Autism is a hard condition to understand given its broad spectrum and differing degrees of seriousness. It’s been rather the journey for Arizonans Brandy Williams and Shaun Simpson in handling their kid Logan’s serious autism, which is also intensified by epilepsy and other health conditions. But, medical cannabis is helping Logan significantly and has given the household hope that more progress will follow.
AZmarijuana.com took a seat with Brandy to talk about her experiences:
Exactly what is Logan’s specific medical diagnosis?
Brandy: Logan was diagnosed with encephalopathy, absent seizures, inflammatory bowel disease, sensory processing condition, speech apraxia, and a feeding disorder. He’s seriously impacted by autism and has other comorbid conditions. His needs are considerable.
When was Logan detected?
Brandy: The screening process took almost two years. He was placed on an at-risk for autism medical diagnosis in November 2012, when he was 30 months old. He was formally detected just 3 months before his third birthday. Various treatments began before his main diagnosis.
Exactly what was a day with Logan like before you started him on the RSO oil?
Brandy: Logan was suffering in several ways. His sensory system was so overwhelmed he generally pulled back inside himself. He closed down. He was in a consistent state of fear, stress and anxiety or rage.
He had major self-stim behaviors and would leap up and down, stiffen his arms really tight and flap his hands intensely. It looked really unpleasant. He would rock back and forth, he had a high-pitched verbal stimulation and it was ear piercing. He would grind his teeth so hard all his baby teeth were ground down flat (Bruxism).
His aggressive habits began when he had a full mouth of teeth. He would bite individuals so hard it broke the skin. He would rip my hair out. He head-butted me so hard he provided me a concussion. I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, I still get migraines, and vertigo spells.
It progressively became worse as he vacated the toddler phases. In 2015, right before we got Logan’s card, his HAB employee recorded 75-150 head bangs per 8-hour shift.
As soon as my son awakened and his feet struck the ground, everyone in the house was on high alert. I could not leave him alone for a second. There was no privacy going to the bathroom or showering. My boy had to oversleep our room, from fear for his safety. We didn’t want him to wake up in the middle of the night and elope, hurt himself, or have seizures in the middle of the night. We essentially slept with one eye open.
The video below is a sample of among Logan’s behavior before medical marijuana.
What treatment(s) did you attempt prior to marijuana?
Brandy: Logan was recommended the antipsychotic drug called Risperdal and was offered a script for a helmet by the time he was three and a half. The helmet wasn’t going to prevent him from banging his head. He was still at risk for head injuries despite the headgear.
We began doing biomedical methods to autism soon after his medical diagnosis. We altered his diet plan and got rid of pro-inflammatory foods from his diet, get rid of contaminants from our house, offered him supplements based off his laboratory work, glutathione presses, methylated B12, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, we checked out stem cell therapy. He had 2 hours of speech therapy, two hours occupational therapy, physical therapy, music treatment, hippotherapy and behavioral interventions.
When did you start checking out marijuana as an alternative for him?
Brandy: In 2014. The Welton household, from Mesa, took legal action against the state and pediatric cannabis appeared. Despite the fact that my son had a qualifying condition (epilepsy), I was still afraid to obtain his medical card. My boy saw some of the very best physician in Arizona, I felt if I got him a marijuana card they would kick me from their practice and I required them to assist me with my child.
So, we tried CBD only at first (so that we didn’t need to obtain the card), but we quickly understood my boy was going to need entire plant marijuana extracts. It took a while to save up the money for his card. June 19, 2015 was the very first day I offered my son whole plant marijuana and it was the best decision I have actually ever made for him.
What was the procedure of finding the ideal combination of stress to assist Logan like?
Brandy: First, we attempted CBD which didn’t aid with the habits. I feel CBD is certainly advantageous he just required more of a sedative affect. The first time I gave him full plant oil was June 19, 2015 and it resembled a dream. It brought him relief in 20-30 minutes. We got the oil from a personal caregiver. When we lacked the oil we attempted a many different pressures and they didn’t have rather the same result. Sativa just didn’t help with his stress and anxiety, indica only struck him too hard, hybrids just didn’t cut it. We understood the very first caretaker mixed a range of pressures indica, sativa, hybrid and a CBD strain all together. I believe having a diverse cannabinoid profile is exactly what helps him the most.
The length of time did it take you to figure out exactly what Logan’s ideal dose of cannabis is?
Brandy: It took about a year to discover consistency in effectiveness. I would utilize the feedback from other moms and dads and it wasn’t too effective. I understood Logan’s sweet area wasn’t going to be the very same as anyone else’s. I found out about each specific element of cannabis and exactly what type of impacts each property had which assisted me determine exactly what I had to purchase for my child.
We attempted high-CBD, low-THC strains which was not the right option. When our four particular stress are combined together, it’s exactly what helps him the very best. The various cannabinoid profiles of the four stress are our most significant advantage. In all, it took a year to discover the best results for Logan.
How long after beginning marijuana treatment did you begin noticing favorable changes in Logan?
Brandy: We started to observe a distinction in Logan’s habits in 20 minutes of his first dose. When it began working, he relaxed his motions– his arms stopped flapping, he stopped leaping– he was calmer. For the very first time, he sat down with me and saw a film and reacted to exactly what was happening in the motion picture. His reactions were suitable for the scene– this was the first time his reactions were proper.
