To assist parents or care givers as they evaluate different treatments, we have included this list of guidelines created by Dr. B.J. Freeman in her paper Diagnosis of the Syndrome of Autism: Questions Parents Ask.
1. Approach any new therapy with hopeful skepticism. Remember the goal of any treatment should be to help the person with autism become a fully functioning member of society.
2. BEWARE of any program or technique that is touted as effective or desirable for every person with autism.
3. BEWARE of any program that thwarts individualization and potentially results in harmful program decisions.
4. Be aware that any therapy represents one of several options for a person with autism.
5. Be aware that therapy should always depend on individual assessment information that points to it as an appropriate choice for a particular child.
6. Be aware that no new therapy should be implemented until its proponents can specify assessment procedures necessary to determine whether it will be appropriate for an individual with autism.
7. Be aware that debate over use of various techniques are often reduced to superficial arguments over who is right, moral and ethical and who is a true advocate for the children. This can lead to results that are directly opposite to those intended including impediments to maximizing programs.
8. Be aware that often-new therapies have not been validated scientifically.