Indianapolis woman investigated for allegedly using 'bleach cure' on child

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A central Indiana woman is under investigation after allegations that she fed bleach to her daughter.

Her daughter, who was diagnosed with autism, is now in the custody of her father.

Metro police responded to a 911 call about the mother’s alleged actions and got social workers involved in the case. Now experts on autism hope to reach other parents in the same situation.

"You just don't know what it's like until you live it," said Sherry Quinn. Quinn knows well the desperation a mother faces, wanting a child "cured" of autism.

There are a number of cases on the internet about parents who have fed their children a bleach solution, believing it would cure them. Some are shared online that the so-called treatment even changed their child’s behavior.

Quinn shared photos of her son with Eyewitness News. He was diagnosed with autism at age two. She said the diagnosis left her temporarily devastated and at that time overwhelmed about what to do. He’s now 24.

"The hope and desperation that I have had since then has never left my heart. I know how it feels. I live it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week," said Quinn.

When she heard an Indianapolis father called police on his child's mother for allegedly feeding the child bleach, it initially shocked her.

Quinn said the internet is full of information about ‘miracle mineral solution’. It's even sold online as an oral supplement.

"Sometimes they can be fooled by what's online," said Quinn. "Whether it's Facebook, social media, a Facebook group."

Quinn founded the Applied Behavioral Center for Autism. She said she is helping hundreds of families in central Indiana learn how to manage children with an autism diagnosis.

Quinn said she has firsthand knowledge about how overwhelming it can be to have to cope with a child’s uncontrolled behavior, especially in public.

Quinn warns parents about the “bleach cure” and urges them not to resort to any kind of treatment that does not have the scientific facts to back up the claims.

"I recommend 'ABA's' — the most sought-after method for children with autism. Applied Behavior Analysis, it's a behavior treatment," said Quinn.

The ABC for Autism is fully-staffed with several locations in the metro area.

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