Bedtime was simple that night. Bedtime usually suggested long periods of stress and anxiety that would avoid sleep. At 9:30, he went to bed– he went to sleep and looked pleased for the very first time. He looked like he had relief.
When did you end up being associated with MAMMA?
Brandy: Prior to I got Logan’s MMJ card, I heard Felicia Carbajal, from California MAMMAs at a lecture in Chicago. She discussed MAMMAs. It is based from Texas and was brand brand-new at the time. By about November 2015, I was asked to start a new chapter here in Arizona.
What is your level of participation with MAMMA?
Brandy: I am the State Chapter President of the AZ MAMMAs. My focus has actually been to bridge both the cannabis market and autism neighborhood together since June of 2015. We have monthly support group meetings throughout the valley. We also have an online Facebook support group for parents just.
Compared with a year earlier, exactly what is the distinction in Logan today?
Brandy: Within the very first 2 months of using medical cannabis, Logan learned 180 brand-new words. He retained the words, they have actually stayed a part of his vocabulary. His speech began to become spontaneous, rather than simply when prompted. Now, he speaks sentences that are 4 or 5 words long.
His effect on behavior were that his anxiety, rage, hostility, fear and self-injurious habits ended up being decreased in frequency, period and strength.
He used to have 150 head banging sessions a day. Within the first two months the frequency of the head banging sessions grew less and less– he decreased to 50 times a day, then 25 times a day and now it’s non-existent. He still gets disappointed from time to time but it’s not near the level it utilized to be.
He’s far more independent now. He can be left alone in a space so I can utilize the restroom genuine fast. He’s in fact playing properly with toys. He’s initiating play with other kids.
The only time he has a bumpy ride is when he’s out of his medicine. The longer he goes without his medicine, the even worse it gets. The very first day is hard, but it’s manageable. By day 3, he’s not able to verbalize as much as when he does have his medicine. His aggressiveness returns.
Now that he has cannabis, he’s consistently in bed every night before 10 p.m., but usually he remains in bed by 8:30 or 9. He sleeps through the night. He doesn’t keep up and stim all night. He’s able to feed himself. He uses clothing and does not attempt to rip them off his body anymore– he gets dressed himself.
We can take Logan in public now. We’re able to go to restaurants together. I can have time to shop and check out labels– no more get and rush through the store.
He engages with individuals. He’ll welcome people at the grocery store. He makes eye contact, smiles and gives high 5′s. He’s come up until now!!
Things like overwhelming environments, loud environments don’t trouble him anymore. He’s enjoying it. He’s not afraid of the general public. He’s enjoying the world.
He’s composing his name now. Now, when I call his name– he looks at me, he reacts. We can go and do basically anything we desire now.
Exactly what are a few of Logan’s most recent pieces of development?
Brandy: Most recently, Logan opted for 55 days with no aggression. He started writing and spelling his name and he has a new friend. He’s requesting music and dancing. He’s singing tunes from Moana.
He informs everybody “Excellent early morning”. He tells everybody he likes their shirt when we drop him off at school. All the kids and teachers enjoy him.
We got his hairdo for the first time. We used to have to hold him down and shave his head when it got too long. Now he sits in the chair for styling. He examines himself out in the mirror.
Exactly what would you state to other moms and dads of autistic children that want to attempt marijuana for their kids?
Brandy: Be client. Just because the very first item you try does not work, that doesn’t suggest that marijuana will not work. You have to discover your kid’s sweet area. What works for somebody else doesn’t imply it’s going to work for your loved one.
Don’t hesitate of THC! If they need it, they need it.
Always get everything tested. Everybody states they have the best item. Don’t take their word for it.
If Logan wasn’t diagnosed with epilepsy, would you still utilize cannabis?
Brandy: I would move anywhere I needed to, to get access.
What has been your experience with trying to get autism contributed to the state’s qualifying conditions list?
Brandy: The Marijuana Nurse’s Association has submitted two petitions on behalf of Arizona autism families in January and July of 2016 to get autism added to the qualifying conditions list. The AZDHS didn’t even consider it.
MAMMAs in addition to two concerned citizens sent applications in July with assistance from chosen authorities. A letter from chosen officials accompanied our petition urging the Health Department to support our petition. We haven’t had any further interactions.
If other households wish to sign up with the battle to get autism added to Arizona’s qualifying conditions list, how can they sign up with the fight?
Brandy: We can be discovered on Facebook. Search for Arizona MAMMAs. To contact me directly, feel free to email me at Brandy444@gmail.com. Only Arizona parents and guardians of kids with autism are accepted into the Facebook group. Others interested in our efforts can visit our site at MAMMAUSA.org.
How grateful are you to marijuana for being the medication to change Logan’s (and your/Shaun’s lives) life for the much better?
Brandy: I can not do autism for another 5 years without it. I can not see my kid suffer. Marijuana has brought a level of relief to his life I never believed possible. I simply wished to stop the seizures and what we got was so much more! I have a lot wish for Logan’s future!
It saved the peace of mind of my household!!
This video reveals what life with Logan resembles today– enormous advances.
If autism is affecting your family and standard medical treatments/medications aren’t working, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Medical cannabis changed Logan’s life for the better. He’s a happy, flourishing cannakid.