Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bipolar and Autism as Billy Ray Experiences It

Bipolar is basically mood swings from high to low. It is cyclic with big highs (mania) and desperate lows (depression). Thus bipolar is often referred to as manic/depression as well. Some folks who experience this have what is called rapid cycling. Billy Ray can be calm one minute and then manic the next. He doesn’t experience as much depressive state.

It is interesting that Griffin’s Mom wrote in her blog a few days about bipolar because I have been doing internet research on Bipolar because it has been suggested by the psychiatrist that the out of control behavior Billy Ray is experiencing maybe a worsening of his bipolar. I have been told there is a link between bipolar and autism and I am hearing of more children who have both diagnoses. Thus have been trying to understand where one comes in and the other one comes in.

I don’t talk as much about Billy Ray’s experience with bipolar. Maybe that is because it has been controlled with medication a lot of the time since his diagnosis. There are things that occur in Bipolar that could also be symptoms of Autism or ADHD.

When he was seven, he had already been diagnosed with ADHD and was using stimulants for that. We had experienced a family trauma. My late husband had been in the hospital for two months with lung problems. A few weeks after his return home he drove the little Mazada pickup that was special between father and son to observe the highway construction project he had been working on before his hospitalization. An 18 wheeler pushed a car across the median into Raymond and he was back in the hospital. The combination of Dad being back in the hospital and their little truck being totaled set in motion Billy Ray’s first manic episode. The psychiatrist explained that bipolar can be brought out younger than it normally would if there is some sort of trauma.

It was clearly different than what he had exhibited with ADHD. He was literally a wild man and incredibly strong. The developmental pediatrician sent us to a pediatric psychiatrist. It didn’t take long for the psychiatrist to make the diagnosis of bipolar. Once we had established that he was able to control it with meds for a number of years. Billy Ray had not been diagnosed with Autism at that point though I now understand that he had symptoms of mild autism I didn’t recognize then.

I wanted to find links for you which would explain how bipolar manifests in an Autistic child. That was difficult to find. I did find a MSN group site Bipolar and Autism. The beginning of it is fairly detailed and a bit hard to read, however, when you get to “Mania” it has specifics about mania in an Autistic child might. It is not clear who this group is so I am not going to quote it as authority. Here’s the link, you can decide for yourself.

Here is how Billy Ray experiences hyperactivity and mania (which can be combined but aren’t necessarily):

Hyperactivity: A basic inability to sit still or remain focused on anything. It includes bouncing up and down in place or running and throwing behaviors. Note that some of these behaviors are also a part of mania as we experience it. The main difference is the degree of excitement involved. Hyperactivity can quickly escalate into mania for Billy Ray.

Mania: Similar to the mania in adults with bipolar disorder (sense of being invincible, no impulse control, sleep issues, irritability, etc.), but it also includes the following:

  • Hitting, kicking, pushing.

  • General silliness that is out of control.

  • Running from us, both outside or taking off across the room to grab something.

  • Throwing things down the stairwell or just aimlessly across the room. This can be anything he sees sitting on the kitchen counter, clothes from his hamper, his shoes, garbage, etc., particularly something that is out of its normal place. We had to take his wastebasket out of his room because it seemed he couldn’t stand even small amounts of trash in it. Now he is beginning to do the same with kitchen garbage.

That old question of where is this coming from is a constant source of wondering for me. I pray a lot and review his journals repeatedly to try to figure how to handle each new challenge. In Billy Ray’s case, I have basically come to understand that Autism responds to the programs and schedules that I have learned works for him. For the most part when he is not responding to things that have worked in the past, we have tried to adapt and communicate with him and he is still manic it is most likely coming from bipolar and we need to call the psychiatrist. Usually the only thing that has worked for bipolar in Billy Ray is medication no matter how much I would prefer to avoid it.

Billy Ray recently started on a new medication. He is not perfect but he sure is better (sigh).

I would love to hear from others of you who have children with the dual diagnosis of Bipolar and Autism especially if they also have Down Syndrome.

