Currently there are no commonly accepted standards for autism treatment, and families are often left to navigate the course of their child’s future on their own. Treatments vary regionally, and there is no system in place to coordinate the development of treatment protocols or novel therapeutics, nor their validation to qualify for insurance coverage.
To achieve standardization of treatment, Autism Speaks supports research into development and translation of innovative therapies, creation of assistive technologies and formation of centers with integrated multi-disciplinary medical teams. Autism Speaks has led the charge in creating the standards for clinical trials, and is partnering with other organizations to promote intervention approaches and treatment gold standards. We believe that all families should have access to state-of-the-art care.
Because of its importance, Autism Speaks has Grant Awards specially dedicated to research into treatments for autism.
These grants are reviewed by a separate Treatment Advisory Board charged with finding projects that will lead to promising interventions.
Autism Clinical Trials Taskforce
One of the biggest gaps in autism treatment is the limited knowledge bridging basic biology and clinical research. To address this issue, Cure Autism Now convened the Autism Clinical Trials Taskforce, in 2002 (Santa Monica, CA) in order to have clinicians derive a consistent strategy for clinical studies in autism.
The meeting brought together a panel of participants from academia, government, and industry. Five subcommittees were formed to focus on issues of clinical trials in autism, and the resulting reports were published as an entire issue of CNS Spectrums.
This forward-thinking meeting has provided a valuable volume which informs researchers today, as discovery research moves the field closer to more and more clinical trials specifically designed for autism.
This effort was solidified in 2005 by formation of our Clinical Trials Network which is designed to do shared, rapid trials among a group of experienced clinical researchers who can enact the guidelines laid out by the Clinical Trials Task Force.
More With Autism Treatment Network (ATN)
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.