Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Cure for Autism? .......not yet, I'm afraid

We are constantly being advised of the latest so-called 'cure' for autism and for many parents, who are desperate to have a 'normal' son or daughter, this must lead to a roundabout of reading, research and possibly expensive interventions, which inevitably will lead to further heart ache. 

This problem is now compounded by researchers who release snippets from their studies without waiting for the final conclusions. They are often aided by PR Departments at their educational establishments who seek to sensationalise... after all any publicity is good publicity in their eyes. They are failing to appreciate the terrible impact this may have on parents or maybe they just don't care.... 15 minutes of fame and all that!

Previously no-one would draw conclusions or seek to publicise incomplete work. It would have been frowned upon by peers and university elders. The New Scientist today advises caution and proper controlled research practices BEFORE coming to what may be  'false conclusions'. They begin with the success story of a little boy who was diagnosed with ASD at 2 and was subsequently 'cured' by a miracle diet. Further analysis showed this couldn't be true. It may have been a false diagnosis in the first place (another of my soap box topics!). 

I read a quote the other day 'When you've met one person with autism....... You've met one person with autism!' Therapy approaches or other treatments that work for one may not work for another. I'm looking forwards to more quality research  from recognised and expert establishments because 'the tantalising possibility remains that something, somewhere out there, really does work, but ... trials so far have lacked the sophistication to separate effective treatments from the duds'.(Clare Lajinchere, 2010)  

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