Trust targets 'quack' remedies

The first trust concerned exclusively with independent research into autism intervention was launched last week.

Geoffrey Maddrell, chairman of the Autism Intervention Research Trust, said: "Hundreds of intervention treatments are available, but few have been scientifically evaluated. Exaggerated or misleading claims are made for specific approaches."

The National Autistic Society will pay for the trust's basic administration for five years, and Richard Mills, its director of research, will act as honorary secretary.

He said: "Our research will filter out quack interventions that are marketed as a panacea for all, but only work for some."

The trust launched with £65,000 in funding from three private trusts and individual donations, and aims to increase this to £3m in the first three years. Maddrell said that intervention research currently accounts for just 8 per cent of autism research.

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