Friday, May 23, 2008

Into the Deep Water -- Autism

James Mulick, professor of pediatrics and psychology at Ohio State University says “there's no cure for autism, and many parents are willing to believe anything if they come to think it could help their child.”

Autism is certainly one of the most mystifying and challenging disabilities for both researchers and practitioners. With so many “fad” treatments popping up every day, how can parents, administrators, and teachers know where to find an effective, research-based intervention that will actually help a child?

Mulick, who chaired a symposium on “Outrageous Developmental Disorder Treatments at the American Psychological Association annual meeting last year, says Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention is the only therapy shown to have long-term positive effects.
As Mulick said in this article in Ohio State’s Research Communications, “EIBI is a highly structured approach to learning, in which children with autism are taught first to imitate their teachers. But this treatment is very time-consuming and labor intensive. It involves one-on-one behavioral treatment with the child for up to 40 hours a week for several years.”

So with so many “snake oil” solutions out there, and only one legit approach available at an astronomical expense, where can educators and parents turn for information?

I’ve found a couple of places to turn, but I’d love to hear from others who have experience swimming in these waters.

Here’s what I’ve found:

Has anybody used these resources? What did you think of them? Have you implemented a research-based program effectively? What made it effective? If it wasn't effective, why not? If you're a parent, have you found any particularly successful strategies?

3 comments:

Autism_Mom said...

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?

Murray said...

Just read your blog and found it both interesting and a bit appalling. I am old and remember the the 60s very well. Patterning, which is what EIBI was then called, was hot stuff. It drew first applause and then criticism. Seems it was not a successful approach, certainly not borne out scientifically. Check out these two resources from the early days:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Institutes_for_The_Achievement_of_Human_Potential
and also look at www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/patterning.html

Murray said...

Just read your blog and found it both interesting and a bit appalling. I am old and remember the the 60s very well. Patterning, which is what EIBI was then called, was hot stuff. It drew first applause and then criticism. Seems it was not a successful approach, certainly not borne out scientifically. Check out these two resources from the early days:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Institutes_for_The_Achievement_of_Human_Potential
and also look at www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/patterning.html