For kids living on the autism spectrum, alternative medicine is a common method of treatment, according to a new study.

For the study, researchers from the University of California, Davis Medical Center M.I.N.D. Institute talked to families in California who had kids with either a condition on the autism spectrum or a developmental disability.  They found that about 39 percent of the families who had kids with autism or another condition on the autism spectrum reported using some type of complementary or alternative treatment.  Treatments ranged from extra vitamins and supplements to more invasive procedures such as chelation - a method of removing heavy metals from the body.

The most common alternative treatment was dietary supplements, followed by special diets, such as gluten-free.  About nine percent of children were using more invasive types of treatment such as antifungal medication, vitamin injections and chelation therapy.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children has a a condition on the autism spectrum.  Symptoms of autism range from behavioral challenges to difficulties in social settings to learning disabilities.  

Related posts on MNN:

Alternative therapy commonly used for autism
Almost 40 percent of families with kids on the autism spectrum turn to alternative medicine for treatment, study finds.