Pharmacotherapy and Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Tutorial for Speech-Language Pathologists Purpose The purpose of this tutorial is to provide speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with general information regarding the most commonly prescribed medications for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; e.g., central nervous system stimulants, noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, alpha-2 adrenergic agonists, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines) in regard to their ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   July 01, 2010
Pharmacotherapy and Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Tutorial for Speech-Language Pathologists
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Trisha L. Self
    Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
  • LaDonna S. Hale
    Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
  • Daiquirie Crumrine
    Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
  • Contact author: Trisha L. Self, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0075. E-mail: trisha.self@wichita.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   July 01, 2010
Pharmacotherapy and Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Tutorial for Speech-Language Pathologists
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2010, Vol. 41, 367-375. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0106)
History: Received September 23, 2008 , Revised January 27, 2009 , Accepted June 10, 2009
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2010, Vol. 41, 367-375. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0106)
History: Received September 23, 2008; Revised January 27, 2009; Accepted June 10, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The purpose of this tutorial is to provide speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with general information regarding the most commonly prescribed medications for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; e.g., central nervous system stimulants, noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, alpha-2 adrenergic agonists, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines) in regard to their mechanism of action, behaviors treated, and potential side effects.

Method This clinical resource was compiled to support SLPs who need to understand the functions and effects of medications that have been prescribed to a child with ASD to whom they have or will be providing assessment and intervention services.

Conclusions SLPs play an important role in the education, assessment, and treatment of children with ASD. Although there is no definitive cure for ASD, up to 70% of children with ASD are prescribed psychoactive medications to ameliorate disruptive behaviors associated with ASD such as hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, aggression, irritability, self-injury, obsessive compulsiveness, anxiety, and mood disorders. The entire health care team, including SLPs, should be involved in monitoring children with ASD for efficacy, tolerability, and potential side effects when medications are prescribed.

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