Are there any natural Medication's that work with autism - anxiety and meltdowns? I don't want RISPERDAL to be the answer.

Melissa - posted on 02/19/2009 ( 106 moms have responded )

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Hi every one, I have a 5 year old boy with Autism/Asperger's. I have done the early intervention programme and all the recommended therapies but my son still has many problems with anxiety and daily meltdown's especially when he's having trouble self regulating, there also starting to physically impact on me as it can be quit exhausting trying to handle him so he doesn't harm himself during this time.
My pediatrician suggested I consider using RISPERDAL if his behavior continues to disrupt family and school life? he also said that most autistic boys need to be medicated between the ages of 6 to 8? I don't feel comfortable with this methods and was wondering if anyone knew of a Natural Medication? Thank you for any advice!

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Apps+8278986302 - posted on 03/28/2009

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I've posted a few times over the last weeks (see above) but to sum up, our son, 5, is high-functioning PDD-NOS/Aspergers (who knows about these diagnoses) and ADHD (and I"m not even sure of that; maybe it's part of the Aspergers). He is very smart and verbal, engaged (at times, with some people) and loving (ditto), and can be funny and charming. He's also very rigid and perseverates, impulsive, unpredictable, and anxious, and he does much better at the structure of school. He's wonderful with our sitter, who has always given the structure and consistency, along with love and fun but a firm hand, since he was 7 months.



But he's a "different kid," a terror,with us at times. So we finally "broke down" last summer and started trying stimulants; Ritalin turned him into zombie and then the worst tantrums every after rebound effect. We've finally arrived at Adderall extended release 5 mg in morning, which school says he needs. (Got him into special school with only 5 boys and three adults; the services are great but peer models terrible, hope to get him out next year when he's better in control himself.)



But the aggression, the agitation just got to be too much after three years. He has been a danger to himself and us; he has run both my husband and me ragged and I think all of you know what a strain this puts on a marriage.



So we started him on a tiny amount of Risperdal about 2 weeks ago and, what can I say, it's the first time I've really breathed in such a long time. I took Matthew to the Children's Science Museum for four hours today, by myself, and no meltdowns, I didn't have to be scared of what he might do to the small child next to him, I didn't have to hold him or drag him out, he perseverated on the phone but I was able to redirect him and we just had a good time. HE had a good time. How wonderful is that?



I wish everyone the best with whatever path they may choose, but as someone above said, these kids need to learn to self-regulate and he been unable to take in any of the behavioral lessons we specifically sent him to this school to learn. (They have a token system to reward positive behaviors, a crisis staff in place, etc.; I did not want to "set him up to fail" or get calls every day asking me to pick him up from school, and then get told I needed to find another school for him.)



And some of these kids really do need the meds. I do believe the idea that "if your kid had diabetes, you'd give him insulin, right?" Now, after a long time, I have hope for him and our family. We actually have a birthday party tomorrow and while I know he will still be argumentative and need to be shadowed in a way the others won't, I also be able to watch with a fair amount of confidence that he will behave appropriately and have fun with kids (some of whom he's been playing with regularly, thanks to our wonderful sitter!) who are much better role models for him.



Do I love giving him a drug like this? No. Do I worry about side effects? Yes, but he's on a tiny amount. Do I miss having him run around the room, throwing things, saying, "Mommy, I'm going to break your beautiful things!" hitting, fighting, biting me, etc.? No. Do I hope he starts to be calm enough to internalize what he needs to know so that perhaps we can switch to more natural methods? Yes. I would also like to try a nonstimulant, maybe Strattera.



But now, at last, I feel there's some hope for us. No one has said this, but there are kids who end up in "residential settings," "boarding schools," whatever, where he'd get the structure he needs during the week and come home weekends. I love my son more than I can say but if we didn't start to get some relief, I was going to seriously have to consider that option.

Christina - posted on 02/24/2009

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Not sure if aggression is one of the issues you are having with your son or not, but I recently did a research paper for my anatomy & physiology class on autism and aggression. )My son is on the spectrum as well and a major issue with him is aggressive behavior.) I found some very interesting articles that show a link between abnormally high levels of serotonin in the body and aggression in autistic individuals. Getting these levels checked may be a place to start before considering medication. I would guess that there is also a test for melatonin levels to see if they are off as well.



The report was issued by the Cochrane Collaboration, I can post the link if anyone would be interested in reading it.

Kathleen - posted on 02/24/2009

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melissa,



 



I dont know about you but sleep is so important .  I have taken melatonine and it works, i HAV E not tried it with my son but found that DMG helped regulate his behaviors.  In fact my son asks for it if he starts to feel out of control.  It isn't a wonder drug but for us it was.  DMG is available over the counter and is called Dimethylgylcine. or something like that... here is some info i just pulled from google:



 



 







DMG (N,N-Dimethylglycine) is a metabolic enhancer that can provide increased benefits when supplemented even if there isn’t a deficiency.


