The arrogance of the Autism Treatment Trust

26 Nov

Earlier this week, Anthony wrote about the Autism Treatment Trust and their arrogance in assuming that association with a Nobel prize winner meant their untested therapies were suddenly OK to use.

Today I discovered that their arrogance extended to ignoring the law in the services they offer.

According to their website:

…if you are in need of respite, please contact us and send us a short outline of what your needs are.

The provision of Respite care in Scotland is taken very seriously by the government. So seriously that it set up something called the Care Commission. The Care Commission is there to:

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 (the Act) established a system of care regulation in Scotland. The Act‘s purpose is to provide greater protection for people in need of care services. We are required by the Act to regulate certain care services.

with one of those service being _’Short breaks and respite care services’_ .

One of the great services on the Care Commission website is the ability to check whether a service is registered with them or not. I invite you to do it now – why not check to see if the Autism Treatment Trust is registered?

In fact, I’ll save you some time. They’re not.

Before I blogged this I wanted to be absolutely sure of two things:

1) That the Autism Treatment Trust were definitely not registered with the Care Commission
2) That the Autism Treatment Trust were definitely offering respite.

I tackled the second point first. As members of the Autism Treatment Trust know who I am I decided to assume a false identity and email them. I asked Autism Treatment Trust if they could offer me respite care. The response was:

Thank you for your interest in the Autism Treatment Trust. We have respite care by some of our professional volunteers. This is free of charge, however you would have to cover the travel costs of the volunteer. Some of the respite is offered at the clinic after school or on a Saturday.

So that took care of that – Autism Treatment Trust were definitely offering respite.

To tackle the first point I contacted the Care Commission and asked them if the Autism Treatment Trust were registered with them, as they must be by law. They were not.

Autism Treatment Trust are flouting the law in Scotland. As a autism parent I went on to report them to the Care Commission. The Duty Officer I spoke to was very interested and confirmed that Autism Treatment Trust were definitely breaking the law and that steps would be taken. These steps would include an investigation of Autism Treatment Trust and the forced cessation of offering respite care.


I recieved this email from the Care Commission earlier:

Following your enquiry regarding Autism Treatment Trust I have spoke with the organisation’s President and a doctor working in the clinic. They have confirmed that the respte on offer is where a volunteer (Disclosure Scotland checked) provides activities in the young person’s home while the parent is in the home. The volunteer does not carry out any personal care or administration of medication. Given these circumstances the organisation would not be required to register as a care service.

I have advised them that if they develop their respite to enable the parent to leave the home then they would need to apply to the Care Commission for registration

My response

Dear ******,

That is not what the service was described to me as. The email I received clearly states:

_”Some of the respite is offered at the clinic after school or on a Saturday.”_

Are parents present during this activity?

Update No.2

The relavent page on the ATT website has now changed from its content this morning. This morning the content was as this screenshot (click for bigger):

The content now reads (click for bigger):

38 Responses to “The arrogance of the Autism Treatment Trust”

  1. Catherina November 26, 2010 at 15:01 #

    WOW – I really want parents here to have the chance for respite care, but not completely unlicensed!

  2. Lorene is not a Doctor November 26, 2010 at 15:42 #

    I would urge all Scottish based parents (or any parent really) to add your voice to this and speak to the care commission yourself.
    There number is 0845 603 0890
    It would also be really interesting to find out how many of their ‘professional volunteers’ had actually been CRB checked and what level of training they had been given….
    Some training from a so called ‘ABA consultant’ does not merit leaving a person with a very complex child on their own either at a centre or at the family home… even sitter services are vetted better than this and their staff undergo lengthy training.
    Don’t children with a diagnosis of autism deserve better than what these cowboys are willing to provide?
    Arrogance is dangerous at the best of times- but thankfully this time their arrogance may have finally got the better of them instead of continually putting children at risk for the sake of so called ‘science’…..

  3. daedalus2u November 26, 2010 at 16:02 #

    Good, very well done.

  4. k November 26, 2010 at 17:30 #

    So, the crime here is offering free baby sitting services? Oh, the horror! Flouting the law? What exactly are they gaining by offering free respite?

    I fail to see the outrage here.

    • Kev November 26, 2010 at 17:54 #

      You fail to see the outrage Kent?

      1) Its illegal
      2) Would you want total strangers looking after your disabled child. No no, you’re right…disabled children are NEVER abused by carers right?

      Are you stupid or just so full of hate for anything ND related you can’t see the bigger picture?

