Researchers Raise Eyebrows With Autism Findings

"What [parents] are getting in exchange for their hope, they're having to give time, money, effort, emotional energy that might be better spent other places," he said. "I know that when we stopped all the therapies on our kids, I suddenly found out I had the time and energy to actually play with them, to spend time with them, to spend time with them instead of on them."

Questionable Treatment Raises Issues

The Geiers said that they are tracking 150 children who are receiving the testosterone-reducing drug. When asked, they insisted that they are not experimenting on kids, because each child who came to them had too-high testosterone levels in the first place.

Mark Geier said that "Not only were we not experimenting, we were doing the standard treatment. It's not even off label."

And when asked if it was a conflict of interest to treat kids for a condition when they have a vested interest in promoting the concept that mercury is causing autism, Mark Geier responded, "I don't get that. In that case, every doctor who talks about giving vaccines is promoting. … Not only that, there's so many autistics, I can't handle them all in a million years."

Spending time with the Geiers leaves one with the feeling that it is something other than money that motivates them to swim outside the mainstream. Perhaps it is defiance or ego or the love of people like Lisa Sykes, who trusts the Geiers and hope for a positive outcome.

While Laidler sympathizes with the plight of the Sykes family, he will continue to question the motives behind the science. "I have no problem with people getting hope," he said, "as long as it's not false hope. And I think what they're getting here is false hope."

Sykes, however, remained adamant -- both that the Geiers are good scientists and good men; and that her son Wesley was "poisoned" -- the word she uses -- by vaccines. "A fact is a fact," she said.

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