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Antispsychotic Drugs and Autism

Date: 8 November 2011

Children with autism are at increased risk of developing various types of self injurious behaviours. When these are present they should be treated first by medical investigations and treatment to exclude pain and then dealt with by psychosocial or sensory interventions, as these have been shown to be much more effective and less hazardous than medication-based alternatives.

Research Autism is concerned that antipsychotic drugs are often used as a first response or in isolation and can lead to worsening of the problems and to serious side effects.

Challenging behaviour in autism is one of the priorities of Research Autism. We are proud to have supported the vitally important research by Professor Oliver and his team and are committed to improving the evidence base in this area.

Ends


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Notes to editors

The number of children - some as young as five - being prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs has doubled in the past 10 years, according to an investigation by Channel 4 News (Open in new window)


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Updated
10 May 2015