  5. k November 26, 2010 at 18:05 #

    Kev, I would be happy to respond to you in full detail and your concerns if you promise I won’t be moderated out as I know quite a bit about respite care working in our system here and in general as a consumer of it and as a advocate for it in our state.

    ND has nothing to do with wanting safe and affordable respite care. ND didn’t invent child safety or the requirements for good care and I can highlight where your government has gone wrong with sanctioned carer centers if you like but that’s not really debatable or worth debating.

    You agree not to moderate my comments on this issue?

    • Kev November 26, 2010 at 18:10 #

      Kent you have no idea how the Scottish system works. I douubt you have any idea how much of anything works except tantruming occasionaly.

      Theres absolutely no way I’ll be taking you off moderation for any reason other than if you came on here and consistently behaved yourself. As it is, thats not going to happen.

      So make your comments. If they add to the debate, I’ll approve them. If they don’t I won’t.

  6. k November 26, 2010 at 18:21 #

    Kev, because I cannot trust you, as you have failed to approve very thoughtful posts of mine in the past, out of spite I guess and my occasional taunt (which I understand your reluctance to trust), in this area I have a lot of expertise from fighting my local and state agencies in the capacity of a professional advocate for respite.

    You’re right, I don’t know about Scottish law but I don’t think its relevant to getting good respite care. Lots of things the government, any government regulates is not always best for the consumer.

    But, because you will pick and choose what comments are allowed, I feel that it would be a waste of my time to spend any energy on this for your readers when there is a chance that you will simply filter the expertise in this area I have and give a one sided view.

    Suffice to say, I have spent an enormous amount of personal resources, energy and good will in my community to make sure there is adequate and affordable respite care for families that need it.

    Yes, I do fail to see the outrage here and it could do with the fact that I have experience working with and against governmental regulation. The Scotts aren’t much different in their laws than we are here. It is after all, a symbiotic relationship between our laws and yours due to the intermingling of political consultants, legal history and lobbyists.

    • Kev November 26, 2010 at 18:31 #

      You still fail to see the outrage Kent? Why do you think what ATT are doing is illegal? Please give us your expert opinion on that.

  7. Kev November 26, 2010 at 19:02 #

    Seem to have gone very quiet Kent. No surprise there.

  8. Science Mom November 26, 2010 at 21:42 #

    I can’t say I’m shocked that Dr. (not an M.D. but pretending to be one) Amet is taking shortcuts. It seems to be a prevailing MO for her ATT.

    Kent, you brought your ‘outrage’ to the table, instead of whining about moderation of your ‘thoughtful comments’, try actually posting some. There is no reason to have oversight for respite care; it is in the best interests of everyone involved, a no-brainer actually.

  9. BIdi November 27, 2010 at 00:29 #

    I am not at all surprised.
    i would urge any parent to fully investigate the trust.
    I do know from experience that they are not trust worthy and will use any tactic to sweep things under the carpet – check out the Dr’s credentials, it will tell you much.
    It worries me they still practice.

  10. Lorene is not a Doctor November 27, 2010 at 10:16 #

    So it’s not really much respite if the poor parents and siblings have to sit in on the respite. It can’t be very practical to come and sit in their clinic for 3 hours while your child is ‘respited’ by one of their ‘professional volunteers’. In fact it isn’t respite at all. Respite usually means temporary relief care for a young person so that their caregivers can have a break. It is hardly a break if you have to go to Edinburgh, sit in the clinic and then take your child to the toilet every time he/she needs to go in a 3 hour period.
    I think actually ATT you were not planning on having to have parents present, and this has put a very big spanner in your works.
    Maybe you should be a little more careful with how you describe things and the words you use- like ‘Doctor’ for instance…
    And ‘professional volunteers’- do you mean these people volunteer professionally? or that they come from professional backgrounds…depends on your definition of professional but this could lead families to believe that you have doctors, lawyers, teachers and investment bankers on your books- when most likely it will be students.
    And are all these ‘professionals’ police checked? Hmmm…i know several people who have been unfortunate enough to volunteer for you over the years and they were never police checked- in fact they filled in their forms, gave them to you and then never got their disclosure processed. You wouldn’t want to be wasting £25 on a disclosure now would you ATT…
    I think you were caught out this time, and now you are wriggling your way out of another mess…hopefully one day you will wriggle into a such a small space you wont be able to get out;
    but until then- please stop putting children and risk and taking advantage of their vulnerable parents…Scotland doesn’t need you…
    I hear France is very nice at this time of year.

