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i would like feedback on the pros and cons to medication

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM
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hi, my name is mary ann and i'm new to cafe mom. my son daniel is 8 years old and two years ago he was diagnosed high functioning autistic with add symptoms. my issue is that daniel is having some difficulty staying focused in school and his school work. because of daniel's add symptom, the psycologist said he would maybe need to be on ridilin, foculin or something else to help him focus. i don't want my child to be a zombie, but i also don't want him to fall behind. does anyone have any experiences that they would like to share with medication, herbal or prescription? also, we have an iep meeting coming up and i would live any advice their.


mary ann

by on Nov. 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM
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by Head Admin on Nov. 20, 2009 at 11:06 PM

What I can tell you is that with My son and his School they wanted me to put him on meds , but the situation was far beyond the call for them to make on him being on any Kind of medication .. Long story to make it short ... I have seen where so many Moms try to put there kiddo's on Med's then have to keep trying different kinds until they find the right one' for me that is not healthy or making it hard especially when your child can't not communicate to you how it is making them feel , the only way to no is by how there actions are .. My son had  a bad experience with the school so my advice is coming from my experience , they can't tell you you must put him on med's that is just them trying to make there job easier .. Your the mom your the one making the choices for him . What the environment might be like could be very well the cause of why he is acting out not him per say , it you no what I mean ... Some parents swear by the meds .. I use a Holistic brain Calm for my son and it works great .. he even ask me for it when he gets out of control .. He knows it calms him .My son is severely autistic so that is huge for him to say to me .. Just follow your instinct on this one .. See what is going on at the school to be making him not focus . I can think of a thousand things for are kiddos' at school that would make them not focus on what they are trying to do ...... But there are many good awesome Mommas on here with great advice too for you on the pro's of the med's I am the con's . K . good luck honey ... welcome to the group .. GOOD LUCK at the I.E.P .. oh boy those are fun ... ugh , lol ...... wishing ya the best ... 


by Member on Nov. 21, 2009 at 12:03 AM

My gut instinct is to not medicate my children. As a whole, I think we as a society over-medicate. But I do medicate my daughter (3 & autistic) for a few things. Our biggest issue is sleep and we found nothing herbal or natural to help us (no..melatonin does NOT work for us). We went to prescription drugs. She is currently on 4 different ones. I hate it. But my child sleeps, which then means she can function better during the day, thus communicating better. Sometimes you need to really look at the pros and cons. I HIGHLY suggest do some in depth research on the medication that is being suggested to you. Look online, read what others have experienced, go to the pharmacy and ask for a print out of information on the medication. Read read read. You need to know what side effects to look for, and even more so...which are important enough to talk to the doctor about. You don't want to be paranoid, but informed. I do not allow my daughter to take anything that I have not researched about. I know that you aren't talking about sleep issues, but it is medication none the less. 

Good luck with your decision. 

by New Member on Nov. 21, 2009 at 10:28 AM

 thanks for the advice, i really appreciate it. what is a holistic brain calm?  i have never heard of that.

mary ann

by on Nov. 21, 2009 at 11:07 AM

My son is 10 and has ASD and ADHD and we have him on meds for this.   I too did not want to put him on meds, but it is remarkable how they changed him FOR THE BETTER!  He can focus and do his homework without major problems and the teachers can't say enough on how well he is doing in school!!  I had to put aside my feelings about meds and do what was best for him so he can succeed.    good

~~ Jennybig smile mini

by Head Admin on Nov. 21, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Hey lady , I give him what is called Brain Calm , it is all natural , Gaba Passion flower .. Also for his tummy I give him MPS-Gold 100 which is all aloe and pro-biotic , I just swear by them both . I was seeing a Holistic Doctor for my fibromyalgia his son has autism so he gave me these two things you can buy them on line if you want more info on them let me no k .. It takes a while for the brain calm to get his system but once it is it stays on the same level ..thanks for asking .. good luck sweetie .. As for me with the meds' Like I had said they do help soooooooooo many kiddos , The mommas don't always want to do it they have no other option's when there kiddos can't seem to change with all the theaphy sleep issue's you then sometimes do have to do something about it . I DO NO if my son was to start getting violent or hurting himself more then he does now .. That might be an option so keep an open mind and always continue to follow what is best for your child ya no .any info you need to on the I.E.P 's if you don't understand what they are saying ask them to explain it to you , We Moms who have been there can help you so much on that issue also .. never hesistate to post anything that is on your mind .. WERE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER .. i AM not a Doctor so my advice is just my advice .. somtimes I wonder if my son needs it sometimes too .. hugs loves to you ..  

by Bronze Member on Nov. 21, 2009 at 12:28 PM

teacherHi!  I have a seven year old severly autistic grandson who is on medication.  He has been on ritalyn and it was not right for him.  The medication definately helps, I believe, and you can always inform his meds doctor if you feel he is overmedicated.  I sincerely advise that you try medication. 

                            I have also a bit of experience with IEP.  Make no mistake...YOU as the parent, are in charge of the IEP.  You run the meeting, you voice any issues you may have with the recommendations made.  You ask any questions that need answering!  You either approve or disapprove the plan!  It is a good idea to have your child's service provider in attendance, as well as any therapists he may spend time with.  You can take along a spouse or friend.....I hope all goes well.  Beth100

by Head Admin on Nov. 21, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Quoting maryag:

 thanks for the advice, i really appreciate it. what is a holistic brain calm?  i have never heard of that.