DMG makes the process of metabolism (breaking down or building up of compounds in the body) quicker and more efficient. 


DMG is a completely safe hypoallergenic nutrient. 

We don’t produce as much DMG as we grow older or if we are immune compromised, which leaves us more susceptible to stress and infection. 

DMG improves oxygen utilization, detoxification, cell protection, immune system modulation, and enhances the healing.


Extensive research with animals and in clinical testing shows that DMG is an adaptogen that helps maintain homeostasis.



Adaptogens like DMG normalize physiological functions and help maintain homeostasis within the body. These physiological functions include blood glucose levels, pH, blood pressure, hypoxic or low oxygen conditions, hormone levels, cholesterol levels, and levels of important biologically active nutrients. DMG has received a great deal of attention because it is beneficial in so many areas of human health and well being. Research and clinical studies over the last 25 years demonstrate that DMG can help the body overcome a number of specific health problems. Since DMG is cost effective and results are usually seen fairly quickly, it should be relatively easy to determine if DMG is for you!



 



An ad but none the less something to think of my son started sleeping through the night and still does for the most part.  He has a bad night once or twice a month instead of everynight.






Lisa - posted on 02/20/2009

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Hi melissa,

The natural sleeping medication is called melatonin!!!! It is found naturally in the body so no need to worry my son is on 2mg a night he has it at 7.45pm and he is asleep for 8.30pm

Hope this helps you!!

Linda - posted on 03/23/2011

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Is he on any medicine right now? Does he have ADD/ADHD? I don't recommend Risperdal. I'm a physician asst. and I've seen too many people with long-term side effects (Diabetes, obesity and renal disease). My son has aspergers and ADHD and we've had good luck with Stratera. It has helped him come out of Andrew's world and has helped him socialize more. He was on Focalin prior to this with mixed results. It made him have melt downs late in the day and gave him a flat affect (no range of emotions) in the height of the dosage.

Sertaline is given for anxiety in adults. I'm nore sure if it's indicated for children. Please speak with your peditrician and ask for a referral to a child psych.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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Kathleen - posted on 03/31/2011

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Linda,

my son has found success with DMG dimethylglycine (( think that is how to spell it) it calms him down and is available from a compounding pharmacy w/o a prescription. We use Kirkman Labratories out of Oregon.

Jennie - posted on 04/13/2009

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I believe that most meds just treat the symptom, not the underlying cause.  I, along with my son's teacher and assistant, have found that his outbursts and tantrums usually are minimal when we help him solve the underlying cause.  We are all very in tuned to what triggers his outbursts and tantrums.  Sometimes we just need to specifically communicate what is going to happen (i.e., change in schedule, loud noises, etc.) so he can prepare himself for it.  Overcoming other challenges takes teaching him what is expected, or teaching him how he can evaluate when he's going to lose it, and find ways to control himself, which sometimes can be having the ability to go to a safe place.  And, other times it is accomodating him to help him be effective and learning in his own way, as he had difficulties writing (area education agency's autism team and OT believe it is painful for him to write), so he uses the computer to do spelling and sentences, and the blackboard-chalk to do his math problems instead of paper (apparently he writes better with the friction the blackboard offers over a white board or paper).  My son is 6 years old and in 1st grade.  His teacher and assistant are preparing him to go into 2nd grade, and have been a world of positive difference for him.  This year of school has been such a positive experience since he got an assistant in the classroom.



I think some ASD kids, a very small minority, need pharmameds, but most need people who are attentive to their needs and can help them learn how to deal with the challenges that ASD poses.  I also think diet and activities can help ASD kids as well or better than big pharma.



I also want to note that we noticed that when our son got sick with a fever this year, he actually acted "normal" with his high temp (he -shocker- started conversations, made sense, didn't have the lost eye look, etc.).  So, there's likely some deficiency or something that affects their hypothalamus and homeostasis.  Thus, anything that helps that balancing mechanism (or throws it off in just the right way, like with a fever), may also help ASD challenges.



Well, whatever route you choose, I wish you the best for your son and your family.

User - posted on 04/13/2009

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hi, my name is tammy and my 12 yr old was diagnosed with asperger's when he was 3. he had severe meltdowns and horrible behaviors. i chose to medicate him and know he cannot exist w/o it. it took 5 years of different medications to find what was right for him. he takes the following...luvox(o.c.d.), clonidine(anxiety), trazodone(to sleep), and benedryl(also sleep). there are times when i feel like a horrible mother but, he cannot sleep without the meds or function during the day. he no longer pulls his hair out, rocks, or stays awake DAYS at a time. i know other parents who medicate their autistic children and agree...what a difference the meds make in helping them cope with their every day struggles. his levels are checked on a regular basis and i pray that one day he can be medication free...it is possible once he becomes an adult.

