Taking the Mystery out of Medications in Autism/Asperger Syndromes / Edition 1

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Although medication should always be a last resort, many people on the autism spectrum claim that medication has improved their lives significantly. But how can a parent decide which meds to choose or which to stay away from? Written by a doctor and father to a child with autism, this book provides the answers that parents and non-medical professionals need. Dr. Luke Tsai explains what medication therapy is, and gives you the knowledge to make informed choices. Learn what different medications do in the body, their side effects, and how to properly assess the results. An extremely helpful appendix provides sample medical forms, diagnostic tools, and a detailed glossary that you will refer to time and time again.
Helpful chapters include:

  • The Autism Spectrum
  • Your Right to Make Informed Decisions About Medication Therapy
  • Pre-Medication Treatment Assessment
  • General Principles of Medication Therapy
  • Monitoring Medication Therapy
  • Monitoring Side Effects
  • Development of New Medications
  • Psychotherapeutic Medications
  • Generic Drugs
  • Selecting Medications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders


A medical doctor and academic pens a book about medication therapy for those on the autism spectrum, delineating the critical principles and treatments to ensure proper medication. Dr. Tsai enumerates the impact of drugs on behavior and various forms of pervasive developmental disorders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Not only does this book reflect great clinical skills, but it also reflects the caring attitude Luke has always brought to his work. One feels throughout the book the deep concern and respect that this caring physician has for his clients. The human side o f medicine is part of every problem and solution, and parents and professionals in the field will especially appreciate this emphasis."


“The book is also extremely articulate and comprehensive, reflecting the intelligence, scholarship, and hard work that the author has always put into his professional activities. Many medical and scientific theories and practices will become much clearer as the reader progresses through this logically developed and clearly presented information. The amount of knowledge and detail that is contained in every page is indeed impressive.”

From the foreword by Gary Mesibov, PhD, Professor and Director of TEACCH at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885477804
  • Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,166,692
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Luke Tsai, MD is a scholar, researcher, teacher and, most importantly, a father of a young man with autism. He received his medical degree from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan and completed his residency training in general psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Iowa Hospitals. Dr. Tsai is currently a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. He also is founder and director of developmental disorders at the University of Michigan Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Tsai is consultant editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, is on the editorial board of Focus on Autistic Behavior, and on the Autism Society of America’s Panel of Professional Advisors. Dr. Tsai has received awards and honors for his work with individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders. His publications include more than 80 articles and 40 books or chapters. He continues to be a sought-after speaker nationally and internationally.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Autism Spectrum
Co-Existing (Comorbid) Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Treatment Considerations

Chapter 2. Your Right to Make Informed Decisions About Medication Therapy
Are Psychotherapeutic Medications Safe?
What Is Informed Consent?
What Does a Written Informed Consent Form Contain?
Informed Consent in Individuals with ASD

Chapter 3. Pre-Medication Treatment Assessment
Purpose of Assessment
Clarify the Questions
Conduct a Functional Behavioral Analysis
Medical Assessment and Diagnosis
Developing an Intervention Plan

Chapter 4. General Principles of Medication Therapy
Pharmacotherapy as a Science
Individualized Medication Therapy
Factors That Affect the Outcome of Medication Therapy
Pharmacotherapy and Adverse Events
General Principles of Administering Psychotherapeutic Medications

Chapter 5. Monitoring Medication Therapy
Compliance with Medication
Measuring Therapeutic Effects
How Frequently Should the Physician Review Your Child?
Medical Review
Psychiatric Review
Direct Behavior Observation
Physical and Neurological Examination
Cognitive Function and Speech/Language Assessments
Laboratory Tests
Monitoring Blood Level of Drugs
Using Performance Tests and Rating Scales to Monitor Treatment
Powerful Placebo Effect
Written Report

Chapter 6. Monitoring Side Effects
Developmental Neurotoxicology
Recognizing Side Effects
Monitoring the Emergence of Side Effects
Clinical Manifestation and Management of Side Effects

Chapter 7. Development of New Medications
Role of the Food and Drug Administration
Clinical Trial of a New Medication
Postmarketing Detection of Medication-Induced Adverse Reactions

Chapter 8. Psychotherapeutic Medications
Names of Medications
Classification of Psychotherapeutic Medications
Sources of Medication Information
Classes of Psychotherapeutic Medications

Chapter 9. Generic Drugs
What Is a Generic Drug?
Controversy over Generic and Brand-Name Drugs
What Is a Preferred Drug List?
What Can a Consumer Do?

Chapter 10. Selecting Medications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Chapter 11. Diagnosis and Treatment of Seizure Disorders
What Is Seizure Disorder?
Classification of Seizure Disorders
Differential Diagnosis of Seizure Disorders
Prevalence of Seizure Disorders
Causes of Seizure Disorders
Frequency of Seizures
Effects of Seizure Disorders
Assessment and Diagnosis of Seizure Disorders
Management and Treatment of Seizure Disorders
Medication Treatment of Seizure Disorders
Alternatives to Medication Treatment

Appendix A, "Basic Pharmacology," and Appendix B, "Basic Neuropharmacology," describe in detail how medications interact with body systems. These appendices provide scientific information on the biochemical and electrochemical processes that take place in the brain and other organs. You will see how and why medications are administered in different ways and how these medications interact with the body's systems. Appendix A and Appendix B are for those people who are more interested with the scientific and technical aspects of medicine and human biology.
Appendix A. Basic Pharmacology
Appendix B. Basic Neuropharmacology
Appendix C. Sample Medical Forms
Appendix D. Diagnostic Tools
Appendix E. Parent Global Impression Scale—Baseline
Appendix F. Parent Global Impression Scale—Follow-Up
Appendix G. Medication Side-Effects Checklist
Appendix H. Psychotherapeutic Medications
Appendix I. Antiepileptic Drugs (AEDs)


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