ASD Awareness Month continues...Today we are sharing the uplifting story of Lilach Zamir, an autism mom from Israel and her courageous son Yhonathan.

What is your personal story with choosing cannabis for your child on the spectrum?

I'm Lilach Zamir, a mother of 8 year old twins. Yhonathan, is diagnosed with CP and ASD. He is nonverbal and highly unregulated in his behaviors. I myself have been a special education teacher for many years. I've seen many of my pupils suffer from severe side effects of the pharmaceuticals prescribed to them.

I made up my mind that I was not going to treat Yhonathan's challenging behaviors with pharmaceuticals. I've did a lot of research regarding the effects of medical cannabis on ASD kids and decided to give it a try.

I needed to do a lot of research and consultations since I myself don't smoke – cigarettes or weed and don't drink alcohol. So, I needed to really dive into the medical traits of this plant before medicating Yhonathan.

I'm aware of the complexity of the treatment for nonverbal kids, it's a voyage of trial and error. But I know it's safer than any prescribed medication specialists suggested for Yhonathan.

Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking?

Of course! Most of the physicians I've been to with Yhonathan, about 98% of them doesn’t know anything about medical cannabis or are opposed to this treatment.

I don't know the reasons for that, but definitely we are short here in Israel with specialists that understand this treatment. I searched a lot until I found the specialists who was willing to prescribe us with medical cannabis and with the "hands-on" knowledge of Abigail Dar, we're slowly progressing and seeing benefits for Yhonathan.

What kind of research (cannabis related) is needed that hasn't been covered yet for persons on the autism spectrum?

I think that kids with ASD need more research regarding the effects of different strains or cannabis products for treatment of repetitive and OCD behaviors that come along with the diagnosis.

Also, we know high CBD works very well for epilepsy/seizures, but what about the behavioral aspects that high CBD doesn't help enough? And the vast improvement I witnessed with Yhonathan's cognitive and communication skills due to medical cannabis.

What is the best advice you can give a parent looking for guidance online?

There are not enough resources for us, Israeli families. The only source for us here is Abigail Dar -that is there for all of us. She's our pillar stone for this treatment. She paved the way for us and she's our resource for knowledge and guidance through this "trial and error" journey and I couldn’t do it without her.

Mieko Hester-Perez specifically invokes the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and of the press without prejudice. The matters discussed are not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any disease but are proven useful for health and life extension. Mieko Hester-Perez will always recommend when and wherever possible that a licensed local healthcare professional or group of professionals be consulted.