Don't Medicate—Educate!: One Family, Three Cases of Autism, Safe Treatment for Dangerous Behavior, by Illana Slaff, MD
Foreword by Debora Thivierge, ELIJA Founder & Executive Director
Ilana Slaff, MD, an ELIJA parent, writes about her personal and professional involvement in autism. She discusses her identical twin brothers’ and daughter’s life-threatening behaviors—one requiring surgery—and how her brothers’ different residential placements have made them so different. She discusses the controversy of aversive skin shock, a research-based treatment that saved her brother’s life. She describes the dangers of psychotropic medications, particularly for individuals with developmental disabilities, and how her brothers experienced devastating side effects. She examines how medication is frequently substituted for behavioral educational interventions. She talks about termination of services after individuals turn twenty-one. She writes about her own experiences treating individuals with developmental disabilities. She discusses her advocacy with school districts and other government officials and what must be done to improve services. She makes recommendations to parents to identify and obtain the treatments their loved ones need.