Snake Oil? I Hope Not.

Last week, an article titled “Reaching An Autistic Teen” appeared in the New York Times. As the mother of a 16 year old diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, my interest was piqued. I made it through the long, multi-page article, and then re-read it two more times. And now, I would like your opinion.

The article told of a school in Decatur, Georgia. Community School is a small private school for teenaged boys with autism spectrum disorders. According to the article what makes Community School unusual is not its student body, but like only two dozen schools in the country, it employs a relatively new, creative and highly interactive teaching method know as D.I.R./Floortime. This new method is said to be producing striking results.

I googled D.I.R./Floortime, and found the website for the company. According to their website, ” The DIR (Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based)/Floortime approach provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and treating children challenged by autism spectrum and related disorders. It focuses on helping children master the building blocks of relating, communicating and thinking, rather than on symptoms alone.”

OK, still not a lot of information, really. I did a little more googling.

I found an article on the website which called the D.I.R. approach a breakthrough in autism treatment. To be honest, the Jenny McCarthy, “My Son Is Cured” thing has left me very skeptical. I hope this “breakthrough approach” will actually help and will stand the test of time.

I want to know more but am having a tough time finding more. And, I would like to know if any of the 5MFSN readers have heard of or participated in this teaching approach. If you read the articles I have linked, I would also like to know your impressions and opinions. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is not just more snake oil….

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Sunday and Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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