Wow, this guy's read "virtually every study on autism"!

RMankovitz posts:

"As a holistic health practitioner, research scientist and author of several books on illness prevention and toxicology, I applaud this study. I have read virtually every study in the field of autism and conferred with colleagues who assist autistic children and their parents. Here is what I have learned.The medical community does not fully understand how the human body works or the impact of the mother's health on her fetus. There are no tests to measure the total body burden of heavy metals or organic toxins. There are no valid studies that control the variables necessary to make conclusions regarding the causes or treatments for autism. The best medicine can do is to observe and collect information for the future. In the meantime, my approach is to teach people how to restore their bodies as close as possible to the condition that Nature intended. I feel confident there is no single cause of autism. Certain toxins, but not others, may produce symptoms in some children, but not others. I also feel confident that there is no single cure for autism. Certain remedies, but not others, may produce results in some children but not others. That is what the evidence has shown. I also applaud those parents and doctors with the courage to experiment with a variety of safe preventive measures and remedies.For more information on an approach to health based on Nature, see my book: "The Wellness Project."

Roy Mankovitz, Director
Posted 03:49 PM on 06/07/2009"


A search through EBSCO databases, Academic Search Premiere, PsycArticles, PsycBooks, and PsycInfo on peer-reviewed journal articles on autism yielded 29,636 hits. A search through Sage Databases on autism yielded an additional 5309 hits. The journal Autism alone has 553 articles on autism. But Mankovitz has “read virtually every study in the field of autism and conferred with colleagues who assist autistic children and their parents.” I’ve been reading journal articles on autism for the last fifteen years, it’s a major focus of my master’s in psychology, and I would never presume to think I’ve managed to read “virtually every study in the field of autism.”

Mankovitz Roy Mankovitz “received his undergraduate degree in science from Columbia University with a focus in electrical engineering, and he also holds a doctorate in law.” http://www.ablueprintforhealth.com/bio.php

And don’t forget this: “He is a Certified Nutritional Consultant; a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and is on the advisory board of several health related organizations including the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, a non-profit educational resource for scientific validation of ancestral wisdom on nutrition, agriculture, and health.” http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/alumni-profile/mankovitz-roy/index.html

Well, there you go. He says he’s read “virtually” all the studies, and that can’t be a lie, right? The Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Third Edition, which summarizes and encapsulates all of the knowledge accumulated over the last forty plus years into a 1478 page two volume edition would be a breeze to read one’s way through compared to the tens of thousands of pages in the studies done across the scientific fields of inquiry into autism, but Mankovitz, who is not an autism expert, wants to set your minds at ease. He’s got the answers and he’ll sell them to you in his book. Just visit his site and set your world to right.

His response: "Your point is well taken. I presumed from my posts that it was clear my interest is in the area of illness prevention, not on behavioral treatment. I leave that to my wife, president of the Santa Barbara chapter of Marriage and Family Therapists. If you eliminate the redundancies and behavioral studies from your publication list, what remains, dealing with nutrition and toxicology, is quite manageable, and is the focus of my research.Regarding who is an autism expert, I have yet to meet one. How can anybody be an expert on a disorder for which the causes and cures are unknown. I do not hold myself out as an expert in this disorder, nor have I met any psychologists that claim to be one. That is the entire thrust of my original post. Nobody yet has the answers. At best, we have many theories, some of which produce some positive results in some children. If you disagree with that conclusion, please provide me with a list of references in your field that state otherwise, and I will have them reviewed by seasoned veterans in that field.You seem to be amused by my educational background, as I am with yours, when it comes to uncovering the mysteries of a disease of unknown origin that produces behavioral symptoms. I am fortunate to have the endorsements of prominent MDs, biological dentists, and psychotherapists for my books, including perhaps the most famous living Jungian analyst of our time, Marion Woodman."

Mine: Oh well, a Jungian. There you go. That's science! :-)
You offer no conclusive evidence that you can eliminate the "redundancies" and have a manageable list. I would counter that this claim is a complete and outright lie. Have you read the nearly 1500 page Handbook on Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders? You said virtually every study, when that is not what you meant at all. And at least my degree is actually in the field, and note that I am not trying to sell anybody anything. But you can be amused at it all you want. I assure you, I was not amused by your credentials nor your attempt to prey on people desperate for answers.

His: "Let's try this again. If you read my post carefully, I said that I eliminated the redundancies AND BEHAVIORAL STUDIES. The vast major of autism studies are behavioral, written by those in the field of psychology. They view autism as a behavioral disorder. I do not. I view autism as a damaged, and sometimes repairable, nervous system disorder brought on by one or more toxins in the body, which may include foods that are not in alignment with the child's genetic heritage. There are very few studies in this area, so I attend conferences (like DAN and others) where like-minded researchers get together and discuss experiences from the trenches.I consider myself well versed in heavy metal detoxification, and have patents pending in the area. I also consider myself well versed in antifungal and antiparasite protocols, which have shown some efficacy in some children using DMPS, DMSA, ALA, fluconazole, itraconazole, TTFD, and many more. My circle of researchers has virtually no connection with your researchers. I do not disparage the studies in your field, and suggest you take the same approach. In fact, as the vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of Antioch University Santa Barbara, I have supported the school as host for a Certificate in Autism Studies, taught by the masters in your field. Your narrow-minded focus in an area in which you clearly have limited knowledge smacks of arrogance (or is it ignorance), and does not bode well for a successful career in research."

