The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) can provide opportunities for your undergraduate and graduate students to meet the challenges of a field fraught with pseudoscience, and to recognize the importance of keeping science and evidence at the forefront. As is the case for family members and providers, it may also be challenging for students to navigate through the literature and media related to autism treatments. Therefore, you may find ASAT’s resources useful for instructional activities in this area.
Below you will find four important ASAT initiatives that may be relevant to you as a graduate or undergraduate faculty member:
- Externship Program: ASAT has a 150-hour externship program for students (both graduate and undergraduate), professionals, and interested family members to gain experience in a not-for-profit organization while increasing their knowledge within the field of autism treatment. Connect your students with a hands-on way to promote science-based treatment and make a real difference for the autism community.
- Monthly Publication: ASAT publishes a monthly newsletter, Science in Autism Treatment (SIAT), containing reviews of published research, books, and consumer resources (e.g., training videos, websites), interviews with leaders in the field of autism treatment and advocacy, answers to questions about important clinical issues related to treatment, tips to differentiate evidence-based options from others marketed as panaceas, guidance to media professionals, and more.
- Website: ASAT’s website (www.asatonline.org) provides valuable information about weighing the evidence supporting various treatment options. ASAT regularly updates treatment descriptions and research summaries so readers may access timely information about the current state of autism intervention research in an easy-to-read format. The website also contains book reviews, interviews, topical articles, information to assist with a variety of clinical issues, and pages specific to special interest groups such as parents of newly diagnosed children, medical professionals, and journalists. In addition, you can find links to the current issue of our monthly publication, Science in Autism Treatment (SIAT) as well as past issues in the Archived Newsletters section.
- Media Watch: ASAT’s Media Watch monitors mainstream media to identify published information about autism and autism treatments. Understanding that every media contribution has the potential to reach thousands of consumers and service providers, we support accurate media depictions of empirically–sound interventions. We also respond to inaccurate information of proposed treatments reported and, at times, promulgated by news outlets. Your students can review our 200+ published letters as models of professional interaction with journalists and media outlets. Additionally, guidelines are provided for journalists to help them tackle their next autism story from a science-minded and conscientious perspective.
In addition, we recommend several specific activities that you may consider for your students.