A renowned team of professionals sift the sense from the nonsense in assessing the 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 show how Discrete Trial Teaching-individualized learning strategies-has evolved, and identify the pros and cons of specific autism treatments. They define their own mission as protecting the integrity of behavioral intervention for children.
This book surveys complementary and alternative medical strategies as well, stressing 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 expected to produce significant changes. They encourage parents to look at treatment that has been scientifically investigated and subjected to independent verification.
Written in expert yet accessible language, this is an ideal resource for parents navigating through the maze of current ASD therapies.
Topics covered include: the Origin of ABA; ABA as a Scientific Method; Alternative Treatments of ABA: What is the Science?; Home vs. School: Which Side are you On?; ASD and the IEP; How Realistic is the Aim for Recovery; Sense and Nonsense about Inclusion; and the Road Map to Successful Integration.
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Ronald Leaf, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who has over 35 years of experience in the field of autism. In addition to co-directing Autism Partnership, Dr. Leaf is also the Executive Director of The Behavior Therapy and Learning Center, a mental health agency providing treatment, consultation and related services to parents, program staff and school personnel.
John McEachin, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who has been providing behavioral intervention to children with autism for more than 30 years. In addition to co-directing Autism Partnership, Dr. McEachin has lectured throughout the world and has helped establish treatment centers and classrooms for children with autism worldwide.
Mitchell Taubman, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who completed undergraduate as well as postdoctoral work with Dr. Ivar Lovaas at UCLA in the 1970s and 80s. Currently, Dr. Taubman is the Associate Director of Autism Partnership, where he provides treatment oversight, training and consultation both nationally and internationally.
Leaf, McEachin, Taubman and their colleagues...provide the interested lay reader with a guidebook on how to think about some of the too-good-to-be-true treatments for autism, and the questions one needs to ask to identify which techniques have a sound grounding in empirical research and which are based on hunches, hypotheses, or not yet validated clinical experience. --Sandra L. Harris, Executive Director, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Teaching people how to evaluate the 'credibility' of proposed treatments for autism, by assessing the evidence is a tough assignment. The authors tackle this assignment in a chapter termed 'Critical Thinking' and guide the reader to become a critical reviewer of credible research evidence (and to not fall for nonsense). The tables in this chapter provide a great brief examination of the research evidence for a variety of alternative treatments. This book should be consulted before purchasing/procuring any services for children with autism. --Ennio Cipani, PhD, Professor, Department of Special Education at National University-Fresno
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