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Willstrideryder 01-26-2007 01:31 PM

Bipolar and autism
Does anyone know how to tell if your kid with autism has bipolar? I know bipolar manifests itself differently in children. Bipolar runs in my family and with our 7 year old's behavior lately, it makes me wonder. We'll be seeing the doc in 2 weeks. He was doing so well on his Concerta, and now it's like he's back to how he was before he started meds--plus more symptoms. It's so complex...he's only been on concerta for 4 months. Any ideas are welcome! Maybe he's built up a tolerance??

GatsbyLuvr1920 01-26-2007 02:05 PM

Re: Bipolar and autism
Stimulants like Concerta do tend to make children's bipolar disorder worse. The biggest thing is why he has mood swings. If he's only having mood swings that correlate to a sensory issue, disruption in routine/change, or "special interest," then this is the autism. If, however, he's having pervasive mood swings (for example, always being depressed, no matter what the circumstance is), then this indicates possible bipolar disorder. Bipolar people cannot "switch" off their moods. Autistic mood swings are turbulent, but usually quick-lived; bipolar mood swings are not. Plus, if you see any obvious psychotic symptoms, then this definitely suggests bipolar mania. You should definitely ask your son's psychologist to analyze his behavior thoroughly to determine whether he does indeed have comorbid bipolar disorder. Good luck, God bless, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask! :angel:

BetsyAnn 01-26-2007 03:03 PM

Re: Bipolar and autism
My autistic son is not bipolar but his 9 year old brother is. He had been on Concerta for adhd. Initially it help tremendously. Then it would help with some issues but seemed to "fuel" the "bi-polar fire." He is now on a mood stabilizer (lamictal) and doing much better. Even with the mood stabilizer he can not tolerate the Concerta. It does help with some areas but it almost causes him psychosis.

GatsbyLuvr1920 01-26-2007 10:35 PM

Re: Bipolar and autism
BetsyAnn- That's a very common way for the bipolar disorder to manifest itself. At first, it appears to be ADHD, but once the child is put on the stimulant, the (hypo)manic symptoms occur, and it's discovered that it wasn't ADHD after all. I'm glad to hear that the Lamictal is helping him. It's a great medication. I take it for my Asperger's mood swings. It has helped me immensely. I can actually get through most days with being able to tolerate people! :D

BetsyAnn 01-27-2007 06:57 AM

Re: Bipolar and autism
Hi GatsbyLuvr1920. I agree that Lamictal is a great medication. I feel it allows my son to be in charge of his behavior. Before he was at the mercy of the bi-polar disorder and the anxiety. Now he chooses how to behave.
I am glad that you are having sucess with it also.

Payne's Mom 03-21-2007 12:29 PM

Re: Bipolar and autism
My son is PDD-NOS & bipolar. He takes Lamictal, Risperdal, Topamax, Clonidine, Prozac & Phenergan.

I am bipolar as well - used to take Lamictal, but don't anymore.

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