Questions about medicating | Autism PDD


I agree medication becomes a quality of life issue for some kids.  My John is on risperdal and prozac for various issues.  We did everything else diet, supplements, chelation, etc.....but he needed something more to cope with his life.  I wish he didn't need meds, but in his case it was the right choice for him!!!!I feel we are at the point to medicate Damians adhd seems to be overcoming him and he cant calm down or controll himself. He seems very upset all the time because he cant even play with a toy he just cant focus. Im just nervous because of all the things that are said bad about them, but as he gets older I see if we dont help him soon he is going to be miserable his meltdowns are every 5 mins now and most of the time we cant even figure out what they are about because he goes from one thing to another so quick.Collin is on Risperdal as of now.  He is on a once day dose of .25 mg.  Its the lowest possible dose.  We were kind of hitting a brick wall with his behavior.  He was becomming more and more impossible and staring to abuse others and himself.  This has been wonderful for him.  It doesnt fix his behavior but it takes the edge off.  He can cool off a little easier and he is not so upset all the time so he is learning more.  It also helped very much with his sleep.  We started him on it originally at 3yrs 3mos, which is really young.  A lot of people get annoyed that we put such a young child on medication.  But I do have to say is each family to its own and what works for them.  We needed to do this for Collin, it was that or our loss of sanity and him being very distructive.  I am happy with our decision because he has learned so much in the last couple months, because instead of screaming and hitting he is learning.   HTH :)Im hearing alot about risperdal I think that is what we might try. Has anyone noticed any side affects and if so what are they?

I'll try ... I don't believe there is a medication for autism.  There are medications for some of the other conditions that sometimes accompany autism (ADHD, OCD, Tics).  In my youngest child, medication hasn't even been brought to the table.  In my middle son's case, Risperdal has been discussed briefly, but I'd rather not medicate - I don't think he needs it.  My oldest has been on a combination of Wellbutrin and Clonidin for 5 years, and I'm currently considering weaning him off or switching to something else, as he has frequent headaches and has recently had some major OCD thoughts.  But - he isn't on the spectrum.



Anyone??  Please?


Medication has always been a quality of life issue for our family.  My ds has been on a number of different med combo's and my dd as well.  My ds is 9y/o, PDD-NOS, ADHD, and probably BiPolar as well.  My dd is 8 y/o and VERY ADHD.  These are not life threatening issues of course, and so their medication is not an absolute necessity as such.  I think my sons case could be argued in favor of medical necessity though.

Prior to rispirdol at age 6 my son had regressed to the point of being basically non-functional.  He barely talked, raged constantly and screeched all the time. This med changed his life.  His brain began to work again and the quality of HIS life was completely changed for the better.  Over time we have tuned-up the meds and added 2 and he is now functing the best he ever has. ST/OT and RSP have done their job too and the intense stress for me is lifting and I feel like my deep depression is also finally leaving as well (nope I don't take meds). YEAH.

My dd is so full of energy that when the adderall wears off in the evening, she is moving and talking so fast I can't even understand her.  She has not always been on meds. Ritalin didn't work, concerta is the same thing, strattera made her a total witch.  So we went without most of the time.  She did ok at school.  But she is so impulsive that her decisions are very bad and has trouble with social.  Adderall is helping her to gain control over these things in a positive way.  For her the benefit of the drug over-rules any argument against.

It is difficult and scary to make a decision about medication when it is a choice.  There also may be practical reasons to not take a med, for instance some meds require blood work.  But some meds have been used in children for a very long time so more is known about them.  Sometimes, like for my son, there really is no real discussion needed, something has to be done.

I hope I've offered something helpful.


One of the side effects is drowsiness, thats why we give it to him before bed.  Another big one is weight gain, but we havent seen this on ourselves.  I dont know if its because it such a small dose or my son is super tiny anyways.  There are more but I dont think they are very common. 

The first time we medicated our son, he was 7. He was in first grade and in a self-contained, mixed disability classroom (inclusion was unheard of in our District back in 1998).  He had learned to read at grade level, which was not hard since he was still in first grade, but he was beginning to slip. When I worked with him at home, I noticed that he would hesitate on the oddest words, like "a" and "I." He would often simply stop reading a sentence he had started with no hesitation. As I observed this, it became clear to me that he was losing his place.  He was already dx'd with ADHD and we were putting up with the hyperactivity because we could deal with that using behavioral techniques, but the lack of focus was something nothing seemed to help with (including place markers on the page and colored acetates).  I just couldn't stand by and watch my son's academics go down the tubes.  Especially since his ability to read was outstripping his language and, because he is partially deaf, closed captioning was going to become important to him.  SO, we took him to our local expert in autism, a reknown child psychiatrist.  This expert listened to our concerns and confirmed that something like Ritalin might help immensely.  He told us he does not like to put children who are under 60 lbs on any meds, if it's possible to avoid them, but that our son was over 60 lbs (don't remember the weight -- probably 70) and that we could have a trial. The trial was successful.

