Hi, my son has been on risperidal for two years. It slows his response time down just a hair so he can make a choice- like rage or hide in his blanket but of coarse he is old enough to make those choices- 11 yesterday. I will tell you that it made my son hungry-insatiable-like he could easily eat five hamburgers and 5 or 6 cups of rice, 5 or six bananas and be screaming that he was hungry- even delayed bedtime. What worked for us was to combine risperdal doses with ritilin doses because the ritilin supresses hunger and appetite. One other thing doctors forgot to tell me, it can cause sterility especially if taken after puberty sets in. Good Luck Mary
My son started risperdal when he was three. He is now six and we took him off of it a few months ago. At that time, he weighed 83 pounds and was taking 0.5 mg 4 times a day. In addition to that, Clonidine. We recently added Depokote and substituted Seroquel for Risperdal. The Dr. was afraid he would soon develop tics on Risperdal and Seroquel is basically the same, but less chance of developing tics. He seems to do better now. When he first started, he just got risperdal. When Clonidine was added, the behaviors were much better. If he has been on risperdal a long time, he might have developed an immunity to it. Then they can wean him off or substitute Seroquel. That happened to my son twice on it. He was very severe, but now the dx was changed from Classic Autism/MR to PDD/ADHD. He does sleep thru the night now and he does not have as many episodes of SIB.
Thanks for your replies. Did any of you notice immediate changes in your child's behaviour? Keenan has taken risperdal for two nights now. They said to take before bed time as it is a sedative - well he was still wide awake a good four hours later! I feel guilty for putting him on drigs yet relieved to maybe have some calm. This morning at kindergarten he transitioned much easier than last weak. Still some tantrums but less intense. Is this the sort of thing you noticed? I am watching him like a hawk for that 'miracle' transformation. Thanks again.
Keenan was also prescribed risperdal for his violent/aggressive behaviour but we were told that it will make him drowsy and that he would sleep better than he is!
Today we had to leave the shopping centre as he was yelling and screaming, flailing his arms and looking to hit, throw, or hurt something/someone. It got too much for my husband, other kids and I so we left. I also felt very put down by the way people were looking at us as if he was a child who was naughty. Sometimes I feel like giving him to them for just one hour!
It's good to know his talking may pick up and his aggression may tone down. I have been waiting for that day since he was old enough to crawl!
Any other behaviour management techniques that are out of the ordinary would be appreciated!
Risperedal did make Jay groggy too- but it also made him so hungry that the hunger kept him awake alot of times. Zrytec really knocks Jay out cold but he wets more frequently when sleeping with it.
Before Jay started the GFCF and Corn free diet- he had tremendous ups and downs- noises, bouncing, aggressive and psychotic behaviors, at times he was an eight year old funtioning at a two year old level- and for behavior management what worked for me was to look at the behaviors and respond to the age level of the behaviors- his auditory processing seemed to go hand in hand with behavior level- so when he was a 'two year old' I would step back and remember with my other child how to manage 2 year old behaviors( ie two years =2 word directions)- for instance there were days when I would spend hours with him on the living room area rug-(defined boundry) doing legos or puzzles- with constant prompts to stay "on the rug"- put the "puzzle pieces together"(rather than throw them) when he was like this he could not communicate his physical needs verbally at all or control his impulses anymore than a two year old could and had I spoke to him and had expectations for him beyond a two year level he became aggressive (a protective barrier for what he could not handle)- In order to reduce the aggression in him I had to make a concious decission to respond differently and remember that the aggression was a form of communication from him that he was overwhelmed or over-stimmulated or scared. And for our family- coming to understand that all of his heel stomping, hand thomping, hooting and howling was not acting-out passive aggressive behavior but a physical need to feed neuro-receptors was a huge puzzle piece to understanding him. Once we stopped giving him negative feed back for those behaviors and ignoring them when they couldn't be redirected outside or to a mini-trampoline---- it signifcantly reduced his level of aggression. And I sat down with him and told him that I would never ever spank or restrain him ever again- and that he would have to promise to never ever hurt himself or anyone else.(I had been encouraged by the school and doctors to restrain unacceptable behaviors-that that was good parental love) He added that I needed to not yell loudly- (noise sensitive)- I aggreed and really emphasized that we needed to trust one another and that our home was a safe place for him (and us)
- we removed all the toys from his sleeping area keeping them in a seperate room leaving only a handful of stuffed animals and books which I changed regularly. The best ever descalation tool for Jay was that he could calmly listen to me read for hours!
