Kim Stagliano on HuffPo: Conducting Autism Research like it's 1994
Dirty Politics in NJ Concerning Thimerosal Ban Legislation

What Risperdal Did to Me: Adult with Autism Speaks

Risperdal photo Managing Editor's Note:  Sondra Williams, wife, Mom, writer (and adult with autism) wrote a post for us about the Sky Walker murder case (HERE.)  One of her own comments on the post referred to her having been put onto Risperdal, like Sky Walker (the "he" she refers to.)  I asked for (and received) her permission to run the comment as a post. Her final sentence chilled me, "yes much scary life when autistic and not have a voice."  Thank you, Sondra. 

Jane did not know he was of resperadol as I to been of that one too and it was of the worse  drug ever for me in this life. I to gaiend of much weight almost of 70 pound sin 3 or so  months, wet of the bed every night in floods not just slight accident, drooled and began of tardive issues, I to also had of no monthyly and began of lactating as if were of nursing a baby. they had of me on so much medication could do nothing but sleep most of my entire 24 hour day.

it was still for me undx autism at the time and the symptoms they seen were of all parts of autism but they were of only seeing parts of the whole and not putting all the parts together and thus over medicated as if the more the better and the more the less autistic I would of be to them.

in my of my past mental health records of the late 1990's much of the nurse and doctor notes shout of autism and yet none dx of me of it. was told was mentally ill and mild retardations. some of the things shared odd posture, no eye contact, odd pacing, long bouts of being of non verbal and not responsive and would not begin any task even though verbally told what to do unless one was in my space and began to physically get me to begin through prompts and cues of one to one. rigid notes of need for the same nurse to be in on the clinics, and the odd confused appearance of fear and such and then much also comment on the flat affect of me emotionally. One doctor asked of the husband over my eye contact and the husband shared it has been that way all or our marriage and dating time and that it was not new, the doctor asked of him do you think of that as odd he shared no it is of just her.

but anyways reperidol was of the culprit to me that eventually lead of me to be of locked away to massilon state hospital with very serious mentally ill people.  yes much scary life when autistic and not have a voice.



I have beenmisdiagnosed with schitzophrenia. I had encephalitus. I was forced 6 monthly shots of risperidone and i am dying from 50 sdeal, tourtourous sideeffectd.


this is the worst drug in the world. i got over 50 side effects from it. i was forced 6 monthly shots. i'm dying a torturous life from this drug. it is poison don't take


Sondra, I'm so happy you are alive. I know you've helped so many. My son, Jack is autistic and his mother has had him on reserdal for almost two years. I'm really worried, what's your advise.?

Diana Terry

My son is 21 years old and autistic. He is verbal, however suffers from anxiety and agitation at times, Throughout the years we have tried, clonodine, Paxil, and when he was 13 years old Risperdal. It has worked for his symptoms up until about 8 months ago.....we have also decreased it and with an increase 2 months ago and now we are back to square one..I am also a nurse and am terrified of the long term effects of this antipsychotic is having on my child. I want to wean him off and get the Dr. to try something for his anxiety/OCD tendencies. The agitation stems from the anxiety, and over stimulation at times....any suggestions would be appreciated......

Patricia Wattley

My son developed a heart murmur as a result from taking Risperdal back in 1998. Because he is non-verbal, I have no ideal what he suffered. He had to be rushed to the hospital twice. It is not a safe drug at all!


Debby Rabold

My autistic son was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 14 to 28 years in prison. He has been incarcerated since March 2003. He is now 28 years old. Below is a complaint I filed with the PA Bureau Of Professional Licensing. They said they cannot do anything.

