Many Autistic Children Treated with Multiple Mood-Altering Drugs

Dr. Anjali Jin, researcher at the Lewin Group, coauthored a new study that shows that many autistic children are prescribed multiple mood-altering drugs contemporaneously, and for extensive time periods. Though the researchers are not certain that doctors overprescribe these medications, they maintain that the risks of prescribing them may outweigh the benefits, because no one knows if these drugs actually treat the children’s autism. Other treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, can be effective. However, not every insurance plan will cover behavioral therapy, and behavioral therapy requires more time and effort on the part of the patient and the patient’s family.

 Read more here.

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3 thoughts on “Many Autistic Children Treated with Multiple Mood-Altering Drugs

  1. Huh. As an autism dad, we don’t use any drugs. Not out of a specific disdain or avoidance of pharmaceuticals, but because we simply haven’t had any prescribed for our 3 year old.

    That said, I want to offer a good-natured correction: usually those drugs aren’t prescribed to “treat autism”, as you wrote, but rather diminish some of its symptoms in order to make tasks easier. For example:

    -Mild sleep aids for hypersensitive children so they can get more sleep.
    -Stimulants like Ritalin in an attempt to increase their focus and attention span
    -anti-seizure drugs, as autism and epilepsy have high comorbidity.

    For the record, we’ve observed moderate improvements after about 4 months of 12 hours/week of ABA and a structured preschool environment.

  2. Pingback: Project Echolalia: A father photographs the world of his autistic son | Life of a DIY Shopaholic

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