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Evidence Based Autism Treatment

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Evidence Based Autism Treatment (ERAT) revolves around the use of evidence to assist in making a diagnosis. I know that this sounds really scientific, but people are pushing an alternative form of treatment for autism. Their excuse is that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has decided to use data to support their perspective, which has not been proven to work. 

The Autism Research Center at Vaccine Coverage Sites states:

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Service

“VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Service) collects detailed reports of all known incidents related to vaccines or treatments given to children aged six weeks to one year. Based on these reports, we determine whether a medical procedure was incorrectly given, if there was a reaction to a drug or other vaccine, if the patient developed complications after receiving the vaccination or treatment or if there was an adverse event that caused the harm or condition.” See the above paragraph. The CDC is merely collecting data and trying to categorize as many cases of autism as possible but has no real way to evaluate the validity of these data.

Accurate Representation of the Risks Associated

This is not to say that the CDC is doing a bad job of collecting this information. They need to gather this information to offer an accurate representation of the risks associated with giving vaccines and/or treatments to autistic children. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as saying they collected enough information to categorize a condition as having been infected with a particular vaccine. It is possible that they missed some infections or diseases responsible for the symptoms exhibited by the autistic child. Autism is a growing concern because research is showing that the incidence of autism among children is rising.

As an advocate for an evidence based autism treatment, I feel that the best way to approach the issue is to look at how we as a society have categorized various diseases and illnesses. For instance, you would not call small children who suffer from seizures as “neurotic seizures” would you? We do not use the same terminology when it comes to the diagnosis of cancer. We must learn to differentiate between different types of conditions to give children a proper diagnosis and a treatment they will receive in a treatment center.

Things You Need to Know

When I look at the way that autism is being treated today, there are two major things that I find troubling. One is that we are not really treating the children with autism according to the specific needs that they have. There is a term for autism that is common but when it comes to actual treatments, we seem to be stuck using terms that are not actually used to describe autism but are used to label a particular condition. As a result, there is no consistency in the types of treatments that are being offered.

The other thing that I think is troubling is that we are looking at autism as a generic disorder. We are not taking the autistic person and truly evaluating each symptom. This allows us to look at one treatment method and not consider all of the options that could possibly fix the autistic child. If you truly want to provide an evidence-based treatment for autism, you have to consider the symptoms that are unique to each child with autism and then choose a treatment method that works for each one of those children.

When you start to think about the definition of autism, you need to really stop and consider the different types of autism that exist. There is classic autism, which is more common than the other autism types. Then there is a spectrum disorder, which is something that is more common than classic autism but less common than the other types. Then you have something called neurobiological autism, which is defined as the autistic person’s neurological problems, such as brain infections. Finally, you have what is known as environmental autism which is defined as the autism symptoms arising from the environment. All three of these conditions need to be treated differently, and in order for an evidence based autism treatment to be effective, it needs to take each of these into consideration.

The problem with many current treatments is that they try to use a broad brush when it comes to treating autism. Instead of looking at each of these conditions separately, they tend to treat autism as a singular condition, and that can lead to some bad treatment choices. This is why I think that if you truly want to provide an evidence based autism treatment, you have to think of each of these conditions within the broader umbrella of autism in order to get the best results possible. Just remember – there is no “one size fits all” treatment.

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