Author: Lindsey Miller, ARNP

Common Questions about Medication and Autism

1) Is there a particular medication or medications to treat autism (to address the core deficits of autism)?

No, currently there is no medication that treats the core deficits or characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (such as speech delays, poor social skills, repetitive behaviors). Medication is aimed at reducing associated symptoms (such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, anxiety, depression, irritability, tantrums, aggression, self-injury) that interfere with functioning.

2) How is the decision made to try medication?

The decision to try medication should be made carefully and involve thorough discussion and assessment. The first step is to identify the target symptoms and determine their impact on daily functioning. If the symptom/behavior is new, it is important to first rule out a medical cause for the behavior (such as illness, headache, constipation, reflux, Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs)

SCAC ARNPsARNPs at Seattle Children’s Autism Center

When my children were young, they were patients of a large pediatric practice. It was sometimes difficult to get a same-day appointment with a doctor, so when I was offered one with a nurse practitioner (NP), I took it. This was my first experience with an ARNP and it opened my eyes to all that this medical professional has to offer.

NPs are an integral part of our team at Seattle Children’s Autism Center (SCAC). For more information about them, I turned to Lindsey Miller, ARNP for background on the education and training that is required. Read full post »

What Happens After High School Graduation?

If you are a parent or caregiver of a school-age child with autism, you already are an expert at special education. Much of your focus has likely been on reviewing annual goals and tracking your child’s progress over the course of a school year. But at some point, it will be important and necessary to start looking at your child’s special education programming through a slightly different lens. One that looks further into the future and begins to think about and formulate the plan for your child’s transition from high school to whatever comes next. Read full post »