Submitted by: Debra Rabold ... 570-872-6945 ... P. O. Box 451, Effort, PA 18330 on behalf of: Aaron Daniel Rabold
Date: May 4, 2008
Professional Complaint Against:
Ewa Gaddis, MD, Forest City, PA 18421-9550 ... Lic. # MD418919
Stephen Allen Nezezon, MD, Honesdale, PA 18431-9719 ... Lic. # MD037163E
Joseph Nish, Superintendent, SCI Waymart, P. O. Box 256, Rte. #6, Wayne County, PA
Eric Reakes, Counselor, SCI Waymart, P. O. Box 256, Rte. #6, Wayne County, PA
Jeffrey A. Beard, Secretary of Corrections, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, P. O. Box 598, Camp Hill, PA 17001-0598
Franklin J. Tennis, Superintendent, SCI Rockview [The Death House], Box A, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA 16823
Brian Thompson, Deputy Superintendent, SCI Rockview [The Death House], Box A, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA 16823
Robert Marsh, Deputy Superintendent, SCI Rockview [The Death House], Box A, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA 16823
Francis M. Dougherty, Business Manager, SCI Rockview [The Death House], Box A, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA 16823
Jeffrey Rackovan, Superintendent's Assistant, SCI Rockview [The Death House], Box A, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA 16823
SCI Rockview doctors: names unknown
Time Span: November 9, 2007 to November 30, 2007
Place: SCI Rockview [The Death House], Box A, Bellefonte, Centre County, PA 16823 phone: 814-355-4874 ...,
Persons Involved: SCI Rockview: Superintendent Franklin J. Tennis, Deputy Superintendent Brian Thompson, Deputy Superintendent Robert Marsh, Business Manager Francis M. Dougherty, Superintendent's Assistant Jeffrey Rackovan .... names of doctors: unknown
AND ....
Time Span: November 30, 2007 to present (May 4, 2008)
Place: SCI Waymart, P. O. Box 256, Rte. #6, Waymart, Wayne County, PA 18472 phone: 570-488-5817
Persons Involved: SCI Waymart: Superintendent Joseph Nish, Counselor Eric Reakes, Dr. Ewa Gaddis, MD, Dr. Stephen Allen Nezezon, MD
Incident/Complaint Report:
On November 9, 2007 inmate Aaron Daniel Rabold [GK7700] was transported from SCI Albion, Erie County, PA to SCI Rockview, Centre County, PA upon having been granted allocatur by the PA Supreme Court [October 30, 2007], and my subsequent filing of a habeas corpus petition in federal court, Scranton [November 6, 2007: 03: 07-CV-2031 RPC]. He was held at SCI Rockview for three weeks during which time he was tortured with electricity and forcibly injected and forced to consume psychiatric medications against his will -- and contrary to the needs of his frail medical condition. For the two years prior to being granted allocatur, Aaron had not been medicated at SCI Albion.
On November 30, 2007 inmate Aaron Daniel Rabold [GK7700] was transported to SCI Waymart, Wayne County, PA.
On Dec. 10, 2007 I, Debra Rabold, mother of Aaron Rabold visited with my son, Aaron Rabold. I am a licensed nurse.
My observations were:
1) Aaron had the marks of torture from electrical burns on his right wrist and forearm,
2) He was experiencing negative side effects, both physical and mental from the drugs.
3) At 6 foot, one inch Aaron weighed about 130 pounds and appeared emaciated and in weak condition.
4) He demonstrated to me his underweight condition by completely encompassing the largest part of his thigh with his fingers touching.
5) He reported to me that he was being forcibly medicated with psychiatric drugs against his will -- and contrary to his diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder, severe malnutrition, multiple digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, and frail medical condition.
6) He asked for the medication to be decreased and ceased.
7) His request was ignored -- and
8) The dosages were increased.
9) More medications were also forced upon him.
10) Aaron had a black eye from being punched by another inmate, a swollen left jaw, and inability to close his jaw properly.
11) Aaron has a history of serious chiropractic injuries and was suffering pain from these injuries.
12) He reported that he is experiencing pain in all his joints, dry mouth, digestive upset, neurological disorders, and other negative side effects.
I communicated with SCI Waymart Superintendent Joseph Nish and Counselor Eric Reakes about Aaron's condition in person, by phone, in faxed letters, and by US mail, including filed legal documents. I requested in writing that Aaron be examined by Dr. Harold Buttram, MD, FAAEM and by Dr. Rowena De Jesus, DC. My request was refused.
I visited the Wayne County District Attorney Office on two occasions, sent faxed letters, and made phone calls to the office reporting Aaron's condition and requesting an investigation. I also brought this situation to the attention of Federal Judge Richard P. Conaboy, Chief Federal Judge Yvette Kane, Speaker Dennis O'Brien, US Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr., US Sen. Arlen Specter, the PA Supreme Court, the Monroe County Court, David Hostetter of the PA Commission on Wrongful Commissions, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, Sen. Robert J. Mellow, Rep. Mario Scavello, Dr. Stefan Kruzsewski, MD, Dr. Harold Buttram, MD, FAAEM, newspaper reporters, and others.
The forced drugging continued and increased, with the result of Aaron's condition worsening.
On May 1, 2008 I visited Aaron and cut my visit short so I could immediately report my observations to Sen. Casey's Scranton office: Aaron is now being forcibly administered 4, possibly 5 psychiatric drugs that carry life-threatening and disabling side effects. The negative effects are worsening -- Aaron's circulation and respiratory function / oxygenation has been compromised by this over-medication as evidenced by his blue hands, inability to stay warm, and uncontrollable shaking.
Aaron has stated to me in person: "They are killing me here", "I'm being tortured and going through hell", and "I can't even tell you what is going on in here." When asked about the condition of the other inmates, Aaron reported that all the inmates on his ward are being over-medicated to the point that they spend the day lying on the floor in drug-induced exhaustion -- as does Aaron.
Per Aaron's information, Ewa Gaddis, MD [license # MD418919] is prescribing the medications and Stephen Nezezon, MD [MD037163E] is also party to this situation.
Upon the granting of allocatur by the PA Supreme Court, independent investigators looked into the case --- and discovered that all the evidence is exculpatory --- Aaron Rabold is innocent of the charges.
At this time, an innocent, physically and mentally disabled man: Aaron Daniel Rabold, is being illegally held prisoner and is being tortured by SCI Waymart doctors: Ewa Gaddis and Stephen Nezezon. The forced over-medication is unethical, and life-threatening. The neglect of Aaron's medical needs and refusal to obtain appropriate medical care from outside practitioners is unethical and life-threatening.
Responsibly submitted,

