Science and the diagnosis and treatment of disorders like autism go hand in hand (in hand, I guess). That doesn’t mean the relationship between researchers and the autism community isn’t often rocky. Breakthrough treatments have been frustratingly slow in coming, as has real understanding about what causes the disorder. This is not to say that people aren’t dedicating their lives to answering these questions and helping children and adults with autism—it’s just easy to see why parents of kids with real and limiting impairments will look anywhere for help and answers.
And that’s why we’re glad that the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) is around and has a website full of information on every variety of treatment and intervention for autism. It is not judgmental and does not wag a finger. The site simply lays out all the information and suggests that “professionals and families may wish to obtain additional information about this approach” in some cases. In others, a therapy may simply be “not recommended.” Every entry is backed up by citations and summaries of the relevant research.
In a corner of the world where the volume can get turned up way too high, and critical messages get lost in the static—take the recent uproar over changing diagnostic criteria—ASAT is a refreshing and focused voice. If you or someone you know has autism, is caring for someone who has autism, or is interested in the science behind proven interventions, the site is an incredible resource.