How is autism treated?
There is no cure for autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but there are several therapies available that can help an autistic child’s development and behavior. The goals of autism treatment may include managing tantrums, learning social skills, and helping improve focus and attention span. Each person with autism has unique behaviors and symptoms, and requires a personalized treatment plan developed with his or her family by a team of doctors, therapists and educators. In general, treatment is more successful the earlier it is begun after diagnosis.
Behavioral, educational and physical therapies
The following types of therapies can help people with ASDs refine their social skills, adapt to changes in their environment, learn everyday life skills, such as dressing and bathing, and improve communication. Therapies include:
Applied behavioral analysis
Sensory integration therapy
Medications cannot cure autism, but they are used to lessen the severity of certain symptoms associated with the disorder, such as anxiety, hyperactivity, aggression, and mood swings. Medications that might help mitigate these symptoms include:
Some families have found that certain therapies can help improve symptoms associated with autism and ASDs. Other therapies may include dietary changes, massage therapy, and alternative medicines. Many of these are unproven by scientific research; they may reduce symptoms in some people and worsen symptoms in others. You can minimize the risk of serious complications associated with any therapy or treatment by following the treatment plan you and your autism treatment team design specifically for your family.
What are the possible complications of autism?
With time, many symptoms of autism can improve. However, if a person does not receive adequate treatment or support for his or her autism, complications can include:
What is autism?
Autism is a neurobiological disorder that affects the brain. Autism is characterized by social and language challenges and excessively repetitive routines and behaviors. For example, a person with autism may have an obsession with a certain topic, such as airplanes, and have high-energy temper tantrums. A person with autism may also have problems making eye contact, or may show you he or she is happy by spinning around instead of smiling.... Read more about autism introduction
What are the symptoms of autism
Symptoms of autism begin early in life. Parents of children with autism generally notice symptoms of autism by their child’s first or second birthday.... Read more about autism symptoms
What causes autism?
The medical community does not definitively know what causes autism and the range of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism and ASDs are known to be complex, so it is likely they have multiple interconnected causes. Scientists and researchers are exploring thousands of environmental and genetic influences on fetuses, infants and children that may make them more likely to develop an ASD. The specific influences under investigation include medications, other medical conditions, viruses, and chromosomal abnormalities. It is, however, generally accepted by medical providers that poor parenting practices do not cause autism.... Read more about autism causes