Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Autism -- How to know what works?

On Friday, “Autism_Mom” wrote:

“I've come across the Shafer Autism Report which seems to have lots of information on Autism - problem is I don't know how much of this info is based in good research. Seems like a lot of people slap "research-based" in front of whatever they're selling - how do I really know if it works?

It's true -- determining the quality of information on autism is tricky business. Even the Shafer report states they are not endorsing any treatments or providing any medical or legal advice. How frustrating!

How to start… Be a voracious reader, gather all the evidence you can, and seek the advice of the professionals. Remember that nobody knows your child better than you do, so pair your knowledge with professional understanding. Ultimately your knowledge of your child should form the foundation of the approach you take. An About: Autism Spectrum Disorders posting from 2007 made this same point:

“As you start to dig deeply into the literature on autism treatments, you'll find dozens of available options. Which are the "best" treatments? As the professionals will tell you over and over again, every child's needs are different.”

Still it’s worth taking a look at the list on that blog, which includes “what’s most likely to be offered and/or available.” You might also check out this discussion at Dr. Chris’ Autism Journal.

Hope that helps!

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