My son is a high functioning 13 year old on the spectrum . He attends a special school for kids with behavior problems, after basically getting expeled from the public school system. He likes his new school which he has been attending since October. We have always had problems with agressison and he has zero impulse control. Lately it seems he's been having these horrible tantrums like he had at younger ages. His behavior has been very regressionary lately. My husband and I are at a lost. Nothing has changed at home. I tried the chelation for 4 months and saw no improvements. I wonder if this chelation caused his regression. He is short fused and destructive. He used to love to go out and now getting him out the house or out the car to go somewhere is a nightmare. We have become trapped in our home. I used to take him for hikes, now he doesn't want to go. Saturday, we had to bribe him to go to the movies. We took the streetcar downtown (which he used to love) but it was hard for him. Once we got off the train he refused to open his eyes and we had to lead him down the street by his hands. He did do good in the movie (Posideon in Imax) After the movies he was insistent we go imediately home and not stay downtown. Does anyone have an older child with autism that went though this and got worse or improved. We are so sad that we had been able to get him to enjoy regular stuff now he doesn't want to participate at all. The summer is coming and I don't want him sitting in the house all day. Summer has always been a challenge but this year I am expecially concerned. Is this normal for pubery or are we missing something?
I have a 15 yo who is PDD-NOS. We did notice some increase in aggressiveness when testosterone came on board, but these problems are admirably addressed w/a few nutrtional supplements that he must take daily (or suffer relapse). In all fairness, however, I need to say that our son's issues were milder than those of many kids on the spectrum. Some mild behav probs at home in the past, never at school. He's only had a couple of detentions (one for tardiness & one for getting involved in a marker-tossing game in art class in middle school which actually made me happy, it was such a normal social type of misbehavior) in all of his years at public school. DS is an honor student in high school.
Our DS has become somewhat reclusive in adolescence. He has stopped going to church w/us, won't go on hikes or out to movies, etc. We have discussed this at length, and he says ... 'if you can find me a computer animation programming geek group, I will join.'
Our DS has had increased anxiety issues in adolescence, which we were told is not uncommon. These are in part hindering his social experiences.
I'm hoping that some of this is a stage & will improve w/maturation. The pros tell us not to bug him too much, to make sure he is aware of social opportunities, but not to force him.
Summer is a challenge for us as well. My DS will spend 18 hrs. programming if we let him. I don't have anything against his accomplishments here, but there's more to life, ya know?
Can you tell us any more info about the chelation protocol? Was your son on any supplements at the time/is he still on supplements?
My son's chelation proctocal was for 5 days he was on a detox pill aided by basic detox vitamins, cod liver oil, b6 and a lot of other supplements. Then for 9 days he was on a heavy metal detox supplement and various other vitamins. I did notice that there was an increase in irratiabilty when he was on the 5 day cycle. He was on so many pills during this period I was surprised he never fussed. This whole thing was very costly and it got to the point where I could no longer afford or justify the cost versus any visible improvement. If I had seen results I would have kept him on. I think at age 13 it doesn't work as well as in a younger child. He also takes depakote and prozac for his aggressive behavior. I really wanted him off these meds but he can not function at all without them. I hate medicating my son and I fear I'll have to put him on more heavy duty stuff.
Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in this teenage thing and him being more introverted.
My son is social with adults who take their time with him but will not socialize with his peers. I try to give him opportunities to socialize but usually they don't work. It's very frustrating because I think he wants a socialize but doesn't have the skills. Like your son my son could stay on the computer all the time. We have limited his computer usage to weekends only. Using the computer seems to make him more introverted and to get him off it causes all kinds of problems. I can't wait for him to stabilize again.
It's like we need a crowbar to get our DS off the computer. The only thing that works is the threat of no access tomorrow ...
You are right about chelation & most of the biomedical interventions for autism. More bang for the buck if done at a younger age. The main thing I know about chelation & regression is this: that chelation is fairly nonspecific, and it can remove the good guys (nutrients) as well as the bad guys.
There is a very heavy need for zinc in any adolescent boy's body, due to sexual maturation. The average ejaculation drains a big portion of a typical RDA for zinc. And it is a mineral that could have been chelated out. So, making sure your son gets adequate zinc in his diet is impt. My son likes pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds, good zinc-y snacks.
