Medication to treat Autism?

Candace - posted on 02/07/2012 ( 95 moms have responded )

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I know that there isn't a cure for Autism but I was just wondering if your children have been prescribed any medications to help with the symptoms?

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Alexis - posted on 02/19/2012

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Ug. I just read the rest of the comments. Morgan, it's fantastic that you're child doesn't need medication. But making a blanket statement by saying

"i still do not believe that a autistic child should be medicated. i believe its the easy way out to deal with our children and frankly believe its the point of giving up..thanks :)"

is wrong. Even when you put a smiley face after, it's still jabbing and saying that you're better than the rest of us who use meds on our children. Your child is different. Maybe he's not even on the spectrum. Maybe he is. But what I know is that my son went through INTENSE behavioral therapy for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS before we decided to medicate him. We didn't do it because we were giving up. We did it because we CHOSE to do what was BEST for our child. What was best for him may not be best for your child or any others. But it was best for him. In the years since he's been on the medicines he's been able to mainstream, something that two years ago they said would NEVER happen. He's been able to go to the movies. Do "regular" kid things. It's been a blessing and telling parents that they are "giving up" because they medicate their autistic child is WRONG WRONG WRONG. We're all trying to do what is best for our child.



If I end this with a smiley emoticon, does it make it okay?

Katherine - posted on 02/17/2012

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It is QUITE judgmental of you to say that you believe it is a way for parents to get out of dealing with their children. God bless you in your good fortune. However, this is a place for support and if you've none to truly offer, perhaps this isn't the place for you. Unless you take a walk in someone else's shoes and experience their life and struggles, I'd suggest just count your blessings and seal your lips when it comes to others. Shameful.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2012

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I too said I would never put my son on medication. However, therapy and patience do not always work, especially as they get bigger and stronger. Unignorable hyperactive and dangerous behavior, such as giggling hysterically while trying to drown me in the pool or undoing his seatbelt and grabbing me from the backseat while I'm driving on the freeway could not be alleviated with patience and therapy, which we tried for 6 months before deciding to put him on medication. It certainly has helped. He needed to be calm enough to benefit from therapy again and he's learning again in school instead of just being managed. These were totally new behaviors that started when he turned 11. No meds cannot cure autism but they may be absolutely necessary and can definitely help the child manage his own behavior. Never say never.

Lisa - posted on 02/22/2012

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I am sending this response to a few of the posts I have read. For those of you who don't believe in meds, that is your choice. My daughter is 9, almost 10, and was diagnosed at age 2. We were against meds until it was so bad, at around age 6 or 7, that her behaviors were so intense that she could not attend school. She was biting and scratching herself, throwing things, hitting her siblings, us, and getting into dangerous situations. We tried a few with success in the beginning or no success at all. Here we are, still trying to find the right meds. We even had to have her admitted to children's psych ward to try and help. She was there for 5 days, got new meds, came out great, and now we are back to it again. She has been on Geodone for the past few months, and now we are weining her off. She is bigger, stronger, and can be more of a danger. She is extremely cute and smart, and can be very social. But, it affects her so much socially. She yells very loud, does very inappropriate things (Iike taking her pants off for no reason), throws things at me from the back seat while I drive, tries to open car doors while the car is in motion, eats excessively, etc., etc. etc. I could go on. We love her to pieces and are dedicated 100% to trying to alleviate her behaviors. If therapy were the answer, we would have been fine years ago. Unfortunately, it is not. Just like if your child had a condition that needed medical treatment, Autism is a medical diagnosis. Some would say an epidemic. Would you give your child meds for an epidemic. I know I would. For people who think we do it for ourselves, they should walk in our shoes.

Tabitha - posted on 02/28/2013

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Hey all :) I would like to tell you all about something that may help any of that may have a child that is autistic or ADD, ADHD or if something isn't quite right. I have a 4 yr old son that was showing signs of maybe being autism but was never diagnosed. He was very angry, destructive, didn't get a long with his sister (2 yrs) and not listening. would zone out from time to time. I was very worried about him but I didn't want to put him on prescription meds just because I don't always trust some of those. A friend of mine had introduced me to this new vitamin called Q96. it is an all natural vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, amino acid supplement. I have had my son on it for about a month now and he is a completely different little boy. hes calmer, happier, doesn't throw huge tempers, isn't angry, gets along with his sister. and its not a prescription drug! So I just wanted to let you guys know there is another option. There have been many people that have testified that this vitamin has helped their child. If you would like more info plz feel free to email me at babyblue509@hotmail.com I would love to help you :)

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Stacey - posted on 12/18/2013

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Im trying to figure out how and how much of these vitamins my 8 year old son should be taking. I know that all the Bvitamins hwlp along with omega3 probiotics zinc mag etc. He also has fecal incontence which is associated with Adhd. Im having a hard time finding a doctor to help. What did you do?

