Sunday, August 25, 2013

Would I Medicate My Child?

Halfway through the whole ASD diagnostic process, when comorbid ADD (and less strongly ODD) came into the picture, someone raised the question of medication.

Ryan and Ian on the way to Sports Day in June.  (This IS our chilly winter weather gear!)

Why was I getting a diagnosis?  Did I think medication would cure her?

Was I trying to cure my child?

Do I even consider autism a disease in the ordinary sense?

It is not only part of my daughter's genetic make-up but a large part of her personality.  She is who she is in part due to her autism.

Would I change her?  No.

Would I like her to be more easy to deal with sometimes.  Absolutely.

Is this a reason to medicate?  Absolutely not.

Sports Day at Kurwongbah State School

Would it make her situation easier?  Probably not.  Her doctor would only suggest it if SHE thought it would help her with attention difficulties later on in a classroom setting.  But she does fairly well - has always done fairly well - without medication.  Well enough that she escaped detection all these years. 

What my daughter needs is understanding, acceptance and alternatives to traditional teaching practices, not medication.

On the other hand I know a child who not only benefits from his medications, but cannot be himself without them.  His mother, after pulling him out of the stresses of a traditional school and home schooling him, after gluten-free, sugar-free diets and everything that she was told she should try, had such success with his behaviour that they tried stopping his medication.  Within a week he could barely function.

He told her that he couldn't find himself, that he couldn't see without his medication.  His condition was clouding his ability to see himself.

He was losing himself without medication.

That, for me, would be the gold standard with which to judge whether or not to medicate my child. 

Those of us who do medicate our children do it because the symptoms the medication alleviates hinder our child from finding himself.  We don't do it to make our children more manageable or because we are too lazy to apply proper parenting techniques.  We do it because proper parenting techniques don't work.

Did she KNOW there was a camera on her?!

We do it because we lose our child without them.

Medication or not, what all children on the autistic spectrum need are acceptance and understanding.

If we could put that in a bottle and sell it to the world we'd cure a lot more than autism.

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