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About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is on the increase all over the world. From 2010 to 2014, the prevalence of autism rose 6-15 percent each year. Now in 2018, in the United States, the new estimate represents a 15 percent increase in prevalence nationally to 1 in 59 children, from 1 in 68 two years ago- according to Autism Speaks.
Autism is a mental condition that is usually found in early childhood. People who have autism have communication and behaviour difficulties. They find forming relationships a difficult task. Autism affects the development of the brain in social interaction and their ability to make sense of the world around them. People with autism can have little social skills. Autism is a hidden disorder. Children with ASD and even adults with ASD show no signs of having a disorder through biology but they show it through their behaviour and sometimes their mannerisms (mannerisms such as repetitive behaviours) which are often difficult to detect or recognise.
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Children with autism disorder can be extremely clever. Mostly due to the fact that they don’t socialise a lot, so they find interest in other things. Children with autism may grow an obsession towards one interest and revolve their whole world around it because they find it so interesting.
Common repetitive behaviours is one way to recognise autism as these behaviours are generally physical. These repetitive behaviours can occur often, and they include hand-flapping, arranging and rearranging the object, rocking back and forward or left to right, jumping and repeating words, sounds, words and phrases.
For people who are unaware that someone may be on the autism spectrum, this is a hard one to recognize. Children with ASD find creating sentences difficult and will use words in unusual ways. They tend to use the same word or phrase repetitively and /or repeat what they are hearing.
Body language, a tone of voice, facial expressions, and other forms of communication are difficult or obsolete for those with ASD. For adults with an autistic disorder, they find sarcasm difficult to understand and therefore take it seriously.
Seizures can also be associated with ASD. This is because 39 percent of those with autism may experience other disorders regarding seizures like epilepsy.
People with ASD often have issues with processing sensory information. Things like smells, sights and movements can be confusing or even painful and/or unpleasant.
ASD is incurable but there are treatments available to alleviate the symptoms. These treatments are generally used for focus, energy levels, depressive states, and/or seizures.
Early Intervention Services have been shown to greatly improve the development of a child. These services can help children with social interactions and behaviours. It can also improve their daily life by encouraging good behaviour and discouraging bad behaviour. Speech therapy, occupational therapy are also common in child development. All of these therapies help treat developmental delays.
Using Cannabidiol to Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cannabidiol is one of over 100 cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. These chemical compounds have been showing breathtaking results in treating many ailments whether they are physical or mental.
A study that was carried out in Israel that targeted autism and cannabis have gained promising results for a possible natural treatment for autism symptoms.
Another study concentrated on the link between the endocannabinoid system, central nervous system and the immune system. Researchers know that these all communicate messages/signals to each other through “chemical messengers”. Researchers also looked into how cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and pain relieving effects. This then leads to the discovery that endocannabinoids receptors interlinked with each other which results in inducing neuroprotection. The overall result of the study states: “The benefit from a chronic treatment aimed at stimulating the endocannabinoid system is a delayed progression of ASD: i.e., reduced inflammation, sustained potential for neurogenesis, and delayed memory impairment. This could lead to new therapeutic strategies that target the inflammation and the decline in neurogenesis associated ASD.
Although cannabis as a treatment for autism is promising, there is still a lack of knowledge and research produced on the plant. Hopefully in years to come, cannabis can be used to treat children and people with ASD. Especially those suffering with seizures, as cannabis has shown magical effects on treating people with epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease and, in general, those who suffer with seizures.
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