Sharon Marie - posted on 08/13/2013

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My daughter is 16 she was diagnosed with adhd in second grade now she is still in a contaned unit in high school but she is failing every class she is so obsessed out boys dating and wanting to wear clothing that shows way to much hanging with yonger girls she does ok kids her own age she has no clue what to do she picks who she wants to be sensitive to by her mood or the day she can be so mean to her few friends like saying her clothes are to pretty and to exspensive for her friends. And she is completely obsessed with her ex boyfriend who cheated on her she dont listen to me at all i am so afraid that one day she will end it. Because she feels she can do no right by anyone then goes in to fantasy worlds or thinks she will be in dance or on drill team she wont put forth the effert in class at all and loves to be center of attention and loves to cause drama i am so frustrated and dont know what to do at this point i have very bad insurance but need to get testing done she will be 18 in one year and that scares me i need advice and how to get this critical testing done so i can get guardian ship of her and get help for to have exstended schooling and ssi for her somebody who is dealing with simaler issues i need help advice anything

Tiffany - posted on 06/14/2013

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Hi my son is 8 years old and has Autism/ADHD...he takes Adderall during the day and Clonidine at night and it works well most of the time. He has been having severe anxiety and violent episodes which resulted in him going to the hospital and being sedated. Now his doctor recommends a new medication called Risperdal which is in a different drug category and has a lot of side effects. Can anyone please give me advice on if this is a good medication and what effects did your child experience?? Thanks...

Pink - posted on 04/07/2013

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We used zinc and magnesium to detoxicate from heavy metals (doses must be in excess of X amount in order to saturate the body and flush the heavy metals off their receptors, see the doc about this) then we used melatonin 4ch indrops (dose for my 4 y.o. son were 20 drops every night, varies on age/weight so check with doc again maybe better a homeopath) Then we had other natural medicines but they were tailored on his problems and he took the strongest available lactose-gluten free friendly bacteria every day for 4 months (amount of time tailored on his bowels problems) as well as going on a casein(and derivates) free, gluten free, fish free, sugar free diet. Tough but very effective, He went from not talking to talking in 5 months and had started improving already just after 2 weeks just after the 10 days mark in which he had withdrawing symptoms, once 2-3 days of bad crisis passed (gluten and casein were acting as drugs in his system) he started improving. Best of luck and message me if you need more info.

Jenifer - posted on 04/06/2013

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My son takes methylphenidate and Abilify and it has made an absolutely amazing difference;)

Caryn - posted on 02/26/2013

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Hi. Very interesting this! After reading a few comments, could someone let me know which natural 'remedies' they are using - my son has mild autism and struggles with anxiety and concentration at school as well as limited language skills. I want to try all routes before attempting meds which the paed is suggesting.
All I want is for him to be happy, less anxious, and able to concentrate...?
Thanks!!! There's so many things on the Internet that I could try but I wanted to find out about 'tried and tested' products.
Many thanks

Rachel - posted on 02/24/2013

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Yes - mine is on intuniv and vyvanse.. The former keeps him calm and the latter helps him focus

Lori - posted on 02/19/2013

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For those of you that don't give your children meds, that is your choice. For those of us that need this, please do not give us grief. Acceptance and love, as much as I have accepted him and have loved him, do not stop him attacking himself, his sister, and me. He loves us but has no way of controlling these behaviors despite years of therapy. We are all in very different situations. Autism is a spectrum and we all just need to respect the course of action that others have taken and not judge. Aren't we judged enough?

Lori - posted on 02/19/2013

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My son is 13. His autism is severe and he was becoming very violent. We give him risperidone for the behaviors. He takes Trazadone in the evenings to help him sleep. Both have been very needed and he is much happier with the meds. It took us a long time to decide to go this route, but in the end, we are very glad we did.

Mythreyi - posted on 02/19/2013

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my son takes only sleep aids as he never feels sleepy.the doctor gave him melatonin.i go with homepathic medications.they are small sugar pellets.its helped my son soo much in so many ways.he started making more eye contact and more words and more focus basically.he started following commands and co operating after the homepathy medicines.

