A renowned team of professionals sift the sense from the nonsense in assessing the various approaches to the treatment of autism. In a field exploding with alternative treatments, choosing the best course of action for the child with autism can be a daunting task. The authors offer compelling, practical evidence of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as the most reliable approach to education and provide a much needed antidote to other treatments lacking empirical data.
The editors begin by providing an overview of ABA, debunking common myths and describing its origins in the Lovaas method and UCLA’s Young Autism Project, which first demonstrated what children could accomplish under controlled conditions. They examine how Discrete Trial Teaching has changed and evolved, as they also identify the pros and cons of specific autism treatments. The aim throughout is to protect the integrity of behavioural intervention for children while empowering parents and professionals to provide quality educational programming.
The manual validates ABA as the most substantiated and data-driven form of intervention, while reviewing complementary and alternative medical strategies. Stress is put on the need for parents to cast a critical eye before choosing new therapies or moving from one mode of therapy to another. The editors maintain that only through extensive field testing and careful scientific analysis is it possible to distinguish treatments that can be realistically expected to produce significant changes. Any treatment must be scientifically investigated and subjected to independent verification before being implemented at home or school.
In supporting the notion that every individual must be approached according to their needs, goals and progress, this is a book written with knowledge and compassion for those who deal with the realities of autism on a daily basis. Written in expert yet accessible language, it is an ideal resource for parents navigating the maze of current ASD therapies.