Let me start out by saying this is a decision best left to you and your doctor. These are my reasons for making the choice I made at the time and maybe what I would have done differently.
By the time my daughter was diagnosed I was almost crazy from regretting life decisions I had made that may have contributed to her behavior to trying to figure out how to take control and make our lives better. I had worked with teachers who either truly believed my daughter was fine or who just didn’t want to get involved; however, they were urging me to turn in her homework and raise her grades (because they knew she could do it). These same teachers who called me practically daily to let me know she had not turned in her homework were the same teachers who would respond on the therapist’s questionnaire that she rarely forgot her homework.
It seemed like I was spending more time at the school for parent-teacher conferences than I was at work. I was dealing with temper tantrums at restaurants, in grocery stores and friend’s homes. I felt like people were judging me by my daughter’s behavior and lack of consideration for others. I was beginning to feel like the most inept parent on the face of the earth.
So when I finally found a therapist who knew what was wrong and offered help through medication, I jumped on the bandwagon (quite possibly a little too quickly). In addition to the Asperger diagnosis, he diagnosed her with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He treated her with medication for each. Several years later, he added an additional medication to help with her appetite/weight loss and sleep deprivation. I’m sure any normal parent would have done research on the meds and looked at all the pros and cons, but as I said earlier I was at the end of my proverbial rope.
If you have not decided on medication yet, my advice is to do research. Find out what the side effects are and, most importantly, if there will be any problems when and if you decide to quit administering them. Make sure you find out how much the drug will cost, whether insurance will pay and if there is a generic/alternate form which may be less expensive. Find out what the doctor will do for your child when it’s time to take them off the medication.
I wish I had taken the time to do what I’m advising others to do. I can’t say I wouldn’t have continued with them. My daughter’s grades improved with the use of medication. She didn’t always remember her homework, but at least it was an infrequent event. She is definitely more pleasant after she takes her medicine. I can always tell if she’s forgotten to take it, and I pity the people who have to deal with her when she forgets.
Click here for an online A-Z drug list.