Samantha - posted on 02/19/2013

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Each parent feels differently about treating symptoms of autism with medication. for us, my daughter got diagnosed when she was almost 5. We'd known something was amiss at the age of 8 months. It took us that long to get to a good doctor. My kiddo has high functioning autism, but without her meds she regresses so much its scary. She takes Prozac to level her moods out and Trazadone to help her sleep. Without the Prozac she is all over the place with her moods and can't concentrate in school or at home. Without the Trazadone she will sleep maybe one or two hours a night and not consecutively. She will just lay in bed and rock back and forth banging her head against the wall. So for us medications (the least amount possible with the fewest possible side affects) are helping. We want our daughter to be the best her she can be. She hated being trapped inside her own head, unable to communicate. We've made it so that at 7 years old she's in first grade with her peers in a regular classroom, and though she still a little behind them she's still doing it. She's reading, doing math and participating with friends.

Susan - posted on 02/19/2013

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My sons with AS take Adderall (to help with attention issues), Abilify (which is an enormous help in terms of toning down violent behaviors), and (sometimes) an antidepressant when they get super depressed about their situation (mostly over lack of friends). We also provide each of them with social opportunities, weekly therapy appointments, and they receive a lot of extra help at school. My boys are in their teens and 20s. In the past, we've tried taking them off meds, and they've told their doctors that they need to go back on. You can't treat autism directly with meds, but you *can* help alleviate some of the symptoms so that they can have an easier life. Whatever works for them.

Sue

Veronica - posted on 02/17/2013

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Morgan, maybe you'd feel differently if you were in Amy's situation. Amy I completely understand. I too said never but as my son grew strong and developed some dangerous behaviors that also limit his focus to actually learn at school, we had a change of heart. Ritalin has helped so much. Morgan, thank God that you don't have to medicate. Amy, God bless you! What a sweet response you gave too...very classy :)

Christie - posted on 02/11/2013

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My daughter is 6 and a half. Shortly after she turned 5 she became very violent towards herself and her brother who was 3 and a half. This behavior became so horrible that I could not have them in the same room ever. She would attack him for no reason and when peeled off of him she would begin to hurt herself. It was very heartbreaking to watch.the doctor told me that it was basically abuse towards my son and told me if I couldn't get it under control I would have to consider placing her somewhere. The other option was to try medication. I tried all the natural routes people boast about and had no luck. This seemed like my last hope or I was gonna lose her. We put her on resperidone. As nervous as I was about it, it helped tremendously. I started to see my loving little girl again. She stopped attacking her brother, and maybe it was a coincidence, she started talking and was less frustrated in general. I never thought I would campaign for a drug, but this one literally saved my family from being torn apart. Like all of our kids she has her good days and bad ones. I just know we have a lot more good ones now. And after earning some trust back from her little brother, they actually get along wonderfully most of the time. So if you have tried everything else with no result like me, I suggest just considering medication. These kids are not one size fits all. I'm happy for the people who have seen results the natural way, but at the end of the day you got to do what works best for your child.

Jessie - posted on 02/11/2013

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My daughter was also diagnosed with Intermittent explosive disorder, ADHD and OCD. Thats why she is on meds.

Anaquita - posted on 02/11/2013

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Wow, some of the comments on here are reasonable, some, less so.

Everyone is different, and treatments vary due to this. Some people do great on more natural remidies, and special diets. And for others it does nothing.

(Please note, before putting a kid through a gluten free, casein free diet, at the very least check if they have any of the symptoms of the allergy, or an intolerance. At best, see a doctor about it first. While they think about 20mill people in the US should be gluten free, not EVERYONE needs be. Some will fall under the spectrum, but not all on the spectrum will have said intolerance/allergy.)

Most kids with JUST autism are not given medication. Some kids have medication though, for co-disorders. ADHD is a common co-disorder, for example. My son only has medication for his asthma, and allergies. Without those medications he would be sick far more often. He does have a co-disorder of mild tourettes, but it's mild enough that he's not in need of medication for it.

Jessie - posted on 02/11/2013

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Morgan Fiaschetti,
Meds definitely do help, no it's not a cure b/c there is NO cure. There are some families that have tried proper therapy and patience and it just didnt work. We are one of those families. I took offense to what you said, you are basically implying that people that put their children on medication are bad parents.

Jessie - posted on 02/11/2013

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I have been reading some of the comments, I was really surprised to see what some people were saying and that there was only about 2 or 3 moms on here that had daughters. I has a 7yr. daughter with autism. Out of all her problems her behavior is the worst. We had to try meds. b/c she was a danger to herself as well as others. We have tried diff meds, we are trying to find something that works. right now she is on risperidone. I have done my research and I allways read up on all meds we put her on or even think about putting her on. MEDS ARE NOT A CURE BUT THEY DO HELP!

