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How can I choose the best treatment for my autistic child?

Here’s a smart way to approach whether a specific treatment might be worth trying on your child.

  • How good is the evidence for it? Your doctor can help you weigh this. In the case of music therapy, there’s some scattered positive evidence but it’s hardly conclusive.
  • How safe is it? With music therapy, there’s unlikely to be any risk. With major diet changes or drugs, the risk is much higher.
  • How expensive is it? Is a music therapist even available in your area? Will regular treatments require significant time/money sacrifices from other members of the family? Are they game for this?
  • What do you think the benefits will be? Are there specific symptoms you hope to see improved, or are the reputed benefits pretty vague?

Finally, try one treatment at a time to evaluate its effectiveness, and be aware of what your child’s abilities are when you start. And remember, autism tends to have ups and downs, with bursts of improvement mixed with times of slower learning or even periods of regression. Because of this variability, it may be difficult to establish a cause and effect for a given treatment.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

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The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.