Skip Navigation
Skip sharing on social media links
A boy looking down at colored wooden blocks.

​What are the treatments for autism?

There is currently no one standard treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Many people with ASD benefit from treatment, no matter how old they are when they are diagnosed. People of all ages, at all levels of ability, can often improve after well-designed interventions.

But there are many ways to help minimize the symptoms and maximize abilities. P​eople who have ASD have the best chance of using all of their abilities and skills if they receive appropriate therapies and interventions.

The most effective therapies and interventions are often different for each person. However, most people with ASD respond best to highly structured and specialized programs.1 In some cases, treatment can help people with autism to function at near-normal levels.

Research shows that early diagnosis and interventions, such as during preschool or before, are more likely to have major positive effects on symptoms and later skills. Read more about early interventions for autism.

Because there can be overlap in symptoms between ASD and other disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),2​ it’s important that treatment focus on a person’s specific needs, rather than the diagnostic label.

Select the links for more information on each type of treatment for ASD.

If you have a question about treatment, talk to a health care provider who specializes in caring for people with ASD. These resources have more information about treatments for autism:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes some treatment options.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/treatment.html

The Autism Speaks organization offers a Family Services Resources guide. You can search the guide to find autism-related care and services in your area.
http://www.autismspeaks.org/community/fsdb/search.php External Web Site Policy

 

Citations

​ ​
  1. National Institute of Mental Health. (2011). A parent's guide to autism spectrum disorder. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/a-parents-guide-to-autism-spectrum-disorder/index.shtml [top]
  2. Kotte, A., Joshi, G., Fried, R., Uchida, M., Spencer, A., Woodworth, K. Y., et al. (2013). Autistic traits in children with and without ADHD. Pediatrics, 132(3), e612–e622. [top]

What are the symptoms of autism?

When do children usually show symptoms of autism?

What causes autism?

How many people are affected by autism?

How do health care providers diagnose autism?

What are the treatments for autism?