Some Questions to Ask Before Writing The Next Story about Autism Treatment

Top 10 Questions

  1. Are there any published research articles in peer-reviewed journals documenting the efficacy of the intervention method featured in my article or I am just finding hopeful testimonials? If not, why not, and how should I pitch my article given the absence of supporting research? If so, are the studies well designed?
  2. Who am I interviewing for this story and what are his/her qualifications? What does (s)he stand to gain by this interview? Is (s)he making claims of efficacy or effectiveness that are not supported by scientific data?
  3. Is there any evidence of harm associated with this intervention? What are the risks?
  4. How much does the intervention cost? Is the cost reasonable? How is it paid?
  5. What kind of training and supervision do treatment providers need to have before implementing the intervention? If none or little, have I explored the ethics involved and asked if there is adequate consumer protection?
  6. What position statements from respected professional organizations support or do not support this?
  7. Are already science-based interventions (such as applied behavior analysis) recommended by these organizations?
  8. Have I consulted with an unbiased entity for their input?
  9. As described or discussed in this article, “Does the intervention encourage false hope or suggest un-realistic benefits for a family coping with a pervasive developmental disability?”
  10. Have I provided readers with related resources and references that are objective, science-based, and minimize the risk of coercion or manipulation?

Please use the following format to cite this article:

Top 10 questions a journalist should ask before they write the next autism story. (2011). Science in Autism Treatment, 8(1), 14.