Autism Spectrum

How Is Autism Treated?

No cure has been discovered for autism, and in general the condition is treated with therapy and behavioral interventions that are specific to the needs of each particular child. The earlier autism is diagnosed and treated, the better chance that a child's condition will improve. Medication may help relieve some of the specific symptoms of autism, such as anxiety, obsessions and compulsions, behavioral problems, and seizures. Children who experience significant hyperactivity may also benefit from medications that treat ADHD.

Because the parents and siblings of a child with autism may find the condition a challenging one to cope with, family counseling might be of benefit.

Therapy for People on the Autism Spectrum

Ordinary therapy is not usually indicated as a helpful treatment for autism itself; in fact, talk therapy might not be possible for some autistic children and may only prove useful to higher functioning adults or to individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s. Medical and mental health professionals can identify the signs of autism, help rule out other possible causes of the child’s behavior, and refer the child to a specialist in behavioral therapy, most commonly applied behavioral analysis the approach with the most proven success.

Talking therapy may help some children and adults on the autism spectrum to address social isolation and its effects . Children with Asperger's, who often develop an extreme interest in one or two areas of knowledge and tend to show off the information they have acquired indiscriminately, may learn methods of further developing social skills.

Individuals with autism may experience various issues as a result of their condition, such as anger, grief, anxiety, or stress, that therapy can be helpful in addressing. People who have autism, especially high-functioning adults, may also seek therapy for issues that may or may not be related to autism, such as loneliness.

Clinician Stephanie Smith has over 9 years of experience working with people and families living with Autism.