UW Sexual Assault Case Raises Questions Over Campus Safety, Resources For Survivors, Hidden Wisconsin Exhibit, When Parents Study Their Autistic Children

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Parenting a child with a disorder on the autism spectrum has its hurdles. We talk to an expert about the many ways that these parents move off the beaten path when it comes to treating their own kids– when it has helped, and when it has hurt. We also learn about a new exhibit that will highlight the uncovered and ‘hidden’ pieces of Wisconsin. And a new sexual assault case out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison which has prompted conversations about safety on campus and resources available to survivors.

Featured in this Show

  • UW Sexual Assault Case Raises Questions Over Campus Safety, Resources For Survivors

    A 20-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student was arrested this week after a female student alleged he had sexually assaulted her. After the story became public, several women came forward to make similar allegations. The student was charged with 11 counts of sexual assault involving five women today.We speak with Kelly Moe Litke and Ian Henderson–both from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault–about the news and what resources are available for survivors.

    Below are links to resources available. Or, you can contact the 24/7 hotline operated by RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.

  • New Exhibit Reveals Some Of Wisconsin's Longest-Held Secrets

    A new exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum lifts the lid on some of Wisconsin’s best-kept secrets. An exploration of some of the state’s greatest mysteries – some of them hidden in plain sight.

  • Parents Of Autistic Kids Go To Great Lengths

    After a 4-year-old was hospitalized with acute vomiting and loss of appetite in response to therapies recommended by an alternative health practitioner, we learn about the great lengths traveled by parents of autistic children to treat the syndrome. What makes alternative therapies so attractive to this specific group of parents? And when is it okay to try new therapies on your child? `

  • Medical Community Takes Notice Of Experimental Methods To Treat Autism

    Discouraged by current treatment plans and desperate to find help, parents of autistic children could be more likely to seek out experimental procedures that are increasingly making some in the medical community nervous.

    Doctors writing in medical journals have been warning parents of autistic children to not be persuaded into trying potentially dangerous alternative treatment methods not backed by rigorous scientific research.

    It’s a point they say is underscored by the recent news in London where a 4-year-old autistic boy was hospitalized after taking a mixture of natural vitamins, including camel milk and silver, prescribed by an alternative medicine practitioner.

    Roger Bass, a doctoral-level licensed behavior analyst who has worked in autism treatment and special education for more than 35 years, said he can understand why some are willing to go to such lengths given the complexity of the disease, the lack of effective treatments available and rising healthcare costs.

    Under those conditions, Bass said many are eager to try things that may be touted under poorly executed studies. These treatments vary significantly, from topical ointments and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to aromatherapy. But what might really be going on here is what Bass called a “force of coincidence.”

    “Parents do a lot of observation of their children,” Bass said. “And so they will notice that he took amoxicillin and he seems to be doing better now that his fever is down, his ear infection is gone or whatever. And I don’t think that should be any great surprise. Children who feel better, tend to behave a little better, we all know that.”

    Many of these alternative methods are being promoted by single-subject trials or at-home experiments that produce deceptive results that haven’t been proven to be replicated, said Bass

    “We jump to cause-effect relationships very quickly, and I think that’s one of the problems that we have here,” he said.

    This isn’t anything new. Throughout history, the medical field has lauded and commonly practiced treatments that were only discredited later. Bass pointed to phrenology, bleeding, elements of psychoanalysis and more recently the anti-vaccination movement as a few examples.

    “So what we have are these very important consequences that come to bare when the data are not well created, when they are not well analyzed, when they are not well understood. So we have to be very careful with these things,” Bass said.

Episode Credits

  • Kate Archer Kent Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Aarushi Agni Producer
  • Kelly Moe Litke Guest
  • Ian Henderson Guest
  • Dr. Ellen Censky Guest
  • Roger Bass Guest

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