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Op-ed: MD is wary of relying on drugs to fight autism

December 14th, 2009

Writing in the Boston Globe, pediatrician Claudia M. Gold says she’s worried about the potential for over-reliance on drugs for the treatment of autism. Already, she says, children with ADHD are getting too much medication. A recent study in the journal Pediatrics found that intensive and focused play, with parent, child and therapist participating together, brought significant improvement in behavior, language and IQ. An excerpt:

Aggressive marketing tactics have made second-generation antipsychotics among the highest-selling classes of drugs in the United States. A study published this fall showed that these drugs cause rapid weight gain in children. Add to these facts an epidemic of childhood obesity and a culture that looks for a quick fix over a long-term solution, and we have a potentially dangerous mix.

The Pediatrics study points in the direction of devoting resources to nurturing relationships in treatment of autism.

When considering medication, I hope all who care for these children will exercise extreme caution.

One Response to “Op-ed: MD is wary of relying on drugs to fight autism”

  1. Erica Says:

    I think that it is best to continue with non-medicinal therapy. If it is proven that intensive and focused play is making a significant improvement in behavior, language, and IQ, then what is the point of medication. I agree that children with ADHD are already too highly medicated, and it would be sad to see this happen to more young adults. The side effects–like obesity–are also scary because you can never be sure what’s going to happen when you take medication that is new. It is sad that these types of drugs sell so highly, when their main purpose is to completely numb a person…mainly children.

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