There seems to be no shortage of autism-related drugs out there. There are stimulant medications, anti-stimulant medications for ADHD, anti-depressant medications, anti-anxiety medications, anti-psychotic medications, and mood stabilizing medications.
Plus, there are many drugs that are used “off label” for a variety of symptoms. “Off label” means that the FAD approves a drug for a specific use and yet that same drug may be prescribed to treat something other condition.
That’s not all…Throw in all the drugs that one could find on the Internet that are touted as the next best thing in autism treatment, then you have a plethora of drug options.
Should you treat your child’s autism with drugs?
We never considered treating our child’s autism with drugs. His behaviors were manageable and we were (and still are) concerned with the long-term consequences of unapproved drugs.
What do you mean “unapproved drugs?”
Did you know that only one drug, Risperdal (a drug developed for schizophrenia), has been approved by the FDA for autism-related symptoms? All the other drugs are not FDA approved for use for autism-related symptoms. Just the one.
Why would you consider autism-related drugs for your child?
I have spoken to a few parents who have their children take drugs. In some cases, they have had their children put on some kind of drug because they have multiple unmanageable issues with autism as well as related physical issues. Yet, other parents have found one or two drugs effective in managing their child’s autism.
Finally, I have heard about situations where behaviors were so unmanageable that parents turned to drugs to help them with their children. To me, after hearing about these cases, I’ve found myself asking, “Have they discovered a Band-aid?” and/or “That’s an really easy fix.”
To be clear, I have drawn my own conclusions based on conversations and research. I have no experience of my own to fall back on, however, because we choose not to use any autism-related drugs with our child.
But, why do people use them?
One reason, I think, is that for the most part, like when a family turns to a gluten-free diet, they are at their wits end in regards to negative behaviors of their autistic children. And, they’re willing to try anything.
However – and again this is my opinion – a problem creeps in. If a family puts their child on a drug(s) and behaviors begin to decrease and become manageable, then those families then proceed to go around telling everyone to put their child on Ritalin, Adderall, Zoloft, or Risperdal.
If an autism-related drug works for you child, then that’s fine. Again, almost all of the drugs out there are not FDA approved for use with autism-related symptoms. But, when it comes to your child, you have the choice to try any autism-related drug (or diet or whatever). It is your choice.
I need to again advise caution. I would be careful about how you use these drugs in terms of your child’s long term health. They make be a quick fix for now, but what are the long term effects?
Now, I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent… and a bit of a rant…
What about vaccinations?
While I’m discussing medical approaches, I’m going to rant for a minute about vaccinations.
There’s been a theory out there that says vaccinations cause autism.
This theory has been debunked by many studies. There is no scientific proof – at all – between autism and vaccinations. It is simply not true that childhood vaccinations cause autism.
However, here’s what’s happening because some people believe this theory while not doing any research to support their belief: People are not vaccinating their children.
This news is so disturbing to me and many other people I know in the autism community. Additionally, many people without a child or two on the autism spectrum are also fearful of what this means to our entire community, state, and nation.
What does it mean?
It means that diseases like measles and whooping cough – ones that were eradicated by vaccinations – are now coming back!
This is crazy! Why would you believe in something that has no proof at all to back it up and then take such a drastic step of not protecting your child?
You are not only doing your child a grave disservice but you are impacting your community as well. Seeing the return of such diseases is a direct cause of parents not vaccinating their children. And, this happened, in part, because of a lie.
What can we do?
As I stated in my previous blog, all I’m asking you to do is to fully research any autism-related avenue you are considering. Talk to people, including your child’s therapists and physician. Talk about with your spouse or significant other. Make sure you both agree that you feel autism related drugs and/or vaccinations are appropriate for your child. Make sure you have all the facts in front of you, not just hype.
And, be very wary of any quick fixes that are out there. They are almost always frauds and will only harm your family.
To Find Kimberly Kaplan:
www.smashwords.com or Amazon Kindle ebook “A Parents’ Guide to Early Autism Intervention”