Treatment of Autism

ID-10029381Autism is a common psychosocial problem among children and it should be treated or managed with involvement of various medical and social disciplines.

Aim of treatment/management of autism:

The main aim of treatment of autism is to increase/improve quality of life and functional independence of the autistic child and to lessen associated deficits and distress associated with the family. It is difficult to say which form of treatment is best for a particular child and ideally the treatment is tailored for every individual patient. No single treatment modality can sit all the patients of autism. The main treatment resources are families of the sufferers and the educational institutes of the patients and not doctors or physicians. There are many modalities of treatment, but unfortunately no treatment modality is satisfactory for most autistic individuals. Psychosocial interventions provide results, but reviews of psychosocial interventions and other treatment modalities are generally poor. The main method of management of autism is behavioral interventions and sustained special education from early in life to help autistic children acquire self-care, social, and job skills in later life and adjust to the mainstream society.

Currently several modalities are used in management of autism such as educational interventions, structured teaching, ABA (applied behavior analysis), speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, social skill learning therapy etc. The different modalities of management of autism mentioned here have shown positive results in management of autism and for adjusting in society.

Educational interventions have proved beneficial for improving functioning in preschool autistic children and improve intellectual performance in school. But if the improvement during childhood lasts till adulthood is not yet clear.

Medications for treatment of autism:

Several medications are used for treatment of ASDs (autism spectrum disorders), especially for symptoms that interfere with integrating an autistic child into home or school. Common medications used for such purpose are anticonvulsants, antipsychotic drugs, stimulants, antidepressants etc. But the effectiveness and safety of most of these drugs are questionable.

Cost of treatment of autism:

The treatment cost for autism is very high. In one study in US it was found that there is average loss of 14% of annual income for looking after a child with autism and not to mention the employment problems for parents of autistic children.

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