Treating Autism Essay

1076 words - 5 pages

Autism spectrum disorders are a class of developmental brain disorders with symptoms that range widely with each affected individual. Autism is a disorder that varies in severity of social interaction and communication that can benefit from the help of different types of treatment. Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, autism, pervasive development disorder, and non pervasive developmental disorder are disorders on the autism spectrum with differing levels of intensity. Treatments for autism include medications, special diets, and psychological therapies. Although different types of treatments may work better for some individuals than others, you can combine treatments for the best results.
The intensity and severity of symptoms vary among disorders on the autism spectrum. However, autism spectrum disorders are linked by the similarity of the defining characteristics. Autism spectrum disorders have difficulty with their behavior and interacting with others. While signs of autism spectrum disorders may appear as early as six months, it is difficult to diagnose before twenty-four months. Signs that are commonly shared throughout the spectrum include lack of eye contact, having obsessive interests, prefers to be alone, speech difficulties (such as delayed speech), repeats certain phrases, and dislikes being touched. Frustration and aggression are common in autistic children possibly due to the difficulty for them to communicate and use social skills. Some autistic children may develop normally, but then regress and loose communication abilities.
Taking medications for treatment of autism can provide relief of symptoms by just taking a pill. Medications treat symptoms without changing one’s daily routine. Drugs can not only relieve autism’s symptoms such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviors, and hyper activity, they can also help relieve diseases and disorders that can accompany autism such as seizures and gastrointestinal problems. Different medications have different effects on each individual so a medication may work for one person, but not another. Each individual may be recommended different medications than other patients.
Antipsychotic medications used to treat autism are helpful in reducing aggressive and irritated behaviors. These behaviors may include tantrums, meltdowns, physical injury to others, and self-injury. Although antipsychotics are usually associated with schizophrenia, studies have proven that medications such as Risperdal and Haldol are effective in reducing aggression. Mood stabilizing drugs, often used for treating bipolar disorder, are used to treat mood swings that are often found in autistic patients. Autistic individuals may have reduction in social and communication difficulties while using medications such as Divalproex. Anti-anxiety medications are beneficial for the anxiety associated with social difficulties and obsessive behaviors. Zoloft is used to not only treat anxiety, but obsessive compulsive disorder and...

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