Do alternative therapies have a role in autism?
Ghosh, Sabyasachi; Koch, Minakshi; Suresh Kumar, V. and Rao, Ananth N. (2010) Do alternative therapies have a role in autism? Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences, 8 (4). ISSN 0972-5997
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Interventions considered to be branches of Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) for autism are on the rise. Many new treatments have emerged & traditional beliefs of Ayurveda, Yoga, Behavioral therapy, Speech therapy and Homoeopathy have gained popularity and advocacy among parents. It is imperative that data supporting new treatments should be scrutinized for scientific study design, clinical safety, and scientific validity, before embarking on them as modes of therapy. Practitioners take care in explaining the rationale behind the various approaches that they practice, it is important to indicate possible limitations too during the initial clinical examination and interactive session. Clinicians must remember that parents may have different beliefs regarding the effectiveness of treatment since their information is derived more from the ‘hear-say’ route when they compare benefits/effects of CAM therapies on other children and often underestimate differential tolerance for treatment risks. It is thus significant that practitioners do not assume a "don't ask, don't tell" posture. The scientific validation and support for many interventions is incomplete and very different from the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. In this article, we discuss the various modes of CAM and their utilities and limitations in relation to autism.
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