Ani - posted on 04/13/2009

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Quoting Monique:

I would strongly suggest you seek advice and support from a qualified and experienced naturopath. They will be able to give you access to supplements from 'practitioner only' ranges (which are the naturopathic equivalent of prescription medications). Also, in my experience, the reason no one natural treatment works is the same as the reason no one pharmaceutical treatment works for all - everyone's different. A naturopath (like a good doctor) can help determine which of the many choices to try first.

I also encourage people who haven't tried to to try the failsafe diet by Sue Dengate. Please be aware that you should NOT stay on the full elimination diet longer than the initial elimination period - it is NOT nutritionally balanced (nor is it meant to be). It didn't work for us, but food intolerance is the simplest and most easily treatable 'cause' of behaviour issues. It is well worth a try to see if it works for you (I know it has worked for many).

We went the pharmaceutical route for our eldest because the aggression and violence HAD to stop. It was at such a level we lived in social isolation as a family and were the outcasts of our community. Drugs work much faster that the natural alternatives and we're fortunate to have found a combo that works very well for him.

We are trying to avoid the same route for 2son. I am currently using Bovine Colostrum and probiotics to support gut function thus allow him to absorb nutrients properly and allow his body to make the neurotransimitters (especially seratonin - low in depressed people and noradrenalin - high in violent poeple) in balance so his moods and emotions stabilise. If this proves insufficient, then I know my naturopath can supply those neurotransmitters from natural stuff, eg. give his body seratonin as a nutritional supplement instead of using drugs like zoloft and prozac that are seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (which raise the seratonin levels by preventing it being broken down so fast).

Don't forget you can go the drug route for a (hopefully) quick fix then persue the many natural things that may help - just make sure you check with naturopath/doctor/pharmacist for any possibly inter-reactions.



He has been on medicine for years.  Sleeping is becoming a large issue.  He didn't have a lot of success with melatonin.  He will see a different doctor that treats the whole body to look for deficienies or surpluses in his body.  It will be a good starting place.



How does one select a naturopath?  We are in Champaign, IL if anyone knows of any in the surrounding area.

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 04/13/2009

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Thanks for your message, Monique. Yes, we first went with stimulants to slow our son down (right now Adderall, after Ritalin was a complete horror show), but I want to try Stratterra. And I have to say that yes, the Risperdal has changed our lives completely. It is no magic pill, but it's like night and day. No more violent tantrums, no more holds, no more biting... We can actually go places and he's much more redirectable, even in terms of breaking off the perseveration. The hope is to buy the time to teach him behavioral techniques whiile he is reachable--and possibly try some of the other methods all of you have kindly shared--so that he doesn't have to be on meds forever. But we were getting nowhere, I was a desperate mess, he was unhappy and anxiety-ridden, and yes, I felt like a pariah. It's good to have hope again. Our son is 5 and we have many years ahead of us. Best, Beth

[deleted account]

I would strongly suggest you seek advice and support from a qualified and experienced naturopath. They will be able to give you access to supplements from 'practitioner only' ranges (which are the naturopathic equivalent of prescription medications). Also, in my experience, the reason no one natural treatment works is the same as the reason no one pharmaceutical treatment works for all - everyone's different. A naturopath (like a good doctor) can help determine which of the many choices to try first.

I also encourage people who haven't tried to to try the failsafe diet by Sue Dengate. Please be aware that you should NOT stay on the full elimination diet longer than the initial elimination period - it is NOT nutritionally balanced (nor is it meant to be). It didn't work for us, but food intolerance is the simplest and most easily treatable 'cause' of behaviour issues. It is well worth a try to see if it works for you (I know it has worked for many).

We went the pharmaceutical route for our eldest because the aggression and violence HAD to stop. It was at such a level we lived in social isolation as a family and were the outcasts of our community. Drugs work much faster that the natural alternatives and we're fortunate to have found a combo that works very well for him.

We are trying to avoid the same route for 2son. I am currently using Bovine Colostrum and probiotics to support gut function thus allow him to absorb nutrients properly and allow his body to make the neurotransimitters (especially seratonin - low in depressed people and noradrenalin - high in violent poeple) in balance so his moods and emotions stabilise. If this proves insufficient, then I know my naturopath can supply those neurotransmitters from natural stuff, eg. give his body seratonin as a nutritional supplement instead of using drugs like zoloft and prozac that are seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (which raise the seratonin levels by preventing it being broken down so fast).

Don't forget you can go the drug route for a (hopefully) quick fix then persue the many natural things that may help - just make sure you check with naturopath/doctor/pharmacist for any possibly inter-reactions.

[deleted account]

I would strongly suggest you seek advice and support from a qualified and experienced naturopath. They will be able to give you access to supplements from 'practitioner only' ranges (which are the naturopathic equivalent of prescription medications). Also, in my experience, the reason no one natural treatment works is the same as the reason no one pharmaceutical treatment works for all - everyone's different. A naturopath (like a good doctor) can help determine which of the many choices to try first.

