Medical marijuana and autism: 'I'm getting my boy back,' mom says

At first, Joann Fouquette's son, Ezra, was hitting all the milestones. It's what every new mom hopes for: a happy, healthy baby. But around 17 months, things started to change. He stopped speaking. He started covering his ears and hitting his head on the floor like something was bothering him. Fouquette remembers her mom telling her, "I think we need to get him tested. There's something definitely going on there." Five months later, in 2012, Ezra was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
"It's devastating," she told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "I've heard people compare it to like losing a child. You lose the idea of the child that you were gonna have, the life that you were gonna have, the life that he's gonna have." Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 44 children in the United States, according to the CDC. It begins early in life, and the core symptoms are social and communication issues as well as repetitive behaviors and rigidity. "They may speak very well, but they can't carry on a conversation. Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum, where you have children and adults who are entirely nonverbal," said Dr. Doris Trauner, a pediatric neurologist and distinguished professor of neurosciences and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.
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