, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 307–319 | Cite as

Complementary and alternative medicine in autism: An evidence-based approach to negotiating safe and efficacious interventions with families

  • R. Scott AkinsEmail author
  • Kathy Angkustsiri
  • Robin L. Hansen
Review Article


This review focuses on helping clinicians identify resources and develop strategies they may use to effectively negotiate safe and effective use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments with families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as well as other neurodevelopmental disorders. Since new types of CAM continue to be introduced into the autism community, emphasis is placed on providing clinicians with tools to help families negotiate the myriad of available treatments and make decisions based on current safety and efficacy data, while remaining mindful of the reasons families may be considering these treatments. We familiarize readers with high-quality, evidence-based resources that providers and families may use to ascertain current information about specific types of CAM, verify the content of biologically-based treatments, identify ongoing CAM research and obtain toolkits designed to help healthcare providers raise the topic of CAM usage and facilitate disclosure and discussion of CAM use with patients and their families.

Key Words

Complementary and alternative medicine autism integrative medicine gluten-free casein-free diet melatonin chelation hyperbaric oxygen treatment evidence-based medicine 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Scott Akins
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathy Angkustsiri
    • 1
  • Robin L. Hansen
    • 1
  1. 1.The M.I.N.D. Institute, PediatricsUniversity of California, DavisSacramento

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