It is widely accepted that there is no cure for Autism. That is not to say that there will not be one in the future, or that there is nothing that can be done to improve the quality of life for people with autism.
What follows in this part of the site is a series of presentations to explain what therapies are available to a person with autism. The author of this presentation does not value one therapy over another. Each person with autism is an individual and as such certain therapies will work better for one person than for another.
However, when deciding on a therapy for a person with autism it is vital that questions are asked of the practitioner, questions about the validity of the approach, the cost implication, the success rates etc etc. A checklist approach may prove very useful and an example is reproduced here (after Brua and Link 1997):
About the therapy
- How long has this therapy been used?
- How does the therapy work?
- What types of difficulties do the people who have received this therapy have?
- How many people with my child's disability have received this therapy and what were the results?
- What research is available, that I can see, which shows how effective this therapy is for those with my child's disability?
- How will you decide whether his therapy is appropriate for my child?
- Will you consult his or her general practitioner or other professionals for his or her medical/personal history?
- Is the therapy unsuitable for certain people? Who? Why?
- Are there any side effects? If yes, what are they?
- How will you tell whether the therapy has been successful with my child? What signs will you look for?
- How will you compare his or her behaviour/condition before and after the therapy?
- Will you be following up the therapy to see if any change has been long-lasting?
About the therapist
- How long have you been using this therapy?
- How many people have you treated using this therapy? How where you trained in using this therapy? Who trained you? How long did the training last? What qualifications are needed to undergo training?
- Can I see your certificate?
- Does anyone still monitor you to see if you are still doing the therapy correctly?
- My child is x years old and has problems in these areas: a) Language b) Behaviour c) Learning d) Etc. (describe). How many people have you treated who had the same problems as my child and what were the results?
- Can you give me the names and telephone numbers of any other parents/carers with a similar child who has received this therapy?
About the arrangements for therapy
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- How much will the therapy cost in total?
- Where will the therapy take place?
- Will I have to arrange transport and/or accommodation for myself and my child? How much will this cost?
- When will the therapy take place? Dates, times, time span, time off school/work?
- Do I have to pay for the therapy in advance?
- What happens if I wish to abandon the therapy before the course of treatment is completed? How much would I have to pay?
- Will we have a written agreement about the terms and conditions of the therapy?
- If my child gets worse, can I have my money back? Will I be entitled to compensation? If my child's condition does not change after therapy, can I have my money back?