I read an article, published last November but discovered by me today, about how biomedical intervention and behavioral therapy should be integrated, making them both more powerful. I can attest to this strategy as a parent who was lucky enough to work with therapists who not only supported the use of dietary and biomedical interventions, but embraced the increased ability of my son to respond to and learn from the therapies they provided. The article also mentions that parents are more likely to embrace a wide range of treatments for autism (such as biomedical and dietary interventions), than are professionals, who are more likely to accept methodologies that have been scientifically proven through studies (such as ABA) than to rely on anecdotal or word-of-mouth advice. One interesting fact in the article is that ABA therapy was in existence 30 years before the studies were done to prove its efficacy. Before that time, I have little doubt that it faced the same disdain from professionals as many of the alternative treatments do today.
It reminds me of a quote, from William James, on how society accepts new discoveries:
First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd;
then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant;
finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.
I have confidence that dietary and biochemical interventions will one day be standard protocol for treating ASDs, but I suspect they will have to travel the difficult road to acceptance outlined by Mr. James.
Here is the article, from The Autism File magazine (an excellent magazine, by the way):