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A 40-year-old member asked:

I have a 7 year old son with high-functioning autism. is it smart to put him on a drug to improve his behavior?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Yash Khanna
Family Medicine 57 years experience
Autism Spectrum: Autism in children who are high functioning may some times have add and anxiety symptoms and may need medications for that but that decision has to be made by childs pediatri neuro psychiatrist.We can not recommend on this site, so make an appointment and discuss your concern with the doctor, and if doc feels meds will benefit he/she will prescribe, these meds do have side effects you should be awar.
Dr. Rudolf Brutoco
Child Psychiatry 44 years experience
Meds can help...: ..A lot! autism manifests in various forms, probably has various causes, & is extremely complex to treat. Behavioral & social interventions are important, & increasingly psychoactive medications play an important role. These meds need be carefully selected & titrated for the individual, possibly addressing such features as anxiety, anger, mood, hyperactivity, etc. See a true expert& get the right rx.
Dr. James Courey
Specializes in Prosthodontics
Proceed with caution: There is no magic pill that will cure a child with autism. While it may be tempting to medicate a hyperactive or challenging child, this poses an ethical grey area for professionals and parents because many drugs have side effects whose long term profile is not yet know; children often cannot express if they feel sick. Meds are not a substitute for individualized intensive behavior intervention.
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
My grandson is very stable and has progressed very well with high functioning autism. Obviously still autistic, but behavior and verbalizations Melatonin with great resultds. Started speaking within 2 weeks of being on Namenda, when he looked at me and said his first full sentence:"You told me we are best buds.!" I almost cried tears of joy.
Sep 20, 2013
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
He is also on liquid Risperdal. Reads at a 4th grade level and does math at a 2nd grade level.Sentence above should read, Obviously still autistic, but is warm, cuddly, and behavior and verbalizations are remarkably improved. Medication has not interfered with his intensive therapy program.If anything, it has allowed him to work the program.
Sep 20, 2013
Dr. James Courey
Specializes in Prosthodontics
Provided original answer
Dr. Jacobson , I too have a child with autism, 15 years old. Hearing of your grandsons gains, warms my heart. I am certain decisions made to medicate him were not taken lightly. May he continue to overcome the challenges of autism. Best, Jim Courey
Sep 20, 2013

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