I answered my very first question as an expert, on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare website. For the record, I’m so incredibly honored to be recognized in this fashion for my work in the Autism Community and I hope that this new opportunity allows me to reach out to even more people.
The question that was asked was Should Autism be cured?
First off all, this is a loaded question. Answering it is akin to playing Russian Roulette. No matter how you answer, there’s a bullet in every chamber that has your name written all over it.
Should Autism be cured?
This is a really tough question to answer. As a father to 3 boys in various places on the Autism spectrum, I’ve asked myself this question many times.
Autism is a profoundly dynamic disorder, meaning that each and every person with Autism is unique, with a different set of skill sets as well as challenges. Some people are more profoundly impacted by Autism and face a great many challenges and are perhaps, unable to even speak.
Others on the Autism spectrum will face fewer challenges in life.
When it comes to a cure for Autism, the first thing that comes to mind is no.
In my opinion, I don’t see how you could possibly remove something from someone that is so tightly woven into the very fabric of their being. How could you remove the Autism, without removing a huge part of who they are?
Should Autism be cured?
I think the simple answer to this very complicated question is that I don’t think we have the right to make that decision for anyone. Most of my Autistic friends would in fact be insulted by this question because it infers that there is something wrong with them to begin with. I don’t think I could bring myself to make this type of decision for my kids. The risk of losing who they are would be far too great.
I would think that if a cure were available, it would have to be up to the individual person. It’s their life, therefore their decision to make.
As a special needs parent, it breaks my heart to watch my kids struggle at times. Having said that, they always seem to overcome their obstacles. They’re happy and enjoying life. If I were pressed to make decision, I would not “cure” them of what makes them…..them.
Sharecare is a health and wellness social media platform that connects people with top-ranking experts ranging from doctors and specialists to hospitals, healthcare companies and health-conscious consumers. The power behind the site’s unique Q&A format is its collective wisdom, providing health-seeking consumers with answers reflecting multiple expert perspectives—greatly simplifying the search for quality information.
Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice — simply said, sharing care.
Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta, Georgia.