Many consumers and providers turn to the media for information about autism and its treatment. Sadly, the media’s portrayals of autism treatment are not always accurate and often fraught with inaccuracies and misinformation. Through our Media Watch efforts we hope to improve the accuracy of media representations through three broad initiatives:
- To respond to both accurate and inaccurate information or portrayals of treatments reported by the media;
- To increase awareness of both scientific evidence surrounding autism treatment and scientific methods that can lead to real hope for those touched by autism by embedding important considerations in our letters; and
- To share specific information about effective autism treatment with media professionals.
Through Media Watch, we provide written feedback to journalists and other media professionals who write about autism and its treatment. For accurate depictions of autism intervention based on the current state of the science, we strive to acknowledge the efforts of those individuals responsible for educating the public with sound, accurate information. However, when an autism intervention is portrayed inaccurately, we provide feedback to media professionals to encourage correction of the inaccurate information in the article or more careful consideration when writing future articles.
Inaccurate portrayals of autism treatments in the media include, but are not limited to:
- Exaggerating the research support for an intervention for which no research exists;
- Ignoring the research basis that may already exist for the treatment in focus;
- Disregarding the relevance of science;
- Disregarding position statements from various professional organizations that warn against or discourage the use of a particular treatment; and
- Failing to acknowledge research that does NOT support a particular intervention.
To read actual Media Watch responses, please click here.
Some Media Representations of Autism Across the Lifespan: Highlighting a Decade of Efforts
Disclaimer: Media Watch letters represent the views of the individual writer(s) and do not necessarily represent a formal position taken by the Board of ASAT.