Over the coarse of the months that he was home-(the public school refused to allow him to return because of aggression which was really a good thing scince they had been restraining him regualarly in school as well) - I reminded him daily of our pact- and reminded him he could rip up paper( a supply was also in his room) or punch a pillow or kick his mattress. By the time he returned to school I had broke the cylce of restraint- Jay had been restraint free and manageing his anger/fustration independently by rolling up in a blanket and wedging under his mattress. Its taken me two years scince then and great deal of advocacy on my part to help the school realize that they were facilitating his aggression in school by failing to identify his delays and disabilities as well as failing to provide educational materials at his cognitive level which is very high-above his age level in the scientific and math realm- this year he has a one-on-one and types instead of writes (writing tested below kindergarten at age 10 1/2! - up until september the teachers kept saying we know he can write he just doesn't want to- he had 33 restraints last year all preceding or during writing assignments-they said well he's too emotionally disturbed and won't let himself try to do something hard and challenging like writing ) - he had no restraints this quarter and only 2 at the begining of the year! and scince he no longer monopolizes his day in restraints trying to communicate that he cant write- he has actually grown from a first grade reading level to a third in 6 months! And is getting A's on 20 4-8 letter spelling word tests! My experiences with my son really lead me to believe that aggression is trully a cry for help- that in some way our expectations or communication is above their current level of functioning or triping their hyper-sensitive nerves in ways we sometimes don't understand. Aggression is their safty sheild. Sometimes just people in a store or church looking at Jay exhausted and overstimulated him.
You have some excellent advice. As Keenan is only 3 and 1/2 it is difficult to speak less precisely than we already do. We speak in one or two word directives but sometimes he still doesn't get it. What I find difficult is when he is having an aggressive day - I can't seem to work out what the problem is! I know he doesn't like overwhelming crowds and lots of noise stimulation but sometimes he goes off for seemingly no reason! He had an assessment the other day which has put him social/emotionally at one year three months. He scored better in other areas but I don't think past two years four months. I will get the whole report tomorrow. I guess I need to realise that at times he is a 'one year old' and understand that one year olds don't have a huge comprehension of the english language or social norms.
My heart goes out to you- that was indeed one of the roughest age levels with Jay- I remember an old lady in our church leaning foward at a christmas mass, roughly grabbing his shoulder and shoving him in his seat at 3! I didn't know her at all, we'd been attending that church for over a year, it took a lot of prayer and grace to get past that and I opened a daycare room in the rectory for parents until Jay was five- when he really started to hurt some of the younger children who invaded his personal space.
My daughter was attending our church's catholic school and I ran my own daycare 24/7 on the same block- when Jay turned four I had enrolled him their pre-k he made it less than a day before he climbed on a table and started throwing chairs at the teacher(they hate that) the nun/principal said as she permanently dissmissed him from the program that I needed to discipline him more-
he looked physically normal and actually had a scientific vocabulary beyond his years but the key is pragmatic language skill- before the CFGF diet- just asking Jay if something made him mad (that happened a day or two ago and resulted in aggressive behaviors) would instantly regress him- he suddenly started baby talking, bouncing and wet himself and he did this every single time he had to process a situation emotionally! He couldnt say I am hungry, cold, scared or need help tying my shoes or picking my clothes- the behavior was identical for all of them- hooting howling bouncing off the walls! Wow did things get easier when I finally started trying to guess what he needed and remember to start guessing as soon as he started bouncing -he was a little tazmanian until I guessed right- then a light switch he calmed down! It became clear to me that obviously that part of the brain that processed emotions was severly delayed, our occupational therapist also explained that the brain can not develop emotionally beyond the developmental level of the nerves because it needs feed back from the nerves to learn the emotional/developmental lessons it needs to progress through each age stage.
