Reader’s letter to the Investigation Editor, The People newspaper, shared with the author’s consent.
To GERALDINE MCKELVIE, Investigation Editor, The People newspaper
I have read you’re article which refers to a disagreement between a mother of two children with autism and the company which sells Acilis water, and would like to make a few comments.
- I am also the mother of a young man who has a diagnosis of Autism, and who suffers with a variety of symptoms. I believe this to be common amongst people who have the diagnosis.
- My son loves drinking water and ever since he was very young we have encouraged him to do this, along with eating a healthy and varied diet.
- I have spent a huge amount of time since my son was diagnosed with autism twenty years ago reading widely about the condition and interventions that could prove helpful, of which there is a vast array. I have also selected with enormous care those interventions which I believed might ease my son’s difficulties, with, I might say, some considerable success.
- I am a graduate and consider myself to be well-educated and cautious, especially where my son’s health is concerned. Throughout his life, I have recorded observations of the interventions we have tried. These have been done slowly, methodically and, importantly, separately so that it was possible to see the effects of each change in isolation. In many cases, an intervention has been stopped for a period of time and then re-started, to make sure that the change could be attributed to that intervention and not something else.
- Acilis water has a high level of silica, as do some other brands of bottled water, such as Fiji water.
- Dr. Christopher Exley has spent his career studying aluminium and its effects on living things. He is considered by many fellow scientists to be pre-eminent in his field and has numerous peer-reviewed papers published in recognised scientific journals. He is not some maverick, fringe outcast that your article tries to suggest.
- Dr. Exley’s research has shown that not only is aluminium toxic, but that silica binds with aluminium and can help to release aluminium from the body.
- There are many case-studies and peer-reviewed reports that show children with autism can, for some reason, find it more difficult than many people to release toxins from their bodies, and those toxins include aluminium.
- I have witnessed first hand the positive effects of this water on my son, which I firmly believe, based on the evidence, can be attributed to the release of toxic aluminium from his body. Are you seriously trying to say that I have somehow been hoodwinked into buying water because I am stupid, unobservant or desperate to find a “cure” for my son’s autism? If so, I have to say that that is deeply offensive and insulting.
- Parents of individuals with a diagnosis of autism are not mindless, ignorant or irrational. They are, in many cases some of the most well-read and expert critical thinkers you will find anywhere because they have to be. No one else will do the work that their individual child needs to be done.
- Criticising a company such as the providers of Acilis water in the way that you have, that give a reliable service at a reasonable cost to parents who appreciate the benefit of that product, is not helpful to anybody. Whilst I understand that you want to write a story that is eye-catching, which feeds the need to find scandal in our midst and to gives a voice to an apparently needy “good cause”, wouldn’t it be better to do some proper investigative journalism? Maybe ask a few questions that aren’t biased in favour of the conclusion you have already decided you will write? Even perhaps read some of the science?
Thank you for the time and attention I hope you have given to my comments.