In this letter, the authors explain how pediatricians tend to be most comfortable recommending two types of evidence-based therapies for autism: specific behavioral programs such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), and drugs. Parents, however, feel the need to look at other treatments even if those treatments have not been proven to work in large scientific studies. For example, some vitamins and other therapies have been shown to work in small scientific studies. Autism is a new problem and it needs new answers. If pediatricians and parents work together, then the pediatrician can create a "medical home"? for a child with autism.
In a reply to this letter, Barberesi and colleagues disagree with the many of the points. They believe that doctors should suggest only approved and proven therapies. They believe that the best outcomes for children with autism will happen when treatments are state-of-the-art and proven valid by scientific research.