In spite of years of research, there are no universally accepted effective autism treatments as of yet. Unlike many medical conditions–even lesser known ones–the exact causes of autism spectrum disorders remains shrouded in mystery.

Contributing in large part to the confusion surrounding this condition is that there is also no clear-cut set of symptoms for each patient of this disorder. Each particular patient displays a different set of characteristics, and it seems that no two autistic patients are exactly alike.

So wide are the discrepancies in terms of physical, emotional, behavioral and social characteristics that at times they even seem to be suffering from different diseases.

It does not help matters any that autism spectrum disorders were relatively rare as recently as two decades ago. Things were a lot different then and the condition did not receive as much attention in the worldwide medical community and the media as it does now.

Today, there are two major autism treatments that have been met with some approval by the scientific community. These have been shown to provide at least partial benefits to patients with the disorder.

The first method is Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA and it is characterized as being a therapeutic non-medical approach. Used to varying degrees of success for a few decades now, it is a relatively easy to learn method for the treatment of autism due to its quantifiable goals.

The second major form of treatment involves the use of the antipsychotic medication Risperdal or risperidone. To this day, this is the only medication that is used specifically for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

As effective as these two methods have been for some patients, it is important to note that they are by no means miracle cures and they may not work the same way for every autism patient.

Regardless of what treatment method is undertaken, most autistic children today can avail of some form of speech, physical and occupational therapies free of charge through educational institutions or government health organizations.

While a lasting cure remains out of reach for the time being, research efforts continue in the hopes of finding effective autism treatments in the future.