I also encourage people who haven't tried to to try the failsafe diet by Sue Dengate. Please be aware that you should NOT stay on the full elimination diet longer than the initial elimination period - it is NOT nutritionally balanced (nor is it meant to be). It didn't work for us, but food intolerance is the simplest and most easily treatable 'cause' of behaviour issues. It is well worth a try to see if it works for you (I know it has worked for many).

We went the pharmaceutical route for our eldest because the aggression and violence HAD to stop. It was at such a level we lived in social isolation as a family and were the outcasts of our community. Drugs work much faster that the natural alternatives and we're fortunate to have found a combo that works very well for him.

We are trying to avoid the same route for 2son. I am currently using Bovine Colostrum and probiotics to support gut function thus allow him to absorb nutrients properly and allow his body to make the neurotransimitters (especially seratonin - low in depressed people and noradrenalin - high in violent poeple) in balance so his moods and emotions stabilise. If this proves insufficient, then I know my naturopath can supply those neurotransmitters from natural stuff, eg. give his body seratonin as a nutritional supplement instead of using drugs like zoloft and prozac that are seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (which raise the seratonin levels by preventing it being broken down so fast).

Don't forget you can go the drug route for a (hopefully) quick fix then persue the many natural things that may help - just make sure you check with naturopath/doctor/pharmacist for any possibly inter-reactions.

Ani - posted on 04/13/2009

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Quoting Kathleen:



Hi, I am new here and hope you all don't mind if I chime in.






I have a 15 yr. old Aspie/ADHD son who wa on all kinds of meds.






Ritalin, strattera, mood stabilizers, anti-depressants etc.  You name it.






About 3 years ago, I weaned him off everything (Check w/doctor before ever






doing this!) and put him on a daily dose of Omega 3 oils and probiotics.






His mood meltdowns and anxiety have done better than they ever did on any meds.






And he doesn't act like there is a dark cloud over him.  An added bonus is that we never






get sick in our house, or if we do, it is much lesser (I put the whole house on the regiment






so he didn't feel so different).  My husband's reflux is gone too.  I am not exactly sure






whether it is the probiotics or the fish oil that benefits him more.  We take Carlson's fish oil






in 1000mg tablets.  My son gets 2 or 3.  They also sell a liquid fish oil that is lemon flavored






and my youngest gets a teaspoon in his apple juice.  Keep it refrigerated and it isn't bad to






taste, REALLY.  We take the primal defense probiotics.  They sell a powdered version that






you can put in chocolate pudding or omething.  It's black so a dark food hides better.






One other thing a doctor recommended is evening primrose oil for mood swings.






Do some research, there are natural ways to help.  I take St. John's Wort and it has done






wonderful things for me too.  I am not anti-meds at all.  They just didn't work for us.






Good luck!  Hope this helps :)






Kathleen, I am super excited to read your post.  I have a 16 yr old aspie w/ADD, anxiety/depression, OCD, and a word retrival problem.   What guided you to this avenue?

Leslie - posted on 04/12/2009

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Quoting Christina:

Not sure if aggression is one of the issues you are having with your son or not, but I recently did a research paper for my anatomy & physiology class on autism and aggression. )My son is on the spectrum as well and a major issue with him is aggressive behavior.) I found some very interesting articles that show a link between abnormally high levels of serotonin in the body and aggression in autistic individuals. Getting these levels checked may be a place to start before considering medication. I would guess that there is also a test for melatonin levels to see if they are off as well.

The report was issued by the Cochrane Collaboration, I can post the link if anyone would be interested in reading it.


I would be very interested.  Our biggest problem is agression.  It doesn't matter what the trigger is, this is his usual reaction.   I have been very concerned with not giving him the wrong meds if we go that route in the future, but haven't found much that is autism-geared.  It's all ADHD and OCD and Tourette's based.  He is so sensitive to chemicals.

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 04/02/2009

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I should also add that after losing my job two-plus years ago, I have found it necessary to devote myself to our son. Last year I worked 80-plus hours a week during what we here in the U.S. call the Turning 5 process, where we fight to get our kids into the "appropriate" kindergartens. Now, with the Risperdal, all of a sudden I have the head space to clean the apartment a bit--it drives my husband crazy the way I let things pile up!--and I can start thinking about finding work (though my industry, magazine editing, is dying and I may need to remake myself.)



Plus, a correction: I meant to say the stims, including Adderall, DON'T really work. Even if the school sees improvement, I see rebound on weekends. Plus I'm not convinced it's ADHD; perhaps it's part of what I think could be Aspergers.



So I hope to try transitioning him to Strattera. FYI: It took ME figuring out that we can keep him on the Adderall for the weeks it takes before the Strattera takes effect, if it's going to. Then we can take him off the Adderall to see if the Strattera helps. I had always shied away from trying the Strattera because all the doctors said was, "It takes weeks to see any effect, if there is any effect. It only works with a small percentage of kids on the spectrum." I didn't think I could wait weeks with no medication. But now, I feel confident we can try, especially if we can continue with the Risperdal. In fact, this weekend we are going to try just the Risperdal and skip the Adderall to see how that goes.



