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.