Tuesday, July 9, 2024

How Do Doctors Treat Autism

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Assessing Whether A Medication Works

Treating Autism

When your child starts taking a new medication, you and the professional need to monitor your child carefully.

It can also help if you understand the targeted behaviour or problem before your child starts the medication. Take a week to write down details like when, how often and how long the behaviour happens, and think about how intense it is. Also pay attention to your childs sleeping habits and appetite. This puts you in a good position to notice whether anything is changing once your child starts the medication.

When your child starts taking a medication, try not to change anything else about their routine or therapy program. Then if you notice any changes, itll be easier to tell whether theyve been caused by the medication. You could also ask a family friend it they notice any differences in your childs behaviour.

Complementary And Alternative Approaches

Although many complementary and alternative medicine therapies lack proven effectiveness,49 physicians should recognize that most families of children with ASDs are likely to try at least one CAM approach.25 Parents of children with autism who are interested in CAM are often disappointed with their physicians’ lack of knowledge or negative attitudes about CAM. Physicians can foster a trusting relationship by asking, in a nonjudgmental way, about CAM and listening to the parents’ perceptions regarding the benefits of a particular treatment. Once trust is established, the physician can help families distinguish validated treatment approaches from treatments that have been proven ineffective or those that are unproven and potentially harmful.28 Several Web sites can assist physicians with staying up to date on new treatments .

Creating A Medication Plan

Healthcare providers usually prescribe a medication on a trial basis to see if it helps. Some medications may make symptoms worse at first or take several weeks to work. Your child’s healthcare provider may have to try different dosages or different combinations of medications to find the most effective plan.

Families, caregivers, and healthcare providers need to work together to make sure that the medication plan is safe and that all medications have some benefit.

Things to remember about medication:

  • Healthcare providers and families should work together to help ensure safe use of medication.
  • Not every medication helps every person with symptoms of autism.
  • One person with autism might respond to medications differently than another person with autism or than people who don’t have autism.
  • Some medications have serious risks involved with their use.

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Should Children With Autism See A Pediatric Neurologist

If your child has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, then youve probably already seen or been referred to many medical specialists. One these specialists may be a pediatric neurologist. But what does neurology have to do with autism? There are a few different ways that a pediatric neurologist can help aid in your childs autism treatment.

How To Treat A Child With Autism: First Steps

How Doctors Can Support Patients on the Autism Spectrum ...

When a parent finds out that his child has autism, the shock can be life-changing. However, according to research studies, parents who know how to care for children with autism perform well emotionally and are able to create a strong bond between them and their children. How to treat a child with autism? Here are a few basic guidelines for parents and caregivers.

Just like all the other pervasive development disorders, autism begins in children when they are below three years of age. During its development stage, a parent will notice a complex group of developmental disabilities such as difficulties in communication, walking, smiling, reacting to the environment and even learning. The child will hardly have any social interactions with his environment and those close to him.

Autism can range from being mild to very severe and will most likely interfere with the life of your child and your relationship with him. Autism affects the emotional health of the child, physical growth and even career aspirations. The problem can be checked if you know how to care for a child living with autism. Below are some tips to help you cope with autism in a child.

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Risperidone For Autism: Does It Work

By Claire Delano, BA

Intense tantrums, aggression, and self-injury are some of the most worrying symptoms associated with autism. These behaviors are usually addressed with therapy, but doctors may decide that medication is needed.

Risperidone is an antipsychotic sometimes prescribed to children with autism spectrum disorder . Lets explore what this drug does and whether its effective for kids on the spectrum.

Medical Marijuana For Autism

Cannabis is prescribed as a treatment for autism in 14 states. Is it the wonder drug patients and families have been waiting for?


Although the research on and autism spectrum disorders is in its infancy, there has been much controversy and confusion. Over the years, more patients and their families are seeking guidance from doctors on using cannabis to alleviate symptoms. From preventing seizures to calming aggression, a slow trickle of research is suggesting that cannabidiol , a component of cannabis, may be the wonder drug families have been searching for. But does it hold up to this standard? Should we be recommending it to patients? How do we weigh the benefits and the risks?

Unfortunately, many clinicians lack adequate training on the subject, making them unprepared to have a meaningful discussion with patients and families. Efforts to advance research have been limited for technical and logistical reasons, often leaving doctors with just as many questions as patients.

