Archive for July 23rd, 2008

How Do You Know if Autism Treatment Works?

Autism is a complex disorder.  It has some specific symptoms and there are some specific accepted treatments available to treat autism.  However, not all healthcare professionals who deal with autism agree on what treatments work best and which treatments should be tried for which symptoms and which children.  With such a variety of ideas and opinions, many parents have asked how do you know if treatment is working or if it works?

The answer is that with so many interventions available, there are certain things to look for.  For starters, it is important for parents to be as objective as possible when trying to determine the answer to the question as to how successful treatment was.  We all want our children to be a healthy and happy as possible, but in trying to assist them, it is important that we be as realistic as possible in our efforts and in our analysis.

It is important to do as much research as possible regarding any treatment you are considering for your child to find out if you feel it has been tried and tested enough and if you feel it is appropriate for your child.  Not only should you research whatever information is available, but also speak to doctors and other professionals – including programs for families with children that have autism, plus other parents with children who have autism – to find out what the real information is regarding such treatment.

Once you have determined that a particular treatment or combination of treatments are right for your child, give them long enough to work.  Sometimes that might be a few months – long enough to notice even minor changes or improvements starting to take place.  Sometimes, however, it may take a year or two – or even a few more – to see marked improvement.  It is a matter of watching carefully to see even the smallest of developments.

It is important to remember that not every treatment will help every individual with autism.  Even in children with similar symptoms, a treatment can help one child improve tremendously, while the other child shows no change. 

The good news is that where there was once little or no hope for improvement in children with autism, there are now choices in treatment and many treatments are yielding results for an amazing number of children.  It is often a matter of working until the right treatment can be connected with the right child.

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