There is no standard treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Therapies are used to minimize symptoms and maximize abilities. This is accomplished through the regulation of emotions and impulses. Treatment plans differ from person to person. However, it is noted that most people with ASD respond well to highly structured intervention plans.
There is no medication approved to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, certain psychiatric medications can help control secondary symptoms. Antipsychotics, such as Risperidone and Aripiprazole, are used to control irritability and aggression, while stimulants, such as methylphenidate, atomoxetine, and clonidine, are used to control hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These medications can be a vital part of an autistic individual’s regimen.
In addition to psychiatric medication, there are a number of other treatment options available to those with ASD. These modalities include behavioral therapy, family counseling, speech and language therapy, and educational therapy. Often a combination of these therapies needs to be honed before the right balance is reached.
Behavioral therapy is one intervention used for autistic individuals. This focuses on either increasing the ability to communicate effectively or on reducing the behavioral problems. Speech and language therapy can be an important first step to improving communication skills. However, further social skills training, to help people with autism recognize and interpret the gestures and figures of speech other use to express emotion, is often necessary. For autistic individuals to excel in all aspects of their daily life, an individual intensive educational program may be necessary for some patients.
Autism can be an isolating diagnosis. This makes modalities such as family counseling especially useful. Family members play a key role in helping the child with autism to manage and learn daily routines and language skills. Moreover, support groups for people with Autism Spectrum disorder can provide a safe space for autistic individuals to work through roadblocks and ask questions in a supportive environment. Finally, in adults, community habilitation services and community integration may be sought,