Do you believe #Autism can or should be cured?

This is a really hot topic right now.  My friend Kat over at Katscafe.org just wrote a great piece on this very subject.
What I want to do is get an idea of what the community thinks and feels about this matter.

Do you think #Autism can be cured? Were those claiming to have been cured,  misdiagnosed in the first place? Suppose there was a cure, should it be used?  Would you want to cure your child, if given the opportunity?

What are the ethical or moral issues with this?

Please keep this civil and treat all those responding with respect.  This is a very sensitive issue but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed.

I’ll share my thoughts down below, in the comments.

 

 

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erinsgems

Can Autism be cured? Should we cure them? I don’t know we can actually approach that subject, not for any disease or disorder if you think really about it.  For as much as we know about the human body, we will never truly know it. It changes and adapts and alludes our understanding constantly and therefore each and every child is born into this world in their own way..each child comes with their own neurological and physical differences that react in different ways to the world we live in. And whether straight from the get-go or a regression, they didn’t get a choice about this, our children are who they are and that should be good enough, but this world can be cruel and honestly, it always will be. We are trying to be a generation of anti-bullying, tolerance, acceptance,”live who you are from the inside out”…but what if your insides uncontrollably scream? what if your insides cry in confusion? or hide in fear?   I would not want to accept that for myself and so I won’t for my son whether it’s his autism or if he was downs syndrome or anything.  I feel that a “cure” is vital…but not in the sense of the definition of  “cure” but in giving our kids the best life and chance possible to have even the smallest amount of release from a symptom for the smallest amount of time; that could be a whole new world for them and in their eyes and ours, a “cure.”..figuring out how to not to change their personalities that we see in those moments of clarity, or their gifts that make them who they are, but to increase those amazing attributes because they don’t have to struggle so hard through the symptoms…I will go down every theory and question all the what ifs because what works for one kiddo may not work for the next…I will try to find my son’s particular “cure” whether it is through diet or medication or therapies and I won’t give up and I am not going to wait…There is so much sadness in this world, I want to give him some light, even if its only a little…

Anna the Flutist

@rmagliozzi So you want everyone to be a neurotypical bubblehead?

lostandtired

@Anna the Flutist be nice. Not all neurotypical people are bubbleheads.

Silachan

@lostandtired  @Anna Just like not all autistics are super geniuses  or super polite human beings. They're still human, still capable of making mistakes. Variety is the spice of life afterall~

MistieDelorey

 @lostandtired  @MistieDelorey http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2005/12/07/The-Age

MistieDelorey

 @lostandtired  @MistieDelorey http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/vaccinated-vs-un

MistieDelorey

 @lostandtired  @MistieDelorey http://www.smartvax.com/index.php?option=com_cont

MistieDelorey

 @lostandtired  @MistieDelorey http://birthofanewearth.blogspot.ca/2012/04/no-au

Kathy Darrow

I believe that Autism is caused by specific tipping points in neurology,  and that tipping point varies.  I do believe that AUtism can be remediated..but I guess I do not like the word cured because there is so much misuse of the word.  Cured to one family means behaviors have improved,  whereas cure to another family means noone can tell their child has ASD.  I have two children with ASD…. and I remediated their developmental milestones to the point where they are back on their actual developmental track.  I think that regardless of WHY a child has Autism, injury, genetics, etc…taking care of the cause if possible and addressing what the child missed in development ( those 1000's of hours that NT kids play and learn about their world) is crucial.
Both my kids could be considered Cured,  but I dont really use the word…as I personally like saying the obstacles that Autism presented them with, they were able to overcome.  I like this better because I feel like as parents, we help our all our  kids ( Nt OR asd) as they are growing up to remove obstacles in their life for ultimately a high quality of life for them.  This way, Autism is just an obstacle and not a label.  mY oldest who was Dx is almost 16 and his brother is 11….

lostandtired

@Kathy Darrow thanks you for sharing that 🙂

lostandtired

@MistieDelorey @lostandtired there are plenty of people that are diagnosed with autism and have never been vaccinated, although I don't know the actual statistics.

