Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Unproven Treatments for Autism
The safety and effectiveness of some therapies used to treat
autism is not known. Many unproven treatments
circulate through websites, word of mouth, or the media. Most have not been
subjected to thorough, sound research and are considered nonstandard and
controversial. Be especially cautious about a treatment if:
Examples of current nonstandard, unproven therapies for autism that
are receiving attention include:footnote 1
Clonidine (Kapvay) and melatonin are medicines that are
sometimes used to help manage overactive behavior and induce sleep in some
people with autism. These medicines have not been approved by the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) to manage autism. Discuss the possible risks and
benefits of clonidine and melatonin with your health professional before using
Always talk with a health professional before starting any
little-known treatment for your child with autism. As is true for any
treatment, be aware of the side effects and risks.
Myers SM, et al. (2007, reaffirmed 2010). American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report: Management of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120(5): 1162–1182.
Nye C, Brice A (2009). Combined vitamin B6-magnesium treatment in autism spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1).
American Academy of Pediatrics (1998, reaffirmed 2006). Auditory integration training and facilitated communication for autism. Pediatrics, 102(2): 431–433.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerFred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.