Mine: Let me try again: I assure you that the majority of studies are not behavioral nor do most psychologists view autism as a behavioral disorder. It is a neurological disorder, or more precisely it appears to be multiple disease states, not one underlying disease.

There are a large number of neurological studies concerning autism and my focus is on the neurological aspects of autism. Your focus and attempt to redefine autism as heavy metal toxicity is narrow and points towards an attempt to profit off of desperate parents. I'm not at all interested in what you consider yourself well-versed in. And having a Jungian back you up points towards woo. So which is it: Jungian psychoanalysis or heavy metal toxicity? Or are you so well-versed that you like to be all-inclusive and make sure you attract as many clients as possible?

You are absolutely right when you say your band of researchers has "virtually no connection" to mine. There's a good reason for that.

I recommend The Neurology of Autism edited by Coleman if you'd like to really know where the focus of attention is regarding autism in the psychological field. That is, of course, once you've tackled that 1478 page Handbook. Then you could consider yourself well-versed in what autism researchers consider autism to be.

And I would be the first to admit I don't know everything; that's one of the joys in pursuing a scientific discipline: to admit that you will never run out of things to learn. I am neither arrogant nor ignorant, sir. And I believe I'll do quite well wherever I chose to focus, without need to resort to hawking my wares on HuffPost.

And, drum roll please, his responses in order with mine:

Roy: "Now we are getting somewhere - you admit you do not know everything about autism. Great. We are on the same page. I applaud your studies from a psychological perspective, and I wish you the best of luck. In the same vein, I intend to continue funding studies in the realm of nutrition and toxicology. Why? Because nobody "knows" the answer, and it makes no sense not to pursue as many avenues as possible.Regarding making money from selling stuff on my website, you must be kidding. There is no money in selling books on illness prevention, and I simply provide links to supplement providers (I am not one) who make a profit. Fortunately, my resources come from royalties (I have more than 60 patents in various fields), and I use my own money to personally fund research in the field of prevention and to provide free nutritional counseling and supplements to those who need it, at great personal expense. I believe this thread has gone on far too long, and I am quite complete with it."

Mine: Deflection will get you nowhere. In my first response to you, I wrote: "I"ve been reading journal articles on autism for the last fifteen years, it"s a major focus of my master"s in psychology, and yet I haven't read 'virtually every study in the field of autism.'" I never said I knew everything. I believe that was the point in countering your assertion that you had read virtually every study.

Having looked over your posts to other blogs, which read as plugs for your site and your books, I reached the conclusion that you were hawking your wares by tailoring your message to the specific blog in question, but always bringing it back to your revolutionary diet.

I am absolutely for sound scientific studies examining all possible avenues concerning autism. And I will be among the first to acknowledge it if science ever conclusively shows that chelation/detoxification are in fact effective remedies for autism. But anecdote and testimonial will not stand in place of sound studies.

His: "Hi Kimberly: I had a chance to peruse your website and blog. I applaud you for your work in the autism community and for your personal commitment to finding a cure. I am sorry we did not connect in a different and more congenial manner. Please know that I, too, have a very personal interest that is aligned with yours, and I hope we can meet again under more favorable circumstances, perhaps to celebrate some major progress, from whatever source. I wish you the best. Roy Mankovitz"

And what I assume will be our concluding exchange:

Thank you for taking the time to peruse my sites. I would welcome major progress in this field and answers to the questions regarding autism as well as more efficient and effective treatments.
Thank you for your well wishes. I wish the same for you.

It was a gracious final posting on his part and that should be acknowledged. And, I think an important reminder that people who have succeeded in multiple fields can, when faced with health crises, go down the woo-trail in search of cures. If they get better, they can be certain of the validity of their chosen treatment and lead other desperate people down the same woo-trail. Science may not have all the answers, and it never will. But evidence-based treatments offer the best chance of success. At least it's been studied objectively and the claims measured for accuracy. Testimonials and anecdote may be good for starting points for research but that is all they are good for. Does it mean that the anecdote is wrong, the testimonial misguided? No, of course not, but they could be wrong and that is the point. Human beings fool themselves in ways they cannot fully comprehend. Science is the best remedy against it.

Let me put it as a Star Trek analogy. Kirk went with his gut; Spock with his brain. Spock may have missed the underlying motivators in people, but his rationality was the only way to make sure of the soundness of his decisions. Together, with Spock's rationality to hold Kirk's emotionalism in check, they made an excellent team. You have to check your gut with your head.


kathleen said...

Oh Bravo-I am applauding you. That was just so well done..well played indeed.

KWombles said...

Thank you, thank you. :-) Extremely satisfying as well. You think he'll quit playing now or has he not figured out I'm stubborn?

Connie said...

Great job.

The guy does deserve points for being polite, I guess . . . as well as for being willing actually to engage you. That's more than most of them will do.

I'd love to see an exchange between you and Andrew Moulden. Of course, I wouldn't want to vouch for your sanity once you were finished.

KWombles said...

:-) Yes, I'll give him credit for engaging in a dialogue and being polite. There's enough information there to consider him to be misguided at best on his latest "hobby" as detoxification by the ingestion of clay, at best, seems woo-ful, and his idea that 70% of your diet should come from animal fats is... Well, I'll let you fill in the blank.