Autism Treatment: After the Diagnosis

Jeanne Sager
Toddlers & Preschoolers
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Flickr photo by _Shward_
With an autism diagnosis expected for one in every 110 American kids, Autism Awareness Month is shining a light on treatment options for our kids.

Just as our kids are all different, so too are the spots kids fall on the autism spectrum. And that means a host of different avenues for treatment.

There is no cure for autism as of yet, but gathering a team of professionals to help you navigate the process will help you decide the best course for your child. Research has shown early intervention -- treatment as soon after birth as possible -- has a significant positive impact on children with autism.

A few avenues you'll be faced with:

Medication: Although there are no medicines specifically for autism, pharmaceuticals may be used to treat some of the symptoms such as seizures, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Behavioral/educational therapy: From applied behavioral analysis to verbal therapy, medical professionals can work with your child to address the core symptoms of autism. The degree of success will depend on your child and their diagnosis.

Dietary interventions: Some autistic children follow a gluten-free or casein-free diet.

For help in putting together a team to guide you in the treatment phase, connecting parents of other children with autism is a good start. Join your local chapter of the Autism Society or talk with the experts at Autism Speaks about your child's rights -- including their right to have some of their needs met by your school district.

What are your suggestions for finding help with treatment?

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