Advertising Watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), orders 150 UK practitioners who claim to be able to ‘cure’ autism to end their Complete Elimination of Autism Spectrum Expression (CEASE) therapy.

The therapy is a form of homeopathy, which encourages the removal of ‘toxic imprints’ through remedies and dietary supplements. They claim these imprints are caused by vaccines and other substances.

There is no scientific evidence for any link between vaccines and autism. Experts declare CEASE therapy as potentially harmful.

Practitioners have been informed by the authority that they cannot make direct or implied claims in their adverts, including on their websites.

Websites promoting the practice offer training courses that last just three to five days, after which practitioners will be fully ‘qualified’ to administer the ‘treatment’ alone.

The ‘treatment’ involves high dosages of vitamin C and zinc. The NHS advise that increased levels of zinc risks the weakening of bones and anaemia. Overdose of vitamin C could also lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.

John Phillipson, CEO at North East Autism Society, said:

“WE welcome the decision made this morning by the Advertising Watchdog. These ‘autism cure’ adverts are incredibly damaging to the autistic community and their families. Autism is not a disease or something which needs curing.

"Many autistic people regard their autism as part of who they are - why would we want to cure this?

There is a wider problem across society with autism still being a language of deficits and disabilities. At the North East Autism Society we want autism and neurodiversity to be seen in a positive light; to be celebrated and accepted.  

After an often lengthy process to receive a diagnosis for their child, parents can find themselves at a crossroads searching for advice on how they can best support their child. A simple search on the internet results with these damaging ‘cures’ being carelessly advertised.

Whilst we recognise that autistic people and their families may face challenges, we believe that providing support and promoting acceptance in our region and beyond can be of significant help.

"It’s important that we educate Society on why this cure culture narrative is wrong and Advertising Watchdog’s latest order is a step in the right direction.”

The North East Autism Society is actively seeking to change the narrative on autism and neurodiversity.

As part of Autism Awareness Acceptance Week, the charity is ‘Going for Gold.’

Going for Gold is a new take on how autism is viewed and celebrated within the North-east, and across the nation.

UK Autism campaigners are backing this drive as several controversial charities, particularly in the Unites States, use ‘light it up blue’ as their theme. Still advocating ‘cures’ and outdated, harmful therapies, they also want to distance themselves from such initiatives and set a new standard – a gold standard – for autism and neurodiversity.

Find out more about the campaign.