Many children with autism who take antipsychotic medications do not receive behavioral therapy, according to a new study1. The findings suggest that these children start taking the drugs, many of which have harsh side effects, without first trying safer options.
Medications are not good long-term options because their benefits disappear when an individual stops taking them, the researchers say.
“The most important thing is to teach our kids skills that will allow them to learn how to regulate their own arousal level, emotions and behavior before we give medication,” Anagnostou says. “Medications do not teach skills; they’re Band-Aids.”