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Opinion Conversations on the science of autism research.

How does culture affect autism treatment?

by  /  11 February 2013

This article is more than five years old. Autism research - and science in general - is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.

In a Viewpoint last week, education specialist Helen McCabe discussed the challenges of developing effective autism treatment programs in China. Based on her time as a researcher and teacher-trainer there over the past decade, McCabe calls for an increase in evidence-based intervention in China.

Read the full article here »

A quickly growing demand for care in the country has spurred the growth of hundreds of ‘autism training organizations’ patched together by parents, medical professionals, schools and others. But the growth has outpaced the supply of properly trained caregivers.

As a result, these private organizations tend to provide as many options as possible — including approaches of questionable efficacy — rather than focusing on proven methods.

McCabe suggests a number of solutions, including educating the Chinese government and advocating for the inclusion of special-needs students into the public education system.

What do you think?                                                             

  • What’s the best way to promote quality, evidence-based autism interventions in places where culture, policy and infrastructure make the cultivation of such resources a challenge?

  • Have you studied autism or worked with children who have the disorder in developing countries or places that present unique challenges for diagnosis and treatment? Tell us about your experience.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Or, to dig deeper, continue the conversation in the moderated SFARI Forum for researchers. Not yet a member? Learn how to register here.

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