My name is Anett Kaale and I am part of a group of researchers across Europe who participate in the European Science Foundation (ESF) funded project “COST Action-Enhancing the Scientific Study of Early Autism (ESSEA)”.
The Action, chaired by Tony Charman (UK) and co-chaired by Herbert Roeyers (Belgium), is intended to develop European capacity in early autism science through a network of over 50 researchers from 22 European countries!
Although autism is increasingly widely recognised in the majority of European Union member states, little is known on access to services in different countries. Currently there is no systematic data available on services available for young children with autism in different EU countries, whether these are interventions provided at clinics or educational provision. More worryingly, we do not know how widespread in Europe are the use of so-called “alternative” treatments, which include approaches for which there is no evidence of benefit and even some that can potentially be harmful.
The researchers of the Action have therefore decided to launch a survey that aims to gather the first information on the topic. Parents of toddlers and preschoolers up to and including age 6 years from all over Europe, including in the UK, will be asked to complete a brief survey online. They will be asked about the kinds of intervention and education services that their children currently receive, including services provided by clinicians, nursery and pre-school provision, as well as medications and complementary/alternative treatments.
The survey will be delivered via a website (www.surveymonkey.com) and will be available in as many languages as the countries involved, through the websites of parents organizations.
We are approaching you to ask whether you would be willing to send a link to the survey out through your email mailing list. Alternatively, you may be prepared to host the link to the survey on your website. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org«>email@example.com eller mobil: 41780045. We think that parents of young children with autism will be keen to take part in this unique and important study. The survey will be open for one month from mid-September 2012.
This research will not directly help the parents and families who take part. However, we hope that the information may benefit families in the future by helping to advance both clinical services and EU policy on autism by mapping the availability of treatment for early autism in 22 different countries in Europe.
Please get in touch if you are interested, and thank you very much for your collaboration.