The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved a medicine for treating autism’s three core characteristics – communication difficulties, social challenges and repetitive behavior.

Risperidone (Risperdal) and aripiprazole (Abilify)  have been approved for treating irritability associated with the autism.  hese two drugs are in a class known as atypical antipsychotics and are believed to produce better results than previously used “typical” antipsychotics. In addition to addressing irritability, these drugs also may reduce behaviors such as aggression, deliberate self-injury, and “lashing out” or temper tantrums. The drugs address these behaviors about 30 to 50 percent of the time, but don’t address all behavior issues — and psychiatric problems are common in children with autism.

Sometimes medication is prescribed for related conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seizures, sleep disturbances or depression.

For more information:

PyschCentral – “Medications for Autism” –

ADDtitude “When to Call in the Meds” –

The following information is solely for educational purposes, not medical advice. It is not a substitute for care by trained medical providers. The Autism Society Inland Empire is not engaged in the practice of health care or the provision of health care advice or services. For specific advice about care and treatment, please consult your physician.

Autism Society Options Policy

This Resource Guide was developed to provide families and professionals with an opportunity to find resources related to autism in the Inland Empire in one place.

All information provided or published by the Autism Society Inland Empire is for information purposes only. Specific treatment, therapy or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor, caregiver, or other qualified professional. References to any treatment or therapy option, program, service, or treatment provider are not an endorsement by the Autism Society. References of treatments, therapies, programs, services, and/or providers are not intended to be comprehensive statements. You should investigate alternatives that may be more appropriate for a specific individual. The Autism Society assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information published or provided. The Autism Society Inland Empire provides information, but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society Inland Empire cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval. The Autism Society Inland Empire may add or remove organizations from this list at its discretion.