This article was updated to provide a new summary and resources. Many youngsters on the autistic spectrum display signs of hypersensitivity to touch. Diane Corson, OT, PT, incorporates therapeutic body brushing into her work as […]
Prevention & Treatment
Traditional treatments for autism have mostly focused on psychiatric drugs in attempts to calm and control behavior or improve focus. Parents were told by physicians that there was really no way to improve the condition itself.
That attitude gradually started to change when Dr. Bernard Rimland came on the scene. More than 45 years ago, Dr. Rimland pioneered new research to explore nutritional supplements for autism. He also began to examine biochemical, or underlying physical causes, for autism. He also advised the medical community that many of the medications used for autism were not only inadequate, but they had significant negative consequences and a better, safer approach was needed. Other researchers followed his lead, and autism is now considered to be “treatable.”
In addition, the autism community has advanced treatment options with the use of behavioral interventions, such as applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, social interventions, sensory integration therapy, physical and occupational therapy, and targeted learning techniques.
Dietary, nutritional, and biomedical therapy is of particular interest to many families. The use of suitable nutrients and specialized diets have helped thousands of people. As research continues to delve into these areas, a summary paper through the Autism Research Institute is helpful in sorting out different approaches that currently show promise to treat autism without the use of toxic medications. See our article: Summary of Dietary, Nutritional and Medical Treatments for Autism.
Families often need to seek out physicians who are familiar with a biomedical approach to autism. These practitioners have a background in assessment and treatment of imbalances in the body, and they understand different dietary approaches that might be beneficial.
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