Debra Rabold



Thank you for taking the time to tell your story and perhaps save a few others from this same course of action and suffering on this drug.


lindy not all drugs are of bad some can be of a good thingsd for a time while trying of to heal of the body and health issues. i to say many make of the mistake and try to medicate of the autism out of us LOL and when it does not seem to work they increase it in hopes that the more the better chance of it. it is of such a wrong way to approach autism. but i to feel that for families only medicate the one things that is of greatly impacting the success of the individual with autism which is of usually the anxiety for most , anxeity produces fear, freezes up the systems, create huge meltdowns to avoid or self protect. for self not on it currently because to me on too much for health things so not taking it is of buspar and lexapro and very very low doses but it does keep of me calm does not make of me feel odd or strange inside, which if a drug is of working for a person it should feel inside as if they are of not taking anything while outside expressions come with improvement.

if the person for example lacks attending and or engagement only medicate of that if that is of the one things inpacting them the most from learning or connected and at the same time doing as much as can to research, get of medical advise by DAN sort of doctors or homeopaths to increase the over all health of the person as you see the health improve wean the drugs off to see where the child is or adult is of at emotionally and functionally without the drugs. some of us may need of something for the life of us and some may simply not need any drugs at all because diet of other interventions have taken of away the symptoms of autism that were of creating that barrier.... recovery or not is of not the goal but giving a person Health is of the best gift one can give and if the person recovers in the process then it is of two folded blessings if not it isof still a blessing because you have a healthier person to love and get to know.

another things is if the person of autism is NON verbal and or has no outlet to communicate do not ever ever do cottail of drugs, because they have of no voice to express what is of going on. they might be of living a night mare inside and not able to express it verbally or non verbally.


Lindy Schultz

Thank you Sondra for your insight. I am just so sorry for what you have had to endure...My son is 18, has Autism and no speech. He was on Risperdal for a couple of weeks, even though my "gut feeling" told me "NO!"...until I saw that he became extremely lethargic...I panicked and took him off it. He has since developed tic disorder/tardive dyskinesia/Tourettes...whatever, but it is a disability of it's own. He also has become extremely prompt dependent which ALSO is a disability of it's own. I now "stick to my guns" about meds and do only non-invasive, natural type remedies/treatments...thank you for your post and re-enforcing my thoughts.


adriana yes it is of called titrate off of the drugs not do what i to did and just quit taking them you described of it well if one just quits taking and you also describe of well a part of the life of me too and that is of why was on 120-or 140 pills a week asnow forget of which one it was but it was one of those two. it was of so much that the husband shared of my lips were of blue and the nail beds of my fingers were of blue and this was when they kept of to say to me Sondra has of schizophrenia? was locked to massilon state mental hospital? I to be of was of there I to think 1997-8 sort of time frame maybe as cant for sure remember of much of that time as it was of like fogs of memory that flood of me and then distort sort of , but parts are of clear of the memory of it. the husband tried of to fight to get of me back home but they kept of say you sign of her out we court order her back in. it was a much long battle, but after i to get of finally home and such I to took of self off all that medicines and things.