Wish us luck! Beth

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 04/02/2009

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Lisa: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are in Week 3 of our Risperdal trial. Our son is on a "tiny" amount, according to the psychiatrist at his school who is treating him and where they are keeping a constant eye on him for any side effects.



Believe me, it's been a long, arduous journey to get to this point. We've been very conservative and have tried many approaches, though to be honest not many of the ones all of you have described. I am in awe of all of you and your strength. I am so grateful to have finally found others who walk in my shoes, who understand the hell this can be.



And it has been four years of hell; our 5-year-old "puzzle" (that wonderful word the docs and "experts" use!) starting showing "behaviors" before he turned 2. I just felt I had no options left. We'd tried many ADHD meds and finally have settled on Adderal XR, which helps him in school, but I still feel stims are the right road. I'd like to try Strattera at some point; hope it might help with the anxiety and perseveration.



It's just  a terrible thing to be thinking you may have to send your 5-year-old off to boarding school because you know you can't provide the calm, structured environment he needs to develop to the best of his abilities--and this kid has so much potential!--and everyone's miserable, he's miserable and anxious, you're incredibly miserable--I've put on 80 pounds in four years between the stress of raising him and the chaos in my home and my marriage. (As I've posted before, many marriages can't survive this. Most women I know are going this alone--I don't have any idea how.)



I can't begin to tell you how much my life has turned around in these three weeks since starting the Risperdal. It's like light and day. I won't call it a miracle, and it's not as if all the behaviors have disappeared. But I'm not afraid anymore that he'll hurt himself, hurt other kids, hurt me, break things, go beserk in public places or at home "out of nowhere." 



All of a sudden, I feel optimistic about the future again. Our son is less agitated, more reachable, more redirectable, open to taking in the behavioral lessons he needs to get along in life, able to have friends over (including a little boy he has poked in the eye twice, only when he was on a play date with me, and who he can only play with when under the care of our sitter. I'm lucky this mom allows it).



But oh my g-d, yesterday he went on an egg hunt yesterday with seven other kids from our building with four sitters, and then I was able to suggest the four oldest come over for chicken nuggets and fries. I NEVER could have dreamed of this before. And guess what? With only my sitter and the fantastic one from next door, it went off without a hitch, and afterward our new neighbors came over (we don't have a negative history) and I felt that once again we might have LIFE in our home after so much loneliness and isolation. Plus, he gets to be with "typically developing" kids, which I'm thrilled about, since he goes to the most restrictive school possible with pretty bad role models; he's there for the incredible services and support, plus any other school would kick him out with the behaviors he has. Now, I have hope that in another year he might be able to move to a less restrictive setting. He really is a wonderful boy in so many ways and I love him to death!



I think you all know how ostracized our kids' issues make us, through no fault of their own. But my son is incredibly high-functioning, probably Aspergers, and I think this is really what he needed, what we ALL needed. Of course I'm concerned about side effects and are monitoring him closely, but I just think there's a biochemical imbalance in these kids and for some of them, meds are the answer. I pray they work out more of the side effects but for now, this is the best route. What's better--an impossible quality of life? I just couldn't go on this way and I don't think he could either. The school was starting to talk about hospitalization for my baby! Why wouldn't I try medicine for him?



So everyone is following the path they think best, and I do wish you all the best. But thank you again, Lisa. I've felt a little bit lonely here on this issue. It's good to hear from someone who is traveling this road and feels it's the right one for her family.



Beth

Lisa - posted on 04/02/2009

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Ok here goes......................my son is now 16....yay he made it.......ther were times I didn't htink he would, he was suicidal at 7. Diagnosed with severe ADHD at 3, depression at 7, Aspergers at 13 and ODD at 15. He has been on meds since turning 3, my choice was if it helped him to learn and cope then it was the right thing to do.......I had been trying to teach him nursery rhymes and he didn't know any............within 6 weeks of being medicated he knew 23 and remembered them all, a whole new world had opened up for him. After trying lots of different meds over the years we are now on a mix of long acting dexamphetamine, strattera and risperdal. I too was concerned about the risperdal but it has been the icing on the cake as far a doing good thing s for him goes.



I have at one stage had him off everything and tried the over the counter , homeopathic and even the chiropractic solutions many people talk about.



Bottom line is ............what suits your beliefs, but if he is spiralling out of control....and he will....you owe it to him to try everything you can to make his life better...........I lost a lot of friends over my decision to medicate, but they had "normal" kids or none at all..........no one can possibly understand what each individual family goes through, and every aspie is different.............if he is at all violent towards others or himself then I would certainly say trial him on the meds....you've gotr nothing to lose and everything to gain for him......I can only speak from a personal stand but I wish someone had suggested risperal when my son was 5, he didn't start on it til he was 14. Hope this has helped...........



