Autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy: Moving towards a comprehensive approach to treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The biological and phenotypic heterogeneity of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and epilepsy presents a significant challenge to the development of effective treatment protocols. There is no single treatment or treatment protocol for children with ASD or epilepsy. Children with co-occurring ASD and epilepsy should undergo a comprehensive assessment that includes investigation of underlying biological etiologies as well assessment of cognitive, language, affective, social and behavioral function prior to initiating treatment. The comprehensive treatment of children with ASD is based on a combination of therapeutic psychosocial interventions in combination with pharmacological agents. A process-oriented approach to assessment and intervention allows careful analysis of the child's response to treatment such that treatment protocols may be revised secondary to any changes in developmental trajectory of the child with ASD and epilepsy. The possibility of developing pharmacological interventions that target both ASD and epilepsy awaits definitive evidence. The best hope for good developmental outcomes in children with ASD and epilepsy is early recognition and comprehensive treatment of both the ASD and epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • Autism
  • EEG
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptic encephalopathy
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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