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Autism Speaks Launches Autism and Medication Tool Kit

June 13, 2013

Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN) is pleased to announce the release of its latest tool kit: Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use, a guide for families of children with autism. Written by medical experts, through their participation in the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P), this free publication provides strategies and resources for parents of children with autism who use medicines to help treat their child’s challenging behavior or manage emotional issues. Although this tool kit focuses on these few categories of medicines, the recommendations can be applied to most medicines.

Like all AS-ATN tool kits, this kit draws its recommendations from the experience of specialists and the evidence-based findings of research involving children and families dealing with autism.

The Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use tool kit includes information and tips for families on issues such as:

  • Working closely with their child’s doctor or nurse to get the information they need about recommended medicines;
  • Measuring and tracking changes in target symptoms;
  • Recognizing and managing side effects.

The kit also contains information for health care providers on topics including:

  • Explaining medicine choices to families;
  • Teaching families about watching for effectiveness;
  • Giving information about managing common side effects.

The kit includes a section of medicine tools and resources such as a question prompt list, medicine logs, action plans and behavior frequency records.

Click here to download your free copy of Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use.

For related tips from the tool kit’s authors, see a blog post by pediatric nurse practitioner Lynn Cole, associate director of clinical services at the University of Rochester’s Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, one of 17 Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN) centers. You can also download other AS-ATN tool kits on the Tools You Can Use page. 

This tool kit is the product of on-going activities of Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network (ATN) through its federal funding as the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P). Both of these Autism-Speaks funded programs receive additional support through by cooperative agreement UA3 MC 11054 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Research Program to the Massachusetts General Hospital.