Medical Cannabis Update-Week Five

I promised I would give a weekly update on our journey with medical cannabis for our severely autistic son. We are over a month in! We’ve seen amazing, huge, gigantic, breakthroughs. I am so excited to tell you all of them.

In week one we saw a reduction in anxiety. In week two we saw improved engagement with his surroundings. In week three Cooper began joining our family in the living room, during meals and in the evenings. Jamie and I learned what it was like to sit down. To not constantly worry and chase.

Week four was a combination of everything. He started sleeping better, sitting, interacting, noticing kids, ‘singing’ songs, relaxing, etc. I could go on and on.

Week five has been all about awareness. He is aware of his brother, his toys, forts, kids, who has the ‘better’ iPad, even Pokemon cards. He wants to be near his brother when he is playing. He wants to go to stores.

For the first time EVER, like ever, ever, our family went to a store together. A REAL STORE. He is vocalizing way more…which also means more yelling. He is even acting silly.

One year ago I would have never believed any of this was possible.

For more information, here is the initial post I did about cannabis, our decision to start, and how we went about getting our son approved. If you have questions start with these. You can also find out if medical cannabis is legal in your state: Click HERE.

Here is a high level overview of the results we’ve seen over the last week. As always, I encourage you to watch the video. I go into greater detail. Also, to here are links to videos from WEEK ONE, WEEK TWO, WEEK THREE and WEEK FOUR.

Here are a few examples of his improved awareness over the last week:

  • Cooper started sleeping in his brother’s room on the bunk bed. He requests it every single night. He wants to be near him at night. It’s pretty sweet. Prior to this he never cared where he slept. This has been a big change for Sawyer too.
  • He is watching different programs on his Kindle. This is amazing! For seven years it has been Barney, Thomas and trains. Now he is listening to music, dancing and interacting. As his parents, we are pretty excited to have some different sounds in our house! No more Daddy Finger song…
  • For years Cooper has been so laid back when it came to toys, objects, food, etc. He was almost a pushover. Kids could take stuff from him. He’d never ‘ask’ for anything. Most of this I think has to do with the fact that he was unaware of his surroundings. Lately, he notices if his brother has a fort or a cookie. Or gets the good iPad. He wants to have it too. I’m so happy that he’s starting to care!
  • He asks us to go places and do things. He wants to ride a bus. He wants to go to a train museum. Brand new!
  • He wanted to be in a living room fort with his brother and his friends. Although he didn’t know what he was supposed to do in it once he was so he just destroyed it. In a way he reminds me so much of the little toddler brother who wrecks his brother’s stuff. He’s trying though. He’s aware and learning. And I love it!
  • He noticed last Friday that his brother had Pokemon cards. Cards that he has had for months. Cooper immediately wanted some of his own. No, he didn’t know what they were used for. Or that they were a game. He just wanted to have some of his own. He even requested that we go to the store and buy some. And grabbed his shoes! This is BRAND NEW. On a Friday night, our family went to a store. A real store. We never go anywhere.
  • He has a new obsession with construction paper. It is everywhere in my house. And I mean everywhere.
  • He is so loud now. Constant non-verbal sounds.
  • He’s been having so many silly behaviors. As Jamie describes it, ‘His personality is really developing. And with it is coming lots and lots of protests, verbalizations and behaviors. And that’s okay.’
  • We had a really tough Sunday as well. You can hear about that in the video…

I share so much more in the video!