rmagliozzi

 @ZoeyRoberts1 Why can't we have acceptance and still look for ways to help autistic people or those with sensory integration disorder reduce some of their troubling symptoms, feel better by avoiding food allergens that affect them, or get the proper treatment for their immune systems so they aren't sick with illnesses (like my son). I don't think with so many children being diagnosed autistic every year  we just need to nod and smile. It's becoming an epidemic and we can't do nothing. We need to definately help them, offering more interventions, support, housing support, but we need to see if there is a reason behind this massive amount of our children developing autism.

lostandtired

@rmagliozzi @ZoeyRoberts1 very well said. Very well said. 🙂

rmagliozzi

 @anansison If you cured the autism think you would still have the conduct disorder, unless it was all due to sensory issues or OCD related autism.  My son has autism and has ODD among other things. The ODD is caused by his PANDAS, so those symptoms really only appear when he's having an autoimmune attack, because his immune system is attacking the basal ganglia of the brain. I think these diagnosis our kids get really depend on what part of the brain is affected. The more parts that are affected, the more mental diagnosis there will be.

lostandtired

@rmagliozzi @anansison conduct disorder is the precursor to sociopathy and has no cure. You can't implant a conscience. You do raise an interesting point. 🙂

rmagliozzi

This is a really tough question.  If the "autism" was actually found to be due to an illness like PANDAS or celiac disease or something else or an immune deficiency, then there is a chance of "curing it", though if it's autoimmune there is always a high likelihood of the symptoms returning after a few years or later in life. It's hard to correct the immune system completely once it goes faulty.  If the cause is genetic or chromosomal mutations, vaccine injuries or a metabolic condition, then it may not be "curable". Especially if there is permanent damage to the brain. Autism is basically defined as a set of symptoms, multiple delays in key areas like communications, repetitive movements and sensory issues. Improving these symptoms through getting healthier, medical treatments or therapies can help one move towards the less severe end of the scale. We have achieved this with my son, improving him from moderate to mild through the GFCFSF diet, eliminating food and environmental allergies, some biomedical treatments and especially by treating his PANDAS. He is still autistic, though. But I don't really believe in curing him, I just believe in helping him get healthier and being the best he can be. His autism seems mostly autoimmune in nature, which means it can be improved by modulating his immune system. 
I did recently hear that scientists induced Rhett Syndrome in a mouse and gave him a bone marrow transplant, thus giving him a new immune system. He was completely cured of all symptoms. I'll have to find the study and post the link here. That makes me question again whether autism really can be cured.

lostandtired

@rmagliozzi that's a great point. What if there is an underlying medical condition that is either contributing or responsible for the symptoms?

anansison

This reminds me of the book "The Speed of Dark" by Elizabeth Moon.  It's about a proposed cure for autism and whether or not the main character wants to participate in the cure.  There are concerns about by "removing" his autism then he would be a completely different person.
 
I'm not sure if you would want to cure autism or alleviate some of the difficulties since it's a fundamental part of the person.  If there is a cure it would be best applied to those who have not learned how to cope with their sensory or communication issues.  But then you should also consider the other aspects of a cure; what would happen for someone who has multiple diagnoses?  Would those things be cured as well, or would curing one part exacerbate the others?  What kind of psychological therapy would a person need?  Imagine someone with a dual diagnosis of Autism and Conduct Disorder; if you cure the autism, will that also cure the Conduct Disorder?  Will that person be so used to behaving in a certain way that s/he would continue with the conduct problems, even if they were related to the autism?  What about someone who is diagnosed with IDD and autism?

lostandtired

@anansison you raise a very interesting question. My son is diagnosed with Asperger's and conduct disorder, amongst other things.

Very interesting question…..

