The Dreaded Question: ‘Do You Medicate Your Son With Autism?’

I hate this question. I hate it so much that even typing the sentence ‘do you medicate your son‘ gives me anxiety. It’s not that I mind sharing the answer with you. I am an open book. I also firmly believe that as parents we can help our children even more by speaking opening and honestly about what’s working and what’s not.

I remember years ago when Cooper was first diagnosed I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. Tell me the best course of action to help my son. What therapies, diets, tools, resources and even medications work well? Just tell me. But I was very new to the journey so I wasn’t in the right circles. I wasn’t talking to the right people yet. And maybe, I wasn’t even asking the right questions.

The real reason I hate the question is because I do not know if you are anti-medication or pro-medication. I don’t know if you are a well-meaning, curious, in the trenches parent like me who is struggling and just wants to help their kid and give them their best life OR if you are a person that had a bad experience being medicated as a child and want to completely tear me down.

I don’t know. And it scares the hell out of me.

Choosing to medicate a little human is a HUGE, stressful, scary question that most parents don’t take lightly. They research, talk to other parents and medical professionals, join Facebook groups, etc., etc. They lay awake at night wondering if they are doing the right thing. They worry constantly. They question if they are doing everything possible to help their child? Don’t even get me started on self doubt and parent guilt. It’s a heavy decision. But the whole time they know that they are the voice for a vulnerable little person that needs them to be their voice and advocate.

Somewhere along the line parents started getting judged pretty harshly for making decisions around medication and their children. And I believe the judging is mostly coming from people without children and people without disabled children.

Imagine if you have baby. The baby is beautiful and wonderful and amazing. And then you start to notice some differences. And before you know it you have a diagnosis. In our case, it was autism.

I like to remind the world that when Cooper was diagnosed, I was an average mom who was scared, confused and overwhelmed. I was not a doctor, therapist, scientist, teacher, mind reader or miracle worker. Just a mom who suddenly had to find what ‘works’ for her child. It is a lonely and confusing journey people. I do not know what I am doing any more than the next person.

Finding the plan that works best for Cooper has been mostly trial and error with a whole lot of research and collaboration with Cooper’s village and other parents.

So yes, to answer you question, along with making changes to Cooper’s diet (removing gluten and dairy) and adding in eight daily supplements (with the guidance of a doctor) we’ve started experimenting with medication for Cooper. We are doing the smallest possible dose and watching him so closely it’s exhausting. I know that if we can find a medication that takes the edge off his anxiety he will feel so much better. He will be able to sit down. He will be able to be present in a situation. He will be happier. That is my goal as his mom. But in saying all that, I will NEVER sacrifice Cooper’s well-being or personality. I do not want to drug him. I do not want to take away his joy and light. I do not want to quiet him.

I want to take away his anxiety so he can find his voice and be part of the world.

That’s a heavy task people. So remember, when you ask a parent if they medicate their child, it’s no easy answer. A lot of time, thought, worry and consideration went into their decision. So no judgement. Just support please.

(Note: This is a safe space for parents and guardians of children with disabilities to share their stories. Anything negative will be deleted. Constructive thoughts are welcomed!)

This video is about my son’s medical care and our first dabble into the world of medication.

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  • Ginny

    November 9, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    FYI, it’s not Friday, it’s Thursday!!😂

  • Jill

    November 10, 2017 at 3:20 pm

  • Jesse

    November 18, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Hi Kate from Finding Cooper's Voice! I just want to thank you for making and sharing such brave videos. It helps me on so many […] Read MoreHi Kate from Finding Cooper's Voice! I just want to thank you for making and sharing such brave videos. It helps me on so many levels to see someone finding her way through an experience similar to mine. Big hugs to you and your adorable family. Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!


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