METAIRIE, La. — 8-year-old Ramsey Castleberry finds comfort in his living room swing. That's because it calms him down.
For most of the day, his parents are constantly following around watching his every move.
"His thrill-seeking, life-threatening behaviors that would cause him to go on our roof, or go jump in Lake Pontchartrain to want to run into the street," Katelyn Castleberry said, Ramsey's mother.
"Ramsey can't speak. He uses a device to press and talk. So his communication is severely limited. His behaviors are life risking," Castleberry said.
Because of the risks he poses on himself, Ramsey is on strong medication with potentially long lasting side effects, a problem that leaves Ramsey's already exhausted mother Katelyn in tears.
"The future is not good for us. There's so much to fear as far as if he outlives us. The care situation is tenuous in Louisiana and there's a lot to think about," Castleberry said.
Castleberry said there is another drug that will help Ramsey deal with his autism without the harmful side effects: Medical Marijuana.
Katelyn said she was overjoyed when Louisiana legalized the use of medical marijuana.
That was four years ago. Castleberry and her family are still waiting for the dispensaries to happen and the drug to become available.
State officials said that won't likely happen until May. It's already been pushed back before.
"And then this November, Ramsey began to experience Seizures and when I thought things couldn't become any more critical and any more important, they became more critical and more important," Castleberry said.
State Representative Rodney Lyons, an advocate for Medical Marijuana tells Eyewitness News that the State put out bids for companies to test the product, but they were not able to find anyone.
Now the testing lies in the hands of the Department of Agriculture, but the process is lengthy.
"People's quality of life is suffering and lacking as we wait for this medicine to become available," Castleberry said.
That quality of life is including her own.
Castleberry says most of the time, she only gets about 4 hours of sleep a night. She can only hope May arrives quickly for the sake of her son.