Good Luck

Barbara - posted on 03/31/2009

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Hello Melissa! YES there is an answer to your problem that is not drugs. It is nutrition. And it comes in a good tasting liquid form. It is a seaweed extract. We have been using it for six years plus now and would not be without it. Our son not only does not have anxiety attacks or meltdowns, he is more focused, calm, at peace and gentle. Let me know if you want to know more.

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 03/31/2009

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I'm in the U.S. (Brooklyn) and have been fascinated by many of the posts here, as I've been reading some things I've never heard before. Please raise your hands if you're in England, Australia or elsewhere. Thanks, Beth 

User - posted on 03/31/2009

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Hi Melissa,



My 6 year old son with ASD also has frequent meltdowns but we have found fish oil/omega 3 supplements help alot.  We use an oil called eye q in his drink, he has to stay on a high level as reccomended maintenance level is not enough!  Hope this helps.

User - posted on 03/31/2009

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Hi Melissa,



My 6 year old son with ASD also has frequent meltdowns but we have found fish oil/omega 3 supplements help alot.  We use an oil called eye q in his drink, he has to stay on a high level as reccomended maintenance level is not enough!  Hope this helps.

Liesl - posted on 03/30/2009

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Have any of you heard of the problems with MSG?  There are different names for MSG, glutamates are in pretty much everything.  If you go to www.msgmyth.com you can find out about it.  I have always had migranes and hurt all over, I found out about this, and started following the guidelines taught at the msg website to help, and my life is completely changed for the better. (although the food without MSG doesn't have quite as much flavor)  The added benefit to all this is that my son,( who has aspergers) when eating the way I do, seems to be so much better.  He doesn't stress out so much and have anxiety.  He is a lot calmer, and can concentrate and follows what I say to him a lot better.  When he goes out to eat, and gets the MSG in his system again, he can't handle things well anymore.  This is definately something I think people should look into.  It isn't easy, but I can't deny that it has changed my life.

Melissa - posted on 03/30/2009

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I have found Melatonin to work.  It is a natural sleep aide, but helps kiddos, as it slows them down a bit.  My son isi 5 and this is what I give him.  If you buy the 3mg dose (most common) you will have to cut it in half, and it disolves in water.  Also, it tastes minty so my son has no problem with it.  It will make your son tired, so it is best to use at home so he can sleep if he wants too.  Still, it will give you a break from melt-downs and all the internet research I've done shows NO adverse side effects on toddlers.  I hope this will help you!  Good luck.

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my son who's 4 takes all natural medicine omega 3 dha , zinc, magnesium, p5p50, entrin, and to help calm him down melissa supreme it helps support healthy concentration. you can go to any health food store or go to a homeopathic. my son has done well taking this and i hope your child will do the same. it takes a week to kick in to really see any signs, and then once a day everyday. hope this helps you alittle.

Liz - posted on 03/30/2009

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melatonin is the meds u want to know abt its a natural sleeping hormonal drug used in asd kids to help regualte a proper sleeping pattern.



hope that helps

liz (mum to 5yr old lewis asd,odd,adhd,autism

Christi - posted on 03/29/2009

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I would be interested in the link. I'm always looking for new research based information. Thanks for sharing.

 



 



Quoting Christina:

Not sure if aggression is one of the issues you are having with your son or not, but I recently did a research paper for my anatomy & physiology class on autism and aggression. )My son is on the spectrum as well and a major issue with him is aggressive behavior.) I found some very interesting articles that show a link between abnormally high levels of serotonin in the body and aggression in autistic individuals. Getting these levels checked may be a place to start before considering medication. I would guess that there is also a test for melatonin levels to see if they are off as well.

The report was issued by the Cochrane Collaboration, I can post the link if anyone would be interested in reading it.





 

Amy - posted on 03/29/2009

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I don't think you will find and natural meds that help although we had some luck with camamill tablets when he was little and Melatonin to some extent with the sleep.  The best thing is to find a group for him to help him learn coping skills.  We have only recently found a few of these groups one is with school and one through his therapist. They seem to be helping learn to deal with the his siuations and has helped reduse the meltdowns.  I wish we had found these groups earlier.

Melanie - posted on 03/28/2009

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Hi it's melatonin. my son is 16.5 y/o w/ nonverbal autism. he's been on risperdal for several years....it truly helps him with his outbursts... best of luck

Michelle - posted on 03/28/2009

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IEP is an Individualized Education Program. Parents, teachers, counselors, etc get together to determine the specific needs of the children to help them perfom their best. It's setting goals and determining any support the child needs.

Michelle - posted on 03/28/2009

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By Planetary Herbals, I have been giving both of my kids (Aspergers and the other ADHD) a formula called Calm Child. I also give my older son (with Aspergers) melatonin at night.

