Autism and Communication (cont.)

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Can diet and supplements play a role in the treatment of autism?

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A number of dietary supplements are often given to persons with autism. Examples of such interventions include omega-3 fatty acids. While a significant percentage of people with autism are given dietary supplements as part of treatment, there is insufficient research to determine whether or not such interventions are helpful or harmful.

What is the prognosis for children and adults with autism?

Persons with autism seem to have a higher mortality rate at younger ages compared to average individuals. This is particularly true for mortality that is related to seizures or infection. It is, therefore, important for the autistic population to receive good medical care from health care professionals who have knowledge and experience in addressing their unique medical needs.

Due to a number of potential factors, autistic persons tend to be vulnerable to nutritional problems. Specifically, factors like variations in appetite, refusal of many foods, food allergies, and side effects to some medications can disproportionately impact the food intake, and therefore the nutritional status of this population. Individuals with autism have been found to be vulnerable to respiratory problems as well, which results in this population having more doctors' visits than people who do not have autism. As people with autism also are vulnerable to emotional struggles like anxiety, depression, and attention problems, the help of mental health professionals should be sought when appropriate.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2014

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Autism and Communication - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your child's autism initially?
Autism - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with autism.
Autism Spectrum Disorder - Types Question: What type of autism were you or your child diagnosed with? Please discuss your experience.
Autism Spectrum Disorder - Impact on Family Question: In what ways has autism affected your family?
Autism Spectrum Disorder - Causes Question: What do you believe is the cause of your child's autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder - Vaccines Question: Did concern about autism cause you to withhold vaccinating your child? Briefly, please share your story.
Autism Spectrum Disorder - Diet and Supplements Question: What dietary changes have you made in the treatment of your autistic child?