HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Search MyAspergersChild.com

Medication for Treating Aggression in Asperger's Children

“Are there any medications that can be used to treat aggression in a child with Asperger syndrome? Is it ever advisable to use medication for this purpose?”

Aggression is seldom an isolated problem and is particularly complex in kids with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA). Aggressive behavior is not always associated with just one condition and can have highly varied sources.

Many studies have been proposed to understand aggressive behavior in young people with AS and HFA. There are promising biologic models that suggest the behavior arises from alterations in dopaminergic reward mechanisms, and cognitive models suggesting that such acts are an outcome of conditioned learning.

Tantrums and aggression are often responses to an array of circumstances and occur in the context of varied emotions. Circumstances preceding and following aggressive outbursts should be observed and documented before selecting a particular medication (e.g., when aggression is a response to anxiety or frustration, the most helpful interventions target those symptoms and the circumstances that produce them, rather than exclusively focusing on the aggressive behavior itself).

Unfortunately, the request for medication typically follows a crisis. The press for a rapid, effective end to the unwanted behaviors may not permit the gathering of much needed data or discussion. Nonetheless, it is not appropriate to “always” begin with one medication or another. Moving to a more “surefire” medication too quickly may mean that the AS or HFA child takes on cardiovascular, endocrinologic, and cognitive risks that may be otherwise avoided.

There are studies in support of using serotonin reuptake inhibitors, alpha-adrenergic agonists, beta-blocking agents, mood stabilizers, and neuroleptics for aggressive behavior. When the doctor has the (a) luxury of time, (b) support of the child’s parents, and (c) collaboration with school staff where the child is attending school, then a medication that is safer, but perhaps takes a longer time to work (or is a little less likely to help) can be tried.

As a side note, it does appear that medications with a greater likelihood of success pose greater risks (e.g., evidence supports use of dopamine blocking agents for aggressive behavior; however, the side effects and long-term risks from these medications are greater than others listed earlier).

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

No comments:

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

Click here to read the full article…

Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

Click here to read the full article...

Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

Click here to read the full article...

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content