What I want to go over in this post is a more systematic review of recovery outcomes in the larger group of well-known parents in the biomed camp; the celebrities if you will. I think it would be interesting to determine if there are indications that a strong cure mindset (placebo effect) and the huge variety of treatments tried by such parents (particularly chelation) have had any discernable effect beyond natural developmental progress.
I came up with the following list by considering organizations such as SafeMinds and Generation Rescue, major biomed blogs, and the EOHarm mailing list.
John Best Jr.
Kim Stagliano (3)
Considering that Kim Stagliano has 3 autistic children, we are talking about 18 children total in the group, if I'm not mistaken.
I wasn't sure if it was methodologically valid to include Julia Berle and Lynn Redwood, but that would've been a chief complaint if I didn't. Julia Berle, in particular, became well-known only after she showed up with a "recovered" child. She's also not that well-known. I'm not sure about Lynn Redwood on that, but her son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. The outcomes I will discuss refer to classic autism or autistic disorder. (In other words, I'm trying to be as lenient as possible with the analysis).
There are 2 claimed recoveries in the group, although both are disputed. Readers can form their own judgements, since videos exist in the case of Redwood (video) and Berle (video).
The "recovery" rate for the group is then 0-11%, which is in line with the natural recovery rate of 10-15% reported in the literature. It should be noted that many of these children are still young and could change further.
There are claims of developmental progress, but they are not very impressive. Autistic children do develop (Pry et al., 2007; Charman et al., 2004), despite the impression media accounts might give.
For example, John Best has reported progress in his son's behavior, but it doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary. His son started out being obviously autistic, and after several years of chelation therapy, continues to be obviously autistic.
Note that chelation therapy lasts months, not years, when treating severe heavy metal poisoning. Such cases of severe poisoning are normally fatal without hospitalization.
Erik Nanstiel reports some progress as well. His account is peculiar in that he claims the biomed approaches he's put his daughter through have caused her eyeglass prescription to be reduced 60%. This claim is probably unprecedented. It's unclear what biological mechanism could force a change in the curvature of the eye. I suspect there was an error in the earlier prescription. It's a good thing the mistake was corrected, though, because good visual acuity alone can help with learning.
Jim Adams is very interested in chelation therapy, to the point that he conducted a small double-blind placebo-controlled study on the treatment. Results of the study were expected to be known late last year, but there are no indications that anything will be published (source) despite the fact that Jim Adams assured results would be reported regardless of what they were. His daughter has been on the treatment but he found it to be unhelpful.
Then we have a situation such as that of Amy Holmes, one of the first major proponents of chelation therapy as a treatment of autism. She had initially reported her son was making excellent progress in the area of communication, but many years later we find that her teenage son is non-verbal (source). I understand Jeff Bradstreet's case is similar.
From this admittedly not very scientific review, I conclude there are no compelling indications that extensive biomed and/or chelation therapy have proven helpful to the major proponents of the same.