Treating Autism


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Autism is a complex disorder that has no common cause and therefore no universal cure.  There is no single treatment, for example a drug or therapy, which will work for all affected by autism. The best treatment is often a plan designed to meet the areas of need for a particular individual.  The areas to explore when creating a plan are those that are most affected by the disability of autism: social skill development, communication, behavior, and sensory integration.

When considering any treatment for a person with autism, it is important to read all information about the treatment, including any scientific research that has been done, and any studies that support positive outcomes. The more knowledgeable parents or caregivers become, the more likely they will be able to choose appropriate options.

Professionals who work in the field agree that individuals with autism respond well to structured, specialized education programs specific to individual need. Programs often include several components, such as speech therapy, social skill development, and behavioral therapy. No single option fills the needs of everyone with autism. A comprehensive plan needs to be developed, with options that are most appropriate for the individual.

Following are some options that are frequently part of a program for a child with autism. The Autism Society of Greater Akron does not endorse or recommend any treatment or program; information is provided to assist parents and caregivers in making appropriate choices for their child.

Speech-Language Therapy
Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Sensory Processing
Vision Therapy
Recreational Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis
Discrete Trial Trianing
Verbal Behavior (VB) Intervention
Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
The Hanen Approach
Integrated Play Groups
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

5-Point Scale
Graphic Organizers
Power Cards
Social Stories
Video Modeling
Visual Strategies

Improving the Diet
Food Sensitivities
Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet (GFCF)
Vitamin/Mineral Supplements
High-Dose Vitamin B6 and Magnesium
Essential Fatty Acids
Gut Treatments (Antifungals, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes)
Amino Acids
Thyroid Supplements
Immune System Regulation

1This list is not meant to be comprehensive nor should it be considered an endorsement by the Autism Society of Greater Akron.  Specific treatment, therapy, or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor or other qualified professional.