Principles of Evaluating Therapies of Autism
- These guidelines were created by Dr. B. J. Freeman in her paper Diagnosis of the Syndrome of Autism: Questions Parents Ask.
- Approach any new therapy with hopeful skepticism. Remember the goal of any treatment should be to help the person with autism become a fully functioning member of society.
- BEWARE of any program or technique that is touted as effective or desirable for every person with autism.
- BEWARE of any program that thwarts individualization and potentially results in harmful program decisions.
- Be aware that any therapy represents one of several options for a person with autism.
- Be aware that therapy should always depend on individual assessment information that points to it as an appropriate choice for a particular child.
- Be aware that no new therapy should be implemented until its proponents can specify assessment procedures necessary to determine whether it will be appropriate for an individual with autism.
- Be aware that debate over use of various techniques are often reduced to superficial arguments over who is right, moral and ethical and who is a true advocate for the children. This can lead to results that are directly opposite to those intended including impediments to maximizing programs.
- Be aware that often-new therapies have not been validated scientifically.