Tag Archives: Mother Claims

Question?: Autistic Disorder

David asks…

Autism reported to get worse with a patient?

I have been talking to care staff that work with an autistic man, who is siad to be getting worse autistically.

The mans mother claims that in the past, he was able to ride a bike, go out for walks, run, play and so on when he was a child.

However, his mother claims that it is because he is on medication today and that this is why his behaviour has got worse with time.
She would like him to come off medication.

His dose of medication has been reduced, but not much of a behaviour difference has been observed by the staff.

As I understand it, AS and Autistic disorder remains unchanged in its magniture through out life. But there are variables that can make its effects more or less noticable, such as adolescence and becoming an adult.

In many cases, as such people grow to become adults, I hear reports of a decline in such behaviour.

Can this condition become more or less severe in terms of brain structural damage?
If so, why?

admin answers:

Autism is not caused as a result of brain damage. Scientists are still trying to make a determination of cause, but they think it is probably a genetic predisposition triggered by environmental factors. There are degrees of severity. Many people on the autism spectrum are not mentally retarded. However deficits in communication and social skills make it seem as if they are developmentally challenged.

In my career as a special education teacher, I have observed that puberty DOES present behavior challenges to people on the autism spectrum. But then again, been around any typical kids going through puberty lately? *grin* Puberty can adversely effect the best of us. The issue is just compounded when the person has severe expressive and receptive communication problems.

Some questions you may want to ask are:
Does this person have preferred activities (puzzles, movies, lining up books, etc.)? If so, are these activities built into his daily schedule? Does he have a visual schedule over which he has some control (during a free time activity period, can he choose from 2 or 3 different things)? During his day, does he participate in meaningful age appropriate activities (helping pick up trays, sweeping the floor, straightening books or magazines, etc.)? A visual prompt system may be necessary for his participation in meaningful activities, such as a sequence of pictures showing scattered magazines, then hands picking up those magazines, then a neat stack of magazines.

Basically, any person, no matter their disability level, needs to have scheduled periods of useful activities interspersed with fun activities throughout their day. The challenge is two-fold: finding something useful they can do successfully, and discovering what it is that they consider ‘fun’.

Thanks for being concerned and willing to help a fellow human being. Good luck and best wishes!

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Question?: Autistic Disorder

John asks…

Autism reported to get worse with a patient?

I have been talking to care staff that work with an autistic man, who is siad to be getting worse autistically.

The mans mother claims that in the past, he was able to ride a bike, go out for walks, run, play and so on when he was a child.

However, his mother claims that it is because he is on medication today and that this is why his behaviour has got worse with time.
She would like him to come off medication.

His dose of medication has been reduced, but not much of a behaviour difference has been observed by the staff.

As I understand it, AS and Autistic disorder remains unchanged in its magniture through out life. But there are variables that can make its effects more or less noticable, such as adolescence and becoming an adult.

In many cases, as such people grow to become adults, I hear reports of a decline in such behaviour.

Can this condition become more or less severe in terms of brain structural damage?
If so, why?

admin answers:

Cosmic… The question wasn’t regarding a child, but an autistic MAN who, I’m assuming, is in a group home.

You didn’t state if this is a new medication or he’s been on it awhile. If it’s a fairly new med, first of all why is he on it? Second, maybe it needs to be lowered more? Or, a different one tried. All of these can affect change in any individual,so they really need to be thought about for the individual, not just as the group as a whole. Asperger’s and autism CAN and often do change throughout the person’s life, depending on what is being done with that person. As they mature, they can learn to live with it better, some even covering it up better. But because it affects them socially and emotionally, the way it affects them can change depending on their situations. For my son, I notice changes in him if he’s sick or getting sick, too tired, hasn’t been stimulated enough sensorily, or he’s been over-stimulated. Those are just a few of the things that bring about temporary change. Long-term changes can be (in terms of improving) brought about through working with the individual, helping them learn self-control, etc. Problem is, as an adult, they’re usually not as open to change and won’t cooperate with it, so typically there is ‘less’ change when they hit adulthood. Now, in terms of regression, what is his day like? Is anyone trying to stimulate him, or engage him in his world, or are they just leaving it up to him? He might be going through a rough spot like we all do, not feeling motivated enough to do the things he was doing. If that came about after starting the meds, I would say his mom is right. So, really you have to look at the things leading up to his regression, what is being done to try to help him out of it, and how responsive he is. Maybe his mom could try getting him to do these things. Really, even though he’s autistic you’re still dealing with an individual personality who is going to have ups and downs. It’s just that with autism, they’re usually much more pronounced, more severe. In terms of brain structural damage, what has he been exposed to? I’ve seen with my son that changes in diets, changes in chemicals that he’s exposed to, will drastically affect him. Check to see if the cleaners used to clean around the facility have been changed or increased in the amounts being used. Maybe a new employee is using too much of something, and that’s affecting his ability to function. I realize this isn’t actually structural damage, but these things drastically affect how they function, their ability to process.
Hopefully this gives you some different things to look at to find the culprit. I’m hoping this facility is respecting the mom’s wishes, though, if the only deciding factor ends up being the meds?

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