It was literally like a light switch on/off with Jay if I started to read to him he instantly calmed down,relaxed and focused for hours on end- I was always the one who tired of reading long before he tired of listening and I made sure to read books at his physical/age level because for him that part of his brain was well developed.
It was around four that I saw a picture list of autistic behaviors and remember I have a second cousin who doesnt live around here with autism on my mom's side and an uncle on my dads side as well. Jay did more that half of the behaviors on this flyer and I for the first time realized it might be more than ADHD and maybe not Oppositional Defiant Disorder which local mental health had already written him off as.
The key I have found to decifering the difference is that Jay never picked on children or bullied them- though if a child looked at him intensely or killed an insect(he cherished insects at that age) he attacked them like a bull and as he grew there became a huge difference between his IQ and his grade level skills and there was a 10 point difference between his verbal and nonverbal skills- in first grade his speech was untestable-even though I had told the school district at age 4 I suspected autism they clung to the oppositional defiance diagnosis, ignoring the diagnosis of PDD/NOS with autistic like symptoms from two doctors! I knew it was the autism that prevented him from participating in school and that there was something very wrong with his writing/reading. The school said any child who could draw the way Jay can draw (we are all artist in my family) and manipulate legos did not have fine motor issues and ignored requests for occupational evaluations for three years until I called our state reps! I discovered while Jay spent those two months at home that he could not at age 8 even write the alphabet- instant regression! But he could easily put index card words in alphabetical order, I discovered that he could not "LOOOSELY" hold a pool stick- his grasp was very rigid and that he could not easily, quickly or gracefully tap his fingers on one hand with his thumb!
But back to age three- I got looks every where we went and I could not ever let go of his hand he ran away - into street -into stock area of stores, wandered away at a state park, constantly hid in places at the mall, could easily escape any shopping cart or those restraint-strap child safty leashes! His wardrobe consisited of all neon clothes and I always needed to remember what he was wearing! I had to nail our windows shut, baby gate the kitchen until he was five! Even so he snuck in and in moments put a salt packet and sugar packet from mc'donalds on the electric burner I had just shut off and then ran to get me to show me how the sugar sparked and burned but the salt didn't. When head start did stop drop and roll when your on fire -he processed that to mean when the cores of the electric space heater in the bathroom turned orange as they did each time it turned on that he should wrap and roll it in a towel! Yes he climbed a baby gate and snuck in the bath room upstairs alone then came down quietly. When the house filled up with smoke I said Jay were you in the bathroom, he nodded saying he had to go potty. He was fine but I got smoke inhallation/amnemonia trying to open windows.
