A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics indicates that children with autism are more susceptible to health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
These problems are most noticeable for children who are taking drugs to ease behavioural problems due to autism. Mood stabilisers raise the odds of obesity by 40 percent and antipsychotic drugs increased obesity rates by 20 percent.
Because of this, children with autism are more likely than those without the condition to develop heath problems. They are three times more likely to have diabetes, and twice as likely to have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol.
Solutions like exercise and dietary changes are also hard to implement for children with autism.
Although the article suggested drugs like metformin to reverse weight gain and diuretics to fight fluid retention to address high blood pressure, we caution that increasing the number and variety of drugs taken by children with autism may end up creating other unexpected and adverse side effects.
The best method suggested in the article was prevention of obesity in the first place by having parents monitor the diets of their children carefully in the first place.
Building on that, we also suggest that parents should try out effective intervention methods at the same time, such as applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy, so as to help treat and address the condition of their children, so the end goal should be to eventually cut down or even wean off their children off the drugs controlling their condition.
ABA therapy remains the most effective treatment method for treating autism and is the only treatment approved by the U.S. Surgeon General. We therefore advise parents to treat the underlying causes of their children’s obesity and health problems, rather than just address the symptoms.