Until Monday,
Peggy Lou Morgan


Lora said...

Great post, very interesting indeed. I wonder if Griffin is BP or if he will become so. I often wonder when he is in a hyper state of mind if he is BP, when he tantrums and can't seem to get himself under control I wonder. But then I wonder if it could be ADHD either way I don't know how to tell at such a young age. The poor little guy doesn't have much of a chance since I have both and mental illness runs rampant on my side of the family. Unfortunatly I don't know that much about Griffin's father's side except that he is probably BP. The rest I will tell you by e-mail.

janethayes said...

I happened on this site as I was searching for information about autism and mania. My son is high-functionig and very bright. Fortunately, we can explain things to him in a mater-of-fact way and he understands that sometimes he can get super=hyper and lots of peop[e and excitement make things worse. He has figured out that he needs to go outside to run until he is tired. He is one cool kid. He does get distressed when he can't sleep at night. We started on Remeron and it helps the sleep cycle. Ben can tell the difference. I am so glad. Hopefully, his care team and I will be abble to come up with a way to help Benjain manage himself. THanks for being here. JAent

janethayes said...

I am glad that you are here. I was looking for something on autism and mania. The postings and article re AD/HD and mania have been helpful. I read some things that I will ask our medical team about. I am relieved to see that the cycling is fairly common. At least more than I thought. Fortunately, my little star is smart enough to learn some self-management skills. He is only 8.5 so it' still early enough to get some helps ingrained.
THanks for being here.

orange said...

I have no formal diagnosis as of yet, but I've been going round and round whether my son has Asperger's or bi-polar, and of course he is extremely energetic. He is now 7, almost 8. I knew he was different since he was an infant. I have been to various therapists since he was 3 and have been unsatisfied with the results. He can be quite enagaging in a short session. Only today I thought I'd try to google the two disorders and am relieved to find that there is a co-existence. I visit the child neurologist next week. I'm also unsure whether a child psychiatrist would be better.

Anonymous said...

My nephew who is 11 yrs old, was diagnosed with adhd @ 5 yrs old and recently diagnosed with bipolar. He has been on every kind of medication possible. The recently put him on depacoat along with his adderall. This I think has only made thing worse. His Dr is now talking about sending to see a neuroligist.
If there are other going through these same issues, I would love to hear what the treatment plan is .

Anonymous said...

My 6 year old son has Asperger's/bi-polar disorder. I have learner in a support group that stimulants used for ADHD can increase mania in these children, so the recomendations have been for a combination of mood stabilizer and anti-psychotic such as Abilify. So far we have gone with the mood stabilizer, which seems to help, but we are wary of introducing anything else into his young body. We just work, work, work with him and teachers and therapists.

Lisa said...

I have a 10 yr old son with bipolar and aspergers. It is extremely hard to find any one out there with kids that have both. I have been feeling lost and confused. If anyone would love someone to talk to about this they can email me at I would love to talk with other people about this.


TanyaD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


It is a common mis-belief that autistic individuals are incapable of displaying or feeling emotions. I think this may be true on the severe end of the spectrum. What you are stating, that the two cannot co-exist for that reason is not factual. My 6 yr old son has mild-moderate autism and I've seen him display, fear, happiness, anger, silliness/humor, shyness etc. Yet he is still Autistic. To say that autistic individuals cannot interpret emotions either internally or externally is not accurate because I've seen it in my own autistic child. I am considering possible bi-polar disorder in him because he has periods of extreme irritabilty (lasting a week or so) and then calm/normal, and then right back to the irritabilty, aggression with no know trigger. The cycling of emotional display is characteristic of bi-polar disorder. In an autistic child it may look a little different but it is the same nonetheless.

TanyaD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karren26 said...

13 yr old daughter with high functioning Down Syndrome also now is diagnosed with Bipolar. Anyone have this experience? All meds this last year have made her hallucinate more or manic. Any info would be appreciated.


chicagoerin said...

