Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Dear Mr. Childs, Ms. Salahi, and Dr. Mazzeo,
On behalf of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT), we would like to thank and commend you for your article "A Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet No Remedy for Autism" (May 19, 2010).
This is a time when families of children with autism are bombarded with treatment claims and, too often, promises of “magic bullets” or cures based on little more than slick marketing, bold testimonial or word-of-mouth. Many of these so-called treatments offer much but deliver little except financial stress, false hope and, ultimately, disappointment. The public media performs an immeasurable service to these families when it reports on notable results from well-controlled scientific research. ASAT is gratified to see the ABC Medical Unit reporting at length on the result from the University of Rochester Medical Center study – and in particular, the care taken to describe the randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled nature of this project, since such descriptions also help to educate the public on the characteristics of good research practice. We appreciate the survey of clinicians, researchers and parents describing that this result substantiates a lack of positive effect by the gluten-free casein-free diet on the core features of autism, a result already indicated by some prior research in this area. Thank you for highlighting those approaches, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), which have existing scientific evidence of efficacy for treating the core features of autism and improving outcomes.
When the public and parents are equipped with good information to distinguish what is evidenced from that which is not, they are better positioned to withstand clever marketing, and to better allocate precious resources of time and money towards treatments which have basis for genuinely helping people with autism spectrum disorders.
There is an urgent need to promote effective, science-based autism intervention; thank you for reporting on this research.
Media Review Committee, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Joshua K. Pritchard, M.S., BCBA
Board Member, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Read More at http://abcnews.go.com/.../story?id=10690766