Last Friday, my sister’s Mother-in-Law called crying. No, there was no family emergency. No, nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. No, there was nothing that my sister, her husband, or anyone could do.
In fact, her Mother-in-Law’s tears (tethering the line of a full-blown meltdown) had become so normal in the everyday scheme of things, that it barely registered to my sister as being alarming or jarring. My sister simply said in a soothing voice, “It’s okay. Take a few, deep breaths and tell me what Lisa did this time.”
No, Lisa is not a bratty kid or an unruly teenager or a drug-addicted 20-something still bumming around in her parent’s basement. Lisa is an 11-year-old girl with severe autism.
Because of her condition, Lisa is a ticking timebomb, meaning you never know what to expect with her. Her moods are extreme and often violent. She looks very much like an 11-year-old girl but her mentality and emotional maturity is that of a 2-year-old.
On a good day, she might sleep 3 hours through the night. She usually starts breakfast throwing food or refusing to eat. She is too unruly and disruptive to be in regular school, but her parents can’t afford the kind of schooling she really needs.
To keep her calm, her mom spends hours a day just driving her around. On a good day, she doesn’t have a seizure, she doesn’t bang her head routinely into the wall or body slam herself into a door or scream so loud that neighbors or onlookers call the cops.
On a good day, she doesn’t need to be physically held down by her dad and mom just to get her to take her medications.
That’s on a good day.
A bad day is truly heartbreaking to watch for all parties involved.
Of course, her parents have tried every form of medication and treatment known to man. Some of them have been pharmaceutical, some have been natural. Some have been traditional treatments while others have been unorthodox. And the reality is that NONE of these methods or medications work.
Do you know what DOES work? THC edibles or drops. (Yes, the derivative and core ingredient found in marijuana). THC calms her down in a way that nothing else will. It helps her sleep in a way that nothing else will. And it gives her parents some semblance of relief when nothing else will.
Do I believe we should be doping up our children if they have mental instabilities? Absolutely not. I think we should avoid ANY kind of medicine if possible. However, dismissing THC or CBD as a valuable treatment in certain scenarios because it was at one point declared illegal is a dangerous mindset to maintain. This is particularly true if, on the same token, you are okay giving every child that is diagnosed with ADHD some kind of upper.
The reality is that marijuana could provide many children with extreme mental, emotional, and physical distress some form of relief. And more research needs to be done toward the benefits that cannabis may have on kids with certain mental and physical disabilities. It could be the relief that both parents and kids need to lead a normal and happy life.