chapter  21
10 Pages

Pet Me, Sniff Me, Squeeze Me: Quack Treatment for Autism


Families of children with intellectual disabilities run significant risk of falling prey to psychoquackeryTM (Koocher, 2011), a term coined to characterize supposed assessments, treatments, or remedies for mental health problems that either lack proven efficacy or have been clearly discredited. Parents of children with such conditions long for interventions that present any hope of making progress toward offering full and independent lives for their loved ones. Amid the frustration and desperation some family members feel, we sometimes see the emergence of highly articulate, energetic, or charismatic individuals endorsing potential therapies, remedies, or cures for developmental problems including the autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs).