do kids(10yrs) with autism get depresseion?

Karen - posted on 09/02/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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i think my 10yr old boy is showing signs of depression! i've taken him to the doc's & they said it was his autism. but he keeps harting himself, & 1day he feel good,but the next day he's down! the doc says he is to young! help plzzz

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Shelly - posted on 09/08/2010

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Time to find a different doctor, even if it's just for a second opinion. No one is "too young" for depression. I have ASD and started having depression at about age 6-7.

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Tracy - posted on 12/03/2012

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My son has Aspergers and ADHD and was diagnosed with severe depression beginning of the year when he was 13. He is still on fluoxetine and probably will be for some time to come to help with it. Luckily his psychologist saw the huge change in him, in the space of just a few months he went from being his normal self to wanting to be dead. It is so soul destroying to hear that from your child. All you want to do is be there for them and protect them. As the parent you know when something isn't quite right, find another dr that will listen and help. My sons first experience of depression was when he was 9 but was dismissed, at the time we didn't know for sure that he had Aspergers and ADHD. It was put down to low self esteem because he has virtually no control over his bowels. Unfortunately this is still a huge problem for him.

Mishelle - posted on 11/30/2012

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Seeing the constant stuggle, loneliness and misunderstanding of my Aspie daughter breaks my heart, how can it not effect them. Nearly every day she stresses about gong to school and just feels so very lonely. If thats not a reason to be depressed I dont what is.

Lee - posted on 11/14/2012

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My son who is high functioning autistic (Asperger's) was diagnosed with depression at age 5. He has been taken off anti-depressants a few times to see if he needed them. He went through a very defiant stage with his meds during his teens and wanted to quit all meds. We found out he really needed the anti-depressant. He is now 28 and still needs the meds. I just read a statistic from another website (medical) that said approx. 80-90% of individuals with Asperger's will have issues with depression. Your son is not too young, here's another vote for finding a new doctor.

Lara - posted on 10/23/2012

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I would take him to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Kids can suffer from depression and some meds (not sure if your son is on meds at all) can have side effects that cause depression. I think it is imperative that you get help for him asap.

Margo - posted on 10/23/2012

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Hi, I am the mother of an 11year old Autistic boy, and i have just been told by a psychiatrist that my son is depressed. Bens anxiety and stress levels were very high, I kept telling the people concerned that i was very worried about his mood as it gets very low at times, but it has taken a long time untill someone actually has said "yes" I beleive your son is depressed. Trust your own instincts, dont be put off by your GP, you know your son better than anyone, you live with him, they dont, shout as loud as you have to ,to get someone to listen. It was the psychiatrist at the Child & Family clinic that eventually told me. Although I knew myself, it was still a devastating thing to hear. I Trusted that the people I was talking to knew best, i didnt shout loud enough. Ben is know awaiting medication. Listen to your heart, you really do know best. Best of luck. Take care.

Karen - posted on 09/19/2010

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Yes, They have depression/anxiety and will show signs of GI problems due to stress. I have a 13 1/2 year old daughter who has been dealing with this for years.

Mel - posted on 09/15/2010

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Hi Karen, your son is not too young to get depression. I am currently studying Speech Language Pathology, and one of my subjects is Psychiatric Disorders in Health - and we had the lecture covering childhood depression just a few weeks ago. Children definitely do get depression, and autism and depression are not mutually exclusive. I would definitely get a second opinion, and preferably a psych evaluation. It may not be depression, but the experts can help you with the best way to manage his moods and behaviours. Good luck, and trust your instincts, because no-one knows your son as well as you do.

Amber - posted on 09/15/2010

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Yes, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders get depressed. The notion that they were not born with the ability to get depressed is absurd. Is it not? So it stands to reason that it is possible.



My child began taking depression medication at the age of 8 - the youngest age that such medications are approved for. I am certain he was depressed at a much younger age.