I once heard a talk by Wm. Shaw, head of the Pfeiffer Treatment Institute, which has the largest database in the country, maybe the world, on the correlation between nutrition status & behavioral/psychiatric problems. PTI also has a number of NIH grants to continue study & analysis in this area. One of their findings is that low zinc status is linked to a more difficult, less sociable passage through adolescence, and more rebellion. As kids mature, their zinc needs stabilize & often low-zinc adolescents become "late bloomers."
The one supplement we all (including my DS) swear by is high concentrate EPA fish oil (not just any old CLO or fish oil). The EPA (my DS needs one to two grams per day of the EPA fraction alone) has a very mellowing effect on the brain. We've found it's helpful in reducing impulsivity, anxiety, obsessiveness, aggressiveness, and for increasing overall communicativeness/willingness to talk things through. If DS skips 2 days of his EPA, boy do we all know it! Carlson's & Nordic Naturals are 2 brands that have EPA concentrates that are 3rd party lab certified for heavy metals & contaminants, which are always a consideration in autism. There may be other brands as well. EPA has been found to reduce the need for medication in bipolar disorder, and in depression/anxiety. It's possible that your son could reduce some of his meds w/EPA concentrate. One note of caution: EPA fish oil must NOT be used by anyone with bleeding problems or blood clotting abnormalities.
Be careful w/the Prozac. The SSRIs, and prozac esp., are Jekyll & Hyde drugs. They often work well at first, but as the brain changes in response to the drugs -- receptors and/or receptor sensitivity decrease, aggressiveness and/or impulsivity can increase. Our son has had bad experiences w/SSRIs that way. Which is why we've come over to the more alternative camp. His experiences on meds were uniformly nasty, typically a short honeymoon followed by hell.
Good luck! Hopefully you'll get to hear from a few more folks.
my son is on depakote, seraquel, lamictal , and remron for sleep. his behaviors are manageable now, but cheer up maybe your son will calm down soon too, my son 's behavior was horrid, he tried stabbing me with a butcher knife would attack me for no reason or if i was paying attention to my daughter, he didn't like that. too long of a story to post, but hang in there.it will get better.
hi,my son is 9(bit early for puberty) he has had a regression lately also.What has changed is that he also moved school the rest of his life has remained the same....
We are trying lots of drugs to try and aleviate the explosive temper but to no avail as yet.He definately seems more relaxed out of school which is weird as its an autistic unit???
hi gotitbad, my son also took risperdal it has a very unpleasent side effect obesity and male breast it raises the prolactin level, he has been off it for a year and the poor kid still has boobs and he is overweight, i am still trying to get a nutrtionist to help me with him he loves to eat. marissa
I also tried risiperdal last year when my son was at his old middle school and having a bad time there. It was a nightmare. He would cover his eyes and became more introverted. My husband took him to school one day and he wouldn't get out of car, then after getting out of the car he covered himself with his coat. My husband decided then and there that he was taking him back home. Because he was having a bad year in school we agreed to have him take the risiperdal because we were desparate. The school was a nightmare school and had no idea how to handle kids on the spectrum. When we took him to the doctor who prescribed the medicine she was horrifed by his introversion. This was a kid who always liked going to see her and playing with the toys in her office. It took 3 weeks to wean him off medicine that he was only on for a week and a half. Recently I saw an old acquaintance who has a 5 year old son who is diagnosed as bi-polar. He is on rispderal and seemed to be doing good. I told her about my son's experience and expressed my concern about her putting a child on this medicine who is so young. At 13 my son's brain is pretty much formed but a 5 year old? Some people have had success though, one boy who is the same age as my son and very low functioning and aggressive, has done well but he has gained so much weight he looks gross to me. I know some people think this is a miracle drug for autism but it is one that should be used with caution and be researched by the parent before agreeing to have the child prescribed it. I knew of the side effects and thought maybe a low dosage would be ok but I found out otherwise. Besides that it can drastically change the body chemistry of a child to become diabetic (a result of the weight gain). We all want our children to be happy, healthy and be able to function in society. This puberty thing is driving me crazy now but I can't sit back and see my child's long term health get damaged. I will continue to seek alternative methods and use drugs that have side effects that are not as devastating as risperadol. (sorry I never can get the spelling of this drug right)