Autism and Cannabis: One Mom's Journey By: Brandy Williams (Mother of Logan)
State of Arizona
Logan’s meltdowns could last up to three hours. All I could do is sit on the ﬂoor and hold him to my chest as tight as I could, and block as many blows as possible. He would thrash around violently. My body felt like I was hit by a truck after those episodes. I couldn't imagine what my son felt. One day I got a small dose of what he went through. My son head butted me so hard, I ended up with a pretty serious concussion. I still have vertigo spells, and I get really bad migraines to this day. Was Logan experiencing reoccurring concussions, Total Brain Injury (TBI) from all the head banging?
www.MAMMAUSA.org DIAGNOSIS Logan had a regression in developmental mile stones at one years old, and that’s when the alarm bells started ringing. His pediatrician dismissed my concerns, but I kept pushing forward to ﬁnd answers. Logan was diagnosed with Regressive Autism, and Encephalopathy on Feb. 20th, 2013. The developmental pediatrician told me that my son was severely Autistic, and I didn't even know what Autism was. She told me Logan most likely will never speak to me, and that I would be my son's caretaker for the rest of his life, or mine. During the appointment the doctor observed abnormal eye movements Logan had, and she sent him in for an EEG. He went on to receive another diagnosis, Absent Seizures. Logan was also diagnosed with Enterocolitis in May 2016.
As Logan moved out of the toddler stages, his aggression became even more concerning. Every single door in our home had a hole on it on both sides. The master bedroom door was ripped off the hinges. The metal front door had 30 dent marks on it from Logan banging his head. He destroyed all of our dining room chairs by slamming the backs of the chairs down to the ground, over and over. Logan put his head through the living room window. The drawer faces and cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms were all damaged from him slamming them over and over.
ISOLATION Going into public was a nightmare. We couldn't go to the store. We never ate together as a family in a restaurant. No movies, no family vacations. We tried to take Logan out into public and do normal things as a family. We wanted him to have as much fun as possible. But to be honest, it was the complete opposite. Logan didn't have fun at all, and it was quite overwhelming for everyone. Logan would just drop to the ground and scream. And everyone would stare, make rude comments, and give us dirty looks.
SELF INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR AND AGRESSION As soon as Logan woke up and his feet hit the ground, everyone was on high alert. Logan used to bang his head 75-150 times per day. His needs were so extensive, we had a Habilitaion specialist in our home for 40 hours per week. My sons HAB worker and I witnessed him head butt a brick wall, and the concrete patio. Those memories will never leave my mind. I thought Logan’s head was going to cave in. I was so worried about skull fractures and concussions. When the ER doctor showed me how to tell if a skull had been fractured, my stomach started to roll.
Continued on next page
July/August 2017 31
Published on Jul 1, 2017
Published on Jul 1, 2017
This issue asks “What about the kids?” Cannabis Nurses Magazine is here to tell you about the kids. As controversial this topic is, it is n...