Our son is now 16 years old and has many other issues that have come up over the years. He is on several meds for a variety of reasons.  At the recommendation of our psychiatrist (the same one), we have ALWAYS tried behavioral interventions at school and at home before trying any meds. We also have used the smallest possible doses and raised the meds very slowly when necessary over the years.  Our son's medication has helped him in ways no behavior plan or sensory program was ever able to do. However, we did and still do ALL the other things that CAN help. 

One of the MOST important things to do if you ever consider medication for your child is to go to a doctor who is an expert in autism.  Someone who works with autistic kids every single day.  Many times, kids on the spectrum have atypical reactions to medication, so you must go to someone who's btdt with our types of kids.  Also, this past summer, Risperdal was the first medication approved specifically for autism.  Of course, it doesn't take autism away, but it has a long history of being effective with autistic kids and addressing some of the issues our kids have.  I am certainly not recommendin that medication or any other, but thought this is something all of us should know about.

What are you medicating for?


This is long, sorry.

Well, I'm trying to decide if it is the way to go.  What is bringing this up now (which it has been brought up before and I've always dismissed it) is our IEP next week.  Our pre-school teacher is pretty great and we have a good working relationship.  Next year will be Chase's 3rd year of pre-school (with the same teacher) and it is in an all autistic class.  I keep wanting him to be in with typical kids, but I know in my heart he cannot sit or even be with typical kids without being a total disruption to the class.  This worries me as I see him at other places and he is ok, but definitely doesn't "get" how to hang out with other kids...

Ok, where I was going with this:  His IEP draft that we got yesterday has 4 goals. 

1.  Chase will attend to and participate in adut directed activities until completion or up to 10 minutes, 3 out of 4 activities.

2.  Chase will use targeted behaviors (e.g. request break, tap arm, or go to quiet area) to interact with his peers and express frustrations, 3 out of 4 opportunities.  a.  When Chase wants to interactwith a friend he will gently tap their arm to get their attention 3 out of 4 opportunities.  b.  Chase will choose from a list of strategies when frustrated (e.g. request a break or quiet area) 3/4 opportunities.

3.  Chase will answer questions using a word, signs/gesture, and/or picture symbol during structured activities when given a maximum of 2 cues 3/4 opportunities.

4.  Chase will use a single word/approximation from the target vocabulary list to label, request, and/or respond without cues 3/4 opportunities.

All of them have a. b. c. "short term objectives" that I didn't put in. 

When talking to the teacher, there aren't any academic because he has mastered the ones from last year and he knows everything he needs for kindergarten.  Its his behavior that is the most at issue now.  Its not only at school either.  That is what is bothersome to me.  He is aggressive out of the blue.  He'll be walking in the hallway and a child will be in the hallway going to his/her classroom and he reaches over and bites him/her.  He pushes at random and can't calm himself down most of the time. 

Chase is a wonderful loving child.  Not seeing him be able to concentrate at times is tough.  He will glaze over and zone or just go wild.  I am not trying to do this for us or me.  I am wondering if doing this will help him feel better.  I'm struggling with this.  One thing that helps is that my cousin who is now 15 is ADD.  I was 17 when he was born so I really remember well.  Chase is very much like he was at 4.  Ray is not autistic.  Ray has friends and is social, but his behaviors/concentration issues cause school issues.  My aunt after a long time of trying everything else has put him on Strattera and the results are amazing.  He is still Ray, but just having him at my house playing with the kids or talking is like night and day.  Its so noticable.  I keep wondering if this could possibly help Chase too.  I would like to do a trial period just to see and if it isn't any better, then at least I know.  I would hate though to have him have "goals" that physically aren't possible for him because he physically and mentally can't sit and participate in adult directed activities until completion or up to 10 minutes.  Ya know?  Oh and I have tried diet, OT, speech therapy, etc and while that helps tremendously, I have found lately that even at therapy he is more distant or disinterested...

