We cannot help you and we will not let you help yourself
''Since then, we do not mention cannabis to anyone anymore.''
We fought to get it, because we knew something was wrong with our son and did not know how to help him. We were not the only ones to notice that, our physiotherapist noticed it too. He worked with our son practically from birth due to his hypotony and developmental delay.
It started soon after his first birthday, right after his first therapy of antibiotics. He became isolated in his own world, stop responding to his name, to noise, he started playing repetitive games and patterns. The opinion of developmental-behavioural paediatrician was that he was just moody. Luckily I sought second opinion and after numerous examinations, we got a diagnosis: suspicion of an autism spectrum disorder. It did not help us much – we did not get any professional or financial help, but at least we had some grounds to research and educate ourselves. When we asked medical professionals why it happened, the answer was only: »We do not know«.
Since that moment we are fighting the diagnosis itself.
We worked for eighteen months – we found therapy that worked, we educated ourselves about it, learned to work with our son. When it was finally showing some progress, he got pneumonia, another therapy of antibiotics and regressed to the point of eleven month old baby. When he was two years old, he did not speak a word, he did not point his finger, he did not know how to show us he was thirsty, hungry or in pain. At the age of three years he still did not speak. A specialist told us to try to find some kind of alternative communication, since there was a fair chance our son will not ever speak.
That was a turning point for me. A point, all parents speak of being pushed into a corner by their child’s illness. A moment that shakes you and gives you some kind of determination to withstand all the odds.
First, we gave our son CBD drops, which we were able to purchase legally. We did not notice drastic improvement, but he did sleep more peacefully. A while ago, a friend gave me the cannabis oil he got left from his treatment. It was not legal, since it had more THC than was allowed and that made me sceptical.
When a parent is desperate enough to help his child, he will do anything. Anything. We were very nervous when we made first suppositories. We used less than half of recommended amount, tried it out ourselves and (except excellent sleep) did not notice any side effects. So we gave it to our son the next day. That was the first time he slept all night.
Slowly we increased the dose and after a week, he began talking and never stopped. We gave him a fourteen day treatment, after deciding he will get cannabis only when needed.
Now he is five years old. He speaks, but his sentences are still not grammatically correct. He has an impressive vocabulary, sings and speaks also in English, knows every flag of every country in the world and he is able to place it on the map. Knows all the planets of our solar system, most constellations, he is crazy about geography and astronomy. He reads and writes like a seven year old, draws like a ten year old. We are calm, because now he can tell what he needs, if he is not feeling well or if he is in pain. He still has some sensory issues and when he becomes overwhelmed and resorts to stimming a lot, we give him cannabis suppositories for a few days, which clearly helps him a lot.
When we (very cautiously) mentioned cannabis to one of the specialists, he lost control of himself and yelled that we want to make our child an addict.
Since then, we do not mention cannabis to anyone anymore. If we did, we would risk procedures with social workers, court or even criminal charges. We do not need that.
All we want is a chance – if mainstream medical doctors cannot help us, they should leave their ego aside and let us help our child ourselves. Without discrimination and threats of reporting us to the police. We want a chance to help other parents with our experience without threat of being criminally prosecuted. So that they too can help their children, when mainstream medicine cannot.