Cannabis: An Overview

Used recreationally, it produces a high or mind-altering effect when smoked or consumed. It is also used therapeutically. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines medical cannabis as using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions.1

THC and CBD are 2 cannabinoids found in cannabis that have particular clinical importance.3

The Challenges of Autism

The Case for and Against

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Complementary And Alternative Medicine Treatments

To relieve the symptoms of ASD, some parents and healthcare professionals use treatments that are outside of what is typically recommended by pediatricians. These treatments are known as complementary and alternative medicine treatments. CAM treatments refer to products or services that are used in addition to or instead of traditional medicine. They might include special diets, dietary supplementsexternal icon, chelation , biologicals , or mind-body medicine .

Many of these treatments have not been studied for effectiveness moreover, a review of studies on chelation found some evidence of harm and no evidence to indicate it is effective in treating children with ASD . Current research shows that as many as one-third of parents of children with ASD may have tried CAM treatments, and up to 10% may be using a potentially dangerous treatment . Before starting such a treatment, talk to your childs doctor.

To learn more about CAM therapies for ASD, go to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines Autismexternal icon webpage. The FDA has information about potentially dangerous treatments hereexternal icon.

How To Find A Functional Medicine Doctor

Treat Autism – The Methylation Impairment with Autistic Children – Dr. Sonya Doherty

We wish we could say that doctors with this specialized training are located in every city and town throughout the United States. Like most specialists, convenient access to a trained and experienced functional medicine provider depends largely on where you live. As a result, many families travel to see their childs doctor.

Below are some tried and true ways to find a doctor who can help your child:

  • Ask for recommendations from local parents of kids with autism who are using medical interventions:
  • Hook up with your local TACA Chapter.
  • If there isnt a TACA Chapter near you, join where we have a file on parent recommended doctors listed by state.
  • Attend a TACA conference to see doctors speak in person.
  • Watch presentations from doctors to see who you feel would be a good fit for your family.
  • You can get access to TACAs entire webinar archive by becoming a TACA+ member.
  • Check websites of organizations who provide functional medical training and certifications. They often maintain lists of doctors who have completed their programs.
  • To clarify, these lists simply indicate a doctor has attended a training offered by the organization. However, they dont indicate whether or not the doctor has clinical experience treating patients with autism.
  • Integrative Medicine for Mental Health
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    How Can I Receive Treatment Or Evaluation For Autism Spectrum Disorder At Columbia

    At ColumbiaDoctors, we work closely with patients and their families to developed individualized treatments for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Our clinicians combine a thorough evaluation of each individuals problems with the latest research to design a customized treatment plan.

    The Lieber Recovery Clinic is a specialized service that offers comprehensive outpatient treatment for adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorder, emphasizing skills conducive for work, school, and independent living.

    The Neuropsychological Evaluation Service offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder in order to guide treatment planning.

    Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist with expertise in autism spectrum disorder. To make an appointment, please call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.

    How Many Adults Have Autism

    The autism community is growing. For years, researchers have told us that more children emerge from doctors visits with an ASD diagnosis. As doctors become more familiar with what autism is and what it looks like, they are more likely to apply the diagnosis to children who need help, where they may have overlooked these children before.

    All children who receive a diagnosis will become adults with autism. That means close to 3% of the population could have an ASD diagnosis quite soon.

    But there are plenty of adults who never get the diagnosis. Instead, they deal with:

    • Improper help. They may be labeled as having depression, personality disorders, ADHD, or another mental health condition. Some even get treatment for these issues, and they grow frustrated when they don’t see improvement.
    • Labels. They may be called “quirky” or “eccentric” by the people around them. These terms can be cruel.
    • Isolation. They may not relate to others, for reasons they don’t understand. They may operate in very small social circles.

    We don’t know how many people live like this. But chances are, there are thousands of them.

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    What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorder

    There is no clear-cut cause of ASD. Some causes that are supported by research include genetic and some environmental factors. Specific genetic causes can only be identified in 10% to 20% of cases. These cases include specific genetic syndromes associated with ASD and rare changes in the genetic code.

    Risk factors include older parental age, low birth weight, prematurity and maternal use of valproic acid or thalidomide during pregnancy, among others. This field of study is an active one for reasearch.

    Why An Autism Diagnosis Is Important


    A formal autism diagnosis is vitally important for your child and your family. There are two reasons. First, a diagnosis is required for the provision of medical and educational intervention services. For obvious reasons, children cannot receive treatment unless they have been formally diagnosed after having a test for autism.

    Second, the importance of these early intervention services cannot be understated. Numerous studies have noted the importance of early intervention in improving a childs cognitive skills, social interactions, and brain development. These services work, and early screening and diagnosis can help children get the help that they need and deserve.

