Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Dear Ms. Pearson,
I am writing to you with concerns about your online story, "Autism Screening Called into Question" posted June 13, 2011. Although the article focused on autism screening, an inaccurate portrayal of the science supporting autism treatment was reflected in the following quote:
As for the third question, the researchers concluded there was no "strong evidence" of the effectiveness of current autism therapies, adding that their availability is still limited.
"Many therapies are available, but none has curative outcome or even well-established efficacy to change the course of the condition," they wrote.
While I recognize that the author summarized comments of others, the story contains misleading information. This information may influence erroneous conclusions of caregivers and professionals, which could result in delays in the application of an effective evidence-based treatment.
Please note that treatments based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis have been endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General, National Institutes of Health, the National Research Council, and the National Standards Report published by the National Autism Center. Moreover, a number of published studies have documented the effectiveness of early intensive behavioral intervention.
Readers might have benefited from a more balanced depiction of the status
of autism intervention research. Please refer to our online treatment summaries
for more information:
Florence D. DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Board Member, Association for Science in Autism Treatment