  11. Prometheus November 28, 2010 at 01:05 #

    Like Lorene, I found the term “professional volunteer” to be ambiguous. Are they referring to “professionals” (i.e. doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, nurses, etc.) who are volunteering or are these paid volunteers (an oxymoron, at best)?

    I don’t pretend to understand the laws of Scotland pertaining to respite care, but it seems fairly clear that they are required to be registered. While it could be argued that they are providing a service not materially different from that performed by un-registered teen girls in my locale, the assumption of people used to the system in Scotland would be that these “professional volunteers” have been vetted and registered by the Care Commission when, in fact, they have not.

    It may seem petty to require “professional volunteers” to follow the law and register as respite care providers when teen-age babysitters are not (I assume) required to register. However, the risk of abuse, misuse, and neglect by total strangers who “professionally volunteer” to provide respite care to disabled (and often non-verbal or minimally verbal) children seems much higher than the risk from the teen-age children of friends (or recommended by friends).

    In the end, the question is whether or not the Autism Treatment Trust has followed the applicable laws and regulations in providing respite care – it appears that they have not and, based on their response, may not have even bothered to check if there were any applicable statutes. This would not fill me with confidence that they have done a proper background check on their “professional volunteers”.

    Another question raised is why these “professional volunteers” are providing respite care without charge. Are they simply being charitable and doing good works? Or, are they “professional” autism therapy providers hoping to expand their client base? I can imagine a nice segue from free respite care to “You know, I could do ABA/floortime/[fill in the blank] while you and the missus are off at the show – only 30 pounds an hour!”

    Just wondering.


  12. Mike Stanton November 28, 2010 at 22:39 #

    Prometheus makes some good points. If you do employ a teenage girl (or boy) to babysit your child the chances are you carry out your own checks, talk to their parents etc. And their parents ought to check you out as well. Abuse cuts both ways.

    But when an autism charity offers a service the expectation is that they are operating within the law and have carried out all necessary checks on your behalf. If, by failing to register their service, they are not operating within the law, how confident can you be that they are acting responsibly regarding police checks and vetting of volunteers, training of volunteers, adequate risk assessments? You cannot.

  13. BIdi November 29, 2010 at 01:32 #

    My thought entirely,
    I would not be surprise to find out these “professionals” are tutors.
    I would also not be surprised to learn that their training is minimal and I doubt they are appropriately supervised.
    These “professional” would no longer work with ATT if they fully looked into and understood the set up of this so called trust.
    If they did so they would be as shocked as I was to realise the damage that they are causing.
    I am just glad that the scientific community has a clear understanding of what is so wrong with ATT.
    Now how to we ensure the families understand also?

  14. Calli Arcale November 29, 2010 at 17:41 #

    I don’t live in Scotland, and know nothing about their laws, but what ATT was offering would make me very suspicious, as a parent. Respite care is a wonderful thing that should be made more easily available to parents for low or no cost. However, there is tremendous potential for abuse, and I would want it regulated like any child care situation is regulated. There is too much at stake, and parents need to be able to trust the carers.

    I’d also be wary of a service that sends out a volunteer rather than an employee, and I really wouldn’t want my child to have to get to know a completely new person every time. This does not seem like a good setup.

    I did have to chuckle when I noticed the poor grammar in their hasty correction to the website. At least they recognize the power of the appropriate regulatory agency. That’s a start.

  15. DT November 30, 2010 at 10:31 #

    Yesterday this appeared on the ATT blog:

    Autism Treatment Trust Respite play project

    “The project aims to relief parents from some of the pressure they commonly experience. We propose to spend some time with your child, or his/her siblings or both and assist in stimulating some activities. These activities will be selected by yourself. For example, our volunteers can assist your child to participate with his siblings in some cookery or art activity. The respite would take place at your home or at the ATT clinic, but importantly, one of the parents will remain on site. We can also assist in providing one extra support to your home programme for those families who are running a home programme; this will be entirely run under your own direction.

    “The volunteers have been CRB checked. Whilst undertaking such control tends to be daunting for parents to do, we are glad that our charity can assist in this, as it is for us free to run and very straightforward.

    “The volunteers we have are fantastic- for one, they have all postgraduate degrees in areas that are very relevant to autism, the majority being a Master in Psychology. And secondly, they have worked professionally in educational settings (nursery nurses, social worker assisting families of children with autism) which have given them knowledge of children and autism. But most of all, they are young, enthusiastic and very supportive.”

