What treatments are lacking sufficient evidence for autism?

This week two new publications reported on systematic reviews for nutritional and sensory treatments for ASD.  This means the existing research was sorted, summarized, scrutinized and evaluated.  They found insufficient evidence to show any dietary or nutritional therapy was effective, but sufficient evidence that sensory integration therapy helps people with ASD.  In light of new data on heavy metals found in baby teeth, it’s important to remember that chelation is NOT effective and dangerous.  While “insufficient evidence” does not rule out these interventions forever and always, lots more needs to be done in these areas to conduct rigorous experiments that don’t have any major shortcomings so they hold up to scrutiny.

Those confusing folate findings explained

During IMFAR, a study was presented that showed that women with very high levels of folate during pregnancy showed an increased risk of having a child with autism. The media took this to mean that taking too many prenatal vitamins caused autism. ugh. This week, those findings are discussed. Also published this week is a well-designed, long awaited study which examines the theory that too little folate in the central nervous system is the culprit behind autism. Too little folate in the brain is not the culprit, and too much in the blood may be coincidental to something else causing autism. It’s important to have a balance so don’t hesitate to take a prenatal if you are trying to get pregnant.

Also, because you may be IMFAR’d out – we highlight the exciting findings that cognitive behavioral therapy for treating anxiety in people with ASD is not only effective in clinical settings, but in school settings. This has implications people with ASD in special needs classrooms who need treatments for anxiety.