MistieDelorey

Because I know my son has been damaged by vaccines, I don't believe you can cure him from any permanent damage that has occurred but that you can put a stop to the damage vaccines are still causing in his body and that you can regain lost abilities due to proper detoxification and elimination of future heavy metals, toxins and animal/human DNA introductions into our infants and children as well as providing an appropriate healthy diet to replace what is lacking. So although I believe autism can be helped and prevented I do not believe that the child can regain the use of dead cells that are no longer there like they can with damaged cells that still exist. Unless maybe through their own stem cell reintroduction through injection but that area is not ready for wide spread use yet nor is affordability attainable for most also this procedure has only been conducted, in large numbers to date, by China and Germany on a successfully regular basis. Not totally sure about China's methods as far as who's and what type of stem cells they use but Germany is ahead of every country in their stem cell research by decades, compared to the U.S. and Canada, and they have found that the only truly successful way implementing this process (without causing cancer like embryotic stem cells have been proven to do and to reduce the risk of reacting adversely to someone elses stem cells and to avoid contracting something from someone else) was to use adult stem cells from the patient receiving the the stem cells and it has worked with great success in many cases. It not only repairs the damaged cells but also replaces/reconstructs the dead/missing cells becoming the appropriate cells in their place. Once they inject your own stem cells, that they extract from you in one place and take them to the other place, they start out like a blank slate in search of what to replace and fix taking on the form of what is needed/missing. Anyways I digress, I hope that makes sense. Long story short I don't believe there is a "cure" for brain damage (yet) but I do believe that some/most damage can be improved upon depending on the person and the extent of the permanent damage. We are very resilient when it comes to cell repair the problem lies with the cells dying and having nothing left to repair without new stem cell too take their place. Also because my son has been damaged by vaccines your darn right I would give anything to help make him better this would not of happened if not for his vaccines and therefore should be a typical little boy not fully dependent on the system for the rest of his life and when I pass on he will end up in an institution drugged and tied to a bed for the rest of his life of course I would change that for him if I could. what heartless person wouldn't if they could? My son is now severely autistic, severely epileptic and has major food allergies all due to multiple reactions to multiple vaccines and I haven't seen my son have one comfortable hour straight since he turned autistic over night shortly after his 1 year shots, he started having seizures and he now carries an epi-pen jr. for all dairy and eggs, he also can not tolerate gluten but does not need the epi-pen for this. My son has had 4 years of therapy is 5 years old ,can't talk, has no communication doesn't even grasp the concept of pointing or waiving, has supper human strength, a high tolerance to pain, no concept of danger, is a runner, screams a lot and is aggressive do to sensory reasons, frustration and discomfort everyday of his life I have been told to give him up by specialists since he was diagnosed and have been warned I will need to by the time he is fully grown as they figure I won't be able to keep him and others safe by then. This vaccine injury has completely changed our lives and I will never believe this is for the better even though I need to make the most of it for my sons sake, when all I will ever want to do is take his pain away from him. He is my world and I will die fighting to keep his needs met and to keep him out of institutions for the rest of his life so when I am asked if I have moral issues with helping my son feel better and potentially keep him out of institutions  then of course not cure away. I do however take great moral issue in allowing/causing this situation to happen in the first place through vaccine adverse reactions imposed upon us.

lostandtired

@MistieDelorey while I don't believe vaccines cause Autism, I do know that some children are injured by them. I can't tell you how sorry I am for all you have been through.

I don't want this to turn into a vaccine debate.

Having said that, there is absolutely something to what you said and it's so important that your story be heard. Parents need to have as much information as possible before making the best decision they can for their children.

The fact is that some children are horribly injured by vaccines. I think that's something people need to understand.

