Autism Treatments

There is no one specific treatment for autism.

Early intervention with highly structured behavioral, cognitive and communication therapies can sometimes dramatically help autistic children learn skills, but few are able to live independently as adults.

School-based educational programs designed for autistic children have been shown to be effective in improving intellectual functioning.

Programs that make use of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have become widely accepted as the standard of treatment.

In most effective programs, parents are encouraged to be highly involved in their children's care.

While no medication can correct the impairments common to autism, psychoactive drugs including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants are often prescribed to help control specific symptoms. Anticonvulsant medication may reduce the number of seizures but not eliminate them entirely.

There are many alternative treatments promoted to parents of autistic children, such as facilitated communication and auditory integration training, among many others; many have been shown to be ineffective. It is important for parents of autistic children to look into prospective treatments as thoroughly as possible.

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