UCLA study on Asperger’s and focus — Intuniv

It’s been awhile since I wrote here. I’ve been in a state of confusion and a bit vulnerable, but now I’m ready to spill my guts!

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t ready to put Stink on any kind of meds. It just didn’t feel right. He’s not complaining about his tics. His doctor doesn’t see any reason to use meds, so why bother? (Other than they sometimes can be frustrating for me. Not a good enough reason.)

After our last visit to UCLA, however, the idea of possible Asperger’s came up. Combined with many visits with teachers over the past few years, I decided to look into it more via a UCLA diagnostic study. Shock of all shock, Stink fits the description for being on the spectrum and is a candidate for their drug study — one that uses Intuniv (ADD medication) and sees if it helps with symptoms of Asperger’s.

I found this disconcerting for a few reasons:

1. I don’t feel the diagnostic was in depth enough to warrant a diagnosis.

2. Even if Stink has a diagnosis for Asperger’s, it’s high-functioning enough that do I really need a diagnosis? What happened to just having a kid with some quirks? Do you think next year he’ll be diagnosed with EPID — Extreme Pistachio Intake Disorder? I mean, he does eat them by the fistfuls. It could be considered compulsive. Call the shrinks at Costco! He might need meds!

I’m irritated, because while I will of course help my kid any way I can, I’m also annoyed at how quick we are to throw pills down our kids’ throats in this culture. I want my son to be the best he can, but he loves himself the way he is — tics and all. He’s happy. He’s content. When is that enough? What is the balance between “getting the best for our kids” and “this is too much?”

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take a pill. I suffer from DAYS Syndrome — Drinks A lot of Yuban. It’s a real sickness. I better call UCLA.

How are you all? What’s new in the world of TSParentsOnline? Talk to me people! :)


  1. My daughter has aspergers and is high functioning. Having quirks is one thing, but her AS is a huge deal in her life, she can’t make or keep friends, because of her difficulties she’s very depressed and is extremely stressed and anxious most of the time. I swore I’d never put my child on drugs, but really have no other alternative. I want her to have as much peace of mind as she can and I’ll do anything to give it to her. I’m glad your son has accepted his diagnosis. My daughter would rather die than admit she has AS,

    • I am not against drugs if needed. My son was on them for a while for focus and we are reconsidering that again. Does your daughter have a support group? What do you think is holding her back from admitting that her brain works a bit different from other folks? And, more importantly, it works LIKE many folks, too, hence the support group. Not finger wagging – trying to help with a solution. I just joined a support group for struggling with a personal issue. It sucks to go and talk about it out loud. but it’s awesome to know I’m not alone.

  2. How often would you say that Tourettes and Aspergers mix? I wonder if my son has both. He’s only been diagnosed with Tourettes.

    • I’m not sure how much Aspergers and TS mix, but I do know it is very very common. I am really starting to see that the side aspects of T.S. – either ADHD or Aspergers or OCD or ADD – is far more of a minefield to treat than the tics. I am still belly crawling toward understanding of T.S., but it does seem that treating the other stuff helps reduce the tics, not the other way around. For my son, though he has not been diagnosed with Aspergers, there are some traits there. He is wonderful and silly and so empathetic and kind, so I focus on those things first. I fill up his soul with positive things and then add in discipline and treatment for things as needed. Just a thought! Keep us posted!

  3. I believe my (non medicated) TS, ADHD, son (10 years) may have Aspergers as well. I was thinking of having him assessed so he can have the best help in school next year. He really has a difficult time with reading comprehension and writing homework. He cannot seem to create ideas onto paper. (But he can tell you most of the exits off the GSParkway, or which routes he needs to take to drive from NJ to Florida and he never has driven there. He can tell you all the States and Capitals.) I am in the Jersey Shore area, does anyone have a doctor (or office) to recommend that specializes in this type of evaluation? (By the way I had posted in Dec. about his bean bag chair that he loved to flop on instead of the couch…It needs a serious refill!) Have a good day.

  4. I am strugling with the same ideas – first diagnosis was adhd with meds prescribed, second was TS with meds prescribed. I wonder just how safe, and how much the pill makers market and reward Doctors who promote? At the same time I want to get my son the most help in anyway I can… any research out there on diet / nutrition / supplements? or toxins causing TS ?

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