11 year old Alex Echols, who suffers from severe Autism, has dangerous anger attacks whereby he slams his head hard against the wall repeatedly, leaving his face black and blue.
An autistic boy in Portland Oregon takes medical marijuana to control his severe anger bouts that lead to personal injuries. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Alex was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex; a genetic disease which causes benign tumors to grow in the brain.
The tumors prevent those afflicted from being able to communicate and give the individuals a fickle behavior.
Alex’ parents feed him a liquid form of the medical marijuana 3 times per week to keep his mood swings under control.
Alex’ parents tried everything they could to prevent their boy from hurting himself, from conventional medicine to putting a plastic helmet on his head. When nothing worked, they made the painful decision to place Alex in a home when he was eight years old.
A short while after putting Alex in a home, they saw a documentary on TV about a family who gave their autistic child medical marijuana.
Alex’ parents decided it was worth to try the same thing with their son. They found a doctor who was willing to write a prescription for the use of medical marijuana for Alex.
Alex’ dad, Jeremy, says that only a few months after giving him the medical marijuana the differences in Alex’ behavior are nothing short of amazing.
Jeremy describes how prior to Alex taking medical marijuana he would get an anger bout and slam his head against the wall until he bled, sometimes for an hour long. Just as suddenly he would stop and go back to playing.
Most of that behavior has completely ended since Alex has been taking medical marijuana, Jeremy said.
Although Autism is usually not considered for this form of medication, the doctor who prescribes Alex the medication says his bouts of anger were so severe he would qualify for the drug.
Alex is one of 58 children in the state of Oregon, authorized to consume medical marijuana.
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