If your mother instinct is telling you one thing and your doctor is telling you another, find a different doctor - one that will listen to your concerns and help you resolve them to your satisfaction. Best wishes to you and your son.

Dinorah - posted on 09/15/2010

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My son who is 15 is being on and off through depressive periods since the age of 6-7. We opted for not medicating him, but this past summer we needed some Psicologyst intervention as he hymself noted he had all the symptoms of depression. Having almost no friends is part of the problem. If you need a Therapist for help I can send you our Dr. # . He deals a lot with Aspergers kids.

Maria - posted on 09/14/2010

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i see some signs of depression in my son, 11, too, keeping and eye on him. I'd be concerned if he's hurting himself and consult a different doctor. As a parent it's hard to see our kids suffering and not want to help them some how. we are about to start seeing a new therapist, he connected with his last one but didn't make much progress. Don't give up ♥

Kriston - posted on 09/12/2010

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Yes, definitely find another doctor...if you catch it early, it will help you and your child...Autism can cause depression in your child! They do want to be like everyone else and don't know how...

Christine - posted on 09/11/2010

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Hi Ms. Cookson,
I'm Lauren, a 10 year old with Asperger's on my mom's account. I am in 6th grade, and it's almost like I'm bipolar. Anyone can get stressed at any time and it can worsen; and if your doctor says he's too young, find a new one.
-Lauren

Madeline - posted on 09/11/2010

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One of my two autistic sons demonstrated severe symptoms of depression since he was three - it is common knowledge in the medical profession that autism and depression [and anxiety] are a frequent occurrence, in fact when my son was first diagnosed the physician told me some horrific statistics which I won't go into here, but help is out there and there are a lot of different techniques that can make considerable progress for anyone.

Kathy - posted on 09/10/2010

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Is this a Psycologist? I certainly hope not because no kid is 'too young' to have depression. Of course he could be depressed. Ask the DR for Deplin. it is an RX form of Folic Acid that been shown to help depression w no side effects. Omega 3 has also been shown to help and, again, no neg. side effects. If these help, great, if not, don't give up on getting your kid help with this!

WJ - posted on 09/10/2010

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my son has aspergers and my doctor told me to watch for signs of depression. he said it can get quite bad especially at puberty, and the sooner help is obtained the easier puberty will be on him.

Mumsky - posted on 09/10/2010

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Before putting our son on a 'Gluten intolerant' diet, he would have meltdowns all the time where he would just be crying so badly screaming that his brain didnt work properly and he shouldnt have been born and wished he was just dead. It was the most awful thing to hear your own baby say..he was only 6!! ( he came to the conclusion about his brain not working properly all by himself.)

Since we put him on the gluten intolerant diet.. he hardly ever has those melt downs thank goodness, and we try and provide him with a really positive atmosphere and get him out and about and keeping busy to occupy his mind so he doesnt sit and dwell on things.

Eva - posted on 09/09/2010

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Definitely there is a chance he is depressed, my daughter just turned 13 and is on an anti-anxiety and an anti-depressant which both were prescribed by the head child psychologist in our city!!! I would say depression started a few years back but has been medicated since 12.

Deb - posted on 09/09/2010

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My son (PDD-NOS) was diagnosed with depression at 10 yr old. So you doctor is incorrect. He is now on medicine that seems to stabilize his mood, so it is treatable condition.

We had him diagnosed by a psychiatrist and a psychologist - both detected and diagnosed the depression and said meds were appropriate for him.

I don't know where your son is on the spectrum but both doctors told me that depression is not uncommon in high functioning autism spectrum kids.

Dixie - posted on 09/09/2010

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Even if it is not "depression", something obviously is going on that you feel is not right. Don't let one doctor tell you something you don't trust. Continue to seek other professional opinions.