Pam - posted on 01/30/2013

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yes, My granddaughter is seven, she is like an angel at school. She doesn't eat at school, and when she gets home she is starving, if her dinner is still hot, she will go into a rage, hitting, throwing anything she can get her hands on and in a little while she will calm down and eat. The therapist put her on clonidine and abilify. It puts her to sleep thirty minutes after she takes it, but she still will wake up and have to soak her legs in the tub, she has jra also. I hate seeing her on the meds but when we tried to take her off, she was like a little deer in the road. She says she doesn't know why she gets so angry and that she can't help it. I wish to God I could take this from her and have it myself. I hope this answered your question about girls having this.

Angie - posted on 01/07/2013

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There is no medication specifically designed to treat the symptoms of autism, there are a number of reasons for this. Some reasons are; autism is not a disease process so medication can be difficult to trial and potential trails come with ethical baggage, no series of symptoms are considered typical, there is no definitive physical cause that has yet been pin pointed to develop a bench mark for clinical trials, so far all avenues explored have had inconsistent or even opposite effects in the individuals involved. Autism presents in such varied ways, no two people on the spectrum are the same and this poses a huge problem for everyone effected by it in respect to accessing support and treatment. Many people on the spectrum also experience other problems which can be relieved with medication, a good example of this is anxiety, it can be treated in a number of ways including the use of medications. There is definitely a place for medications, but unfortunately there is no magic pill that will take away the difficulties caused by autism. Many of the suggestions you have already received are accurate and helpful for some individuals. Dietary influences, alergens, fatigue and environmental stress can have counterproductive effects, but once again the reactions to these external influences are inconsistent. Each individual needs to determine whether they are negatively effected. Personally we have found that one family member with aspergers responds negatively to wheat, bakers yeast and pollen, and functions a lot better when treated with regular bio feedback and antianxiety medication. Whereas another with mild autism found that medications were not useful and functions well on a glutenfree diet, requires a daily exercise program to think clearly, and has regular counselling with a social worker who specializes in ASD which takes away a lot of the social anxiety. Creating a long term treatment program is incredibly difficult, but hang in there, you will find the right path, you just have to do a lot of weeding in the process. Good luck.

Maria Theresa - posted on 08/11/2012

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Please only use supplements.....Gluten free and natural....see a DAN doctor in your area and you will be amazed at the results .............NO Medications...they just cause problems later in life for your child..It may suit YOu to have your child quiet now...but in the long run check the side effects....and remember time for you to recharge your batteries

Pink - posted on 08/11/2012

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Candace did you try passiflora too? I'm against chemicals...natural stuff is always better if you find the right one for your son.

Pink - posted on 08/11/2012

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Gluten free and casein free diet is part of a "cure", also since it's very probable that the child has heavy metal intoxication (only a specific urine test can confirm this) zinc and magnesium (in the right dosage prescribed by a specialist) would detoxicate the child, passiflora can be used to help relax and melatonin with sleep and a faster recovery where needed.
No fish as they all contain mercury (the main contributor along with a very debated source from vaccinations).
Friendly bacteria in the strongest concentration (27billion cells) to be taken daily at first then every other day for as many months as bowels may need (my son took them for almost a year so far and we are not done with them just yet).
Food supplements for deficiencies found through specific blood tests.
Homeopathy used when needed and to cure a hypo-tone derived from exposure to the polio vaccination.
No chemical medicine, no steroids, no paracetamol (ibuprofen ok when needed), only intramuscular antibiotics and when really necessary, checking labels/ingredients of everything to make sure the GFCF diet is very strict, no refined sugar or artificial sweetners.
Doing all these things brought my son to being almost completely normal 1 year after his diagnosis and 1 month away from the end of his given cure and I would recommend it to all mothers with autistic children, things can only improve.

Deb - posted on 05/29/2012

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My son who is 15 was on Lexapro, to help with anxiety and panic attacks. His behavior improved alot. After being on it for 12 mths life was getting better but he didn't like the way it made him feel, made him tired which was good to get him to bed at a reasonable time before midnight but refuses to take it, it comes in liquid form so can be disguised in drinks and foods. He now can tell by the flavor if I sneak it in his drinks.

Bobbi - posted on 05/23/2012

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Lori, Risperidal is a medication that "buids up" in the system and can take up to a month to see the effects... It stays in the system.. hope that helps.

Melissa - posted on 05/23/2012

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Love your post. I completely agree with you. As for my son, he is 6 and medicated.. because of medication and proper intense therapy and excellent teachers he is doing well in school He is now talking up a storm thanks to the meds. It is often neglect not to medicate and if we don't medicate they end up self medicating as teens.

