And I don't blame the mainstream doctors. I think for the MOST part, they just follow what they are fed from above (CDC for example) and if they are given one study from the CDC, they are blinded to the 15 that condradict it.
Just wanted to comment on this, in the interest of fairness. Mainstream docs are not "fed" anything from the CDC. They are however trained in "studying a study", i.e. being able to look at medical evidence (some more than others). There are good medical articles out there, so-so medical articles and really lousy articles. It behooves on each individual doctor to be able to process the enormous amount of medical information available in the best interest of their patients. There is no "party line" being fed to influence practice styles. I've been in the medical field enough years to be positive on that one. Some things have such strong backing, that they've become standard of care, and thankfully I think we see results- people living long lives after cancer, heart attacks etc. Often times you have to make your best judgement call with what you've got available.
I do think mainstream medicine has failed autism, but I don't really fault individual physicians, but rather the dire lack of funding and research into this disability. I would see this problem more from a public health standpoint rather than from the standpoint of individual pediatricians. Here, my beef lies predominantly with delayed diagnosis/referral/lack of appropriately trained specialists.
It would be simply stating the obvious to say that there are bad doctors out there. Of course there are. Just as there are lousy teachers, terrible accountants and artists with no talent. I just don't see why we need to divide everybody into the "good guys" (DAN!) and "bad guys" (mainstream docs). That just sounds plain childish to me.
I take my autistic child to the doctor asking for help. He responds by saying "sorry cant help until you tell me what is wrong
That just sounds to me like you need to change doctors ASAP.
As for DAN!'s- I went to my last DAN! doc with some very specific questions and concerns. I did get a list of recommended interventions indeed, however, when I asked some questions (which were pertinent, biomedical, logical questions, not asking for any studies) I was totally brushed off. Talk about doctors not listening to their patients ! I don't know much about mercury, so I went along with all the testing and recs, but when tests were suggested that I actually happened to know something about (because of what I do) and I pointed out the limitations of those tests, and some other issues, I was completely ignored. Well, that really undermines that person's credibility in my eyes. I don' t mind them not knowing, by the way, I mind them not looking it up. And for that (very mainstream) testing issue at hand there was LOTS of info to look up. Whatever happened to "listen to parents 'cause they know best", the warm fuzzy DAN! mantra? This wasn't even a listen to the parent situation, I was discussing (or hoping to) a simple medical fact (quite plain actually). My point- just because at the last DAN! conference someone "fed" you a protocol, doesn't mean you have to stop thinking. The scariest part for me ? This DAN! speaks at national meetings and is an authority in the field. Not to take anything away from the "good" DAN!'s out there, who are both DAN!'s and good docs, just a little anecdote.
I really am not posting this to be controversial, I just wanted to post a point of view of somebody who has been looking at both fields- mainstream and alternative. It reminds me a lot of the ABA-ers versus the RDI-ers and people saying they are not compatible. I propose that they are, but it takes a very special person to be confident in both. Ultimately it's a lot about competence.