Tiffany N. Kilby is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and family member to individuals red-flagged for and diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Tiffany has been around autism since birth. Committed to spreading autism awareness, Tiffany became an extern (volunteer) for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASATonline.org). Tiffany’s passion goes beyond spreading autism awareness; she is also dedicated to spreading awareness about behavior analysis. As a result, she created an online platform to achieve those goals (TheBehaviorStation.com).
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 2014), 1 in 68 children is considered to have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As awareness for autism has increased, so have “treatments” for autism. “Treatments” that offer “cures” for autism should raise a red flag for parents and consumers. There is currently no cure for autism. However, there is currently one validated treatment for autism: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
According to the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT), an internet search will lead to over 400 different types of “treatments” for autism. Google is likely one of the first places parents go to read about autism. Over 400 “options” for autism treatments – what an overwhelming search result. With all of these options, many of which promise success or a “cure,” how do these parents figure out who to trust and what information is true? If not Google, then what? When it comes to autism, the answer is simple: Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASATonline.org).
Parents of individuals with autism deserve to have true, accurate information. The Association for Science in Autism Treatment can aid with leading parents in the right direction; ASAT is made up of a variety of professionals and parents who are dedicated to spreading “real science, real hope.” Summaries and information about “treatments” for autism can be found on ASAT’s website (see resources below).
Currently, ABA is the best option for autism treatment; ABA has been demonstrating success for decades. Applied behavior analysis uses an individualized approach while relying on methods that have been proven to be successful based on its rigorous standards.
Applied behavior analysis does not promise great results; ABA promises effective services. This means that behavior analysts will not promise certain results, but will use thoroughly-designed methods in teaching new skills and/or reducing problematic behaviors. Important Note: It is a red flag if a service provider promises specific results (example: “Although currently nonverbal, I will have your child talking within 2 months”).
- ASAT’s website: org
- ASAT’s Summaries of Scientific Research on Interventions on Autism: org/for-parents/learn-more-about-specific-treatments
- Sign up for ASAT’s quarterly newsletter: org/newsletter
- For information on ABA and Autism, travel to com/aba-and-autism
- Book by Dr. Sabrina Freeman, parent of an individual with autism: Science for Sale in the Autism Wars
- Book written for parents, by Drs. Sarah L Harris & Mary Jane Weiss: Right from the Start: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism, second edition (Topics in Autism)
- CDC (2014) article on autism prevalence: gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6302a1.htm?s_cid=ss6302a1_w