Perspectives

Perspectives showcases articles and interviews about the triumphs and challenges of implementing science-based treatment at home, school and in the community. We invite family members, caregivers, self-advocates, and professionals to submit accounts of large and small victories, progress, and stumbling blocks in finding or providing quality care and education for people with autism across their lifespan.

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Overview

There are a number of Internet forums and blogs that enable members of the public (e.g., family members, professionals and/or self-advocates) to share their experiences surrounding diagnosis, treatment and ongoing progress of individuals with autism. Perspectives is another such venue; however, this section of our website hosts contributions that reflect ASAT’s mission and guiding values as outlined below:

ASAT’s Mission: To promote safe and effective science-based treatments for people with autism by disseminating accurate, timely and scientifically sound information, advocating for the use of scientific methods to guide treatment, and combating unsubstantiated, inaccurate and false information about autism and its treatment.

ASAT’s Guiding Values: ASAT is committed to science as the most objective, time-tested and reliable approach to discerning between safe, effective autism treatments, and those that are harmful or ineffective. ASAT supports all scientifically sound research on the diagnosis, treatment and cure of autism, as well as all treatments for autism that are shown to be effective through solid scientific research, regardless of discipline or domain.

Please note that the material selected to be placed in the Perspectives section of our website represents the views of the individual authors of each selection, and does not necessarily represent a formal position taken by ASAT’s Board of Directors.

Guidelines

Perspectives solicits a variety of voices from many walks of life. We encourage submissions from parents/caregivers, other family members, self-advocates, and professionals.

Content: ASAT’s intent is to solicit and consider submissions on a wide variety of autism-related topics. These may include the following: discussions of biomedical or behavioral treatment or research; day-to-day life with a child, adolescent or adult with autism; individual case histories of people who have been diagnosed with autism; comments about emerging research; and success stories, etc. It is important to note, however, that while we support legitimate inquiry into promising areas of research, we recognize that autism treatment has been fraught with unsubstantiated fads and dubious treatments. Therefore, we are particularly interested in those submissions that demonstrate an understanding of how science should inform intervention for autism. We do not accept submissions that advocate for treatments that have not been empirically verified as effective.

Tone: Submissions may be scholarly or personal in both tone and language. ASAT is interested in civil discussions of autism-related issues, so that we may continue to expand our understanding of how to help children and adults with autism. We do not publish or respond to submissions that contain inflammatory rhetoric or personal attacks.

Permissions/copyrights: Submissions must be the intellectual property of the submitting author(s). Any copyrighted material requires proper attributions or permissions. Research articles or summaries of recent research should reference the appropriate sources.

Editorial Review: Submissions to Perspectives will be selected by ASAT’s Editorial Review Committee. Any submission chosen for publication may be further edited, although no edited piece will be published without the author’s final approval. From time to time, the editors may solicit commentary on particular themes or topics as they become relevant.

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Articles and Interviews

Check out many of the articles and interviews that ASAT has published by clicking the links below.

Advocacy
  • A Canadian Love Letter - “Dear Neighbours to the South … Indeed, when we became increasingly concerned about our son’s development my first instinct was to race back home to the supposedly safe haven of Canadian healthcare.”
  • Catherine Maurice's Opening Remarks at ASAT 2000 Conference : Science in Autism Treatment - In response to the numerous inquiries ASAT has received since Conference 2000, Science in Autism Treatment is pleased to reproduce Catherine Maurice’s opening remarks in full... “The Association for Science in Autism Treatment was formed by people who shared a dream: That every family whose child received a diagnosis of autism could have access to credible information and effective treatment…”
  • Interview with Dr. Cyndy Hayes - “I feel strongly that we must shine a light on these individuals, challenge our assumptions and begin to create new and innovative programs that are about seeing the potential that lives within each one of them…”
Awareness
  • The Myths I Believed About Behavior Analysis - "As the first dually certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) and behavior analyst in Indiana, I fully believe in the power of fusing speech, language, social, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) sciences together to deliver more effective treatment. But I have not always been a proponent of ABA..."
  • A Mother’s Perspective - Recently, ASAT learned of material posted on the Web written by Michelle Dawson. While it is not ASAT’s usual policy to address every opinion on the Web that we find objectionable, fallacious, or dangerous…
  • What Autism Awareness Should be About - Autism Awareness Day will soon come to a close. The blue puzzle pieces will disappear from Facebook pages and billboards, the media will focus their attention on other topics of interest, and we will return to business as usual. And business as usual is not OK…
Treatment
  • Interview with Mary Beth Walsh - "At ASAT we receive emails from parents in Oman, Bangladesh, and Brazil, and I am always struck by the tremendous lengths parents are willing to go to in pursuit of effective intervention…"
  • Interview with Barbara Wells - "I realize now that clever marketing had a more powerful impact on the treatment decisions I made than common sense. I wasted a lot of time, money and energy on treatments that had no scientific basis…"
Employment
  • Interview with Pam Browne from BroJoe. - Pam is one of the many passionate and dedicated parents who are making employment for their children with autism a reality. "… Because Joseph loves and is able to draw pictures that people find interesting, we thought: 'How about a business with his designs featured on T-shirts?' So we decided to try the self-employment option and see how that worked out for him…"
  • Interview with Dr. Corley, Mother of Malcom - Through the interview with Dr. Corley, we follow Malcolm’s steps that led him to a place where he developed the skill sets necessary to create and successfully operate such a unique business that represents one of his passions...
  • Interview with Beverley Sharpe, Mother of Allison - "No, I did not foresee that Allison would be able to be employed. My opinion changed after hiring a BC and seeing Allison’s acquisition of skills and improvement in her behaviors. We have not looked back since..."
Family Journey
  • From Grief to Giving - Melissa “Missy” Moyer of Sunbury, PA, was, among many things, a champion for autism. Working as a personal care aide in a local school with a child on the autism spectrum...
  • Looking Ahead - "I was flipping through recently developed photographs looking, as I usually do, for the pictures that stand out. I’m always looking for those special images that capture a precious expression, a beautiful face or a special memory..."
  • Facing the Future with Serenity - "What does the future hold for him? What kind of person will he be? What will his life and our lives be like? What kind of relationship will he share with his brother? What will he be when grows up?…"
Safety
  • Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child - "I am aware of five children with autism who have died tragically in the last year: three died in fire, and two drowned after slipping out of the home unnoticed..."
Community/School Inclusion
  • Spelling Bee Victory - "Fortunately, that simple accommodation led to several other students’ participation..."
  • Mainstream and Hope? - "My colleague Mark Steege, PhD, coined a phrase to describe the typical process of the education of children with autism in public schools: “mainstream and hope." "
Siblings
  • Interview with ASAT’s Leigh Broughan, Sam’s Sister - Because of Leigh’s willingness to relate a heartfelt, honest and revealing account of her journey with Sam, we are given an unusually personal insight into their relationship from his infancy to his adulthood...
Transition to Adulthood
  • Adventures in Driving - “There’s nothing like teaching your adolescent to drive to make you a better driver (at least according to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ standards). It’s amazing what we, as “seasoned” experienced drivers, forget or fail to do…”