I would love to connect with others who have kids that are aspergers with fits of rage. My 6 year old nephew has not officially been diagnosed as Bipolar, but is on Risperdal (SP?) and Imipromine (Sp?) and has been in intense therapy since age 2. He started the Risperdal at age 3 (very young). He has episodes where he loses control of his rage and gets this vacant look in his eyes like a wild animal. He threatens to hurt himself and my sister. It's only a matter of time before he does. She is beginning to be scared of him, as he has head butted her several times and recently said he wants to kill her. It's heartbreaking. He has been to numerous child psychiatrists. If anyone else has similar stories, please e-mail me. She is at her breaking point and I am trying to find some hel for her. Thanks erinb007 at (so the spam doesn't find me)

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if anyone has experienced this , My Granddaughter was diagnosed with aspergers at age 19 now my 45 year old Daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar , I am interested to know if there is any research going on with family history of these two diseases. said...

Try autism, bi polar, adhd AND Fetal Alcohol effects (better described as ARND). We adopted him thinking love would fix it all.
Don't you think it is hard to find more of these kids because we, the parents, are taking the good when we can and recovering from the rest, when we can. I love this little guy but admittedly it is easier to do when he's asleep!
After three years of tyring many drugs we found a new doctor and an old drug; thorazine with prozac. My baby is on a fraction of the expected dose and I'm THRILLED at the results. Prozac curbs his ODD tendencies (how many OFFICIAL dx can a kid get??) The thorazine is old and I like that. The side effect was treatable and temporary.
Advocating has become my whole life, and it is exhausting.....then I saw a bus of medicated (over?) adults and my efforts begin again with more (?) vigor. Good luck to you all. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope that as a future psychologist you take a different approach to your patients or you may find the field very unfulfilling.

Your analysis of autism and bipolar sound a little too paraphrased from a book and lacks a true understanding of the disorders. It makes absolute sense that they can be co-morbid if you understand the manifestations of both. Furthermore, the ups and downs of childhood do not remotely resemble the ups and downs of a child with bipolar. You'll see what I'm talking about the first time a child rages in front of you or tells you he wants to die.

Anonymous said...

This is all quite interesting... and it shows how complex human behaviours are. This is a quick short summary of my recent experience. My daughter was diagnosed with autism (hf) and learning difficulties at age 13yrs. Recently at 16yrs old experienced a lot of extra accumulated stress (as they all do) and this resulted in a psychotic episode. She was sectioned. The adolescent unit psychiatrist viewed her experience with a unique approach. Treat the symptoms not the diagnosis. His own experience shows that no person should live a life with a label which sits comfortably with my belief too. He gave an example of a patient he diagnosed of a teenage girl and rediagnosed her three times in a course of twenty years (lastly an anxiety disorder). I too work in mental health and have a degree in psychology. This means nothing much more than the more you know the more you realise how little we know about human beings. My daughter recently been referred to a new psychiatrist specialising in learning difficulties and mental health, he presented a very boxed opinion and mentioned a dual diagnosis of autism and a diagnosis of bi polar more than five times in his first appointment with her. I am not amused, as i am quite aware at how many symptoms overlap with many disorders. The human being is too complex and over time all humans behaviours change. I would like her symptoms/behaviours to be managed with a biopsychosocial approach. I believe that is more important than sticking labels on people.

p.s she is on a low dose of 0.5mg resperidone twice a day which is an antipsychotic medication. I am not pro medication but this has helped calm her keeping her stress levels down as well as her fixation and obsessive behaviours lower than her usual. She still has a strong need to be active all the time but so far this has not interfered with night time sleeping or is she displaying her usual destructive behaviours. This in turn helps us manage her and the positive spiral begins. Good luck to all the families who are experiencing difficult times... I hope as these kids mature we are able to teach (as we learn)to better manage their symptoms regardless of their diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