We are looking at meds for his adhd it is very severe and causes Damian to truely seem uncontrollable. He has shown signs of adhd since he was 9 months old. He has terrible sleep issues and here is a good example last night we happily got him to sleep at 11pm well guess who was up and running none stop at 527am. Normally we cant get him to go to sleep until 2am so then he sleeps until almost 8 and occasionally alittle past 8 so we get him up for the bus and he sleeps until they get here and sleeps the whole way to school. We took him to a therpist hoping to get some help and all I heard was wow he is always this way, and he seems to be in misery that he cant stop. And he suggested that maybe some meds will give him a better quaility of life, we have always said no to the meds but now we are at our wits end we have no control over him he is none stop from the time he gets up till he sleeps. Even when he sleeps he is still constantly moving. Do yall think meds will help?They will help, but the BEST thing to do, whether or not you medicate him (he really IS small for this) is to get training in positive behavioral intervention and put him on a behavior plan.  ALso, get as much sensory integration therapy as you can and learn to address his sensory needs at home, too.  Sensory Integration Dysfuntion is almost universal in ASD and it is at the foundation of ADHD, too.  SOme kids are sensitive to some foods.  There are studies that say that sugar doesn't affect kids, but many moms who'd swear otherwise. I would learn what calms him down and make sure he gets plenty of fresh air and exercise with NO exciting activities within a couple of hours of bedtime.  If he doesn't sleep well, consider the OTC  supplement Melatonin in probably a half mg level.  Getting decent sleep helps with ADHD.  Ritalin and other stimulants have been given to very young children, but they are appetite suppressants and some kids won't eat on them.  That is WHY our doctor won't give them to kids under 60 lbs.  Their bodies are too small to afford to lost much weight. But that can be monitored.  STill, I'd put ALL the above suggestions in place before meds are tried.  Also, read The OUt of SYnc Child


Thank you for your valuable input.  We have a very well known and intelligent Ped Neurologist.  I trust him so much.  Last year he told me at our last appointment that he wouldn't even dream of meds unless his uncontrolled behavior was across the board at school, home and anywhere else.  Since most of the time it was only at school, I didn't think twice about it.  This year, it seems like something else is on his mind most of the time.  Chase gets a LOT of sensory input at school, therapy AND at home.  My house is a sensory heaven for him.  I even let him ride around on a tricycle around the house!  Oh and his sister is conveniently tagging along (see the pic!) where he gets to have to use even more pressure to carry her too.  Sometimes a net swing will calm him down and its all he needs, but that isn't always the case.  At school they have swings too, but he likes the jumping/rocking horse there most!  He also has a pecs picture at school for when he needs a "break" and he can then go to rest on a recliner and read or on the rocking chair, etc.  Then he is too smart and will start to abuse it so he doesn't have to work.  I need to call his neuro and have a conversation with him.  Again, thanks!

If you made the decision to use medication for your child, how did you go about it?  Was there a final straw or something that just built upon itself? 

How old was your child? 

Does it work?

Just a clarification...Cranio-Sacral therapy is mentioned twice on the list.  This method of manual treatment was developed by doctors in the osteopathic profession.  The second definition on the above list is more accurate.  It is not specifically a form of myofascial therapy or release.  It is a very subtle highly specialized form of manipulative medicine where the practitioner works to correct certain misalignments and imbalances in the body.  The theory is that the bones of the skull although connected by sutures still have subtle movement as does the sacrum.  These two regions are attached by the spine, and the brain and spinal cord are bathed in cerebrospinal fluid.  If there is an injury or other insult to the body it can cause an imbalance in this delicate system of movement and CSF flow thereby resulting in problems or symptoms in the body.  OVERSIMPLIFIED!!!HEY THAT IS A GREAT LIST//WHERE DID YOU GET IT?I REALLY NEED IT,ALONG WITH TZOYA'S...PLEASE LET ME KNOW

  Thanks we have gone back to the Dr to work on the dosage.



Recent article on Risperdal:


Release Date:January 30, 2007

Antipsychotic Drug Controls Some Symptoms in Autism Disorder

By Kurt Ullman, Contributing Writer
Health Behavior News Service

Risperidone, a drug used to control schizophrenia symptoms, may also help treat behaviors found in autism spectrum disorder, according to a new review of studies.

The reviewers looked at three randomized, placebo-controlled studies of risperidone (Risperdal) involving 211 participants, including 31 adults.

