AutismBeacon was founded by Brenda Kosky Deskin in response to her life experiences as the parent of a child with autism. Recalling how very alone and in the dark she felt upon receiving her son’s diagnosis, she wanted to shed some light on the lives of the many other parents and families who would ultimately follow in her footsteps.
Benefitting from other people’s knowledge and experiences
All too often, there is a complete disconnect between a diagnosis of autism and the resources, information and support needed to address the diagnosis. When people need it most, help and advice is often difficult to find and sometimes, even entirely non-existent.
That’s where AutismBeacon comes in, providing our members – free of charge – with information acquired through years of experience. Less duplication in efforts means faster progress, more time spent with loved ones, and a better quality of life for everyone involved.
AutismBeacon is more than a website. It is a community; a place of sharing. It is where we, as parents, caregivers, service providers, seasoned professionals, advocates and family members alike can all come together to learn and benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge acquired over thousands of cumulative years “in the trenches” in our collective battle against autism.
What you will and will not find on this site
AutismBeacon.com was created with the intention of making it easier for parents and professionals alike to find Autism-related information, services and resources. While it is the intent of the site to focus primarily on those ideas, protocols, treatments and products whose efficacy has been substantiated by peer-reviewed, scientific research, the site also recognizes that science is ever-changing. Often, there are new and emerging ideas that could very well help individuals on the Autism Spectrum, but these innovations have not yet been verified as being effective by the scientific method. Some may be verified in the future; some may not.
In most cases, it is ultimately the responsibility of each and every parent to decide on what approach is best for their children on the Autism Spectrum. There are basically three categories under which such approaches can fall…
Treatments that have been proven effective by science
When selecting treatment approaches for their autistic children, some parents may decide to opt only for those treatment protocols and strategies that have already withstood the test of rigorous scientific research and have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by science to effectively treat the symptoms of Autism.
Visitors to AutismBeacon.com will find many resources that fit into this category.
Treatments that are not supported by a solid body of scientific research (yet?) but show promise and are not harmful
While there is certainly merit to using only treatments that are supported by research, some would argue that there are other treatment approaches in existence that are effective but whose efficacy has just not yet been by substantiated by scientific research. These individuals do not want to wait for these research studies as they feel that there is enough anecdotal evidence to justify subscribing to these methods now, rather than waiting and losing what they consider to be precious and valuable time.
Visitors to AutismBeacon.com will likely find some resources that fall under this category.
So-called “treatments” that have absolutely no sound or logical reason behind them and can even cause harm
In the world of Autism treatment, there are unfortunately many individuals and companies who prey on parents' desperation, promising cures and remedies from approaches that are simply nonsensical. In the best-case scenarios, parents stand to waste money from these approaches; in the worst-case scenarios, individuals being exposed to such charlatans risk being subjected to harm and even having their lives endangered.
Not only does AutismBeacon.com have a policy against promoting such approaches, but it will do its best to alert its visitors to the dangers of such charlatans and their false and often harmful claims.
Resources to assist you in deciding on what is right for you and your child
- The Association For Science In Autism Treatment (ASAT) – in particular, their page, “Autism Treatments: Descriptions and Summaries” is an excellent resource for helping those individuals evaluate Autism research as it currently exists and discern which treatment protocols are or are not founded upon proven existing scientific principles.
- Another excellent resource for helping individuals determine which Autism treatments are and are not based on real science is an article written by scientific writer, Emily Willingham, entitled “10 Questions To Distinguish Real From Fake Science.”
- Watch Ben Goldacre’s Ted Talk entitled “Battling Bad Science”, in which he too addresses what are and are not sound scientific principles and what parents of children with Autism need to watch for in making treatment-related decisions for their children.
- Before using this site, it is strongly encouraged that visitors review AutismBeacon.com’s Disclaimers & Disclosures.