School Psychology Forum

Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Students With Developmental Disabilities: Implications for Service Delivery and School Psychology

Steven R. Shaw, Sarah E. Glaser, Tiffany Chiu, and Khing Sulin

Volume 4 Issue 3,

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ABSTRACT: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an increasingly common practice in healthcare. CAM is defined as healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not part of conventional western medicine. Despite a lack of supporting research regarding its safety and effectiveness, CAM use is pervasive among children with developmental disabilities. However, lack of medication monitoring can cause adverse side effects. The widespread use of CAM among school children requires schools’ policy makers and those who deliver specialized education services to consider which, if any, CAM treatments or therapies will be supported in school settings. Reviewed in this article are social trends in the use of CAM, the preliminary evidence of CAM effectiveness for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism, and the implications of CAM for service delivery and school psychology.