nowhere to go...will medication help? | Ambitious about Autism
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nowhere to go...will medication help?

jocoxy's picture

nowhere to go...will medication help?

Tue 24 May 2011 4:13pm


My son is 6 and has been diagnosed ASD with anger/behavioural issues.  We have been coping with this well, we also have a boy of 9 with Asd, but now I fel stuck.  He is becoming increasingly more angry with various situations and although his school is very good the startegies they are trying are no longer working. He has started running away from situations he either does not understand or agree with and his anger seems to kick in, like a knee jerk reaction, wheras before it was very rare and his anger usually had a build up so you could intervene before he got too bad.  I am due to see his specialist next month and we have discussed medication before.  I just wanted an insight from anyone with children in a similar situation to give me some pointers on meds as I feel he needs something to just take the edge off his immediate angry reactions to everything and to just chill him out a bit.  I always said meds would be a final resort but I think we are in that position now and that we are doing all we can, along with his school, and the anger is becoming the main thing holding him back.  Hopefully there is somewhere on here that can help or just offer a bit of support. Thankyou.

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  • asteroids's picture


    I don't have any direct experience but I know a number of parents who have faced a similar dilemma and have decided to give medication a try. I know it doesn't feel right to medicate a child in order to improve his behaviour. Ask the specialist if they can recommend something alongside the medication: anger management for example. If the meds calm your son down a little, he may be able to access behaviour therapy of some sort.

    I will say, I have taught a number of youngsters (7 and 8 year old boys) with various ASD/ADHD diagnoses and medication has changed their lives.

    Asteroids Sara - Community Champion

    Asteroids Sara
  • connieapmag's picture

    Hello jocoxy, 

    Temple Grandin, a renowned professor of animal science, inventor, and autism advocate speaks of her experience with medication saying, “I would not be here now if I did not have anti-depressants.”

    She does recognize that medication is not for everyone and states, “If you start using a medication in a person with autism, you should see an obvious improvement in behavior in a short period of time. If you do not see obvious improvement, they probably should not be taking the stuff. It is that simple.” Grandin is not a medical doctor, but her personal experience with autism medication resonates with many individuals on the spectrum and their families.

    Associated medical concerns for autism

    People with ASD are often diagnosed with co-occurring conditions. These conditions are separate issues from ASD, but often present similarly making them hard to diagnose. If you suspect your child may be struggling to manage an additional condition, it is vital to seek a diagnosis. Once the co-occurring condition is identified, doctors, therapists, and your child’s school can begin offering services to help your child manage symptoms.

    Some of the most common co-occurring conditions people with autism experience are anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, seizure disorders, bipolar disorder, and gastrointestinal disease. A combination of therapy and medicine is typically used to treat these conditions.

    Can autism be treated with medication?

    Specific symptoms that affect an individual’s ability to function optimally can sometimes be treated with medication. The Interactive Autism Network and Kennedy Krieger Institute states “No medication is currently approved to treat the core symptoms of autism. However, a number of medications are prescribed to treat other conditions and symptoms often found in children and adults with autism, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, self-injury, aggression, and seizure disorders.” (“Medications,” 2016).

    Medications used to treat symptoms of autism are sometimes used “off-label” meaning that the medications were not originally developed to be used to treat symptoms of autism, but enough tests and research make them an appropriate option to try. Other medications are developed to treat symptoms that might co-occur with a variety of disorders such as anxiety or mood fluctuations.

    Some of the most common types of medications offered to children with autism are antipsychotic drugs, stimulants, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety drugs, and gastrointestinal agents. Learn more about autism medication and get your complimentary guide by visiting

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