CONCEPT-BASED INFORMATION: Sources of Use-able Ideas from Scholarship & Practice Models
Finding What Works For Your Child, Your Family, Your Autism Program Out of a Sea of Research
The tough thing about finding what will work for your child and family is that first you must define what you means by WHAT WORKS? Are you looking for a treatment that will cure Autism at any cost? Are you looking for something that will fit into your life and home and that you can manage with the resources you have available? Are you looking for something medical to try or a strong educational program? Are you looking for methods to teach new skills or to manage negative behaviors, or both? Therefore your first goal is to define what you mean when seek an answer to this question. Therefore, the purpose of this Autism Information page is provide you with a map of the "where" questions that can help new families and novice providers find the kinds of use-able knowledge we need, expect, and want to access to meet our needs to help people with Autism:
Where can I find use-able information about how to become a positive influence for people with Autism and our family and service providers?"
The two most important goals for those of us who must live, work, and cope with Autism are to 1) find and learn about effective intervention models and 2) to identify our shared human needs and how those specific resources match to who we are as individuals and members of diverse groups. This web page is designed to offer a launch pad for when you are ready, able, and willing to explore these realities of the world of Autism. Know that it can take years to make that journey, because this long hard trek always takes us across the entire able spectrum of human development and back again many many times. This is why being a family or service provider to people with Autism across our life spans is not just a job, it is an "outer-able-space" adventure. So get ready for take off!
Knowlege Sources and Knowing What is True
Academic Literature: These are sources of formally gathered scientific, theoretical, historical, and particular case research that have been reviewed and selected by scholarly publications. These sources are then fact-checked, well-established, peer-reviewed, and so, more credible sources for your determining the value of information about the nature, diagnosis, treatment and intervention for your use. Know that these sources will not agree on their findings.
Common Knowledge: These are sources of the informally gathered and shared information that most people believe to be true. This information may or may not have originated with academic literature. It may or may not be fact-checked, well-established, reality-tested, and so, more or less credible. You will often have to test your common knowledge beliefs about human development and Autism against reality and scholarship to learn if it is true and use-able. It may or may not be.
Community Publications: The Autism community has many organizations and groups that are free to gather and publish information that they may feel is in the best interests of the whole Autism community and/or its own organization. Again, to know whether the information an organization puts out is in our communities best interests and your individual use of best practices, you will have to truth-test it. This is why getting connected to an Autism consultant that you trust, who uses professionally established sources of intervention methods, and who connects you to other families who are successfully using that method is very important. They can help you find your well of Autism community resources.
SEE OUR RESOUCE LINKS FOR SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY PUBLICATIONS:
Companies Publishing Catelogs of Books for Autism Family Members
Future Horizons 1-800-489-0727 www.futurehorizons-autism.com
Autism Asperger Pub. Co.1-877-AS-PUBLISH www.aspergers.net
Autism Resource Network 1-952-988-0088 www.autismshop.com
Individual Ancedotes and Intervention Promotions: Members of the Autism community often publish stories of our personal experiences with certain interventions which, most often, are about phenomenal successes. They can often be found in bookstores, public libraries, and the catelogs above. These formal biographies and informally researched autobiographies usually come in the form of stories which may link themselves to scholarly literature, common knowledge, or community bases of knowledge about early Autism interventions, academic achevement of students with Autism, or case stories of professionals overcoming the mutual impacts of Autism as they discovered new forms of interventions. These stories may also be published in a way that links them to the promotion of certain intervention methods, models, groups, or products. These sources of information need to be sorted out carefully in terms of how well they link to well-established scholarship, true common knowledge about Autism, and sound community knowledge. If we do not abuse or confuse these four forms of knowledge, then we will be fine. If we do we put ourselves and people with Autism at risk of harm, or loss of best practices.
Threshold's sources and resources links are organized by these four categories to help you see the links and the gaps that can exist between these four kinds of use-able and used knowledge that is out there. Ours is not a comprehensive listing, but rather, a representative sampling that includes key scholarly handbook references and some of the more popular resource catalogs available. These texts can begin to build your own network on more solid ground.
This need for Autism community networking relates to the nature of Autism always having been a highly specialized and rare developmental condition. No one is trying to hide, or deny you finding resources, we are all just embedded within the Autism world--which can seem invisible to the new family or novice provider still in your own world. You need to quickly find a parent or professional peer guide who is experienced in the Autism resource terrain of your area, to help you travel deep within your region's own Autism community. Therefore, you MUST find "your people" both where you live AND where you would move, before you can accurately assess the NEED to move far from home for help. Looking at our RESOURCE provider referral links can offer you a network model (of Oregon--not a greater place to move at all now) of how to find them in your area. The whole point of this web site is to help new family members who are our children's sources of care providers and novice teachers, who may be our students primary sources of services, get basic, intermediate, and advanced information and/or references for and referrals to basic best Autism practice principles and effective well established Autism intervention models.
Where can I find information about effective Autism intervention options?
First, do not try to find it on your own, it will be impossible to find timely and you can waste years. Find an Autism consultant and an Autism family support group to more quickly guide you to the knoweldge we all need to live, work and cope with Autism over our life spans and work places. Second, be aware that there are more than one kind of information source and different types of knowledge to be found within each one. To help new families and novice service providers we have created an model of how the two main intervention approaches may be kept separate or combined in different ways to create five basic intervention paths for individuals to choose from as we begin to walk.
Where did these best practices and three model interventions that work come from?
Meta-analysis (research that looks at a body of research on a population or topic) of the last twenty years of research has repeatedly revealed similar sets of Autism Best Practice (see link) principles which are shared by all effective program approaches across The 3 Models (see link) approaches to Autism intervention.
There are three broad categories of intervention practices models for both people with, and without, Autism across the educational and mental health provider fields. They are: 1) Behavioral, 2) Developmental, and 3) Eclectic. In this section, we provide general information describing the nature, research design and implementation outcomes of the three models, which may be used to meet the needs of people with Autism. While Threshold is a Develomental model provider (which is the focus of the Developmental and A.D.A.P.T. links below and Our Practice Model links row, we fully support of a family-centered options choice approach, we have included a range of family and service provider literature and expertise Sources on various intervention models and mutual Community provider referral source networks as well. You can find information on all these related links on our homepage table.
Each of these three models may still have proponents and opponents who strongly advocate for how, or disagree that, only their approach can provide the best Autism Intervention outcomes.
In reality, each of these three models has its own strengths and weaknesses and its own cost-to-benefit ratios which parents and teachers can evaluate and match their program styles and goals. Each of the three model follows a set of core provider values that spring from very different epistmological (formal knowledge-based) foundations that then frame their unique philosophical, theoretical and practice frameworks. They each offer some different and some universal sets of strategies and methods that must be incorporated into our daily life and work to succeed. Research confirms that family-centered options and life-span planning are optimal. So families must match our needs, values and beliefs in relationship to our living, working and coping with Autism to the model that best suits us, more than matching one to our child. Because our children will only benefit from those strategies we are the most ready, able and willing to provide across settings. Provider systems may then best lead by getting our organizations into ethical and effective followership to our families in offering best Autism practice program options.