Never medicated

Today’s installment is from a CNN blog entry on a review of studies, determining whether drugs — pretty much of any kind — help treat autism “core” symptoms.

And the verdict? They don’t.

Not secretin, not antipsychotic drugs, not serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), not antidepressants, not stimulants or any other medication for hyperactivity.

We never agreed to any kind of medication for Sam, even when it was suggested when he was struggling with some anxiety during his first year of college. We dusted off some relaxation techniques and he worked through it. Life is hard enough for him and kids like him without trying to do it doped up.

The only thing that helps core symptoms (repetitive behaviors, communication and socialization) is applied behavioral therapy, and the earlier the better.

And I’m with Dr. Margaret Bauman — some of those repetitive behaviors have a purpose. Pay close attention before you try to extinguish or re-direct them. You may be sorry you tried.


  1. Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe on April 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    That isn’t to say that if your child with autism has other struggles, and together with your child’s doctor, you all agree medication might be needed for another purpose.

    I’m just saying, watch out for those “off-label” uses.

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