Rosie - posted on 03/25/2012

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I completly agree with you Irina, everyone is different. I did not mean to offend anyone! Therapy works for some along with meds or therapy alone.

Irina - posted on 03/25/2012

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For the ones being so against the medication, remember that every Autistic child is different. What works for you might not work for the other family. If your child had cancer or even a simple cold, you give him medication to treat or relieve symptoms such as fever or cough to make him/her feel better, you don't withhold it just because you don't believe in medication. I know Autism is not cancer or a cold, but it's a "collection" of various physical and behavioral disorders that the child is suffering from. If it helps them, not giving it to them is cruel. I have a 4 yo son with Autism, we are on all types of therapies, went completely GF/CF, very loving and caring home and day care environment, all produced great results, although many challenges still remain. One thing we could not work on is hyperactivity. He moved his poor little body at high speed from sunrise to sunset, jumping, running, flipping, running some more, climbing the furniture, jumping off, the only time he calmed down is for the night, and come 6am it started all over again. The only way to keep him in one place for more than 20 seconds was to hold him against his will and that's not exactly productive or effective for any reason. Against all my reservations, we put him on 1mg Tenex once a day, and what a world of difference! I ended up giving him only half a pill in the morning as it was effective enough, but the child is relaxed, able to focus, eats well, not drowsy, just slowed the pace down. He is so much happier, it's like he was held captive by his body's inability to relax, like he wanted to slow down and "smell the roses" but his body did something else. We are able to teach him more, sit down and read a book, play, WE SNUGGLE for the first time since his infancy. Every mother of an Autistic child knows how much that's worth. Please don't knock the medications. It's not to tranquilize the child, it's to give his brain a tool to control some nerve signals and allow their little bodies a bit more of a balance. Some of these meds are less harmful than OTC drugs you get for their seasonal allergies or cold. If you are convinced you can do it without, that is the right choice for you, but your child is not the same as everyone else's, please be kind on the parents that make a different choice.

Bobbi - posted on 03/24/2012

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Wow Candace, that really is so good to hear and just goes to prove that our children are different, like all children are and what works for one, may not for another... I am so pleased to hear that what he is taking is obviously working so well for your son. Well done for hanging in there.. it's very easy to disregard medication when it isn't at first completely successful. But like an amazing woman named Donna Williams ( who is also on the Autistic spectrum and now an author, muscian, advocate and public speaker- google her!) said- Autism is like a fruit salad- As each child's autism is "Different" so are the " treatments" and it can ytake time and a lot of "fine tuning" to find what works.. that is not just in reference to medications....It's hard and we only want what is best for our children and many who are not in the situation you are in ( amd me and Many other parents) do not always really understand it. Many also criticise and judge and that makes me really sad, to be honest. Having a child with SEN needs is challanging and parents should be supporting one another, but often they do not.. Thankfully there are many who do and will always support and not judge.. surround yourself in people like that, take it from me, they are "out there" and for me- my "support network" is so important...

I really am so very happy for you.. :-)

Candace - posted on 03/23/2012

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My son is doing so much better now. First we tried the Melatonin at night but they seemed to make it worse because he started having night terrors and he was always very irrititable the next day. Next we started getting Clonidine at night. The doctor said that he could have a 1/4 to 1/2 of a 0.1 mg tab at night. The 1/4 of the tab didn't do anything and the 1/2 tab worked for a little while but then he started waking like he was on the Melatonin with night terrors again. The neurologist then prescribed the Risperidone. He started getting 1/2 of a 0.25 tab in the morning and another 1/2 at night. It seemed to work for his outbursts and it him down but it did absolutely nothing to help him sleep. Now he gets the 1/2 tab in the morning and 1/2 tab in the evening with 1/4 tab of the Clonidine. Wow, have I seen a difference. No more biting and scratching himself and others. No more fighting me anytime there is a change in his routine. He even talks more and doesn't seem like he has too many things going on in his head. Before I would get really upset because I felt like he heard voices and maybe had something else going on but now he's a happy child. Don't get me wrong he has his rough days but I will take the new rough days as opposed to the old rough days. As we speak, he is sitting beside me on the couch watching me type. I would not have been able to do this a month ago.

Rosie - posted on 03/22/2012

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Hi Bobbie,

I appologize for using a blanket term. What works for some may not work for others, everyone is different, therapy works for me & I choose not to put my children on meds. Congratulations on your journey to a Master's in Autism.

Jennifer - posted on 03/22/2012

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I haven't given any Medications but I did a deep research and found out that by giving my son Natural Vitamins which are; GABA and DMG and since then my son has been concentrating at his school and has also helped him on communication and doesn't have much tantrums.

