Autism Interventions: Ask for the Evidence

Fitzpatrick, M. BMJ Clinical Evidence Blog. Published online: 5 May 2016.

By Michael Fitzpatrick

“There’s so many cures for autism on-line, it’s a wonder anyone still has it”

This wry observation from the father of a five-year-old newly diagnosed with autism in the BBC’s ‘The A Word’ strikes a chord with every parent who has been through this experience. As a GP with an autistic son – now 23 –  I have seen wonder cures, from secretin and facilitated communication to chelation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, appear and disappear at a bewildering pace over the past two decades.  An internet survey in the USA found parents were using 111 different treatments, including diverse speech and behaviour therapies, medications, diets, vitamins and supplements – on average using seven such ‘interventions’ concurrently.
Given that no specific intervention – beyond behavioural educational programmes – has been shown to be beneficial for children with autism, the vast variety of treatments on offer puts parents who are struggling to cope with the challenges of autism in a difficult position. In the spirit of ‘Ask for the Evidence’, I suggest three simple questions:

  • Does it make sense
  • Does it work
  • Is it safe

Read the full post here

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s