Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 628–636 | Cite as

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Ellen HansonEmail author
  • Leslie A. Kalish
  • Emily Bunce
  • Christine Curtis
  • Samuel McDaniel
  • Janice Ware
  • Judith Petry


This study examined the prevalence of the use of different types of conventional, complementary and alternative therapies by children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Of 112 families surveyed, 74% were using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their child with ASD. CAM use was most strongly associated with parent report of child’s diagnosis. Most CAM was reported by families to be either helpful or without effect, but not harmful. The main reasons for choosing CAM were related to concerns with the safety and side effects of prescribed medications. Conventional health care providers should be aware of the high prevalence of use among children with ASD and be prepared to discuss the use of CAM with families.


Autism Complementary Alternative medicine 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Hanson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leslie A. Kalish
    • 2
  • Emily Bunce
    • 1
  • Christine Curtis
    • 1
  • Samuel McDaniel
    • 2
  • Janice Ware
    • 1
  • Judith Petry
    • 3
  1. 1.Developmental Medicine CenterFegan 10, Children’s Hospital, Boston, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Research ProgramChildren’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Southwestern Vermont Medical CenterVermontUSA

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