Jamie - posted on 03/20/2012

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two very different boys with autism....one unmedicated. one on a low dose of risperdal. you just have to do what fits for each child. herein lies that damn puzzle piece. one thing moms like us know for certain is that we have to support each other and learn from each other, not JUDGE one another. who has time for that kind of NONSENSE? that aside; i have dairy and water kefir grains, and kombucha scoby available for anyone who's interested in making your own probiotics, aminos, b vitamins, etc. i'd just ask for shipping cost. once i get my gf sourdough going i'm sure it'll be eating me out of house and home too.

Deana - posted on 03/20/2012

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My 3 year old grandson is taking a few meds to help with his Autism. He was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was almost 2. My oldest son also has the same, he wasn't diagnosed until he was older, I always had him on some kind of medication, not really knowing what was wrong with him until I saw a show on Dr. Phil that showed a little boy that has Asperger's. I told his Dr. and was told I was not a Dr. and he really could not understand why I was telling him what was wrong with my child. Well, the same Dr. is the one that put the findings of the

type of Autism that my son had. So I think that if you find the right Dr. and you have enough trust in them, then your child needs the meds to help them through the struggles of day to day tasks with Autism.

Terrie - posted on 03/20/2012

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My son is 12 and he is on medication. We tried to steer clear of it, but he was just to aggressive and there were other symptomes that needed to be addressed as well. It took a little ajusting but now he is on a good dose of medication. He takes Risperdal, Intuniv and a mood medication. I am not looking right at it so I forgot what it is right off the bat. Anyway, it has been very helpful for him. Not every child needs medication and not every child will benefit from it. Some children tend to experence a lot of side affects but that is not the case with my son. He is not sensative to the side affects of most medications. This is just something that you have to weigh the options and decide whether or not you think it best to try on your child. Some people try diets first and behavior therapy. I did behavior therapy but could not afford the diets.

Bobbi - posted on 03/18/2012

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Candace, wow! you must be so pleased that he is happy. Yes, it is hard and as you know my son is also on Risperidone... but he is only on the tiniest amount and we have never had to increase it and the difference in my son is amazing. He still becomes anxious, but he can control it which has been unbelieveable for his self esteem and confidence. It does help my son at night time, become sleepy, but he, like your son, (mine's 11 in 2 days) doesn't want to go to sleep and often tries to fight it.. what helps my son sleep is the risperidone and 3mg of Melatonin.. without the melatonin he would be up til 12.30-1am, honestly. even with the melatonin he goes to bed at 9, but doesn't actually fall asleep before 10.30-11pm... so I understand what you are going through... In the hour he is in bed, I let my son either watch 1 DVD or play on his 3DS for 45 minutes and then I take it.. this was a routine we started when he started his meds and now I don't even have to go back in to stop him watching or playing, he's usually already switched it off himself now and falling asleep when I go in to check on him.. now it has taken a long time to get to this point, but finally, finally he has been able to sort himself out, accept it and now sleeps... of course, this all goes "haywire" when he is particularly worried or stressed, then it is still very hard for him to sleep- but thankfully this is now few and far between.... Good luck!!!!

Bobbi - posted on 03/18/2012

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Hi Rosie,

With all due respect, and no offense meant, but unless you are medically trained or educated in Autistic Spectrum Conditions- you can not say

"I know easier said then done, but children should not be rx meds unless they have uncontrolled behaviors, that DTT, ABA and special ed services can't handle. Sometimes all kids need is Behaviorist in the classroom to help them attend to task."



who decides what is "uncontrollable"? you? the parents? Does the child have any say??

you do not know all the details about all the children on medication to say that. I work with specifically children on the spectrum well over 6 years now ( and am a mum of a now 11 year old also on the spectrum) as well as am in the process of my Masters in Autism and I could never say that "children should not be rx unless they have uncontrollable behavoiurs"... Because I do know of many examples of children on Meds that do not have what is stereotypically called "uncontrollable behaviours", but more so because of the depression or high anxiety they deal with because of the society they live in that number 1- doesn't really truly understand them or their condition and 2- isn't very accepting at all...

My son is on Risperidone- Why? not because of "uncontrollable behaviours" in anyway, but because his Anxiety led him to Not be able to step outside of our home for over a week... so we started medication with Cognitive behaviour therapy as well and it worked. He is still now on .25mg- the tiniest amount for a child over 5 foot 4 inches and 100lbs now and 11 years old. Yes, it still helps his anxiety completely which is why he stays on it... And really no parent should have to justify why their child is on medication to anyone.



