Treatments

Every child or adult with autism has unique strengths and challenges, so there is no one size fits all approach to autism treatment and intervention. Each autism intervention or treatment plan should be tailored to address the person's specific needs.

Intervention can involve behavioral treatments, medicines or both. Many people with autism have additional medical conditions such as sleep disturbance, seizures and gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Addressing these conditions can improve attention, learning and related behaviors.

Behavioral Treatments and Interventions

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

Floortime

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

Speech Therapy

TEACCH

Verbal Behavior

Treating Associated Medical Conditions 

A number of medical and mental-health issues frequently accompany autism spectrum disorder. These include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Feeding
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

To better understand and treat the health conditions that frequently accompany autism visit our associated medical conditions page. 

Use of Medication

Many families of children and adults with autism are faced with the option of using medicines. This is a medical decision and there is no one right answer. 

It is important to work with your healthcare providers to make sure that when medicine is chosen as a form of treatment, it is taken safely and effectively. Our ATN/AIR-P Medication Decision Aid and ATN/AIR-P Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use guide can help you to:

  • Compare the options
  • Consider benefits and risks
  • Clarify personal values
  • Learn about medications and side effects
  • Target Symptoms
  • Know what questions to ask providers