Category: autism

Oklahoma mom says medical marijuana works wonders for her son with autism

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — An Oklahoma mother says medical marijuana is working miracles for her son with autism.

Melody McAdams says that before it was legal in Oklahoma, she tried everything, and had almost given up hope that anything would work for her child.

“You kind of grieve the child you thought you’d have,” McAdams said. “College and high school and girlfriends, kids, stuff like that. And now I actually have hope, you know?” McAdams said

She tells us that just two months into her son Ean’s treatment, he’s making big improvements.

“I noticed a change overnight almost. He slept. Through the night. The meltdowns have completely stopped,” McAdams said.

Before using “friction oil” or “Tincture oil” with CBD and THC, McAdams had tried all of the expensive treatments.

“We did the ABA therapy for 3 years which cost us $900 a month, co-pay. We also did lots of speech therapy and lots of occupational therapy. It just got exhausting and he wasn’t really changing.” McAdams said.

She says she decided to try out medical marijuana after a trip to Ean’s doctor.

“He told me ‘no (he needs) Seroquel and I was like, I’m not putting my child on an anti-psychotic he’s not psychotic,” McAdams said. “When you look up the side effects of Seroquel which is what was recommended to Ean versus the side effects of this, you would choose it for your child, too.”

McAdams says that the family’s quality of life has now made leaps and bounds for the first time since Ean was diagnosed with autism.

Pointing around her home she shows us, “We wouldn’t have the blinds up, we wouldn’t have glass, we wouldn’t have everything plugged in. We’d have everything child-proofed like a baby; he’s not like a baby anymore.”

She says the communication has been a huge breakthrough, something Ean struggled with before.

“He communicates with me every day. Yesterday he told me he had a bad day at school.” McAdams said, smiling.

Sherilyn Walton is with TARC, a Tulsa-area advocacy group for Oklahomans with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She said since medical marijuana became legal here in Oklahoma, some parents have looked into the treatment.

However, she says there haven’t been many studies on the effects of medical marijuana on children with autism.

“We are cautioning families about what they read and what they do, to make some really wise choices, and not do anything without the help of a physician,” said Walton, a family support coordinator.

She tells us she supports medical marijuana but doesn’t feel comfortable recommending it to families right now.

“It may be that it works with some. Marijuana might work with some and not with others just like other medications. We will certainly continue to watch the research. We want to give out good information and we want information that we feel like we can trust,“ Walton said.

For McAdams, she says so far this is the best choice for her child and says as long as he’s happy and healthy, she’ll keep using it.

“He’s been in public school now and he’s excelling. He can write his first name, he can count,” McAdams said.

“I believe he’ll have a job and be able to live somewhat normally, which is beyond exciting,” she said. “All you want as a parent is for your kid to be happy and to have a fulfilling life.”

Trump now says parents must vaccinate children in face of measles outbreak

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

President Donald Trump weighed in on the recent measles outbreak in the United States, appearing to do an about-face on his previous claims linking child vaccinations to autism.

“They have to get the shots. The vaccinations are so important. This is really going around now. They have to get their shots,” Trump said when asked what his message is for parents.

Measles cases in the United States have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. Overall, there have been 681 measles cases across 22 states this year, according to CNN’s analysis of data from state and local health departments.

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that there is no link between vaccines and autism, Trump has publicly stated over the past decade that he’s skeptical of child vaccinations.

He first weighed in on the issue on Twitter in 2012.

“Massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism,” he claimed.

He made a similar argument in 2014, tweeting, “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!”

Groundbreaking held for adult autism center in Murray

MURRAY, Utah — Murray will soon be home to a facility aimed at supporting adults with autism, the first of its kind in the state.

“The individuals who will attend this program are individuals who are 18 or older, who really need a high level of support. So they are still requiring 24/7 supervision and support. They need help with daily living skills: feeding themselves, caring for themselves, dressing themselves. And those who will not necessarily be able to go to college or get independent employment, so they really need day programming to help provide them meaningful experiences,” said Julia Hood, Chief Clinical Officer, Valley Behavioral Health.

The Adult Autism Center of Lifetime Learning will provide vocational skills training, customized employment and internship opportunities, when appropriate.

While the Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning provides services for children with autism, Hood said the adult autism center will fill a gap that isn’t being met in the community.

“Training and educational experiences will be offered in the areas of differentiated academics, library, culinary, agriculture, arts and crafts, fitness, home living, vocation, social and leisure, and barber, medical and dental visits,” a news release from the Pingree Center said.

Hood said the adult autism center will be able to provide services for 70-100 people. The facility will be constructed at 6230 S 900 E, across the street from Wheeler Farm.

Hood said the proximity to Wheeler Farm was an important part in choosing the center’s location, and discussions about how the center and Wheeler Farm might collaborate are already underway.

Construction is expected to begin in July 2019, with completion expected in July 2020.