Did you see Australian Story this evening? Parents, Ian and Nicole Rogerson say that when their son was diagnosed with Autism, they turned to the Internet for help. It really struck me, when Nicole said over the years (their son is now 13) they tried some doggy autism interventions, that parents may like some guidance on where to find balanced, evidence-based assessments on the effectiveness of the various interventions and therapies.
I’d like to share with you the following journal articles, fact sheets and government websites that may help.
First up, A Teacher’s Guide To Controversial Practices (2004) lists a set of indicators that may serve as warning signs that a practice has not been shown to be effective. It identifies and reviews a number of practices. I don’t agree that all of the interventions are ineffective just because there is no scientific evidence to back it up . While working in Special Schools in the past I have seen the calming effects of some of these interventions. However, knowledge is power so I hope this information helps.
Secondly, I’d like to point you in the direction of the Positive Partnerships online training portal, which comprises an excellent balance of expertise in autism-specific services for parents, carers, teachers and other professionals.
Positive Partnerships is consortium comprising Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), University of Canberra, Autism South Australia and the Department of Education & Training, Western Australia and funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) through the Australian Government’s Helping Children with Autism package.
I will attempt to direct you straight to the information click on the links below. If they do not work, you”ll need to log in first. So register, then look for the fact sheets under learning resources.
Each State and Territory has it’s own peak body, which will offer a balanced view of autism interventions.
Here are the contact details for the Autism Associations in Australia and New Zealand.
Australian Capital Territory
Autism Asperger ACT
c/- Self Help Organisations United Together (SHOUT)
Bldg 1, Pearce Centre
Pearce ACT 2067
(PO Box 717, Mawson ACT 2607)
Phone: (02) 6290 1984