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OT: Would You Give Your Child Medicinal Marijuana?
January 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Parents Control Son's Autistic Rages With Pot

Posted by Jeanne Sager

marijuanaTough question for parents: would you give your child medicinal pot? What if your child has a disease that's caused both autism and a seizure disorder and together the two sent your child into uncontrollable rages, even made your 11-year-old hurt himself?

This is the life of Alex Echols, a little boy from Oregon who is giving parents of autistic kids with uncontrollable rage hope. He can't communicate with his caregivers to explain why he would headbutt things so hard that his entire face is black and blue. But since he started drinking a liquid form of cannabis, he isn't hurting himself anymore.

Hard to argue with that, right? Especially when you look at the picture of Alex, wearing a helmet and bloodied, atop the Echols family blog. Next to it is a picture of Alex without the helmet, his skin as it should be.

It's a no-brainer. Parents want the happy, healthy kid. Not the one who is beating themselves up with no way of controlling themselves.

So pot it is ... right?

Medical marijuana is not currently considered a treatment for autism. But it is one for seizures. And consider an estimated 1/3 of kids with autism also have seizures, the chances of this treatment going mainstream are getting higher by the day.

The Echols' case is already getting national attention, with parents jumping on their Facebook page and blog to share stories of how cannabis has helped their kids. They're drawn, too, to the story of how the Echols are fighting to gain acceptance for this treatment for kids who have similar rages to Alex.

Because of his severe case of Tuberous Sclerosis, the rare, genetic disorder that causes unregulated growth of non-malignant tissue in his body and is blamed for both his seizures and his autism symptoms, Alex lives in a group home. The only problem? The drug -- which the Echols obtain legally in Oregon under the state's medical marijuana program -- can't be administered by the folks at the home. The couple have to take their son off-site three times a week so he can drink his cocktail.

Their current fight against the prohibition of cannabis and to gain acceptance for treatment of these rages with something they say works is one that could make a major difference for kids across America.

Would you consider using pot to help your child?

Replies

  • KickButtMama
    January 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Huh, I have a child on the autism spectrum, but don't thing pot would be of help. I, personally think its fine if under medical supervision. I would probably just be concerned with lung development and health - as inhaling anything can't be good in the long run. But I see medical pot no different from giving a child with chronic pain an opiate based painkiller. 

  • birthymom4
    January 31, 2013 at 12:06 AM
    Yes,
    I am not against marijuana, I personally believe it is a wonder plant.
    I don't buy into the hype that the Government spoon feeds us.
  • birthymom4
    January 31, 2013 at 12:08 AM
    Quoting KickButtMama:

    Huh, I have a child on the autism spectrum, but don't thing pot would be of help. I, personally think its fine if under medical supervision. I would probably just be concerned with lung development and health - as inhaling anything can't be good in the long run. But I see medical pot no different from giving a child with chronic pain an opiate based painkiller. 




    He drinks it.
  • KickButtMama
    January 31, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Wow, I missed that. 

    Quoting birthymom4:

    Quoting KickButtMama:

    Huh, I have a child on the autism spectrum, but don't thing pot would be of help. I, personally think its fine if under medical supervision. I would probably just be concerned with lung development and health - as inhaling anything can't be good in the long run. But I see medical pot no different from giving a child with chronic pain an opiate based painkiller. 




    He drinks it.


  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    January 31, 2013 at 10:09 AM

     there is different ways of using it

    topical-making a nice balm out of it!

    smoking it,

    eating-first you need to extract the oils from the herb, just eating it raw doesnt do anything

    tinctures

    using a vaporizer which will just about get rid of the tar and such

    Quoting KickButtMama:

    Huh, I have a child on the autism spectrum, but don't thing pot would be of help. I, personally think its fine if under medical supervision. I would probably just be concerned with lung development and health - as inhaling anything can't be good in the long run. But I see medical pot no different from giving a child with chronic pain an opiate based painkiller. 

     

  • Rust.n.Gears
    January 31, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I just saw a series of responses that did not appear on my feed so I am sorry to just be responding to this. I had no clue the quote was made.

    Ok so um my story. I was born different which is a common term in the beginning. I didn't talk till I was almost five, screamed a lot, rocked, flapped my hands, hid under tables/behind furniture, hated silence. I would cower with bright lights and hated strangers or changes in routines. I was very stereotypical in my first 10 years. My school labeled me mentally retarded and said I was testing as a genius. I would burn through school work and they had to give me random things to keep me busy. 

    I was taught four languages and ASL before I was 10 years old, knew most things high school students were taught, and out grew my local library. My parents believe I read everything they had. They bought me books constantly on just about everything. I would read and read and read ..... but not talk. I would speak if I was literally forced to. I would also write things down constantly and had notebooks crammed full of tiny writing in perfect script. The books are still in my dads barn. If you showed me how to do something I could just do it without question. I knew how to change the brakes on the car, work a spinning wheel, build a go-cart, disassemble a rifle, gut a fish, build cradles, anything you taught me.

    When I hit 10 I hit puberty. I had my first period and I went nuts. My mood swings were fast and serious. I would hit, bite, kick, smash things, tear out your hair. I spent most of my time in my room and hated school. I beat the walls and jumped around like an idiot. I broke everything in my path. They tried meds, changing my food, limiting my exposure to people, and even hospitals. I was diagnosed with autism finally and they said I needed to figure out what would calm me down. They did compressions and pulled on my limbs which I loved. I was scratched and my hair brushed roughly. Loved it. But I needed more. 

    So they had me exercise which I hated. I couldn't run because the sensory was off some how. Then they gave me a bike. In minutes I knew how to ride it and I took off. I mean I took off and they had to jump in the truck and follow me. I finally fell down in exhaustion. It was what I needed. I would cycle as much as I could. I began to an aerobic class where I could stomp around and punch my way through it. I did yoga when I got home before bed. I started doing meditation and that helped me focus more. By the time I was ready for high school I was more focused and finally could communicate with others.

    I went out for cross-country cycling and began competing. I did really well with that. I would spend the weekends riding around New England. My parents would give me money and know that I would be fine. I could figure a trip to Boston, NH, NY, VT and visit family on the weekends. I did things no one expected like graduate high school, go to culinary school for two degrees in savory and pastry, join clubs, make friends, get my license, buy a house, have a relationship with someone, have a job, have a baby, be a good mom. I now homeschool the kids and they are doing great.

    My parents get questioned on if me homeschooling is a good idea and they back me up completely. They fully believe I am better educated than any teacher in the public school system and that I have kept my imagination that the kids need. I still cycle constantly and do my workouts ... the kids do it with me. I tried meds and they don't work. I tried MJ and it didn't work. I hate the taste and smell and I hate how all of it makes me feel. My parents were desparate in the 90s and did anything that people suggested. What works in finding the focus you need. I hear it from so many people. We can live like everyone else ... we just need to live our life the way we were made too. For me that means more exercise and a really nice bike. I destroy the crappy ones. I used to need books to keep me going (still do to a point). You do what fits.

    Quoting kirbymom:

    Not to mean any offence, but would it be possible to get yor story? I mean, how you have managed and would it took to help yourself?  

    Quoting Rust.n.Gears:

    No. I have autism and know it can be controlled without medications. I see no reason to medicate myself unnecessarily.


     

  • bren_darlene
    February 1, 2013 at 11:03 AM


    Totally agree!!!

    Quoting usmom3:

     Yes I would, it isn't the BAD plant that the government would have you believe it is. There are a lot of things that it can help with & we are fools for outlawing it. Just My 2 Cents!



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