"[We found] that risperidone may be beneficial for various aspects of autism including irritability, repetition and hyperactivity," said researchers led by Dr. Ora Jesner of the University of Bristol, in England. But the drug's benefits may be offset by its side effects, with weight gain the most prominent.

Often diagnosed within the first three years of life, autism spectrum disorder leads to difficulties with social relationships, language and communication skills. Symptoms include withdrawal from social interactions, irritability, problems communicating and repetitive behaviors.

It is known as a "spectrum" disorder because there is a wide variation in how it affects individuals. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that as many as 1.5 million Americans may have some form of the disorder.

"Autism spectrum disorder affects many families worldwide," Jesner said. "At present many of the interventions available are not evidence-based." He said he and co-author Dr. Mehrnoosh Aref-Adib "wanted to analyze the evidence for one important antipsychotic [drug] used for the condition."

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Because of the small number of studies, wide range of different scales used to assess outcomes and sizes of the trials themselves, the researchers were only able to look at how well the patients responded for the three specific symptoms of irritability, repetitive movement and social withdrawal.

In addition to weight gain, significant side effects included involuntary muscle movements. As the studies were of short duration, long-term side effects and usefulness remain unknown. Since risperidone does not cure the disorder and may have to be continued for a long period of time, this is an important missing piece.

Susan Levy, M.D., director of the Regional Autism Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said that the authors' weak support for the medication in the conclusion surprised her.

"The researchers seemed to be lukewarm towards their positive findings," said Levy, who was not involved with the study. "From my personal experience, this medication can be quite helpful for behavioral difficulties."

The Cochrane reviewers and Levy stress that parents and caregivers should be careful about expecting too much from the medication when talking about this treatment with their doctors. Not all behavioral problems can be helped with risperidone and both side effects and improvements from the drug should be considered.

"As ASD is diagnosed at a young age and these short trials lack long-term data, parents or caregivers need to be aware it is not known how long the medication needs to be continued potentially for a lifetime," the researchers said. "This is particularly important given the side effects."

Levy termed risperidone "a more serious medication" that she would reserve for more serious difficulties.

"It needs to be stressed to the parents and others that this is not a cure for autism or for the core symptoms of ASD," Levy said. "But it works well for some of the associated problems."

# # #

Health Behavior News Service: Lisa Esposito, Editor, at (202) 387-2829 or

Jesner OS, Aref-Adib M, Coren E. Risperidone for autism spectrum disorder (Review).
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 1.

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international nonprofit, independent organization that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. Visit for more information.

Health Behavior News Service: (202) 387-2829 or

Center for the Advancement of Health
Health Behavior News Service
Contact: Lisa Esposito, Editor

Here is a list of all the most popular medications and treatments for Autisic symptoms:


Autism FAQ - Treatment

See also the comments below under "Controversies".

There is no standard, universally accepted treatment of autism; in fact, every single method has its detractors. General approaches may be summarized as follows:

Note: Many of the programs mentioned above also use other approaches to some degree and an attempt was made to place them in the most appropriate category.

The literature seems to show that food allergies and the possibility of candida should be checked immediately because a significant number of children may be autistic because of these problems which can be controlled through drugs or diet. As far as other kinds of drug therapy are concerned, there is no drug that is universally successful in treating autistic symptoms and that in some cases usually useful drugs may produce negative results and vice-versa. Vitamin B6 with magnesium and some other vitamins and DMG produce positive results in many cases.

Any educational program (SI,AIT, psychotherapy, behavioral, etc), if done intensively, produces some positive results. There are rare cases of recovery claimed by every educational method. In addition, some methods have been reported by parents as producing negative results.

Behavioral approaches are backed by scientific studies as well as anecdotal evidence. The best known, because of the amount of related scientific literature, are Lovaas' version of discrete trial and the North Carolina TEACCH programs. Both are very structured programs with a lot of positive reinforcement, two factors which seem to important.

Clearly, it is important to have centers of expertise for PDD, autism, and related disorders in order to help families and school boards in experimenting and choosing the right therapy for each child.

Note: this list is far from complete at this time and misses some well-known treatments.

