Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

N.C., Play Date, and Medications

Our trip to N.C. was great, I bought a new bike for myself, Griffin played with his little cousin, and we got to visit with my sister and her family and my brother and his family. It is always so nice to visit N.C. it is so beautiful there and it is nice to see my family. Griffin seemed much more comfortable playing with his little cousin "E" this time whereas last time he didn't seem to really want to interact with her. They played on the teeter toter and in E's tent/tunnel laughing together the entire time. I didn't get any pics this time unfortunately because I forgot to take my camera in from the truck.

Griffin had a play date with his little friend "C" and once again he seemed much more comfortable playing and interacting with him more so than the previous visit. C kept wanting to wrestle with Griffin, it was so cute and I think that Griffin enjoyed having the deep pressure of C lying on top of him because he was laughing so hard. This time Griffin wasn't so fixated on petting the cats and just spent a short amount of time with them.

I had an individual comment on my last post about so-called miracle cures and I want to make it clear that I do not believe in such things. I wish for everyone to know that I trust that Griffin will take the path that he is meant to take and that if that means that he recovers from autism then great but if he does not then I am fully prepared for that as well. I am not a proponent of miracle cures for autism and do not promote the use of them because I think that it is a recipe for disaster and disappointment. Griffin is awesome exactly as he is and if he doesn't change then I will be fine with that and I accept him and his autism with open arms. He is the joy of my life and he is perfectly wonderful just being Griffin..........the happy little camper that he is!

My friend in Wisconsin has just tried a drug(on her son Noah) that is experimental for the use in autism, it is called Namenda and has been used typically for dementia in Alzhiemer patients (I know that I didn't spell that right). Anyhow, she has had great results with her son Noah who is 10 years old and autistic. I was just wondering if anyone else has tried it or heard of it. I am not planning on using it for Griffin because he will not take pills and besides it has to be used with a mood stabilizer and he does not need one of those. Apparently Noah has shown signs of being more verbal, being much more social, and outgoing since starting the medication.

I also would like to know if anyone has had any experience with the drug Mirtazapine which is used for sleep in children with sleep disorders. Griffin is not so unusual in that he has a huge problem with insomnia and I have been giving him Clonidine which is typically used in adults for high blood pressure but they found that it causes sleepiness as a side effect so it is also used for that in children. I don't feel comfortable giving him hypertension meds even though the doctor said that it will not lower his blood pressure but I am not sure if I want to try him on the Mirtazapine which is specifically used just for sleep, I hate giving him anything at all but I have to have my sleep in order to function and to keep my moods stable besides I take Seroquel for sleep because I also have a huge problem with insomnia as well and cannot stay up with him at night. I am just curious if anyone has used this medication and if there have been any ill side effects from it.

Hope that you all are doing well and having a great day! Many hugs to all of you, thanks for reading our blog!


kristi said...

I'm so glad ya'll had a good time on your trip. Sounds like Griffin is doing great.

mcewen said...

The drug carousel is just too terrifying [not that I'm ruling it out] it just seems so complicated - try various types, wait for reaction, change dose, change meds, one for this condition, another for something else, real cocktail shakers.
So saying it's so very tempting especially since Temple Grandin said that she was so grateful to be on them when she was older.
We'll see.
Glad that you all had such a great trip.
Best wishes

Sam I Am said...

Sam has been on clonidine for well over a year. Our doctor checks his blood pressure regularly and we have not had any problems. Clonidine is one of the few that has had case studies with children with autism age 4 and older that has had virtually no side effects. I can not tell you what life has been like for him now that he gets a good nights sleep! He can function at school!!! 3 years of roaming the house at night, us purchasing a security system, locking his door, and being up with him basically 1am till 6am, all that when I was teaching full time. Life has been so much better for the little guy (and selfishly me).

Key is to start off with the lowest dose possible and work up. That is the safest.

What I have heard, and that our pediatrician told us about Mirtazapine, is that is can be addictive (least that is what we learned in an autism med class), whereas Clonidine not. That is all I know though.

My hubby and I were huge anti-med folk until a year ago. But, unfortunately we got to a point that Sam was self injurous in a violent way and to others. So, hence, Risperdal entered our life in February. Again, at the lowest possible dose. He is amazing!!! He is more verbal, able to handle transitions better, and has not hurt himself or anyone since starting.

I only tell you all this, as I am a pretty big behaviorist. The teacher and counselor in me is pretty big on behavior modification first, but I can tell you after we had pulled out all the stops and nothing worked. We have been so happy.

KC's Blog said...

Hi there you two!

Thanks for sharing your blog with everyone in the blogosphere :)
Biking has got to be fun! It's so great that you are able to get out and enjoy the outdoors!
It sounds like Griffin is making friends and doing super!
We love you guys and feel so happy for you two!

inittowinit said...


Our daughter takes Namenda. She is also on Abilify, though I don't think you HAVE to take that along with Namenda for it to be effective. Additionally, you may want to consider Melatonin (over-the-counter) for sleep. I believe it's a natural herb but considered safe by every doctor to whome I've spoken thus far (and there have been many). I too feel very uncomfortable about giving blood-pressure medication for the sole purposed of helping a child fall asleep. I personally tried the Melatonin (though I have no sleep issues) and felt no side-effects. You do not wake up groggy at all, as reported by takers of other sleep-aids, and it is non-addictive. If you have any more questions, you may e-mail me at

bridalsh said...

Re: Namenda - six and half -month update - Great new!

Jen (Age 20 years old) is calling her aid on her bus by name, "Deb". She arrived home from school to day saying, "I cute" and laughing. She told my mother "I Love you". Her words are getting clearer. I talked to her OT from her school today and she told me Jen is talking all the time and everyone is so excited, referring to the other professional that meet Jen. Namenda is working! Jen has made the jump to the point that the professionals that encounter her are aware of the difference. It not just me with hopes and prays, seeing little changes, they hear it too! She is talking more and more each day. I am not sure where this path of progress will lead, but we are on our way!

I seen progress in Jen the first week that Jen received Namanda.
Bev Weakley