I have nothing but respective for you. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Please continue to do so and people need to hear this. If I can ever be of any help, please let me know. 🙂

MistieDelorey

 @lostandtired  @MistieDelorey My son was allergic to many ingredients in the vaccines and ended up with encephalitis of the brain causing "autism like symptoms" and since then he has been diagnosed with classic autism. He was talking, playing appropriately, liked to watch baby shows, was interactive then like over night shortly after his 12 month shots all he could do was rock back and forth rotating his wrists and ankles saying aaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaa over and over and over for years I haven't heard him speak to me since those vaccines I haven't been able to get him to play with a toy appropriately since then he has never even noticed the tv since then, I haven't had a cuddle instead of a bite, hit, kick, headbutt, scratch and so on, since then either. Vaccines did this to my baby as his body suffered allergic reactions while trying to process all those ingredients he was allergic to, on top of all the diseases, toxins and heavy metals to process all at once. That's when his poor body and brain was overwhelmed and defeated causing swelling of the brain which was the encephalitis and that in turn caused neurological damage and "autism like symptoms". Due to the severity of his situation he has been placed on 2 epilepsy meds every 12 hours on the dot and was diagnosed with classic/severe autism and although he needs therapy for the rest of his life and although my son was injured by his own government, Sadly due to this provinces rule of only receiving therapy till you turn 5 years old means he will no longer be able to even continue any of the therapy he will always be in need of for the rest of his life. I  felt the need to explain this as many can not see how this can happen but it all makes sense when you have lived it.
 

MistieDelorey

 @lostandtired  @MistieDelorey Also i have never known of let alone met a single person on the spectrum who has never received a vaccination in their life except for those who have been found to have mercury poisoning  through other means. So something to think about really.
 

ZoeyRoberts1

I feel that there is no "cure" to Autism as I am high functioning Autistic with 2 adult nephews with Autism as well. Its the way our brains our wired yes with some early interventions, with traditional therapies, ie aba,animal,music,art etc you can help the Autistic along but Autism is a part of us the good and the bad, I am tired of these fad "cure"s of the week taking away from what's really need love,acceptance and support for us Autistics, as well social,job,and housing supports for the adults. Autistic children grow up to be Autistic adults. Have you considered that maybe we are Autistic for a reason? you should be on the child's level not on some parents selfish level's. Take Dr Temple Grandin she has a quote against a "cure" as Autism is a part of her: "If I could snap my fingers and be non Autistic I would not, because I wouldn't be me. Autism is a part of who I am". A lot of so called "cures" and research is tainted by antivax and "curebie" groups who are using negativity about Autism for there own selfish agenda's and not asking the real Autistics whether we like it or not, they are,greedy,corrupt and political now, which inc the antivax anti Autism groups like ie canary party,age of autism,generation (non) rescue (jenny m's outfit), autism mothers, and thinking mom's revolution etc who have all jumped on the we hate Autism and Autistics unless your "cured" bandwagon promoting fear and hatred and division in the community over this issue.. Its time for acceptance folks not a so called "cure". By the way these groups are wolves in sheeps clothing doing more harm than good in the Autism community by promoting this fearmongering stuff, so if you can please avoid these groups and get some think positive ppl in your lives like me, or Carly Fleischman or Dr Temple Grandin ty

lostandtired

@ZoeyRoberts1 Thanks for stopping by. I understand and agree with you. However, what about the people more profoundly affected? Is not selfish of a parent to want ease some of their child's burden or eliminate symptoms if possible.

I want the dialog because I think it's important for all sides to be heard and learn to get along. I'm not a fan of many of the groups you mentioned either. I think Jenny McCarthy has done a tremendous amount of damage to the Autism Community.

Is there a difference in your eyes between a person with higher functioning autism and one that is on the lower end and maybe unable to do the things that people like you or any other of my adult friends with autism can?

I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

On a side note, I do think that if people with autism want have their feelings and thoughts taken seriously, which they absolutely should. I think that seeing things from the perspective of a parent, trying to do whats best of their child and having little or no reliable or contact consistent guidance. Speaking for myself, I only want what's best for my kids. I want to help them through life in any way that I can. I don't want to change who they are, I just wanted them to be happy, healthy and reach their potential, whatever their potential may be. 🙂

lostandtired

@ZoeyRoberts1 typo, the beginning should have said, "Is it selfish for a parent to want to ease some of their child's burden or eliminate symptoms if possible?" auto correct hates me