Tanya d you know nothing about Autisim because if you did then you wouldn't say stupid things. I have a child with Autism and ADHD and am looking to see what other diagosis' he may have due to his crazy rage! He haschoked my youmger son who is six years old several times. He is out of control a lot. He has his silly ups then cries uncontrolably like crazy. I also had a sister that was diagnosed with Asbergers and Bipolar with several specialists. Yes it may seem like it makes no since to an amature but parent know their children not the so called specalists. Go back to school and research it more. My Autistic sister was very violent as well. It was her bipolar making her do it. It was very difficult to deal with. You have no idea and with having a child with problems. Also, if you don't know many Autistic also have the diagnosis of OCD too seperate eventhough autistics think different for their OCD problems. They also think the way regular OCD kids do too for the disorder. It may make no since to people who don't live it but doesn't mean you can't have both enough they may condradict each other. It is the same with Asbergers and Bipolar. They can go togther as well. Do your research more or you will sound like an ignorant idiot!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tanya d you know nothing about Autisim because if you did then you wouldn't say stupid things. I have a child with Autism and ADHD and am looking to see what other diagosis' he may have due to his crazy rage! He haschoked my youmger son who is six years old several times. He is out of control a lot. He has his silly ups then cries uncontrolably like crazy. I also had a sister that was diagnosed with Asbergers and Bipolar with several specialists. Yes it may seem like it makes no since to an amature but parent know their children not the so called specalists. Go back to school and research it more. My Autistic sister was very violent as well. It was her bipolar making her do it. It was very difficult to deal with. You have no idea and with having a child with problems. Also, if you don't know many Autistic also have the diagnosis of OCD too seperate eventhough autistics think different for their OCD problems. They also think the way regular OCD kids do too for the disorder. It may make no since to people who don't live it but doesn't mean you can't have both enough they may condradict each other. It is the same with Asbergers and Bipolar. They can go togther as well. Do your research more or you will sound like an ignorant idiot!!!!

Anonymous said...

TanyaD it is obvious that you know nothing about Autism and you need to go back to school and read all about it. There have been several cases of people that have been diagnosed as both. I have a child that has ADHD, Epilepsy and Autism. I am looking into him having Asbergers by the way he has his frequent mood swings. He acts irrational and out of control. Me and my husband have to hold him down because that is all we can do. It is pretty clear that you are ignorant to Autism and the way the children act having it and other diagnosis. A raging Autistic and Bipolar child is scary and in no way related to regular chilren and their mood swings. If you think so then you need to get your head examined. I had a sister that was diagnosed with Asbergers and Bipolar. She was irrational and abusive just like my 9 year old son is and out of control. She would have mood swings just like he does and it was no way easy to deal with or the same as my other younger sister. IT is different then regular children. You talk ignorant. There are people that are diagnosed with OCD and Autism and they can condradict each other but it doesn't mean that you can't be diagnosed with both. It is just usually they just have the OCD tendicies that come with Autism and that is all but you can have both for that. Just like with Asbergers and Bipolar. Some people say they go together. Why don't you research it more and go back to school because you obviously don't know what you are doing right now and you are going to make a lot of moms very unhappy. We know more about our children than specialist and most specialists have told me that as well. Real speicalist say that not make the mother feel stupid and make her feel unsure like you did to that parent by kept saying that it can't happen and basically it is all in her head. My child has set 5 fires in the house laughed about it and didn't care. Regular children don't do that. Just the kids that do have something wrong with them. Later after seting the things on fire my son would laugh then later and be happen then plummit and cry at a later time and it has nothing to do with the fire. Just his mood swings. Possible bipolar. If you had any respects for parents then you wouldn't make them feel that way and if you had any common since you would know better. Try a different profession or you might end up with a law suit!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a child with Autism, ADHD, and Autism.

TanyaD said...

Anonymous, my comment has clearly caused much upset amongst this group for which I apologise. I was simply making a statement based on my own studies and experience. Since then I have worked in a hospital setting with adult patients with bipolar and aspergers, and it is a terrible comorbidity to possess. In no way have I said or implied that parents are wrong, parents know their children and we all know when their behaviour is not quite right. I have simply said that misdiagnosis in this area is extremely common because studies in the area do not pertain to children directly, and there are many disorders that mimic bipolar at this age. Sometimes drugs can actually make a condition worse, particularly if it is for the wrong disorder.

