The Role of Medication in the Management of ASD


Recorded at ACT’s 13th Annual Focus on Research Conference – April 2017

Presented by Professor Anthony Bailey, Institute of Mental Health Chair, Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

In this succinct and illuminating presentation, Dr. Anthony Bailey discusses the role of psychotropic medications in the treatment of individuals with ASD with a range of mental health diagnoses. Drawing on nearly 30 years of experience, he addresses:

  • when the cautious use of medications can be helpful in treating co-morbid conditions, including anxiety, depression and OCD;
  • the need to consider the effect of age, and other factors in increasing the potential for adverse impacts, and which medications are less likely to lead to side-effects for those diagnosed with autism;
  • the important of addressing relevant environmental factors rather than relying solely on medication ;
  • differentiating between challenging behaviors and co-morbid psychiatric disorders when making therapeutic decisions;
  • the importance of access to CBT for individuals with ASD.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that medications are only one part of a comprehensive management plan;
  • Recognise that challenging behaviours require careful behavioral analysis and appropriate intervention before medication is considered;
  • Be aware that comorbid psychiatric disorders are under recognised in ASD’s and that psychotropic medications are effective treatments in combination with psychological interventions.

Anthony Bailey, BSc, MBBS, DCH, MRCPsych, FRCPC

Anthony Bailey is Institute of Mental Health Chair and Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia.  Dr. Bailey’s clinical work focuses on teenagers and able adults with ASD.

Part 1: Approaches and trends

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Part 2: Treatment comorbidities in ASD: ADHD & Anxiety

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Part 3: Treatment comorbidities in ASD: Depression, OCD, Psychosis, and Bipolar Disorder

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Part 4: New drugs, systemic issues, and the future

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