but they over the times would give of me medicine for this and then other medicine to stop the side effects of that one and in no time the husband shared they had of me to that number of pills and also the reasons they felt of me outside of my odd presenation to have of this schizophrenia is of that they kept asking me if I to hear of vocie and was of so confused by that and told them yes heared of voice and they shared where ? in the room or in you head well to ask of a person with autism this they might respond as me and say yes i to hear of voice in the room and outside of the room and my thinking was as loud as words> so yes heared of them in my head so agreed to all the words of hearing voices>>>>> sad I to simply just did not know how to answer the questions correctly. so i to self incriminated of self LOL without awareness of doing it/


to the one who wished away my life pains.... thank you. sometimes just feeling validated and heared helps of me. but in this life as i to live it now there are of some who do help of me find safe and feel loved and cared for in this life. one of the biggest anchors in my life is of my therapist who is not just a psychologist but is of a person of faith and he provides to me care and consistency and stability in this life. Hims staff offers me much of this too and are of very accepting, embracing and gentle to me. He also because of faith helped me learn to accept of faith in God for self and so have of that. I to have of my grand baby and I to love of her much so. I to have a new grand baby coming in the fall. I to ahve of much from the net who do like of me and interact and have of words with me. it gives of me a sense of connection to a chaotic world at times, but having this small circle of safe is of to me is of healing much so.

I to also have of the zoo close to me, i to have of my books, I to have of my puzzels and stuffed toys and my stimmy things. i to have of my room of safe things and things that calm me. I to have of a nice areas to walk in and swing at the park in. I to have of much water sources near of me that I to like to be of near for sensory pleasure and calm. i to be of learning in the life of me I to have of choices. I can be of to walk or not or type and connect or self stim and no one comes to force me to do this or that or to stop of this or that.

also just to share the process of the posting here of having to type in that code things is of very hard for me to visualize the shapes and to interpret of them it is of very hard at times to see it and sift it apart to a meaningful symbol of letters and numbers.


kim yes she was on larry king live. I to just love of that kido.


Hi, Sondra. It's always a pleasure to read your comments. I'm sorry you were sick.

Katie Wright is the daughter of Bob and Suzanne Wright, who founded Autism Speaks. Katie's son has autism.

The girl in Canada, is her name Carly? I think she might have been on Larry King Live a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks for more of your incredible insight, Sondra.

Have a good weekend.



well was not aware that this had been of posted yet because had been of sick. had of an emotional crisis which in part think was of triggered because was of ill and the illness then gave of me sinus infection and shingles. so just had been of sick but my therapist share the other day I to look better than had been to look in quite some time.

one mentioned Haldol and again yes was on that one as a teen and was on thorazine and some of the old time drugs from institutional setting.

aslo been of recently been of pulling much of the records can find on me of my past. found of one of me at age of 15 while being of locked into a ward at a local hospital sad was they shared in the report was of much a behavior problem and managment issues. so much in the reports they based off assumptions and yet while they described of autism they lacked awareness that this was of my issues so all of life suffered autism silently as they chose to dx so much and over medicate of what they misdx me with.

yes for self can only take around the 1/4 of what others can take and even now as adult still can only take of one tylenol for pain because two is of so sedating will sleep for hours or get of agitated if cant find sleep due to it.

others that were of bad drugs for me were of lithium, tegretol. another treatment used that was of horrible for me was electric shock treatments/ I to wonder when the professionals will begin of to use their approaches under human ethical standards that provide of dignity.

some though in the autism community still try to feel justified in public degrades of those who are of able to speak of words or type them out as being non-autistics or that they do not have a right to speak because of what ever reasons that may be.. but it saddens me because it is of a cruel fashion of silencing our voices.

one young lady I to much like and have high respect for in regards to autism is of a young teen with autism named of Carly Fleishman? not sure of the spelling of the last name but she lives in Canada and she is of beginning like of me to express her voice loudly in regards to her own autism and she is of considered severely autistic and is of non verbal but has learned to key board and expresses great insight to autism...

about the one post not sure of who katie Wright is but if thinking is she of the head of autism speaks?

if so hope it is of not rude to share of my views to them if so let of me know and will share of it/


Even though withdrawal can be a life-saving choice for many, the process can be dangerous, so for anyone attempting to wean themselves or a loved one from psychiatric drugs, please read the book, "Your Drug Could Be Your Problem" by Peter Breggin. The book provides a very clear picture of the risks of remaining on individual drugs and risks during withdrawal, what's known about why these risks occur and how age and dose can effect the severity of symptoms. The book lays out various withdrawal strategies which can be enacted with a qualified professional to lower the risks of withdrawal-related physiological symptoms.

