Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why I Use Medicine

In my book, Two Brothers One Journey: The Loving, Courageous Struggles of an Autism Mom, I discuss briefly medications. In a nutshell, I wanted to make the parents of a child with autism to know that medicine is an option to help your child on their journey.  I want to discuss a little more in detail on how medicine has helped Trenton and I.

When Trenton is not on medicine or when his medicine needs adjusted, there is a huge difference in Trenton. I have learned some great things from the boys' doctors over the years. One being that children like Trenton often get used to their medicine. Their bodies adjust to the medicine and eventually it doesn't work or doesn't work as well. This happens to neurotypical people as well, but it happens faster to children who are simply "wired" differently and that have a whole different chemical make up than neurotpyical people do. Therefore, adjustments have to made often.

When an adjustment to his list of medicines need to be made, it is very obvious in Trenton's behavior. Trenton becomes uncontrollable 24/7 and is at a higher risk of hurting himself and/or others through his maladaptive behaviors.  He displays erratic and impulsive behavior. If he doesn't have someone right by his side, he is unable to listen to or follow directions as well. While on the right medication, his brain is much like an organized filing cabinet. When his medicines need adjustments, it's as if his filing cabinet is hit by a tornado and all of his files are laying scattered all over the place and he is unable to do the smallest of tasks because his brain is a mess. He doesn't sleep as well. He can't tolerate short trips to stores or McDonald's.  He has more potty accidents. In fact, Trenton was finally successfully potty trained with pee when he finally got on the right list of medicines!

So, yes in our life, medicine is a huge help for us. It really makes a world of difference. I get asked often by other parents for my opinion on this. In some people with autism, I don't think they need medicine, but in some cases I do believe they need it. It is entirely up to you. It doesn't hurt to try and to see if it helps. Putting your child on medicine to help their challenges with autism is no different than a person taking medicine to help their high blood pressure or to help a headache.

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