Week Five of our MC Journey

Hey all,I promised I would give a weekly update on our journey with medical cannabis for our severely autistic son. We are over a month in! We've seen amazing, huge, gigantic, breakthroughs. I am so excited to tell you all of them. In week one we saw a reduction in anxiety. In week two we saw improved engagement with his surroundings. In week three Cooper began joining our family in the living room, during meals and in the evenings. Jamie and I learned what it was like to sit down. To not constantly worry and chase. Week four was a combination of everything. He started sleeping better, sitting, interacting, noticing kids, 'singing' songs, relaxing, etc. I could go on and on.Week five has been all about awareness. He is aware of his brother, his toys, forts, kids, who has the 'better' iPad, even Pokemon cards. He wants to be near his brother when he is playing. He wants to go to stores. For the first time EVER, like ever, ever, our family went to a store together. A REAL STORE. He is vocalizing way more…which also means more yelling. He is even acting silly. One year ago I would have never believed any of this was possible.Take a listen to hear even more….For more information, here is the initial post I did about cannabis, our decision to start, and how we went about getting our son approved. If you have questions start with these. You can also find out if medical cannabis is legal in your state: https://www.findingcoopersvoice.com/2018/08/27/medical-cannabis-autism/Week Four Update: https://www.facebook.com/findingcoopersvoice/videos/2177158712502975/Week Three Update: https://www.facebook.com/findingcoopersvoice/videos/924750594390192/Week Two Update: https://www.facebook.com/findingcoopersvoice/videos/740156296336147/Week One Update: https://www.facebook.com/findingcoopersvoice/videos/710177465981985/Thanks!-Kate

Posted by Finding Cooper's Voice on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I plan to update weekly on Cooper’s progress. Check back!

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  • Paula Armstrong

    October 6, 2018 at 4:15 pm
    Reply

    I am the mother of an autistic son who is now 24 years of age. Your Cooper reminds me so much of my […] Read MoreI am the mother of an autistic son who is now 24 years of age. Your Cooper reminds me so much of my Patrick. We worked relentlessly with him from diagnosis until now. He is now verbal. Can read and write. He cooks a few things and also cleans the kitchen every night. His goal is to mov out of his moms house and live independently. Whether this happens is yet to be seen. But I never discourage him. The doctors told me he would have to be institutionalized by the time he was seventeen. He would have to be on numerous medications. He would be uncontrollably violent. It was the worst day of my life. I cried all the way home. Then I got mad. I began researching autism and treatments. I found what worked for Patrick. We worked with him every day at least eight hours a day. I had a team of people from a nearby college, our local school system, and therapists from a hospital in the next county that worked with him. It paid off. He slowly began to come out of the little world he had shut himself into. Was it easy? Heck NO! We still have difficult days. But never ever give up. You seem to have a great attitude and desire to help your son. Keep doing what you are doing. Keep that sparkling attitude I see in your videos. You are doing a remarkable job. I know first hand the frustration that comes with having an autistic child. The way other people look at you when you are out in public. The way some will tell you what a bad parent you are. My response to them was this"I do not believe people are ignorant. I believe they are uneducated on autism. So let me educate you on autism or you do the research yourself then you come tell me how to raise my son. Orherwise keep your thoughts to yourself." I finally did not care what others thought or said. You are doing a fantastic job. Hang in there. It gets better or either it just gets to be normal everyday life. I believe my family has gained and grown from having Patrick in our lives. He has taught us to think outside of the box. It has been a difficult and tough journey for all of us but we would not take anything for the journey. You and your family are in my prayers. You shine like a diamond in your sons life!!!! Read Less

  • Melissa Lombardo

    October 7, 2018 at 9:04 am
    Reply

    My son Jenson is SO similar to Cooper. 7 years old, non verbal, on his iPad most of his time at home. I relate […] Read MoreMy son Jenson is SO similar to Cooper. 7 years old, non verbal, on his iPad most of his time at home. I relate to so much of what you are saying and I am really interested in this medical marijuana. I’ve seen parents mention it before for their kids on the spectrum but it seems so out there ! I am going to go back and watch your previous videos. Thank you for making them, I have never met anyone who has a child so like mine so it’s comforting in a way to hear from you. Looking forward to hearing more about this and if it keeps improving. Also, why did you decide against public school programs ? That’s what it sounded like you do. We are in a program at the pubic school and I wonder all the time if it’s what it is best. Jenson does love the bus ! Lol. But I want him where he learns the most and is supported best. Just curious about the school you chose. Thank you! Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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