Back in March 2006, Daniel Dage wrote a heartfelt essay, The Fleecing of the Autism Community, on how unscrupulous cure vendors take advantage of families with autistic members.
There's a new essay up at Autism Watch by Stephen Barrett, M.D., Be Wary of CARE Clinics and the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (CASD). CARE Clinics and CASD are two enterprises founded by Kazuko Irie Curtin.
CARE Clinics and CASD offer services that are unsubstantiated and lack a plausible rationale. I am very skeptical of their activities.
Both CARE and CASD bill patients' insurance companies for tests and for "treatments". According to Barrett, the paid bills have been as high as $40,000.
Kazuko Irie Curtin's son was diagnosed with autism about 14 years ago. She founded the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders as a 501(c)3 charity in 2001, and the for-profit CARE Clinics sometime later. Here is her biography from the November 2008 United States Autism and Asperger's Association conference
Kazuko A I Curtin is the founder and CEO of CARE Clinics. Over a decade ago, Kazuko set out to find the very best treatments for her son, James, who was diagnosed with autism at two years-of-age, and given no chance of recovery. Since that time, Kazuko has traveled the world in search of answers for her son. First, Kazuko developed expertise in behavior therapy. She received training in ABA therapy, and invented “Autism Visual Learning Method”, which is patented in the U.S.,
According to Barrett, the method, a type of Picture Communication System, is not patented.
and is pending in 150 countries. Then she learned about biomedical treatments for James, and began building what later became CARE Clinics. Kazuko was a successful entrepreneur since she was a college student in Tokyo. Among many achievements, Kazuko was a leader at DASCOM, which was an extremely successful computer software company that was later sold to IBM.
In addition to treating her son, Kazuko has recovered from chronic illness herself, by using the therapies at CARE Clinics. The success of treating both herself and her son has bolstered her resolve to create a world-class treatment center that helps both parents and children recover from difficult, chronic illnesses such as autism and cancer. Kazuko is a frequent speaker at many autism conferences, including UCLA, ASA, ATF, GPL, CASD, which help parents make informed decisions for their children. Kazuko is the author of New Autism Treatment Paradigm, printed in Japanese, and leads a team at CARE Clinics that is authoring a New Autism Treatment Paradigm 2008, printed in English, and to be released April 1st, 2008.
I couldn't find publication records for New Autism Treatment Paradigm 2008. However, I did find CASD's IRS form 990. You can read it for yourself: Download CASD_990.pdf
Kazuko Irie Curtin's 2006 compensation from CASD was $203,833. That's pretty good entrepreneurial change. CASD has a board of three. Curtin, Mary Y. Irie, and Jane N. Irie. There appears to be a lack of independence on the board.
Dr. Barrett would like to speak with families who have used the services at CASD or CARE. Please read his article--his phone number is at the bottom of the page.
Previous related blog posts and essays
- Daniel Dage: The Fleecing of the Autism Community March 20, 2006
- Kristina Chew: What Are the Costs? October 13, 2007
- Storkdok: Autism Quackery Every Day April 6 2008
- The UK's Daily Mail, June 4, 2008: The Great Autism Rip-Off
- Bruce Hall, September 23, 2008 Autism, the Fleecing of Desperate Parents Continues