I was shocked and a little skeptical by products that are targeted at kids with special needs after attending the Autism One Conference in Chicago last weekend. I am sure some people think some of the products presented really do help their kids, but there probably are some product owners who are trying to take advantage of these parents. I couldn't stop thinking "Why is this product targeted at kids with Autism? These vitamins are something all kids could use. Or this comfy chair is something I would like. What's with all these products marketed for autism?"
Maybe I am just being obnoxious here, but I felt like I was walking into a big sales pitch. There was a lot of pressure to buy from some of the people. I wanted to put on a shirt that said, "I am with the media and I am not doing any stories on your product." Maybe that way I could have looked around and not been so aggravated. Maybe it's just high pressure sales in general that turns me off.
Has anyone else dealt with this? Am I being too sensitive? Does anyone have any advice for parents who deal with this? How are you supposed to know which products might really help your child and which ones are just people trying to make money?
(This is not a jab at the conference at all. The speakers were great and I was honored to be invited. This whole topic of high pressure sales to certain groups of people just made me wonder if I am the only one who thinks this.")
UPDATE: Coincidently, I just found this article that kind of talks about this. Strange.
Here's what one parent said:
"I bought enzymes and supplements from America, which cost a fortune. I even paid thousands for a special mattress, blankets and pillows with magnets sewn into them that the sales people promised would do wonders but, of course, didn’t work.
‘Autism is seen by some people as big business.
‘I meet parents who want a cure and spend money in the hope they’ll have a normal child. I try to warn them that there is no evidence any of these things work, but they’ll often go ahead."
Just to be clear, I have talked to parents of children with autism who say their children have recovered. I think that is fabulous! Whether outsiders believe these children are autism free or not, who cares. If the child and family feel they have created a better quality of life, that is wonderful!