A self-proclaimed autism expert told a mum that studies suggest the MMR jab is linked to the condition.
The same £210-an-hour guru then claimed child autism could be alleviated by an exclusion diet which includes organic chicken nuggets.
Dr Lorene Amet was recorded making the claims as part of a Sunday People investigation.
Experts were left horrified by her remarks.
Our probe was triggered when a parent raised concerns about the work of Amet’s clinic – Autism Treatment Plus – which claims to have improved the development of 80 per cent of its patients.
As part of our investigation, Emma Dalmayne – who has two autistic children – posed as worried mum Petra to discuss fictional Raye, seven.
In a video consultation, Amet pushed the supposed link between autism and the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination – fears which medical studies have debunked.
She then went on to make unproven claims about how the condition can be alleviated by changing a child’s diet.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has discredited this as a way of managing autism in young people.
Amet, an Oxford graduate who runs clinics in London and Edinburgh, claimed doctors “do not do their job” as autism is not reported as an “adverse reaction” to the MMR jab.
She acknowledged that the “official position” states there is no link between the two, but claimed studies suggest otherwise and that opinions have been “suppressed”. Amet said: “[Doctors] are saying it’s a coincidence that autism symptoms start at 18 months old.
“But the reality is, we have children who have been given the vaccination earlier than planned and they’ve developed signs of autism at eight months.
“We have children who receive the vaccination much later, even at the age of eight, and they develop signs of autism at that point.”
The French-born guru went on: “I have no doubt there are children affected by this. Vaccination is a means to cause the system to be overwhelmed. This causes inflammation [and] that affects brain function.
“This can link to gut issues, this can link to behavioural [issues]. And unfortunately, sometimes these changes are irreversible. I believe eventually it will be accepted.”
One in every 100 children in the UK has some form of autism. There is no known medical cure.
A 1998 study by disgraced former GP Andrew Wakefield falsely linking the condition with the MMR vaccination has been repeatedly discredited.
But Amet’s comments reflect the views of the thousands of “anti-vaxxers” who spread conspiracy theories about the MMR jab and autism online.
Our investigator Emma, 44, who is autistic herself, said: “I find it alarming that someone who claims to be professional is spreading such fear and misinformation about vaccination.”
Emma, of Plumstead, South East London, added: “Anti-vaxxing rhetoric is very common on social media and parents looking for help are often led in the wrong direction. They’re blamed for their kids being autistic, because they gave them vaccinations.”
Before the meeting with Amet, Emma was sent a questionnaire – which had the tagline “Autism is treatable” – asking for extensive details about her child, such as her height, weight, details of her birth and diet.
She reported that Raye could not speak, had sleep and digestive issues and showed repetitive and self-harming behaviour.
Amet, who claims to have worked with over 1,000 families, said Raye’s diet – which includes chicken nuggets, fruit juice and noodles – could be behind her “challenging behavioural issues”.
She said: “This food contributes to maintaining inflammation.
“She is in pain. The inflammation could have been triggered by genetics or the vaccine but it’s maintained.
“Until you change your diet, that pain will not stop.” Amet said there was “no magic pill” for autism. But, asked if anything would “take it away”, she said: “Number one is the diet.”
Amet, who lives in Edinburgh, claimed a strict gluten-free and dairy-free diet without sugar or processed food would help Raye.
She recommended organic chicken nuggets, home-made granola and coconut, hemp and almond milks.
She later sent Emma vegan recipes and a report saying her suggestions could have a “profound effect on well-being and behaviour” with “improved bowel habit, appetite and weight regulation, improved sleep patterns, eye contact, speech and sensory issues” among the potential benefits.
Amet said: “The sooner you get away from the sugar, the faster you will benefit.”
She also recommended anti-inflammatories to “control the pain” along with urine, stool, hair, food intolerance and blood tests for £971 – available from Autism Treatment Plus.
In a follow-up report outlining a three-month plan for Raye, Amet said further “treatment” would involve working with medics in Geneva, who can issue prescriptions based on results without having to see the patient.
She also recommended a cocktail of eight supplements for daily use, including antihistamines and fish oil.
A disclaimer states that the advice should not “be construed as or understood to be medical care”.
Dr James Cusack, head of research charity Autistica, said: “It’s disgraceful that these private practitioners misinform parents in this way.
“They are selling ineffective tests and treatments which have zero scientific credibility and which could be distressing.”
He advised parents rely on trusted sources such as the NHS, the National Autistic Society or the Autistica website.
When we asked Amet about her claims, she told us: “You have ulterior motives to affect people who can make a real difference to the lives of these children.
“So obviously you’re here to attack me at the highest level and to totally undermine my work.”