Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

What is autism?


Autistic spectrum disorder affects around 700,000 people in the UK. It may present itself in a variety of different ways, ranging from person to person. Autism is not an illness or a condition, but rather means that the person’s brain works in a different way to other people’s. Nonetheless, some people with autism need support to help them with everyday life.


What are the signs of autism?

As noted above, autism can present itself in a variety of different ways. Autistic people may:

  • Find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • Find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
  • Find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
  • Get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
  • Take longer to understand information
  • Do or think the same things over and over

There are also some signs of autism that are particular to children:

  • Not responding to their name
  • Avoiding eye contact or not smiling when you smile at them
  • Getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell, or sound
  • Repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body
  • Not talking as much as other children
  • Repeating the same phrases over and over again
  • Not seeming to understand what others are thinking or feeling
  • Liking a strict daily routine and getting very upset if it changes
  • Having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
  • Finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on their own
  • Taking things very literally and not understanding metaphors or idiomatic phrases

Boys are often easier to diagnose than girls, as autistic girls are often quieter and more withdrawn, making it harder to spot the signs. That also means that there is a higher rate of autism diagnoses in adult women, as they get diagnosed later in life.

Some common signs of autism in adults include:

  • Finding it hard to understand what others are thinking or feeling
  • Getting very anxious about social situations
  • Finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on your own
  • Seeming blunt, rude, or not interested in others without meaning to
  • Finding it hard to say how you feel
  • Taking things very literally – for example, you may not understand sarcasm or phrases like “break a leg”
  • Having the same routine every day and getting very anxious if it changes

What causes autism?

There is no known cause for autism. Some experts believe that it may be genetic, but there is no direct proof that this is the case.


What treatment options are available for autism?

Autism is not an illness that needs to be treated or cured. Instead, some autistic people simply need some extra support to help them manage daily life. Some autistic people can develop anxiety, eating difficulties, sleeping difficulties, or have problems with socialising. This can lead to further mental health problems that can need treatment and support in their own right.


How can medical cannabis help with autism?

An American study, ‘The effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on low-frequency activity and functional connectivity in the brain of adults with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD)’ from 2019 shows that medical cannabis can affect the neural messages in people with autism. 

The researchers, C.M. Pretzsch, B. Voinescu, M. A. Mendez, R. Wichers, L. Ajram, G. Ivin, and G.M. McAlonan, state that their results “suggest that, especially in ASD, CBD alters regional fALFF and FC in/between regions consistently implicated in ASD”, namely showing that medical cannabis can help to reduce some of the more difficult expressions of autism to manage.

In addition, medical cannabis has been shown to help with anxiety, insomnia, and other mental health problems that can occur in autistic people. In this way, medical cannabis can positively impact the overall quality of life for those with ADHD.

The Medical Cannabis Clinics’ team is dedicated to raising awareness about how medical cannabis can help those with autism live a full life. Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary.

At The Medical Cannabis Clinics, we offer personalised plans and private consultations for patients through online video link consultations with our expert specialist doctors, who will guide you through the options available from the clinic.

Appointments start from just £70. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to offer you targeted advice, unique to your needs.

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