Parents Control Son's Autistic Rages With Pot

Health Check 45

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.

More from The Stir: Teen Arrested for Being Drunk When, Really, She’s Autistic

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.

Does your child have rages like Alex? Would you consider using pot to help him or her?

 

Image via "it was 3 a.m."/Flickr

autism, kid health

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the4m... the4mutts

I have been fortunate to have children that have no serious medical conditions of any kind so far, but for anyone, adult, teen, child, that very obviously benefits from cannabis of any kind, this should be legal, mainstream, and acceptable as a medica treatment.

Its ridiculious when people that need it have furthr obstacles thrown in their path, as if they didnt have enough to deal with.

Rando... Randomlady

"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,"  could just me being nit picky but you said he has tuberous sclerosis, not autism.

CAP1015 CAP1015

Randomlady.......don't expect facts and/or accurate information from anything Jeanne writes.  you will find that facts interfere with her creative writing and would require her doing some actual research. 

nonmember avatar Gwennie

If the medicine works- then we should withhold our own judgement and be grateful. This boy is getting what he needs.

nonmember avatar Tiffany

I think I would make the same choice as these parents. I am not a pot user, nor will I become one if it is legalized in my state, but I am not against it for responsible adults or medical reasons. I have seen pharmaceuticals do a lot more damage to people than pot. I'm not against pharmaceuticals as the do have many advantages, but that doesn't mean I am willing to ignore alternative medicines. I am thankful everyday that my child is healthy and I don't have to make these kind of decisions.

nonmember avatar Mom

I think it's a great thing. My son doesn't eat, is really small and doesn't sleep. I have often wondered if medical marijuana would help. I didn't think kids could get it.

Steen... Steenie2011

I agree with CAP1015 and Randomlady. BUT, IF my child needed medication and NOTHING was working to calm him down....I would choose Marijuana ( a natural plant ) over Psychotropic drugs in a heartbeat! 

Eddie... EddiesMama83

It's sad when writers have to resort to using children to promote their pet cause. 

Amanda Thomas

Marijuana has been proven to be beneficial for a wide range of illnesses. Why is it still a question that it should be legalized?

JMRamer JMRamer

I cringe at the thought of a child being given marijuana, but I want to agree with the poster who talked about the dangers of psychiatric drugs. While extreme side effects are rare, a few children have permanent and terrible changes in personality and behavior because of them. It is not as though these parents have a good choice and a bad choice and have made the bad choice. All of their choices are risky.

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