He escaped from countless liscensed daycares- kicked out of several. Even at one and a half when I would pick him up the teachers held him out to me and said TAKE him home- (as nicely as they could muster) after he spent each afternoon crawling up the 4 foot little tykes climber and constantly free falling because he knew they would catch him- (in the late afternoon when they combined all the ages for that last hour of pick-up times) By two he was covered with bruises so often that when we had moved to a nearby community and switched doctor offices the doctor(who didn't know me well enough to know I would never abuse my children) hotlined me for neglect saying she thought I was letting my older daughter play too roughly with him! What a joke- I sent them to talk to the daycare! They never called me back and dismissed the whole thing. Because of that though- I insisted on a "preventative social-worker" for the next 8 years so that as issues and crisis' came up there would have been some one in the home often enough to verify that we were doing the best we could parenting- this was so helpful when he needed to be hospitalized each of the three times for behaviors-( behaviors for abuse look alot like behaviors for high-functioning autism). The workers- I've had about six, were always trying to close the case and I would say no- not until we went a year without crisis and we never did until Jay began the gfcf diet! Sorry this is so long -i share so much hoping that maybe hindsight can help another family ease through these stages - I had no support back then, no one new what pdd was or high-functioning autism and I constantly looked at my older daughter and would say quietly to my best friend- I don't understand, I did it right the first time-thank god she came first, what am I doing wrong. I had to get past that stage, gain enough confidence in what I suspected my son had to advocate for the right diagnosis and educational plan. Reading some of Temple Grandin's work(an adult autistic who teaches at Colorado University) helped me so much- she said people need to understand autism isnt a disability -it is a different culture of people and should be respected as such. I realized I, the school and counsellors had been trying to cure/fix/change my son instead of lovingly accepting and embrassing all that he is. -Mary
Hi Dgeorg, its me again, as I re-read your last post- I remember feeling so cornored when Jay was that age right up until this year. But it was at its worst when he was 3 until he started the diet weeks before he turned 8. I couldn't take him grocery shopping and I couldn't leave him with anyone- no one would agree to watch him! I couldn't make any evening plans, I couldn't and sometimes still can't attend my jr high daughters evening school programs, he can't do afterschool or use daycare programs, and I often got called from work to come and get him because he was having trouble in school, even was written up two years in a row at work. And before zyrtec he never slept more than 4 hours a day I had no time -zero for sanity, my blood pressure was through the roof! And I remember thinking even though I was in my early thirties -no body told me I would have to give up my ENTIRE life- every waking moment to raise this child, I clung to my job desperately for an ounce of sanity but eventually gave it up for several years. Now I have a wonderful supportive stay at home partner/father figure who picks up the slack with the school so I can work. Jay went on every 'date' we had until we moved in together. I have even started demonstrating stampin' up rubber stamps (like tuperware parties which gets me socializing out of the house once or twice a month and my daughter graciously allows him to rollerskate with her for the occassional evening party that I demonstrate. But I surely felt as if I was suffocating for a long time back then, even before three, just before he turned one I had to start sleeping with him because shortly after he learned how to jump out of the high chair, he hung his sleeper on the crib the first time he firgured out how to climb out of it - I put him back in and listened by the door and he immediately started to do it again, I took the crib down, put up a baby gate and he was over it immediately, I put up two babygates and he pulled all five draws of his dresser open like stairs and was jumping on top. I gave up, dragged my mattress in on the floor and just slept with him until he was six(when my boyfriend moved in) It was just as well because he continued to wake up every 2 to 4 hours until he was four all night long.
I remember trips to the mall! I was so afraid the security gaurds were going to post wanted posters of my 2-3 year old up everywhere because they had been called so many times to look for him when he would escape and hide. I let go of his hand long enough to pay at a local produce stand and turned to find him on a fork-loading tractor reaching for the key to turn it! I always looked sooooo incompetent and I really am not! I am actually a preschool teaching assistant who specializes in children with special needs (I had the best teacher!) Ok well bye for now Mary
Risperdal never made my son the least bit sleepy, but meds effect him differently.The clonidine is usually prescribed for blood pressure problems.It does sedate him, but if you take the risperdal or seroquel away, clonidine will not work by itself. Atleast not for Bay.
It did make him eat like crazy also!The Seroquel does not make him eat more.
When you had to leave the shopping center,he he might have been overstimulated from the lights and/or people.Those people that stare are all over. I am really bold and just ask them if they have ever heard of autism.
Have you tried reinforcing the good behavior and ignoring the bad?
There is a wonderful book out that I used in combination with my own home program. I changed it around a little, but this was a good program. It is called Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism by Kathrine Morris I believe. I have loaned my book to someone.
