We received a request from a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Gary Brown, asking us to post the following information. He’s looking for mothers of children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and mothers of normal (NT) children under the age of ten to take a short 60-question survey. He claims to be looking into the causes of autism. So please take a look at his website and decide if you’d like to help out by participating in the survey.
Dr. Brown is an avowed proponent of the ABA teaching method, which personally I have reservations about. But I’ll keep an open mind about it for the time being. From what I’ve read it seems a bit too Pavlovian and harsh for my tastes (kids are literally drilled with flash cards and other devices for up to 40 hours a week) but there are lots of success stories by children who have tried the program. It definitely appears to work for some kids, but be wholly ineffective for others. Dr. Brown’s website, ABA4autism.com, also has information on ordering two books he’s written about ABA along with an on-line course on ABA and he runs a blog about ABA, as well. So at least he’s putting out information about his views, which is appreciated.
At this point, obviously, we’re more persuaded that thimerosal (mercury) along with genetic factors regarding the processing of mercury and other heavy metals is the most likely culprit in the whodunit game. So while part of me thinks it’s a waste of time to look for other causes, another part of me says it’s a good idea to rule out other factors because ultimately it will strengthen the thimerosal link. Plus I also like a “leave no stone unturned” approach since this is such a complicated issue and deserves to be approached from many angles.
Here is Dr. Brown’s Press Release:
ABA4Autism.com and the Psychology department at the University of Tennessee at Martin are conducting a second survey on the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This survey is for mothers of children with ASD as well as mothers of normally developing children who are ten years of age or younger. Mothers who participate in the survey will receive a free ABA program to teach their children to follow directions as well as free ABA mini programs for common problems like sharing. To take the surveys please go to http://www.aba4autism.com.
Thanks for your consideration,
Dr. Gary Brown
Professor and Chair