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

Neurotherapeutics. 2010 Jul;7(3):307-19. doi: 10.1016/j.nurt.2010.05.002.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Complementary Therapies / trends*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Family Health
  • Humans