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As Autism Web Sites Boom, Experts Urge Caution
Date:5/25/2010

s to other sites, are good places to start because the links have been approved by experts, Reichow said.
  • Look for quality seals such as HONcode (Health on the Net Foundation), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has developed standards for health information on the Internet.
  • Take testimonials for what they're worth. The placebo effect can be powerful in autism treatments, and only randomized, controlled experiments are considered the gold standard of proof.
  • Some autism sites will offer scientific data to back up their claims. That information is less reliable if it is generated by the company or the company's researchers, who may have a conflict of interest or profit motive, Anderson said.
  • More information

    There's more on autism at the advocacy group Autism Speaks.



    SOURCES: Brian Reichow, Ph.D., postdoctoral associate, Yale University Child Study Center, New Haven, Conn.; Paul Law, M.D., M.P.H., director, Interactive Autism Network, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; Connie Anderson, Ph.D., community scientific liaison, Interactive Autism Network, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; presentation, May 19, 2010, International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia


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