Like any treatments, medications should be reviewed at every follow-up healthcare visit. A variety of medications have been prescribed for individuals with ASD/PDD and several have been researched; however, there is no one medication that works for every person with ASD/PDD. The medication treatment of an individual with ASD/PDD needs to be symptom specific. Hyperactivity, sleep problems, obsessive tendencies, anxiety, aggression, and self-injury are some of the symptoms that may be targeted with specific medications. Medications should be given on a trial basis with close monitoring of positive and negative effects. Since there are few objective measures of a person’s response to a medication, reliance on subjective information (parent, teacher and caregiver reports) is common. The observations of parents and caregivers should be systematically collected by logs, charts, scales, or other accepted behavioral documentation. Occasionally, a trial of medication tapering and discontinuation is a way to determine is efficacy and/or whether it is still needed.
Interventions have been proposed based on theories of autism causation such as heavy metal poisoning, dietary factors, and auditory hypersensitivity. If a trial of an alternative therapy is undertaken, one should ensure that the potential side effects will not harm the individual and that the trial will not impede the implementation of other proven treatments.223