Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Dear Ms. Brown,
We appreciate your effort to spotlight interventions for children with autism. Unfortunately, this particular piece contains inaccuracies to the potential detriment of children with autism and their families.
For example, in the article, Dr. Gabriels is quoted as saying that "Choosing the right therapy for an autistic child depends largely on the severity of the child’s disorder...There is no one treatment that we can name and say that is the one you need to use." What Dr. Gabriels failed to mention is that several hundred peer-reviewed research studies have been published to support the effectiveness of interventions based upon Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as effective interventions for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In fact, the National Standards Report published in 2009 by the National Autism Center concluded that several therapies that are based on ABA all have scientific evidence and are considered established treatments.
Conversely, there are no scientific studies supporting Brain Balance as a successful treatment for ASD. In the absence of data from well-controlled scientific studies, a testimonial from a consumer and opinions offered by Brain Balance therapists or franchise owners do not establish Brain Balance as a scientifically validated treatment for autism.
Unfortunately, the perpetuation of this type of misinformation may result in parents spending their time, energy and hard-earned dollars enrolling their children in unsubstantiated treatments without appreciating the absence of scientific validation. Not only does this deplete the financial resources of families, but it may preclude their child's participation in other scientifically validated interventions, such as those grounded in Applied Behavior Analysis.
While we applaud your focus on interventions for children with autism, we encourage you to adopt a more critical eye in your reporting. Children with autism deserve nothing less.
Geoffrey DeBery, M.A., BCBA
Media Review Committee, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Daniel W. Mruzek, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Board Member, Association for Science in Autism Treatment
Read More at http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_14886346