Stories about: Asperger’s

What can I do for my 15-year-old son, who has Asperger’s and ADHD and seems addicted to video games?

Michael Rich, MD, MPH

Michael Rich, MD, MPH, is Children’s Hospital Boston’s media expert and director of Children’s Center on Media and Child Health. Take a look at his blog archive or follow him on Twitter @CMCH_Boston

Q: My son is 15 and displays symptoms of video game addiction, including lying and sneaking to try to gain access. He has Asperger’s and ADHD, and regardless of what medication regimen we try, the gaming obsession remains. I recently asked the psychiatrist to hospitalize him and treat him as they would other addicts, but they just changed his meds. Anyway, even if he were treated, he needs the computer for school. Do you have any advice for me?

Dealing with Addiction, Orlando, FL

A: Dear Dealing with Addiction,

Unfortunately, more and more families share your story. Whether through sleep deprivation, anxiety, or social isolation, teens struggling with problematic video game or internet use are suffering, and their families are disrupted. And research shows that young people with ADHD may actually be more susceptible to problematic video game or internet use.

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What parents need to know about proposed DSM changes

Depressed Teen in Therapyby Stuart Goldman, MD, Co-Director of Children’s Mood Disorder Program

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is in the draft stages of revising their fifth edition. While the DSM has limitations and at times is a bit controversial in the psychiatry community, it is the official diagnostic guide. The new edition which is scheduled for 2013 has a few suggested changes that could have some impact on your child and family.

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Health headlines: August 8

Other articles on kids’ health we’ve been reading this week:

  • The FDA is requiring stronger warning labels for medicines with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) blockers, which are used to treat inflammatory diseases such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Warnings will highlight the increased risk of childhood cancer.
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