  16. DT November 30, 2010 at 10:43 #

    Actually that appears to be the Autism Advocacy Group blog – Lorene’s blog – rather than an official ATT blog.

    Here are the volunteers:

  17. Concerned professional November 30, 2010 at 11:26 #

    So their volunteers are masters students who have been ‘trained’ in ABA…( verbal behaviour and natural environment teaching are just other words for ABA)
    Funnily enough these guys are actually more qualified than the so called ‘aba consultant’ at ATT who
    has a BSc open and not much else.
    They are just the equivalent of ABA tutors then- hardly professional volunteers…
    And the whole point is- this is NOT respite if parents need to be present.
    I think you rained on their parade reporting them now they are desperately trying to back track.
    I wonder what their motivation is… I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them… A nasty, manipulative organisation that preys on the vulnerable…
    So no Lorene it is not ‘We are all together with autism’ ….we are all very much together in being highly suspicious of anything you do…

  18. rena December 4, 2010 at 08:32 #

    Lorene is a doctor but no GP
    she has helped her family no end, we could not get any help from the NHS for our sons condition.
    she accessed us funding to run the tests, helped us get grants for our house to be safe for our son
    I dont know where we would be without her, probably divorced with a ill child still. We now have a noraml family life, and if i lived nearer edin i would use the respite, as we cant access any here.
    i have met the girls that help and certtainly would trust them.
    We also have an ABA tutor through ATT an she is trully wonderful.

    Please dont judge what you have no experience of. These people are the good guys, lorene has walked in our shoes and know of the lack of provision eg: none.
    The ATT is a charity they are not preying on vulnerable they are pulling us out of a dark hole tht the NHS has left us in .

    Pretty low blow picking on somebodys nationality to hae a go at them, something worng with french people now?. Dont think you would be happy if somebody was having a blow at the disabled. Imagine being disabled and french… double discrimination.

    Spend time fighting the real inadequacies our kids face not the ones trying to help. ATT has is v involved with shaping policy too.
    Much peace

  19. Concerned professional December 4, 2010 at 08:55 #

    Lorene is NOT a doctor – she has a phd- which is not the same as a medical doctor.
    There are lots of people commenting here that have had direct, first hand experience of lorene and ATT and are extremely concerned from a personal and professional point of view.
    I agree the NHS are very, very poor but this doesn’t give parents a green light to go
    using some crazy cowboy that claims she can ‘cure’ children. Autism is not an illness…children with a diagnosis of autism are not sick- they are developmentally delayed.
    As for lorene walking in your shoes… Are you sure?
    I am sure that’s what she tells you; but I would be very wary of that claim (lorene does seem to make a habit of trying to undermine other peoples diagnosis- maybe she should start at home)
    It’s nice to hear you would use their so called respite services even though they are not registered.,.
    I imagine the girls they have are very nice and have great intentions- a shame they have become involved with ATT

  20. rena December 4, 2010 at 09:45 #

    if lorene can bring relief to our v sick children, then let her get on with it. My dad is a gp and he could not help us none of the nhs tests found anything. when the caudwell charity paid for the test as thankfully they like many charitys understand the link between autism and a whole host of medical conditions, the results came back and allowed the nhs to then help.
    we had ulcerated colitis,lead posioning, activated immune system plus the usual yeast and parasites.
    this is in a 2 year old. The charity now pays for medical treatment for 2 years this is backed by the nhs as they just dont have the money. our case is now used as good practice, and when a child is diagnosed they look at what is causing there autism and not seen as a ife long disability blllalala.

    If you dont want to see kids getting better and therefore giving their parents their lives back dont attend.
    Haters can keep on hating
    Lorene and her team of volunteers will always be held in high regard by myself and everybody that watches my child florish.

    I wish everyone on this blog all the luck in the word, please dont have a go at me there seems to be a lot of anger.
    kind regards

  21. rena December 4, 2010 at 09:47 #

    ps she has lost a child to autism at a v late age, she has more than walked in my shoes

  22. Anon December 4, 2010 at 10:20 #

    Lead poisoning and ulcerated collitis would both be recognisable and treated by NHS if they found them in a 2year old…in fact if they found this in a 2 year old I would imagine that they would hospitalise straight away in ICU…
    If my child had lead poisoning I would be demanding they were hospitalised- what did ATT give you!?? Chelation?!
    And an activated Immune system??? Most immune systems are active or they wouldn’t work!
    Oh, and late onset ‘autism’ ( after the age of 4- I think lorene’s son was older) is usually not autism- esp when coupled with regression and epilepsy (see landau kleffner)
    Are you sure you don’t work for ATT?!!

