Unless you’ve walked in the shoes of a parent with an autistic child, it’s hard to imagine what prompted one couple’s controversial decision to medicate their son with marijuana.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, Alex Echols, an 11-year-old severely autistic boy from Oregon, suffers from self-injurious behaviour that saw him “slamming his head into walls and slapping his face until it bleeds.”
Needless to say, since there is no cure for autism, the boy’s parents tried every means of therapy and medication on the market. To no avail.
"We tried some swimming for a while,” said his mom, “we had a special sensory room set up in the garage, and we did some stuff at home and at school with communication techniques to try and help him tell us what he needed before he got into a rage fit... We tried a lot of stuff before we considered the group home."
When Alex turned eight, he was moved into a state-funded group home. In 2009 she read some literature about medical marijuana for children with autism, and decided to go that route.
For the first time Alex’s world was transformed, radically. As his father states in his blog, he “explored his world with his hands, something he was very rarely able to do … His hands were the enemy up to this point ... But on those few truly magical days when we got the dosing just right, he played. He used his hands to explore. He looked at us and smiled."
But it’s not a purely happy ending for Alex. In a knot of red tape, it seems the group home cannot administer the marijuana to the boy. The family is appealing to the government to change the legislation so Alex can get the only drug that has worked for him so far.
Medical treatment of children with marijuana is still laced with controversy, as the long-term effects of the drug on youngster are unknown. However, it’s a risk the Echols and other families are clearly willing to take.
"For us, the long-term side effects that are unknown for something that can't kill him are a lot better than the long-term side effects of him beating himself bloody," Echols told a local TV station, KPTV.
Should cannabis be prescribed as a treatment for kids engaging in self-injurious behaviours?
Ladies, you may not want to share this next post with your husbands. According to an article in the Belfast Telegraph, guys who do their fair share around the house tend to 'perform' less in the bedroom. Sad but apparently true. An article published in the American Sociological Review states that so-called house husbands are likely "missing out in bed."
"Couples in which men participate more in housework typically done by women report having sex less frequently," said lead researcher Dr Sabino Kornrich, from the Juan March Institute in Madrid, Spain.
"Similarly, couples in which men participate more in traditionally masculine tasks—such as yard work, paying bills and auto maintenance—report higher sexual frequency."
So much for breaking down the gender roles. It seems those traditional roles also spill into sexual desire and performance.
Couples surveyed in the US National Survey of Families and Households found that women who performed most of the domestic duties had the most sex.
"Wives reported satisfaction with their sex life has the same relationship to men's participation in household labour as sexual frequency," said Dr Kornrich. "Had satisfaction with sex been low, but frequency high, it might have suggested coercion. However, we didn't find that."
(And just for the record, hubs, don't think this study is going to get you out of doing the dishes any time soon...)
Do you find a man who cleans somehow less sexy than one who shirks the housework?
Do you remember your first time? You probably imagined the huge deflowering to occur on rose petal-sprinkled satin sheets but chances are, it didn't play out that way, did it? Researchers are suggesting that a person's first sexual experience paves the way "for the rest of one's sexual life."
According to an article in Science Daily, the study, published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, was the first of its kind to examine whether there were lasting consequences to how a person loses their virginity.
"The loss of virginity is often viewed as an important milestone in human development, signifying a transition to adulthood," said Matthew Shaffer, a doctoral psychology student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "However, it has not been studied in this capacity. We wanted to see the influence it may have related to emotional and physical development."
The sexual experiences of 331 young men and women were rated according to factors such as anxiety, contentment, regret, sense of control, satisfaction and well-being. Subjects also kept a diary of detailing current sexual encounters.
Researchers found that largely positive first-time experiences carried into long-term relations, and were "predictive of physical and emotional satisfaction."
"While this study doesn't prove that a better first time makes for a better sex life in general, a person's experience of losing their virginity may set the pattern for years to come," said Shaffer.
Certainly the sample was small and the findings obvious. I can see in cases where a person's first time wasn't consensual the effects could carry into future relations.
But correct me if I'm wrong—for most people the first time is pretty anticlimactic and awkward, but not necessarily synonymous with traumatic or negative. As they say, practice makes perfect...
Have a negative first sexual encounter? Did it taint your sex life in the long run?