ATN/AIR-P Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use

More than half of children with autism take medicine at some point during their childhood. Deciding to use medicine to treat children with autism is a difficult decision for most families.

This tool kit will help you work with your healthcare providers to make sure that when medicine is chosen as a form of treatment, it is taken safely and effectively.

Sections include:

Starting Medicines
Target Symptoms
Looking for Medicine's Effect
Managing Side Effects
Tools and Resources

It can be used any time a child is taking medicine, regardless of when it was first prescribed.

For tips on how to decide with your health care team about medication, watch this video for mediation decision guidance and strategies for teaching your loved one to swallow pills comfortably.


"These materials are the product of on-going activities of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, a funded program of Autism Speaks. It is supported 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. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the MCHB, HRSA, HHS, or Autism Speaks."

Our Autism Response Team (ART) is specially trained to connect people with autism, their families, and caretakers to information, tools, and resources.

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You can also reach the Autism Response Team by phone or email: 888-288-4762, en Espanol 888-772-7050, or