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Health Tip: Therapy Options for Children With Autism

- Autism is a brain disorder that begins in early childhood and affects communication, social interaction and creative skills.

No treatment has been found to help all people with autism, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. But the agency suggests options that may benefit many autistic people:

  • Take your child to see a speech pathologist, who can evaluate the child's ability to communicate.
  • Start therapy as early as possible, preferably during the preschool years, which are an intense period of speech and language development.
  • Music and sensory therapy may help children better respond to information they sense.
  • In the short-term, medication may help improve attention span and cut down on unusual behaviors. But long-term medication use is often difficult and not beneficial due to side effects.
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Posted: December 2007