I too had to nail our windows shut when, at two and a half, he climbed out his window. It scared me to death, but not him. He wasn't scared of anything!
I also had a baby gate in the kitchen doorway. He had a thing about the kitchen big time!I also removed all of the burner knobs.
Mary, you are the first one that I have found that has a child so similar to mine that it is scary! She is giving you real good advice Donna!
My son has many,many scars and used to have so many bruises that I was really concerned that someone would turn us in. It was just from him walking off the dining room table and breaking out windows. I've never laid a hand on him, but someone who does not know me and the situation would probably swear I did!
My son has been on both zyrtec and claritan.
" he pulled all five draws of his dresser open like stairs and was jumping on top." My son to a tee!It is nice to know there is a child like mine. I tell everyone he is not your textbook case of autism.
How do I thank you for your time and understanding. I sat glued to your posts reading, rereading and admiring you mums who have been there before me! Someone today asked me if I was in a support group for parents of children like Keenan. My response was there is no such support group and I have never met anyone quite like Keenan!
Fortunately my friends are sympathetic to my situation but there are only two (a couple) from church who will look after him. They have a property, adult children and are not busy. Therefore when at their house he can run around, play with someone one to one and there is no pressure on him. I am glad he is my third child as it was obvious that there was something "wrong" from the word go. There were those professionals in the beginning who tried to tell me that his extended tantrums and violence was all part of being one then two, etc. I persisted however and he gets all the help he needs at this stage. He goes to daycare and has a one to one carer but he now knows their routine and only becomes aggressive if another child invades his space (except one child who he will allow in). The other sad thing in our lives is that my youngest died on his first birthday seven and a half months ago. Although Keenan was not (or did not appear to be) affected by this we were constantly questioned. "Do you think Lochie's illness (cardiomyopathy) had anything to do with it"? "Do you think Lochie's death caused it?". I understand that but I am also a competent,capable mother and felt belittled by these comments. It also reminded me of my tragic loss. Nevertheless I just wanted to share that with you.
As for behaviour management - I do reward positive behaviour but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. It's as if he doesn't notice. You praise him for a good thing or for good behaviour or for listening and two seconds later he's attacking his brother or throwing things around. This evening he got into his sister's marbles and as quick as I was picking them up he was finding more to throw. He didn't even notice me frantically telling him to stop throwing them, etc. I walked off as the day was just too much for me. I know this seems a little petty but sometimes the little things really get to me. Anyway - thank you so much for the support. I finally feel able to speak to people who know and care and who don't just pass him off as an undisciplined child.
I am not so sure positive reienforcement worked at all with Jay until after he started the diet- before that he reacted negatively to praise as if strangers were touching his heart without permission and invading his space- eventually even all the social workers and special ed folks came to see consistently that it backfired. It makes perfect sense to me, if a child is sensitive even to noise, touch or sometimes light of coarse they are going to be sensative to unsolicited praise- the who technique is based on the concept that the behaviors are occuring to attain negative attention and they're not! Many of the behaviors are abousultly normal for their "nerological developmental"age. Some of these children also don't have the neurolgical routes to process and learn from the praise. The nerves are like road ways from the brain to the rest of the body and with in the brain connect all the major sections and crossroads so if there are a few bridges out then sometimes you just "can't get there from here" as in with praise. Look at my son, why can he comfortably and quickly organize index card words alphabetically, draw better than me, but be completely unable to write the alphabet or any other words, it still takes him five minutes at age 11 to just write his name! Yet put his on a type writer and zoom he's off and writing and spelling! Obviously there is a gap in the neurological road work that inables his brain to tell his hands how to write the letters. The OT says he can write each letter individually and perfectly when they work on them but soon forgets them and that he can not write the alphabet for her either! Its all in there or his brain wouldn't be able to quickly alphabetize the cards or type so easily. More later -Mary
With Bay, the diet didn't seem to make a difference.
