Still Breathing-Weighing The Pros and Cons Of Medications For Your Exceptional Child

To say that we have been on a journey with Michael is the understatement of the year. To also say that medication have been helped and hindered this journey, is also in that same category. Still though, I have to say that I am glad we have tried all the medications we did, even the ones that did not work out. Michael is on one medication that is helping him a lot at the moment, but needs more. It is just a matter in our case and Michael’s most importantly, of finding the medication that will help all his issues- his ADHD, his OCD and his anxiety without making his aggression fly through the roof or affecting his blood sugar. We have to always consider his blood sugar due to him having Type 1 Diabetes. So far 4 of the 5 medications have helped the other issues he has faced amazingly- his ADHD, his OCD and even anxiety related to his autism. However, his aggression has always increased with all but one. Eventually, we have had to get him off all but one of the medications due to this. He was having a harder time controlling his temper and the outbursts would be longer. The one he is on is still helping a lot.

Still, even with this, I am so grateful for all the medications he has tried. No, I am not crazy. The thing is, he has learned strategies so well while on all of these medications. He has learned how to better regulate himself. He now uses a card he designed and refers to it to calm himself. His Educator has given us strategies as well to help him ask for help or attention before his emotions escalate. He was not receptive to many of these measures prior to medication being introduced. Dad said the same thing the other day to me and I agreed. He actually is more responsive now since we introduced medication, even ones that did not end up working for the long haul. The one he was on the longest really helped him the most with aggression control, but it took its toll in the end in weight gain and blood sugar regulation so we said good bye. I don’t regret that decision. There are days when I feel discouraged that we have not found the perfect medication and therapy combination, but I know we will. Michael, in spite of the challenges, is an amazing boy. He is doing well at school, socially, and is improving at home too, where he is challenged the most.  He is connecting the dots about how his behavior affects things, and is wonderfully receptive to any medication or therapy we try. He has always been a very open minded little boy. I am so glad to see that he is not giving up on fixing his issues. Dad and I are not either. We see his potential-the wonderful boy and one day man, and all he will be able to offer the world. He is seeing it too!

Finding the right medication and therapy is often a challenge for a child with ASD and ADHD. Add in other diagnoses, and the water gets ever murkier. This is why I know Dad and I need to be patient just as Michael is. We need to continue to show Michael we believe in all his potential- with cooking, people skills, music, art and life. Michael loves life, people and being at the center of life. We love having him there. It has been hard having to step back from a lot of our family activities while we get behavior issues under control, but I know we will get to the point where Michael will get back to where he was before and we will as well. He is constantly amazing me with his questions, his observations of life, and his continuous interest in what is being taught at school. Everyone loves his enthusiasm, and as long as we can get him to develop an awareness of how to handle anger and anxiety, I know we are on the right track.

Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child fared while on medication? If wonderful great! If not so wonderful, don’t despair. This may mean either medication is not right for your child, or else you may not have found the right medication. The point is you will never know what works until you try everything. Don’ t be afraid to try different types of medications and see for yourself what does or does not work. Also, don’t be afraid to try different therapies to complement the medication and vice versa. Finding the right balance is what will help your exceptional child succeed. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with Autism, ADHD, OCD  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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