“We were asking God to take this spirit that was tormenting this little boy to death,” Hemphill said. “We were praying that hard, but not to kill.”(source)
The pastor involved was later convicted to, get this, 2.5 years behind bars, plus 7.5 years under supervision.
He told police on the night of August 22, 2003 that he had been holding a series of special prayer services, described by some as "exorcisms", during the previous three weeks to remove "evil spirits" of autism from the boy. Hemphill described how he would sit or lay on "Junior's" chest for up to two hours at a time, whispering into his ear for the "demons" to leave his body.(source) (Emphasis mine)
Three women -- including the child's mother, Patricia Cooper -- described to police how they sat on the boy's arms and legs while Hemphill sat on his chest. One woman said she pushed down on Junior's diaphragm several times during the service.
At some point during the service, he stopped struggling and breathing.
An autopsy later determined that Cottrell suffocated.
There have been other incidents, such as the one involving a 14-year-old in Indiana.
What's more disturbing is that doctor/parents who are looked up to in certain circles (specifically, the biomed camp) have endorsed it as a treatment that "works". Kev has documented the views of Jeff Bradstreet and Joe Pike (of the NAA) on the matter.
This is not surprising. People who believe in one form of woo seem to be prone to buy most forms of woo. For example, it's not uncommon to find someone who believes in Astrology and also buys Intelligent Design. An HIV/AIDS denialist might also be a global warming denialist. Patients of Dr. Roy Kerry, unsurprisingly, believe Homeopathy really works.