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.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Dr. Ahearn's account of the research at the New England Center for Children that helped to debunk facilitated communication is a story that should be heard by all families, professionals, and policy makers interested in providing the best possible treatment for individuals with autism.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Parents of children with autism are presented with a bewildering number of treatment options, often to the point of great confusion. Unfortunately, many of these options have little or no scientific evidence to support their use for the core or associated features of autism…
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Twenty-five years ago, I read a book about the Son-Rise program as part of an undergraduate psychology course. It was a compelling story. To date, there has not been a single study documenting the effectiveness…
ASAT Responds to Lexington Herald-Leader story "E. Ky. school uses intensive therapy to educate kids with autism"
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We applaud the Highlands Center for Autism for making such a commitment to these precious children and for relying on objective data to guide efforts to help them realize their fullest potential…
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
The Lancet can retract the 1998 article authored by Dr. Wakefield. Unfortunately, what cannot be retracted is the impact this article has had on promulgating misinformation about the cause of autism, increasing the number of unvaccinated children…
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We want to formally extend our appreciation for this story, which highlighted a tragedy far too many families have experienced. This piece described a gut-wrenching experience faced by parents of an individual with autism who, through facilitated communication, falsely accused…
ASAT Responds to Chicago Tribune story "Autism Treatment: Science Hijacked to Support Alternative Therapies"
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
This article correctly informs the reader that physicians are making grossly inaccurate claims about the scientific evidence behind unproven biomedical treatments, as well as about the "recovery" of of children who undergo these treatments…
Monday, November 30, 2009
With so many unexamined treatments available for children with autism, it is extremely important that we continue to promote treatments which are science based; thank you for doing this in your article. We are writing today to provide feedback and hopefully some clarification of a few statements that could lead to misunderstandings which may have unfortunate consequences…
Monday, September 28, 2009
While we appreciate your efforts to raise awareness of treatment of the disorder, the article contains misleading information and suggests that all therapies are equally effective…
ASAT Responds to NY Times story "Regimens: Restrictive Diets May Not Be Appropriate for Children With Autism"
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Rabin's piece correctly informs the reader that gluten-free and casein-free diets have no scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness…