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What are the Treatment Options for Individuals with Autism (ASD)?

Where science & compassion meet the challenge of autism.

ABA vs. Non-Evidence Based Interventions

What is Evidence Based?

Procedures and interventions have been studied scientifically (using experimental research methods) to determine their effectiveness. Scientific evaluations do not rely on speculation, opinions, personal beliefs, or hunches. Evidence based interventions demonstrate facts with objective data to support the claims that are made. The data-supported results appear in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

What are Controversial Treatments?

Controversial treatments for autism are not evidenced-based and are usually untested and rely on testimonials, personal reports of success, and anecdotes to convince consumers (i.e., parents and teachers of children with autism) to use their products or methods. They are typically "advertised" as cures for autism or breakthrough interventions and often claim high success rates or dramatic results. Unfortunately, controversial treatments are often expensive with respect to money and time, and are sometimes dangerous, unhealthy, or even life-threatening.

Here is a list of some red flags to be aware of when evaluating or considering various interventions claiming to be effective for the treatment of autism.

  • Lack of peer-review
  • Lack of a connection with other scientific fields
  • Overreliance or frequent use of success story testimonials and anecdotes
  • Use of highly technical scientific terminology to explain processes
  • Lack of boundaries of effectiveness (e.g., a procedure applies to everyone, everywhere, and in every situation)
  • Other grand claims (e.g., a procedure works 100% of the time; can cure ASD; results in overnight changes)
  • Backed by inappropriate authority figures (e.g., celebrity with no background in the disorder/treatment of the disorder)

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