From what I've heard from many people, the doctors who overprescribe the drugs tend to be the worst authorities on drug risks and side effects because they believe the drug company promotional material which minimize the risks-- otherwise they may not have been in the business of prescribing the drugs in the first place. They may prescibe a too-rapid schedule of withdrawal which is bound to fail. With fast withdrawal, often the patient is so blindsided and surprised by the severity of withdrawal symptoms that they believe it must be "coming from their minds" and often come crawling back, begging to be put on more drugs. Or these prescribing docs may aggressively attempt to misdiagnose what are actually known withdrawal symptoms of the drugs as signs of "emerging underlying disorders"-- for which they want to prescribe, again, even more drugs. This relatively modern practice is called "polypharmacy"-- giving a drug which creates side effects (insomnia, mania, aggression, etc.) and then misinterpreting the side effects as "emergent comorbid disorders" and drugging the side effects of the first drug, adding another drug for the side effects of the second and so forth. This is how many patients go from labels of "depression" to "mild mania" to "bipolar disorder" to "psychotic" in short order. For many, this goes on and on until the individual becomes so painfully drug disabled and burdened with so many increasingly severe labels that they may lose their autonomy over which drugs to take or not take.

A better route is to find an independent specialist willing to create a safe, extremely slow withdrawal schedule, going one drug at a time to minimize the withdrawal impact of each drug. Someone like this would carefully oversee the process with frequent visits and should be on hand for any emergency. This kind of doctor is likely also to involve family in the process, coaching all on signs of medical distress and providing support on how to help the patient stay the course.

I believe the book also provides resources and contact information for organizations which may keep lists of doctors who aid in withdrawal.


Hi Sondra – thank you for telling us what this drug was like for you. And thanks to others who have also described the Risperidone experience. My adult Asperger son was also put on this drug – but the depot form – called Risperdal Consta. Our son suffered severe anxiety, insomnia and total sleep disruption, increased hostility and dreadful ‘head rushes’. The head rush spells lasted for hours on end. He would just lie on his bed in a foetal position, holding his head until the bad spell passed. He said he felt his brain was being battered by something. The psychiatrist wondered if he might have been allergic to one of the components of the drug. People with autism disorders frequently suffer multiple chemical sensitivities. Or seizure activity. One psychiatrist told me these depot drugs can cause seizure activity in ASDs. But so can all neuroleptic drugs. For weeks he was given extra medication to help allay his suffering - Lorazepam, Haloperidol, Procyclidine, and a sleeping pill. The sleeping pills often did not work. I asked him what he did at night when awake – if he could watch TV. Staff allowed him to watch television from 6am onwards. And the rest of the time? “I walk round my bed,” he told me. He was walking round his bed for 6 hours a night.

ASDs cannot properly process and detox drugs so they build up in their systems till they become toxic. The lack of knowledge and understanding amongst psychiatrists and doctors regarding the difficulties faced by autistic spectrum people on drugs is terrifying. I thought after my son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome three years ago, things might improve. But no – it continues – year after year of psychotropic hell.

I recommend you all read this paper by Paul Shattock and his colleagues – presented at the Durham Conference in 2004. And give it to your doctors.

Susanne P.

my son has been on Risperidal for a couple years now, it keeps him calmer which is good but I don't know what else it is doing to him. He was lucky not to gain any weight. I told the Psych., that prescribed it to him, that he couldn't sleep well and he first said we could up his dose and I was against it, I said no, I want him off of this I am not giving him more. So he prescribed a sleep med for him, he is a lot better now that he gets more sleep. He was 8 when he went on it, he has PDD-NOS and doesn't tell me how it makes him feel, so true about not having a voice. The Dr's prescribe it for them and we think they should know about it and so we think its OK. But they don't know. I agree with the person who said the Dr's should try it so they know how it makes them feel. I am now more determined to start weaning him off it. But scared if he goes thru withdrawl what could happen. Thanks for writing these posts.


