First and foremost, I urge you to read “The Explosive Child,” by Ross Greene, PhD. It outlines reasons for meltdowns and intensity, helps you determine the reasons behind these behaviors, and offers a parenting approach that WORKS.
As for medication, it’s a tricky process to find the right medication and dosage for each individual. You may see side effects that go away after a few days, or you may have too many side effects and have to switch medications. There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both.It may be that amphetamine based medications are not right for him. This primer will help you understand the medications and this process better:
I do encourage you to get an autism evaluation as well. Many, many kids with autism have ADHD as well, and vice versa. (My son is one of them.) Instances labeled as behavior issues can very well be driven by characteristics of autism. It’s definitely worth looking into.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism