Peggy HallidayPeggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.
Host: How helpful are biomedical and drug interventions?
Peggy Halliday: There are no drugs that cure autism or get to the core of autism itself but there are some medications that can be helpful with certain symptoms of autism, that in terms of biomedical intervention there are so many things out there. In terms of biomedical interventions there are Vitamins Therapies and there are supplements, there are Chelation Therapies which removes heavy metals from the body. There are numerous interventions out there that are very attractive to parents because of course; they want to do whatever they can that might be helpful to their children.
The unfortunate thing about many of these interventions is they don t yet have the research behind them to show whether or not they are effective and it may be that some of them are effective and we will have that research down the road but right now, we just don t know there are too many of them that are untested and so, it makes the more sense because your child s time is limited to choose the interventions that you know are going to be effective.