After identifying available treatments, interventions, therapies and other services, you’ll need to choose which ones are best for 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?