Larry Welkowitz's Radio Weblog
Discussing Asperger's Disorder and other Psychology topics

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Sunday, April 28, 2002

Asperger's and Research

What's new in the formal "academic medicine" world of research on Asperger's?  The answer seems to be "not much!"  With a few exceptions (e.g., the Yale Group), most treatment advances are coming from clinicians, not researchers.  This is exciting on the one hand, since there are numerous innovative clinicians (you all know who they are) who are feeding the researchers with approaches they can study in an attempt to scientifically validate them.  However, anecdotal reports far exceed good data, and this is a big problem.  The reverse was true for, say, the study of panic disorder, where the work of David Barlow and others at University-based research centers lead the way with excellent treatment programs.

Why is this a problem for parents of Asperger kids?  For one, when they try to make arguments that their kid should have program X or program Y, school officials may rightfully question this.  Why should they feel obligated to provide expensive services that have not been proven effective?  It's time for research clinicians (those that live in both the clinical and research worlds) to serve as bridges to bring badly needed science to this area of inquiry.

6:22:25 PM    comment []

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