Families affected by the autism epidemic have suffered great hardship and prejudice, particularly as they have navigated the uncertain waters of diagsis, treatment, and education. Now they face a new and insidious threat in the form of allegations of child abuse. Some in social services, medicine, and the courts have parents in their sights, especially those who treat their children's condition as a medical disorder rather than a psychological aberration. This is the shocking story of one Arizona family with five children diagsed with an autism spectrum disorder. It is a story of two parents accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy - a very rare form of child abuse - that turns the roles of abused and abusers on its head. In the midst of the autism epidemic, a nightmare for many American families, it is a story that the System does t want told.
Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, is an academic gastroenterologist. He received his medical degree from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School (part of the University of London) in 1981, and pursued a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He has published over 130 original scientific articles, book chapters, and invited scientific commentaries. He and his wife, Carmel, a physician and a classical radio presenter, live in Austin, Texas, and have four children, James, Sam, Imogen, and Corin, and a black mongrel called Bella.