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ASPERGERS - TO MEDICATE OR NOT?.......

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Messages: 1 - 19 of 19
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by foobabe (U10565341) on Sunday, 12th September 2010

    Hello
    I was seeking feedback on the usefulness and ethics of using medication for aspergers. A is really suffering with stress in grammar school (year 8). She has been lashing out if people are too close, if its too warm, if she is frustrated, if she has to wait longer than 5 minutes.......The school has contacted us over a couple of incidents of hitting other pupils in class but in the calmness of the home she is remorseful and very tearful over these and able to explain why she did it.
    I have noticed more than ever how awkward she is getting in crowds and worry that these sensory/anxiety issues will impact on her education and social/emotional development. We were in McDonalds and it was crowded I could see her getting very flushed and tense and when a toddler brushed past her she almost hit him, I worry this is going to get her into trouble unless she can learn to control it.

    CAHMS have told us there are no mental health issues so cannot help. Would medication help her?

    We have tried social stories before and although she gets the theory in reality her actions are very different and she forgets everything she has learnt.

    Many Thanks as always
    Foobabe
    xx

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Monday, 13th September 2010

    Hi foobabe

    I wonder which kind of medication you are thinking of? You said the CAHMS have said A has no mental health issue - which presumably means that anti-depressants or anxiolytics (anti-anxiety) are not indicated.

    I don't know whether it would be helpful to ask your daughter (when she is calm) how she feels when someone in a crowd comes too close? I just wonder if once you understand what any specific issues there are, it might be possible to help her to develop coping strategies.

    Also she might need to learn to think consciously about personal space - for herself and others - for example when you sat in the McDonalds, where in the available space did she sit? Did she look around and think about what might happen if others came to sit nearby? I don't have AS and I prefer to sit in a corner, with my back to the wall so I can see the rest of the room and who might be coming towards me, maybe your daughter might have some preferences like that? e.g. is it easier for her in a crowded place if a member of the family is sitting between her and strangers? If so, she might need to plan for that.

    It's just a thought!
    regards, deb

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Monday, 13th September 2010

    I nearly forgot - if your daughter is in Year 8 she might be able to benefit from learning some Anger Management techniques - the school should have access to people who can teach her these techniques (some people find mental imagery about the anger helps, for example)

    regards, Deb

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by foobabe (U10565341) on Monday, 13th September 2010

    Hi Deb

    Thank you for replying - I always value your input very much.
    I just don't know what way to turn, she can be very impatient and angry at times but is also very sensitive. I had even looked at Mind-Soothe (natural remedy) and the testamonies are very positive, however its not an area I know much about.

    Re McDonalds - she actually had to go outside, refusing to even stand inline with me.

    Could it be sensory issues impacting on emotional regualtion? Do we address the sensory issues (the causes) or the anger (the symptoms) - or both???

    Sorry for belating, I really want to address this before her anxiety leads to something more serious

    Love
    Foobabe
    x

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Sofie2 (U14259204) on Monday, 13th September 2010

    Personally, I would tackle the sensory and anger issues separately.

    As for medicating (or not) - it depends on the person and what effects the AS has on them. My brother refused medication (parents were of the opinion that it's his decision to make) and he's ok. He doesn't have the sensory or anger issues that your child does.

    If you go down the medication route, it might be worth looking at other strategies alongside.

    You may want to post this in Ouch! Talk. I think there are a few people there with AS.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Monday, 13th September 2010

    Hi Foobabe

    we can't be sure that the sensory sensitivity and the anger are definitely linked, so the strategy suggested by the other poster of tackling both simultaneously seems like a good option.

    Do remember that some teenagers are angry just because they're teens - my son was one of those, he mostly grew out of it, though he is still very angry about his teachers not having noticed his (severe) dyslexia!

    The school / Education Welfare Service / your GP may be able to help you to access support. If you can afford it, anger management at least would be available privately - you can use the British Psychological Society webssite at www.bps.org.uk has a find a therapist function - ideally look for someone who has Asperger's experience and offers ANger Management or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [CBT] - actually if you can find someone who will work with a child her age, CBT would be probably be good as it could help with anxiety as well as anger etc..
    regards, Deb

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by foobabe (U10565341) on Tuesday, 14th September 2010

    Thank you

    I don't really want to go down the mediaction route if we can help it...

    I have made appointments to see an ABA thearpist to assess the use of CBT for anger management and also an Occupational Thearpist to assess her level of Sensory Processing. Both are obviously affecting her and hopefully dealing with both together will help.

    Keeping the school informed of what we are doing and they have given her time out cards for whe she feels angry/frustrated/overwhelemed/stressed etc... Hopefully these will help until the thearpists' can set us right with suitable stratgies and exercises...

    Will keep you informed of developments....

    Many Thanks as always

    Foobabe
    xx
    smiley - ok

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Otter25 (U14189455) on Tuesday, 14th September 2010

    Its a claustophobia specific to aspies. Its over sensory reaction yes - but its not anger. It may look like anger to the non-aspie, but that's because they are trying to fathom something that they can't understand.
    Your daughter's response is more likely to be terror and the tears from the remorse latter exhaustion.

    We pick up on all details - what some in wearing, how it is creased, their scent, the sound of their individual voices etc, coupled with an inability to look the person in the eye and now multiply by several 100 and you have a crowd and instant sensory overload and it doesn't matter who is with you, you have no abilty to acknowledge their existance anymore and you attempt to get clear regardless of who is in the way.