Vitamin B6
Some have attributed some success in reducing the characteristic symptoms of autistics through the ingestion of large amounts of Vitamin B6. Bernard Rimland pursued this line of investigation. Magnesium is given with it. I think the reason is that high vitamin B6 tends to deplete the body's magnesium. Suggestions have been that it reduces hyperactivity and obsessive/compulsive behaviors. To make it usable with small children, at least one company provides it in powder form.
dimethylglycine (DMG)
Bernard Rimland pursued this line of investigation. Suggestions are that it sometimes helps autistics with speech & with their attention span. DMG does not require a prescription in the US, being considered a food supplement (once called vitamin B-16, but it was ruled not a vitamin because no specific medical problem is associated with a deficiency of it.) The health food store people say that it is supposed to increase "oxygen uptake" by the blood stream and athletes sometimes take it for that reason.
Eliminating dietary gluten/casein
For some children, the effects of this intervention are obvious to their parents within hours or days. Children who seem to respond most dramatically to the removal of dairy have a history of ear infections, inconsolable crying, poor sleeping patterns, and excessive craving of milk and dairy foods. Gluten intolerance is generally indicated by loose stools and/or a craving for bread and pasta. This is a relatively harmless intervention and should be attempted as soon as possible, to see if a child does respond. If so, further exploration into biochemical treatment is recommended.
A drug that decreases blood serotonin concentrations. Some autistics have abnormally high blood serotonin concentrations so experiments were carried out to see if this drug affected the behavior of such autistics (or other autistics). Some success was reported. Dr. Edward R. Ritvo pursued this line of research.
Periactin (AKA cyproheptadine)
Another drug that decreases serotonin concentrations. This drug is normally used as an antihistamine but because of its additional affect on serotonin, has been tried on autistics.
Has shown promise in helping autistic children become more talkative, sociable, less aggressive and have an increased attention span. Available without prescription.
Auditory Integration Training (AIT)
A method of changing a person's sensitivity to sound at different frequencies. It was originally developed to combat the onset of some kinds of deafness, but was tried on an autistic child and cured her. Since then it has not produced any cures, but has been credited with success in reducing some of the symptoms of some children. In particular, some autistic children show a strong aversion to some sounds, and with Auditory Integration Training have lost their aversion and exhibited other reductions in the symptoms of autism. There are two methods of AIT, the Tomatis and the Berrard. They are different enough that they should perhaps be considered different therapies.
Tomatis Method
A kind of AIT developed by Alfred Tomatis. Over several weeks, the person listens to classical music with the low frequencies filtered out. Over time, voices (also filtered) are introduced, then the missing frequencies. Treatment requires weeks, typically 2 hours of listening a day.
Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT)
A method of helping people who are her oversensitive to the 5 senses by overwhelming them with sensory experiences, e.g. swing them, roll them, get them jumping and spinning. Usually provided by occupational therapists who have learned the method.
Holding Therapy
Martha Welch is the primary proponent who argues that autism results from a failure to bond with the child. The child is forcibly held by the mother. Both Temple Grandin and Bernard Rimland have argued that it provides sensory stimulation and the psychogenic basis is erroneous. Temple Grandin has stated that forced holding is not necessary. under such a theory, Holding Therapy can be classified as a kind of sensory stimulation.
Behavioral Therapy
(also "Lovaas Method", "Behavioral Intervention", "Applied Behavioral Analysis" (ABA), "Discrete Trial Training" (DTT)) Use of behavior modification (a.k.a. operant conditioning) which was originally developed by B.F. Skinner (a prime developer of Behavioral Psychology) outside the purvue of autism. Lovaas and other psychologists adapted it as a therapy/educational method for autistic children, and it is his adaptation which is known as The Lovaas Method or DTT. Catherine Maurice's book Let Me Hear Your Voice is an account of two children recovering from Autism through use of this method, and Lovaas's The Me Book and Maurice's Behavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism are a widely used handbooks for this type of method. Behavioral Therapy now has a lot of adherents who are vociferous in their claims that it is the only method with a study (complete with control group) documenting its success rate. The study is documented in Lovaas's paper "Behavioral Treatment of Normal Educational and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children". Detractors of the method claim that participants of the study were not truly autistic, that the children are turned into robots, and that the method is dehumanizing and severe. The method also arouses controversy in cases where adherents use of punishment & aversives to decrease self-destructive behaviors. (See more complete citations to the above-mentioned books and paper in the section below: "Bibliography").
