COSAC Position Statement
(Adopted by the COSAC Board of Trustees on August 20, 2002
Revised on January 24, 2004)
COSAC often receives requests to disseminate information regarding theories and practices related to autism. This position statement clarifies our practices for evaluating and disseminating information to our membership, the autism community, and the general public.
Acknowledgement of diversity across treatment approaches
COSAC acknowledges the diverse range of treatments for individuals with autism. This philosophy is embodied in our Information and Communication Departments. Requests for information on a wide variety of topics are met with a timely response, written materials, and referrals for additional resources. COSAC provides information to the community on a consistent basis via newsletters, the website, and the media. While COSAC does not promote the practices that it does not endorse,* the agency does provide information about such practices upon request.
Endorsement of scientifically-validated treatments
COSAC’s policy regarding Advocacy and Clinical Services is guided by the peer-reviewed, professionally accepted body of research to determine the best course of action for the greatest number of people with autism. Thus far, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) are the only treatments that has been demonstrated to produce both short and long-term skill gains for individuals with autism.* Due to the research support of ABA and PBS, COSAC advocates for these treatments and provides such information to parents and professionals through presentations and consultations. Should another treatment demonstrate substantial benefit to people with autism through experimental investigation, COSAC would promptly incorporate it into its clinical services and advocacy efforts.
What can the autism community expect from COSAC?
Given the continuing advances in basic and applied research related to autism, COSAC strives to offer timely, consistent, and sound information to the autism community. COSAC will clearly label empirically validated findings, experimental hypotheses, and personal opinion. Together, the COSAC staff, Board of Trustees, and Professional Advisory Board will review and communicate significant developments related to the cause and treatment of autism.
* Please see COSAC’s Position Statement on Treatment Recommendations for further explanation.