#Autism and Anxiety: Interfering with life

#Autism and Anxiety: Interfering with life

Elliott is so extremely anxious that he is literally an emotional ticking time bomb. He hates school now because,  well honestly,  I don’t know why. We literally have to carry him,  kicking and screaming to the car.

There isn’t anything going on at school that would explain this.  I think he literally counts the minutes until he comes home.

I hate that life has become so challenging for him. I wish I could magically fix everything for him but I can’t. We see Dr.  Reynolds tomorrow afternoon to discuss medication options again. 

After the Zoloft disaster,  I’m a bit nervous to try anything else.  🙁

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Claudia Neely

Hmmmm. The warning is causing stress. Does changing to the word "reminder" ease his anxiety? Or is there another way to remind – a prompt is a nicer "reminder." Prompts can come before your son has a problem. Teachers can carefully monitor when he starts to need help, and prompt him before he is struggling. If verbal prompts are a struggle, they could use colored cards (I have used pink cards to remind kids to keep hands to themselves, and yellow cards to remind kids to use soft voices. . .), or some other signal that is more comfortable for your son?

Prompts are great, because if teachers know that your son struggles at a certain time (before lunch or gym, for example), they can urge him to success before anything goes wrong.

Warnings and reminders come after problem behavior.

Prompts come before a problem develops to encourage success.

Hope that helps!
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The Rev. Claudia Neely

I echo the FBA. Something is going on with school, and your son's response will make sense when you figure it out. When my kids' anxiety spikes, I find that analyzing what is going on helps me figure out what I can do to lower the stress. I have not used meds with my kids yet, because behavioral interventions have worked again and again. Anyway, stay strong, find your source in hard times, know you can make it better for your children!

Thank you. He says the problem is that he\’s afraid he\’s going to get a warning. It\’s just a reminder of the rules. His teachers have explained that to him as well. Since he\’s so upset by the word warning, they are now calling it a reminder.

We\’ll have to wait and see. Thanks you for the support 🙂


Ugh – this sounds really hard and is all too familiar. Good luck – I hope the solution presents itself quickly.
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I've seen children do well on propranolol, the ridiculously cheap and old blood pressure Beta blocker. It blocks adrenaline receptors, so that when they have that fight-or-flight response it's not as intense. They come down more easily. Also, it doesn't sedate or make them seem drugged. You just have to watch their blood pressure so they don't get light headed.

In the classroom where I work, students can be upset about coming back to school simply because we changed the songs in our music group, or something similar. Not knowing what to expect can make them very anxious. But we work to help them tolerate the anxiety while also tolerating the change. We stay right with them and don't punish the anxiety or the behaviors caused by it. We try to find coping mechanisms (like asking for a squeeze or wearing sound muffling headphones) that help them sit through the uncertainty and get to the other side of the anxiety peak. We also offer something really good to look forward to that will help them separate from parents in the morning.

Not sure if this applies to you or Elliot, but thought I'd share.


hi. Just wanted to say in response to wot you said about not punishing etc, that goes without saying I wudv thought. Just for anyone who might b reading that. Knows minimal info on autism,


All I can say is, do your research before actually giving it to him. We tried several different things, and finally had a doctor suggest Namenda. I knew it's marketed for Alzheimer's, but I looked up to see how it works. When we started it, there wasn't much information about using it in connection with Autism, but we tried it, and the best way I can describe it is that it has cooled him down. He doesn't get as angry as easily anymore, and I can tell if he hasn't taken it. There's a lot more now when you search for Namenda and autism, but I suggest you do some searching online tonight about medications used for autism. Has the doctor given you any indication as to what he would want to try after the zoloft? Our doctor would tell us the choices, and side effects, and what we'd try next if this doesn't work. Good luck tomorrow!


Thanks. Elliott just had a freak reaction to the Zoloft. It made him very manic and crazy. I say that with the the utmost love and respect.

We research everything as you said. We just can\’t predict these unpredictable reactions. Thanks 🙂


Are u sure nothing bad happened at school to make him not wanna go? That would what I would think if my son did not wanna go no more..


That was the very first thing that we did. The problem is he doesn\’t like to get warnings at school. The warnings are just reminders, that\’s all. They just really stress him out.

I spoke with his teachers this afternoon and we have addressed that.

He\’s just so incredibly anxious and subsequently very sensitive.


hello. I wrote a long reply to ur post about anxiety,school & meds. But just realised I didn't put it here, it was on ur facebook page. Did u c it by any chance? Keep meanin to register with u then get taken off sumwhere x


Well, very nice to meet you. I\’ll look at Facebook. My comment used to import from Facebook but they don\’t seem to do that anymore. 🙁

Thanks again

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