Term for employment of punishment. One class of aversive would be physical pain though the term is not specific to that. Use of aversives in the treatment of autistic or any children is a very controversial topic (see "Controversies".). Many condemn all use (or probably more specifically, all use of pain as an aversive) and some say there are alternatives that are always equally or more effective. Proponents say selected employment has produced immediate positive results that has saved the lives of autistic children inclined to continuous self-injurious behavior who have resisted all the non-aversive alternatives. They also say experience has shown that the degree of pain required is often so little as to defy logic: a very slight pain or something not painful can often stop a child from engaging in very painful self-injury.
Natural Language Paradigm (NLP)
A behavior intervention, thus could be classed with the Lovaas method, though there are differences. A source of information on it is Koegel & Koegel's book. A newer name for this is "Pivotal Response Training".
Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
Newer name for "Natural Language Paradigm".
Irlen Lenses
Developed to treat dyslexia and other learning disabilities, the use of coloured lenses to treat the visual processing difficulties of people with autism is relatively new (1994). It has been popularized by Donna Williams (author of Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere).
Prism Lenses
Lenses in glasses that are prisms: thicker at one edge than the opposite edge.
Social skills training and social stories
Teaching verbal individuals (including those called "high functioning" and "Asperger's") many of the unwritten social rules and body language signals that people use in social interaction and conversation. Carol Gray uses a technique called "social stories" to help illustrate these social rules in a variety of situations and appropriate responses. Social stories and "scripting" are also used with nonverbal individuals to teach appropriate responses and prepare the individual for transitions. In very young child, they may be in the form of photographs or pictures.
Anafranil (cloripramine)
a tricyclic antidepressant which may relieve some symptoms of autism.
a tricyclic antidepressant.
Zoloft (sertraline)
Second-generation antidepressant (SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Studies on SSRIs reveal significant improvement in perseverative behaviors and some other autistic spectrum symptoms (social withdrawal, behavioral rigidity, etc.).
Ritalin (methylphenidate)
one of a group of stimulants which include amphetamine, amantidine and fenfluramine. it can sometimes be very effective for certain hyperactive children (so much so that it gets overused for others). See also "Dexedrine".
Ritalin SR
used to treat ADD and ADHD in the same way as Ritalin. Likely used less than Ritalin because its name is associated with drug abuse. One develops a tolerance for both drugs so that increases in dosage over time are often necessary to maintain their effect.
a lot of treatments on this list come under the general heading of psychology (in its most general sense, perhaps all do). There are parents of autistic children for whom "psychology" is a dirty word because they associate it with theories and treatments of autism which hypothesize bad parenting, e.g. lack of bonding between mother and child (see "History" section below). Treatments associated with such theories include Psychotherapy and Holding Therapy. Other therapies in this list (such as Behavioral Therapy) clearly fall under the heading of Psychology, yet are certainly not predicated on any "bad parenting" theory.
See "Psychology" above, and "History" section below.
Psychodynamic Therapy/Psycho-dynamic Therapy
I'm not certain whether this term is used for a specific therapy, but I've seen it used for what might be termed Psychotherapy and related kinds of therapy. (see "Psychology" above and "History" section below).
SRRI "Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor"
A class of psychoactive drugs that includes Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and Paxil (paroxetine), part of a larger class of such drugs that also includes non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Serotonin is a brain chemical released by neurons and "reuptaken" by neurons.
Prozac (fluoxetine)
Also an SRRI (see Zoloft). Studies have been done.
From American Health October, 1993: Washington: Psychiatrists at the National Institute of Mental Health have found that clomipramine, an antidepressant, also relieves many of the symptoms of autism, a severe developmental disorder. Patients' ability to interact with others is much improved.
Normally used to regulate blood pressure and perhaps other purposes. It is used for ADD children at suppertime or bedtime to help them attend to evening activities and to settle down sufficiently to get enough sleep.
Dilantin (phenytoin)
an anti-convulsant used for seizures when others do not work. It is usually avoided in children due to possible serious side effects during development.
a salt used primarily to treat bipolar disorder, also used in other, possibly related conditions including autism.
