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Pediatr Ann. 2007 Aug;36(8):497-8, 500-2, 504-5.

Scientifically unsupported therapies in the treatment of young children with autism spectrum disorders.

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  • 1Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Infant Preschool Unit, Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Rose F. Kennedy Center, USA.


Our understanding of ASD has changed over the past decades, and diagnostic tools have assisted in earlier identification and referral for intervention. Appropriate intervention appears to impact positively on overall outcome for a pervasive developmental disorder for which there is currently no known cure. Novel and controversial therapies will come and go, and therefore physicians should familiarize themselves with these interventions, as advice about these alternative approaches will be sought. Discussions of nontraditional therapies should include the placebo effect, possibly undesirable, or potentially dangerous outcomes of a treatment, and the importance of scientifically sound research studies of that treatment. Addressing the use of complementary and alternative therapies in families with medically-compromised or developmentally disabled children is crucial to providing complete care to the patient and in the maintenance of a medical home.

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