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Kian Thompson, pictured with his mother Taiya, inspired a line of CBD tinctures called Crooked Cactus Oils.

Special needs diagnosis plants seed for Crooked Cactus CBD product line By Kayla Anderson


Sometimes the crooked path, although trickier to navigate and strewn with more obstacles, is the one that gets you to your goal. For the Thompson family that was definitely the case. It all started in 2008 when Taiya and Jimmy Thompson welcomed their son Kian -- an active, lively, and beautiful little baby -- into the world. However, what she and her husband, Jimmy, didn’t know was that Kian would also arrive with Down syndrome. “It was surprising when he was born and came with something extra. But we pushed our fears aside as we embraced him as our child,” Taiya says of Kian who continued to grow normally, not displaying any symptoms of Down syndrome during his first three years. “A lot of things we were afraid of didn’t happen. Kian was a model kid, I thought I won the Down syndrome jackpot,” says Taiya.

But the Thompsons’ good luck with Kian wouldn’t last, after turning three he quickly started to regress. He lost all of his functional skills, fine motor skills, had a change in gait until he eventually couldn’t walk, and stopped drinking out of cups because he couldn’t hold them. Along with these changes in behavior, Kian showed aggression, hyperactivity, and self-harm (such as banging his head against the wall) because he was likely frustrated at his inability to communicate. His sensory processing was so overwhelming, Taiya felt like a prisoner in her own home. “We couldn’t leave because everything was too much for Kian outside of it,” she says. At that time, the Thompsons had another child, Kasia, who is a year and a half younger than Kian. Their friends and extended family members stepped in to help raise Kasia and try to give her a normal life outside the chaos encircling her brother.

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