  23. rena December 4, 2010 at 10:48 #

    im bowing out dont have the time for all this hatred, lauder kleffner i wish!
    he was hosptitalised but not one nhs test showed this up..
    my sons immune system does not rest he never gets ill he has never had a cold or cough since he got autism.
    please dont reply i cant be bothered to read this negativity.

    much peace
    i work in a sbd school.

  24. BIdi December 4, 2010 at 19:57 #

    Rena, I respect you for bowing out. It will take a lot of time to defend something that is so terribly wrong. If there was any substance in what she was doing, if it was helping, then this conversation would not be taking place.
    I urge you to take your findings to a medical doctor or the NHS – they do have a very helpful advice line available (which I do not have to hand). I have previously received written letter from the NHS stating that the treatment recommendation as outlined by Ms. Amet is not recommended as a treatment for Autism by the them – ‘due to the harmful effects'(and to make my point they received details of Lorene’s recommendation, they were not referring to any other chelation treatment). They stated that this treatment is only used as a last resort for children with Leukemia. These VERY ill children are monitored 24/7 in the hospital environment.
    So do you really want to be putting your child in this dangerous situation, even if she is giving smaller doses or labeled it as a supplement. If this was the answer the NHS would be handing it out, they do not withhold treatments for the suffering or misunderstanding of the situation. If your GP can’t help keep asking for the specialist you need and are entitled to.
    There is a reason the NHS can not help at this time – it is because we (the scientific community) have not got the answer to the cause of Autism and are only just finding ways to scientifically diagnose. So there is no ‘cure’ for ASD, or ‘suppliment’ that is clinically investigated and approved for ASD. Lorene should be very aware of this, but she takes information given as a theory and claims it is the answer, when it has not been tested and verified. As long as it brings in money for the Trust. Naive parents will easily fall into this trap and with the added incentive that another charity will fund the treatment for two years will part with cash, some running into debits of thousands when the other charity stops funding.
    As for Ms. Amets son… I feel for him and that he would be born into such a situation as he finds himself. So I will leave my views of his situation and will say no more to that.

  25. rena December 4, 2010 at 23:02 #

    BIDi with all respect what are you talkig about, go take my findings………
    that was 3 years ago can you not read? maybe you have some sort of mercury poisioning….too many flu jabs?

    you sound like some disgruntled ex employee or somebody with huge esteem issue!! have you ever breathed autism, have you watched your child loose eye contact, speech not recognise their parents, handbang, smear!? i dont think so

    , born into this situation what does that mean? to be born in a world where the future looked healthy,and then only to find you loose all your skills and you cant function…

    how come you know what happens with the money situation and other charities? well i can only say that we have never paid a penny to ATT in 3 years and i dont know other parents that have, but if i could go back to my life pre autism and earn a good wage i would help fund ATT and many other charites like Treating Autism, Caudwell and any other place that puts the rights of the child first.

    sorry if this knarks you but i find that somebody with such venom towards an organisation and in particular 1 person and there child
    totally unaccetable and really quite dangerous.
    Please give yourself a rest and challenge your energies into helping people less fortunate than yourself.
    God bless

  26. Concerned professional December 4, 2010 at 23:47 #

    You don’t have to be a disgruntled employee to have massive concerns about ATT ‘rena’
    Think you are sounding rather like someone that is a little bit too supportive to simply be a ‘parent’
    And I think some of us might recognise your ‘writing style’ if we had a look at a certain website…hmmm
    You will be one of the very very fortunate minority who has never paid a penny for ATT services.
    I know countless people that have spent a fortune… And cauldwell…wellthey have cut their grants to families by over 50 percent this year…
    Also your story doesn’t add up- check your posts and try again!!
    Oh and from a professional point of view having worked with many many children with autism- the most damaged children I have come across have been clients of ATT…I have watched them regress before my eyes as their parents continue to poison them.

  27. BIdi December 5, 2010 at 07:54 #

    Dear Rena, I seemed to have hit a nerve, apologies.

    yes you can take your results from three years ago and question them. I hope you have kept them and information about treatment you have been using. It is important information for your child’s future as is anyone’s medical history.

    as for your comment about sounding like ‘some disgruntled ex employee or somebody with huge esteem issue!!’ have you concidered a volunteer or office assistant who asked one too many questions prior to being pushed out of the door? who else have you had in your office who could be upset with you. A parent you yelled at for not accepting your recommendation maybe?

