The use of complementary and alternative medicine by children with autism and the association of its use with child comorbid symptoms and parental stress was studied in an ethnically diverse population, in a cross-sectional study with structured interviews. The sample included 50 families of children with autism and 50 families of children with other developmental disabilities, matched by age/gender. Interview included the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire, Gastrointestinal Questionnaire, Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Aberrant Behavior Checklist, and Parenting Stress Index. In this ethnically diverse sample, the use of complementary and alternative medicine was significantly higher for the autism group. In the autism group, use was significantly related to child's irritability, hyperactivity, food allergies, and parental stress; in the developmental disabilities group, there was no association with child comorbid symptoms or parental stress. The results contribute information to health care providers about families of children with autism who are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicine.
- autism spectrum disorder
- complementary and alternative medicine
- developmental disabilities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology