Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Looking for Helpful Autism Information Online? Start With ASAT, the Association for Science in Autism Treatment

We all know that, at least when it comes to autism, the on line world is a mess. There is no such thing as a community of interests when discussing autism. There are many parents trying to make sense of what is happening with their child and his or her autism disorder. There are professionals trying to help , some with totally pure and noble intentions, others who don't give a flying fig about your autistic child who are  guided by self interest or personal ideology.  There are some obvious sites to be careful about when trying to find on line autism help ... the Scienceblog bloggers whose focus is in proving that vaccines can never, ever, ever cause autism or any form of neurological damage will be of no assistance to you at all and  the "scientists" and  "skeptics" who blog there have only a tangential interest in autism and know very little about autism disorders. 

The Neurodiversity bloggers who think that autism is not really a medical or mental disorder, who will try to convince you that autism is just a natural variation, a wonderful parade of joy and bliss, that autism can only be considered a disorder in the sense that autism is not accepted by society should absolutely not be taken seriously. They could well lull you into a false belief that all will be well if you just think good thoughts about autism which they have elevated into an object of worship.

With all the nonsense that clutters the autism world on line where can a parent seeking to help their autistic child look to ground themselves as they being the life long struggle, and it will be a life long struggle in most cases, to help their autistic child? My recommendation for a starting point in the search for information is not in the autism blogs, including this one, notwithstanding that it is arguably the best informed, best intentioned and best written autism blog in the world (just kidding people).  The site that I recommend as your starting point in your on line autism journey and a valuable resource at all times is the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. The ASAT logo states that if offers real science and real hope and if you are looking for real science and real hope I suggest you start at ASAT.

The ASAT site is dedicated to an evidence based approach to autism treatments. The ASAT organization  is thorough, balanced and well informed. It is guided  by people like David Celeberti and Bridget Taylor, people who are both well educated and very experienced in actually helping autistic children.  In reading the abundant materials on the ASAT site you might think it is essentially an ABA site but if you do then you are simply ... wrong.  ASAT, as the name indicates is committed to real science, evidence based science. For many years ABA has been the only autism intervention that has enjoyed any substantial body of  quality evidence in support of its effectiveness. If you read the ASAT comments and recommendations though you will find acknowledgments that other approaches hold some promise but require more research in to determine their effectiveness.  ASAT does state point blank, but without exaggeration, that some methods are implausible and possibly dangerous and identifies those methods.

Throughout the ASAT site you will find language that is respectful both towards parents and towards most efforts to help autistic children.  There is a lot of helpful information on the ASAT site, it is well researched and well organized.  If you are starting on the path of helping your newly diagnosed autistic child you should really consider starting with the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

NOTE: This is not a paid infomercial and I do not  have advertising on this blog site. My only connection to ASAT , other than being a parent of a severely autistic son,  and having read ASAT materials for many years, is that, along with some other autism parent advocates,  I had the privilege of meeting  David Celiberti briefly during a visit he made to Fredericton.

Nor do I agree with everything on the site. The ASAT site prevalence information for Autism Spectrum Disorders,  perhaps reflecting the influence of  advisory board member Dr. Eric Fombonne,  still indicates a 1 in 160  rate well after the CDC stated that the current rate for ASD's  is 1 in 110. That said,  the place to start  looking on line for trustworthy, documented information about autism treatments is ASAT.  IMHO.

3 comments:

Charles LeBlanc said...

why not do a blog on today's news of the kid who had to apply for welfare or money?

blogzilly said...

I've got some new reading to do...

Anonymous said...

As parents we are vulnerable to professionals and can easily be taken in by those who don't give a flying fig about their autistic child. So called professionals who are guided by self interest or personal ideology.