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Clinical Psychology and Special Education - №3 / 2021 | Перейти к описанию
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  Previous issue (2021. Vol. 10, no. 2)

Clinical Psychology and Special Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-0394

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpse

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2012

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Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review for Parents and Clinicians 273

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Zhukova M.A.
PhD in Psychology, Associate Research Scientist, Laboratory of Translational Sciences of Human Development, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3069-570X
e-mail: marina.zhukova@times.uh.edu

Talantseva O.I.
Research engineer, Laboratory of Translational Developmental Sciences, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7555-1216
e-mail: talantcevaoksana@gmail.com

Logvinenko T.I.
Research engineer, Laboratory of Translational Developmental Sciences, Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7430-1963
e-mail: logvinenkota.spb@gmail.com

Titova O.S.
Research engineer, Laboratory of Translational Developmental Sciences, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3839-7555
e-mail: olga.tiitova@gmail.com

Grigorenko E.L.
Doctor of Psychology, Leading Scientist, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9646-4181
e-mail: elena.grigorenko@times.uh.edu

Abstract
Complementary and alternative therapy (CAT) methods for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are widespread in European countries and the Russian Federation; however, their efficacy and safety is not routinely considered by parents and clinicians when recommended or used. The current narrative review presents the most widely known CAT interventions for children with ASD synthesizing data from meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and randomized controlled trials obtained from the PubMed database based on the safety-efficacy model. We have found that, of the reviewed CATs, only the melatonin intervention can be considered safe and effective for children with ASD with comorbid sleep problems. The methods that were classified as safe but had inconclusive efficacy are recommended to be implemented only when they do not interfere with front line treatment for ASD, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Methods with the lack of current evidence for the efficacy such as auditory integration therapies, bioacoustic correction, sensory integration therapy, micropolarization, animal assisted therapy, and dietary interventions should not be recommended as alternative treatments and can only be used as complimentary to ABA-based interventions. We advise against the use of chelation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and holding therapy due their documented harmful psychological and physical effects. When considering CAT for ASD we recommend parents and clinicians use the criteria suggested by Lofthouse and colleagues [59]: only the therapies that are safe, easy, cheap, and sensible can be recommended and used, as opposed to therapies that are risky, unrealistic, difficult, or expensive that should not be recommended or utilized.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, complimentary treatments, alternative treatments, сomplementary and alternative therapy, safety-efficacy model

Column: Methods and techniques

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpse.2020090310

For Reference

Funding

he preparation of this article was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (award №17-29-02384, PI: Grigorenko).

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