After identifying available treatments, interventions, therapies and other services, you’ll need to choose which ones are best for you or your child. Here are some considerations to help you make your decision:
- Do you adhere to the Autism Society’s Priorities of Professional Conduct?
- What is the purpose of this theory/practice?
- What do I have to do to benefit from the theory/practice, and what are its lasting effects?
- What is the status of this theory/practice relative to controlled (scientific) investigation, and does it include a reference list of publications?
- For how long must my child be involved in this theory/practice to benefit from it?
- Is there any physical or psychological harm this theory/practice could do to my child?
- What are the personal costs of time and money that I will have to endure, and can I be reimbursed for these expenses?
- How do I know that the costs of this theory/practice are fair and reasonable?
- Are the theoreticians or practitioners competently and appropriately trained and prepared to implement the provisions of the theory or practice? How is their competence assured?
- What steps will be taken to protect my privacy?
- Are there any legal actions, current or past, against promoters, consumers or practitioners of the theory/practice?
- How will the effects of this theory/practice be evaluated?
- By choosing this theory/practice, what alternatives (proven or unproven) am I not pursuing?
- Does this approach mesh with my child’s overall program?
- Who has this theory positively benefited, and under what conditions?
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests the following list of questions to ask when planning a treatment program:
- How successful has the program been for other children?
- How many children have gone on to placement in a regular school and how have they performed?
- Do staff members have training and experience in working with children with autism?
- How are activities planned and organized?
- Are there predictable daily schedules and routines?
- How much individual attention will my child receive?
- How is progress measured? Will my child’s behavior be closely observed and recorded?
- Will my child be given tasks and rewards that are personally motivating?
- Is the environment designed to minimize distractions?
- Will the program prepare me to continue the therapy at home?
- What is the cost, time commitment, and location of the program?