*****Link below is the link to Autism Speaks Medication Guide -----Which I give a C in my books.
First, let's start with the name, "Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful use." The guide gets away from "Medication Use," and into when medication should be used. This is a parent decision. It may belong in a PDF Titled, "Medication to use or not to use!" The decicion to use has nothing to do with a PDF titled "Safe and Careful use."
Second, after the decision to use medication has been made; it is not Autism Speaks duty to caution once again that medication should be a last ditch effort. I agree medication are for me the last choice but have used them at a time in my son's life when it was appropriate. That is more of a decision left between doctor and parent. I do not want to imply that because I think usually medication in autism should be considere last; that a parent that chooses otherwise is wrong. Autism speaks should not imply this either.
Third, the list of medications is not exaustive enough. I will list Low Dose Naltrexeone Therapy. Here are two things you can read about it. I am not advocating it or saying not to choose it. I simply present it here as one choice that is unlisted in the PDF of Autism Speaks.
Fourth, there is no interview with a pharmacist as a specialist. Why is this? It says talk to your doctor or nurse. Check with pharmacist for more information. Why not talk to one when putting together this information?
Fifth, Autism Speaks talks about teaching the child to swallow and how to reward the child/kid for doing so. What is wrong with them? Have they never heard of sensory issues? Some places change the flavors for these reasons. When is it better to ask for a chewable tablet that can be put in a specific medium? Ever heard of plugging a capsule? It would mask the taste and make it easer to swallow.
I wish I had time to go into all the reasons and what "plugging a capsule," is. My point is this PDF as a tool kit is biased. Doesn't take into consideration autistics personal sensory issues and more. It is lacking in basic autism reasoning. Futhermore, there needs to be more information on various drugs covered.
This information is not intended to be about replacing or telling you what to do. As with all medical decesions, check with your providers before doing anything. I am not responsible for your lack of research in treating your son/daughter. I only wish to inform you if you use this tool it is one sided and you need more information.
You are not a bad person if you choose drugs before other therapies. You do not have to agree with Autism Speaks or me personally. Your child may have servere behavior that drugs can mediate that would be life saving. Do not feel put down when you have been advised of a choice by a provider that is qualified and choose a different path. Not every one knows your story.
I plan to go into detail in my book about sensory issues and the world of pharmacy. Also, I want to cover more drugs and possible uses in pharmacy. I will give you this. I read recently that many drugs are used in the pediatric population off label. Why? This make sense. Few drugs are tested for the pediatric population. Drug use is a risk anytime. I would say just be informed not scared.
If another mother/father looks at you in horror because you didn't do all the Autism Speaks PDF told you to do, then look at them and say,"Thank you we can read too!"
Autism Speaks, next time consider getting with a pharmacist when writing a medication guide. Do not make it look like ever parent must look at medication is a last resort. Some behaviors such as head banging warrent drugs before behavior intervention or right alongside it.
INformation is what parents need not a how to must path on when meds are okay to use.