HOW TO FIND A DOCTOR or a dentist!
by Moria Merriweather, copyright Moria Merriweather, 2002
last updated 11/24/02
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PUBLICATION NOTES: Please send corrections, updates, and additional information to moriam@earthlink.net. The information in this file is NOT guaranteed to be accurate, and may actually be wrong.  The information in this file is NOT complete, and in some areas is preliminary.  (Have to start somewhere.)  The information in this file is NOT an endorsement of any company or practitioner and should NOT replace your own judgment and investigation. The information in this file is not medical advice, and should not be taken as medical advice.  If you desire medical advice, please see a licensed medical practitioner.   Thank you.  Thanks also to all who have provided the information which I've included here.
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Table of Contents

DOCTORS:

CRANIAL-SACRAL THERAPISTS & OSTEOPATHS trained in cranial manipulation

BEHAVIORAL OPTOMETRISTS & VISION THERAPISTS
 

DENTISTS:

GEOGRAPHIC AREA SUPPORT & INFORMATION GROUPS
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DOCTORS!

Introduction
Finding a doctor who is compatible with your needs and supportive of your goals, methods, and limits is a very personal matter. What is perfect for one person may be awful for another. This file is a list of some IDEAS, which you should use or ignore as suits YOU.  There is not a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all "answer" to how find a doctor or what to look for. Your mileage may vary.

What are you looking for?
You may find it helpful to think about what attributes you want from this doctor you are seeking.  For example, you might want someone who is empathetic, listens to you, is flexible, has treated ASD kids a lot, has supervised chelation a long time, etc.  There are lots of different things you may be looking for, in the ideal case.  It may be very helpful to think about these things, and consider which are most important to you.

Some sobering ideas
Sorry to bring this up, but there are very few doctors out there who are really greatly experienced with chelating children with ASD.  This is not wonderful, but it is reality. The really experienced doctors are probably not taking patients, or else have waiting lists that go out for months. This is also not wonderful as regards your prospects for finding the ideal doctor.  Furthermore, after you read this list for a while, you may know as much about various aspects of chelation as some doctors do.  All of this does NOT mean you won't get help with chelation-- it means that there may be some serious trade-offs involved.  Such as traveling farther than you would like, or waiting longer, or having a doctor who will monitor but not direct chelation, or possibly having a doctor who is not as supportive as you'd like. You may need to consider options that are not exactly ideal.

My impression is that a lot of parents do work out ways to "make it work" using their "regular" pediatricians.  Many also wait in line to see Dr. Holmes and others.  And some find a doctor who is willing to listen and learn with them.  What will work for you is a personal decision, and will be influenced by the choices available to you.

Even more sobering ideas
Mercury chelation, and how to do it, are very controversial. There are WIDELY divergent protocols. The biggest danger that I'm aware of regarding mercury chelation is the potential for "mercury redistribution" due to using a higher risk protocol.  There is also some risk from using stuff that can cause adverse mercury reactions (like chlorella). Many doctors do prescribe badly in the area of mercury chelation.  If you would like further evidence of this, try http://www.dmpsbackfire.com/default.shtml    I don't mean to make you worry NEEDLESSLY-- rather I'd like you to worry constructively.  I'm just mentioning that you may want to carefully evaluate the suggestions and prescriptions your doctor provides.  Mercury chelation is, sadly, a risky business.  I've read quite a bit of writing by adults who have STAYED very toxic, so the potential to try a lot of things but NOT get detoxed is real to me. And I believe the stories I've read on this list, from parents and from Andy, of both kids and adults who have had significant problems using higher risk protocols.  Okay, that's my 2 cents worth. You have been warned.

Sources of candidates (general)
Here are some places you can find POTENTIAL CANDIDATES.  If you use several of these ideas, you may (hopefully) come up with prospective doctors.  You can then work on finding one who is suitable for you.

Screening candidates
Here are some things you could ask. (Select those appropriate for you.) You should also add additional questions that address other concerns you have, and/or other health needs of your child.  Once you have a list of questions, you can decide which ones you want to try asking on the phone. You may need to schedule an appointment to ask questions.  You may want this to be a separate consultation to discuss the doctor's practice, or you may wish to ask these questions at a "regular" first appointment. If you know other parents who see a given doctor then you can ask questions like these: Working with doctors
This is just a start on this topic, please be patient!
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Mercury/message/49129 this post has an interesting comment about asking a "regular" physician to do tests to monitor chelation.  See LAST paragraph in post.
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Sources of cranial-sacral therapists & osteopaths trained in cranial manipulation Info on cranial-sacral therapy:
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Sources of behavioral optometrists, and vision therapy

Behavioral optomotrists do a lot of things that other eye doctors do not. For example, they do vision therapy, and test how the eyes work together (or do not).

General info on vision therapy (from the above sites):
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DENTISTS!

