How Exceptional Parents Can Help Their Exceptional Child Handle Medication Withdrawal


My heart has been breaking all week as I watched Michael go through a miserable time on a new medication to help with his anxiety. I knew I could expect that a medication could not work out. I’ve had Mom friends tell me sometimes it takes 4 tries before the right medication/therapy match is made. Still, watching your child suffer is hard. And when he suffers by becoming more aggressive and fearful to family it is heartbreaking. Combine that with the last week of school/work for both of us, and I was finished for the long weekend we had in Montreal. It was a brutal long weekend peppered with some fun moments- a nice walk with Michael on Sunday, watching Michael finally connect positively with Dad late Saturday afternoon, and meeting up with friends for the St. Jean Baptiste festival fun on Monday afternoon.

There was also a gloriously proud moment for me as Michael asked if he could bring his injection equipment to Mcdonald’s and have breakfast out with me. This was the first breakfast out of the house since his Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis at the end of last August. He was a champ! We ordered the food, found our table, and Michael set up the injection equipment beautifully. I did the injections and then he was eating breakfast, just like that! A staff member at the Mcdonald’s came up to us and told us he had Type 1 Diabetes too and was diagnosed at 6 years old. It was a great moment for Michael to see that he was not alone, and me too. God works in mysterious ways.

But back to the stress of our medication ordeal. It’s so hard to get the right type of treatment for kids. I had my moments when watching my boys fight nearly broke me, but then I remembered, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Somehow, somewhere our family would get through this stage like we got through everything else. Michael, as I tell him, is my hero. He is able to handle so much, and even when he messes up, he tries and tries again. It’s only now that I see he does not know how to try again, that I am realizing he is stuck. He does not want to be aggressive and impulsive. He can’t control it. He needs his parents and the other adults around him to be able to help support him and keep him calm.

Today we had a rough patch as mother and son. After we were both finished being angry and crying, I apologized as did Michael. I then told him, “I will never give up on you, so don’t give up on me either, ok?” He nodded. I meant don’t give up when Mom loses her cool. It does not happen as often anymore as it did when I was less experienced as a Mom and Michael was younger. I know now, that I can fall apart in private and lean on my family and friends when times get rough, but Michael needs and deserves me strong. On that note, here are 5 tips I have learned about handling your child’s medication withdrawal:

  1. Stay calm in front of your child
  2. Lose it when alone and share your stress with a family member or friend.
  3. Remember, tomorrow is another day.
  4. Help your child realize it is not their fault or yours.
  5. Believe that you will find the right balance of therapy and medication for your child

Exceptional Parents, how well did you handle your child’s difficulty with medications, therapies or any other methods that unfortunately were not helpful? If you got angry, upset, resentful and fearful, congratulations, you are human. It is normal to feel all of the above. As long as you allowed yourself to feel what you needed to feel then got back on that horse, you went back to being the cheerleader and advocate your child needed. Never forget that you set the stage for how they will handle their challenges by how you handle yours. Be humble, kind, and practice self-care. Your child will learn to do the same for themselves. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website,

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