Friday, May 14, 2010

Autism Medication - Drug Therapy

When considering medication for a child with Autism a parent has to remember that Autism is a short way of referring to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism is basically a collection of symptoms. That is part of what makes it a syndrome. When considering medication for a child with Autism parents and doctors are treating the symptoms. Just because one drug works with one child with Autism does not mean it will work for the next child either.

One drug can treat a particular symptom or group of symptoms which are related. Medications for some children with this disability may reduce hyperactivity and increase their attention span. Other drugs are used to help with the issue of self injury or violence towards others. There are still other drugs that can help with difficulty sleeping or even anxiety over social situations. These are just some symptoms that may require drug therapy and they may or may not occur from one child to the next.

Many medications used to treat symptoms of Autism were not created for that reason. At some point some doctor realized that if the medication helped some people with that symptom it could well help a child with Autism. When the FAA approves a drug to be used for particular symptoms, doctors are able to use these drugs for other people who exhibit the symptoms. They can prescribe it whether the person has a diagnosis or not.

A parent can take an active role in this process in many ways. The first way is to research and choose a doctor who has a reputation for being able to work with children with Autism. Once you have chosen a doctor you can do your own research.

Parents can look up suggested medications. They can look up information about child psychopharmacology and that particular drug. Another place to look is in drug research. Much of this can be done on the internet. They can also look for what other parents are saying about the drug on forums.

As medication is used more, pros and cons will be researched. It will then find its way into all sorts of literature. Do not be surprised when you have to try several different or new drugs to find the best one. This is when close communication with the doctor is critical.

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Mylinda Elliott is the parent of five children. The third of the five has Autism which was diagnosed early on. The fourth of the five children has Aspergers. She is a self taught expert on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Mylinda Elliott has also worked professionally in the disability world for the past fifteen years. She is considered the "Go To" woman for advice or resources on disabilities.

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