In a post on July 15, 2007 Autism Research Paradigm Shift I commented on a new autism research center at the University of Minnesota and the Autism Research Paradigm Shift which would see Autism as "both preventable and treatable, not by any one method but by a combination of behavioral and biomedical approaches. Autistic kids are not defective, they are sick but otherwise normal kids, and thus, recoverable." The paradigm shift is also the theme of the USAAA 2007 Autism and Asperger International Conference Denver, Colorado August 8-11, 2007 Treating Autism as a Medical Disorder; Bringing Biomedical Treatments and Behavioral & Developmental Therapies Together. The USAAA is co-hosting the conference with the Autism Society of Boulder Colorado.
Experts on autism and Asperger's Syndrome will speak about biomedical and educational interventions with a focus on ways to improve the quality of life for the affected individuals and their families/caregivers. There is a wide range of speakers including Temple Grandin, Raun Kaufman, Dan Rossignol, David and Mark Geier, and Doreen Granpeesheh.
The keynote presentation will undoubtedly be controversial, at least on the internet, if not at the actual conference. The address by David Geier and Dr. Mark Geier is titled "Epidemiology and other evidence on what caused the autism epidemic and new treatment protocol for autism".
Dr Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA, honored recently by the Autism Society of America as "Professional of the Year", will provide a two part presentation on the conference theme "Bringing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy and Biomedical Treatments Together". The conference website profiles Dr. Granpeesheh's impressive experience and background in studying and treating Autism Spectrum Disorders including her role as Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and more than 25 years of study and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In a press release issued yesterday "USAAA announced that a major medical announcement will be presented at the conference regarding a study on autistic children that showed significant clinical improvements in many core areas including language, socialization, cognitive awareness, and decreased irritability. This intervention has been used with clinical success in several other chronic neurological conditions including cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome, closed head injury, and stroke."
The press release does not identify the intervention referred to but there have been ongoing clinical studies of HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment) which has been used to treat all the above injuries so my otherwise uninformed and purely speculative guess is that the announcement will involve results of an HBOT clinical study.
Hopefully the bold promise of the press release is matched by the actual results in the study and, if confirmed, by future successful application of the intervention be it HBOT or otherwise.