Apparently I'm very late to the party on this big change, which was announced in January, but it appears that the Autism Research Institute will no longer promote an autism treatment called DAN! (Defeat Autism Now). In addition, ARI will no longer host the DAN! registry of practitioners. Dr. Edelson of ARI kindly pointed me to this information on the ARI site's newletter:
Because the name "Defeat Autism Now!" does not accurately describe the medical approach to understanding and treating autism, and because some people have been offended by the phrase, ARI will no longer use the name. (As one person with ASD wrote, the name feels like a "personal affront, that I am not good enough as a human being, and that, because we are not neurotypical, people with autism need to be defeated.") Furthermore, the Divers' Alert Network owns the copyright for "DAN!," and they have requested that we no longer use it. In the future, our biannual Conferences will simply be called ARI Conferences....
We have resolved to "freeze" the clinician registry in 2011; at the end of the year, the list will be removed from our website. There are many reasons why we have chosen to do this: although clinicians receive similar and consistent information at the seminars, there is no uniform way patients are subsequently treated, even acknowledging individual differences; many perceive the clinician list as a list of recommended doctors--in reality, the list simply contains the names of professionals who attended our clinician seminars. We do not certify them, and as a result, we cannot assure people that every practitioner on the list always provides the highest quality service. We do know that families need a way to locate quality practitioners in their community, and we have added a page of advice on that process to our website.
I will be updating my articles on DAN! to reflect these changes; meanwhile, however, you can read about the approach as it was - though, presumably, there will be signficant changes to come. The newsletter suggests, for example, that ARI will be focusing more attention on nutrition, sensory issues, and the needs of adults with autism.