Understanding Autism For Dummies
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Many “entrepreneurs” are only too happy to accept your money for their “miracle cures” or interventions for your loved one with autism. Keep your eyes open, and ask these questions about all those sellers and their interventions:

  • What evidence supports the intervention’s effectiveness? Is the evidence independent research or just case studies? What’s the success rate of the intervention? Are there side effects or interactions?

  • Who else is offering the intervention, and how is yours better?

  • What other interventions are available? Can they be combined?

  • What’s the total cost? Will my health insurance or a government program cover the cost, or is it tax deductible?

  • Can I speak with other people who have tried this already?

  • How will the treatment help, specifically? How can I measure progress? What timeframe does the treatment call for?

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Stephen M. Shore received a regressive autism diagnosis at age 18 months, became nonverbal, and was deemed “too sick” to be treated on an outpatient basis. Today, he’s finishing a doctoral degree focused on helping people with autism lead fulfilling and productive lives. When not teaching college-level courses in special education and teaching children with autism how to play musical instruments, he consults and presents on autism-related issues internationally. Some topics of particular interest to him include comparative approaches for helping people with autism, education, and disaster preparedness for people with disabilities. He also focuses on challenges faced by adults in terms of self-advocacy, disclosure, post-secondary education, employment, interdependent living, and relationships.
Stephen holds bachelor degrees in music and accounting and information systems from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also holds a masters degree in music education and is on the cusp of finishing his doctorate in education from Boston University. Although he seems to spend most of his time traveling in airplanes (Boeing 747-400 preferred), he resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife on the rare occasions when he’s home.

Linda G. Rastelli is an award-winning journalist, instructional designer, and author with 20 years of experience in writing and designing instruction for health, education, and business topics. In her career, she has focused on making complex and technical information understandable to the layperson. Although she has covered subjects ranging from financial ratio analysis to educational reform, her most challenging inquiry to date — an undertaking that has made her other projects look like finger painting in comparison — has been autism.
Linda holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Delaware and a masters degree from Columbia University. She lives on the New Jersey coast with her husband and her cat, who have reached a blissful state of detente. She hopes to keep her day job.

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