Jerri - posted on 09/09/2010

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Follow your heart. You know your child better then anyone else.. My sons do that and I believe it is frustration. I have one that is 14 years and one 7 years. I ask them why they are upset and hitting themselves.. The one that talks more said because nobody's listening to me.. Its cause they don't like me thats why. We try so hard to make our kids social and other kids make fun of them talk bad to them.. So its hard seeing them not be able to communicate with their peers and be excepted. Can you image.. So definately get a second opinion if your heart is telling you too. There is nothing wrong doing that. Good luck!

Lisa - posted on 09/09/2010

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get another opinion from a phyc. 10 years old, autistic or not, depression is possible

Heather - posted on 09/09/2010

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If he is on any meds that might cause depression you'll want to look a t those too. My som had meds for ADHD and we didn't realize until he stopped taking them at age 17 that they had made him very depressed.

Heather - posted on 09/09/2010

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Change Dr's... get a referal to a Paediatrician. My, now 23 yr old, aspergers son, was after much distrust (on my part), prescribed Zoloft for depression and the OCD effects ..... I cannot reccommend some form of anti-depressant highly enough. We also got counselling to teach him to recognise his emotions so by a little probing (by me)he was able to understand what he was feeling and therefore deal with it rather than causing frustration for all concerned because he couldnt say/explain what was wrong or how he felt.. I have to say it made for a much calmer house hold and he only required the medication for a short time, and only needed it one other time when we as a family went through a period of upheaval.. I waited till he hit puberty and when I saw the improvement it made to his and the whole family's quality of life I could have kicked myself that I because of stupid pride and not wanting to stigmatise my son, didnt get him help sooner...

Lorraine - posted on 09/09/2010

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Hi Karen
I have a 12 year old son who has Aspergers Syndrome. He MOST DEFINATELY suffers from depression, and as far as i am concerned a ten year old can also! Well done for picking it up! Isnt it just awful to see them so sad when they are so young?? I have had to take my child to a psychiatrist and he is on an anti depressent medication. this really seems to work. I was VERY against medicating him, but have since realised that depression is very very real. but also treatable. Hope this helps. good luck!!

User - posted on 09/09/2010

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I am sure they do. My son is 7 and he has been displaying signs of depression, he has been having problems with fitting in in Grade 1 and it seems to be getting too much for his emotions to cope with.

Rachel - posted on 09/09/2010

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I too have a 10 year old with Aspergers and would say that some depression comes with the territory but its none the less distressing for us as parents to deal with. Its the same here....1day he's fine and upbeat and the next for no apparent reason he's sooooo low and just can't cope at all. Most times its hard to pinpoint what has triggered this sudden change but I have to keep reminding mysel that he does not translate things in the same way as most of us do. I find that trying to "get to the bottom of it" by talking to him is absolutley the wrong thing to do when he gets so low but he will often tell me in his own time once the blue mood clears what his concerns were. The best thing you can do is just be there for him and if you don't feel you are getting the right help for him then do try and find another proffessional who will help. My friend has a 7 year old with Autism and we are often complaining that its an uphill battle trying to get the help we so desperately want to get for our children - the help is there its just a question of persevering! Have you tried the NAS website? Thats got some really useful links! Best of luck xxx

Tracy - posted on 09/08/2010

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I would recommend taking him to a psychologist. Get a referral from the pediatrician and also see if you can get an advocates psychological/counseling group of physicans. I go to such a group in the city near us and they have been wonderful with my almost 10 year olds meds and counseling. He started showing depression at age 4. He is bipolar, has PDD-NOS, and other issues including now being most likely considered to have Aspergers. My son will be happy one minute or one day and the next in tears and ready to give it all up. It can be hard but you are definitely not alone. Hope this helps. And he's not too young to have depression. I suggest you get new doctors.

Amy - posted on 09/08/2010

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My son was diagnose with depression at 10. And got help and is fine now. Do find another doctor!

Jenifer - posted on 09/08/2010

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I agree with Shelly!
Some kids with autism don't want to be different, and want to interact with their peers the way they see others doing, but they don't know how. Autism is a hard thing for a kid to deal with... good luck1

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