Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
Which medication is better?
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Questions in the Autism & Asperger's Syndrome forum are answered by researchers at the New England Center for Children. Topics covered include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisocial Personality Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, blindness, bullying, clinical depression, deafness, dyslexia, mental retardation, and social alienation.

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Which medication is better?

My 13 yr autistic son is suffering of SIB and is aggresive (aggressive) towards me to the point I have bruises in my arms. Which medication would be helpful Abilify or Clonidine?
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Every child responds differently to medication, so there is no way to definitively answer the question.  However, the two medications are of entirely different classes and might be expected to change behavior through slightly different mechanisms.  You should ask your pediatrician (or the prescribing doctor) what to expect from each medication in terms of both benefits and side effects, including how long it might take to fully evaluate whether a medication works and how to determine whether it is working (hopefully through direct evaluation of the frequency and intensity of behavior).

It’s important to note that medication alone may not effectively manage your son’s behavior.  If you aren’t already consulting with a Behavior Analyst, I’d suggest that you do so.  A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) can help you determine the situations that trigger this type of behavior and how to safely address the behavior in the long run.  The BACB website has a local service provider directory at: http://www.bacb.com/consum_frame.html.    It seems likely that if his behavior is this bad at home that he is having problems at school, too.  In this case, you should consult with your school to determine what types of services he is getting there and whether home support is an option.

Good luck
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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