Monday, 27 October 2014

If There Was A Cure

This is one of the most heated questions in the autistic community - if there was a cure for autism, would you take it?

Firstly, I think the whole uproar over this debate is fueled by one little word - cure.  

According to, the definition for 'cure', in this context, is:

"Relieve (a person or animal) of the symptoms of a disease or condition"

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Many parents with children on the spectrum take great offense to this word - it implies to them that something is wrong with their child, that they have a disease.

And many individuals on the spectrum, who are on the high functioning end, tend to get upset about this and feel they don't need any curing.  And yes, those who are very gifted such as Jacob Barnett, might not have their talents if they weren't on the spectrum.

But what about those who are on the lower end of the spectrum?  Those who are in a constant, daily struggle with their bodies.  Those who can only communicate through screaming, crying or self-harming?  Those who suffer from such anxiety, they cannot bear to hold another person's hand, let alone walk through a busy shopping complex?

Or those individuals who get so frustrated, because they cannot speak. Because everything is so loud.  Because they are unable to always perform the smallest task, such as tying their own shoelaces.  Because their minds' function well but their bodies have a mind of their own? And what about those who hardly sleep? Or who wander off and get lost?  

For those on the lower end of the spectrum, it interferes with everything in the individual's life.  It interferes with how the person can function, communicate, socialise, live.

Cure.  Heal.  Help.  

It doesn't matter how you word it or what you call it.  What matters is; if you had the opportunity to reduce or even relieve the above challenges. 

Would you?

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