Therapies & Treatments
Date Updated: February 5, 2013
What do I do next? This is a question that has undoubtedly been asked by every parent of a child with an ASD. In many cases, it comes after the "What is this [autism, Asperger's, etc.]?" 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, very few have been studied enough to know whether they really do (or don't) work. This reality is frustrating and confusing for families and professionals caring for children with an 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.
Exploring Autism Treatments
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?
- Seeking Answers: Trying Anything and Everything
- Treatment for ASDs: What Do We Really Know?
- Early Start Denver Model Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Floortime and Pivotal Response Training
- Behavioral Therapies: Key Interventions in ASD
- Social Skills Interventions
- Educational and Behavioral Therapies
- Vitamins and Supplements
- Special Diets
- Treatment of Feeding Disorders in ASD
- Sensory Based Therapies
- Evaluating Treatments: How Do You Know When a Treatment Really Works?
- How IAN Research Can Make a Difference
One thing is clear: we know far too little about how to help children and adults coping with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. After all these years, after so much effort, and in the face of so much need, there are only two treatments for autism that have been clinically proven to help some individuals: early intensive behavioral therapies and a medication called risperidone (or Risperdal). 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. As has been demonstrated here, the need for answers is urgent.
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?
- Introduction: Most Popular Autism Treatments
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration Therapies
- Special Diets
- Social Skills Groups
- Animal-Assisted Therapies
We will be posting new reports on specific types of treatments on a regular basis. Keep checking back!
Related IAN Research Questions
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!