Why so many behavioral medicines?

Sarah - posted on 04/29/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My son's doctor feels it is time to try medicine to help my child. My husband and I are leary because it seems like once you go down that road you just have to keep medicating - adding different medicines and some children are on 3-5 or 6 different medications....some to counteract the side effects of the others. My son is eight and has Asperger's. Help?

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Jeanette - posted on 05/02/2011

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I have only skimmed some of the comment, but my 8 year old son was recently diagnosed with Aspberger's. The psychiatrist that did his evaluation said there is no medication for it. I would not put my son on medicine anyway but he basically said that we have to "teach" him how to deal with situations, etc. That was the gist anyway. So, I am really surprised that other children are on meds. I am new to all this. I have a 5 year old with Downs, but this is soooo different!! Personally, I would do everything else I could to not put my child on medicine. There are other ways to learn to control anxiety and such. I am finding out that just like Down syndrome children, there are varying degrees of Aspberger's. It is going to take alot of work but I know he is a good kid and I want him back! This is all just my opinion! You need to do what is best for you child. Good luck!

Kelly - posted on 05/02/2011

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i can understand your concern, i did the diet no colours no flavours sulphates ect but this only worked 4 part of his behaviour as he got older he regressed back even with his diet the same because it still helps if he has food diet he would be even more worse,he ran away from school was interupted his class i had 2 take a chance it started with dexanphetamines wich i only made him stay up untill 1 am 4 four days in a row an his heart beat too fast so i stoped it, then we tried ritlin this has helped at school but when it wears off he is way out of control so we are going back to doc to see what we can do.matthew has aspergers an a genetic disorder called NF! an after all of this he was born 4 months early an on oxygen 4 9months of his life so its a struggle but worth it all to keep on making a change 4 his 4 the better

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I'm a clinical psychologist and advise a lot of parents about meds, but I'm also mom to a nearly 16 yr old daughter with Asperger's, who has been on meds for almost 8 years - Lexapro for anxiety and Ritalin for sensory and attention issues. Mostly I point out that your child's problems are caused by a neurological disorder of the brain, and will power alone may not help many kids with autism spectrum disorder.Like diabetes, the meds work by balancing the level of chemicals in your body, the pancreas for diabetes and the brain for kids on the spectrum. In general, when meds work correctly, kids are much more able to address behavioral and emotional issues, because they are not dealing with the brain issues too. In my daughter's case, she no longer has full=fledged panic attacks, which started in 3rd grade. She is now able to concentrate fully on her school work and has excellent grades as well. She still uses behavioral techniques to help with stress and anxiety, and needs to work hard to maintain her level of organization and concentration, but I feel quite strongly she couldn't be as successful without the meds. She shouldn't have to cope with the medical side of her disability when working on the other issues is already hard enough, in my opinion.

Valerie - posted on 04/29/2011

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i know nothing about asbergers but do concur with the problem with medication...i would try anything and everything else first...educate yourself...seek more than one opinion..use multiple interventions...if there are issues at school make sure that they environment is right for your child...then if you decide to proceed do so with eye's wide open and trust you instincts with continuing...this is your child and ultimately your choice and responsibility...i wish you all the best

Stacy - posted on 04/29/2011

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I don't think any parent just jumps on the medication bandwagon. I think most go through everything else they can first. But if you have tried everything else - diet, therapy - then what ARE your other options? Just wait it out and hope for the best? We have gone down that route and after almost a year of diet and therapy 4x a week, we have decided to medicate - mostly because his dev pedi feels that DS is showing signs of early onset bipolar, which can only be controlled with medication. It was a hard decision, because I see the same things you do. You start with one drug, and keep increasing the dose, then have to add another, and another...but it isn't always like that. There are some cases, yes - but I also look at it this way: what is the medication for? It's to help them clear their minds and cope so that they are able to learn the mechanisms needed to deal with these issues when they are NOT medicated. I see it as a temporary crutch to help them gain these skills, not as a lifelong sentence to 7+ pills a day. Make a list of all your concerns and ask your doctor. Find out what drug he wants your son on and do your research on it. THEN make a decision....the effects of the medication may be greater than all your worries. Since we put my son on the bipolar med, he has had a perfect week behavior-wise at school - the first time this has EVER happened. Didn't hit or bite anyone. Didn't get sent to the office. I am over the moon - and wished we had started even sooner now!

Theresa - posted on 04/29/2011

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My son is on 2. He has been on the same 2 meds for 6 years. Strattera and Provigal. Neither has any side effects that he's had to deal with.

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