Tag Archive autism awareness

ByMieko Perez

The Cannabis Connection, the Parallels Between Persons on the Autism Spectrum and Palliative Care Consumers

January 23, 2021   |   By Mieko Hester-Perez

When my son Joey entered palliative care second to his autism spectrum disorder with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, I had no idea I was preparing for another unexpected “life calling”. I was introduced to a prominent palliative care medical director; at the time, my initial thoughts were to seek guidance in this new phase with my son’s healthcare. I was unaware that this person was another assigned “guardian angel” for our next chapter. Ready to beat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy the same way, I challenged autism, I was ready take on more sleepless nights searching for answers as I did in 2009 when my own conservative views on cannabis would forever change once I saw my son smile.

Joey Rodriguez,
Cannabis & Autism Pioneer
  • Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an inherited disorder of progressive muscular weakness, typically in boys. Symptoms include frequent falls, trouble getting up or running, waddling gait, big calves, and learning disabilities. There is no cure, but physical therapy and medications, such as corticosteroids, can help control symptoms and improve quality of life.

How you communicate with your medical team is key in your healthcare plan.

After receiving credentials in Brain Health, Legal & Ethical Issues in Healthcare, and Pain Assessment and Management, it gave life to a new tier of important roles for healthcare institutions and licensed dispensaries.

I had begun, supporting medical teams several years ago and their patients via HIPPA compliant confidential consults reaching well over 700 consumer navigation plans. The primary goal was to provide consumer-centered outcomes to promote healthy conversations with medical professionals.

The Blueprint

The criteria for autism and palliative care consumers were remarkably similar especially when I scheduled consults on the same day. Here we go,

Autism symptoms: irritability, non-verbal or inability to articulate pain or discomfort, Insomnia, self-injurious, no sense of awareness and violent outburst.

Palliative care consumers: irritability, non-verbal or inability to articulate pain or discomfort, Insomnia, self-injurious, no sense of awareness and violent outburst.

Case and point, a non-verbal adult on the spectrum who cannot communicate, that they are hungry are just as irritated as an adult in palliative care yelling at a nurse to be turned over.

What is evident with both scenarios is, cannabis therapies will allow for these types of “indicators” to be managed.

Through a cannabis professional consult with sensible outcomes and expectations a practical “navigation plan” can be coordinated for consumers and their caregivers. The navigation plan should include product information along with dosing, frequency, and a record of any indication of possible side effects to help you gage your experience.

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org