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Old 07-03-2007, 07:37 AM   #1
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I think my son may have ADHD as well & medication question

Is it common for a child with autism to show signs of being extremely hyper sometimes...and then snap out of it and be just fine?

My 6-year-old sees himself in the mirror and goes ape...like he's in a movie or something....he immediately starts acting out.

This behavior can be very disruptive. There doesn't seem to be anything we can do to calm him down. It just gets worse...and then eventually tapers off.

Part of it is that he's out of his normal school routine and on summer break. His behavior has been worse....his obsessions with objects intensified.

Secondly, I've struggled for a long time about medication. Should I? Shouldn't I? I go back and forth a million times. I do think he needs something......even if we got a prescription of something, how would he take it if it's pill form and he has sensitivity to texture and wouldn't be able to swallow a pill??

 
Old 07-03-2007, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: I think my son may have ADHD as well & medication question

Hi Mrs. M.,

Kids on the spectrum are prone to a number of co-existing conditions, including ADHD. However, the symptoms you mention may or may not be related to ADHD.

Meds for our kids can be tricky. It's not uncommon for a standard ADHD med like, say, Adderall, to make some symptoms better & other symptoms worse.

In our own experience, even tiny doses (1.25 mg -- 1/4 of the lowest dose tablet) of Adderall improved our son's concentration, but greatly increased anxiety (including precipitating never-before-seen panic attacks), increased obsessions, and increased irritability, to the point where the "cost" was greater than the benefit. Adding on other meds to "counterbalance" the stimulant was a similar experience. My son is unmedicated after having been tried on 4 diff psych meds & some combos of the same.

Many of our kids metabolize meds differently from the "average populations" that the meds were standardized on. It's part of the physiological aspect of autism. Parents who try meds & find success are often disheartened to learn that a few months down the line, the meds "poop out," cease to be effective. This is because in part, putting stimulants or SSRIs or antipsychotics into a brain -- particularly a developing brain -- sets off a chain reaction whereby the brain downregulates in some cases, upregulates other cases, receptors & receptor sensitivity, neurotransmitter production, and other stuff.

The long & short of it is, psych meds for any kid is pretty much a trial & error deal. If you decide to go this route, seek out a prescriber who is familiar not just with the meds & the incentives offered by Big Pharma, but one who is very familiar with & experienced in dealing with autistic kids. When a med is recommended, research it. Ask the prescriber point-blank questions regarding short-term, and potential long-term side effects. Ask about the common side-effects,as well as those that are rare.

Remember that,as parent, you consult with the experts, you may take a piece of paper, but that does not obligate you. Particularly in the area of child psychiatry, where much remains to be elucidated in a scientific fashion. I've had more than one child psych tell us," you put a kid in a room full of 100 psychiatrists & you'll get almost that many different diagnoses & different opinions on how to treat."

For my bucks, with what you are describing ... behavior that a kid snaps out of ... I would look into sensory sensitivity issues & behavioral training, if that hasn't already been done, before jumping onto the med bandwagon.

Many kids are also helped by biomedical interventions, diet & supplements. My son among them. Another alley to visit sometime if you've got the inclination.

Best wishes.

PS. Many meds are available in liquid form, & some can be chomped. If swallowing tablets were the only available option, we wouldn't have 18 mo. old babies being prescribed antipsychotics ...

Last edited by elmhar; 07-03-2007 at 10:19 AM.

 
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: I think my son may have ADHD as well & medication question

It really doesn't sound like ADHD to me. ADHD is more like a scattered, disorganized, hyper type of thing; his problem sounds like a typical autistic meltdown. Something's "overloading" his sensory or emotional tolerance, and he can't deal with it.

I have Asperger's+ADHD(inattentive); and for me, ADHD causes trouble concentrating and planning things. I'm trying stimulant meds; but the above post is right--our bodies react differently to different medications. For example, on Ritalin, I sleep better!--despite that one of its most common side effects is insomnia. Aspirin makes me sleepy... Tylenol has absolutely no effect on any pain I'm feeling... I stayed awake through my wisdom tooth extraction, despite being supposed to be under (but it didn't hurt because they used Novocaine, too)... I have to take double doses of some things, and tiny quarter-doses of other things... It's ridiculous.

Be willing to try meds; but be willing to get off them too, if they don't work.

 
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