Amazon move to remove books spreading misinformation about autism gets a thumbs up
March 24, 2019
There are hundreds of books available on online platforms that claim to offer a detailed insight into autism. Not all of them are by credible people or backed by adequate research. Yet they claim to offer remedies that could be life altering. Many parents with children on the autism rely on these books.
There are some books that even claim to offer cures for autism. Many experts say such books are dangerous as they are inaccurate and misleading. Which is why online retailer Amazon's move to control the sale of such books has been welcomes. Last week, Amazon pulled the sale of books that claim to offer information on autism cures or on anti-vaccination.
The fact is that autism is a developmental disorder with no cure. However, early intervention and therapy can help people with autism lead independent lives. But there is not enough awareness about this and misleading books therefore find a large audience.
Seema Lal, of the group TogetherWeCan says the actual cure needed is for society's attitudes towards disabilities.
Even today, our society thinks of a disability as something that needs medical attention. So we think about how to fix or treat a child with a developmental condition instead of providing them with therapies. As a society, we must learn to accept and celebrate everybody's differences because every human being is different. It is a great move from Amazon to remove books that says autism can be cured. I hope the same happens with textbooks in our academic curriculums as well. -Seema Lal, Founder, TogetherWeCan
Reportedly, there are some books that have been providing pseudoscientific methods like bathing in toxic foam of bleach as a solution to curing autism. Such books have been taken off the Amazon store. The move came after some online mediums pulled the online retailer up for selling such books.
Ruby Singh, co-Founder, ALFAA School for Children with Autism in Bengaluru hopes Amazon's move will set an example.
"This is a great move from Amazon. With a big company like Amazon taking such an initiative, more companies that promote such books must come forward to stop its sale", said Singh.
Misinformation about various aspects of health is a major issue today and needs to be addressed. Amazon's move will hopefully draw attention to this problem that is true for many health related issues, even critical ones.