ask@asdetect.org

7 Essential Tips for Parents Evaluating Autism Interventions

 

7 Tips

ASDetect identifies the early signs of autism, to help reduce the age at which children with autism are identified. The younger a child is accurately identified, the sooner intervention can start, with the result that children’s full learning potential can be reached.

But how do parents know which autism intervention to choose? The number of interventions claiming to help children with autism is constantly growing; the Raising Children Network suggests that there are over 400 therapies and services currently on offer.

Here are some questions you can use to guide you in your evaluation of the most appropriate therapy/service for you and your child.

1. Credibility

Has there been any independent research undertaken on the therapy/service?

Where is the research published? Is it a credible source?

2. Currency

When was the research done? Has it been updated recently?

Has it been superseded by other research? Has it been replicated by other research?

3. Accuracy

How accurate is the therapy/service, ie. To what extent does it do what it claims to do? How is accuracy measured?

4. Objectivity

Is the therapy/service based on the work of a single person? Is its success reported in the form of testimonials (which are often biased)?

5. Transparency

Is information about the research methods used and the success of the therapy/service readily available?

6. Coverage

How extensive is the claim made for the product/tool? Does this correspond to the extent of the underlying research?

7. Cost

How does the cost of the therapy/service compare to other similar therapies/services?


 

 

The Raising Children’s Network has an excellent resource about choosing interventions, which covers much greater detail than this post. See

Choosing interventions for autism spectrum disorder

You wouldn’t give your child a medicine if you didn’t believe it worked – if it hadn’t been tested as effective and safe to use. So, before you assume that an ASD intervention is effective and safe, it’s best to seek out some reliable information about it.

Autism Awareness Australia also has this useful page on early intervention options

Early Intervention – Autism Awareness Australia

On the HCWA Panel of providers, you will find many methods and programs which are not intensive, and provide nothing like the recommended 20 hours a week of autism specific early intervention. Be wary of these and ensure you thoroughly research the effectiveness of a program before making your decision.