    You ask ‘have you ever breathed autism’ no neither have you (and yes I got that you are a parent who lives with it).
    but I do read it every day. I do my research and check the treatments available to ensure I am giving the safest, that which is fully studied with ethical guidelines and validation through repeated trials.

    ‘born into this situation what does that mean?’ well you see I was born into the situation in which I live. My parents guided me at first until I could make my own choices. Life puts things up to challenge my parents, but it is the life I was born to. We are all born to our situations and as a child rely on our parents to guide us. (hope this clarify’s my point)

    ‘to be born in a world where the future looked healthy’ well no life is not healthy, this is not how life works.

    You said ‘we have never paid a penny to ATT in 3 years’ – I would check in with them then, the family I know did not realise and was not invoiced for a year, or there about, after funding stopped. hence a great debt.

    and i dont know other parents that have, — yes there are families that pay.

    How do I know? – – – well that is a good question, because this information should be freely available from the charity by law. However I am yet to find anyone that has been able to get the financial information. it was the families who made requests as far as I am aware. Maybe when they have finished fixing the books with their financial investigative board member they will put them out to the public.

    ‘rights of the child first’ Rene Please define. I feel I may upset you arguing this point, so please clarify if I have miss read. The right of any child is in the hands of the parent. The parents have the right to provide their child with the best outcome treatment. where is ATTs proof of best outcome – your child? one in hundreds on their books. The right to have respite – away from the home – from trained and registered persons. (this is what this blog is about)

    ‘sorry if this knarks’ – it Knarks me because parents do not fully investigate – its hard – I do know this, it tiring – I do know this, if only someone anyone will come to our aid. will you really be using unregistered help?

    Well sorry Rena, god bless – we are all born into this world with different ailments that we need to learn to live with.

    I have no venom to any child, I am surprise you would pull that up and want me to go there. I admit I may have venom towards an organization maybe, an individual that headlines that organization, maybe. But in no way to a child who as all children are innocent and as I sated to be left out of the discussion.

  28. Prometheus December 5, 2010 at 20:14 #

    “The volunteers we have are fantastic- for one, they have all postgraduate degrees in areas that are very relevant to autism, the majority being a Master in Psychology” [emphasis added]

    Would it be terribly cynical of me to ask why people with a Masters in Psychology are volunteering to provide respite care through ATT? Can’t they find a real job – one that pays?

    In the US, Masters of Psychology are qualified to be school “psychologists” but cannot practise clinical psychology. I have no idea what the rules are in Scotland. However, the fact that so many of ATT’s “professionals” have a Masters of Psychology suggests to me that they are providing some sort of “clinical internship” for these volunteers to move on to either a PhD/PsyD or to gain “contact hours” in order to qualify for certification in some therapy – ABA, perhaps?

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with using students to provide care, as long as they are supervised and the patients/parents are informed that the “care-givers” are students under supervision.


  29. BIdi December 5, 2010 at 22:46 #

    I seem to have hit a raw nerve, I apologies – but in reply to your comments…

    ‘go take my findings………
    that was 3 years ago’
    I hope you have kept these reports/findings, it is important for your childs medical history (whether from a GP or not, the need to have a full picture of the ‘supplements’ your child has taken is she is needing medical attention for what ever reason). Yes you can take them to a specialised medical Doctor or the NHS advice line. it is never to late to raise issues, questions or concerns.

    ‘you sound like some disgruntled ex employee or somebody with huge esteem issue!!’
    well lets see now, who else could have an issue with the situation, I could be as you suggest the office hand that asked one too many questions, the volunteer who was found to have a voice and understanding of the situation. Or a parent maybe? one who was yelled at for not taking their child’s ‘illness’ seriously and by not accepting Ms. Amets’ recommendations is causing serious damage to their child.

    ‘have you ever breathed autism’
    no and neither have you. I read it, I study it, I live with it. only the child breaths it.

    ‘born into this situation what does that mean?’
    let me clarify for you and others looking in. I was born into this world and my parents guided me until I was able to make my own choices in life, just as I guide my own. The son was born into his situation – however as I stated this is not the place to bring his personal life up.

