After getting into yet another discussion on twitter with someone who wants to find a cure for Autism I knew I had to post about this. You can see the twitter conversation as well as a great commentary by a fellow member of the ASD community here:
pletifulpluk twitter review
My son and I both have Aspergers, high functioning Autism. I could write an entire book about all the things we deal with every day. We have sensory issues; my son has to wear ear plug when the church choir sings because the sound is so overwhelming. We have a very difficult time looking people in the eyes; how many times in school was I called a liar because there is some stupid rule that says you must be telling a lie if you can’t look someone in the eye? Our brains process things so fast that we often appear distracted. Our handwriting is unreadable. And we have melt-downs; to anyone not used to kids with AS it looks as if my son is a spoiled brat having a temper tantrums when he melts down. He will yel, scream how much he hates you, throw things around, and lash out! And me as a grown man, I have been called a total jerk (and worse) when I melt down. I totally lose control; I yell, I cuss, it isn’t pretty. By the way these melt downs are seldom emotional out busts of anger as you perceive them. They are more like an emotional overload. You see we have very intensive emotions and thoughts and sometimes we have to get it all out. Those melt downs actually scare us because we get blinded and we lose a little control.
Most of us on the Autism spectrum have a similar story. We can be a challenge on our best days. It takes a very special and loving person to get close to us and to understand us.
And here is where the argument begins. I listen to so many parents say they can’t handle their Autistic children. I hear so many parents say it breaks their heart to watch their kids suffer. These are well intended people who want to ‘help’ their children by finding a cure. These are the ill-informed people who listen to organizations such as Autism Speaks, and they bite off on the illusion that we need to be cured. Or worse we should be diagnosed in the womb and aborted. All in the name of helping us to avoid suffering.
BUT, this is a colossal BUT, we don’t suffer near as much as THEY do. You see I know who I am and I know I have abilities that NT’s will never comprehend. I see thing clearly. I logically solve problems. My IQ is typically higher than most Neuro-typically or NT’s. The problem in every single discussion I have with NT’s is the fact that THEY don’t understand us. They CAN’T understand us. So they measure us by THEIR standards. Much like calling a fish a failure because it can’t climb a mountain. Their true desire to finding a cure always comes down to making them comfortable by making us like them.
Think about it….
I have never heard on single adult on the Autism spectrum say they wish they could be cured.
We have some difficulties. We have some days we don’t fit in. We have days we get frustrated. But if you’re an NT, I bet you can say the exact same thing about yourself.
Now I have heard the same old argument that I have High Functioning Autism and I have no right to say that people with ‘more severe Autism’ (their words not mine) don’t need to be cured. My answer to that argument: ask these two if they want to be cured: Autistic and in Love
If you’re a parent of an Autistic child, think for a moment about what these cures and these drugs are doing to your child. Are they curing him or are they slowing down his mind and trapping him in a mental hell just so he can appear ‘normal’?
I know I probably just made a lot of NT parents mad at me. I expect to get a few nasty comments. And that’s okay.
In ancient times men believed in sea monsters because they didn’t understand what was out in the oceans. Don’t blindly believe in sea monsters. It is easy to try and label the unknown. It is difficult to set sail and go out to sea in and effort to understand and find the truth.
We don’t need a cure. We are not sick. All we need is a little understanding.
We don’t need to conform to the labels you need to place on us.
We spend our entire life trying to understand the NT world. Is it wrong of us to ask you to try to understand our world just a little?