? (oral version of naloxone) a narcotic antagonist reported by Lensing & Panksepp to have a dramatic and global effect on autism. Hypothesis: In the late 70's and early 80's several of scientists suggested that the behavior of some autistic individuals sometimes resembles the behavior of people stoned on hard drugs (heroin, morphine, etc): little sociability, fixes on strange objects, little or no pain sensation, no interest in life, states of euphoria, etc. It was suggested that perhaps these autistic individuals have, for whatever reason, an excess of pleasure, painkilling hormones in the brain such as endorphines to which they are addicted (like joggers to joggers' high which is produced by endorphines). As a result they may require/desire a minimum dose every day and that the self-stim and/or auto-aggression may be ways to produce these hormones and satisfy the craving. Naltrexone's effect: Naltrexone blocks the effects of drugs such as heroin and morphine on the brain and has been used since the early 70's for drug addicts. Therefore, naltrexone should also block the effects of the natural hormones such as endorphines. (Morphine apparently is very close in structure to and simulates the endorphines.). A number of very well controlled studies on the effect of naltrexone on autistic traits and deficiencies have been published. Nearly all indicate some positive results for many of the test subjects: less auto-aggression, less hyperactivity, more sociability, more communication, etc. Not all the studies report all of these effects but most report some positives.
Play Therapy
Roughly consists of therapist playing with child while talking to the child and trying to induce the child to talk. The goal is to help the child acquire language and the working knowledge of every day life we all require. The method is to use play, which is a component of a typical child's language acquisition, in conjunction with constant interaction with a therapist. Play therapy has been used for autistic children and children with emotional disturbances.
A hormone that has a role in the immune system and in controlling ones sleepcycle. It is sometimes given to children who have trouble sleeping at night. For that reason and others, it has been tried on Autistic children. Lately a lot of claims have been made about the benefits of melatonin for a variety things.
Haldol (haloperidol)
a neuroleptic which is used to abate symptoms of psychosis.
the trade name for Naltrexone.
Vision Integration Therapy
Craniel Sacral Therapy
a form of myofacial release performed by physical therapists and osteopaths.
Cognative approaches
Luvox (fluxovamine)
Antidepressant which is being used for obsessive compulsive disorder and in some cases autism.
a steroid. It and other steroids are used when Landau Kleffner Syndrome is suspected, but there have been reports of children responding to steroids even though they don't have the classic EEG findings of LKS and their language disability was always present.
EPD (Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization) shots
Sort of homeopathic brew of stuff that your allegric/sensitive to and it is given in shot form once every 6-8 weeks. It is being used for people with multiple chemical/environmental sensitivities/ADD/ADHD/Autism.
brain stimulation activities for brain-injured children developed by Glenn Doman and Carl Delacatto. It involves cross-patterning, patterning and sensory exercises developed to enhance memory and processing.
Dolphin Therapy (or Dolphin-Assisted Therapy)
I can't give details, but involves being in a tank with a dolphin or dolphins. Used for Autism, Down's Syndrome, ADD, Muscular Dystrophy and spinal cord injuries among other disabilities. Researchers in the field include Dr. Betsy Smith (Florida International University) and Dr. John Lilly.
Therapy Dogs
experimental therapy to see if teaching children with disabilities to learn typical human/pet interaction is of use.
Risperdol (risperidone)
(Risperdal?) anti-dopanine agent which also works against serotonin. A neuroleptic.
Epsom Salt Baths
see Phenolsulphertransferase (PST) deficiency in section "Theories and Causes".
Dimethyl Amino Ethanol (DMAE)
A food substance (abundant in fish) said to effect mood, memory, and learning. Sold as a nutritional supplement by some health-food outfits.
Ginko Bilboa supplements
Cranio-Scaral Therapy
Involves unlocking certain areas in the body that are blocked in order for the cerebral spinal fluid to flow correctly. Among the practicioners are some chiropractors.
Drug used to prevent seizures, also sometimes used for autistic symptoms.
Nizoral (ketoconazole)
Anitfungal medication used in the treatment of candida and other yeast infections.
Anitfungal medication used in the treatment of candida and other yeast infections.
Folic Acid
Eliminating dietary yeast
Music Therapy
Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IGIV, IgIV, or IVIG)
IV solution something like a blood transfusion, but uses only a solution made from donated blood rather than whole blood. Used to address certain immune-system problems.
Intravenous Gamma Globulin (IVIgG)
A treatment for autism based upon the theory that autism can be caused by an autoimmune condition in the brain. The treatment is generally confined to patients who show a positive response to Myelin Basic Protein, a protein component of brain myelin.
Clonazepam (Klonopin)
Drug used to treat hyperactivity.
MST Surgery
Surgery typically done for LKS children, but has been used with autistic children for whom intractible seizures appear to be a cause.
Secretin infusion
Experimental treatment reported to have helped autistic children. Secretin is a hormone involved in digestion.
Intervention method developed by Stanley Greenspan for developmentally disabled children including autistic children. Stanley Greenspan has a series of books including The Challenging Child and The Child With Special Needs.
Wow -- This is a GREAT list!  Where did you get it?

