There is no medical cure for autism at present.
Intensive Behavioural Treatment using the Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) approach is the Golden Standard for Treatment.
Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is the only teaching approach for autism supported by over 1000 journal articles based on controlled studies, post-treatment follow up data and peer-reviewed studies.
More than 40 states in the USA provide either state or insurance funding for ABA treatment.
Almost 50% of children with autism who receive good quality ABA at a young age will be able to catch up to their typically developing peers. The other 50% are able to show improvement in all areas as well such as reduction of challenging behaviours, increase of functional skills, communication, independence, etc. but at a more gradual pace.
According to the AMS-MOH Clinical Practice Guidelines for Autism Spectrum Disorder published by the Ministry of Health Singapore (2010), there are alternative treatments that are:
NOT recommended due to insufficient, inconclusive or conflicting evidence
NOT recommended due to potential harm and detrimental effects to the child
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Data & statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
Ministry of Health Singapore (2010). Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies (ASD). Retrieved from: http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/healthprofessionalsportal/doctors/guidelines/cpg_medical/2010/cpgmed_autism_spectrum_disorders_preschool_children.html
Kemper, K. J. (2008). The use of complementary and alternative medicine in pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics, 122 (6), 1374-1386.
Lovaas, O. I. (1987). Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 55(1), 3.
Schreck, K. A. & Miller, V. A. (2010). How to behave ethically in a world of fads. Behavioural Interventions, 25 (4), 307-324.
McEachin, J. J., Smith, T. & Lovaas, O. I. (1993). Long-term outcome for children with autism who received early intensive behavioural treatment. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 97(4), 359-372.