As of now, there are a grand total of two treatments which have been "scientifically proven" to be effective for people with autism. The first, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), is a non-medical therapeutic approach. It has been studied carefully for decades and is relatively easy to study, as it has very measurable goals. The second is an antipsychotic medication called Risperdal (risperidone): the first and only medication to be specifically approved for use in autism. Of course, ABA and/or Risperdal are neither cure-alls nor are they right for every person with autism.
If science can't tell you which is the best treatment for autism, how do you know where to start? Most autistic children receive at least speech, physical and occupational therapies - and most children receive those therapies free of charge through school districts or regional service organizations. Once you've set up those services, it's time to dig deeper into what's avaiable, what you can afford, and what you and your child's doctors and therapists believe may be most beneficial in your particular circumstances.
- National Institute of Mental Health Fact Sheet on Autism
- Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders Pinto-Martin and Levy, Current Treatment Options in Neurology 2004, 6:391-400
- First Signs
- "Going to the Heart: An Introductory Guide for Parents." Gutstein, Steven and Sheeley, Rachel. © 2004 Gutstein, Sheely & Associates, P.C.
CDC Page on Vaccine Safety
- Exploring Autism
- The Autism Institute Website and information supplied by The Autism Institute
- Greenspan, Stanley. "The Child with Special Needs." C 1998: Perseus Books.
- Romanowski, Patricia et al. "The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome." C 2000: Crown Publishers, New York, NY.