Medications & Autism

Medications.  Should I or shouldn’t I?  Many families struggle with this question.  From my perspective, there is no right or wrong answer.  When the suggestion to consider medication was first made to me, I immediately said, “Let’s give it a try.”

Ryan was working intensely in an ABA program, and I hoped that medication might help with some of his challenging behaviors, such as hyperactivity and sleep problems.  I knew that medicine would not eliminate these behaviors, but I anticipated that Ryan would be more focused and would be able to sleep at night.  With Ryan’s behavioral and sleep data as a baseline, I was able to measure whether there were improvements.  Ryan was definitely more focused and able to stay on task for longer periods of time.  He slept better at night, and so did I. 

Over time, various medications were introduced for his impulsivity, repetitive behaviors and anxiety.  We worked very closely with our physician so that we could readily identify which treatments were helping and which weren’t.  It is essential that whatever your decision, you work closely with your healthcare provider to help you decide what’s best for your child and your family.

For those of you who reside in the Erie area, the Barber National Institute and Joseph Barber, MD are giving you a great opportunity to get your medication questions answered!  You are invited to the BNI Forum this Wednesday, July 11, 6-7:15 p.m. for Dr. Barber’s presentation “Medication Intervention Options of Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Dr. Barber, a pediatric neurologist will discuss medication for children with autism and when medication is necessary, as well as risks and benefits.

This lecture is free and open to the public; however reservations are appreciated.

Please call (814) 480-6831 or visit the BNI website to register.  Act 48 credit is available upon request.

For more information about pharmacological intervention for the treatment of ASD, please see the Erie Pediatrics blog or Autism Speaks.

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2 Responses to Medications & Autism

  1. Sallie Newsham says:

    Maureen, Sharing your valuable experiences with Ryan is a wonderful thing to do. I can imagine you are helping so many people. Tell him I said, “Hello.” 🙂

  2. I hope so as that way my reason to begin blogging. I will definitely tell Ryan “Hi from Mrs. Newsham!”

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