Sources for candidates

The same general ideas about finding and screening candidates apply as listed about doctors. Be very careful when selecting a dentist. Composite fillings require more skill in placement than amalgam, and the risk for further mercury exposure during amalgam replacement is great. Here are some sources of candidates, for dentists:

Amalgam replacement protocols:
No claims that any of the following protocols are "good". You'll have to evaluate them yourself. Other: this page has lots of links to dental organizations, articles about mercury, articles about fluoride, etc.: http://www.bewellnaturally.net/HTML/Directory/TheDirectory/Categories-dir/dentists.html

ASD children and dental work:
Here are links to ideas about getting dental work done with children with ASD or special needs::

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Geographic Area support & information groups

Below are many local area lists (and a few local area meetings).  A general caveat: some of these lists may not be appropriate places to ask about local doctors.  In most cases I do not know what is discussed on these lists, and all lists have their own culture.  So, check and see.  Hopefully you can find some people in your area who will share their experiences with doctors and other local resources.

I left out many truly tiny lists, and there may be new lists. So, you may also want to search [in yahoogroups, or elsewhere] for additional lists.  This is just SOME of them.

WESTERN U.S.
California - So. CA physicians                http://www.autismchannel.net/dana/socal.htm#physicians
California - So. CA resources (many types!) http://www.autismchannel.net/dana/socal.htm
California - So CA                                 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SoCal-Autism/
CA - So. CA - some biomedical focus      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autisminterventionsocal/
California - San Diego                           http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismIntervention_SanDiego/
California - Santa Barbara                     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SBATA/
California - Santa Clara biomed (meetings) http://www.php.com/dosig/autism Gaynelle Grover ggrover@brandplan.com
OR - FEAT Oregon                               http://groups.yahoo.com/group/feator/
Northwest US (OR/WA)                       http://groups.yahoo.com/group/phoenixkids/  (some restrictions to join)
WA - King County                                 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismKing/ (family members only)
AZ - [focus on Phoenix]                         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HelpASAP/
CO - brain disorders (wide range)           http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EMPOWER_COLORADO/ [parents & caregivers only]

MIDDLE U.S.
Texas                                                   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Texas-Autism-Advocacy/
Texas - Collin County North Texas       http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ascc2/
Ohio - biomedical                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ohioabmd/
Ohio                                                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismOhio/
Missouri- St Louis                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autism-stlkids/
GA (southwest area)                             http://yahoogroups.com/group/albanyautism
GA                                                       http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autism-georgia/
GA - area north of Atlanta (North Fulton) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nfasg/
GA - Albany                                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/albanyautism/
Alabama (Autism Society of Alabama)     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autism_alabama/
Indiana                                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Indiana/
Indiana - Columbus                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/columbus-autism-support/
Illinois [special focus on Chicago] (small)   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism_Kids_Illinois/
Illinois - NE [special focus on Chicago]     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismNews/
Iowa - Des Moines [meetings]               http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aswsouth/
Michigan                                               http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Michigan/
Michigan: Macomb & St. Clair counties    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-MacombASA/
Michigan                                               http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Michigan_FEAT/
WI (Autism Society of Wisconsin)         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASW-Autism
Minnesota                                             http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MNAutism-support/
Nebraska                                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismInNebraska/

EASTERN U.S.
Florida                                                 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Florida
Florida - so. Florida                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southflorida_autism
Florida                                                 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismRecoveryNetwork
Florida                                                 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DenisesList
RI, Newport - parents' group                  Trudy Daileader (401)841-5803 or Debbie Kavanagh (401)841-8888.
NJ - Hunterdon County [meetings]        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism_in_hunterdon list has notices of meetings
NJ                                                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NJFamiliesWAutism/
NJ - Bergen County- biomedical focus    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mosaic-List/   [parents only]
NY                                                       http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autism-ny/
Maryland                                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism_Maryland/
VA - Loudoun County & area               http://groups.yahoo.com/group/P2P-Autism/
VA - ASA - Northern VA                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASA-NV/
NC - Raleigh (very small)                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/raleighmoms/
NC - Wake County-Autism Soc. of NC  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WakeCountyASNC/
SC - South Carolina Autism Society      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scautismforum/
PA - Harrisburg ASA                           http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASA-Harrisburg/
Kentucky                                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismKentucky/

OUTSIDE of the U.S.
UK - biomedical focus                         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Mercury-BioMed-UK/
Australia (very small list)                       http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Australia/
Australia                                               http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AspergersAutism/
Indonesia (small list)                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autism-indonesia/
Malaysia -families fighting autism/Malaysia  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pr4a/
Canada: Ottawa - Carelton region          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autismsupportOttawa/
Canada: New Brunswick (small)            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismNBNews/
Canada: Ontario                                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismOntario/