Autism Spectrum Disorder 2

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Autism spectrum disorder and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. Dr. Edward Hill concludes a two-part look at autism spectrum disorder in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Children with autism spectrum disorder may have symptoms that overlap with other conditions, such as psychiatric conditions, physical disabilities, lower IQ, sleep problems, digestive problems and epilepsy.

There is no cure for ASD. Children with ASD usually have symptoms throughout their lives. One common treatment is called early intensive behavioral intervention. This can begin at the time of diagnosis in young children. The most well-studied method is applied behavior analysis therapy. This has been shown to improve mental ability, language and social skills when used over a long period of time.

Medicines should be used only for treating coexisting medical conditions and behaviors that may not improve with behavioral therapy. The medicines used for treating ASD have serious side effects. They should be used only after the risks and possible benefits are considered.

Parents may learn about many complementary and alternative treatments for ASD, but not all of them are safe or effective. Melatonin is well studied and safe for treating sleep problems.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.