Autism

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.

Dig Deeper in the Diagnosis Dictionary



Find a nearby specialist for face-to-face help.

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.

Autism Blogs

  • Lucy Berrington

    Asperger's Alive

    The changing landscape of autism and neurodiversity
  • Lynne Soraya

    Asperger's Diary

    Life through the lens of Asperger's Syndrome.
  • Alison Berkley, MST

    Breaking Barriers

    Perspectives from the trenches of the special needs world
  • John Elder Robison

    My Life With Asperger's

    How to live a high-functioning life with Asperger's.
  • Chantal Sicile-Kira

    The Autism Advocate

    Practical tips and musings on raising children and teens with autism
  • The Guest Room

    Reports and responses from guest bloggers.