Recovery from autism is still a controversial topic and many in the autism field are still afraid to discuss it. We at CARD have seen recovery for decades and we make it happen for some of the children that we treat. We are not the only ones. Treatment providers all over the country who have been doing top-quality ABA treatment for children with autism, for a minimum of 30 hours per week, for two or more years, have been recovering children for years. Let me explain exactly what we at CARD mean when we say a child has recovered from autism. We mean that the child no longer displays clinically significant impairments related to autism. In other words, there is nothing left to treat, the child is doing just fine. But it’s not good enough to just take our word for it, so here is how we measure it.
Following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been much talk on the Internet and social media about possible connections between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and planned violence. In particular, many have discussed the unconfirmed rumor that the individual who perpetrated the tragedy may have been diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder. We feel it is important…
San Diego, CA | December 19, 2011 – The National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR) has awarded the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) a Community Project Grant to conduct a randomized trial of a playgroup for teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorders. Twenty-four children, ages five to seven, will learn critical social skills, such as sharing, turn-taking, initiating play, joining play, and maintaining play over the course of a 12-week program called Creating Opportunities to Meet Peers and Advance Social Skills (The COMPASS Project). The study will take place at CARD’s San Diego location with no cost to participants.
We are happy to announce the publication of “The Handbook of High-Risk Challenging Behaviors in People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” CARD researchers Jonathan Tarbox, PhD, Amy Kenzer, PhD, and Michele Bishop, PhD, wrote the chapter on “Ruminative Vomiting,” a severe behavior that can have major health consequences if not treated rapidly and effectively. When children with autism ruminate, they voluntarily regurgitate into their own mouths, re-chew the food, and then re-swallow it.
A few thoughts on meaningful outcomes of treatment for individuals severely affected by autism.
I can’t pretend to speak to why the rest of the autism community focuses on the difficulties associated with autism, but I can speak to why it may appear that we at CARD, and other people in the applied behavior analysis (ABA) community, focus on areas of difficulty. Put simply, it’s because these are the areas that people ask us for help with. No one goes to a treatment provider and asks for help dealing with what’s great about their child— they don’t need to, they simply appreciate it every day. But it’s quite true that there are thousands of strengths associated with autism. Any attempt at a list is going to sound like I am stereotyping people, which would be ridiculous. But here are a couple strengths that come to mind.
They drive her 400 miles per week, so that she can get a few hours of ABA services, and they are doing whatever they can to cobble together something resembling a full-time, intensive ABA program. They are retired – they are supposed to be traveling and playing golf.