Continuing this discussion about making the best decisions to protect quality of life for our children …
The second guidepost is knowing that the skills and expertise of the people in our lives will have an effect on the outcomes.
Like physicians — whose oath requires them first to do no harm — nearly every professional has ethical guidelines. (We journalists do, too, although critics sometimes accuse us of the opposite when they don’t like what we print.) If you know the ethical guidelines for the professionals in your child’s life, it helps you recognize if a treatment protocol or interaction is on the edge. Check the website of the professional association — such as the American Medical Association or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association — to find out more.
Similarly, you should know credentials and competencies for the professional. For example, behavior analysts, who do so much to help our children, have quite specific guidelines for helping people with autism.
(Go here to find them: www.abainternational.org/Special_Interests/AutGuidelines.pdf)
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions of the people in your child’s life. Their answers will tell you a lot. The National Institutes of Health wrote a primer to help you get started.
(Go here to see that: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/autism/complete-index.shtml)