Thoughtful House: Wikis


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Thoughtful House Center for Children
Abbreviation THCC
Formation 2005
Purpose/focus Health research
Headquarters Austin, Texas
Region served Global
Affiliations Generation Rescue
Budget $4.5 million

The Thoughtful House Center for Children, founded in 2005 and located in Austin, Texas, is a collaboration between three Doctors, scientists, and Anti-MMR activists.[1] THCC claims to be able to help children with autism spectrum disorders (autism, Asperger syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, etc.) through a combination of medical care, education and research.

Andrew Wakefield, MD, who helped found Thoughtful House, and who served as the Executive Director until February 2010,[2] is the subject of much controversy over his discredited research and is charged with professional misconduct and "irresponsible and dishonest behavior" by the British General Medical Council. Several of the collaborators have previously been disciplined by medical boards or fired for previous misdeeds.



In September, 2001, Wakefield, along with other colleagues and friends, initiated planning for a treatment center, devising a place where medical care, behavioral analysis and education, could be combined with clinical and laboratory research. [3] Former Dell Executive, Troy Ball[4] donated land in Austin for the center. Troy and his wife Charlie named the center as a tribute to their autistic son, Marshall. Marshall named the center after the original Thoughtful House, which was a special place for reflection in his backyard.[5] THCC was formally founded in 2005.

Thoughtful House is located next to the Austin Surgical Hospital, though it has no partnership with the hospital.[6]

Work of the center

Thoughtful Houses website claims that Autism can be treated.[7] This is disputed by most Doctors and Psychologists. Several 'treatments' are on offer at Thoughtful House. The treatment appears to involve four stages:

  • Medical Treatment, which involves correcting the child's immune system by 'supporting the detoxification pathways, and breaking the inflammatory cycle'.[8]. [9] The center does not elaborate on this treatment, it appears to be alternative medicine.
  • Gastrointestinal Diagnosis and Treatment, which is administered by the centers two Doctors. This is essentially treatment for bowel disease and mainstream medical techniques are used such as; 'anti-inflammatory medication, probiotics, antibiotics, antifungals, and digestive enzymes.'[10] [11] Treatment of bowel diseases has never been proven to treat autism by peer reviewed medical research.
  • Clinical Nutrition Treatment which requires the child to see a nutritionist who gives the child a new diet plan.[12] [13]
  • ABA Therapy. This is a 'psychological treatment' and it appears to promise behavior modification.[14]

Chelation Therapy is not mentioned, but one of the centers researchers endorses it and it appears to be used and advocated by the center. [15] Thought it is certainly not clear which category chelation falls under. According to the Austin American Statesman, the center requires all parents of children receiving chelation therapy to sign a legal consent form which contains 'a long list of possible side effects that include intestinal disorders, joint pain and, in rare cases, "allergy, anaphylaxis, arrhythmia and even death." It adds that the treatment offers no guarantee of success.'[16] None of the treatments offered are verified by the majority of scientists and doctors and the research behind them has never been confirmed in a peer-reviewed journal yet over 2,500 people have been received them.[17] The metals and chemical compounds used at the center during the therapy are supplied by Lee Silsby Pharmacy.[18] The cost of Therapy is assessed on an individual level by the doctors at THCC. [19]

Two of the centers physicians practising these treatments; Arthur Krigsman[20] and Brian Jepson[21] have been disciplined by the Texas Medical Board. Krigsman was fined $5,000 for failing to disclose unnecessary colonoscopies performed on patients whilst at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.[22] Dr Jepson was fined $1,000 in 2005 because the thoughtful house website gave the impression he was registered to practice in Texas, when he was actually still applying for a license. [23] Only Krigsman appears to be fully licensed at present. This is not noted on THCC's website.[24]

The center also employs 3 full time researchers including Dr Laura Hewitson. Dr Hewitson is a graduate of the Universities of Essex and York. She became a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002, where she collaborated with THCC. [25] She joined thoughtful House full-time in 2008. Laura and her husband, Dan Hollenbeck founded the anti-vaccine website and both endorse the use of Chelation Therapy to treat autism. [26] It is not clear if the center also endorses chelation therapy, as there is absolutely no support for its use in mainstream medicine. [27]

The website lists 'Collaborators'[[1]] who are helping the center conduct research at several universities:

Finances and support

Thoughtful House received $2.4 million in donations in 2007 and had assets in excess of $4.5 million.[35] The companies; TD Ameritrade, Microsoft, Anheuser Busch and Chicago Title Insurance Company all donated to THCC in 2007.[36] In 2008 the center received $2.7 million in donations despite holding no fund raising activities.[37]

Among the centers celebrity supporters include country music group The Dixie Chicks, Baseball player Curt Schilling, model Jenny McCarthy, Pitcher Huston Street, actor Pell James, actress Lori Loughlin and the wife of John Travolta Kelly Preston.[38] [39]

Professional misconduct charges against Wakefield

On February 2, 2010 the British medical journal the Lancet retracted Dr. Wakefield's oft-cited article on Autism. Earlier, on January 28, 2010, the U.K. General Medical Council, after a prolonged two and a half year investigation, had censured Dr. Wakefield and two of his physician collaborators for "irresponsible and dishonest behavior" regarding the conduct of this controversial study. The Council is next to deliberate whether these findings are sufficient grounds to strike Dr. Wakefield off the medical register in the U.K.[40][41][42][43]

A search of the public records of the Texas Medical Board shows that Andrew Wakefield does not have an active Texas medical license.[44]

See also


  1. ^ "General FAQ" (in English). General FAQ. Austin, TX, USA: Thoughtful House Center for Children. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Roser, Mary Ann (Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010). "British doctor resigns as head of Austin autism center" (in English). Austin, TX, USA: AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
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  35. ^ Bone, James; David Rose (February 14, 2009). "MMR scare doctor Andrew Wakefield makes fortune in US" (in English). London, UK and Austin, TX: The Times. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  36. ^ "Thoughtful House 2007 Annual Report". 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
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External links



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