Media Watch (a subcommittee of the Public Relations Committee) has three primary initiatives:
- Educating the public about effective autism treatment through proactive contact with the media;
- Responding to inaccurate information or proposed treatments described by the media (as it relates to scientific findings about their effectiveness); and
- Supporting accurate media depictions of empirically–sound interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
We seek to increase awareness of the scientific underpinnings surrounding autism treatment that can lead to real hope for those touched by this disorder.
Below are some recent letters showcasing our Media Watch efforts.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
You have contributed in a most significant way to the dissemination of the facts—and not the misinformed speculation— to the more than one million viewers of your program...
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
We applaud Ms. Hunter for recognizing the need for further study on the use of her method, and would encourage you to make that very point — the need for additional research — focal in future articles about new approaches...
ASAT Responds to BangorDailyNews.com's "Old Town athlete, honor student shares story of overcoming ‘bleak diagnosis’ of autism"
Saturday, May 17, 2014
With only a tiny fraction of the 400+ treatments for autism enjoying scientific support, every dollar and every minute spent on an ineffective intervention truncates those possibilities and opportunities...
Monday, May 12, 2014
Thank you for pointing out that the FDA has taken a stand against scams advertised as autism treatments...
ASAT Responds to Upi.com's "Companies may face legal action fo false claims about products to cure autism"
Thursday, May 08, 2014
It is frightening to think that sellers of dubious products, many with doubtful benefits, boast that they are “FDA approved..."
Friday, May 02, 2014
Top 10 Questions Journalists Should Ask Before Writing the Next Autism Story
- Are there any published research articles in peer-reviewed journals documenting the efficacy of the intervention method featured in my article or I am just finding hopeful testimonials? If not, why not, and how should I pitch my article given the absence of supporting research? If so, are the studies well designed?
- Who am I interviewing for this story and what are his/her qualifications? What does (s)he stand to gain by this interview? Is (s)he making claims of efficacy or effectiveness that are not supported by scientific data?
- Is there any evidence of harm associated with this intervention? What are the risks?
- How much does the intervention cost? Is the cost reasonable? How is it paid?
- What kind of training and supervision do treatment providers need to have before implementing the intervention? If none or little, have I explored the ethics involved and asked if there is adequate consumer protection?
- What position statements from respected professional organizations support or do not support this?
- Are already science-based interventions (such as applied behavior analysis) recommended by these organizations?
- Have I consulted with an unbiased entity for their input?
- As described or discussed in this article, "Does the intervention encourage false hope or suggest un-realistic benefits for a family coping with a pervasive developmental disability?"
- Have I provided readers with related resources and references that are objective, science-based, and minimize the risk of coercion or manipulation?
Friday, April 25, 2014
A study published in the journal Pediatrics, found that 49% of children with autism had at least one attempted elopement (e.g., bolting, wandering) after age four as reported by their caregivers...
ASAT Responds to HuffingtonPost.com's "Complementary And Alternative Medicine Use Common In Children With Autism, Study Says"
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The burden of proof should fall on CAM proponents to scientifically demonstrate their claims and to share those findings accurately...
Monday, January 27, 2014
What is most concerning is the “assumption” piece: the promotion of “therapies” which have little-to-no scientific evidence to support them...
ASAT Responds to TheBlaze.com's "Parents set up hidden camera to monitor autistic son’s therapy sessions – what they saw happing in real-time is gut-wrenching"
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
This story is disturbing and disheartening, yet shares an essential message: the importance of identifying qualified individuals to deliver autism intervention...