Christa is a mother of two in Illinois. She took time out of her busy schedule to talk about what Pebble has meant for her son and her family.
She reported incredible changes in her son: improved language, decreased aggression, reduced scripting and seeking behaviors, less anxiety, less noise sensitivity, increased focus and improvement in school.
Christa’s story is one of the many that inspires Pebble to work with and for families.
Tell us a little bit about your family?
We have two children, our son, who is taking Pebble and is six, and our daughter is two and a half. We live in Illinois.
What have your challenges been that inspired you to try CBD?
Oh, where do I begin? Our son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was about two and a half. And since then we’ve experienced a lot of challenges. It started out with a sensory seeking behaviors; lack of language. He was actually mostly nonverbal to start. Aggression. He’s script for his language. As he gets older we’ve seen more things like anxiety and the inability to focus when he is working at school. That’s really what’s been going on in a nutshell.
Oh, that must be hard to deal with. I’m sorry to hear that.
What other treatments have you tried in the past?
We have gone the biomedical route with our son. We have also done a lot of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. He has a behavioral therapist at school, and he’s been in school since he was three. We’ve been using those kinds of therapies for over three years now. And bio-medically we are also treating him for things related to his gut. He’s got some gut health issues and we know that it affects his behavior. When his belly doesn’t feel good, he acts out more.
It’s amazing how many resources and therapies are available now. It’s awesome that you guys can get him all kinds of help.
Yes. And more needs to be done. I mean, there’s always something else, but they’re young and I also believe that, there’s just a limit. They also need to have fun and be kids.
Absolutely. How did you learn about Pebble?
I actually learned about Pebble through a Facebook group I follow. I follow for biomedical interventions with the kids. Another parent posted that there was going to be a trial related to kids on the spectrum through Pebble and provided an email address. My husband and I had been thinking about CBD and we looked into the company and we decided to send an email. And our son was accepted for the study and that’s the first time that we’ve ever tried CBD.
What was your experience l working with the Pebble team?
They are fantastic. I can’t say enough good things about the team. They are always there if I have any questions.
I have never had a CEO pick up the phone for me before and Patrick [Moran] has done that! Which you can’t even describe that as a parent when you’re giving your child something. That there are people out there willing to help and to be available to take your call when you have any questions—no matter what it might be, whether it’s just this is what we’re seeing, is this right? Or, I have questions about dosing or how it could affect other medications. The people from Pebble have been there. Then every step of the way, even if it’s something as simple as, you know, billing or I can’t log in online. It’s always taken care of very swiftly.
Agreed! We haven’t heard of many CEO’s that directly answers calls from families with questions.
Never, never. And I mean we’ve never even called to complain. He was just, you know, reaching out to us because we had some questions and he wanted to answer them personally. We really respect that.
I am so glad that that’s been your experience. Could you tell me what Pebble products you use?
Just the oil. That is what we’ve tried with our son so far.
What results have you seen from using the oil?
Oh my goodness. It’s a long list! We have seen a reduction in behaviors. I think that’s the biggest thing.
When he is taking the Pebble, his sensory seeking behaviors are much less, his aggression is less. He will get frustrated and because of his deficits in language, he will bite or yell or hit or kick depending on what the situation is. But the biting is the serious part. And we see a reduction in that when he is taking the Pebble.
We also see improvements in language. If he is not on the CBD, he tends to get stuck. He will repeat questions over and over and over and over. For example, he’ll say, “What is the baby doing? And you know, she’s crying and I say, “Well, the baby is crying.” And he asks it over and over—he just gets stuck because it’s irritating to him and he wants to know why, but he can’t get out of that loop.
But when he is taking Pebble, he doesn’t get stuck.
Yes. The CBD is huge for language because we think it allows him to process better. He doesn’t have that delay.
We also see a reduction in scripting. He has an amazing memory and he’ll a memorize some books and he could repeat them to us and wow, it’s an amazing skill. But you don’t really want them to repeat books over and over and over and over! [laughs] So we see a reduction in that as well.
There are other sensory things we see when he is taking the CBD. If he does not take it, and we are in the car listening to music, he will often tell us to turn it off. He says it doesn’t matter what the song is, he just cant take the noise.
But since we started with the Pebble, it has to be a very rare occasion that he wants the music off and it’s only usually one song. And if we turn it down and then turn it back up after the song has ended, he’s fine.
Before we couldn’t listen to music at all in the car.
Also: his anxiety. His anxiety lessens when we are taking the CBD. So, say even little things like we’re going into the store and then we’re going to stop and get lunch. He will obsess about that. We have to hurry up, we have to hurry, hurry, hurry.
Because in his mind the restaurant is going to close, even though it could be something like a chain that’s open 24 hours. He worries about it and has to tell us to hurry the entire time we’re gone. We don’t see those kinds of things when we’re taking the CBD.
Also his seeking behaviors diminish. He likes to crash and throw himself to the ground—not because he’s having a tantrum, but just because that pressure feels right and good.
But now we see him really mellow out on the CBD. Which is great because sometimes when you’re throwing yourself on the ground and crashing, he’s ending up with bruises. He’s hurting himself. And it’s hard to send your kid to school all bruised up from self-inflicted wounds.
What else is his focusing increases.
All of these things combined together allow us to just have more fun as a family.
It’s wonderful to hear that the whole family is benefiting from the changes!
Oh, we’re able to go more places because he isn’t so heightened. We can take him places without as much redirection. Before, our anxiety was terrible. Taking him to any place, a parade or, you know, a kid-friendly place.
Our anxiety was so high because we always had to anticipate what his next move was going to be. And when we take the CBD, it’s very much different. He doesn’t have to be redirected as much. He listens to directions and can adapt better to his environment.
He has also improved at school. When he first went to school with his Individualized Education Program, he had a goal set that he would be able to sit in his chair for one minute. Without getting up.
And now we are to the point where he will sit in this chair and work for ten minutes. And that still doesn’t seem like very long, but in his world and being able to complete a worksheet or something like that, that’s a huge improvement.
You want your child to be able to learn. But if they can’t sit and participate, it’s not going to happen. So Pebble’s helping him educationally as well.
This is all so amazing to hear. One more question – If you could share one piece of advice to somebody in your situation, what would it be?
I would say that if you have questions, reach out to this company and ask them. They are there to assist in any way they can and can also put you in the direction if you have questions. Questions from other parents like myself, who describe how this has helped their children.
I wish we would have started sooner, as much as we know now that it helps my son. We’ve taken a couple breaks from the CBD just to see—I call it a reboot.
And when he is off of it, it is almost painful to watch how much he struggles and to know that he struggled for three years before this. It’s just heartbreaking. I wish we could’ve started sooner.
I would tell parents to do your research, but give Pebble a try because it has done nothing but help our family.
Thank you so much. That was so wonderful to hear, and I’lll let you get back to your day – I know being a mom can be really, really hectic!
Of course. I will get back to potty training my toddler. That’s my goal of the day! We’ll call it fun!
We want to thank Christa for taking the time to chat with Pebble. Edits were made to this transcript to remove the names of Christa’s children.