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Medication advice

jacks-mommy's picture

Medication advice

Fri 6 May 2011 3:16pm
my son has been diagnosed with acute autism as well as ocd and anxiety. he is on abilify to help with the irritability from teh autism, i need advice on what medicine is good to help with his anxiety.

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  • MikeS's picture

    Hi jacks-mommy,

    Welcome to the community :). I'm sure one of our members will be able to help you with this. You might want to also take a look at the Support section of the Ambitious about Autism website which contains lots of useful information and advice for parents with children on the spectrum.

    - Mike 

    Mike Stuart
    Community Manager
    Talk about Autism 

    Mike - Former Community Manager
  • damo73's picture


    How old is you son?  Personally, I am not a fan of psycho-pharmaceuticals, and there is no medication for autism as such.  Having said that, accompanying difficulties may be helped - I would tred very carefully though!

    Damian - Community Champion

    Damian - Retired Community Champion
  • asteroids's picture


    My views are much the same as Damian's. I would prefer to investigate the causes of the anxiety and address those rather than use medication. It may be that, having identified the causes, medication is appropriate as part of a range of strategies.

    Asteroids Sara - Community Champion

    Asteroids Sara
  • jacks-mommy's picture

    yes i understand what both of you are saying im not pro medication at all i was just looking for some insight into the matter. i wasnt sure if someone knew a child with similar issues. Hes 6 years old and that makes me want to not test meds on him i saw what the adderol did to him and i dont want to have to go through the pain of watching my child have a meltdown like that just heartbreaking. but in addition to his nuerologist i also made him an appointment with a psychiarist to help address the anxiety issues. I myself have suffered from anxiety and was medicated for years and became addicted to my medication (almost 7 years clean) so i dont want to have to take that route with my son if avoidable. thank you both for your imput though.

  • bumblebee's picture


    Welcome to the forum :0)

    I agree with Sara that not only should the reasons for the anxiety be looked into thouroughly, but also that medication alone can be very unhelpful as without the additional input of therapy, all that can really happen is a tendency to rely on meds to cope without learning vital strategies to deal with situations.

    Having said that, my daughter has Aspergers and anxiety disorder, she also has ADHD and is medicated for both the anxiety and the ADHD. Doing so has turned her life around and she no longer feels like life is pointless and is thriving... She is getting therapeutic input too and is in a specialist school which is really helping, however I do feel that she is no where near ready to come off the meds yet... I'd do some research into what therapies are available for anxiety in your area and look into getting your child thouroughly assessed before considering medication... My daughter was on another medication for her anxiety before this one and it really didnt help - infact could have made her worse so its no easy decision to make... I hope this helps :0)

    Claire - Community Champion

  • SusanTerry's picture
    Hi, may I suggest you consider homeopathic treatment ? This can often be very effective in helping with the behavioural and emotional issues associated with ASD. Have a look at and consider getting the book 'A Drug Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism' by Judith and Robert Reichenberg Ullman. It is often possible to get a secondhand copy of this book on Amazon. There are other websitse etc that I could suggest to you if you are interested. Hope this helps. Susan
  • damo73's picture

    Hello all,

    As someone who has Asperger syndrome - I am not lost or in need of saving (at least not from autism!) - nor would I want my autism 'reversed' (top of webpage on link) - besides, this is not physically possible.  Some alternative medicine can benefit people, even as a placebo effect if nothing else.  I would say however that homeopathic treatments such as tablets usually contain only trace elements (if that) - and would have no effect on an autistic individual whatsoever.

    I like a 'drug free' approach to autism, yet this would also be an 'alternative medicine free' approach too.  Autism is too often set up in medical terms, as a deficiency, a dysfunction, and so on - it is not a disease, nor an epidemic - it is a 'different' way of being/thinking that is part of human diversity and autistic people should be respected in their rights to as much self-determination as is possible.  I would warn anyone on this site to avoid anything that promotes itself as a 'cure' of autism.

    Damian - Community Champion

    Damian - Retired Community Champion
  • SusanTerry's picture
    Hi Damian, thankyou for your comments on my post. It's good to be' brought up sharp' occasionally ! I agree with your observations on the medicalisation of autism and respect that individuals deemed to be on the spectrum are a reflection of the rich diversity that makes up humankind. I in no way intended to give offence. I also don't think that I mentioned homeopathy in terms of being a cure , as, you correctly point out it isn't and, in the light of your comments, would be totally inappropriate to consider it in those terms. That said it is evident that some children and families experience problems with certain behavioural and emotional problems such as anxiety and aggression and there is growing experience that homeopathic treatment can help lessen the impact of these. As for Homeopathic remedies being placebo, there is no doubt, that as with many healing paradigms, placebo is a powerful, positive mechanism, but it is not the whole story by any means.
  • damo73's picture


    I'm glad that I can be assertive on online forums, as I struggle with this usually!

    In terms of anxiety and aggression, these are human traits that all can suffer from - actually, I quite often feel little of either.  When I do get emotional, I can struggle to 'manage' them, and my usual abilities to intellectualise can become hampered - this is in the sense of not quite knowing what to do with them.  I am very unimposing on others and tend to internalise - so that emotional responses for me can lead me to an internally directed meltdown (in extreme stress I hyperventilate).

    In many instances, 'anxiety' and 'aggression' seem to me to be inadequate descriptors of what an autistic person may or may not be feeling (this is not a slight against you - but a general comment regarding how autism is often talked about).

    Also 'behavioural problems' are often talked about in terms of being located within the autistic individual, whereas to me behaviour and people do not exist in a vacuum, and can be seen in social/interactional terms.  How does homeopathy impact on this?

    Placebo can have a powerful and positive effect, yet this is not universal, it can also have negative consequences - e.g. a parental false hope of change.

    Damian - Community Champion

    Damian - Retired Community Champion
  • connieapmag's picture

    Hi jacks-mommy, 

    According to the International OCD Foundation, “Many behaviors associated with OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] such as anxiety, repetitive behaviors, and social problems are also typical of ASD. While the appearance of ASD and OCD may be similar on the surface, the processes that drive these behaviors are quite different, and each requires a different kind of treatment…It is important to determine which behaviors arise from a patient’s OCD and which arise from ASD. This has proven to be one of the major challenges in treating patients with both disorders. Other difficulties in treating patients with OCD comorbid with ASD are lack of insight, general inability to emotionally and socially connect, angry outbursts, frequent, extreme and unpredictable changes in mood, and impulsivity.” (Gorbis & Dooley).

    The most commonly used types of antidepressants in autism are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). These medications were originally developed for people with depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Interactive Autism Network says that “Most antidepressants work by changing the levels of specific chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.” (“Medications,” 2016).

    The most commonly prescribed antidepressants for ASD are Prozac, Luvox, and Celexa, but there are more than a dozen approved for use in people with ASD. SSRIs are thought to, “reduce the frequency and intensity of repetitive behaviors; decrease anxiety, irritability, tantrums, and aggressive behavior; and improve eye contact,” while TCAs achieve similar results they are more effective for some people and sometimes cause fewer side effects. (“Medication Treatment for Autism,” 2017)

    Learn more about autism medication and download your complimentary guide by going to our page here:

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