It is true that about autism there is still a lot of ignorance, and sometimes parents of autistic children can resort to alternative medicines to treat this disorder, without knowing that some of the latter can be dangerous.
A new study published in the "Journal of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics" has found that 40% of parents of children with autism used alternative medicine, such as homeopathic remedies, mental exercises such as meditation or prayer, melatonin, probiotics, diets alternatives and even more invasive treatments.
Among the latter are injections of vitamin B-12, intravenous immunoglobulin or chelation therapy. The study has been carried out by researchers from the MIND Institute of the University of California, Davis, in the United States.
More than 400 children with autism spectrum disorders between two and five years of age were studied. Most received harmless treatments, but 4% used treatments classified in the study as potentially dangerous and invasive.
It is the parents with more information and high income who invest in these types of treatments to improve the quality of life of their children, although many times they hide that information from the child's doctor, so they cannot be warned of the risks in In case there are.
It is clear that parents of children with autism want to alleviate some of their children's symptoms and prevent problems from increasing, and hence the rise in the use of alternative medicines, in this and other developmental disorders. But doing so without taking risks into account can be dangerous and counterproductive.
In addition, some of these treatments could interact with other possible ones that the child is receiving, so that the efficacy and safety of the medications are disregarded.
For all these reasons, it would be good for pediatricians to inform all parents of children with autism about these issues, without waiting for them to ask. Some alternative treatments to treat autism can be dangerous, no matter how good they "sell them".