More from Curaleaf

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that has a broad range of effects including impaired social interaction and communication, but also causing repetitive behaviours.

People with ASD may also be affected by different responses to sensory inputs of sound and light. A proportion of patients with this condition may also have intellectual impairments. Impairments in each of these areas may range from mild to severe.

Approximately 1% of adults and children have this condition.

ASD can be diagnosed at any stage, particularly at times of increased stress or when entering different environments such as a new school. Half of all patients however are identified before turning two.

ASD can be sub-classified as one of the following conditions:

  • Autism;
  • Asperger syndrome;
  • Pervasive development disorder – not otherwise specified;
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder;
  • Rett syndrome.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Treatment

Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are usually under the care of a paediatrician and multi-disciplinary team of speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists.

The mainstay of treatment is educational support within the domains that they find most challenging, which may include social difficulties, language and communication, limited imagination or unusual behaviours.

Specific psychological behavioural therapy may be used to help reduce the incidence of challenging behaviours.

In addition, medication can be considered to help with the treatment of specific symptoms of anxiety, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder if these remain uncontrolled by other methods. Medication is also used to help control behavior such as aggression and improve sleep.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate symptom control.