[QUOTE=tzoya]Wow -- This is a GREAT list!  Where did you get it?[/QUOTE]

uuummmmm....I'll have to figure that out and let ya know. It was a link from a link from a link from a list of web sites from....someplace

Yeah, I do notice that if Chase is hungry or stressed that he just can't communicate at all.  It makes it that more difficult.

Humble family doc here...

Each patient, each person, child or adult is different.  Each should be evaluated based on their individual diagnosis, behaviors, signs, symptoms, etc.  A complete physical should always be the first step.  Assuming this has already been done, then all reasonable approaches should be tried.  I believe Tzoya mentioned a Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan.  I absolutely agree with this.  But it must be done across the board, at school and at home, and it will take some time to see results.  If you stick with it, and there are still aggressive behaviors coming out of the blue, then I would seriously consider a trial of medication.  Just make sure that you are working with a physician who is very experienced with prescribing medications for young children with autism and related issues.  You do not want to be working with a "pill pusher".

Medications get a bad name because they have been overprescribed in all fields of medicine, and many docs have used them as a "crutch" so to speak.  But that does not change the fact that some children, as well as adults, would very much benefit from a particular prescription.

Do what you think is best based on all of the facts.  You can always change course later.

Good luck!

When we started meds the first time at 4yo with my son---the decision was based on his aggressiveness and outbursts that had started in school. We had already gotten used to them at home ever since he was 18 mo.

At that time he was dx with anxiety and put on SSRI's. He couldn't take those(mania) and at 5y and a new psychiatrist, dx him with anxiety, bipolar and poss ASD. We started the bipolar med route. At 6y and nothing had REALLY helped--except risperdal, he was dx with ASD also then. Took him off all meds and went to DAN dr. Within 3 mo, had to put him back on risperdal. His rages were over an hour and all horribly physical. After an attack on his neuropsych that lasted a good 90 min with restraining, the decision was made to restart the risp. This was only just last May. By Aug---I wanted to be done worrying about his impulsiveness. He would open the van door to say hi to someone he knew walking down the street. And this is on a normal 35mph road!! Very impulsive. Never "thought", only "acted". Fun, fun, fun!!!

I asked our pdoc about ADHD meds. But since he had the bipolar dx---the chance was really low it would work. He had already tried Adderall in the past, which made his anxiety/OCD really high.

We decided to try Strattera--non-stimulant for ADHD-type behaviors. It's not suppose to work for about 3 weeks. We saw changes in 1 day. Anxiety went up. We made it thru it and now, after 5 months on it---he is a different child. Occas impulsive---especially when mad, but nothing like he was before.

Last year at school, he was a terror. He never was able to learn anything. Very aggressive and destructive. This year--new school and was able to READ after 2 weeks in school. His brain was finally able to "slow-down" so he could learn! After not knowing all the letters in the alphabet or any sounds------he was READING in 2 weeks!!! Something must had gone into his brain last year!! And we finally were able to open the door and let the knowledge out!

Now---yes, he is the same kid. Some bad days, some good days. Since Thanksgiving break, then 5 snow days, then Christmas break, then no electricity, etc. He has not been able to transition back well. (we live in WA state--bad this year)


Holly,  Thank you for your story.My daughter was only 2 when when she was put on meds. We went through several before we found one that worked for her. Currently she takes seroquel and metadate. I never would have thought I would give my child this type of medication at such a young age but she couldn't even stand to be in a room with more than one person. The talking and moving of everyone is very overwhelming for her. The decision to medicate was only for her quality of life. I can deal with just about any behavior problem but she was miserable. She's been on the meds for about 6 mths now and she is alot happier.


Hi Chasesmom,

      I laughed so hard when I read about Chase, my daughter came running to see what was going on.  He is just like my son has been lately.  We have been trying my neighbourhood public school without a self contained room since the begining of January.  We had 2 episodes of biting and other stuff.  He got more aggressive at home as well.  They kept saying without provocation. I studied the situation to see what was causing it. 

      My son has limited spontaneous verbal skill, this diminishes even further when he is hungry or stressed.  At home I observed that this happens when he is hungry or is scared I am leaving the house without him.  As for school, I don't think anyone has the patience or time to handle it the way I do.  He is better at home now.  Information I gathered from this site helped me.  Here is the link.  Good luck.

PS! He is on medication for agression.  It used to work.  I don't know what to think.