Shooting for the Moon with Ryan

Life in the World of Autism

To Medicate or Not to Medicate

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IMG_1356    Ryan is seven and is having trouble focusing on his work in school. The topic of medication has just come up. Besides Ryan’s trials with not eating and not sleeping, deciding to put Ryan on medication is one of the most difficult issues I’ve had to face so far. Medication is supposed to help and I want Ryan to have all the help he can get. At the same time, I’m putting a drug into his body and it’s changing the whole way he is reacting to his environment.

This weekend has been rough. There were highs and lows. The highs were getting to see how the medication was helping. I got to see what Ryan’s teacher was raving about. At school, Ryan was completing his work and interacting more with the people around him. He was answering questions and not doing his stemming and rocking. At home, it was more of the same. He actually read a book aloud to us and worked on a sticker book without help. He was answering our questions, was more aware of his environment, and having little conversations with us.

But, yesterday, Ryan appeared tired most of the day. Did he have a good sleep? It’s hard to know after I turn off his light and shut his door at night. Then came the lows. Ryan had a rough sleep last night. He was in bed by 8 p.m., but was still awake when I went to bed at 10 p.m. I woke up at 1 a.m. to sounds of Ryan playing in his room with his light on. It took me awhile to get him back to sleep. I let Ryan sleep in this morning and I drove him to school late.

What a disappointment. The medication is affecting Ryan’s sleep. It’s bringing back memories of one of the more difficult times in the life of our family: when Ryan couldn’t sleep through the night,  a common problem with children on the spectrum. In no way can we go back to those times.

I called the doctor and I’m waiting for her to call back. Trying medication is an emotional roller coaster. But I feel like if we can find the right medication and dose, it will make all the difference in the world.

Author: ryansmom

I'm a wife, mother, teacher, writer, and advocate of autism. I have a 7 year old son on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. I love writing about the world of autism and our families' daily adventures as we navigate through both stormy and calm waters. Writing this blog is truly therapeutic for me. I hope other families dealing with autism will read this blog and discover that they are not alone.

One thought on “To Medicate or Not to Medicate

  1. Medication is hard for sure. We struggled for a long time with our decision (ultimately decided not to use certain types)… It can certainly make a positive difference once the right combo is found!


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