Beside methods like behavior modification and communication skills development, autistic children and grown-ups must undergo dietary modifications and follow a certain medication as well.
Using dietary methods to treat the autistic disorder is still considered by some physicians controversial as it is surely known that diets cannot whatsoever cause autism. But autistic children may suffer from food allergies or slow digestion just like normally developed children of their age. Therapists may give vitamin supplements or even completely modify diets to conceive an improved intestinal digestion and eliminate food intolerances. Some digestive problems might interact with the patient’s behavior.
Autistic sufferers may present brain functions affected by increased absorption of some substances or insufficient breakdown of others in the intestinal tract. Many autistics have been detected to have high amounts of dairy products protein called casein or of proteins found in cereals like wheat, oats and rye called gluten. In all cases a nutritionist doctor must be consulted before eliminating gluten and casein from the patient’s diet as it may lead to dangerous side-effects.
Recent studies have shown an improvement of behavior, attention, learning skills and eye-contact in autistic children administered with magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin A and vitamin D and cod oil supplements. Vitamin C has also proved its benefic effects on depression and other autism symptoms.
A specific drug medication can be used to deal with some autism symptoms like anxiety or aggressiveness and with possible associated conditions like epilepsy. The obsessive- compressive behavior, anxiety and depression can all be improved by administering antidepressants. These drugs may also decrease irritability and the frequency and intensity of repetitive behavior. Antidepressants will as well decrease tantrums and aggression and improve eye contact and the response to treatment. Such medication is represented by products like Amitriptyline, Bupropion, Clomipramine, Fluvoxamine and Fluoxetine. All this substances may produce side-effects such as headaches, insomnia, dizziness and dryness.
Behavioral problems are treated with benzodiazepines as well, for example Diazepam, Alprazolam and Lorazepam. They cause side-effects like fatigue, ataxia and dizziness; if withdrawn after linger use they cause apparitions like muscular and abdominal pain, sweating, convulsions, tremors and vomiting.
Behavioral problems, withdrawal, hyperactivity and aggression can be well managed by administering antipsychotic medication such as Clozapine, Risperidone, Olanzapine and Quetiapine. Antipsychotics create side-effects like anxiety, headaches, insomnia, sedation and dizziness.
Concentration must be increased and impulsivity or hyperactivity in autistics must be decreased. All these can be accomplished by using methylphenidate, Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine; all induce drug addiction and withdrawal may influence therapy. Side-effects of administration are hypertension, tachycardia, headaches, insomnia, abdominal pain, nervousness and loss of appetite.
Most of the autistic patients will require a life-long medical care. By proper early care, they might get a certain degree of independence and learn to communicate with others.