Positive reinforcement and redirection worked best with him.I worked with him when he was two and a half for 60-80 hours a week. All of my time was our time. When I started using the positive reinforcement and edible reinforcers (used only occasionally), he made a lot of progress. I think he knew that I was trying to get into his head and view things as he saw them.He started smiling again. When he was first eval. by the doctors,he was considered very severe.He banged his head 24/7, lost language, etc.. He is seven now.They put him in a resource class with three boys who are non verbal hoping that my son will encourage them to talk.He cannot grasp writing right now. He scribbles,he is not fully potty trained,he can answer yes and no questions, name, address, phone number and has always understood everything you say but could not get it out. He talks in atleast 5 word sentences and will carry a conversation only if you stay on it. We are working on it right now.If I hadn't had the support from people I met online in chat rooms and on message boards,I would have gone crazy. Family members choose not to understand this disorder and choose to act as if it does not exist.
Bays mom, it sounds like you have worked very hard, and made some incredible progress! Its interesting that the diet didn't work. We have a little guy in our class who praise also seems to work and he rocks some and spins but talks very few single words. (does have stu-pid down from an older brother!) Bay sounds very different than Jay I wonder if that is any clue in how well or if the diet will work, Jay has always appeared verbally intact and unless you new him well you wouldn't understand that the hyperactivity, aggression and over-all tazmanian behavior was in place of self-help skills which he had zero verbal skills for! I'm late for work more later Mary
Hi everyone! As I read through all of these posts it is amazing at how similar all of our children are and the experiences we go through. I would have to say one of the worst things I have been through with my son is the way other "adults" have treated me and my son. I have been critisized for my parenting many, many times. To look at my son he "looks" completely typical, but is far from acting like a typical 5 year old. One time when I had my son shopping by myself, I had a women behind me say "it looks like someone is ready for a nap" as my son screamed and tried to claw his way out of the cart. I shrugged it off until the male cashier spoke up and said "I think he needs more dicipline!" How hurtful for someone who has no idea who we are to pass judgement on us. Another store I had an elderly lady jump all over me because my son had his socks, shoes, coat and hat off in the store and I was re-dressing him at the front of the store when I heard her comment "look at that girl over there, she is taking that baby outside and he is completely undressed and it is way to cold, it is a shame that people have children at such a young age!" I have even had a portrait studio person get so frustrated that she hollered at me in front of my husbands whole family because he wouldn't sit still or look at the camera for the family portrait. That is just a few of the things that I have been through so far, but I will admit I have become a much "colder" person because of others ignorance.. Although, it still bothers me when people are rude to us in public because of my sons actions. I have came up with so many "comebacks" to say to people, but I always find myself trying to explain our situation to people.. Because I know if my son had a physical disability people wouldn't dare make rude comments like they do to us now. One tip I have learned that has helped us out is to always call ahead when we have appointments or outings with our son. When I make photo appointments or we have field trips to places, I always call ahead and let them know that my son is Autistic and we might need more time or a bit of a different schedule than others.. It has helped out so much. Now instead of rushing through a photo shoot in 30 minutes we usually get an hour to get him calm and take our time with him.. I'm just curious if other parents get as frustrated as I do with people, or if it is just me over reacting?
Well Take Care Everyone!
The only part of the diet that I have tried to keep up is no dairy.It messes his stomach up and causes him to act up more.I have spoken with only a few parents that the diet didn't work for their child. Most parents have and still are doing the GFCF diet with good results.
Bay talked until his regression.When that started, he had to relearn everything. Bay's hyperactivity and aggression towards others usually stems from people not understanding him, wanting more attention good or bad,and just being a boy.
Dawn, the way I handle these people is with an autism card. I ask them if they have ever heard of autism and what it is. They usually say no and I hand them one.
We sometimes end up having a conversation about the disorder. The point of this for me is to hopefully educate these people so that the next time they see a child or adult acting this way, they will think twice before they say hurtful and hateful things to someone else.
