A range of different drugs have been used with children and adults with ASD. These do not claim to treat the core of Autism but to manage some of the symptoms. However, most have so many serious side effects that their usefulness is very questionable. Some children are prescribed antipsychotics (e.g. haloperidol) which have been shown to calm hyperactivity and temper tantrums but carry side-effects such as sedation, acute dystonic reactions, weight gain and a Parkinson-like syndrome. Selective Seretonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have been found to improve anxiety, social interaction, mood and obsessive-compulsive behaviors at the expense of causing agitation, restlessness, insomnia, weight gain, loss of appetite and nausea. One study found the hormone secretin to increase eye contact and language skills but subsequent studies have failed to replicate these finding with either porcine or synthetic versions of the hormone.
All the symptoms (i.e. aggresssion, hyperactivity, disruptive behavior) that are managed by these drugs can be removed completely through loving, specifically- designed, social interactions as taught through The Son-Rise Program (with no harmful side-effects).
Chelation of Heavy Metals
Many children with Autism show high levels of heavy metals (e.g. mercury and lead) in their blood. Some doctors are advocating the use of chelation (the process of removing heavy metals from the body) for Autism treatment. The process of chelation was originally developed by the US military in the 1940s for exposed soldiers and has only recently begun to be used with children.
In its most extreme form, chelation is done through intravenous injection of a chelating agent which binds to the heavy metals and carries them out of the body. Other milder methods include oral administration or dermal (skin) application of the agent. Many parents have reported dramatic results for their children (improved attention, eye contact and language). There are also reports (less well publicized) of extreme reactions to the process, that is, children becoming markedly more withdrawn, agitated and less social as the chelation process begins, to the extent that parents do not wish to continue with the treatment.
Currently, there is not enough science for the mainstream medical community to accept chelation as an effective method of treating heavy metal overload in children with Autism.