In a recent About: Autism Spectrum Disorders posting, the top 10 treatment approaches for autism were listed along with helpful links for each of these approaches. The top 10 were determined by popularity, research, and most effective overall.
The top 10 listed were:
1) Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
2) Speech Therapy
3) Occupational Therapy
4) Social Skills Therapy
5) Physical Therapy
6) Play Therapy
7) Behavior Therapy/Positive Behavior Support
8) Developmental Therapies
9) Visually-based Therapies
10) Biomedical Therapies
I would like to see a similar list, in order, of those that are the most research-based and have evidence of effectiveness with the largest number of children with autism. Organizations such as the National Autism Center are dedicated to coming up with good ways to make these kinds of lists and to develop rankings for treatment approaches which will be based on research and effectiveness for ASD. This project is called the National Standards Project and the expert panel and conceptual reviewers include a prestigious group of autism researchers including several of our TeachTown science advisory board members including Dr. Ilene Schwartz, Dr. William Frea, and Dr. Aubyn Stahmer.
I would also like to see more studies on technology and which programs are effective and which ones are not. It won’t be long before Computer-Assisted Instruction is added to the list above, I just hope that developers, and perhaps more importantly, university researchers continue to conduct the necessary research to keep improving these programs.
**Please see comments from the author of the ABOUT blog, she makes some excellent comments and I completely agree with her!**