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Autism Research Institute
The Autism Research Institute (ARI), established in 1967 by Bernard Rimland, is a San Diego, California, based nonprofit that funds research and provides information on autism and autism spectrum disorders. Stephen M. Edelson became the director of ARI upon Rimland's death in 2006.
Additional recommended knowledge
The ARI holds that autism can be treated through a combination of intensive behavior modification, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, and a wide variety of biomedical interventions, including the use of drugs, dietary supplements, special diets, and chelation therapy. To this end, they sponsor a yearly conference of researchers, scientists, and physicians, which has become known as Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!).
Parents and medical professionals have reported improvements in the behavior of autistic children enrolled in special diets, detoxification therapies, and a range of treatments, collectively known as biomedical intervention for autism. In 1995, the Autism Research Institute brought together a group of about 30 physicians and scientists to share information and ideas toward defeating autism as quickly as possible. This became known as Defeat Autism Now! which comprises a network of doctors whose goal is to educate parents and clinicians about biomedically-based research, appropriate testing and safe and effective interventions for autism.
The premise for biomedical intervention is that certain neurological disorders including autism are caused by environmental shocks that compromise the gastrointestinal, immunological and neurological systems. Gastrointestinal, in that they tend toward constipation or diarrhea and often have abnormal cravings or abhorrence for certain kinds of food; immunological, in that they are prone to allergies, migraines, and react abnormally to infectious diseases; and neurological, in that they are consistently hypo- or hypersensitive to sensory impressions. Proponents of biomedical intervention claim that autistic children generally improve in all three systems with an adapted or 'special' diet or with the addition to their diet of certain dietary supplements, nutrients, and enzyme supplements. Based on this premise, what is often diagnosed as autism or PDD is seen as a physiological syndrome that can and should be treated as a physiological disorder.
Some research demonstrates a dysregulated innate immune response in some children with autism and is consistent with wider evidence that diet and nutrition can affect behavior generally, but there is no medical literature evidencing claims that autism can be fully cured.
Some researchers and advocates of biomedical therapies in autism have autistic children of their own and have been driven by their own experiences; these include Bernard Rimland. Rimland, a psychologist and parent of an autistic son, speculated that his son's autism was the result of the DPT vaccine. Rimland's strong anti-vaccine stance and denouncement of the DPT vaccine was a significant factor in the redesign of the vaccine in 1990. He experimented with eliminating certain kinds of food and says that by eliminating casein and gluten from his son's diet, autistic symptoms were reduced. Studies supporting dietary claims for autism treatment have had significant flaws, so the data are inadequate to guide treatment recommendations.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Autism_Research_Institute". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.