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    Anatomy Of A Hit: How Abcs The Good Doctor Became The Seasons Breakout

    Sociologist William Petersen coined the term model minority to describe positively stereotyped demographic groups that achieve success despite marginalization. For instance, Asian Americans transformed from the yellow peril and brown horde of the late 19th century to a respected and industrious group that closed the wage gap by the 1970s not because of educational gains, economist Nathaniel Hilger found, but because of less racist public perceptions. Contrast The Mask of Fu Manchu the infamous pre-Code film where Myrna Loy and Boris Karloff don yellowface for the roles of dragon lady and evil criminal genius to Bruce Lees martial arts films of the 70s in which Asian protagonists are idealized.

    Idealizing traditional Asian values conveniently upheld the racist status quo. Asian Americans were elevated while other minorities, especially African Americans, were denigrated because they were not perceived to be as hard-working or self-sufficient. This undermined the call for systemic anti-racist changes demanded by the Civil Rights Movement.

    For example, in The Good Doctor pilot, Dr. Murphy exists to enlighten his neurotypical peers. In an exchange with a skeptical hospital board, the president of San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital justifies hiring the autistic surgeon because of Dr. Murphys genius-level skills and because it will feel goodWe hire Shaun and we make this hospital better for it. We hire Shaun, and we are better people for it.

    What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects verbal communication, social interaction, sensory processing, and behavioral flexibility. These challenges often persist over the lifespan, impacting a persons ability to manage self-care activities, build relationships, pursue academic goals and engage in work.

    Autism characteristics usually first appear between 12-24 months of age, although it varies by individual. Research shows that changes in brain development actually occur much earlier, likely starting during pregnancy. For some children, signs and symptoms of ASD may be present early on but do not become impairing until much later in childhood

    Many different genes and environmental risk factors contribute to the development of autism. The genes involved often affect how cells in the brain grow and communicate with one another. Sometimes parents also carry these genes, and other times the genes are the result of new mutations that occurred during development. Generally, many risk genes are required for autism symptoms to develop.

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    Screening And Diagnosis Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the childs developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis.

    ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable . However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.

    Early signs of ASD can include, but are not limited to

    • Avoiding eye contact,
    • Having little interest in other children or caretakers,
    • Limited display of language , or
    • Getting upset by minor changes in routine.

    CDCs Learn the Signs. Act Early. program provides free resources to help families monitor developmental milestones and recognize signs of developmental concerns, including ASD.

    As children with ASD become adolescents and young adults, they might have difficulties developing and maintaining friendships, communicating with peers and adults, or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or on the job. They may also come to the attention of healthcare providers because they have co-occurring conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression, or conduct disorder.

    Creating A Positive Environment

    Central CA Autism Treatment Center Uses Skills® to Treat Children with Autism
  • 1Treat your loved one with kindness and respect. Autistic people can undergo tremendous amounts of pressure to perform “normally,”XResearch source and the best way to help them is to respect them.XResearch source Make it clear that you will listen to them. If they feel supported at home, they will communicate and adapt better, and feel happy.
  • 2Talk to your loved one often to encourage communication. Children learn to understand speech by hearing others speak, and talking to an uncommunicative person will encourage them to open up . If you know what their special interests are, start conversations about them.
  • Read their body language as you talk to them. For example, if you ask your daughter “Did you play with your friends today?” and she squeals happily and waves her arms, this is her answer. This communication is a stepping stone and should be encouraged.
  • 3Presume competence. Act with the assumption that your loved one can hear and understand you, even if it doesn’t look like it. Treat them like they are fundamentally good and intelligent. Positive expectations can help them bloom.
  • If your loved one is in the room, assume they can hear what you’re saying. If you talk about how hard it is to live with an autistic child, they’ll worry that they make your life worse by existing.XResearch source Save your adult fears for when the children are out of the room.
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    Tips For Communicating With A Patient With Autism

    Step 1: Reduce Unnecessary Sensory Input

    The first thing which is often very helpful is take the ASD patient and their parents/support person to a very quiet, private room where its dimly lit with minimal medical equipment in the room. There shouldnt be other patients or staff in the room. You want to create a relaxed, peaceful environment. That in itself will usually calm the individual down. This will help to decrease the amount of sensory overload that is affecting the patient.

    Step 2: Figure out how that Patient Communicates Best

    The next thing you need to do is ask the parent how the child/adult typically communicates. They can provide a baseline expectation of how the patient will react to you. Observe the way they communicate with their parent or whoever they are with. You will be able to observe if they use words or any type of gestures. Ask them for suggestions on how you should approach the patient.

    Remember, that parent is with that child 24/7 and knows their every move. They are your best resource for your patient.

    You can also use this time to get the patients medical history.

    Additional Tips

    Additionally, by allowing the patient to observe you talking to their parent, you will be establishing trust with them.

    Say less and say it slowly- But not too slow!

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