Thank you, Sondra, for living to tell about it. What's so tragically fascinating about what you write is that your story is so similar to the testimonies of people who were "washed out" of trials for these drugs so that the negative effects wouldn't be broadcast to the public or the wider medical profession.

According to reform psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, the first neuroleptics were tried on inmates in a federal prison in a somewhat coercive arrangement. One of the inmates in the trial tried to be helpful to clinicians and, after taking the drug, said, "Doc, this sh*t will never sell". The trial subject/inmate apparently reported, like so many others subjected to subsequent forms of the drug, that the sensation of being on neuroleptics was "torture". What the inmate didn't understand was that neuroleptics were never about clinical benefits to the patient-- or even about "feeling better/pain killing"-- but about the convenience of wardens, ward staff, "caretakers". Neuroleptics are chemical straight jackets and, furthermore, chemical gags because they also apparently create such pervasive apathy and depersonalization that patients, though they may feel tortured by the drugs, find their will to complain has also been disabled.

The use of neuroleptics are justified on a drug company concocted "brain chemical theory" which, if really broken down, would be laughable if it hadn't been the tool to rationalize so much suffering. Apparently psychiatrists of yore noticed that when instititutionalized schizophrenics developed Parkinson's disease, they showed a reduction in incidents of psychosis. So psychiatrists decided to investigate how to deliberately and chemically induce Parkinsonism as a "cure" for psychosis.
After stumbling across a compound comprising the basic properties of neuroleptics, it was later noticed that this class of chemical reduced dopamine. Why dopamine? Because it was one of just a few neurotransmitters among hundreds that clinicians were even able to identify and track at that point in history. From THIS it was decided-- not from in vivo evaluations-- that dopamine must play a role in psychosis and the "dopamine surge" theory of psychosis was born, cart-out-of-all-relationship-to-horse style.

Other things are effected by use of the drug, like a 50% reduction of a blood flow to the frontal lobe, diabetes and massive brain cell death, but fatal metabolic disease and brain damage aren't very good sales pitches.

When it later turned out that, in varying states of psychosis, human beings may show high, low or no change in dopamine levels (Ritalin-induced psychosis involves a steep drop in dopamine) and that dopamine may have no discernable role in psychosis, the theory-PR machine had already been galloping along for some time and little things like "facts" were not allowed to interfere.

A lot of people view the stereotypies, shuffling gate, deadpan look and tardive dyskinesia associated with neuroleptics as "side effects", not understanding that these started out as actually intended "primary effects" of the drugs. When first inducing Parkinsonism in institutions, psychiatrists actually sought symptoms like the flattened facial expression, shuffling gate, reported feeling of "deadness" and dyskinesia that characterize the disease, believing these things were clinically desirable. The public didn't exactly go for the idea, so later dosages were reduced to find a happy medium between obvious signs of Parkinson's while still maintaining the emotional straightjacketing effect. Researchers decided that the "tweak-ability" was proof that the drugs have molecularly specific, intentional effects on some areas of the brain but not others. But Parkinson's, of course, is naturally progressive itself and distinguished by a reduction of spontaneous expression across the board. Drug induced Parkinsonism is similarly a global, pervasive and blunt effect-- those with Parkinsons and iatrogenic Parkinsonism show less anger and distress but less joy, less love, less signs of anything which make people human in general. Inducing a disease and calling it clinically beneficial is like hitting someone on the head with a tire iron and calling it a lullabye.

No one knows why neuroleptics and atypicals (same diff) can produce symptoms of murderous rage and psychosis or just further signs of "drug flattening" for a period following dose change or withdrawal but it's frequently reported.

Dianna McCullough

No matter I have not the time to read all of the aritcles on this site relating to medications and their side-effects, because I know them all too well. I get chills just reading about the Skywalker situation, about Risperdal, Haldol, treatment by the doctors and other so-called professionals. The lack of knowledge regarding people with disabilities such as Autism, Developmental Disabilities and etc. is disheartening and worse.


"it was still for me undx autism at the time and the symptoms they seen were of all parts of autism but they were of only seeing parts of the whole and not putting all the parts together and thus over medicated as if the more the better and the more the less autistic I would of be to them."

