Having a child diagnosed with autism can be daunting. You wonder what this means for your child’s future, and how you will handle all of the challenges that this diagnosis brings to the present. You become concerned with how much treatment will cost, and whether or not it will work. Basically, for a little while, autism rules your world.
Every parent deals with this type of stress differently. Some, like Jenny McCarthy, set out to prove the cause of this disease. Unfortunately, Jenny’s claims that vaccines cause autism are not supported by science, and since she is a celebrity, we fear she’s done more harm than good, but we do understand her desire to find out why this happens.
In a similar vein, some parents are drawn to alternative treatments for autism. In fact, some studies suggest that up to 88% of children with autism receive some form of alternative treatment for the disease. But, again, these treatments are not backed by science, and, in some cases, come with harmful side effects.
Chelation Therapy, for example, has not been proven effective for autism, and it carries the risk of heart failure for participants. Similarly, Hyperbaric Therapy, which involves inhaling pure oxygen, can damage eardrums, and cause seizures. And, finally, Miracle Mineral Solution, another purported treatment, can cause nausea, vomiting, and kidney failure.
As it turns out, the best therapy for autism is cognitive-behavioral treatment, aimed at improving social skills and teaching young ones how to manage their emotions. And we happen to do that in our office!
Still, we believe that it’s a parent’s right to do their own research when it comes to treating their child. We just want to make sure that parents are armed with the appropriate skills to discern which approaches are harmful vs. helpful. It’s not that we think that parents aren’t smart. Quite the contrary! We just know that many deceptive companies are out there making claims that they can’t support. Because of this, we urge you to ask the following questions when considering a new approach to treatment:
- Is there solid research supporting the company’s claim of effectiveness? (Research done at a known University, using a large, diverse group of people and a control group).
- Is the company using testimonials to prove their worth instead of academic research?
- Is the company promising results that no other company can provide?
- If there is research, was it funded by the company doing the work?
Asking these kinds of questions can help you avoid scams, and/or, well-meaning approaches that just don’t cut the mustard.
We know that choosing the right therapy for your child can be stressful, and we fully understand why you would be willing to try anything that might help. At the same time, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about the many scientific studies that have been done to verify our approach.
If you’d like to learn more about the different types of therapy for autism, contact us. We are here to help!