Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by genetic mutations, parental age, and environmental factors. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this condition affects 1 in 59 children in the United States.
There is no cure for autism even if it is frequently diagnosed in early childhood. Some of its symptoms include lack of communication abilities, impaired social skills, repetitive and compulsive behavior which is often self-injurious, lack of eye contact and stilted social interactions to those who are unable to speak at all or act out violently.
But just recently, cannabis provided hope to many for managing the effects of this disorder. Testimonials by parents of children with autism are all over the internet. They are discussing how the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, extracted from cannabis plants, helped alleviate some of the negative behavioral effects of the disease, such as anxiety and epileptic seizures.
The Success Story Of Kalel Santiago From Puerto Rico
Kalel Santiago, at just 10 months of age, has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which is a rare form of cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. He spent more than two years of his life undergoing chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgery. After he had survived, he was then diagnosed with severe, non-verbal autism – this disabled him from speaking.
According to his father Abiel Gomez Santiago, in his interview with Yahoo Parenting from the family’s home in Aguada:
“While he was in the hospital, we noticed he didn’t speak at all and had some behavior that wasn’t right, like hand flapping, and walking on his toes. But we waited until he was 3 and cancer-free to look at his behavior.”
Yahoo! Parenting also reports that:
“He and his wife Gladys — also parents to two older boys, now 18 and 20 — did a cram course in educating themselves on autism. They tried various schools and therapies and eventually found impressive success with a unique surf-therapy school near their home.”
Kalel’s family, through a fund-raising program, found a treatment that quickly changes their lives: The cannabidiol (CBD) oil which had been shown to ease symptoms of both epilepsy and autism.
Kalel received a tiny sample bottle of the oil and was given oral doses two times a day. And after two days, the results were really amazing. Kalel started talking!
His father Abiel says that:
“He surprised us in school by saying the vowels, A-E-I-O-U. It was the first time ever. You can’t imagine the emotion we had, hearing Kalel’s voice for the first time. It was amazing. The teacher recorded him and sent it to my wife and me and we said well, the only different thing we have been doing is using the CBD.”
Kalel, soon thereafter, was able to use consonants to connect his sounds.
Abiel further says that:
“He said, ‘amo mi mama,’ ‘I love my mom. I don’t know how to thank [the CBD oil makers].
“He’s been connecting — like he’s awakening to seeing the world. He’s looking you in your eyes, he’s been trying to say different things and imitate what we are saying. He’s saying ‘uncle,’ ‘aunt,’ the names of my two kids. It’s something amazing that I cannot explain.”
Even Dr. Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist, and also Kalel’s surf therapist who worked with him since Surf4Dem’s inception was also amazed at what he witnessed.
“Like his parents, I am also in shock, I never got him to speak, and it was something that was haunting me. Language was something that was missing.”
“I’m not going to say let’s give this to every kid, because we have to monitor and study it. But I am very impressed with his language development. Imagine a mom who has been waiting almost 9 years to hear her child speak? To me, the story of Kalel is groundbreaking.”
Yes, it’s true that anything derived from cannabis continues to be controversial. Yet, with these results, medical cannabis is somehow worth fighting for.