I could not have said it any better myself. The neurologist only looks at the brain, the gastroenterologist only looks at the gut, no one looks at the immune system (too afraid of what they might find), and all they can come up with is a drug prescription. Maybe doctors should be required to do a course of any psychotropic meds they prescribe, so they can know for themselves how it feels. Our children certainly can't tell them.

Thank you Sondra, this post was deeply affecting.

bad apple

A couple of years after my child was evaluated for autism, I went to a couple of Doctors myself to have myself evaluated. (Her preschool teachers had had concerns, but she was not subsequently ever diagnosed with any ASD.) The Doctors I saw were of the Pshrink persuasion, as I’ve heard them derogatively called. (I refer to Doctors in uppercase when writing, as one would refer to God. This is not because I think of them as Gods, but because it’s been my experience that they too often think of themselves this way and would like us to think of them in this way, too.)

Anyway, it was suggested that I’m just shy, but that I could try cognitive behavior therapy (tried it. All I remember about it is that it seemed silly.) Then Risperdal was suggested by one of the Pshrinks.

I did a little bit of research on my own on the internet. Thank God for the internet. I found that yes Risperdal often caused people to gain weight. I also learned, from speaking with an adult with ASD I’d recently met on the net, that it could cause development of breasts in men. Anyway, I returned to my Pshrink and I told her that I really didn’t think it made a lot of sense for me to exchange one socially unacceptable disorder (ASD), for another (being significantly overweight). Not to mention I didn’t really feel it would be all that good for my overall health-the extra weight and the possible unknown side effects.

This all happened about fifteen years ago. Since that time my mother has passed away. When she was in the nursing home for dementia, there was a period of time when she was on Haldol. I remember looking up Haldol on the net and the things that I heard about it scared me a lot. People reporting that on it, they’d felt as if they had demons trying to claw their way out of their skin, etc. My mother, at the time, couldn’t have reported anything she’d experienced. She was completely incommunicative. She wasn’t on Haldol for long but it was horrible to think of what that might have been like for her.

At any rate, I decided that I’m very lucky to be, if on the spectrum, only very slightly so. The medications weren’t going to do me any good, and I think that’s probably the case for most people. I’m not saying all. I just think that when it comes to these drugs, these Doctors really are way the heck more clueless as to the effects, both long term and short, than They are ever going to let on.

(Truth be told, I don’t trust Them as far as I can can throw Them, anymore. If I got hit by a truck and was on death’s door due to massive blood loss, I might consent to seeing one, but otherwise, I personally intend to avoid them like the plague in the future if at all possible. And yes, unlike Jim Carrey and Dr. Healy, you can call me anti-vaccine. My distrust is too great to consider myself anything else.)

It makes me angry to think that so many of these Doctors will disparage parents for doing things as seemingly innocuous as changing their child’s diet, while They themselves don’t have any qualms at all about prescribing drugs that They really know very little about. (Other than that in so doing, They will have pharma execs bringing Olive Garden food to their door.)

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The Cleveland Autism Speaks Rock Til It Stops shin dig, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is Saturday. Please check out my bumper stickers here:

I won’t be outside of the AS event with a similar sign, as originally intended. Sorry but I don’t want to be there almost all by myself. Anyway I think more people will see the bumper sticker than would see the sign.


Thanks Sandra for telling us your story. Recently my adult son's doc prescribed Risperadol for him. My son has high functioning autism.

I had no clue that my son was even taking this until my son started acting zombie like and complained of not sleeping well. He also gained 10 lbs in one week! and started tardive like jerky movements.

We were in church and he was acting so strange. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, it must be the Risperadol. I told him to stop taking it immediately and throw the rest away.

I'm going into the doc's office on his next visit to find out what on earth possessed him to prescribe such a strong drug to my son.

Teresa Conrick

Thank you Sondra for being the voice for so many who cannot speak, my daughter being one of them.

Your thoughts and feelings are so appreciated and beautifully done.


Sondra I am so sorry.
May we offer future generations better answers, healing and hope.
We can never win back your pain but we can make things better for others on this journey.
Thank you for being gutsy enough to speak out, physicians are putting young children on this drug.

dan olmsted

thanks Sondra for again sharing your thoughts with us and we hope you will do so as often as you want. Your voice is one that all of us trying to understand this need to hear. as Kim and I have both mentioned, your insights are both astute and beautifully expressed in your unique way. -- dan.

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