Many types of autism treatments are available for autistic children. These treatments can help an autistic child more if the child receives an autism diagnosis at a very young age. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can learn a lot about how to act with other people. Therapists can also provide help with speech and other learning problems. Certain drugs can control problems that may occur in children with ASD, but those drugs can have dangerous side effects.
Therapy Autism Treatments
Several types of therapy can help children on the autism spectrum, including:
- physical therapy (PT)
- occupational therapy (OT), and
- speech therapy
Some autistic children have trouble with large motor skills, such as:
- sitting, and
- taking part in everyday activities that involve large body movements
Physical therapy can help these children with these physical problems.
Occupational therapy can help autistic children with fine motor skills. This form of autism treatment can help children:
- get dressed without help
- use kitchen utensils to eat
- use scissors
- brush their teeth and comb their hair, and
- perform many other everyday activities that involve fine motor skills
Children on the autism spectrum often have trouble talking to other people. A speech therapist can help an autistic child learn to tell people what he needs or wants. Some autistic children cannot speak at all. Speech therapy can help these children express themselves with:
- sign language
- drawings, and
- other non-verbal means of communication
Behavioral Autism Treatments
An autism treatment called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) can help autistic children with their behavior. This type of treatment encourages positive behavior and discourages negative behavior. Some forms of ABA can begin when a child is only 12 months old. Other forms usually begin when a child is between 2 and 8 years old.
Drug Autism Treatments
Doctors often use certain drugs to treat “acting out” behavior in autistic children. These medicines can reduce a child’s aggressive and irritable behavior. But they can also be very dangerous for autistic children or adults. The autism drug Risperdal can cause extreme weight gain and diabetes. Risperdal can also cause boys to grow very large “female” breasts.
If a young patient is treated with one of these drugs and develops any of these side effects, the child may be entitled to compensation from the child’s doctor if the doctor:
- did not watch the child to see if the side effects were occurring, and
- did not take steps to help protect the child from this harm
The child may also be entitled to compensation from the company that made the drug.