[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Posted by Robert Ring, PhD, Autism Speaks vice president of translational research.
I want to point out a recent review article published in the journal Nature Reviews: Drug Discovery. This article provides an excellent introduction to EU-AIMS, a massive five-year research program focused solely on autism. EU-AIMS, short for European Autism Interventions – A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications, was launched earlier this year in Europe. The collaboration brings together in a non-competitive way 24 academic research center across Europe, global pharmaceutical companies and patient advocacy organizations in Europe. The collaboration will focus on accelerating the translation of basic science discoveries into medicines for autism.
There has never been a research project of this size and scope before in autism. Autism Speaks has a unique role to play in this historic program. EU-AIMS activities can be broken out into five separate lines of collaborative research (work packages). Each focuses on a different area of medical discovery or development. Members of the Autism Speaks science staff are providing scientific leadership within each of these work packages.
I’d like to point out a few examples of Autism Speaks’ participation in EU-AIMS and how they align with the strategic goals of our science mission.
Standardizing and managing data and results. For years, Autism Speaks has been a recognized leader in developing standards for coordinating and disseminating research and clinical information. From our Autism Genetic Research Exchange (AGRE) to the Autism Tissue Program (ATP), Autism Speaks has built some of the nation’s most important resource and data repositories. In EU-AIMS, we will be working to leverage our expertise and investments in this area to ensure similar types of research generated by EU-AIMS can be harmonized with databases in the U.S. This will create even greater value for the work we have already done in this area.
Developing and conducting clinical trials in individuals with autism. Clinical trials are necessary for demonstrating that new pharmaceutical agents are safe and effective for treating autism. At Autism Speaks, we have been a leader in efforts to improve and standardize the way researchers conduct clinical trials. EU-AIMS will focus on efforts to build up similar standards and protocols in Europe. Although Europe has a separate regulatory process overseeing clinical trial activity, there is enormous opportunity to leverage what Autism Speaks has been doing in the U.S. to help our colleagues bootstrap similar activities in Europe and avoid duplicating our efforts.
Identifying biomarkers. The ability to diagnose disorders and study treatment effects in objective ways represents one of the most pressing challenges in psychiatry. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
A priority in the field of autism research is the discovery of markers that can be objectively measured to indicate the presence of autism and to identify individuals most likely to respond to a particular treatment. Objective markers, more commonly referred to as “biomarkers,” can also be used to measure a change in symptoms following treatment. Autism Speaks recently formed a partnership with Seaside Therapeutics to speed the discovery of such biomarkers.
EU-AIMS features an entire work package focused on biomarker discovery. Autism Speaks will help coordinate activities in Europe with those funded by our foundation and others in the U.S. Over the next five years, the duration of EU-AIMS, I look forward to updating you on the progress and highlights of this game-changing research collaboration.
More With EU-Aims
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.