Friday, April 30, 2010
Dear Psychology Today,
On behalf of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT), we would like to thank you for continuing to host Dr. Bill Ahearn's blog, "The Radical Behaviorist" on your website. Dr. Ahearn provides a much needed scientific perspective on the field of autism treatment and he does it in a way that is understandable to the experts and non-experts alike.
His recent post on the use of facilitated communication with children with autism, "FC is BS" (April 7, 2010), is an excellent demonstration of the importance of looking to the science when selecting an intervention for a child with autism. It also reminds us of the dangers of pursuing non-evidence based interventions. Dr. Ahearn's account of the research at the New England Center for Children that helped to debunk facilitated communication is a story that should be heard by all families, professionals, and policy makers interested in providing the best possible treatment for individuals with autism.
In this age of media saturation in which practices with limited or no scientific evidence are given equal time or often even more time than evidence-based approaches, it is more important than ever for the public to have access to resources such as the Radical Behaviorist blog that provide a scientific perspective. The story of facilitated communication demonstrates that reason and the weight of scientific evidence is often not enough to discredit even the most egregiously unsupported practices in the eyes of the mass media. Thank you for hosting one of the voices out there that is dedicated to the scientific method and rigorous scrutiny of interventions for individuals with autism.
Christian A. Benavides, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Media Review Committee, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Mary McDonald, PhD, BCBA-D
Board Member, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Read More at http://www.psychologytoday.com/.../fc-is-bs