StaceySWay

 @lostandtired  @ZoeyRoberts1  I think that is what any parent would do if they could…No one wants to watch their child struggle. However, sometimes those struggles are needed  to educate that person.   I have friends on each end of the spectrum. I have seen them BOTH be able to live independently. Some might need more supports than others. That is why we need to advocate to make sure everyone has what they need. It is no different providing glasses(for someone who can not see)  or a hearing aide (for someone who might not be able to hear with out it). 

lostandtired

@StaceySWay @ZoeyRoberts1 well said. 🙂

StaceySWay

I just wanted to add to that I was born with EEC Syndrome, and I would not want to be cured. I think I would not be who I am today had I been any different.  Was it easy growing up? No, but the more people I proved wrong, the more determination I had for the next "issue".  As an adult, I love who I am. Because of who I am I have touched many lives, and would not change an THING!

lostandtired

@StaceySWay you go!! What a fantastic attitude you have. Good for you 🙂

TabbyParsons

Nothing is wrong, as long as you follow your belief, your heart and soul. If you do not try, then the outcome for you could be self destruction. I know that I tried to turn every rock, why, how, when, etc… Its just time for my family to make life as comfortable, inviting and resourceful to our son and others like him. Make your child a person that she or he can proud of, be independent, productive as a citizen with values in tact. Man is created perfect, we learn as we go along. Tabby Parsons

TabbyParsons

Man is created ** Imperfect** maybe our children are the perfect. Who is to say.

lostandtired

@TabbyParsons and again 🙂

lostandtired

@TabbyParsons what a great approach.

AngelEvansBrown

I believe God gives us children as a complete blessing and with that said there are also those challenges..Ours is autism. Having 3 boys on different levels of the spectrum as well as being an Occupational Therapist it has my thoughts of " early intervention" skewed. I think with some of the more severe cases, therapy is really helpful but for some I think it's opportunistic. We as parents are desperate to spend a fortune on all this advertised and recommended " so called treatment" just to make them more "normal" or to better fit into " a mainstream classroom" . I am in the middle of my time of acceptance with my 2yo who is the worst right now, and trying to deal with his issues before they arise…definitely having to be a student of your child. With my other kids learning to accept that God places us all in this family strategically and purposely for His plan and hopefully they will learn so seek out there purpose in helping each other with their weaknesses…sorry for the ramble but I dont want say therapy is for nothing but it's not a cure all and for me and possibly others it just frustrates and complicates an already burdened situation when the recipe is acceptance:)!

lostandtired

@AngelEvansBrown very interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing.

lostandtired

What about curing some of the things like sensory sensitivity or inability to speak? Would that change who the person is, or just allow them freedom from something making their lives more challenging?

I used to say that my kids are abridged version of who they were supposed to be. In some cases I still think that. If you have ever lost a child to regression, that easier to understand. Gavin was one person before the switch was flipped and very different person after… Abridged..

Thoughts?

TinaMarieCrain

 @lostandtired One of my sons have severe sensory issues and curing those would make life a lot easier for him but would that change who he is,  something I can't answer for sure but yes I believe it would at some point.  I don't know it is so hard trying to find ways to make things work and I believe each and every thing we do may make a change in who they are but we only do what we do to better their lives as we see fit and isn't that our job as parents?

lostandtired

@TinaMarieCrain all I want is for my kids to be happy, healthy and reach or exceed whatever their individual potential is.

TinaMarieCrain

 @lostandtired  @TinaMarieCrain I think that is all what we want for our kids.  🙂

JimMoody

There isn't a "cure".  My guys are all unique.  I couldn't see them any other way.  I grew up not knowing why I felt different.  I was always asked why I didn't talk to others or I was labeled as shy.  If I knew you well enough I would talk.  Lots of difficulty making friends.  I was diagnosed having severe social anxiety.  After my three guys were all diagnosed on the spectrum, I was given the diagnosed as an Aspie.  After 33 years of not knowing why I felt the way I did I felt liberated.  Like I finally understood and accepted it.  I think that makes me most angry when some say there is a cure because I was looked at as different for so long.  Thank you so much Katrina Moody for writing this post.  I couldn't have said it better myself.

lostandtired

@JimMoody @Katrina Moody well said Jim. I do this even like the term cured.. I think that if there was better ways to help those touched by Autism, that would be a great thing. But curing something that is part of who someone is, is something entirely different.

