A furious mum slammed an acupuncture clinic as “cruel” after they offered to cure her children by sticking needles in their BACKS.
Emma Dalmayne has six children on the autistic spectrum and said she feels “violated” by the firm profiting from concerned parents and “disgusted” by the suggestion that autism can be “fixed”.
The 40-year-old from Plumstead, south-east London, posed a mother of a six-year-old mute and called the Upton Clinic inquiring about possible remedies.
Emma was stunned to hear staff at the clinic claim they were about to cure autism and even make her son speak using acupuncture – at a cost of £60 per hour.
She said: “There’s a lot of people preying on these parents. It’s not something you can cure. It’s not a sickness. Sticking needles in a child’s back isn’t going to cure anything.
“I just want to stop them doing it to children. We just need legislation in place. The clinic are making a lot of claims about cancer, asthma, bed wetting.
“I don’t see how sticking needles will stop your child bed wetting. I thought ‘I bet they say they can cure autism as well’. It looks like a really classy place.
“It’s cruel what they are doing. It’s psychologically traumatic. You would have to be holding a six-year-old down, who’s not even understanding what’s going on.
“It’s sad because autistic people are treated like an epidemic and someone who needs to be fixed. There is no quick fix. It’s something you can help families cope with.
“I just want to stop it happening. It’s taking ages to get anything done.”
Emma made a recording of her conversation with the clinic, in which she can be heard asking: “I have heard good things – is it true that acupuncture can cure autism?”
The therapist, who called herself Helen, replied: “Yes.”
Miss Dalmayne then asked: “So after one year of acupuncture, my child will be able to talk?” and was again told: “Yes.”
Autism currently has no known cure – and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that acupuncture can cure, or even ease, the symptoms.
When contacted for comment, Helen at Upton Clinic said acupuncture would not necessarily cure autism, but added: “It can help, because in the points on the head it can increase people’s ability to do daily work.
“In China we have used acupuncture for over 400 years. If a child cannot speak after three or four years old, we would take a child to acupuncture and it can help.
“Nobody can say it can be cured, you have to see how it goes.”