Talking to your doctor to get help with autism

Autism is complicated. Keep asking about treatment options and further testing.

There is new research happening all the time, which is leading to new treatments and better understanding about the ones we know. Plus, people with autism can have very different needs.

Images of a question mark and a doctor. Text says: You can find the right kind of help for your child, but it may take lots of exploring, asking questions, and trying new things. It 

Why is this important?

  • There are some medicines that can help with autism; things like attention, anxiety and sleep.

  • You may need a doctor's note to help get approved for therapies or special education services.

  • Kids with autism often have other medical conditions and it would be good to test and find out. (See the box below to learn more.)

Here's what you can do to get help with autism:

  • Ask your doctor about all the things above.

  • Get a written report about the diagnosis that you can use if you need it when applying for benefits and services.

  • Ask if they can refer you for further testing if needed. More detailed testing called "Neuropsychological Testing" can help you learn more about  your child's particular challenges in thinking, processing information and learning.

  • Look in our Resource Directory under Medical & Clinical Services.

Click the box below to learn about other common conditions to check for:

Children with autism are more likely to develop certain other conditions.

This does not mean your child will!  But it's good for you to be aware of them.


  • Anxiety

  • Sleep disorders

  • ADHD: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Seizures

  • Gastrointestinal disorders like reflux, constipation, diarrhea, and celiac disease

  • Ear infections

  • Food allergies

  • Eczema or skin allergies

  • Severe headaches

  • Asthma

Why do I need to know?

  • Some conditions can be treated.

  • If you catch them and treat them early on, they are easier to control.

Here's what you can do:

  • Talk to your doctor about these other conditions.  Make sure they test for them regularly.

  • Be on the lookout for signs or symptoms.

  • If you notice your child does have one of these, don't panic!  Call your doctor and schedule an appointment. 


Sources: L. Schieve, National Health Interview Survey