Patterns of complementary and alternative medical therapy use in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders

J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Oct;36(7):901-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0131-0.

Abstract

Previous studies suggest that complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapy use in children with chronic illnesses is higher than in children in the general population. In this study, we investigated patterns of CAM therapy use in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD, n = 50) as compared to a control population of children with no ASD (n = 50). Over half of the parents in the ASD group reported using, or had used at least one CAM therapy for their child (52%) as compared to 28% of the control group (P = 0.024). Seventy percent of therapies used in the ASD group were biologically based therapies comprised of special diets or supplements, and parents felt that 75% of the therapies used were beneficial.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male