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I just had a look at the list of stakeholder organisations for the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) forthcoming guideline on autism in adults.

Two facts for the uninitiated:

This guideline will be rolled out as the primary reference for all doctors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Assuming there is no equivalent Scottish guideline, it will be used in Scotland as well.

NICE is the foremost organisation guiding doctor decision-making in England, and its decisions and rationalisations are taken seriously in many other countries.

So you’d expect them to be fairly particular about the credentials of their stakeholders, wouldn’t you?

So on the list there’s this shower:

Energy Therapy World-Wide Net

“The Energy Therapy Net recognises a number of therapies. Such regognision [sic] is given in good faith and should not be taken to imply that either the Net or any of its officers warrants or accepts any responsibility for the quality of the therapy or training provided. Nor do they accept responsibility for the possible consequences of the use of that therapy. Certification from Calamus Universiy and the AAMET is accepted as soon as the relevant trainer informs the Net of the therapists practitioner level certificate, as is certification issued under the therapies shown opposite To see further information about these therapies click on their names in the box to the left”

“Meridian tapping therapies are a simple combination of “tapping” or “stimulating” specific points with our fingers, whilst using verbal statements describing the problem. EFT was based on the premise that “The cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the bodys” energy system”. Imbalances in the bodys”energy system have profound effects on the personal psychology and health and when tapping is applied to certain points on the meridian lines, the imbalances are generally corrected. Our bodies all have an electrical or energy system. Albert Einstein told us back in the 1920”s that everything is composed of energy, including our bodies. This energy system is as vital to us as our other bodily systems. Therefore a balanced system can start to heal itself.”

Where to start?

Well, first, invoking Einstein in order to sound sciency and give your nonsense a veneer of respectability does not a genuine, demonstrably successful therapy make. And if you’re going to use the word energy in this way, you really have to demonstrate an understanding of it. Energy is not some ‘thing’ that can be moved hither and yon, interrupted and restored. Energy is simply a descriptor for the amount of work required to get from point A to point B, whether that point be one end of of a chemical equation to another, or the bottom of a slope to the top. It is the movement of electrons, or molecules, in a scientifically measurable way, to achieve a result.

And I’m sorry, but there is enough utter nonsense being thrown around as a cause of, or a cure for, autism. Autistic children are suffering and dying (see chelation therapy), millions of dollars/pounds are being wasted, and pocketed by conniving scamsters and well-meaning but utterly gullible fools, who avoid asking themselves the hard questions because they know how paper-thin their justifications will turn out to be.

And that this organisation of snake oil merchants has weaselled itself onto the stakeholder list of NICE leaves me with a strong desire to weep. What have we come to, that a group like this, peddling such total, unbelievable tosh, is treated as a serious organisation, and listed with (for example):

Royal College of Anaesthetists
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of General Practitioners Wales
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Physicians London
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland
Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales
Royal College of Radiologists
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Royal College of Surgeons of England
Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
Royal Society of Medicine

Autistic people don’t need matrix therapy, or energy realignment, or homeopathy, or craniosacral therapy, or chiropractic, or naturopathy, or crystals, or faith healing, or whatever your babble of the day happens to be.

What we need is straightforward, and can be summed up in one sentence. Everything else would flow from that one change.

What we need is a society that accepts difference.

That’s all.

[Hey, I found these people on the list: London Autistic Rights Movement. Worth a look!]