This Internet program allows parents to utilize ARI’s treatment database survey, the largest in the world, to help determine what treatments to consider trying (or possibly avoiding) for their children. After a parent rates how a child responded to one to four treatments in the past, the program searches ARI’s treatment database (more than 25,000 records) and then summarizes how other children who responded in a similar manner to these treatments responded to other treatments. (For example: if a child responded well to melatonin, the program will provide a list of additional treatments that benefited children who also responded well to melatonin.) There is no charge to use this program.
Since 1967, the Autism Research Institute (ARI) has distributed surveys to parents to find out what treatments are most beneficial, as well as most harmful, to autistic individuals. These surveys were distributed through newsletters, conferences, parent information packets, and on the Internet. The results from these surveys are published annually for both autism and Asperger syndrome.
During the past 40 years, ARI has focused its efforts on conducting and sponsoring treatment-based research. In contrast to other non-profit organizations funding research with only theoretical future value, ARI believes strongly in supporting research that actively helps autistic individuals who are alive today.
ARI also distributes information about science-based treatments to parents, clinicians and researchers through our website; our quarterly newsletter, the Autism Research Review International (www.AutismNewsletter.com); and our ARI Conferences.
ARI’s Biomedical Survey Analysis is based on a simple exemplar-match model. The program searches the database and finds other individuals who responded the same way to several specific treatments. One of its shortcomings is that the program does not take into account the person’s symptoms or other characteristics, such as age and sex. Autism360 is a similar project but it is much more powerful. Its revolutionary algorithms are based on overall similarity of symptoms, features, and treatment responsiveness. Sidney Baker, M.D., with the support of ARI, developed Medigenesis. Dr. Baker is the co-founder of ARI’s evidence-based medical approach (formerly DAN!) project; he has written many books including ARI’s publication Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments (co-written with Dr. Jon Pangborn); and he is one of the leading clinicians in the field of autism. Dr. Rimland was very excited about Dr. Baker’s Medigenesis project, and several years ago he wrote an editorial about this project. We encourage you to learn more about Medigenesis at Autism360.com.
If your son/daughter has already received one or more treatments in the past, we would appreciate your completing our treatment survey form. We hope you will also consider completing our treatment survey in the future.
Dr. Rimland and I also developed an important evaluation tool, the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) which allows you to assess how well your son/daughter responds to a treatment.
If you find this program helpful, please consider sending us a donation to defray the cost of maintaining the website and to help us continue our efforts to sponsor and conduct additional research.
Steve M. Edelson, Ph.D.
Autism Research Institute
- Select one treatment in each row and rate how your son/daughter responded to that particular treatment. You can select up to four treatments, but do not list more than one treatment per row. For each treatment, rate how your son/daughter responded using a 6-point scale: “Definitely helped,” “Moderate improvement,” “Possibly helped,” “No definite effect,” “Little worse,” and “Much worse.”
- Click on “Proceed” and you will then be asked to verify your information. If you need to change a treatment and/or a rating, click “backspace” on your browser.
- Click on “Search the Database.” The program will then (a) search through the database, (b) find those individuals with autism who responded the same way to the treatments as your son/daughter, and (c) list other treatments these children were given, in order of most to least effective.
Suggestions on using the program. The more matching cases your search retrieves, the greater the likelihood of finding useful treatments.
There are several things to consider when using this program.
- The more treatments you include at one time in the analysis, the fewer the number of matching cases will be. For example, if you rate only one treatment, such as selecting “Definitely helped” for “Vitamin B6 with magnesium,” you will find 1,506 matching cases. If you rate an additional treatment, such as selecting “Definitely helped” for DMG, you will find 553 matching cases. That is, there will be fewer individuals in our database who were given both treatments and responded in the same way as your child. You may want to consider using only those two or possibly three treatments that had the biggest impact, positively or negatively, on your son’s or daughter’s behavior.
- Another way to increase the number of matching cases is to combine similar ratings. If you select the option “Widen the Search,” the program will collapse the 6-point scale into a 3-point rating scale: “Got better,” “No effect,” and “Got worse.” With this option, “Definitely helped” and “Moderate improvement” are combined into “Got better.” “Possibly helped” and “No definite effect” are combined into “No effect.” “Little worse” and “Much worse” are combined into “Got worse.”
ARI cannot guarantee whether or not your son/daughter will respond in a certain way to a specific treatment. The results from the program should not be considered as “medical advice;” rather, the results are based on the observations of thousands of parents.