Three children, ages 3, 4, and 5 years, with autism and epileptiform EEG discharges showed clinical improvement with valproic acid therapy at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago, IL. None had a history of seizures. Within one month of VPA 125 mg tid treatment, language and social skills improved and the DSM-III-R criteria for autism no longer applied. Improvement had been maintained at follow-up 7 to 11 months later. 
COMMENT. The author stresses the importance of sleep EEGs to uncover epileptiform discharges in young autistic patients without history of clinical seizures. Further trials of antiepileptic drugs in autistic children seem justified.