Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1197–1198 | Cite as

How Do I Decide Whether or Not to Use Medication for My Child with Autism? Should I Try Behavior Therapy First?

  • Lawrence Scahill
Ask the Expert

Dear Editor:

The decision of whether to use medication or behavioral intervention in the treatment of a child with autism may be difficult in some cases and always deserves careful consideration. There is solid consensus that all children with autism need education including enriched environments for learning, speech and language training and instruction to promote social and daily living skills. There is less agreement and even controversy on the role of medication in children with autism. For example, many clinicians and parents advocate behavioral intervention rather than medication. Despite the lack of consensus on how and when to use medication in children with autism, medication use in children with autism has steadily risen over the past decade. This undisputed rise in medication use has occurred in the face of inconsistent evidence that commonly used medications are indeed effective. At the same time, the term “behavior therapy” encompasses a wide range of techniques and...


Risperidone Behavior Therapy Behavioral Intervention Daily Living Skill Enduring Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by U10MH66764 (P.I., L. Scahill). The author would like to acknowledge the following: Allison Gavaletz, Erin Kustan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale University, Child Study CenterNew HavenUSA

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