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Research process and autism

Deciding on treatment choices for a child with autism can be overwhelming. Many different interventions and techniques are offered, from medications to diets, from vitamins to occupational therapy, from cognitive-behavioral techniques to biofeedback training. It can be difficult to decide what to try, and even harder to tell what is effective. How do you know when a treatment is working?

There was a time when autism was believed to be entirely psychological, the result of rejecting, cold parenting. This was completely untrue, as scientists, researchers, and clinicians came to realize. It is now widely accepted that a complex combination of genetic factors plays some role in the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).

It is not often that the parent, teacher, or friend of a person with autism spectrum disorder is also a scientist. Whether you’re a lawyer or a plumber, a homemaker or a musician, making sense of autism research may seem a daunting task. Learning to understand and evaluate autism research, however, is easier than you might think, and well worth the effort. Becoming a knowledgeable consumer of research will empower you as you advocate for a person with an ASD.

To unlock the mysteries of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), research across a wide variety of disciplines is essential. Scientists play a crucial role in this process, but they cannot provide answers on their own. Those with ASD and their families can play a vital part by participating in research studies and becoming informed consumers of research.