It would be like trying to cure someone who sees things in a more positive or negative way. It's not wrong to see the world in a unique way, it's all about individual perspective.

Having said that, if I could lesson a burden that my child carries, whether autism related or not, my instinct would be to do so.

Is that wrong?

StaceySWay

The only cure is acceptance. When a cure is made, it will be a prenatal test similar to DS,

lostandtired

@StaceySWay very interesting point.

KatMoody

Thanks for the shoutout Rob Gorski – I think it's an important topic for sure. I'm a little like you – back in the days before I'd grown with three boys on the spectrum there was an essential part of me that thought 'if only there were a cure' … I think you gain perspective as your kids get older, you know? 
 
Having a spouse who is also on the spectrum gives me more of a perspective – Jim Moody has helped me see more about both the amazing side and the sometimes sad side of autism in adults. When there is a spectrum disorder, it's easy to latch onto those on the mild end of the spectrum, to latch onto those who have made significant improvements in functioning … and say to yourself there must be a cure … there must be a way to hope for my children to have better functioning too. 
 
Over time, you begin to see the amazing bit of autism … that these children and adults have to work harder to be a part of this society, but they are each amazing in their own right!

lostandtired

@KatMoody @Rob Gorski @Jim Moody beautifully put 🙂

lostandtired

@KatMoody @Rob Gorski @Jim Moody you're more than welcome.

cindy

I think anyone who says their child was 'cured' was misdiagnosed in the first place.  After spending nearly 11 years with a son who is autistic, I have realized that despite countless hours of therapy and treatment, he is who he is and not only am I okay with it, I've always been okay with him just the way he is.  It is society in general has a problem with children who are different thinkers.  Trying to get someone to be 'more normal' has been a huge hurdle… and has he learned to control himself more?  Yes.  Is that a function of age or thearpy?  I think more a function of age.  Would i 'cure' him if I could?  That's a really tough question.. all I really want is for people to accept him for who he is and stop being so quick to judge.  So maybe we could just cure most of society from being afraid of anyone who isn't like them.

lostandtired

@cindy that's very interesting. Putting a twist on it like that. For me, I would want to take away any pain my child has, if I could. Having said that, autism is totally part of who they are. Maybe we could provide relief for things like sensory sensitivity, not necessarily the way someone thinks. What do you think?

cindy

 @lostandtired  @cindy If there were a cure for some of the sensory issues, it would be such a welcome relief for not only the parents, but for the children themselves.  My son did hours of OT, but never really had many sensory issues, and I know that we are both so fortunate in that.  It is NEVER too much to ask that health care provide financial assistance for families who face those issues.. and curing that, ABSOLUTELY.

TinaMarieCrain

I don't believe there is a cure,but I do believe there is improvements.  But then again maybe there is cure, just as the common cold is said to have a cure but with it, the world would be totally different.  My boys are who they are and having autism has made them who they are but it is such a trick question in asking would you cure your child of autism if you could…hmmm… would you cure a child of cancer, blindness, deafness if you could????

lostandtired

@TinaMarieCrain absolutely but do we really consider autism the same as cancer, blindness or being deaf? I know that's not what you were implying, it just think it brings up a good point.

TinaMarieCrain

 @lostandtired  @TinaMarieCrain true, and what I meant is that every child is not born perfect, but they are created in the image of God by God and I totally believe they were born that way or became that way for a reason.  A reason we may never understand maybe it is not for us to question but for whatever reason they are who they are and I believe were meant to be.  This world takes a whole lot of different "types" of people to make it work.

Silachan

 @TinaMarieCrain I've heard of some deaf adults saying they wouldn't accept a cure if it presented itself. Something to think about, huh? It's just like some autistic adults denying a cure for themselves too.

