Ryan’s Story: Medical Marijuana and Autism

Natasha Zouves

Michelle Singh Gori and Ryan

Michelle Singh Gori still remembers watching Ryan convulse on the floor, eyes rolled back into his head, foaming at the mouth. She still remembers the severe seizures that would grip her nine-year-old autistic son.
“As a mom, I’ve never felt so helpless. All you can do is stand there are pray that it ends,” said Singh Gori, of Danville, California.
Ryan’s mother said she was desperate for a solution. But she was still shocked when Ryan’s doctor recommended a controversial treatment for her son: medical marijuana.
“Cannabis? What do you mean, Pot? I just thought the man was crazy. I mean I thought he had really lost it,” said Singh Gori. “I’ve never even been stoned. To me, it went against everything that I was raised to believe.”
But, despite her reservations, she said she got a prescription for medical marijuana and sought out a dispensary. Even though she perhaps doesn’t look like she would possess the know-how—she is petite with long blonde hair—she started distilling marijuana essential oil on the windowsill of her kitchen.
And she said ever since she gave Ryan that first dose, she has never looked back.
“From that first day, of all the therapies we’ve ever tried on him, this one was the most instant in how it helped him,” said Singh Gori. Where once Ryan clung to a routine with the constant threat of meltdowns, Singh Gori said within hours he was focused, calm and seizure-free.
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