[deleted account]

I have to say for us Risperdal is the only answer - 1st 6 months were iffy - gained weight - high sugar - but we leveled it off and split it into 2 doses w/Strattera and omega and it is the best thing. He no longer gets special services - is on the honor roll and super honor roll now and will be in Advanced Science classes in next year in HS.
Sleeping pills (melatonin) are hard becasue they can actually create more problems because they are learning how their "sleep" cycle should be and if you give them the sleeping meds it can made matters worse. It is a quick fix just like benadryl...which is can actually create agitation and anxiety if used for other than alergies and prolonged time. My son slept like a horse but had nightmares or trouble falling asleep. Calming devices and soothing white noise machines work great for that.
Counseling and "friendship groups" are great too. School support and counseling and IEP work wonders. It is a long road but once you get the mix and support right it is a thing of beauty. My son is so creative but obviously different. I love that about him.
Each child is different as is each parent - plus most kids w/autism or spectrum have other underlying conditions - once you treat one the others are easier.
Good luck everyone - my heart is with you all.

Jennifer - posted on 03/28/2009

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Quoting Barbara:

WOW! Hope you are able to sort through all of this. There is a lot here. A lot of good advice. What I have to say is from 29 years of experience not only with our son, but with other children. I believe the worst mistake I made in all those years was to allow drugs to be administered. That is the one thing I would change. We tired a lot of natural things including mega vitamins. Only one product worked and has been working for the last six years. And our son was 26 when he began drinking the product. Respond to me if you want to know more. There are answers out there. Keep the faith and keep looking.


I would like to know more about the product you described above - jwaugh25@comcast.net   Thanks!

Kellie - posted on 03/26/2009

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I am not totally sure this will work for Autism but it made a huge difference in my sons life with Aspergurs.... No more wheat...... Amazing difference.. Like night and day.. I hope this helps..

[deleted account]

Have you read jenny mccarthy's book about her son. He is autistic and she did it without med's!!!

Tina - posted on 03/26/2009

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Hi there.



Years ago my neighbour's hyper son was given ritalin which turned him into a 'zombie'. Seeing that made me think.



I didn't know my son had ASD/aspergers and thought he might be hyperactive so I joined the Hyperactive Society and started giving up all the artificial ingredients as suggested in their info. The more I cut out the more he reacted ( badly ) to the ones left in his diet so life was quite hard as I had to fit in cooking almost everything from scratch with my job and my daughter ( my husband was posted overseas for 4 months ). I also sent off urine samples to check for vitamin/mineral deficiencies. I was then reccomended certain supplements to fill in the gaps and my son takes Eye Q capsules which contain essential omega 3 and 6 fish oils. This helped his hand-eye co-ordination and after a month he no longer needed glasses!



There were still problems and I wanted to take him off wheat/dairy etc as these are often the major intolerences but my Dr wouldn't let me and the dietician wouldn't take us on but I insisted. By now he'd been diagnosed and I'd heard of the gut-lining problems that many ASDs have so I left my job so i could cater for my son. My dietician didn't think it would be possible to give my son a nutricious diet with no artificial ingredients and no gluten/dairy products but I did it!! Keeping up to date with charts and bowel movement records was emotionally exhausting at the end of each day, a real passion killer! I also had to deal with many negative comments from teachers and 'friends' who thought i was wasting my time. As it turns out we could not find a strong link so he is thankfully back on dairy and gluten. There are so many improvements with him it is amazing, I'm so proud, all the hard work was worth this.



 



He no longer comes across as hyper at all, settled in well at comp, made new friends, and started martial arts this year, something I would not have considered in the past. What a star!



 



Wishing everyone here and their families all the best x



 



 



 

Melissa - posted on 03/25/2009

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Hi Jaime,
Yes that would be great if you could email me with that info. My email is melissandkeith@hotmail.com.au.
Thank you!

Jaime - posted on 03/25/2009

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I have a wonderful line of natural products for autism. It is called Might-a-mins Spectrum line though Market America. I would love to e-mail you some information if you are interested.

Robin - posted on 03/25/2009

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Try caffeine. My son is 15 and was on meds until last yeasr when the side effects caused more problems. We tried meds again the last month and the same side effects, but worse. He has always wanted to try drinking coffee, but I would not let him. After the last round of meds, he now drinks coffee every morning and is doing well on it. The caffee is a natual stimulat. Of course at 5 he won't drink coffee, but try a soft drink w/ caffee. Jordan says it calms him down and relaxes him. I did speak to or doctor about this and agreed it could help. I can tell a difference. FYI...He also takes melatonin at night and it helps.

Robin - posted on 03/25/2009

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Try caffeine. My son is 15 and was on meds until last yeasr when the side effects caused more problems. We tried meds again the last month and the same side effects, but worse. He has always wanted to try drinking coffee, but I would not let him. After the last round of meds, he now drinks coffee every morning and is doing well on it. The caffee is a natual stimulat. Of course at 5 he won't drink coffee, but try a soft drink w/ caffee. Jordan says it calms him down and relaxes him. I did speak to or doctor about this and agreed it could help. I can tell a difference. FYI...He also takes melatonin at night and it helps.

