False autism claims and treatments

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You will hear about claims and alternative treatments for autism that may sound tempting. But be careful.


Some of these false autism claims are not backed up by research, and have no real evidence that they work. In the worst cases, scams can take advantage of parents who are desperate for something new to try.

How can you tell?

If you hear of new autism claims or treatments, take some steps to check that it is based on real research.

Look for these red flags:

  • Sounds too good to be true

  • Charges you money

  • Comes from a source that seems commercial (for example, if a website ends in .com and has other ads on it)

  • Your doctors and therapists have not heard of it

Do your own research:

  • Ask your doctors and therapists what they know about it.

  • Go to your local library and ask the librarian to help you look for evidence you can trust.

  • Look it up online and only believe websites that end in .gov or .edu.

There is also a common rumor that certain vaccines cause autism. This has been shown by many research studies to be NOT TRUE.

Click here to see a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. (It will open in a new tab on your screen.)


Source: CDC