To assist parents in making the right choice, we would like to share some questionable tactics that some autism businesses use. We hope that doing so will help to raise the quality of autism therapy services, and prevent parents from falling victim to some questionable businesses.
Competitor A: Turn and churn, well-marketed expensive therapy centre
This competitor offers a very wide range of services, uses qualified professionals and engages a specialised marketing company to give the impression that they are very effective.
They offer half hour and one hour services. According to scientific research, such a short duration is ineffective to create long-term change. However, the price per session looks cheap compared to other competitors who stick to their principles to insist on at least 2-3 hours per session.
We have seen many kids whose parents have unfortunately wasted one to two years paying the exorbitant fees but not getting the results they expected. It’s fine with them though; thanks to their superb marketing efforts, many new naïve parents are ready to replace those who have discovered the truth.
Competitor B: Questionable Newcomer
A competitor opened for business less than 2 years ago, offering home and school based services. Registered and run from a residential HDB apartment, they do not even operate a centre.
However, they claim to have highly trained and experienced staff, even going as far as to sport an award on their webpage. The founder stated that he had more than 20,000 hours of experience working with children with autism. However, he did not mention that he once worked for a now defunct autism business notorious for its crude therapy methods.
Amazingly, this competitor tries to impress parents by offering Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for children with autism. Perhaps they are not aware that CBT is not used for treating autism.
[ Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy ]
Competitor C: Cheap cut-throat rates
This competitor implies that they provide ABA services, but are actually "employing the principles of ABA". Meaning, their therapists are not qualified to provide ABA services.
On top of their low rates, they also offer half-hourly services. Just as with Competitor A, such a short duration is ineffective to create long-term change.