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Therapies and Treatments for Autism

Photo of toy train"What do I do next?" This is a question that has undoubtedly been asked by every parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In many cases, it comes after the "What is autism?" and "How did it happen?" Unfortunately, just as with the first two questions, the answer isn't very satisfying. Although many treatments and therapies are proposed to help, few have been studied enough to know whether they really do (or don't) work, and for which children. This reality is frustrating and confusing for families and professionals caring for children with ASD.

In this section, we explore current autism treatments, the evidence that supports their use, and what we are learning from the experience of individuals and families who have tried them.

When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, families face the next challenge: choosing treatments and therapies for their child. What are these treatments and therapies? How much do we know about them? How can a family best evaluate whether a treatment is working for their child?

Types of educational and behavioral therapies for autism

Medications, diets and supplements

Understanding autism Research

One thing is clear: we do not know enough about how to help children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. It is our hope that the IAN Research project will change this.

We hope that you will use this site to make yourself an informed consumer of research, to advocate for autism research, and, if you qualify, to participate in IAN Research and other autism research studies.

IAN Treatment Reports

By collecting data on treatment experiences, IAN hopes to contribute to the effort to identify effective treatments, as well as to guide decision-makers prioritizing which not-yet-proven treatments to study. As participants in IAN Research share their stories, what are we learning about autism treatments currently in use in the United States?

Parents taking part in the IAN Research Project report what treatments their child is receiving, as well as how difficult they were to obtain, how much they cost, and how effective they are finding them to be. Want a closer look? Explore the Treatment List and the Questionnaire for Each Treatment.