As for your comments about OCD, I have not even mentioned anything about OCD, it is quite commonly found in people with autistic spectrum disorders, and I did not say otherwise.

Your comment about looking into having your child diagnosed at Aspergers when he already has Autism is absurd...he will either have one or the other, not both, Aspergers is a spectrum disorder of autism...if your child already has autism, they can't have a lesser version of the same disorder at the same time...unless you are saying you suspect your child has been misdiagnosed as being Autistic when they actually have Aspergers...for that I say: I rest my case.

TanyaD said...

Hi Anonymous at 4.32pm. This is exactly my belief as well. Medication has it's place, but for specific symptoms, not whole disorders. Diagnostic criteria and new developments in disorders and treatments change's all about questioning current norms to evolve and improve...we would not be doing our job if we did not question these things. It's how we progress and in turn help others.

My nephew could easily be diagnosed bipolar or ADHD, but it is clear to me that his behaviour is his reaction to his aspergers, not bipolar or ADHD.

I'm sorry for upsetting everybody, I just believe that to truly help children with a developmental disorder such as autism, we must be skeptical about what labels are put on these kids...labels won't fix the problem, a caring and multidimensional approach from your psychiatrist may nit fix it, but can at least improve quality of life! :)

Anonymous said...


I too have a son with a dual diagnosis of autism and bipolar. He was diagnosed with autism late, when he was twelve. Dr.s before that continued to misdiagnose him. The bipolar onset was when he hit puberty. Where your son has many maniac episodes, my son zach has the other end depression. He is on medicine and it helps, he is also in therapy, but he still has major issues. I am not sure how to explain the differences between the two and how they work in connection, but I know that the combination is difficult for both parent and child. Hang in there. My son is permanently stuck at the age of thirteen emotionally and will never grow up even though he is almost eighteen. I hope for your sake that your child develops and is able to become independent.

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Joanne asks my 11 yr old autistic son has adhd, sensory integration, and now anxiety /bipolar . He has fits of anger with hitting and kicking. Had him on respedol twice a day. Made him worse. Now on abilify increasing today to 7.5mg daily. I hope this works. I am going to see if we can get him on antanxiety meds for him. I am hoping something works. what meds and dosages have worked for any of these kids that are similar to . please let me know. this is new for us .

Lora said...

Here it is 5 years later and as I was doing a search for the link between bipolar and autism, I found this old post. Now I know that Griffin is BP and he has ADHD so my suspicions were right on.

The Abilify, we just increased, is helping Griffin but I took him off of the ADHD meds because he wouldn't eat. A friend of mine is trying Intunvin for her autistic/ADHD son and says that it is helping. She said that it is an old drug. Have you heard of it?

What meds is Billy Ray on now? I will check your current post for what is going on now. You can always find me on facebook too.

Hope all is well.

Nicole said...

To TanjaD
I think you might find it helpful to read first person accounts on what it might be like to have bi-polar and autism . Donna Williams is very interesting and insightful. Google her she has many books and a few clinical texts .You are coming across very disconnected and insensitive . I work in a special ed class at a high school and have worked one on one with several kids severely affected by autism . For the last four years I have worked with a young man 17 who is nonverbal and has been diagnosed with bi -polar along with autism . It took a long time to diagnose him . On his team was a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse,psychologist,pediatrician, parents ,educational assistant,two teachers and a principal . We did a lot of charting and collecting of information . A pattern finally emerged . Medications have helped but they are not perfect. They have helped lessen the deep lows ( (he would just sit and cry deeply and for no reason) and the super manic highs ( he forgot to take the stairs and flew off the top steps of some marble stairs ....very excited to see his mom ..fell and bashed his head . } It is heart rendering to see this . We do a lot of walking , use adivan , auditory training ,skin brushing , pinhole glasses, weighted vest ..stay away from over stimulating situations . He is currently in a manic phase and I came to this site to see if there were any more ideas that might help .
Also have I mentioned how much I love working with this young man .
He is the most incredible being . When you get past the brain and connect with the person in there the most wonderful things happen .
Feel free to connect with me

melissaG said...