Here is the link to the Brain Calm that I use for my Kyle ... Twice a day I just open it up and put it in one of the Motrin cups they give ya and mix it with juice he drinks it  . mix it really well . good luck momma .. HERE is the MPS -GOLD 100 ALSO , CHECK THEM OUT .. They work !! Money back Guarantee on the Gold . I wouldnt' go a day without giving it to my son ...put a scoop in his Orange juice. not a bad taste at all my son is a picky eater he will only eat 5 different foods .

by New Member on Nov. 21, 2009 at 9:01 PM

I didnt wanna try meds either but after 2 days on Ritalin everyone noticed how great he was doing. He stopped hitting everyone and now has no problem switching to a new task. It has helped so much. As long as you start slow and then increase he shouldnt become a zobie. If he does then the dose is to high.

It may not be right for everyone but now my Ethan can focus and has a chance to be with his peers and not be the crazy kid that hits and screams.

Good luck

by on Nov. 21, 2009 at 11:00 PM

I have learned one thing in our 13 yr journey through the autism puzzle and that is never say never and research everything to the deepest level.  My son is on Medication and it has been a long journey to find the right meds to  work for him.  We did a medicine holiday one summer and we weened him off all meds to see if they helped him or hindered him.  We found out he DID need them and it was not just to make it easier for others.  He actually seemed to fly apart, he couldn't focus and couldn't control his outburst.  Now my son is on the lower end of the spectrum, non verbal, low communication skills.  The meds help him focus and help him control his outburst.  They aren't a cure all they are simply a tool that helps him achieve his fullest potential.  I swore I would never put him on meds and the med holiday showed me he really needed them.  Just research the meds and do what you feel is best for him, each of our children are different and as the parent only you can make that decision.  Good luck.

by Member on Nov. 22, 2009 at 7:19 AM

This is something I've done for a Fragile X group, but much of what is contained here may apply to any diagnosis. Items you may want to consider when looking at medications.

Medications - A Parent's Opinion


The decision to use medications can be a difficult one for any parent. When we started down this path we were doing wonderful in the home environment but the school environment was a disaster. At first, I didn't like the thought of using medications but later decided that if a medication was available that would help my child it would be wrong not to medicate.


If you decide to try medications there are a few things as a parent I recommend:

Determine if the symptom (behavior or otherwise) is one that can be corrected in the environment first. This can be done in the home environment simply by keeping a log of symptoms. Provide the date and time it occurred, the type of symptom and comments on what happened prior. Keep in mind the trigger to the symptom may have not immediately preceded the symptom. I did this for three weeks and was surprised when I found that one of our biggest triggers was the word "no". I also discovered that we used the word more than we needed to when another alternative could have been redirection. In the school environment they can do this as well by conducting a Functional Assessment of Behavior.

  1. Start a medication journal - don't rely on the professionals to keep track of what med your child was on and how he/she responded.
  2. Always remember you know your child best, if you think a med is ineffective or creating adverse behavior trust your judgment, you are probably right.
  3. For ADD/ADHD drugs I've always heard that FXS children respond best with the lower dose, so make sure they start out on a low dose and not typical for a child of their age and weight. You may want to purchase the Fragile X Medication guide by Dr. Michael R. Tranfaglia on FRAXA's web site,
  4. Keep in mind that what could me a wonder drug for one child can be a disaster for another. Case in point, Strattera was awful for us, created a very explosive and violent child yet I know another FXS child who does very well on Strattera. Ritalin worked for a bit but it also created agitation and irritability, which was displayed, in aggressive behavior. Clondine of the three ADD meds was the most effective for the longest period and now they have a patch available. We took the pill form and when the medication would peak we would have a meltdown, having him only take a single dose at bedtime averted this. Those are just a few of the meds used for ADD/ADHD, as for us I've given up on treating the ADD.
  5. Time of dosage, as well as size of dosage does matter. With medications that create drowsiness a bedtime dose may work best initially but as the child adjusts to the medication a morning dose might have the best affect.
  6. Prioritize what symptoms you want to treat with meds. ADD/ADHD symptoms aren't anything I can't tolerate. Yes, it may difficult for anything to hold his attention long but for us it's not something that truly interferes with his life, so it's not a priority. Some thing that stabilizes his mood and lessens his anxiety is a priority med.
  7. Use the Internet to research medications. Keep in mind you may find documentation for extreme side effects. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try them but you need to be aware of the benefits and side effects of any medication.
  8. When trying meds keep in mind you may need to try a few doctors as well. We consult with a Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist.
    1. With our first doctor we didn't have any success with medications. Our medication journal was created out of necessity because with every visit it appeared that she didn't remember what we had tried and what our results were.
    2. I liked the second doctor but couldn't stand the therapist who I had to work with (utterly useless) and the office was run very poorly. The second doctor wanted to treat all symptoms, we were on a med cocktail -- which is hell, to be honest -- when things aren't working and you're trying to figure out which med is the culprit.
    3. Our third (and current) doctor told me during our first visit that I needed to be the expert on my child, I knew my child best, he was only there as a resource. I knew right away that he was worth keeping.

The Winter 2004 Newsletter from the National Fragile X Foundation (NFXF) had an excellent article on the decision to medicate by Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis. In the article, Dr. Berry-Kravis states: "In FXS, medication is virtually always an adjunct to behavioral, therapeutic and specific educational interventions. Medication will not be successful if the learning and/or living environment are a poor fit for the individual with FXS, and particularly if the individual perceives the environment as aversive, threatening, or humiliating. Therefore one of the first steps in the medication decision process is always an assessment of the home, school or work environment, what behavioral measures are already in place, and interactions between the individual with FXS and his/her peers, educators and supervisors. Sometimes there is a specific problem in the environment that can be identified and modified, effecting a much larger improvement in behavior than would be seen with medication. Thus, it is important to maximize the environment first in order to get a reasonable baseline from which to evaluate the effects of medication."


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