Risperidone in autism therapy and its efficacy
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Risperidone in autism therapy and its efficacy

Michael Rimmington Behaviour therapist, The iMap Centre, Cheshire, Salford University, Manchester, England

This article explores the use of the atypical antipsychotic drug, risperidone. It will identify its core features and chemical properties and compare it with other commonly available interventions in its use with people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Common and rarer side effects of risperidone are explored. The discontinuation trials of two students with ASC are examined. Data were collected on the students’ daily arousal levels to monitor any changes following discontinuation. The results showed a significant increase in the time student A spent at optimum arousal, while student B showed a clear movement away from his optimum arousal level and into a state of higher arousal. The different outcomes suggest that risperidone may have beneficial effects for some people but not for others. The use of antipsychotic medication may have short-term benefits but must be reviewed regularly and appropriate behavioural intervention programmes should always be considered as an alternative treatment to pharmacological interventions.

Learning Disability Practice. 20, 6, 29-35. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2017.e1854



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

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Received: 21 March 2017

Accepted: 18 July 2017

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