Autism: understanding alternative, complementary, and emerging treatments

Published on September 30, 2021   34 min

Other Talks in the Category: Neuroscience

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Hello, I'm Fred Volkmar, I'm the Irving B. Harris Professor at Yale University Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as the Dorothy Goodwin Endowed Chair of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University, also in New Haven, Connecticut. This morning we're going to be talking about understanding alternative, complementary and emerging treatments.
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My conflicts of interests include support from the National Institute of Mental Health Autism Center of Excellence Grant (Kasia Chawarska's PI), as well as book royalties from Springer, Wiley Cambridge and Guilford Press. I'm also the editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and of the Encyclopedia of Autism.
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Let me give you a little bit of an overview. Early work in autism mostly consisted of case reports, sometimes with some follow-up. In the 1970s, structured treatments began to emerge as better than psychotherapy at helping children with autism learn and develop. Around this time also, we saw the rise of what's now considered ABA, as well as structured teaching approaches, of which we have many. In the United States, the mandate for service -with Public Law 94-142 for schools - meant a sea-change in treatment, because suddenly in the US, children were mandated to have service. Before that time, schools could (and did) refuse to serve children with autism and other disabilities. Around this time, there also began to be a great interest in developing effective treatments, educationally, behaviorally, and medically. We'll talk about what makes a treatment complementary (in addition to), or alternative (instead of) a known effective treatment. We will also be talking about emerging treatments, and then some of the alternative and complementary treatments you're likely to hear about. Note that evidence-based practices apply to all professionals involved, in every single discipline including psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, special educators, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and others. Some basics - we'll talk about understanding evidence-based treatments, and what that means, and what makes a treatment alternative, versus complementary, versus emerging. Then we'll review some of the alternative and complementary treatments, as well as the emerging treatments, and finally talk about some resources. Let's take a moment to have a brief review of the history of autism, and our understanding of treatment.
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Autism: understanding alternative, complementary, and emerging treatments

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