    It feels like pure nausea.

    medication worrys me a little as it sees the user of the medication as the problem, and will delay the venting, not remove it

    Speak to the school and see what the triggers are. If it is in lessons, could your daughter sit by a window, or be allowed to open one. Your child is picking up on stimuli that non-aspie kids are totally unaware of. So the smell of classroom plants, cleaning products, pens, colours of walls, uniform, constant room heat etc are all there, with the need to focus on the teacher and class mates, means that everything comes into that focus and therefore opening a window, is like opening a window in a car, when you have travel sickness.

    if in a crowd, I memorise what it is like to be in a car and methorically open a window and take some deep breaths of fresh air, and in doing so take the focus off the crowd and the over stimulus.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Wednesday, 15th September 2010

    that's very useful Otter

    it sounds as if you may have found some of the techniques which use guided imagery helpful?

    I wonder if that might be adapted to help Foobabe's daughter?

    From memory the general technique is to talk about it in order to construct a mental image of a safe place where you can feel comepletely comfortable and relaxed - it does not matter where it is (e.g. some like beach or riverbank; other imagine being in their own bed, etc..).

    Anyway the aim is to create a mental image which can act as a safe place inside your own head to retreat to when the world is too overwhelmng ....

    It might prove useful....
    regards, deb

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by foobabe (U10565341) on Thursday, 16th September 2010

    Thank you so much
    - its good to hear how it feels for the individual
    I have been asking her to to tell me what she feels like in class and she told me its too noisy, too hot she feels claustraphobic and sick this then makes her frightened. No wonder she gets angry with it all...

    The mental image of a safe/happy place is a great idea - will look into it. Might try it myself!

    Love
    Foobabe
    xx

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by PSB00 (U14614881) on Saturday, 18th September 2010

    Our child is on the spectrum, similar to Aspergers, and also has ADHD and OCD. We've tried a few different things, but my feeling was always that if we tackled the anxiety issue, he'd be able to concentrate better and his social skills would improve---and obviously the OCD would be impacted the most. We have an appointment on Tuesday to see the psychiatrist and we will probably go the Zoloft/Prozac route. Both of those drugs have been around a long time and are the most researched, so I feel comfortable trying it. I just want my son to feel relaxed and less stressed, and if the drugs help (and don't have any horrible side effects) I will be the happiest mother alive.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by foobabe (U10565341) on Tuesday, 21st September 2010

    Hi There
    Well, A's sensory OT assessment was certainly enlightening, besides the coordination issues and tactile issues we have found out that she has severe auditory processing disorder. This could well explain why she is finding the classroom so stressful and gets frustrated and angry? Need to have it addressed in her new IEP and try an auditory treatment called The Listening Programme.

    I am quite shocked to be honest - and cannot understand why this has never been identified before?

    Foobabe
    x



    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Tuesday, 21st September 2010

    Hi Foobabe

    sorry to hear that you have had yet another experience of less than great practice! As i understand it, auditory processing disorder is hard to spot because the person can hear - so they pass a routine hearing check, especially the simple ones used as developmental checks.

    They have to think of actually checking for auditory processing disorder and it is probably not a routine check.

    I understand that the processing problem (i.e. in the brain, not in the ear) is specific to speech.

    It would be worst when the person is under any kind of stress - probably because the stress itself absorbs much of the working memory capacity - not leaving space in the memory to do the work of interpreting the speech.

    Also anything else which absorbs working memory capacity would be likely to make auditory processing more difficult - so noisy environments are not just highly stimulating but also dealing with the noise takes up memory capacity.

    There is an informative website at
    www.nidcd.nih.gov/he...

    I hope this helps,
    regards, Deb

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by sandy (U14627347) on Monday, 27th September 2010

    I have been having problems tryin 2get support 4 my son since 2002 camhs wnt accept there is anything wrong with him despite other professionals disagreeing with them . He has terrible anger issues n was statemented at school as special education needs as he doesnt like to be in groups or crowds and spends most ov his time in his bedroom he is now 17 and i am at a dead end for a solution any ideas?

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Monday, 27th September 2010

    Hi Sandy

    once your son turns 18 you could try getting your GP to refer him to the Autism Diagnostic Research Centre in Southampton - the assessment would be paid for by the NHS (http://www.adrc.co.uk/ ) and they work hard at making the assessment helpful to the person being assessed.
    regards, Deb

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Otter25 (U14189455) on Tuesday, 28th September 2010

    Foobabe

    How do I access the listening programme
    You have just given me an answer to something I long expected

    otter

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by M M (U14200747) on Tuesday, 28th September 2010

    Must be something in the water recently, my autistic lad has lost it completely the last 3 months, with irrational behaviour, and presenting us all with issues regarding his personal safety. We are awaiting clinical assessment.

    The issue of would we accept medication if it is presented as an option is one that worries me, I am totally against drugging kids out of it, but Mum is more accepting it might be an only option. I still would need considerable convincing before I would. Far too often people are taking the easy route I feel.. Cheaper to make them docile and compliant than address what bothers them ? I think I'd try the other route...

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by foobabe (U10565341) on Tuesday, 28th September 2010

    Hey Otter

    It was recommended by A's sensory OT.
    The link is as follows: www.thelisteningprog...
    You need to go through the Locate a Provider at the top of the site page you can then do a search for your location. Not sure where you live but its lists England and International.

    I think that you contact a provider and they oversee the whole programme. Not too sure of the cost though. When I find out more I will post it here.

    Hope to start it with A very soon.

    Hope this helps
    Foobabe
    smiley - winkeye

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Otter25 (U14189455) on Thursday, 30th September 2010

    foobabe

    thanks very much for the information

    otter

    Report message19

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