HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION

TANIA - posted on 09/17/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is 11 yrs old is has pdd an has always been considered mild. i also have two daughters 9,6. he has always hit an picked on the oldest daughter hardly ever the youngest.he is a sweet boy he is always squeezing me an saying he loves me. everyone loves him in his school, he speaks nicely he does pretty much everything on his own. I have done all kinds of different things to help the situation at home.(when it comes to the anger an hitting) i had a behavior therapist for 3 mths i have given him consequences., taken away toys, punished him , taken away tv, computer. it was working for a while now he is 11 an stronger bigger an attacking me. and recently rammed his little sister's head in the radiator. he says no alot, talks back, swings on things even when we tell him its dangerous an hasn't really listened to no not now etc. very angry in a split second. when i tell the school they say its good he understands an says sorry an shows remorse. I understand they feel its good that he is showing emotion (as they say some children dont do, or know right from wrong) but that doesnt help that he is physically hurting his sisters first to show emotion. so as you can see i have tried alot of different things an now we are thinking about meds (which we said we would never do) but my daughters have had to sacrifice sooo much already i cant take a chance with their lives. he has been to a neurologist which everytime i go to just says this medication an that doesnt say anything else but med talk. I have gotton some responses but this one i wrote more detail to show the things i have tried an if theres no choice but meds.

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Maureen - posted on 09/22/2010

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My son was on the Autism spectrum. I initiated BioMedical Intervention. Bottom line here, heal the gut you heal the child. A leaky gut can throw off all kinds of neurological reactions in the brain. GFCF abosolutely! Supplements, Absolutely! We saw a change in my son the first week of being Wheat Free. A year later, we removed Milk products....again huge changes. See a Dan Doctor, even if you cannot afford one, call the local one in your area, they will often help with advice over the phone. Check out TACA.org online. Good Luck!

Diane - posted on 09/21/2010

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My son was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate autism back in 2001 at age 3. He was significantly delayed in nearly every area of development, and at that time, he became a patient of Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, a DAN Doctor. Here's my little dump on meds/ SSRI’s:

I am NOT an expert on SSRI’s (just a mom here who has been on this autism journey going on ten years).
 
There are some web sites for details on the various medication options:
 
http://neuroland.com/psy/ssri.htm
http://www.fpnotebook.com/Psych/Pharm/in...
 
A few thoughts:
 
1) Dr Jerry Kartzinel of Kartzinel Wellness Center in FL and CA (www.drjerryk.com) talks about SSRI’s. They can be effective but he uses them after trying other interventions (not as a first resort). HOWEVER he will use SSRI’s first if the child is self injurious or having serious behavior issues. But bottom line, he uses them, stabilizes the child and figures out what is CAUSING the issues.
 
2) At one point when our son was struggling in Kindergarten, and seemed to lose his temper or have severe meltdowns in class nearly daily, he prescribed a very low dose SSRI medication to "take the edge off" (1/10th the normal starting dose, which was never increased as our son aged), and he as eventually weaned off the med by third grade. The maze of figuring out which ones to use and how much and even further if a combo is needed is UNIQUE to each child.
 
But again, I am NOT a doctor. And I am NOT an expert on SSRi’s. You are great for doing research to help decide what is best for your child.

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April - posted on 09/22/2010

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we had to do the same thing with my little one. she has the diagnosis of pddnos. she was pinching, and biting and pulling hair and this happened at daycare. We had her on medication and she was great at home but still mean to the teachers at daycare. we put her on tenix medication and weened her off of prozac. We also found out that they had a new child in daycare that had severice behavior problems and she was mimicing this child. I would check with the school to see if there had been any kind of change or if there is a new child in school. Once we took her out of daycare and she adjusted to kindergarten she settled back down. Don't feel bad about putting your child on meds. I was beating myself up about it. I talked with my best friends mom (she is a principal at an elementary school) about putting my neice on meds. She told me that I had to look at the big picture, maybe on the meds she will be able to get focused in and pay attention to what is around her. We don't have the rage moments like we did when she first moved in with us. She was 4 at the time and she was pushing me around and I am not a little person by no means. If you can try to get in with a development pediatriction that specializes in Autism. that will help out as well.

Annette - posted on 09/22/2010

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It's nice for everyone to talk about therapies and alternative interventions, but all the things I have read posted take time. And let's face it - you need something NOW. The well-being of yourself and your family cannot bear to be further endangered while you explore things. While your son brutalizes your daughter SHE is getting traumatized. You'll be needing more therapy for her the longer you wait. You also never know when you could get intentionally or inadvertently harmed in a serious manner that incapacitates you. Then who is going to help your son?

Get some kind of interim medication right away to settle him down. Then explore alternative therapies, etc. so that you can successfully wean him back off the medication. As someone said, it's not a bad thing. Like you, I'd rather my sons didn't take anything, but I won't risk anyone's safety while we explore alternatives. You can get off a medication, but you can't as easily undo the damage that could occur interim.

Good luck and God bless,
Annette

Kirsty - posted on 09/21/2010

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You are right that you have to protect your daughters but do you realise you have to protect your son? He needs you to explore all options and to do everything you can to help him be the best he can be. Have you tried Social Stories or physically showing him the behaviour you expect. He may see you doing it everyday but doesn't understand how to do it himself or why he should for that matter. If you google Social Stories there are plenty of websites which show you how to write them or have some you can print off and use. http://www.sandbox-learning.com/ lets you personalise them but I think there is a subscription fee. I also agree that a psychologist is worthwhile - my daughter has been seeing one for over 12 months and it is working wonders. She is 14. There are so many options out there and medication may be worthwhile but not on its own - you need to try other things too. Good luck.

Dori - posted on 09/21/2010

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There are many things to try before meds. Diet for one. GFCFSF may help, as he may actually be in pain or uncomfortable and not able to articulate this to you. OT - they can help with teaching tools for dealing with sensory issues, such as not understanding degrees of force on others. RDI - go to rdiconnect.com and find an RDI consultant. they can help with the emotion, empathy, agression, etc by helping your son make connections with people. It starts with mom and dad, then family, etc. Perspective taking is huge when it comes to kids acting out.

Sheila - posted on 09/19/2010

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Hi Tania,

In my opinion, when a child is a danger to themselves and others, and you have explored your options, medication is not a bad thing. Have you asked him, when he is calm, about slamming his sister's head into the rad...what does he say? Can he explain why? Does he understand his own motivation?

However, if he is not doing this type of acting out at school, then you have a behavioural issue on your hands that might not be helped with meds. I think you need to explore his anger further. PDD does not always equate with aggressive behaviour.

A family therapist, someone who can help all of you, might be in order.

If, however, his violence is at a level that you are afraid for your daughters then you have some hard decisions to make.

Good luck to you.

Sheila

Zenzele - posted on 09/17/2010

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The first thing I noticed is that the behavior therapist was only there for 3 months. He many need ongoing behavior therapy for quite some time. I would try the behavior therapy again (possibly a new agency).Secondly, I would schedule at least two or three visits with a psychologist in case there is something he is feeling he cant tell you about. Then lastly I would seek a neurologist with experience in autism and see two or three of them to find the one that you feel most comfortable with. My last option would be to schedule a visit with the neurologist you like the most to talk about meds.

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