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Autism Treatment

Most autistic individuals respond well to highly structured, specialized treatment programs; however, there is no single best treatment for autism. Among the many methods available for treatment and education of people with autism, applied behavior analysis (ABA) has become widely accepted as an effective treatment option. Treatment may include the use of medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants to treat symptoms associated with the disorder.

Treating Autism: An Introduction

There is no single best autism treatment. One point that most professionals agree on is that early treatment for autism is important; another is that most individuals with autism respond well to highly structured, specialized programs.
Before you make decisions about your child's treatment, you will want to gather information about the various treatment options available. Learn as much as you can, look at all the options, and make your decision on your child's autism treatment based on your child's needs. You may want to visit public schools in your area to see the type of program they offer to special needs children.

Questions to Ask About Autism Treatment

Guidelines used by the Autism Society of America include the following questions parents can ask about potential autism treatment:
  • Will the treatment result in harm to my child?
  • How will failure of the treatment affect my child and family?
  • Has the treatment been validated scientifically?
  • Are there assessment procedures specified?
  • How will the treatment be integrated into my child's current program?
Do not become so infatuated with a given autism treatment that functional curriculum, vocational life, and social skills are ignored.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests a list of questions parents can ask when planning for their child:
  • How successful has the program been for other children?
  • How many children have gone on to placement in a regular school and how have they performed?
  • Do staff members have training and experience in working with children and adolescents with autism?
  • How are activities planned and organized?
  • Are there predictable daily schedules and routines?
  • How much individual attention will my child receive?
  • How is progress measured? Will my child's behavior be closely observed and recorded?
  • Will my child be given tasks and rewards that are personally motivating?
  • Is the environment designed to minimize distractions?
  • Will the program prepare me to continue the therapy at home?
  • What is the cost, time commitment, and location of the program?
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