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Autism: Considering Alternative Treatments

By HERWriter
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Dr. Fred Volkmar is a professor of pediatrics, psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University and director of the Yale Child Study Center. He is a well-known expert on autism as well as other childhood disorders.

Dr. Volkmar is Chief of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the principal investigator for three major autism studies.

Here, Dr. Volkmar discusses different aspects to consider about alternative treatments for people who have autism and related conditions.

Dr. Volkmar:
There actually are many, many and literally thousands of treatments that have been proposed. The problem is that most of these and most of these are used in a complementary way, so they are used in addition to treatments that have a stronger empirical scientific basis. The problem with all these treatments is there’s no scientific basis; that’s why they are still alternative. So it’s hard to tell people how to make informed decisions.

Most of the time they are not dangerous. There are some that potentially have some risk for the person, and so I think talking to other parents, but also talking to healthcare providers can be a good source of information.

About Dr. Volkmar, M.D.:
Fred Volkmar, M.D. is the director of the Yale University Child Study Center and Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology at Yale University, where he heads the university's autism research and autism clinic. He is also Chief of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His research focuses on understanding the fundamental nature of autism and developing better guidelines to diagnose autism and related conditions.


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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