In my opinion, ABA is not the beacon of hope people are led to believe. I know, I was trained in it and now find that Various therapies actually work not just one approach and I adjust what I use to meet the child's individuality. I have been very successful in this approach.. I believe there ia alot of information out there with Alot of strong opionions backing them, but no definite proof that one way works with every child on the spectrum. Just as every child is unique, so is every child on the spectrum.. so I use what works and disregard what doesn't and that changes from child to child to meet their individual needs.



we know still so little about autistic spectrum condition, ( condition- I do not used Disorder as I find it is un-necessarily negative and my son who is considered "high functioning "- another term I dislike, but one most people understand,- hates the term disorder used in regards to him) though more and more research is finally being done, but because we still do not know everything I find it difficult to accept that there is "one magic answer" because to be honest, there isn't and though NO parent wants to medicate their child, lets be honest here, but many Have to, and do because they love and want the best for their child, so forgive me when I had no choice but to respond to your balnket statement that no child should be medicated unless they have " uncontrollable behaviours" because in my experience, that just isn't true and judgements shouldn't be made on those parents who do have to use medications on their children.

Rosie - posted on 03/17/2012

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Hi everyone,

I have 3 on the spectrum, one of which happens to have hyperactivity. She like many of your stories has trouble focusing but with repetitive reminders she can be redirected. Yes, it's frustrating and yes, it wears you out, to have to constantly have a child bounce off the walls. It is however, way better than having the long term side effects of medications for example Tardive Dyskanasia. I know easier said then done, but children should not be rx meds unless they have uncontrolled behaviors, that DTT, ABA and special ed services can't handle. Sometimes all kids need is Behaviorist in the classroom to help them attend to task. Sometimes a really good company who can work well with your child will help prevent you from going that route. Other times parents have no choice and that's the way it was given to them. Bless you all :)

Candace - posted on 03/12/2012

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So the neurologist prescribed Risperidone to help calm him down which it has done but he also said that it should help with his sleep issues. Well, it doesn't seem to be helping with the sleep problems. He is a really happy child now. At night when it is time to go to bed, I have seen some improvement. Now he just quietly cries on his bed now because he doesn't want to go to bed instead of tearing the room apart. I guess I should be thankful that he at least goes to sleep on his own now even if it is short lived.

Reva - posted on 03/05/2012

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Hello there I have a son he was diagnosed with autism at 12 months old and he was having sleep problems as well he would not go to sleep or could not stay asleep he would wake up screaming and crying really loud.Months of no rest for me and my husband. So I took my son to his pediatrician and she recommended a specialist that could help us and the doctor observed my son for hours and diagnosed him with autism. He is currently now taking clonadine but still wakes up at night once or twice screaming and crying so I can relate get your son all the treatment you can it will help I know as of now my son will be currently attending Marcus Autism center in Atlanta ga and it will help him for his up coming future in life to live a normal life one day.

Candace - posted on 03/04/2012

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Thank you so much. That did make me feel better. Tomorrow we are going to the Neurologist again for two reasons, because my son still isn't sleeping as well as he should with the Clonadine and because he thinks that he may be able to prescribe something to help calm him down. The problems that he had been experiencing at the afterschool daycare seem to be a little better last week only because I have been giving him a quarter of a tablet in the morning before school and half a tablet at night before bed. I try not to give him as much on the weekends because I want to see if I see a difference and I do. Mondays are much harder. I hope everything goes well tomorrow and that we get some answers to help with his impulsive and violent behavior. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who will say, He's three of course he's impulsive but I have worked with children of all ages and I have NEVER seen a child act the way that he does sometimes.

Bobbi - posted on 03/04/2012

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and Candance, I also stayed home with my son until he went to nursery and that led me to work now over 5 years with children on the Spectrum and I medicate my son because it is What IS best for him, not for me! Just like you and as the other posters have said, You are Without a Doubt a Good Mom!! why? because you are looking at all avenues for your child. Good on you! Please, take it from me, there will always be those who have an opinion about what you do- think that They know better than you do. It's Your child, so put simply, they Don't know better then you. They Do not walk in your shoes. I have been slammed online in various forums and actually left a few of them because of it. One mom actually told me that I should have my son removed from my care because I had not flown him over to the states to see a DAN doctor (Defeat Autism now doctor- do not get me started on them and age of Autism- nasty personal experience) and I was especially despicable because he was taking medication... It's beyond sad to me.. The divisions in our community.. Can you image the force of good if we all actually worked together??

