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Old 03-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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We have an upcoming appointment with a ped psychiatrist to address strong behaviors we cannot live with anymore (tantrums, throwing things out of anger, screaming, yelling, irritability, etc). Ds carries a diagnosis of mild autism, pdd-nos, and odd and though he can be 'normal' some days, many are filled with frustration and upset which is really taking its toll on our home as a whole. It doesn't help that he shares room with his two brothers, they reallllly need their own spaces but its just not possible right now.

I know on the autism speaks blog there was a recent post about meds to treat the ADHD symptoms that have been approved for use in children's with autism. The risks and side effects scare me. We haven't medicated him ever and I am very nervous to do so. I am afraid that it means were giving up, and that he will have to spend forever on meds. I also hear the horror stories of meds taking forever to dose regulate and actually work.

Does anyone have advice here or any wisdom or experience to share? Feeling like a pretty overwhelmed mama right now.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone with Autism/Adhd medicating?

My daughter developed paranoia, sadness, and anxiety when she was put on Focalin. She also had worse meltdowns, worse attitude, and increased forgetfulness when the meds started to wear off halfway through the day. So be careful with medications.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone with Autism/Adhd medicating?

My oldest is PDD NOS, SPD, Anxiety NOS and Growth Hormone Deficiency (pituitary dwarfism though that is pretty much unrelated). He is presently not medicated but we are seeing the developmental behavioral specialist that I take his younger brother to this month to talk about the possibility of med therapy for his anxiety. I have found that as he has aged things have come and gone as far as how easy he is to manage and I have never really considered medication for him before but I worry that his anxiety is getting in the way of him living a normal life.

As far as medication side effects what it comes down to for me is when the medication benefits outweigh the potential risks. My youngest son and I are both bipolar, medication is not optional for us but I'm not going to lie and say that finding the right balance of meds was easy. I am still trying to find the right one for my youngest and things can absolutely get worse before they get better (he is diagnosed bipolar, ADHD with defiant characteristics). That doesn't mean that medication isn't worth it. I have to get him on a proper med regimen even if it means dealing with this first.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone with Autism/Adhd medicating?

We are going our a ped. psych apt. soon to, and I was wondering the same thing, especially for his anxiety, which leads to a huge flight or fight response. There is a serious concern from his teachers that he cannot be kept safe at school and us as well at home.

We've already had an accident at home (oldest son left the deadbolt unlocked when he got the newspaper) where he ran 1/2 a mile away to go to McDonalds because he didn't like breakfast, (and we noticed right away he had left the house!) and at school where they lost him for over an hour after he ran out of the classroom, because he hide behind some folded tables laid against the wall.

This isn't including the bite marks, bruises and bald spots on his parents and teachers, when we do try and stop him from running.

Any information would be really helpful!
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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4Shore, thanks for your insight. I am hesitant to start meds as this is my worst fear. The side effects scare me and I don't know that I can handle things getting worse. He is emotional enough without them.

Shannon, thanks for responding. Bipolar is on DHs side of the family (his brother) and its something we are aware could be diagnosed later. Right now I am wondering if we're seeing ADHD symptoms and those are making it hard for him to concentrate, focus, communicate (all at school and at home). He was just written a 504 plan because his grades are slipping. His emotional state makes it hard to manage daily life.
I know your family is very involved in martial arts (or some version like this). DS has shown interest in getting involved in karate. Do you find this is a good outlet for your DS's? I like the responsibility and respect aspect as well as that he could be with mothers, but on his own. Does that make sense?
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Originally Posted by rumblepurr
We are going our a ped. psych apt. soon to, and I was wondering the same thing, especially for his anxiety, which leads to a huge flight or fight response. There is a serious concern from his teachers that he cannot be kept safe at school and us as well at home.

We've already had an accident at home (oldest son left the deadbolt unlocked when he got the newspaper) where he ran 1/2 a mile away to go to McDonalds because he didn't like breakfast, (and we noticed right away he had left the house!) and at school where they lost him for over an hour after he ran out of the classroom, because he hide behind some folded tables laid against the wall.

This isn't including the bite marks, bruises and bald spots on his parents and teachers, when we do try and stop him from running.

Any information would be really helpful!
Oh mama, I'm sorry your struggling with this. I wish I had advice.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone with Autism/Adhd medicating?

Have you spoken with your developmental pediatrician?

My child with autism is only 3 so we haven't really considered medicating. Its hard to know what is toddler based and what is more just part of his diagnosis. That being said, I was reassured by our Dev Ped that medication has come a HUGE way in the last 10 years. There are a lot better ones with less side effects or less severe side effects. From what we were told meds seem to work a lot better in the older children (like starting around ages 8-10) over the younger kids. So, I would start by talking about options. And remember every person reacts to medications differently, so what works wonders for one child might have no effect for others. Also, I have found out that our current hospital is excellent with toddlers and younger children, but once our child is older we should try to switch to a different hospital that can better take care of the needs of an older child with autism.

Also, have you tried the biometrics therapies? They are usually not covered by insurance, and many kids have zero improvement by a diet change but if that is all it takes to have more normal days and less meltdowns its worth looking into.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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We have, and he said 18 months ago that at some point meds would prob be necessary to maintain stability. What's more is that as military, we will likely move in a year from now so starting over yet again.

Biomeds is honestly, not something I am totally interested in. He doesn't have gut issues to wrk through. I wish there were a tolerance test one could take to find out their sensitivities to certain foods/additives. The elimination diet is intimidating.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone with Autism/Adhd medicating?

We are very involved with Taekwondo and we started for Kearnan, at the time he had graduated all therapies with the understanding that he would always be ASD of course and would probably need more therapy in the future. We knew he needed work on balance, self confidence, self discipline and coordination and thought martial arts would be a good place to get it. I shopped for quite a while to find a good school and am glad that I did. Tharen is not totally in love with TKD, sometimes he loves it other times he wishes we could do something else (he wanted to do dance and would probably still like to). I do wonder if it wouldn't be better for both of them if dh and I weren't there if that makes sense, I wonder if they don't act out because they are interacting with us too. Overall though it has been great for them. They get to make long term friendships (they are home schooled and SN so this is nice), work on developing good character traits like discipline and perseverance, and they get a physical outlet which I think is super important for all kids but even more so for kids with mental health stuff going on. I can't live with Tharen if he misses working out for a day or more, he makes us all miserable. Kearnan needs pushed to work out but it is equally important to his mental and physical well being. Now I will say that Tharen thrives with Derby just as much so it may not be as critical to choose martial arts as it is to choose a physical activity your child loves. We are active 6 days a week at least to keep Tharen calm.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone with Autism/Adhd medicating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommabritt View Post

Biomeds is honestly, not something I am totally interested in. He doesn't have gut issues to wrk through. I wish there were a tolerance test one could take to find out their sensitivities to certain foods/additives. The elimination diet is intimidating.
There is one test that might help. Ask for a RAST test and see if there are any allergies there. It is just a blood draw. My son was fairly allergic to soy, and we had no idea because he doesn't present with classic symptoms.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by luvsviola

There is one test that might help. Ask for a RAST test and see if there are any allergies there. It is just a blood draw. My son was fairly allergic to soy, and we had no idea because he doesn't present with classic symptoms.
I'm walking into a consult with ped so thanks for this this morning!! I will bring it up.
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