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Seven Essential Tips for Parents Evaluating Autism Interventions

ASDetect identifies the early signs of Autism, to help reduce the age at which Autistic children are identified. The younger a child is accurately identified the sooner intervention can begin allowing children’s full learning potential to be realised.

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

Here are some questions you can use to guide 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Has it been superseded by other research?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? –  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 greater detail.

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

Published March 2017