I used to have panic attacks and break out into a sweat everytime we went anywhere. It has gotten better and I do not have as many attacks as I once did.
I used to treat others as cold as they treated me. Then I started thinking why they acted that way. The answer I came up with is that they are uneducated on the disability.Why not educate them. I always smile now when they say something really ugly and hand them a card and say this is something I think you need to be educated on! :-)
Wow! you go girl! I don't think I would ever have thought to do that! So where do you get these autism cards?
So its really late and I gotta go to bed but I thought I would share Jay learned "ironic phrases" in school today and man you can imagine its driving him crazy thinking it out and trying to figure out more phrases. I can tell he's "chewing" on it! So far he's got two he picked up from scooby- he can recite word for word almost anything he's ever heard on tv- and "the cat jumped out of its skin" he finds that one particularly amuzing because he loves to startle the cats and recently one of our cats that he startled became allergic to fleas and lost most of her fur (he says skin) before we figured out what was wrong so he's thinking maybe he did scare her out of her skin- before the diet he absolutely hated the way cats 'looked' at him! Now he is trying to make friends with them for the most part. goodnight!-Mary
There were cards you could copy and distribute in an article in the book from the Autism Society. I used to be a member and they sent out a book ever quarter I believe. There are some that appear online. They print out too big. The ones from the autism society are about the size of a credit card as are ones I created. I then get some stuff that is cheaper than laminating called Protect-O-Film from the local book supply and keep some in my purse. I put protect-o-film on them to keep my son from ripping them up.
My son also recites things from t.v. He can sing the Dragon Tales theme as well as the themes from 101 Dalmations, Scooby Do, and a few others.
Just when I wsa feeling like nobody understood I found this room. No sooner had I written my problems and wonderful mums have excellent advice. My Keenan does seem more along Jay's line than Bay's but I am willing to try any new advice as what we do so far isn't working. It's been a week now since the risperdal and we have put up the dosage so here's hoping.
I think the cards are fantastic. I will contact the autism association here in South Australia and see what they have. I have explained it to people on the odd occasion or said he's autistic but when I am so frustrated by there put down attitude I start to fume. I have had a go at a few people who looked down there nose at me. One women said she was concerned by his behaviour but like I said to her," Then why not offer to help me instead of looking like I'm a no good mother with a no good child". At this I went before I said more! Anyway - I appreciate your knowledge and just the fact that you truly understand and don't judge.
Hi!My son took Risperdal for more than a year when he was first diagnosed, he started with 1mg and soon went up to 2mg, it helped him a lot, he was able to fall asleep and sleep the night! also hes eye contact improved and he slowed down a bit, he also started to gain weight and was hungry 24/7 and he had a lot of saliva ;At the same time we put him on Depakote for his violent behavior which used to get quite bad when he was frustrated and as you may experience there is a lot of frustration in this kids life;This combination worked great for a long time untill Jimmy started to get shaky hands as a side effect from Risperidal so we switch him to Zyprexa(is very much the same) and later we learned about some cases of Depakote related deths in small children so we switch him to Tegretol which is great for controling behavior and also helps him (and the rest of the family) sleep at night, he keept doing better all the time meking small but steady progress , sayng some loose words, trying really hard to comunicate, following direction, and tamtrums decreased like a miracle;This summer he had a seazure and we got really worried and that could be from the Zyprexa so we took him off ,thinking he was going to regress, but he didnt.As far as OCD we tried paxil, prozac and others but what really works so far is Celexa so right now he is taking it and still taking Tegretol(is good for seazures)and Symmetrel for hyperactivity(this worked like a miracle).I'm happy with his progress and I'm trying really hard not to let those unkind, judgemental and uncompassionet people hurt me at the store, but they have stoped me from going out many times I just hope they never have to walk on our shoes.Good luck to all...Susana