To be clear: there is currently no cure for autism. Companies that make false or misleading claims that their products or services cure autism have now been issued a warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop—or else face possible legal action.
Current treatments approved by the FDA for autism aim to alleviate or manage certain symptoms of the disorder, but not the entire disorder.
According to the FDA, “The bottom line is this—if it’s an unproven or little known treatment, talk to your health care professional before buying or using these products.”
To find out more about the companies and products issued the warning, read the official statement issued by the FDA.
To find out more about medication and autism please see our blog “Common Questions about Medication and Autism”. And if you are considering a new therapy for your child please see our blog “Choosing a Biomedical Therapy and Autism”.
Children with autism display a variety of unique behaviors. Some behaviors charm us. One upstanding character I met last week proudly reported that he’d memorized all of the U.S. presidents plus special facts about each one. Then he proceeded to tell me 3 facts about 3 presidents. Other behaviors are not so charming and can be disruptive and dangerous. Two particularly daunting behaviors families affected by autism contend with are pica and elopement. Pica refers to the ingestion of non-food items. Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders away from safe, supervised environments. Why do these behaviors occur and why are they so difficult to treat?
This is the first of a 2-part series for families tackling these difficult behaviors. Starting with pica, we’ll cover the Read full post »
1) Is there a particular medication or medications to treat autism (to address the core deficits of autism)?
No, currently there is no medication that treats the core deficits or characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (such as speech delays, poor social skills, repetitive behaviors). Medication is aimed at reducing associated symptoms (such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, anxiety, depression, irritability, tantrums, aggression, self-injury) that interfere with functioning.
2) How is the decision made to try medication?
The decision to try medication should be made carefully and involve thorough discussion and assessment. The first step is to identify the target symptoms and determine their impact on daily functioning. If the symptom/behavior is new, it is important to first rule out a medical cause for the behavior (such as illness, headache, constipation, reflux, Read full post »
ARNPs at Seattle Children’s Autism Center
When my children were young, they were patients of a large pediatric practice. It was sometimes difficult to get a same-day appointment with a doctor, so when I was offered one with a nurse practitioner (NP), I took it. This was my first experience with an ARNP and it opened my eyes to all that this medical professional has to offer.
NPs are an integral part of our team at Seattle Children’s Autism Center (SCAC). For more information about them, I turned to Lindsey Miller, ARNP for background on the education and training that is required. Read full post »
Medicaid and ABA
It has been a year now since Medicaid and a handful of private insurers began covering Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for their clients in Washington State. As expected with an endeavor of this size, there have been challenges with implementation. We have been tracking some of the more common issues that have arisen and offer this blog to help provide guidance for those seeking ABA services for their child.
While parents haven’t reported much difficulty in getting the order needed for insurers, getting approval from some insurers and then accessing services have been problematic for many. Read full post »