The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice
The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

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The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

6.9 Section summary

  • Bettelheim and Welch's approaches to ‘curing’ autism do not stand up to scrutiny, and raise serious ethical problems.

  • Key features of an ‘evidence-based practice’ approach are sound theoretical rationale, appropriate methodology and ethical standards.

  • The CHAT provides a tool for improving early identification of ASDs; other screening tools are in development for older people.

  • Lovaas's behaviour modification approach is controversial in its assumptions about cause, and its viability as a ‘pure’ approach, but has usefully informed a range of interventions.

  • The ToM approach informs both Howlin et al.'s programme for teaching mental state understanding, and a more naturalistic intervention aimed at enhancing social understanding.

  • Biological therapies may be necessary for particular symptoms, but do not currently tackle core biological influences.

  • TEACCH offers an integrated, multi-perspective approach, and has been adapted to promote group work for ‘high-functioning’ individuals.

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