Stims and Aspies

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nvts, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Just got a call from difficult child 1's school. He's on another rage. Cursing, running, freaking out, his para was worried that he may have a couple of bruises on his arms because he was so out of control that they had to restrain him so he wouldn't hurt himself trying to escape.:mad:

    I'm at my wits end with this. Since I joined the board, you guys have talked about some stims causing anger/outburst issues with various diagnosis'. I have an appointment. with his psychiatrist in about 2 weeks and would like to question the medications. :nerd:

    He's currently taking 54 mgs. of Concerta and 25 mgs. of Strattera. While he's less "hyper" he's been the most angry kids known to man. The Strattera was added to help his anxiety.

    What I'd like to know from you guys is not only if you've seen a change for the better once you stopped the stims but what you replaced them with so that I can research options and have an intelligent conversation with the psychiatric. I like his psychiatrist, but she tends to wait for me to take the lead.:yeah:

    Any suggestions will be taken as exactly that, so don't worry that you'll be misunderstood. There's just so much dirt out there that you don't know which way to turn.

    I'd rather have a friend (you guys) tell me directions to look rather than rely on the Web.

    Thanks for any info you can give me.


  2. Calista

    Calista New Member

    Hi NVTS. I've posted to you before regarding B-mod.

    I also have an ASPIE boy who is now 11. His new psychiatrist states that most kids with a developmental delay, including spectrum kids, cannot tolerate a stimulant.

    This was very true with my difficult child. Before this new psychiatrist we tried every stimulant that was available. He became short(er) fused, aggressive, less tolerant of frustration, etc... The stims magnified these issues to the point of trying Strattera. Strattera was effective for the first month or so and then we got the same side effects.

    His new psychiatrist (he's really not THAT new, we've been seeing him since Aug 07) recognizes the need for ADHD medications; however, my difficult child has a mood disorder so....psychiatrist says that once the mood stabliizes we will try the stims again. There was a test done when difficult child was in Placement last May, I think is called P300 or P500, I'm not sure, anyway it is an ADHD indicator on which my difficult child scored quite high. So right now we are stablizing and then we will start a stimulant. He needs it. He does have a hard time with his ADHD symptoms but, it's better than the aggression and the meltdowns.

    Good Luck. I hope this was helpful.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Like any stimulant, Concerta can increase anxiety. Instead of adding Strattera for anxiety, you might want to either lower Concerta or try another stimulant. Strattera is an antidepressant that can cause extreme anger and aggression. That's what you might be seeing now.

    I went to a lecture by a well-known psychiatrist who treats many children with AS/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and he said he frequently uses a combo of Methylphenidate (which is the active ingredient in Concerta) and Risperdal to address their symptoms. If I can locate his name, I'll post it so you can find his research on the internet. Is the psychiatrist you're working with skilled in medicating kids with AS/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

    That said, every kid reacts differently to medications and you frequently have to do a trial and error process to come up with the medication or combo that works best for your difficult child. Good luck.
  4. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    My Aspie acted out when his medication's were changed/increased. It's one of those situations that you weigh the options of what medications work better.
  5. KateM

    KateM Member

    Concerta has been a great medication for my Aspie son. He has been on it for several years, in combination with Zoloft and Depakote (or Lithium when he had ammonia level problems with Depakote) and this combo has really helped tremendously! Different stims effected him differently, so you may be able to switch to another stimulant and get a better result. Good luck!
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    My Aspie difficult child has been on Concerta (currently 54 mg) for the last few years. We had gone through a number of other stims before, but none worked as well as the Concerta. difficult child did have terrible anxiety, though, so his psychiatrist recommended Paxil (10 mg). psychiatrist and therapist are now considering adding risperdal to the mix, or replacing the Paxil with risperdal.

    difficult child is in transition from therapeutic to vocational/life skills at his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) right now, so we don't want to mess with the medications while they seem to be working well for him. One the transition is complete and he's settled into the new routine, then it might be the right time.

    Best of luck finding the right combination.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Spectrum kids vary. I know Aspie kids on stims, but Spectrum kids tend to be VERY sensitive to medications. Stims made my Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified son mean and aggressive (and not able to sleep) and he isn't like that normally. If it makes your son worse, in my opinion don't medicate him with stimulants. About 50% of all kids on the spectrum take medications and the rest don't. (Or so I was told in my Autism Spectrum Parent Group). I'm not a fan of medication unless it is absolutely necessary (and sometimes it is).
    As far as I know, the medication of choice for Aspies and other spectrum kids tends to be Risperdal rather than a stimulant, but that's just from talking to other parents in the group. My own son does better medication free.