Ethics: Responding Ethically to Controversial Treatment Practices Autism is a problem that seems to be growing out of control in prevalence. It is a condition that affects many aspects of the individuals life. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, three to six children out of every 1000 will show signs of autism ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2007
Ethics: Responding Ethically to Controversial Treatment Practices
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Pat McCarthy
    Clarion University, Clarion, PA
  • Erin Schaffer
    Clarion University, Clarion, PA
  • Mary Pat McCarthyColumn Editor
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Professional Issues & Training / Ethics
Article   |   June 01, 2007
Ethics: Responding Ethically to Controversial Treatment Practices
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, June 2007, Vol. 17, 3-4. doi:10.1044/aas17.2.3
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, June 2007, Vol. 17, 3-4. doi:10.1044/aas17.2.3
Autism is a problem that seems to be growing out of control in prevalence. It is a condition that affects many aspects of the individuals life. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, three to six children out of every 1000 will show signs of autism (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm). Although many treatments have been developed and some are very effective, the prognosis for recovery appears to be dependent more so on the type of autism the client exhibits rather than the actual treatment being provided.
The etiology of autism continues to perplex us. Yet, because of its prevalence and impact on the families it touches, there are individuals in speech-language pathology and other professions who persist in marketing practices that have not proven to be effective. Therefore, many controversial treatments and therapies have been introduced that are alleged to have life-altering effects. When new treatments such as these are introduced, it creates an excitement within the consumer and sometimes in the profession itself. These treatments then take on a higher status than the “tried and true” practices that have been proven to be effective in facilitating changes within the clients abilities.
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