Corri - posted on 03/25/2009

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An IEP is an "Individual Education Plan" or in West Aust now known as PLP "Personalised Learning Program". An IEP is written by teachers and support staff working with your child to help improve their learning. My son's IEP is based solely on improving his behaviour, it includes a set of goals, strategies for implementing them and rewards and consequences. So everyone is working on the same page (so to speak). An IEP must be shown to parents and regularly reviewed. They are for all children who have a learning difficulty or learning disability.

Hope this helps you Melissa.

:) Corri

PS: any luck getting Aust Bush Flower Essences?

Melissa - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hi Karen & Caroline,
what is an I.E.P? and Caroline we have just started the diet as er my recent post if you wish to read.
Thanks Melissa

User - posted on 03/17/2009

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We tried them all, and risperdal was super bad, terrible haulicinations.....the only thing that worked, and my son was 5, was starting slowly with Adderall....... .5mg in the morning, before school, and we would have the teacher let him know, to stop in the nurses office, to get his other .5mg. 



 



It will also depend on your child, if your child is severe, then you may need .10mg adderall (extended release)  and "possibly" another .5mg. later on that afternoon, usually right after school.



 



We tried everything.....diets, vitamins, therapy, the only thing that works, is the adderall and aggressive school intervention.....FIGHT TO GET AN I.E.P.



 



Good luck =)



 

Caroline - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hi Barbara, could you give me some more information on the product your son is drinking? Thanks

Caroline - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hi Melissa, my son has been on risperdal for over a year now. It was a hard decision to make but my son was so unhappy and I was at my wits end. I found it worked wonders with him and he was a much happier boy on the meds. A year on though, his behaviour is starting to go off the scale again. Dont know if its hormones or that he is starting to get immune to the meds..........................I dont know if you have tried changing your sons diet because I do beleive that their diet can effect their behavour. I have recently put my son on a gluten free diet, it is still early days yet. Good luck with whatever you decide to do x

Barbara - posted on 03/16/2009

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I hope that I post this in time for you to read it. I have a son with severe autism who is now 31 years old. The one thing I regret during all of those years is giving him drugs. If I could go back, I would not allow any drugs. I would do exactly what you are doing and I would add the seaweed extract that we currently use. Since we have begun the seaweed extract (Naturo-paths say everyone tests positive for it) we have had very few behaviors in the last five and a half years and they have been mild. His attention span has improved, he will seek out eye contact, he is able to be gentle, and he is learning again. I think that you have made a very wise decision and will see many more positive results with your son. I wish you all well.

Barbara - posted on 03/16/2009

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It is not a "medication" but a natural occuring substance in the body called Melatonin. You can also use GABA or Valerian Root along with Melatonin.

Corri - posted on 03/16/2009

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Hi Melissa,

I was first introduced to this product five years ago.

At the time my son was five and was very aggressive and I would often turn up to work with fresh bruises and in distress from getting him to school. A colleague asked if she could make up a special mix of Bush Flowers for him, I was sceptical but would try anything natural. Because he wouldn't ingest anything I put the mix on the inside of his wrist every morning and night and the change within two weeks was amazing. Five years later he has it every morning in a little bit of water, and I am a convert.

Go to www.ausflowers.com.au

I have two of Ian White's books. I have refined the mix from the original Autism mix to one specific for Tom. When I run out and can't get to my naturopath for a new mix I use a combination of Emergency essence and Calm and Clear, those combined have his recipe and more.

I even use the products myself, just 7 drops on the tongue when needed.

The flower essences recommended for Autism are; Bluebell, Boronia, Bush Fuchsia, Flannel Flower, Green Spider Orchid, Red Lily and Sundew.

On the website you can order the premixed bottles and the books.

I hope this is helpful and you can find someone who sells this is your area.

I live in Perth, Western Australia.

Best wishes

Corri

Katrina - posted on 03/15/2009

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Christina, do you have that link re: I found some very interesting articles that show a link between abnormally high levels of serotonin in the body and aggression in autistic individuals
That article you mentioned seems interesting...I have another specialist appt in a couple weeks, and i'd like to bring it up to him with someone backup info first :)

Lynette - posted on 03/15/2009

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You should check into Young Living Essential Oils. All natural no side effects. The website is www. Young Living.us

Melissa - posted on 03/14/2009

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Hi Corri,
I would like some more info on this, so if you don't mind can you email me at melissandkeith@hotmail.com. I assume you live in Australia? where about's?
Thanks, Melissa.

Corri - posted on 03/13/2009

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My 10 year old son has HF Autism, he began taking a special autism recipe of AUSTRALIAN BUSH FLOWER ESSENCES when he was 6, which greatly improved his anxiety and speech. It works for him ( and me). I hope you can find some at a health store/ naturopath. Otherwise, it is available on the internet. You will need someone to make up the autism recipe, but you can start with "Emergency Essence" and "Calm and Clear".

Good luck

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