Waging War on the Autistic Child
The Arizona 5 and the Legacy of Baron von Munchausen
As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders grows each year, new discoveries and controversies arise. Andrew Wakefield explores many of these in his thorough investigation of the recent trial case of the “Arizona 5,” which destroyed an Arizona family. Two parents, with five children on the spectrum, were accused of Münchausen syndrome by proxy—a rare form of child abuse—and were ganged up on by physicians, child protective services, and the courts, who alleged that the parents fabricated medical symptoms in all five children. However, Wakefield now presents ample evidence that was disregarded and which would have proven the parents’ innocence.
Families affected by autism suffer great hardship and prejudice, particularly as they navigate the uncertain waters of diagnosis, treatment, and education. The shocking story of the Arizona 5 family delves into the tremendous challenges some parents have to face, especially if their views on how to treat the syndrome don’t align with the medical world’s standards. Wakefield also includes numerous studies and research trials that support the controversial yet significant roles that vaccines and diet play in autism, factors many medical professionals wrongfully dismiss.