i have a 15 yr old son that has adhd, bipolar, autism. he was adhd at 5, then bipolar 12, now at 15 he is just finding out he is autism. but we should have known back in grade school when the school psychiatrist tested him for adhd and speech. when he was 18 month old he stopped speeking. after his last booster shot is when he stopping talking. and then the signs we now know were showing. he was distant, hardly any eye contact, no real effection. his iq is 70% in motor skill, 70% in on hands on, but 6% comphrension. and you can't get the school to understand that. he is takin app math and english. but now i jsut found out about biology. which really made me mad. cause he is failing that really bad and they know it. they could have put him in that class in the beginning. so i am going to tell them off atthe next ard meeting. he has a new theripist who met him the first time and asked his he was tested for ppd-nos, adn said make the school test him that is how we found the autism. so now they have to modifiy him even more which they are goingot hate even more. good for them. i hate this school. they don't take care of the bullies that have been bulling my son since kindergarten, because of his slowness in learning and just keeping up with the others. it frustrates him so much. he gets along better with kids younger then him. he had to be put inot a hospital for wantingto commit suidice in 5th grade. all because of bullies, pushing him around. he is not the kind of kid that will start a fight, but he always got caught, ya know what i mean. and the other kid would say he started it. and no one would stand up for brett. that would piss me off. but if you pushed him to far he would retaliate. or he would jsut shut down and not do anything and don't bother trying to get him to do anythng cause he wouldn't budge. and he stil will do it. i can go on and on. but if there is any one out there that has a teen taht has all three of these. i sure would like to knwo what meds you have them taking. cause maybe i can talk mine into changing him to try someting different.. cause i don't think this is working. he is on seroquil xr 750mg and they say it should only be taking by 18 yrs and older. whats wrong with this picture? he is on folcolin 40mg. please any help will do. he has alot of other issues. me and his both have bipolar and we fight like cats and dogs. we don't ague on anything. and it is taking a toll on me.. there are times my leave of insanity is high. yes i am on meds, cause i have come close to taken myself out. but i have a va hotline that i can use, and have. i do have a support group there. but there are days, i jsut wish it would jsut end for both us. i hate that i gave him this gene. ya know. but i can't do anythng about it. someone said in here, " you love them more when they are asleep" that is so true. there are so many things i would love to do with him but his moods ruin them like the flip of a coin. thanks for everyones input i read, it sure helped

Peggy Lou Morgan said...


I am very cautious about disclosing what medications my son is on and really don't encourage parents to share what their children take at least in this blog. The reason is that meds work differently for different children and adults. For example, her book Temple Grandin credits one drug for clearing her ability to think. The same drug is believed to have caused severe seizures which changed my son's life. There are other drugs that work great for others but not for my son.

I am not anti meds but believe that in doing everything possible to adapt an environment, schedule, etc., etc. and using the least amount necessary.

Please search the blog for "adapt" or "adapt and communicate" and see if anything is helpful.

Okay off my soapbox.
Peggy Lou

Anonymous said...

My son has aspergers and mood disorder NOS. Along with ADHD, ODD, OCD, explosive disoder, behavior dis, sleep disorder NOS, anxiety disorder NOS, and sensory integration dis. He takes meds that help but are by no means a fix all. He sees a behavior and developmental specialist as well as a child psychiatrist. He is manic most the time, very defiant and aggressive. He has come along way however....after 2 dozen daycares and 5 schools later. LOL. He is very bright....has a photographic memory and recalls the smallest details. He is amazing and we take the good with the bad...

Anonymous said...

I think this is what we are going through. our sons psychiatrist said he may be bipolar as well.He also throws water and things down our stairwell and laughs and climbs on things.

Laurie said...

