An internet survey of treatments used by Australian parents of children with autism spectrum disorders

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    Abstract

    The increasing awareness of, and interest in, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in recent years has been accompanied by an increase in treatments available to Australian parents of children with ASD, some of which are not empirically supported. Teachers need to be aware of the treatments or interventions that the children they teach may have received outside of the classroom. Data on treatments used by parents has been collected in other countries but is relatively sparse in Australia. This internet survey of 40 parents offers preliminary data on current treatment usage. A mean of 9.3 different treatments was used currently and 11.5 in the past, with the most common treatments being educational and therapy based treatments, and vitamin supplements. Several similarities and differences were noted with previous research. The very low response rate in the present pilot replication of the 2006 Green and others study illustrated some of the potential methodological problems with internet-based surveys, particularly where the target population is not clearly defined. Directions for future research include the exploration of factors influencing parental treatment choices, including the role of the special educator in the decision-making process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-57
    Number of pages18
    JournalSpecial Education Perspectives
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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