Month: June 2010

Autism Treatment Arsenal Expands, With More Options on Horizon

Joan Arehart-Treichel

Thanks to government largesse and scientific ingenuity, innovative treatments for autism may be emerging—for instance, robots that can improve youngsters’ social and motor skills.

During the past decade or so, autism has exerted an increasingly large impact on the American consciousness. The disorder is receiving a lot of media attention. Scientists are making progress toward understanding it. Government funds to research it are generous and growing.

And as for treatments, there have never been so many—actually hundreds of bewildering choices—arising from fields as disparate as psychiatry, psychology, regular education, special education, social work, speech pathology, and physical therapy.

The question, of course, is: Do any of them work?

Yes, some do, autism experts say, at least for some children, and they can favorably influence a number of autism-related factors, such as I.Q., language, and social skills, and reduce irritability, aggression, and self-injury.

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