This article by Jennifer Lamas was originally published on Reality Sandwich and appears here with permission.
Autism spectrum disorder is perplexing and can affect a person for a lifetime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1% of the population suffers from ASD. That is approximately 75,000,000 people all over the world, and there is no known cure. Although there is a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of using psychedelic substances as a form of treatment for some disorders, psychedelics can have promising effects on the brains of individuals with ASD.
WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects how a person socializes, communicates and interacts with others. Some people with ASD can also have repetitive or limited patterns in the way they act. Therefore, not all people who suffer from this disorder will have the same severity of symptoms.
People that have autism do not always have physical traits that are different from people without ASD. The notable differences are in their speech, behavior, communication and the way they learn. After a lot of research, there is still no concrete answer about what causes these differences in people with autism. People with ASD can either be diagnosed as exceptionally gifted, significantly challenged or somewhere in between.
There used to be several different disorders that were diagnosed separately, such as Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. Now, these conditions all fall under the same term autism spectrum disorder. However, an individual’s severity of symptoms depends on where they will fall on the spectrum.
Children as little as eighteen months old can start to show symptoms of autism, and some can be even younger. Others won’t show any signs until they are around twenty-four months old. Either way, a proper diagnosis is required to get the help they need, which is usually around age three. With therapy and a lot of work, many symptoms can become better and easier …