When it comes to autism research and its hottest topics, treatment is usually at the top of the list. Everyone wants the best for their child, so discovering the best ways to treat and support people on the spectrum is very important. Consistent and intensive therapeutic treatments like ABA Therapy are the most holistic and scientifically proven way to support the healthy development of your child on the spectrum.
Many parents will also seek medication as a potential treatment but the question remains, are they effective? In this post we’ll discuss autism’s relationship to medication as a form of treatment.
Receiving an autism diagnosis is a nerve wracking experience. Parents want immediate answers and some doctors are quick to draw up a slew of prescriptions in anticipation of the worst. Heavily tested and FDA approved drugs are no doubt helpful treatments for some, but it can take several years of a trial-and-error approach to get the prescriptions just right while minimizing potentially harmful side effects.
That’s not to say all doctors will recommend drugs immediately, or that the prescriptions can’t be warranted. In fact, medication can be very useful as a supplement to treatments like ABA therapy.
Medication and Targeting Symptoms
There are several instances where medication is a good choice for you and your family. Many parents see good results when they target the symptoms their child needs the most help with. Some of the common symptoms individuals on the spectrum may want to consider treating with medication include:
- Having trouble sleeping
- Gastrointestinal issues and maintaining a healthy digestive tract
- Attention deficits
- Severe anxiety
Consult your doctor and do your research on the medications suggested to see what will work best for you or your child. If a side effect sounds concerning, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
A Word of Caution
In a time where autism diagnostic testing is still evolving to be more inclusive, it’s still unfortunately common for young children and adults to be misdiagnosed. This can go on for a while, resulting in countless prescription medications that are ineffective or misappropriated. The side effects of these medications can have some long term effects of varying severity, especially for young children. If you or a relative suspect an autism diagnosis is a possibility, don’t hesitate to bring it up with a doctor or pediatrician before accepting an alternative diagnosis.
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