BROKEN ARROW, Okla.- An Oklahoma mother says she was almost out of hope before voters approved a measure that legalized medical marijuana. Now, she says the drug is having an amazing effect on her child with autism.
Melody McAdams told KJRH that before medical marijuana was legal in Oklahoma, she was at her wits end.
“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.
After a visit to her son’s doctor, she decided to try medical marijuana.
“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 told KJRH. “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.”
Two months later, she says Ean is making a lot of progress. The first night he slept through the night, and his meltdowns have completely stopped. Now, Ean is communicating, which is something he struggled with before being treated with medical marijuana.
Sherilyn Walton with TARC, an advocacy group for Oklahomans with developmental and intellectual disabilities, warns that there haven’t been studies about the effects of medical marijuana on children with autism.
She says that while she supports it being legalized, she doesn’t feel comfortable recommending it to families.
“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.