    ‘to be born in a world where the future looked healthy,’
    NO! No by all means not at all, the world is not healthy. The world throws many difficult situations at us that we learn and develop from. Some leading to ill health and worries, it is what makes us individual people, how we deal with those situations. you are blind sited to think that ill health is only for those families with ASD or other diagnosis. Every individual at some point in life will experience how unhealthy the world can be. Unfortunately some more so than others.

    ‘how come you know what happens with the money situation and other charities?’
    good question, you see this is a legal requirement for all charities in Scotland to provide details of finance to any member of the public who requests it. However, I do not know of anyone who has been able to obtain this information. maybe once the forensic/investigative financial board member straightens out the books, they will be more open to sharing this information to us.

    ‘well i can only say that we have never paid a penny to ATT in 3 years’
    Caudwell funding is available for two years, so I urge you to check with ATT. it was over year following the ending of caudwell charity funding that the two families I am aware of received bill for outstanding balance in the thousands.

    ‘any other place that puts the rights of the child first.’
    lets define the ‘rights of the child’ Rena. This is a tough one for me to comment on. When they removed essential services from clients with no warning for a second time in a year are they really meeting the rights of the child?

    ‘sorry if this knarks you’ – no this has not knarked me one bit, healthy debate is good and helps draw out the potential solution to situations of concern.

    ‘i find that somebody with such venom towards an organisation and in particular 1 person and there child’
    well I agree there is venom towards an organisation who does not see the wrong in what they do, and in one individual who does not understand science after it has bit them in the bum several times. but never towards an innocent who is born to a situation they have no control over. I repeat I would not bring him into it.

    However I noticed that you state dec 24th 10.48 that she has a child ‘lost to autism’ I sorry, I read this to say he died, please correct me if I am wrong.
    if I interpreted correctly, are you sure? – check the Corinna’s report, if this was the case it would have been headline news. No-one has ever died from ASD. It is a said case that she would pull at your heart strings in this way.

    I would also point out your (several) references to the mercury debate. last year this was put to a close. Mr Wakefeilds study was debunked and removed from the medical journal. Rene Please do your research and do not put your child in harms way.
    There is no longer argument on the topic of immunizations. they are proven to be safe, in rigorous, ethical, validated studies.

  30. BIdi December 5, 2010 at 22:52 #


    I agree with you in part, being aware of the US situation.
    In the UK it is very hard for students to find that supervised work, the internship to move forward their career. I know of several situations were the degree has not lead to the work the student has hoped for. So to come across the opportunity presented by ATT they are going to take it up. It looks good on the CV right.

    It is just unfortunate that they will not have the supervision required and they are kept int he dark about the requirements of registration not being met.

    And the few smart cookies who spot the errors and ask the questions will quickly find there is not the work available to them.

    Ms. Amet hides behind silence.
    easy done when you are the only paid employee.

  31. Concerned professional December 5, 2010 at 23:04 #

    Totally agree with you- the potential of experience at this kind of level will be well sold to these poor students.
    And no there won’t be the supervision available to then when they scratch the surface. They are all about 10 times more qualified than the so called ABA ‘consultant’ that they employ…she herself is not even appropriately supervised by bacb standards (she is an open university undergrad with a board chartered ASSISTANT behaviour analyst title so shouldn’t even be running programmes herself unsupervised) let alone her supervising anyone !!! She also claims to be expert in specific specialist speech and language interventions despite not being a speech therapist…she really is in good company- a ‘dr’ whose phd is in philosophy and an ABA person that shouldn’t be running programmes by herself.
    It is all s frightening when you look at their service and the corners they cut absolutely everywhere- yet they are still largely unchallenged and still they manage to pull the wool over the eyes of the most vulnerable… Where will it stop?

  32. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. December 6, 2010 at 10:53 #

    “Lorene is NOT a doctor – she has a phd- which is not the same as a medical doctor.”

    Maybe the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is not the same as that of Doctor of Medicine, but the fact remains that Lorene Amet is a Doctor: she is allowed to refer to herself as Dr. Amet. The degree was awarded by a university and you do not have the say as to her right to use the title. Period. And, just to point out something that most people are seemingly forgetting: in the UK, the vast majority of medical practitioners are not Doctors of anything… they hold the conjoint degrees of Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery. Only if they conduct research and complete a thesis at the appropriate level do they become Doctors – either of Medicine or of Philosophy.

    Unless she is actually making a claim herself that she is a medical practitioner, Dr. Amet is not even ‘pretending to be a doctor’.

