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  1. #1
    melrose7 is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default Considering medication-where to start

    I am running out of ideas with DD1. She is 12 and the bad days/ meltdowns are starting to out number the good days. And my other kids are starting to not want to go places just in case she has a meltdown. Not from embarrassment but feeling bad for her and us. And DS runs to his room now when she starts hitting me and DH because he's afraid she's going to hurt us. She hits/scratches/bites when she gets upset (has drawn blood from scratching but nothing more than that).

    Background...she got diagnosed with apraxia (speech disorder) at 2 and autism at 3. We did ABA from age 4-10. Moved 2 yrs ago for her to attend a special needs school. She was there the year before we moved also. She does has these same aggressive meltdowns at school too. They hadn't been happening at home until this summer. They did happen when she was younger but it's probably been a year since she's had one at home. She had 5 meltdowns in the last month where we have to hold her down.
    She started her period in May, I started her on the pill the next month so I know she's got a lot of hormones going through her body now and not the language to tell us what's wrong.

    She talks in 3-4 word phrases most adult form but not all. Strangers probably understand 40% of what she says. But she can't tell me why she gets mad or what I can do to help. We can't always pinpoint what will set her off. She was known for being consistently inconsistent throughout her therapy.

    She also has a learning disability and is at about a 3 yr old level academically. She has a short attention span and is always going from one thing to another. Nothing really interests her for long.

    We use essential oils, natural vitamins, added magnesium and zinc. Tried fish oil. Tried brushing. Tried a weighted blanket. She has speech and OT in school plus private speech. She gets a therapist once a week in home for 3 hrs to work on daily living skills. Her pediatrician said he can order more ABA (we knew we were done when we moved since the company didn't service our new county and since we did it for 6 yrs we used up our time) at 8-10 hrs a week. I asked him about cannabis oil. He's not ready to order it but not set against it. Not sure if insurance covers it or how much it costs. Also considering trying the chiropractor. He's also thinking she'll get better once school starts because she's home with me all summer.

    She had never seen a psychiatrist and couldn't really express her emotions or feelings to one but I feel like that is where I to go before considering medication. I don't know what medication would help her as all I've been reading about is for ADHD and she may or may not have that too.

    So I guess I'm asking what is my next step if I want to consider putting her on something. I think I'm just overwhelmed after we just returned from a little family vacation with some meltdowns in public and is getting to the point that we would have more fun without her and then feeling guilty for feeling that way.

    Thanks for reading if you got this far.
    Mom to
    DD1 7-3-05
    DD2 7-5-07
    DS1 3-23-10

  2. #2
    trcy is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Gosh, I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds so hard. Hugs to all of you. Not sure how much help I can be, but I'll share with you our journey.
    DD has ADHD and we have struggled with almost daily meltdowns for a while. She had been on Intuniv for a little of a year and was just switched to Strattera. Granted yesterday was her first day on the new med, but there were no meltdowns. I am not sure if it was just a fluke, the Strattera helps prevent the meltdowns or the Intuniv contributed to them (irritability is one of the known side effects). However she had a terrible time sleeping last night (insomnia is known side effect of Strattera), so I have to play around with the timing and dose of her melatonin. I am thinking I am just trading one unpleasant side effect for another, it's very discouraging. Right now she is seeing a psychologist and her meds are being prescribed by her ped. If the Strattera doesn't work out then I am going to ask for a psychiatric referral. I just feel like they know more about these kinds of medications. So that's where I would start if I were you. Good luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Baby Bargains
    DD 12/10
    DS 10/15

  3. #3
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    A good child psychiatrist can help you sort out which medication to start with, even if your child can't communicate well. I would bring to the appointment any data you have collected on frequency of the meltdowns, time of day patterns, sleep history, and triggers even if they are scattered. Some ADHD meds do help ASD kids - but it varies. Sometimes treating with antipsychotics, or SSRIs, is more effective. Some ASD kids (like mine) have paradoxical reactions where the medication has the opposite of the intended effect.

    It sounds to me like you have done your due diligence with pursuing therapies, so I would encourage not to feel discouraged that this is a next step to supplement those. It is truly not uncommon for puberty to be a point where something new needs to be tried.

  4. #4
    ArizonaGirl is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I can completely relate as DS can go from fine to NOT fine in a flash.

    He has been on anti-psychotics done he was 4 and we are currently changing thing's as they were causing elevated glucose levels and high cholesterol and he had just been out of control.

    The anti-psychotics have been wonderful for him, the stimulants too test his ADHD have been awful.

    I suggest a developmental pediatrician to manage her meds, they take a total approach and I have been really pleased with their approach over a psychiatrist.
    Lindsey

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012




  5. #5
    cuca_ is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I am sorry you are going through this. I have two kids who take medication for ADHD and anxiety and I cannot stress enough the importance of a psychiatrist. There are psychiatric doctors who specialize in medication alone. I would not trust a pediatrician with treatment, you need someone who understands the nuances of the different medications and can provide you with different options depending on your child's reaction.

  6. #6
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuca_ View Post
    I am sorry you are going through this. I have two kids who take medication for ADHD and anxiety and I cannot stress enough the importance of a psychiatrist. There are psychiatric doctors who specialize in medication alone. I would not trust a pediatrician with treatment, you need someone who understands the nuances of the different medications and can provide you with different options depending on your child's reaction.
    I agree with this.

  7. #7
    melrose7 is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuca_ View Post
    I am sorry you are going through this. I have two kids who take medication for ADHD and anxiety and I cannot stress enough the importance of a psychiatrist. There are psychiatric doctors who specialize in medication alone. I would not trust a pediatrician with treatment, you need someone who understands the nuances of the different medications and can provide you with different options depending on your child's reaction.
    Thank you. The last couple weeks of summer she was so good. I think she heard me taking about her and possible solutions to her behavior that she turned it around.
    But once I get to the point that I want to start her on something I will look at a psychiatrist.

  8. #8
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    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    PMing you
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

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