Tanya D
As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a mom of two boys with autism, with co-morbid conditions, and a woman who suffers from depression and anxiety, I respectfully disagree with some of your comments. While a child with autism may have a difficult time interpreting the emotions of others and responding to social situations, if there are times when there are no clear antecedents to sobbing and anxiety,i.e., the alone condition, we cannot assume that there is not another diagnosis, i.e. depression, anxiety, bipolar, to investigate. Cognitive therapy does not work well for our kids, who do not have a basic understanding of all of the language utilized in this form of therapy, i.e. the communication factor, and may not be able to describe abstracts or internal feelings. Just because the literature has not proven, or caught up with the fact that, some of our kids may have dual diagnoses, does not mean they are not real. Every child is different and there is not much available yet empirically on this topic. I would defer to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician or a psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing mood disorders in children with autism
Laurie BCBA mom

Rhonda said...

So many comments i cant figure out where to begin! TanyaD .. i can't even begin to touch your post. However, others seem to have already said what I think so I will just move on.
My son is 16. We're going through so much right now. Diagnosed PDD-NOS with a secondary of Autism. A couple of years ago our former neurologist diagnosed him with Intermittent Explosive disorder.. But after the events that have occurred lately, I am thinking BiPolar is more appropriate. Either way, his meds would cover that diagnosis as well. Wow. We have some full plates people!

Janet said...

I am the mother of a 24 year old that is bipolar, adhd, aspergers, ptsd, and has cerebral palsy. I began to have problems with Eric very early in his life. About the age of 2 I would say, by 3 we were seeking therapy for his outrages. He is now of meds or has been for quite a while. It is a lonely world when you think you are the only one. But having children with multiple mental disorders kind of makes you that way. You want to help your child or in my case my adult son, but it feels like you are pulling your hair.
Anyone like to talk, vent swap stories email me at

Best&WorstofTimes said...

My son is an adult with low-functioning autism.In the last few years he has been diagnosed with bi-polar syndrome as well. He exhibits the same tendencies as many of the chldren mentioned by other parents: hysterical laughter, violent,wild-eyed rage, aggressiveness towards others, self-injurious behaviours etc. We have tried a plethora of medications. None of them work well for long. Behavioural re-conditioning has no effect. Our lives together are a nightmare at times.

Anonymous said...

I have and adult (42 years old) son with severe autism and I get very frustrated that when I google anything concerning adults with autism, I get results dealing with autistic children, not adults.....and adults with autism differ from children with autism as much as "normal" adults differ from "normal" children. What works with children doesn't work with adults.

Anonymous said...

My daughter (11) was diagnosed with bipolar at 9. We didn't medicate until she was 10. After a year on meds, and the bipolar was stable we switched pdocs. We weren't happy with the level of communication we were getting. We took her to another pdoc who asked some questions and said that he felt we were also dealing with the autism spectrum/pdd-nos or asperger's. While I hate having my child on meds, I can't go back to life without the intervention. Her meltdowns are way more mild. The violence is under control. I can clearly see the mania. Currently, she is heading into a manic state and will most likely have her meds increased. Godspeed to all of you!

Kelly said...

Rhoda...I am with you! Plates are all full and Tanya D. is a piece of work... not the kind of "professional" that I would wish on my worst enemy!! My Aspie has so many co-morbities that I have lost count. To make matters even more interesting I m paralyzed. Not asking for pity, just pointing out the fullness of the plate. It is a moment by moment kind of battle for these kids but one well worth the fight. Blessings to all of you (yeah, you too Tanya D.).

Anonymous said...

hi, i was tols my son was autistic at age 5. Now hes 7, and showing signs of bi polar.. He aiways had aggressive behavior, but now i found myself restraining him at least once a day, from the biting, kicking head bunting. He is beck on reperadone,was on abilify did not help his aggression but once he got off it his behavior exploded. He also tells me he wants to kill me and seems to change into another person, says hes not himself and turns violent= dont know what that means but its really scarey.. Hopefully he will mellow down soon.