    This is not to say that I am behind her and her organisation. I’m not. Clearly they are trying to ignore the law, or at least have been.

    “Would it be terribly cynical of me to ask why people with a Masters in Psychology are volunteering to provide respite care through ATT? Can’t they find a real job – one that pays?”

    Might not be cynical, but it might be offensive. Jobs are not that common in the UK now, because of this wonderful financial crisis that we just had (and seem to be still having). Same thing has been going on in Finland, so I can understand the problem that anyone graduating from a post-graduate programme in the UK would have finding appropriate supervised practice that would go towards the second stage of getting Chartered Membership of the BPS.

    “In the US, Masters of Psychology are qualified to be school ‘psychologists’ but cannot practise clinical psychology. I have no idea what the rules are in Scotland.”

    Yes, but that is the US. And the school psychologist there is every bit as much a psychologist as the clinical one. The rules in Scotland are that – whilst in England now – all clinical and educational psychology training courses lead to a doctoral degree, in Scotland they do not. Scotland has its own legislature and the BPS is legally obliged to recognise this and provide for practitioners in Scotland the same opportunities for career progression and professional recognition that are available in England.

    The University of Glasgow runs a clinical training programme, which leads to the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology. Edinburgh’s clinical programme leads to the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology too (their abbreviations differ, but that is a minor issue). Dundee provides a course in educational psychology leading to the degree of Master of Science,which the BPS accredits as being qualification enough to practise as a psychologist. An add-on doctoral degree is available for those who wish to take it.

    In Northern Ireland, the qualification level is doctoral now. But in the Republic of Ireland, the requisite qualification is a Statement of Equivalence in one’s area of psychology. The basis for this Statement is the training required at post-graduate level (in the RoI, I’ve a feeling that this is at Master’s level).

    This is all because – until APA-ism hit the BPS – the Master’s degree (or the BPS Diploma that such a degree had to match) was the terminal professional qualification, regardless of doctoral-level studies.

    “Oh, and late onset ‘autism’ ( after the age of 4- I think lorene’s son was older) is usually not autism”

    Not quite right. ICD 10 provides a diagnostic category for this: atypical autism, which is F84.9 (equivalent to 299.90 in DSM IV-TR).

    What gets me is that Amet has completed the M. Ed. course at Birmingham. I know that course: I graduated from it, and it is a very good course. I have to wonder what she actually learned from the course if she’s even involved with an organisation that has the word treatment in its name.

    Oh, and that she’s trying to market biomed ‘therapies’ that have not been validated scientifically. She should know better.

    As for respite: that is care provided so as to give the parents and children a break from each other! Parents and children in same room whilst a volunteer does activities with the child … that’s not respite.

    “In-home care is popular for obvious reasons. The temporary caregiver comes to the regular caregiver’s home, and gets to know the care receiver in his or her normal environment. The temporary caregiver learns the family routine, where medicines are stored, and the care receiver is not inconvenienced by transportation and strange environments. In this model, friends, relatives and paid professionals may be used. Another in-home model will utilize friends and neighbors as helping hands where the primary caregiver never leaves the premises but may simply be getting a break so that they can cook dinner or pay the bills.”

    Yeh, from wiki, but it is pretty accurate. My italics, to show what it means… it’s the getting a break. The parents should not be dealing with the children if they’re ‘getting a break’.

    • Sullivan December 6, 2010 at 19:06 #

      Maybe the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is not the same as that of Doctor of Medicine, but the fact remains that Lorene Amet is a Doctor: she is allowed to refer to herself as Dr. Amet. The degree was awarded by a university and you do not have the say as to her right to use the title.

      She has the right, this is true. With any right, however, comes responsibility. In this case, she has the responsibility to use the title appropriately. In my opinion, using the title “Dr.” when the subject is medical treatment is not an appropriate use of the title. It is misleading. I recall pointing out one page on the ATT website that describes her as “Dr” without ever making it clear that the title is academic and not medical.

      I, for one, do not say that she doesn’t have the right to the use of the title. I will assert my right to criticize what I perceive as the inappropriate use of the title. No doctor, medical or academic, has the right to demand I use the title “Dr”.

      If she were in a theater and someone called out, “This man is having a heart attack, is there a doctor in the house”, she might have the right to yell out, “yes, I am a doctor”, but it would be clearly inappropriate. The only question is whether in her position of authority on the Autism Treatment Trust, she has a responsibility to make her status as a non-treating, non-medical professional more clear. In my opinion the answer is yes.


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