Can you believe that April is almost over? April is National Autism Awareness Month and we are here to talk about Autism and Cannabis! We asked several mothers across the state of Oklahoma to share their children’s journey with Autism and Cannabis. We made this a three-part series to truly highlight the stories we are sharing.
As stated by Chip and Cynthia Paul of Truemedx, “Autism is a very complicated and complex set of disorders that stem from needed genetic expression being turned off, needed genetic expressions being improperly encoded, or unneeded genetic expressions improperly turned on. By virtue of these improper genetic expressions, the autistic individual’s body, from metabolism to the highest functions, has to adapt to survive.”1 A more in-depth look shows that “severely autistic folks cannot ‘inflame’ or ‘deflame’, which means they cannot run a basic immune system. They have deficiencies in their endocannabinoid system with the two main molecules needed to run the endocannabinoid system. These deficiencies cause a “lack of control” in the master regulatory system.”2
Speaking with Christa Shaefer, the other half of OKanna Moms, she shared her son, Bubba’s story. At 2½ years old, Bubba was diagnosed with Level III Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder and Childhood Speech Apraxia. He began to attend ABA therapy at the age of 4 – this behavioral therapy seemed to show to most progress for him after trying so many different types of therapy with little to no progress. At around 6 years old, his aggression toward others and self-harming was at a peak during melt-downs. They tried one pharmaceutical with him for two weeks and the best way Christa can explain it is that her son was like a zombie; he had no emotion or energy and bags had begun to form under his little eyes. She weaned him off the medication as recommended by the doctor and suddenly his energy came back, but so did his aggression. Christa knew she had to do something for her son to help him find his calm and live the best quality of life possible. She decided that Cannabis would be the only medicine that Bubba would use.
This healing journey of Cannabis began before SQ788 and while it was not yet legal in Oklahoma – it was like the missing piece for Bubba. He began not only to show more progress, but to master goals he had worked for years on at therapy. In June 2018, when medicinal Cannabis was approved by the voters of Oklahoma, Christa mentioned it felt like the biggest weight was lifted off of them as his parents; that they could finally breathe. She was desperate to help her son while scared to death at the same time to risk losing him if someone were to find out. After the very first dose of Cannabis Oil she knew they had made the right decision. She made a lot of trips to Colorado to purchase his medicine and she understood d that with every single trip, she was risking everything. There is really no measure of how far a mother will sometimes go to help her child.
Today, Bubba is now almost 12 years old and not only is the aggression rarely seen; he is also fully potty-trained, can tie his shoes, and read a book. But among all of those great accomplishments, Cannabis has changed her family’s life the most by giving her son the ability to enjoy life. As their lives are still very much routine based, it is manageable if the routine changes. She feels that understanding the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and utilizing Cannabinoids other than THC-only is key to successful medicinal Cannabis use in children with Autism. An important thing Christa wants everyone to know about having a child with Autism is to not be afraid to step outside of the box in finding what works best for you and your family as all children are different.
We were also fortunate to get to speak with Heather Starr, an Advocate for Autism, who shared her son, Jon’s story. She began by stating that Cannabis gave her son a voice—Jon was completely nonverbal, as in couldn’t even imitate sounds, let alone speak words. Yet 2 months after Jon began using Cannabis, she heard “I love you mom” for the first time ever. Sleep was also one of the biggest challenges for Jon. He struggled not only with falling asleep, but he also struggled with staying asleep—problems he has faced since he was 3 years old. There were times they would go well over 24 hours with 0 hours of sleep. As you could imagine, that is extremely hard for your brain to function on. Therefore, letting his body and brain get some deep rest has been a major game changer for him as well. Jon also struggles with anxiety, which Cannabis has allowed them to go out in public and do things as a family; things that would typically be too overwhelming/overstimulating for him.
An important thing Heather wants everyone to know about having a child with Autism is that those children and adults with Autism are still people; they aren’t just a diagnosis. They still have unique personalities/qualities that they add to this world. Having a child with Autism can be a challenge, but it’s been one of the biggest blessings in our lives. She said, “Yes, Jon has Autism, but that isn’t who he is. God gets to work through him and show others how amazing He is.”
OKanna Moms is a resource-based blog of two moms documenting progress with Cannabis treatment for Autism and providing resources to pediatric patients. Based in Oklahoma, Mattie Badgwell & Christa Schaefer share their children’s journeys to provide hope and inspiration to other families across the country. To keep up with Bubba’s story, check OKannaMoms on Social Media!
Check out their Facebook here, their Instagram here, and you can contact them by email here: OKannamoms@gmail.com
Chip and Cynthia Paul at TruemedX are here to help you and your family! Connect with them by:
Phone number: (918) 949-6699
Address: 7726 N Owasso Expy Owasso OK 74055
The mother behind The Autism Cafe shared this post to give everyone in the USA access to free autism resources. This is a list of free autism resources, available in all 50 states!
The TrueMedX Focus Tincture is based on the GnuPharma model of human function. With the Focus Tincture, our strategy is to intervene directly with cannabinoid resources. These resources supplement the deficiencies in the Endocannabinoid System present in Autistic and ADHD folks. The Focus Tincture is a CBD based product and is built to have minimal taste. Most severely Autistic folks had aversions to things with strong taste and this formulation seems to work best in cases where the is difficulty taking medications. The results we are seeing are improvements in negative behaviors, improvements in positive behaviors and cognitive skills. For non-autistic folks who want to experience the product, this product should create some energy and focus.
To order the FOCUS Tincture, click here!
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The code is going to give you 10% off for the month of April!