So Don't you listen to anyone who "attacks" what you are doing... there are alot of us willing to just listen, offer support and advice... and not to demean your efforts for your child...

and now you have had the diagnosis- maybe the Autistic Society of america can start you in the right direction??? Also I use elements of ABA and various other like TEEACH, Makaton and PECS (communication) and if you want to can give you info on Visual supports (ie- timetables, actions) and social stories ( which I write not only for my son but in my work as well)... Take your time, you feel "crazy" because though you knew it, it's still a lot to take in.. writing everything down also helped me process it all and helped he to remember questions I had and areas I wanted to investigate... again, good luck...

Bobbi - posted on 03/04/2012

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Hi Candace,



It depends on how their autism manifests.. There, to my knowledge is No definitive medication for autism in anyway. Most prescribed are to deal with a "symptom" or manifestation that arises that completely controls their life, not for Autism as such. Most parents do not accept medication readily and here in the UK, where I live now (am American) they do not automatically prescribe any meds just because of the diagnosis of autism. As the term as we know it today didn't really come around until the 90's- though it was always present- we just called the children "child schizophrenic"! before the 90's. it was then not very easy at all to get a diagnosis of autism and autistic Spectrum didn't "exist". Those diagnosed then were what was called "Kanner Autistic" and they had No concept of what we now call Higher Functioning autism.

A lot of children diagnosed on the Spectrum also have co-existing conditions, especially for example Sensory Processing difficulties( ther is no medication for that) and many like my son (I also work with children on the spectrum) also have ADHD and their autism , again like with my son, can lead to mental health issues like Severe Anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, OCD. My son, for example, because his autism manifest for him in Very high anxiety, this has led to PTSD and OCD in the past. He is also ADHD.

we avoided medication, bar Melatonin for a very long time. the melatonin was out of desperation as my son to that point only ever slept 3-4 hours at any given time, since birth. by the time he was 4, we were beyond sleep deprived and becoming ill from it. Melatonin was a godsend. we have never had to raise the dosage either- he is now 11.

Because of his ADHD and because he goes to a mainstream school currently, he does take medication for his ADHD, that literally leaves his body in 6 hours and on the weekends, he doesn't take it. next year when he enters Secondary (high School) we are hoping to reduce if not stop the medication completely as he will be going to an autistic Resourced Unit within a mainstream school and because of the individual way they approach support for their students, we are hoping he will not "need" it as much as he does in the mainstream school he is currently in. (his present school does Very well in support but unfortunately are not as trained and experienced as a resources unit is.)

in the past, at one point, his anxiety was out of control to the point he would not leave the house for 8 days and continually checked every door and window- along with Cognitive therapy we also tried medication and are beyond grateful that it worked for him.

I believe that most parents would tell you that without therapy medication is not the answer and like me, most would tell you that they see medication as a temporary measure and a last resort. Many, also like me, have been "slammed" and treated very badly for "medicating" our children and many parents I know will not speak about it because of the reactions they have received... But, unless you live and care for a child on the spectrum, it's hard to fully comprehend...

Terrie - posted on 03/01/2012

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Candace, you can get scholarships for ABA now. Just type in your search engine ABA scholarships for the area you live in.

Terrie - posted on 03/01/2012

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Hi,



I am Terrie. My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at age 2 and then at age six he was diagnosed with mild to moderate Autism. PDD-NOS is on the spectrum. Anyway, he started out taking claunadine. He is twelve now and takes Intuniv, Risperdol and one other medication. He was very aggressive at one time but has calmned down a great deal. Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do. My son is not a zombie and he is doing quite well. If he was walking around like a zombie then I would not allow the meds. He is monitered closely because of the side affects of the medications but so far he has never experienced the side affects. Autism is not a clear cut thing. I know your child is not diagnosed yet, but obviously there is something going on. I will be praying for your little one.

Sharee - posted on 02/29/2012

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hi i have lots i could say on this subject but i simply want to say YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER!!! and dont let anybodys "opinions" on here make you feel that way. something that works for one family may not work for another. keep asking questions you need advice with, only you will know what will work best for your child in your situation. i hope you find something that helps your little man even if it ends up being medication. good luck

Amy - posted on 02/27/2012

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Bless you, Candace. I know how hard it is to hear and accept a diagnosis, even if you are kind of expecting it, you just want to hear it's a delay! You should contact your county's Developmental Disabilities office (sometimes it's called DDD or MR/DD or DODD) your son will qualify for services and they'll assign you a case manager that should help coordinate finding you services. Habilitation, respite, speech therapy, OT, and physical therapy should be services DDD pays for and it's based on your child's disability not your income (at least it is in Ohio and Arizona, the 2 places I've gotten services for my son).

Good luck to you!

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