Welcome to the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Pod
There are currently several ASD Pods. This means groups of homeopaths working together specialising in the treatment of ASDs. They share expertise, discuss difficult cases and support each other. Now we want to document how helpful families think homeopathic treatment is being. Because quite frankly, there are not many options in the conventional world; families are flocking to homeopaths; and anecdotally families are reporting gains for their children.
It's time to start documenting these family's experiences and that is what the ASD Pod Project sets out to do.
Collecting outcomes: the ATEC
The ATEC (Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist) is a familiar outcome measure developed by the ARI (Autism Research Institute), who make it freely available to use. The purpose of creating the ATEC was to measure change – that is – the difference between the initial (baseline) ATEC scores and later ATEC scores.
The ATEC consists of 77 questions in 4 domains which cover most of the areas where homeopaths expect to see gains:
How the ASD Pod works
ATEC has been uploaded to an on-line database platform used by St Mary's University, by Philippa Fibert (who works at St Marys). When homeopaths first see a new family, they explain about the project, and ask their patients for permission to participate in this data gathering exercise. They inform them that their data will be stored securely, and only used anonymously, and that they will use the ATEC scores to document progress. They provide the patient with the link to the on-line-ASD-Pod-survey (which includes the ATEC).
Philippa checks the database monthly and sends homeopaths patient's ATEC summaries to be shared with the patients. Homeopaths ask their patients to complete the ATEC roughly every 3 months. All the scores are saved in one place so that, when the time comes, we can have a look at collective score changes over time.
Checklist for participating homeopaths
Develop a template to send out to new ASD patients which includes: a description of the project; asks permission to collect their (anonymised) data; the link to the ATEC (below)
Send the template and link to your new patient
Record in your notes when you asked them to complete the ATEC, and make a note when to request the next one
Repeat every 3 months.
Try and do this for all your new patients