MA
The truth about EPSDT
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) is a benefit provided by Medicaid. It provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. EPSDT is key to ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, and developmental, and specialty services. However, the information provided in Kossor’s presentation and on his website for the Institute for Behavioral change raises many red flags. He seems to be pushing Medicaid in a way that may not be consistent with proper billing procedures. However, it is hard to say from the information provided whether he is just very enthusiastic about expanding Medicaid coverage.
Albert Mensah, MD
“Bio-Nutrient Therapy: An evidence-based model for autism recovery”
Clinical practice is based on the idea that autism is treatable and recovery is possible. His recommended treatments cover a wide variety of treatments discussed on this page.
Pseudoscience categories: Heavy Metals, Epigenetics, Leaky Gut, Diets, Microbiome
Shawn K. Centers, DO, MH, FACOP
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.
Pseudoscience categories: Craniosacral therapy, Massage, Energy Healing, Chiropractic (more here and here)
Tracy Holdford, Karen Elmquist, Candis Tucker
“90-Day Case Study of Heavy Metal Detoxification in a Human Subject with Clinoptilolite Zeolite”
Dr. Holford supposedly holds 10 bachelor, 8 master degrees and 5 doctoral degrees. Despite this illustrious CV, he is author zero scientific papers. Karen Elmquist is the mother of an autistic child. Candis Tucker has a practice promoting various energy, touch, and detoxification techniques. Not surprisingly, they are selling a supplement that supposedly used nanotechnology to detox.
Pseudoscience categories: Energy Healing, Toxins, Massage
John Hicks, MD
“The Endocannabinoid System and Inflammation”
Presented by Tracy Fritz, MD and 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
Tracy Fritz, MD
“CBD for Behavioral Symptoms”
See above sections on Medicinal Cannabis Panel and John Hicks.
Pseudoscience category: Cannabis