TinaMarieCrain

 @Silachan I totally agree I think we are they way we are because it makes us WHO we are and without we would not be us!

TabbyParsons

I think that some of the aspects of ASD can be assisted through breakthroughs in Science. However, as it is a neuro gene that can not reversed, my answer is No at this time. Diet can help in some, BMC specialist and Geneologist such as Dr. Kristen Parsley and Endocrinigologist can help and professions in the ASD PDDNOS fields are there to assist. There are to many peices to the puzzle to give a conclusive yes to this answer.  New Jersey, California, and Northern Tier states seem to have a good handle on the research as well as where Temple Grandin, PhD is from. Only one can tell. thats my spin on this topic. Mom of a ASD'r/ 

Silachan

I honestly don't think there would be much in the way of a "cure", complete and total cure. You can cover up the symptoms, you can work through them and learn to control them through therapy and such, but I don't think you could ever cure it completely. It's something that affects everyone in a different way. Some kids meltdown over sensory things. Some kids meltdown over emotional things easier than others. Some shutdown completely until the harmful stimulus is removed. Some kids can handle those without problem, but aren't able to communicate their needs. There's so much involved, I think at some point it's even hard to seperate what is Autism and what is, say, Sensory processing disorder, OCD, ADHD, or maybe even just a personality quirk, or typical child behavior. What's just stress and what's an actual problem? The line isn't exactly clear, y'know?
 
Personally, as an adult with moderate-high functioning Autism myself who struggles with a lot of it all, I can say that I know how tempting a cure is. But, on the other hand, Autism is a big part of me. I grew up with it. I lived my life with it. It's shaped my personality and how I view the world. How much of that would no longer be the same if you removed autism? I'm a very strong empathetic person. But Autism in me causes the empathy to be overwhelming. A lot of people see that as me being a kind hearted, caring person. But how much of that is personality and how much of that is a result of feeling emotions much stronger than the normal person? See how the line becomes more muddy?
 
I think I would accept treatment for some of the issues that make it difficult to function. I'd like to raise the tolerance level for my sensory issues, so I can go longer without shutting down or melting down. I'd like communication to be easier. I may not be "nonverbal", but if anything that makes it harder to communicate a problem because people see you as a capable being, not someone with an issue that needs help. I'd like help with the speech impediment that may or may not be related to Autism, and the social anxiety. But as a whole, there are positive aspects to Autism as well that I don't want to be without. (Such as my creativity! And my ability to hyperfocus on a task. And my special interests keeping me focused on one subject for a long time. It's what helped me find a career path!)

lostandtired

@Silachan Thanks for sharing. You make a great deal of sense 🙂

lostandtired

A few years ago, before I had grown as a parent, I would have said absolutely. However, as my kids get older and I meet so many amazing girl adults with autism, it's no longer a simple answer.

As a parent to both higher and lower functioning, I can understand why a parent would want to cure their child. Parents of children more profoundly affected by Autism live in a much different situation when what many of us could even imagine.

Having 3 boys on the spectrum, all in different places, I can say first hand how different items is for me.

Before Emmett could talk and when he was struggling with life, it broke my heart. In those moments, if I could have cured him or taken away what made him struggle and caused him great distress, I would have in a heart beat.

Years later, I have seen him do things, no one thought possible.

The other part that I'm more aware of now than I was before, is that Autism is part of who they are. How much of who they are would need affected by removing the autism?? Would they even be the same person? Does that make sense?

This is so hard for me to answer because unlike most, Gavin wasn't always autistic. For the first 4 years of his life, he developed typically. One night we put him to bed and the next morning he woke up a completely different person.

So in our case, there was a very clear "vbefore autism" and a very clear "after autism".

If I had to answer, I would say that I would want my children to make that decision for themselves, when they were old enough to understand. If they weren't capable of understanding than my wife and I would do what we felt in our hearts was best for them and not for us.

TinaMarieCrain

 @lostandtired I also have 3 sons on the spectrum all at different levels. 

lostandtired

@TinaMarieCrain it gives you perspective, doesn't it.. 🙂

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